Archive for the Miracles Category

The Practical Princess Part II

Posted in Adventures and Interludes, Being a Virgo, being defensive, Life Performance Art, Miracles, Obsessions, Self-defense for women, solutions, The meaning of life, Thoughts with tags , , , , on April 1, 2012 by Admin



“At times the parking lot is full, and it seems there is always a Subaru something-er with roof racks parked in the lot, as kayakers seem to use this spot as frequently as hikers, as well as families and sometimes people walking alone or mothers with a child or two. It seems safe, an innocent diversion even, far from the flats of Holyoke where I have my studio and where I exercise increased caution. So I thought nothing of taking my dog Jamoka for a walk there, that day a few years ago, a day much like today… beautiful, breezy, sunny, quiet..”

We’d been here often, perhaps daily at times, and at least once or twice a week, for many months. That there were days we left without having our walk because the lot was full — all the cars overcrowding the little arc-shaped slip of a parking lot seemed to reinforce that this was a safe and well-inhabited spot. Jamoka loved to walk out onto the sun-warmed rocks and down into the water where they made a little ramp, and then he’d lie in the sun and dry off, after first doggie-shaking off the excess water followed by that little butt-only wiggle-flourish he’d do and I’d laugh out loud every time. On the way down the path I’d throw sticks I’d collected along the trail and he’d gleefully run for them, tongue flying, through the woods and over downed trees, ultimately diving into the river and doggie-paddling triumphantly back with the stick held aloft in his mouth. I’d wade around up to my knees collecting and throwing the sticks that he’d drop just shy of dry land and then we’d sit and watch the dusk gather unto itself and start the uphill walk back to the car before the dusk actually began it’s show.

On this particular day of which I write, the tiny park was an especially glorious, quiet, and un-crowded retreat; as we’d headed down the trail I’d encountered only a very charming and smiley elderly man and his companion, a boy who was possibly his adolescent grandson and who was also very endearing — noticeably well-mannered, and eager to recount that which he’d learned in school about dinosaurs and tracks. The boy had told me all about the age and history of these tracks including how they rated in comparison to others he’d studied and encountered in his travels, as driven by his interest in geology. I remember being rather fascinated, thinking to myself “I must tell ___ or ____ about this! Who knew that dinosaurs _____-ed?”, yet that was all quickly erased, existing now only as blanks in my memory of that day, though for some reason I can recall almost all but those sundry dinosaur facts.

It was a ridiculously picture perfect day; the sun shined so brightly, the sky a  cartoonish blue — complete with such fluffy cotton clouds as those crudely shaped by a child un-self-conscientiously wielding an ample supply of chalk — and a soft breeze blew which I very much remember thinking of as “delicious” (I have always had a thing for wind), which, combined with the tweeting of myriad birds and the waves lapping against the rocks, seemed the most delightful cacophony of sights and sounds as we sat on the rock looking out onto the river. I felt consciously content, happy.

But then, though it was far from dusk, I felt a gnawing unease and decided it was time to go; I was hungry and had dinner plans that night for which I’d need to change clothes. Jamoka was ready for dinner.  As I gathered up the sweater upon which had served as seat cushion and picked up my cell phone, the one I always carried in my hand due to my aversion to carrying a pocketbook, I hoped that whatever dinner plans I’d made would consist of a cookout so I could get more of this lovely, breezy, near-perfect day.

As I stood up, thus signalling to Jamoka that it was time to go, I remember realizing how suddenly very quiet the area was, and wondering if the birds were all at dinner or having siestas.  Looking around, I realized everyone had left but for us — it was definitely time to head home. As we started from the clearing by the water toward the trees and the trail to my car, I saw something move through the trees, and then something else; my instinct told me it was not the elderly man and has grandson and I longed for the sight of them, as instinctual warning bells clanged in my mind.

And then a guy appeared, looking a bit shifty, and slowly there appeared another, and another. I felt that feeling  in my gut that I get when I know something isn’t right or when I hear a strange noise in the middle of the night which seems to be inside my home. They seemed about 20-ish or even late teen-ish, and looked to be the type one frequently sees in the flats of Holyoke, from my personal experience, and one wore a hoodie which pretty much obliterated his face, and which seemed odd for such an almost-hot day.

Now a fourth appeared, much heavier, sloppier, and I was closer now, close enough to see them give each other the side-eye as some signal seemed to pass between them. They each moved slightly, nodding at each other and looking toward me, forming a line across the only entrance to the narrow trail and, once in place, they all turned, almost at once, and faced me, looking directly AT me now, not merely toward me, and that’s when my being seemed to seize. I glanced at Jamoka to my left and he was not wagging his tail, which to me was a sure sign that he had a bad vibe. I wondered how Jamoka would protect me from 5 men.

And then there were 6, and I froze, as one last man appeared and stood across the last small gap between their human chain and the entrance to the trail, tilting his head back and looking me over through slitted eyes, spreading his legs apart as if expecting some sort of impact, as if to lower his center of gravity, with arms crossed and menacing expression.

I saw that now that they had all 6 of them assumed this legs-apart, arms-crossed, leering, determined, hard and hardened stance, and were all facing me, eyes on me, all on me alone, for a split second on Jamoka, gauging his strength and ferocity perhaps, nodding almost imperceptibly yet again to each other, slow smirks appearing on a few faces, a bored look on another, cheshire cat smile of anticipation or excitement on another, who seemed to lick his lips, with a resulting palpable tension in the air which seemed almost to thrill them as their body language said little yet everything; I was in danger, this was the only certainty, I felt extreme fear in every cell. I started mulling, figuring, running through every possible scenario and option, in what felt like minutes but which was about 10 seconds in reality. I was 12 feet away now and I heard no sounds but the water hitting the rocks. What had happened to the birds? How could the sun be shining and how could the cartoon clouds just… be there… as if nothing were wrong? Time seemed to stop, and my mind went into fast forward; and this is what I thought, for it is imprinted on my memory and has been relived in many a subsequent dream:

They will hear me call 911 and there is no way a dispatcher will get anyone here in time to help me, if I can even finish the call. Calling for help is useless. It would only take them a few minutes to attack. There is not time to explain to a dispatcher or to anyone where I am exactly. There is nowhere to run. They have me surrounded but for the water behind me. They cannot be up to any good. They have  spread out like a line of soldiers and they all have sinister faces, evil, they are frowning, why are they frowning at me? EVIL. Evil is here. I am done. What will happen to Jamoka? Will he rip them to shreds? There are too many. OH SHIT, A ROPE!? What is in that guy’s pocket? Am I dreaming. This is NOT happening. Denial will do me no good. Will they let me by? Maybe it’s not a rope, they don’t even need a rope. No. No. No. I can’t risk getting close enough to find out and I can’t turn around. I have to go through them. I have to get out. To hesitate is to show fear, fear would appeal to their worst instincts, these animalistic damaged “humans”. They will be excited by my fear.

I wonder if they know how to swim.  Maybe they don’t know how to swim… If they don’t know how to swim then maybe Jamoka and I can run and jump into the river and swim down river using the current to help move us move quickly and we’ll emerge on the riverbank farther down. Will Jamoka know to follow me? What if he doesn’t? I will not leave him. We are in this together. Why is he frozen like that? Then we will have to walk along Rt 5 to my car but that’s ok because cars will be driving by and will see me, or them chasing me.  My cell phone will get wet and I’ll have no way to call. I can run out into traffic. But what if Jamoka follows me into traffic? I wonder if that guy from the trophy house is out walking his dog along RT 5. It is usually at this time. But he can’t help me. He’d get hurt. He’d have no time to call the police either. His dog might be able to help. No his dog has only 3 legs.

Oh my god, they just took a step closer and spread out more. They are blocking every possible direction between me and the road. We are too low to be seen by passing cars. Why didn’t I notice everyone else leave? If I scream I wonder if anyone will hear me. What if I can’t scream, like in those dreams? They just moved toward me again. This is like a bizarre game of chess. One is grabbing his crotch, no, is he? He IS  looking at me, into my eyes, they are ALL looking into my eyes… there is no way that is not a signal. Is this how it ends? It can’t be.  It’s not fair, it can’t be, I have overcome far too much for it to end this way. Jamoka will be scarred for life by what he sees, or he could get killed trying to help me. SHIT. Who will take him in if he makes it? Dianna?

I wonder if, when my father sees this on the news, he will care at all. No, I doubt it. I guess Marty didn’t need to go to all that trouble to steal my half of the inheritance. It won’t matter now. See? He didn’t need to go to all that trouble. I wonder if he will ever feel at all ever guilty, or, sad. Will my father even mourn a little bit? No. I should have a will. Who will get all my art and all my belongings? What if the landlord takes them? No, I want my friends to get everything. Maybe my father will try to claim it all? I could actually see that. Marty stole my money but for some reason he wouldn’t give back my paintings though I asked him WHY the hell he would even want them, given that he admitted his theft and practically gloated about it. They would have my stuff on eBay in a week. But no, my friends won’t allow that, no way. He will tell all the relatives it was my own damn fault like he told me when I was chased by the 5 drunk guys in the North End after dropping Melissa at Logan Airport — and they LOVE her — so she’d not have to pay for a cab. Everything is always my fault. I got out of that potential gang rape when they yelled “LOOK! It’s a girl! let’s get some asssss”. But I had room to run and already had my keys intertwined in my hands, the vestibule key ready.

Why do I care what they will think after I am gone? They have never valued my life. This time I have no room to run past the group of guys and no key in hand to slide into the lock, just in time. Why is my mace at home? Where is my mace? It would never work with 6 guys. They could simply grab it and use it on me. FOCUS.

If there were only one of them I could try the moves we learned in self-defense class at UMASS. Maybe Matt is watching me from the beyond like he does and will send help. Grammie and Grampie are always watching me. I definitely have guardian angels, they saved me when I skied off that cliff; they turned me around in mid-air so I didn’t hit the trees head-first. I almost bit it then. Yes, they will help me. NO, I have to help myself. Maybe someone will show up any minute and they will save me. Maybe these guys will leave me alone. NO, that is foolish thinking, they have a plan, that much is glaringly obvious. Maybe they will just gang rape me and leave me? But if Jamoka attacks them will they kill him? No, cannot let anything happen to Jamoka.

Did they just take another step? Oh shit now 3 of them are grinning, smirking, look away, no don’t look away, act confident, be alert, think, did I just hear a zipper? My mind is playing tricks on me, they are screwing with me, warning me, that will be the end, snap out of it, do something. BE the Practical Princess. What would she do? She’d use her wits against them. She’d throw them an effigy dressed as herself, filled with gunpowder – how can I do that? They can’t be too bright, outwit them. Look confident. Someone is snickering, this is a game to them, they are bad, definitely bad people, EVIL, I need someone to show up right now, I will invent people, people very near, it’s worth a shot, How many people do I need? I can only pull off a few, maybe that will be enough, don’t over do it and make it implausible… I don’t have time to even dial out. I’ll fake it… now, it’s gotta be now… NOWNOWNOW, DO SOMETHING, nothing to lose, everything to gain… be confident…. DO SOMETHING. This will NOT be how it ends. FUCK THEM. 

“Hey Dean!”, I began cheerfully, after doing a little ‘oops’ maneuver, as if jolted by the vibration of the phone, and putting my phone to my ear as one finger pushed the green button twice thus dialing the last call, “Yeah, I am on my way… nooooo, yes, to meet YOU, yesss, at the parking lot…huh?.. yes, at the parking lot, like I said I would … yes, right now… (using that “duh” tone of voice, which I usually disdain)…

As I spoke, to a ringing phone, I started walking purposely and confidently toward the men, continuing my “conversation”, trying to act as nonplussed, as natural as possible, looking at the ground a few steps ahead of me as one does on uneven terrain, heart pounding, turning to Jamoka saying, “Come on little guy! Let’s go see Uncle Dean!”, praying they’d not hear the pounding of my heart, sense my fear, and call my bluff… it wasn’t perfect but it was a shot… make the call seem very natural, not an act…

“I am NOT late! I am NEVER late! NOoooo, bullSHIT, I AM here, yes, on my way up the trail… you ARE? Then why are you pretending you didn’t see my car? loser!….

By now Dean has mercifully answered though I cannot fill him in on what is going down, and he is saying, “What ARE you talking about, Mo? Are you ok? Where ARE you?…”

“…No, not at all. Yeah, well just keep walking down the trail and you’ll see me, we are heading toward each other… Yes! About 20 steps from the parking lot, right below the dinosaur tracks…”

Dean is now asking if I am ok, should he come to meet me? Do I mean I am at the dinosaur tracks on Rt 5?….

“Yes, exactly! …. what? You can? I don’t see youuuuuu? (craning my neck, looking into the woods over the men’s heads) Oh, well, then I am more like 15 feet away from you, no, not yet, but I don’t have my glasses… (squinting [hoping it is not too theatrical] into the woods between the two men closest to the mouth of the trail)….  Billy is here too? No, it’s fine that you brought him. I am surprised Mr. Vanity took an evening off from the gym. So where are we going for dinner?” (NOTE: Billy is not a Mr. Vanity type, I actually call him Mr. Fabulous, Mr. Sir, or Mr. Elusive, but I wanted to get the idea across that my men were capable)

I am hoping Dean thinks to jump in his car and head over to help me… knowing there isn’t likely anything he can do, yet feeling guilty if he does show up and ends up in danger too, knowing there isn’t possibly time for Dean to help, though he is not even a mile away…

“Wait, I think I do see you guys…”, (craning, smiling directly at the man chain, as if I am about to bump into my men friends)… “Wait, are you wearing pink?”

Fortunately not one of the men turns around. They are holding their stance yet I think I feel some nearly imperceptible shifting or un-spoken plan re-assessment…

At this point I was about a foot from the line of men blocking the trail and Dean hadn’t actually said he was en route but he was staying on the phone with me. Not more than a minute has passed since I “answered’ my phone. Time is moving too fast and not fast enough. That I could hear the fear and concern in Dean’s voice ever-so-briefly snapped me out of my act but then fear turned back to adrenaline channeled into my faux chipper “call”, but here was my big moment when I’d try to get past the men… it was the moment when I’d succeed, or not… FOCUS.

As I approached the human blockade I took a deep breath and said into my phone, “Well, this DOES count as being on time… I’m, like, a few yards away from you. Will you stop saying I’m late AGAIN? Uh-huhhhh…”, and as I broke through the human chain — at this most crucial and precarious fraction of a moment — deftly taking a casual diagonal side-step around the legs most directly in my way, and thus slipping nonchalantly between the middle guy and the next guy in line, I threw them a smile.  I smiled right at them and added a conspiratorial eye roll regarding the shit I was clearly taking on the phone for being late. And suddenly I was past them, almost free.

It took all I had to not turn around and to refrain from breaking into a run.  It seemed imperative to be confident, to not show fear, to NOT turn around, though I was tensed for the smallest of noises which might indicate that they had even merely turned around to watch me,  their prey, go; I consciously identified as “the prey” during this ordeal. I heard the single crackle of a twig but I did not turn around, instead I laughed into the phone at some pretended bon mot. The tension was achingly palpable and I feared that to run would blow my confidence act and trigger a chase, if they sensed fear they’d know I was meeting no one on the trail, my charade would collapse, so I continued the “call” all the way to the parking lot and then, suddenly, I was running to the car, shoving Jamoka in the back seat, and hitting the button that locks all the doors.

Even with Dean still on the phone (by now I had assured him that I was in my car, safe, though I would not feel safe for a long time) I could not feel safe till I had pulled out onto RT 5 and pulled into traffic gunning the engine, thinking at this point that should I get pulled over for speeding it might serve me well, that they might have time to catch the guys, but then my mind raced still, and I was simultaneously afraid to have to identify these guys and… for what? They’d not touched me. I was safe. And so I slowed down.

I don’t know if I stopped at Dean’s house on my way home as he’d suggested on the phone; maybe I did, or maybe I went straight home and locked the door, sobbing. I have forgotten all but for the contrast; the beauty of the day and how it so suddenly changed, about my evidently successful “acting”. To be that close to… to that which I could not allow myself to name, or to picture (though I ponder it still), was traumatic. I did grudgingly allow for a bit of self-congratulatory sentiment for my quick thinking, but yet, I cried at odd moments over the next few weeks, maybe even months. For to be that close to the possibility of a violent death, to the R word which is every woman’s fear, to contemplate all 100 pounds of me trying to fight 6 men, is all too much to ponder.

In fact, what began since that day, by way of forcing myself to focus on something/anything else as I  drive through that area, has become a somewhat obsessive game of sorts in which I delight with almost too much glee, on the how the trophies are arranged in the window of what we call, “The Trophy House”,  (many frequent drivers of Rt 5 along the Holyoke/Easthampton line will know the teeny house with the trophies in the front window, will know what I mean, instantly) to an unusual degree, calling Billy or Dean to report with awe and wonder that “Trophy Guy” has now moved all his trophies to the other window! Now they are in a circle! Now they are in a square! OMG! Today they are all lying on their side! Maybe he is cleaning? Maybe he no longer bowls and as such does not want them around as a reminder of his bowling days? Whoa, They are back! There is one less today! OMG, I saw “Trophy Guy” walking his dog and he isn’t limping!

I realize only now, as I write this, that the trophy house  and it’s myriad trophies has become symbolic of the extraordinary use of my wit in my conquest of the Six Bad Men.

So long as the trophies are there, in whatever new arrangement, they are a reminder that yes, I am The Practical Princess.

And I still call Billy and Dean to report on the ever-changing display of trophies in that teeny house near the tracks.

The Practical Princess

Posted in Activism?, Adventures and Interludes, Advice, Being a Virgo, being defensive, Confusion, danger, Life Performance Art, Miracles, Obsessions, quick thinking, Schemes, Self-defense for women, solutions, The meaning of life, Thoughts with tags , , on March 22, 2012 by Admin

NOTE: This is a work in progress but I hit “publish” anyway because I promised…

Åt some point in my childhood, probably around age 6 or 7ish, I received this children’s book as a gift — The Practical Princess — and it immediately became my favorite book of all time, ever. Written by Jay Williams, and illustrated by Friso Henstra, it is an astonishingly beautiful and, well, very practical children’s book; a huge departure from the typical literary fare for kids of that era, revolutionary for its time. Yet it only became apparent a few days ago in therapy how very deeply impactful it had been on my development as a person, after relating yet another anecdote about escaping harm with quick-thinking.

I have been a voracious reader from the days of  Fun With Dick and Jane on, often climbing the tallest tree in my yard and precariously perching in a crook of the tree at the top, so I could read without being reached  — for chores, punishment, or random admonishments — and would stay there all day reading Nancy Drew mysteries, one after another.  Coincidentally, the first thing I thought when I first met my therapist years ago was that she looked a lot like my vision of Nancy Drew as derived from the era in which my books had been illustrated — Nancy Drew gets a new look for each generation — and I found this resemblance extremely comforting, fateful even.

I also very much identified with Ramona The Pest, and admittedly still do. I’d always marvel at the kids who seemed so wise and composed, like old souls or some such thing; my way seems fated to bumble through life blurting out whatever I am thinking, like last night at dinner with friends, when during a discussion about something else entirely I blurted, “I went for a walk in the woods naked the other day with a friend”, and it took Larnett 5 minutes to process it, pondering, pausing, only later asking, “WHAT? Did you just really say what I think you did?”, but then Larnett shows up along with Amy G. in a previous post, for saying “Next to ‘Free Association’ in the dictionary there is a picture of Mo”, so, there’s that.

But the benign and innocent world of Ramona The Pest is a far cry from the topic of this post — I segue as much as I free associate and blurt.

Years ago I had learned in a trial by fire — a studio fire to be exact, of which I bear scars still in the form of often irrational fears which, left unchallenged daily, could well lead to agoraphobia — that I tend to automatically react with lightening fast and flawless judgement in times of emergency. Who knew? Of all the fallout from that trauma, this one fact is the most palatable, resonant and important, yet in looking back, during therapy this recent morning, I realized that I have at many times in the past displayed precise and immediate assessment of danger — whether it be by way of people or situations — and subsequently react with instinctual and rapid plan-making and execution, saving myself (three times, that I can recall) from what may well have been gang rape, death by fire, and incalculable other potential harms.

This story absolutely assisted in facilitating that reaction. No one thing can determine who and how we are, and yet at a prime developmental period this book absolutely contributed to this, and also to my eventual feminist philosophy and art, as it made it glamorous, perhaps, to be practical and fearless. My fearlessness was obvious from a very young age and did not exactly endear me to my father, but that’s a whole other story.

In googling the author today I came upon this: “Williams was also one of the first and best of the authors who responded to the feminist movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s by writing a new kind of fairy tale. Though his stories are traditional in their choice of episode and motif, they also overturn nearly all the conventions of the genre to illustrate new ideas about women.

Williams’s famously funny and very influential picture book The Practical Princess (1969) reworked both ‘Rapunzel’ and ‘Sleeping Beauty’.

Its heroine, Princess Bedelia, has been promised to a dragon, but instead of waiting for a prince to rescue her, she explodes the monster by arranging for a straw figure filled with gunpowder to be dressed in her court robes and thrown into its open mouth… Though there are now many stories like these in print, when The Practical Princess and Petronella first appeared, they caused a minor sensation, and as a result both readers and writers now approach fairy tales in new and interesting ways.” [source]

The dinosaur tracks trail/park at first seems merely like a little parking area on RT 5 along the Connecticut river in Holyoke, just over the Easthampton line. It’s a little slip of a parking area, an arc one eases into alongside Rt 5, with little fanfare. But it then leads to a little path through some fairly dense woods and down to the Connecticut river, with big flat-ish rocks which reach out into and over the water, on which one can sit or stand. Or one can walk the rocks like a ramp down into the water and wet one’s ankles, or even throw a fishing line perhaps.

There is an informational sign encased in lucite in the parking area which explains the who, what, where, why and how of the tracks but I forget what it says and have never been back — I cannot possibly ever go back — since the beautiful early summer day when I last visited, and so I have no picture to post of it. At the beginning of the wooded path, in an open and sunny clearing, said dinosaur tracks are perceptible, if one is paying attention and is looking for them, often marked by graffiti. Sadly, it is also clear where some of the tracks have been completely unearthed and likely carted off, probably for sale at whichever black market such things are sold.

After passing the tracks, the trail leads through a fairly densely wooded area for about 30-50 yards (I am terrible at measuring distances) through trees neither particularly tall or short, down to the Connecticut River to the rocky outcroppings at which point one is facing the river, from which point one can clearly see across the river to the houses on the other side, and one imagines those riverfront people can likely see those of us on this side of the river.
At times the parking lot is full, and it seems there is always a Subaru something-er with roof racks in the lot, as kayakers seem to use this spot as frequently as hikers, families, and sometimes people walking alone or mothers with a child or two. It seems safe, an innocent diversion even, far from the flats of Holyoke where I have my studio and where I exercise increased caution. So I thought nothing of taking my dog Jamoka for a walk there, that day a few years ago, a day much like today… beautiful, breezy, sunny, quiet…
TO BE CONTINUED…. tomorrow perhaps, after I scan more images from my book and write the rest of it.

Rare Finds Tuesday!

Posted in art, Documentaries, Life is like Christopher Guest said it was, Miracles, Mockumentaries with tags , on January 27, 2010 by Admin

From my friend Maureen:



From the Salvation Army Art Department today; A Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec – poster created entirely in needlepoint!


A Tale of Two Locks

Posted in Adventures and Interludes, Life is like Christopher Guest said it was, Life Performance Art, Miracles, The meaning of life on September 14, 2009 by Admin

An old story, this, which I just found in my drafts folder;  the story of a housesitting adventure from July, gone awry, which I meant to post after I had a chance to tell the owner of the house as I figured she should be the first to hear it. And it’s much funnier as a verbal tale, but gosh, aren’t we all so busy? So this is how she will find out, rather than over drinks. ;-) And so it is written in present tense because I don’t have the energy, in the midst of my second move in one month (yet another drama), to change all the tenses. This is a tale of two locks. The tale of the two moves is for another day.

ist2_9012363-road-sign-oops I am housesitting for a friend, a relatively benign thing, and yet things can so quickly change from the benign to the traumatic, to the hilarious, in the click of a lock.

I have housesat here before. I housesit a lot. I am in demand and it is high season. I am in demand because I don’t snoop, a common complaint about housesitters, so I am told. I must be told this because I’d otherwise not know it. I don’t need housesitters myself, as I have no house. And no longer have a pet.

I am super-obsessive about keys (and most things) when I am housesitting (and even when I am not) and if I go out for even a minute, I bring my keys. If I go out on the deck for even a piece of a minute, I unlock the door AND I bring my keys. But this morning was different somehow. Maybe I was not me this morning. Maybe my OCD let up for a minute. There are too many maybes to even ponder.

ist2_9529168-naked-young-woman-lying-on-floorboards-with-broken-flowerSo, on this morning I let Girlie Girl (not her real cat name), the 18 year old cat who I am watching, out on the second floor deck for a minute and she immediately threw up all over it.  So I ran in and got water and soap and paper towels in order to clean it up, and a sudden gust of wind blew the door shut and locked behind me.I was stunned and unrealistically kept turning the knob, as though it would turn out to be somehow not true that I was on the wrong side of the door and that it was actually locked. But nothing changed.

This is not such a great ‘hood to be out in while wearing a skimpy and tattered t-shirt with no products from Victoria’s Secret or any other such purveyor of such things underneath, but then what ‘hood is? But this ‘hood does have some interesting characters running about in all manner of dress and with all manner of urgencies, running about at all hours, so perhaps it was the best ‘hood for such a spectacle.

Thankfully I had taken off the tattered shorts and thrown on a pair of jeans before that lock and that wind conspired to create this drama for me, but I had no shoes or sunglasses or keys or cell phone.

So I thought to run barefoot to my studio 6 blocks away where at the least  I have a spare car key and people to help me, and so I ran (ish), in my wobbly, disjointed manner, due to all those herniated disks and bone spurs and ever-spasming muscles, with eyes squinting against the very bright sun, arms crossed to cover the tatters and lack of said purveyed underthings, and as I ran, I realized that I much resembled a sort of not-so-uncommon local person of a certain type, and who might be perhaps experiencing some sort of drama due to some sort of deal, perhaps gone bad, or in desperate anticipation of some sort of deal which would very shortly go very well, if you know what I mean. I had been woken up at midnight-thirty the night before by someone yelling, “Hey! HEY! I don’t care what you do in your own home but I am NOT going to watch you beat up on a woman.” I had then looked out the window to see a bunch of of guys in a car below, passing some sort of illuminated thing, while the driver stood outside and beside his car yelling, and had heard one of the guys inside the car say, “She probably tried to rip him or or sell him some bad shit.”

ist2_5052080-businesswoman-climbing-ladderWhen I got to my studio, with wild, unbrushed hair and unbrushed teeth, I had no key and so I banged on a window with a stray brick till the building manager let me in, and into my studio, for my spare car key. That was a start. Yet everything in my studio is in garbage bags for the ongoing and massive extermination (another traumatic story) but I dug around and found a tank top with built in sports bra, and the only shoes I could find; a pair of high heeled clogs. All in all a lovely ensemble, yet definitely some sort of upgrade. And it’s not like I care much about my appearance but I do generally cover myself and make attempts at cleanliness. I was somewhat horrified to be out and about in this condition.

The only person around at the building with a truck was presently underneath it in the parking lot gluing his muffler back in, so I ran next door to where my new stepfather works (husband of the biological mother I just met in the last year or so) and borrowed his mini van so we could load a 20 foot ladder and go climb in the one second floor window which I had just shut that morning, but not yet locked, thankfully.

So we – me and the building manager and his son – set the ladder against the wall. Yet the ladder stopped 4 feet shy of the window and we were all afraid of it and we were just standing there, staring at it for a moment, waiting for it to grow, and  just then, out of my peripheral vision, I saw a local sort of guy come along and next thing we know, he is climbing up our ladder and saying over his shoulder, “I am really good at this”. Continue reading

The day The Economy failed to forward the Lotus Totus email.

Posted in Big Business Scams, Confusion, Fun with metrics, Life is like Christopher Guest said it was, Miracles, Philosophy?, Popular Culture, The meaning of life with tags , , , , , , on March 16, 2009 by Admin
Ken cake

I have no idea why this image is here. None.

UPDATE: In an effort to uncover the author of the Touts I have sent the following appeal: “Dear Geraldo Rivera, Can you please do an expose on the Lotus Totus, like you did with the ‘wrestling’ industry? That was awesome! Thanks, Mo”

What really happened to The Economy?

It just hit me today.

I think someone emailed the “Lotus ‘Touts” chain email to The Economy and it failed to forward it to all of its friends and then this “very unpleasant surprise” happened.

Maybe Bernie Madoff emailed the Lotus Touts to each of his clients and none of them forwarded it. If so, his actions are clearly justified as it was meant to be, per the negative magical power that is the Lotus Touts.

Astrologists the world over are trying to figure out why all horoscopes have suddenly turned dire.

The Lotus Touts must leave your hands in 6 MINUTES. Otherwise you will get a very unpleasant surprise.

It’s plausible. I mean, everyone – regardless of their faith, should believe in the true brilliance of the Lotus Totus/Touts, right? “This is true, even if you are not superstitious, agnostic, or otherwise faith impaired.”



That sentence confuses me, grammatically. Doesn’t the ‘not’ refer to everything that follows? So this would read, “This is true, even if you are not superstitious, not agnostic, or not otherwise faith impaired.” <–I like this version of that sentence not less, but many a lot more.

I failed to forward my Lotus Touts email and within hours I received a delinquent tax notice and one of my pirated software applications broke. <–True story. Who do I see about that? The sender (who, according to my logic, now owes me a paid, legitimate version of photoshop)? What risks do we take by forwarding this potentially dangerous bit of magic to our friends and family? Like, what if something REALLY awful happened? What if you found out that 10 minutes after receiving this email (and a subsequent investigation showed NO outgoing forwards of the Lotus Touts/Totus magical email on their computer) something really horrible had happened to your mother-in-law/neighbor/co-worker/partner? I think magical chain emails with potentially harmful consequences should be outlawed. Look what it did to The Economy.


According to it was originally called Lotus Totus and apparently someone typoed it along the way.  And now it keeps coming back and around as Lotus Touts.

That’s fucking hilarious! A chain letter with a typo in the very name of it, going around the world with said typo ten times. Brilliant.

For those of you who have not yet been blessed with this magical email I give you THE FULL BRILLIANCE THAT IS THE ORIGINAL LOTUS TOUTS EMAIL: (additional grammaticalities and typos below were included free of charge with the original email. I make more interesting typos, IMHO)

Lotus Touts means Good Luck which is a phrase use by the British!

The Lotus Touts must leave your hands in 6 MINUTES. Otherwise you will get a very unpleasant surprise. This is true, even if you are not superstitious, agnostic, or otherwise faith impaired.

HOPE IT BRINGS ALL OF YOU GOOD LUCK!!!! (but of course – the author has inserted 4 exclamation points!!!!)

(SNEAK PEEK: After the jump …”TWENTY. Smile when picking up the phone Anthony Robbins. The caller Anthony Robbins will hear it in your voice…”) Continue reading

“IRAQ WAR ENDS”, as reported in the New York Times (hopeful faux edition)

Posted in Activism?, Communication, Confusion, Life Performance Art, Literary, Miracles, The meaning of life with tags , , , , , , on November 13, 2008 by Admin

Thanks Tribal Scribal, for the following article.

Imagine – an entire edition of the New York Times reminiscent of the Seussian “If I ran the zoo” and all that. I wish I had a copy of this in my possession….

New York Times edition, July 4th, 2009 totally faux, totally hopeful

New York Times edition, July 4th, 2009 totally faux, totally hopeful

November 12, 2008


Thousands of volunteers behind elaborate operation

* PDF:
* Ongoing video releases:

* The New York Times responds:

Hundreds of independent writers, artists, and activists are claiming credit for an elaborate project, 6 months in the making, in which 1.2 million copies of a “special edition” of the New York Times were distributed in cities across the U.S. by thousands of volunteers. Continue reading

“What recession? We’re gay!”

Posted in Activism?, Animal Stuff, Communication, Miracles, Philosophy?, Special People, Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , on November 7, 2008 by Admin

A hilarious message from Melissa Etheridge as posted in The Daily Beast:

Image lifted from Love the frightened man coming out of the closet.

Image lifted from Love the frightened man coming out of the closet. He probably lives in California and is actually tiptoeing backwards into the closet. He is bejesusly scared.

So California voters got out in droves to elect Obama. Nice! But at the same time they voted against same sex marriage. Not so nice, really but totally unexpected from Obama supporters? Well, not really, Black Jesus is not entirely supportive…

“Barack Obama and Gay Marriage/ Civil Unions:

Although Barack Obama has said that he supports civil unions, he is against gay marriage. In an interview with the Chicago Daily Tribune, Obama said, “I’m a Christian. And so, although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition, and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman.” [<-SOURCE, (there’s more and it is not all entirely against..]

So Melissa Etheridge hilariously posted the following on The Daily Beast which makes a great point (by the way, Otto the frustrated interior decorator is gay so this is now delving into animal rights);

“Okay. So Prop 8 passed. Alright, I get it. 51% of you think that I am a second class citizen. Alright then. So my wife, uh I mean, roommate? Girlfriend? Special lady friend? You are gonna have to help me here because I am not sure what to call her now. Anyways, she and I are not allowed the same right under the state constitution as any other citizen. Okay, so I am taking that to mean I do not have to pay my state taxes because I am not a full citizen. I mean that would just be wrong, to make someone pay taxes and not give them the same rights, sounds sort of like that taxation without representation thing from the history books.

Okay, cool I don’t mean to get too personal here but there is a lot I can do with the extra half a million dollars that I will be keeping instead of handing it over to the state of California. Oh, and I am sure Ellen will be a little excited to keep her bazillion bucks that she pays in taxes too. Wow, come to think of it, there are quite a few of us fortunate gay folks that will be having some extra cash this year. What recession? We’re gay! I am sure there will be a little box on the tax forms now… Continue reading

Goya and Cholla and the Betwixting Art Connection

Posted in Animal Stuff, art, Art & Competition, Artists, Exhibits, lessons in Art, Miracles, The meaning of life, The Process of Art with tags , , , , on October 18, 2008 by Admin

Equine artist to make international debut in Italy

By Sandra Chereb, Associated Press Writer
RENO — His artwork has been described as having the “fire of Pollock” and the “fixed gaze of Resnick.”

Now, a Reno artist will be making his international debut, having been invited to exhibit his work in a juried art competition in Italy.

He won’t be going abroad, however, to bask in the aura of great Italian masters. Instead, this artist will remain at home, contemplating his next masterpiece while gnawing on his paintbrushes — between mouthfuls of hay.
Cholla (pronounced CHOY-ah) is a mustang-quarter horse mix whose paintings have been featured in art exhibits from San Francisco to New York and now overseas.

His creation, The Big Red Buck, was selected for exhibit in the 3rd International Art Prize Arte Laguna, Oct. 18-Nov. 2, Mogliano Veneto, Italy.

Since Cholla rhymes with Goya I decided to make this an educational post. Preferably and pointedly after the plein air pony pics with palette and poserly poise. I am stuck on alliteration today.

Pensive Pony in plein air.

Pensive Pony in plein air. Cholla, the painterly pony of pleasing palettes. I think I'd not have chosen that frame for that painting however but that's just Moi. Cholla is thinking the same thing, as one can pleinly see, by his pondering pose.

Goya, at tea time. Don't be afraid - he's just playing.

Goya, at tea time. Don't be scrayed, he's just playing. I have been using 'scrayed' over 'scared' since 2000. Some typos are worth keeping. Don't go changing. But really, this is the real (ish) title - Saturn Devouring His Son, 1819. The title, like all those given to the Black Paintings, was assigned by others after Goya's death.

Cholla in his plein air studio posing for the photographer.

Cholla in his plein air studio posing for the photographer.

Amazing coincidental facts about Goya and how they relate to Cholla. It is truly inexplicable, the similarities betwixt the two artists. A true head scratcher…
Continue reading

Lexiconographical Psychometric Meandering Manglings

Posted in Animal Stuff, Miracles, Narcissisim, Pest Control, Philosophy?, Superstition and OCD with tags , , , on October 18, 2008 by Admin


While searching for mythology regarding Opossums, I found this, from sacred-texts – “Although native speculation as to the beginning of the world seems undeveloped, the same cannot be said with regard to the origin of mankind, for on that point there are many different beliefs. The myths relating to this topic may be divided into three groups, according as they ascribe to man (a) a wholly independent origin, (b) an independent origin as incomplete beings, who are then finished or completed; or (c) describe a definite making or creation by some deity.”

Hmm. How many beings are actually complete?

Dueling mythologies such as the myth of Narcissus would seem to give evidence that Narcissism is a sort of insecure human incompleteness that is rampant. And, possibly slightly emotionally dangerous. To others.

Anyway–There is a cat living in my building. It is an orange-ish blur spotted by 3 of us now. I put out water and cheese for it. We have a huge mice problem and I am going broke buying peppermint oil and sacredly defending my space by prancing about dropping the oil around the perimeter of my space. But the universe sent me a cat! How perfect, letting the order of things fix … Continue reading

Putin Stole My Jamoka

Posted in Animal Stuff, Miracles, Superstition and OCD, The meaning of life, Therapy with tags , , , , , on October 17, 2008 by Admin

I swear I did not photoshop this. Click it to see the real article on HuffPo.

Remember when I used to photoshop Jamoka into all sorts of things for my art newsletter? Well, he’s not gone. It was a ruse. He was stolen and Putin is now making my Jamoka carry around whole satellites. Shit. This looks so photoshopped. it looks exactly like I photoshopped it. Proof below the caption.

“Wearing a collar containing satellite-guided positioning equipment Putin’s dog Koni walks ahead of his owner, now Russia’s Prime Minister, right, in Putin’s Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, on Friday, Oct. 17, 2008. Russia’s GLONASS satellite navigation system isn’t fully operational yet, but it seemed to function Friday at Putin’s Novo-Ogaryovo residence when he tried the equipment on his black labrador. The government had promised to make GLONASS fully operational by the beginning of this year, but it was delayed by equipment flaws and other technical problems. GLONASS was developed during the Soviet times as a response to the U.S. Global Positioning System, or GPS, but it has been slow to take shape amid the post-Soviet economic meltdown.(AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Pool)”

A walk down memory lane below. See!? People don’t die. They go somewhere else. I have always refused to believe otherwise. Jamoka is the dog who miraculously appeared in a huge ice and snow and water sculpture in the canal outside my window almost 2 months after he died. For that. I believe in miracles. Hell, I now believe the Virgin Mary did appear in the window at Mercy Hospital recently. She appeared on what would have been my Grammie’s birthday so of course it is absolutely real. I now believe in everything.That I want to.

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