Friday, April 30, 2010


Lately I’ve been receiving two different kinds of emails: the ones that tell me how to make my penis larger and the ones that tell me I can make $3978 a week. There are others of course but these are the ones that pop out. (yes, I said pop out) Somehow it seems more likely that I could grow a penis and make it bigger with medication than it does for me to earn almost 4000 a week selling items from Walmart on my own website.

Are there people involved in any of these emailing/scam things? Actual humans? Or are the computers just messing with us.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bernie's Descendants

I think the funeral home that posed a dead body on a motorcycle got the idea from me. There are a few things I'm wondering about.
1. How will they get the body straightened out after this?
2. Wouldn't it be weird if, during the funeral, the body fell off to the side?
3. Wouldn't seeing your friend/brother/husband like this have an effect on your ability to mourn properly?
4. Do you think guests posed for photos with it?
I'm imagining the whole scene now with his family at the funeral home. They are leafing through a binder of various displays.
"See?" the funeral director says, "Here's one where he could be standing on a mountain top, yodeling. Oh and here he's serving himself some soft-swirl ice-cream. You can set that up with real flavors during the wake." The dead guy's Mom blows her nose into a hanky and nods. "Here's the lion tamer. That's a good one." They turn pages slowly and sadly until they get to the motorcycle,they pause, and the mom taps it twice with her finger.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Piecing It Together

Darla and Harry have a teacher at their school that works in every classroom (K-6) with people who have reading problems, but his main function, as I understand it, is to terrorize children who are being disruptive in the hallways. I get daily reports about how mean Mr. Mark is. How with a completely frightening expression he does the “I am watching you” gesture that DeNiro made famous, and without any humor at all refers to girls as “gentlemen” and says things like Come here Sirs while pointing and doing the “Come here” signal with the two first fingers of each hand.

He’s not kidding?

Nooooooo, they scream/sing in unison.

Last night at dinner they had the following conversation:

Mr. Mark went to Lilah’s music show with his boyfriend.

What? I didn’t know Mr. Mark was gay.

Well he is. They were holding hands.

(both silently chewing and eating)

I thought gay people were supposed to be nice and happy and fun.

Maybe he’s only half gay.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Art of Procrastination

I just read an article by a blogger I like about lining drawers with fabric instead of contact paper. Then I went on to read the comments, which included things like OMG, I never thought of this! and Great idea, thanks!!!

I am not the sort of person who lines her drawers with fabric. Or feels comfortable using exclamation points.

However I am definitely the sort of person who spends 15 minutes reading this (when I should be working or accomplishing my goals), and then imagining the whole process: thinking of a good color fabric for the bathroom, driving to the store, finding a bargain, coming home, lining and organizing my drawers, feeling content that I’ve made an effort to have everything in order and subsequently feeling like I have control over my life, and am successful and fulfilled.

I imagine all these things and wonder A. if it would ever be possible for me to be the person who lines her drawers with fabric and B. if that would really be enough to point me in the direction of feeling in control of my life and C. if maybe I’m too uptight and judgmental to enjoy something like this and D. to wishing I could afford to hire someone to line my drawers with fabric and E. to thinking it’s the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard of.

And then my day is done and I have to go make dinner.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day

I am usually afraid of heights, but I wasn't when I rode this ski lift. I realized that things aren't so scary when you distract yourself by looking up.
That thought just reminded me of this.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Images I can't shake

I remember once in fifth grade, Mrs Lipinski scratched her boob while she was talking to us about a science experiment that involved looking at bubbles of water in a microscope. Not just a little scratch to relieve the itch, boom you're done, but a scraaaaaaaaatching scratch that seemed to go on for 5 minutes.
I kind of love that she thought we could handle that sort of thing, although I'm sure she was just fully absorbed in the science explanation. Good old Mrs. Lipinski.

Addendum: The reason I had this thought was that I recently was observed doing the same thing. You'd think in the privacy of your own home some slack could be cut.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Children of Haiti

DISCOVER THE RESCUED from Discover The Journey on Vimeo.

Please watch this video of a friend's documentary and then watch again with friends on May 8th. They began making this before the earthquake about the story of two different orphans. Beautiful and amazing!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Mandatory Listening

This should be a mandatory uniform for:
Middle Schoolers
High Schoolers
People on a First date
People in a Court room
People at the beach (East Coast)
Parents (specially equipped with a vocal recording so you can't identify the person speaking).

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Good Morning Los Angeles

Seize the day.

Not For Me

I am terrified by the idea of online dating. There is not one single thing about it that I find positive or appealing, and every imagined scenario I have leads me straight to a basement apartment with shag carpeting, a stained sofa, and a VHS video camera.

And yet.

Then I think , Fuck you (me) why are you such a critical snob. There are a lot of interesting people who know how to use the internet these days. Stop thinking of the worst. Dreams can come true.

So I filled out a form. And it took me a goddam hour. And I actually had to write what I thought of myself. I had to pitch myself. I could hear the bowchickabowow music in the background: Hi my name is Deirdre, I like warm weather and hiking and I have a fantasy about never having to repeat myself or going to the grocery store, ever again. I didn’t put any photos because I felt like that was too much of a commitment to the whole idea. That meant I was serious.

Yes I’m a wimp.

If you put photos I think you can get direct responses from guys who like what they see, but you also get photos of guys that the computer matches you with according to the data you entered (I just said data), based on things like “oldest child” or “has an unclean, cluttered car interior”. Random matches. That’s what I got. And before I go on, I have to say god bless all those guys who took time to fill out an application and pose for photos and were hopeful and vulnerable just like I was and didn’t pass judgment or feel superior to the whole process.

But really? All that hour of info I supplied them with and they sent me photos of guys who look like my Uncle Walter or an insurance agent or a Denny’s manager. There was one photo of a guy wearing a t-shirt that came past his knees. I mean he was wearing pants, but it’s still not a good look for any man over the age of 3. It’s just not. And do you hear how I’m talking now? How I’m judging? How I’m saying no and never and ew gross, look what he’s wearing.

I think I have serious problems when too much is left to the imagination.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Destroyer

I am not a violent person, and I’m not really interested in women’s fighting, but something about boxing speaks to me. Is it weird that I have an inner 200 pound man that wants to break someone’s jaw with his bare hand?
I started boxing more than 15 years ago mainly because I really wanted to hit someone, a specific someone. I still don’t know, if the opportunity arose, that I could do it. But it feels good to imagine. I’ve never trained every day and sometimes a year goes by when I don’t do it at all, but even now, from time to time, I imagine that person’s face as I’m hitting the bag. 
Call me crazy.
The first gym I went to in Philadelphia I was the only white person and the only girl, but no one ever made fun of me, although the trainer there, an old guy named Bobby, did laugh at the size of my wrists. Look at that! He circled his thumb and first finger around it with room to spare. He could have crushed my wrist like a used paper cup. The first day I went there, before he taped my hands, before I jumped rope or did any sit-ups, he gave me a name: The Destroyer. If I had made it up myself, it would have been ridiculous, but he made it sound like it was a possibility.
Float like a butterfly, Sting like a bee.
That quote has kind of lost it’s meaning from overuse, but if you really think about it, it's a good motto to live by.

Friday, April 9, 2010

American Pastime

I live near Dodger’s stadium, close enough that I can see the big lights, close enough that I can hear the announcers voice, and even though it makes no sense, close enough that I can hear the sound of the leather ball against the bat. This could be a great and magical thing, I suppose, but it rarely is. All the things to love about it are too close to the things to hate and sometimes they blur. There's the history of the sport, there's Joe D'Maggio and Jackie Robinson, the green diamond, the come-back, the stolen catch. But then there's also the endless tedium, the three up/three down, the mullets, the $9 hotdogs, the chaw. The same fans who are hopeful and positive and filled with cheer, will whack you in the head with a cro-bar if you root for the other team. There's disappointment and heartbreak and the long drive home.
You never know which way it will go. 

Once I heard part of a game from my desk. It was late, maybe close to 10 at night. How long could this go on?  I heard the organ: badabadabada: CHARGE! And then again. It wasn’t the usual half hearted, beer- soaked chant, there was something building, something was about to happen. And then there was a hush and Crack. I really heard it. The fans erupted and there was a roar. There were horns and trumpets and loud church organs. I stood up at my desk and it's like I was there. I was in the middle of a crowd. Someone spilled a beer on me. We laughed. He hugged. We screamed. We jumped up and down together. We vowed to protect and honor each other forever and ever for the rest of our lives amen. Then we eased ourselves back into our seats, wiping tears from our eyes, unable to close our mouths.
And then the same thing happened FOUR MORE TIMES.
I had no idea what was going on but I was overjoyed. I was laughing by myself. Those jackasses who parked on my street, the same ones I swore at earlier, beeped their horns for 30 minutes. WOOHOO!!! We were all friends. Nevermind that I couldn't name a single player on the team: Go Dodgers! I love you guys! And then, WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?

The first person I thought to ask about that night was my brother Pete. He would know. In my head he will always be the twelve year old dork that brings his mitt to a game with the hopes of catching a fly ball; someone with unlimited energy and enthusiasm; someone who believes in miracles.
So I called Pete, but before I had a chance to ask about the game, he started to tell me that he didn't feel well, that a few nights before, he lay awake in bed at 4 am, unable to sleep, worrying about things. It got to the point, he said, that his heart started pounding in his chest and he actually thought he was having a heart attack. So he drove himself to the emergency room.  “A heart attack?” I said, dumbfounded. In my head, I was thinking: this is the guy that jumped off bridges on a dare, who doesn’t eat sugar or meat, who has never had even a puff of a cigarette.“That’s crazy!” I said.
“I know,” he said after a long pause. “That’s what the doctor said too”.
“So what did you do?”
“I went to another doctor”.

Four o’clock in the morning is a time of horrific doom. Everything is large. Sometimes I go to my desk at this time. Instead of wanting to quiet the voices in my head, I want to listen to them. I am usually surrounded by a crowd: an old love, my grandparents, dead people.  If there is a problem, we can work on it together; if it's a big problem, everyone leaves: "Later. Good luck with that. Be back in a sec".
The only one who stays is the guy I'm trying to avoid. He stands behind me and talks into my ear. "Hmm, where to begin? Fuck ups, failures and abandonments, things forgotten, messed up or  avoided. Illness, suffering, death--
Ok here we go. I have to get up again, walk away, down the hall, shake a leg, shake my hands, my head. I have seen insane people walk down the street in the exact same way.
“Just go,” I say finally, my forehead pressed against the wall. “Please.”
I don’t want to think about all my troubles, and yet at a certain time of night, there they are, popping to the surface like corks in the water. It’s strange how automatic it is to focus on what is wrong rather than what is right. Any solution seems implausible or out of reach, desperate.
Where's my third-base coach tapping a peace sign on his sleeve and clapping three times to move me forward.

I called Pete a few weeks after that. He was still low, still concerned about his health, still not sleeping well.
"Let's talk about something else," I said.
"Why?" he laughed.
I asked him about the night of the Dodger’s game and of course he knew what had happened:
The Dodgers were down 9-5 in the ninth inning with two outs when a batter stepped in and hit a home run. Then the next batter did the same! And the two after that! It was 9 to 9! FOUR BACK-TO-BACK HOME-RUNS WITH TWO OUTS.  If I hadn’t heard it myself from ½ mile away, I wouldn’t have believed it. "They went into extra innings," Pete said, "bing-bang-boom, Dodgers won".
“That never happens in baseball”, I said.

We were both quiet for a long time.
“Sometimes it does”, he said.

Most people have a hard time at 4 in the morning. In your room in the dark, all signs point to Misery and Death. Even babies, with their perfect little bodies, uncomplicated lives and sweet smell, wake up crying, needing to be soothed. Who is the person that wakes up singing, “Oh wonderous joy and heavenly world, I am so happy with everything about myself and my life, I am so thankful for all that I have. I am not afraid to die.” Let’s put him and his bed in the middle of Dodger’s Stadium. Let’s watch him and see what happens. We can sit in the blazing sun eating $9 hotdogs. We can wait.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

They See Me Comin

Look there she is.
The one a mile away?
The one that’ll pay whatever we ask?
Well, except for that one time she cried so we took off the $50.
Yeah, yeah. I like her.
What should we do today?
Haven’t done brakes in a while.
Front or back?
How about both?
Oh come on
No. Really.
You think?
Without a doubt .
Let’s try it then, why not.
It’s not a problem, I’m telling you. ....You know what? I’ll suggest a tune up as well.
Ok now you’re pushing it.
Believe me, it’ll work.
(silently thinking, shifting his glance from his buddy to the woman coming down the road, and back again)
You’re good, man.
All right. Let’s do this.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Lead Me, Follow Me or Get Out of My Way-George S. Patton

When I yell at my kids I have an awkward habit of enunciating everything, like an ax murderer: I have askeD you to TurN off that ComPuTer for the LasT TiMe. Not only that, but I have a running commentator in the back of my head: Who is this person? You sound psychotic. He could give a crap what you say. Or Wow, that sounded like a grown-up. One sentence flows to the next. Can’t argue with that. There have been times when I have dropped character and started laughing. I sound so unconvincing I have to stop.

Patton would be disgusted.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Paying Attention

I know it's a bad and time-wasting, addictive and self-destructive habit, but I can't help it. I've started googling everything. I realize that looking at my computer (I can't say surfing the web, it still feels like a modern term that doesn't fit into my vocabulary)(using the word google as a verb however, has worked it's way in) anyway, looking at my computer is a way of replacing thought all together. I don't have to listen or reflect or think. All I have to do is push buttons and occasionally see cool stuff. Like a monkey. This is not a great discovery.
This morning I got obsessed with birds. I can hear birds singing when I wake up, even when it's still dark outside and I can tell when a cat walks by because they suddenly, and completely in unison, stop chirping.
So I looked up birds singing on my computer, and this is what I found.

This guy has something in common with the birds outside my windows. I mean he's in a cage and singing the blues, but like them he's able to do something amazing for one reason: he's listening.

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Good Old Days

I recently read this quote from Amy Poehler about ads for a fancy t-shirt store.

"They're fucking gross, man. Look, I love beautiful girls too. I think everyone should be free to have their knee socks and their sweaty shorts, but I'm over it. I'm over this weird, exhausted girl. I'm over the girl that's tired and freezing and hungry…”

Yes! Exactly. I have to drive by one of those billboards between school and home every day, the one with a 13 year old girl sucking on a piece of licorice in nothing but tube socks and a pair of camel-toe briefs. Is there anyone who finds this appealing besides some doughy 55 year-old man with a greasy comb-over who lives with his mother. Or how about the sexy girl slowly licking and eating a cheese-burger while the greasy sauce drips down her chin, while some creepy guy voice over tells you how much you need this. Does this really appeal to anyone? It's humorless and irritating (and makes me feel humorless and irritated).

It’s weird to think that this commercial would probably not be used today because it advocates violence.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fools Day

I use the same trick every year. It never fails:

Me: Oh my God, come here, I think you must have sat on a broken pen, you have a big ink stain on the back of your pants.

You (spinning like a dog chasing his tail): What?

Never fails. Here are some other ones:

ENGLAND: 1957: A BBC news show announced Swiss farmers had grown spaghetti, showing footage of peasants pulling spaghetti down from the trees. Viewers believed it, calling into the BBC to ask how they could enjoy their own spaghetti crop. The BBC replied, “place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.”

SWEDEN: 1962: The sole television channel in Sweden was still black-and-white, but on April 1 it announced that viewers could easily convert to color. The station's technical expert, Kjell Stensson, said to pull a nylon stocking over the box. Supposedly, thousands of people actually tried.

UNITED STATES: 1992: National Public Radio announced that Richard Nixon, after living nearly two decades in disgraced retirement, was running again for president. His new campaign slogan was, according to NPR, "I didn't do anything wrong, and I won't do it again."