Wednesday, July 27, 2005
PSSST . . .

Hey, pssst . . .
over here.
Posted by Artichoke Heart | 5:26 PM |
Thursday, October 21, 2004

I'm celebrating my birthday today over here at Artichoke Heart Headquarters!

I'm not telling you which one, but suffice it to say . . . I'm getting kind of old. Well, not old old, but geez, old in a baffled, "I don't know how I got to be thirty-(fill-in-the-blank) years old already when I don't really feel that much different from when I was twenty-(fill-in-the-blank) years old" kind of old.

I also wish to formally object to the scheduling of less-than-scintillating administrative-type committee meetings at 8:30 a.m. on my birthdays. There really should be some sort of rule.

In fact, I shouldn't be blogging right now. I'm going to be tardy. Ugh.

In fact, it's 7:50 a.m. and I just poured myself another cup of coffee and I'm still stumbling about in my pajamas. Blogging at this very moment constitutes what I would refer to as a Rather Poor Life Choice. Particularly as I'm just realizing that salient materials for this meeting are, in fact, located in my office, which means I need to stop over and pick then up a priori.

Fuckitty fuck-fuck-fuck.

Hmm . . . 7:55 a.m. Tardier and now even more fucked.

Bad Artichoke Heart! Bad-Tardy-Fucked Artichoke Heart!!

7:59 a.m. Still fucked. Hee.

Did I mention that it's my birthday?
Posted by Artichoke Heart | 7:33 AM |
Sunday, October 17, 2004

Behold the glory of the irrationally- and hugely-coveted Albino Pumpkin! It's albino-ness, in tandem with its pumpkin-ness, have left me beside myself with happiness. When I snagged it out of the parking-lot pumpkin display at the Hy-Vee this week, I wandered through the aisles in a blissful haze (which, okay, may have been partially exacerbated by general lack of sleep and aggressive over-caffeination), and I wanted to hold up my Albino Pumpkin and show it off to passers-by: See? Look at my Albino Pumpkin. Isn't it marvelous? But I didn't. Because that would have been dorky.

So I'll just post pictures of my Albino Pumpkin for everyone to admire on the internet, instead. (Which, realistically, may even escalate the Dorkage Factor, I realize, but you know what? Too fucking bad!)

Thoughtful readers have kindly taken the time to notice that The Bean Bean has plumped up rather nicely from the tiny, sickly smidge of an abandoned kitten that he was upon his arrival at the Artichoke Heart House. He was so tiny and wispy and frail that I nicknamed him The Beansprout, which later became The Bean Bean. Of course, now that he's filling out so nicely, perhaps he's turning into a veritable Garbanzo Bean?

I know, I know . . . I've been Cat and Pumpkin Blogging for three straight entries now. What can I say? The semester's been kicking me in the ass a little bit these past few weeks. Which seems to cause, well . . . obsessive Cat and Pumpkin Blogging.
Posted by Artichoke Heart | 4:00 PM |
Monday, October 11, 2004

Having since learned that the Albino Pumpkins referenced below are also tasty, I was bound and determined to Get Me Some of That the next time I stopped by the grocery store. Sadly, though, all the Albino Pumpkins were gone today! Needless to say, I am bitterly, bitterly disappointed. Even a little bit depressed, to tell the truth.

As I write this,
Yuki and The Bean Bean are leisurely circling around the apartment, idly playing with rubber super balls. This is how they play: they carry around the balls in their mouths and wander around with these disconcertingly large balls in their jaws. Periodically, they drop the balls on the floor, so that they bounce, and their heads bobble up and down as they track the waning bounce of the ball. When the balls are through bouncing, they pick them back up in their mouths and wander around some more. There is something oddly hypnotic about the sound of rubber bouncing against the hardwood floors.

All throughout the day today there were ladybugs thumbtacked to the ceilings and studding the window panes. I find their carcasses limning the sills and floorboards of the apartment, floating in the kitchen drain. They have a sharp, fresh scent--like grass clippings, only with the hint of something more bitter. I wonder where they all go at night?
Posted by Artichoke Heart | 1:07 AM |
Saturday, October 09, 2004

It's an achingly beautiful, sun-dappled October day, particularly in contrast to some of the gray, damp days here earlier this week. On Thursday, after being overcast throughout much of the day, night was tucked in with a soft, cool sheet of threadbare fog. Today, though, is perfect.

Somehow, over the course of the week, there's been a Domestic Breakdown that's taken place behind my back. A coup d'etat bringing to power a new regime of Domestic Sluttiness has seemingly transpired. Furthermore, all efforts at Domestic Reconaissance have been rapidly shot down by guerilla sniper fire.

In short, it's really revolting and I feel as though I really ought to do something about it, but I'm not going to until I get a satisfactory chunk of writing done today. Unless, of course, it's too revolting for me to be able to write (a distinct possibility, in fact), in which case I'll have to get on it right away.

After being sleep-deprived all week, I feel a lot more sane and a lot more capable now that I've had two nights of solid eight-hour sleep. Well, okay, "solid" is an exaggeration. There's usually a point in the night (usually around 4:00 or 5:00 a.m.) where
The Bean Bean insists on vigorously grooming my head, frantically pawing through my hair like a gerbil on a treadmill, and/or obsessively gnawing on my scalp and hair. When this becomes too disruptive, I sometimes have to put The Bean Bean out of the room. When this happens, he rounds up all of the fat crinkly cat toys and, one by one, shoves them underneath the slat below the bedroom door as Compensatory Offerings. I can hear their fat crinkly cat toy bodies crinkling and crunching away as he pushes them through. After he's slid one underneath the door, he puts his head low to the ground, and mournfully peers in at me from underneath the door. I can see his eyes glowing in the small space of the slat while he looks at me. By the time morning arrives, there's a row of crinkly toys lined up in front of my bedroom door.

When I was at the grocery store the other night, I saw an employee pulling on large blankets over the pumpkin display out front, as if to tuck them all in and keep them warm for the night. I also noticed that in the midst of the orange pumpkins there were three large albino pumpkins. They were white, with an oddly bluish undertone.

Secretly, I desperately, desperately covet one of these albino pumpkins for my very own.
Posted by Artichoke Heart | 1:28 PM |
Thursday, September 30, 2004

I spent the entirety of the day attending to a hideously boring administrative task of mind-blowing tedium. Really, I think I would have had a better time being fitted for a colostomy bag. Once again, Wednesday, my sacrosanct writing day? Not so sacro and not so sanct.

After leaving the office late in the evening, I went to Hy-Vee to pick up some groceries. And I don't know if it was just excessive fatigue, or if I was simply Hallucinating Lesbians, but it seemed as if the store was crawling with dykes. Probably just wishful thinking on my part. As a sort of coup de grace, k.d. lang was playing on the loudspeakers, further enhancing the effect of Hallucinatory Sapphistry.

Tomorrow will be jam-fucking-packed. I just spent the last two hours trying to work ahead a bit in a last-ditch effort to make tomorrow easier. At the end of the day, though, I'll be giving an
opening feature reading for the Vermillion Literary Project's first poetry slam of the year. It should be fun.

Okay, I'm off to cram in a bit more stuff to try and make the pack less jammed before I go to bed!
Posted by Artichoke Heart | 1:32 AM |
Sunday, September 26, 2004

After running some errands I parked my car in back and came around to my front porch to find an extremely large squirrel ensconced in one of my rose pots, furiously digging away--great wads of peat moss flying through the air to land in brown clumps alongside the terracotta pot. Even though I'm standing about one foot away from him, he nonchalantly keeps digging away.

"Excuse me," I say to him. "What, exactly, do you think you're doing?"

He looks up at me for a moment, and then resumes his frantic digging.

"No, really," I say. "I mean it. What do you think you're doing?"

He pauses and sits back to regard me for a moment. We face off. He acts as if he hasn't been doing anything at all. I notice that there are crumbs of soil in his whiskers. I tell him so. He seems terribly unimpressed, as if to suggest that I'm not going to make the CSI team at any time in the very near future. He gets ready to start digging again. There's a squirrel-sized hollow in the pot ominously close to the roots of my rose bush.

"Hey!" I tell him. "I don't think so! Am-scray, you little ugger-bay!" (For some reason, I feel compelled to speak Pig Latin to the squirrel, thinking that perhaps squirrels respond better to Pig Latin? Really, though, I have no idea why.)

The squirrel reluctantly abdicates his position from the flower pot and takes his time crossing the porch toward his tree.

I threaten to confiscate all his nuts. I realize later how that might sound to any eavesdropping neighbors. I tell him that his less-than-stellar attitude has been duly noted.

The squirrel, hand to God, swirls his tail at me in what can only be interpreted as the Rodential Equivalent of exaggerated eye rolling.

Don't think that I don 't have my eye on him.
Posted by Artichoke Heart | 2:40 PM |
Friday, September 24, 2004

Morning light sifts through the window later, and more tentatively, now--taking more time to pool into the hot buttery squares on the floor that the cats love to dip and roll themselves in, as if they were succulent pieces of lobster. Night comes shuttering down more quickly. The band of light that wraps around each day like a wide bright ribbon seems to be shrinking--like a favorite shirt that shrinks in the dryer, leaving the day's wrists and hips uncovered.

There's a red-headed woodpecker running up and down one of the wooden columns on my front porch. It stops to periodically tap on the column--bright head a thrumming blur, like the bobbin on a sewing machine. The cats come to the windows, nudge the curtains aside with their heads, and stare.

At night, lacy insects with bodies the color of green apples quiver around the windows--a shiver of filigree, drawn to the light inside.

Things quicken. The geraniums and dahlias burn their colors into the air more brightly, birds hurry in harried, twittering conferences, and I think reckless thoughts. Things quicken.

Why is it that I love the light the most only as it's leaving?
Posted by Artichoke Heart | 10:36 AM |
Wednesday, September 22, 2004

I find that I frequently feel as if I should be blogging about something, when in fact I'm thinking that perhaps it's really all right for me to blog about nothing in particular. And that blogging about nothing in particular is, perhaps, a way of pushing through the times when I'm not blogging about a particular something. And it's not even that I don't have something to blog about . . . in fact I have a few rather large somethings that I'm interested in blogging about, but the large-ness of their something-ness is such that I feel as if I need more time to explore the topic. So perhaps it's a matter of genre. The large somethings are little essays of sorts?

But I think it's okay for a blog post to be about nothing in particular. Very Seinfeld-esque.

And short. Not that my blog posts are typically tomes or anything, but I'm officially giving myself permission to simply crack open a blog window and just toss off short little nothing-in-particulars. (Which, I suppose, may strike you as pretty much what I've been doing all along, but I assure you, there's a difference!)

I've been busy with classes and writing. It's been hectic, but good.

As I write this post, I'm attempting to push through the deadly 1950's B-Movie Alien Swamp Fog typical of my first few waking hours. Steady application of caffeine is key at this juncture. My goal is to be able to at least fake some semblance of being a sentient being within the next 45 minutes, at which point I'll have to put on my Professor Hat and go into school. Wednesdays are usually my sacrosanct writing day, but things are neither sacro nor sanct today.

So if my sacrosanct writing day has been taken over by meetings and administrative work, is it safe to suggest that my Wednesday has been profanicursed?
Posted by Artichoke Heart | 8:19 AM |
Saturday, September 04, 2004

Two years ago today, I posted my
very first entries to this blog, the very first of which included a meditation on the sorry state of having a cat with a cone on its head, as a well as a highly incriminating picture of said cat. (This has always, from the very start, been one of those blogs that indulges in shamelessly gratuitous cat posting.)

One year ago today, I returned from a lengthy summer blogging hiatus to post a blog-a-versary post from Canada.

And here I am today, still blogging away. A few highlights of the past year in a road trip down the information superhighway of the archives:

Good Luck Writing Hat

Artichoke Heart House Rules

A Brief Note on Cat Poop

Howl at the Moon

Demented Tutu

Chocolate Bath Beads

Conversations With My Japanese Mother

It's been a strange and wonderful year . . . working at home all year on the artist fellowship, a love affair that ended badly, the unexpected death of a beloved cat, and (six months later) the arrival of La Fabulosa Bean Bean, my new book coming out in March, lots of traveling, and now back to teaching again this fall.

I'm so curious to see what will happen next . . .
Posted by Artichoke Heart | 10:46 PM |
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Books by Artichoke Heart
Beyond Heart Mountain
Year of the Snake

Poems by Artichoke Heart
Songs for a Rainy Season
Toothpick Warriors
Snake Wife
Happy Hour
Girl With A Bowl On Her Head

Pillow Book Courtiers Of The
East Wing
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Pillow Book Courtiers Of The
West Wing
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