Friday, July 02, 2004

Everything was wet and green and thundery and rainy today. Like monsoon season. I had it in my head that perhaps today might be a good day to snag a friend and go commune with the
paddlefish and other equally commune-worthy types of aquatic fauna at the Gavins Point Dam Aquarium, but it didn't really seem like a rainy day type of adventure. In my fantasy version of the day, it would have been sunny and very, very windy . . . and it would have been necessary to launch a marvelous and whimsical kite . . . a kite, say, in the shape of a gigantic jellyfish. It just so happens that I have just such a kite.

It was rainy, though, so I stayed home and worked.

Which didn't make it a bad day, just a different sort of day. All day the rain dripped, or splattered, or poured while I tap-tap-tapped away on the laptop . . . the laptop sounds almost like on-and-off spurts of raindrops in counterpoint to the actual rain outside . . . and the cats snoozed in the chair, forming a yin yang symbol by mid-afternoon. Massive excitement ensued later on in the afternoon with the arrival of a Priority Mail box (nobody really understands me the way eBay does), the sovereignty of which underwent several coups and had to be scrupulously defended, not unlike the phenomenon of the warm laundry basket. (It occurs to me that I've already posted several Cats in Laundry Basket pictures in the past, and was besotted enough with my cats that it never crossed my mind that I was simultaneously posting pictures of my underwear on the internet, which just isn't very, well . . . dignified, is it? So please look at the cats and ignore the underwear. And perhaps it's best that this not be mentioned to my Japanese Mother, either, who, to quote Holden Caulfield, would have about "two hemorrhages apiece.")

I've been re-reading Sylvia Brownrigg's Pages for You. I'm very taken with the crisp and compelling pacing of the one-page chapters . . . a page a day, written for the beloved. The prologue opens:

"What would happen if I wrote some pages for you? Each day a page, to show you that I am finding a story, the story of how we might have been together, once. Of how we could be."

Good stuff.
Posted by Artichoke Heart | 10:47 PM |
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

I spent the afternoon with Cathy and Susan, helping them plant perennials in the gardens around their front walkway. It was such a pleasant way to spend the afternoon . . . digging holes in the dirt, tenderly snugging in Impatiens, Begonias, and Indian Paintbrush. I always think that perhaps I'll weed out and plant in the strip along my front porch, but I've never actually followed through. This gardening by proxy scenario seems like a good solution to the (typical) ambivalence of my combined desire and inertia.

Susan and I are collaborating on a paper on The L-Word, which I'm very excited about . . . although there are some days when I feel like way too much of a moron to be an effective scholarly collaborateur. (I prefer the eur ending to plain old "collaborator" which seems rather clunky and dull . . . eur is more interesting, like saboteur, you know?) But Susan (who, by the way, co-edited the first ever
Coming Out Stories) is an exceedingly gifted and generous scholar, and seems altogether oblivious to (what seems to me to be) my rather glaring Moronic Tendencies.

I'm listening obsessively to The Butchies on my (recently aquired and deliciously lime green) iPod mini, and finding complicated and ingenious ways to avoid writing. Strangely, I'm right behind the 8-ball on the novella I've been working on, but something seems to be holding me back. Part of it, of course, might be that I'm worried I'll finish the novella and find that it's utter crap, but that's nothing unusual . . . I think it's something a little bit different. It's almost as if I don't want to let go of the story and the characters just yet . . . it's more like I'm savoring it . . . as if I want to stay inside that place, that world I made, for a little longer. Separation anxiety, I suppose. But sooner or later . . . I'll have to let go.
Posted by Artichoke Heart | 11:01 PM |
Tuesday, June 29, 2004

I have a painful and annoying headache that's been relentlessly coming and going for the past few days, and I'm fucking sick of it. It's sort of an intermittent throb, in the very back of my head, that sort of feels as if the back of my brain is being seized by a pair of salad tongs . . . with each seize there's a bit of vertigo and an electric wash of pain up over the top of my skull. It's kind of migrainey, but not really quite of that magnitude.

Furthermore, there's a cricket outside, that's just obsessively and relentlessly chirping . . . normally, I love crickets, but tonight it just feels as if that stridulation, all that squeaky scrubbing, is rubbing right up against the soreness in my head.

I suppose this is all probably PMS . . . all last week I kept finding myself weeping uncontrollably over shows on Animal Planet, plus I dropped and broke a bowl (it just slipped out of my fingers . . . I liked that bowl, too!), and I've been so exhausted over the past couple of days that I seem to require several extra hours of sleep. Not to mention the bone-crushing, soul-sucking depression that set in like emotional food poisoning today . . . ptomaine, salmonella, trichinosis, e coli . . .

All compounded by the fact that it seemed as if the majority of the day was held hostage by having to do laundry. I loathe doing laundry. I hold the doing of laundry in utter contempt!

At least my check came in . . . tomorrow (which I suppose is, technically, today), I'm off to Yankton in the afternoon to do my Paycheck Pilgrimage shopping at Wal-Mart and Hy-Vee. Dear readers, please attempt to control the secretions of your adrenal glands after having read about excitement of this magnitude.
Posted by Artichoke Heart | 12:47 AM |
Sunday, June 27, 2004

West Nile Virus Heading Straight for Me!:

JM: Since you don't watch television, you don't know any news going on. You say you get news on computer, but I don't believe you . . . I don't think computer tell you important thing you need to know.

AH: Oh, yeah? Like what?

JM: You don't know West Nile Virus heading straight for you!

AH: Again??

JM: Don't be tonkachi head and make joke. It not funny. I know how you are . . . you get invite someplace and even if outside and at night you go anyway and then stand around all stupid and let mosquito bite you to death!

AH: There is this thing called mosquito repellent . . .

JM: [Interrupting my treatise on mosquito repellent.] Oh, you such big talker, aren't you? But I don't think you know how to use properly. Plus you have to get the DEET! And I don't think you know how to get the one with the DEET. I so worry!

AH: [Because I'm evil.] Well, you're probably right . . . plus you know, my friend John got West Nile Virus last summer. And one of the English grad students, too. And there are birds dying on the sidewalks. It's obviously heading straight for me, and it's only a matter of time now . . . so I say, bring on the meningitis!

JM: Don't be smart aleck! And don't come cry to me when your brain all swell up!

Physical Fitness Expert:

JM: How much paying for go your exercise place?

AH: $29.99 a month.

JM: Good grief! Who you think you are? Some kind of Rockefeller? Anyway, you better go lots so get your money worth. How many times week you going?

AH: About five. Five times a week.

JM: Only five? You such waste money! You better go every day!

AH: They're only open six days a week.

JM: Well, then you better go at least twice a day every day. Besides, I don't think you get any good exercise only thirty minute total and thirty second on each machine. Only thirty second do nothing! You got to go twice a day . . . maybe even three time. And ride bike to go there. And go swimming too. Otherwise do you no good. And you end up get diabetes.

Tom Da-shi is a Bad, Bad Man:

JM: Tom Daschle [pronounced Da-shi] is bad, bad man.

AH: What are you talking about?

JM: Oh . . . I forgot. You not Republican, are you?

Bore to Death:

[After bone-curdlingly disastrous X-mas visit from the Canadian Dyke last December]

JM: How your visit go with you know who . . . your friend?

AH: Horrible, actually. It went so badly I had to break up with her.

JM: Must be because she was bore to death.


[Upon hearing about the editorial kafuffle at the literary magazine this spring. (It should also be noted that my Japanese mother does not, I'm pretty sure, have any idea what the word "cunt" actually means.)]

JM: Who she think she is? Try to send out magazine without you permission when you the one who editor that issue.

AH: Yeah, I know . . . she's a cunt.

JM: Yeah . . . she big cunt!
Posted by Artichoke Heart | 9:55 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

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