Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Harsh Light of Day

I suppose I should be mortified that I was BWIing last night. But nope. I wear my personal embarrassments proudly. It's what makes me the likable goof my friends appreciate. I spend my days thinking up ways to prove how Not Perfect Yet Still Utterly Lovable I am.

But I do need to stop dribbling ice cream down my front. There's nothing charming about that.

And I'm not hungover either. I found THE BEST hangover remedy. It's even better than that Australian stuff Sheila gave me. It's a picture of this dude I don't know, but think is rather pompous. This photo could make a person stop smoking, bat for the other team, scare the friggin' cancer cells right outta the riddled body, wake the dead, turn to meth, run a mile in the opposite direction in under two minutes, I could go on. Medusa would turn to dust if she caught a gander of this guy.

Heehee. I have an idea of how to use that photo......

Friday, September 29, 2006


yes, I aM BWI. I could get a ticket and fine for BWI. I am BWI--blogging while intoxicated. I am so looped i have txt evry one i know. i woul dhave text LES but i doh't 'have her phone number.

I will be signing a book contract next week. I have just come from a workrelaed happpy hour. yeah. i'm jhappppy. i went to winslows to see my husbnd play zydeco and see my other dear friends man to give me an update on her life. she has just passed her real estate agents license. on the first time. i am so impressed. but i am drunk. i LURVVV venus and sheila. they will tell the FORUM next week. that i drnktxtd them.

I think it's time to eat something. But first, a shorttlist of people i lurvvv even if i am drnk. prncess, glblib, toast, twitt, bdsee, meggsnbacon, bacnshu, lesbrn (happy hr s..cenario to follow), pinky, yrhusnds(thy will love R bsmt), twitNmtoast, new neighbots badseedntst., DJCLEM, KENT, AMELIA, BETH, MARCO, im soooo drnk, gott go. lurv U all. .

Monday, September 25, 2006

Which pill?

Should Marian take right now to soothe her nerves? First, let us examine the reasons why Marian feels she needs some of mother's little shleppers to get through the rest of the day.

1. Can't concentrate on work 'cause there's too damn much of it.

2. Might have found a house to buy and need to figure out how much to offer the gouger who wants to take all of Marian's savings and run away to the Bahamas. View house here.

3. Damn van is leaking anti-freeze and will cost $750 to fix. Apparently Marian's approach to car repair (The Christian Scientist method--the Lord will take care of it) doesn't work. Losing my car religion....

4. Phone call from one of my favorite characters in literature. Yes, this really happened. Spangler Star Tukle, the lead cowboy from my last She Reads column for Booklist left me a voice mail. He'll be in town on Wednesday and is "demanding to have lunch" with me. When I questioned his existence he let forth a line of invective that made me grin all over. I love that character. I love that author. His name is Robert Day and if you haven't read The Last Cattle Drive YOU ARE MISSING SOMETHING.

It is an American classic. Yes, it is. I will not be budged.

5. Who told Robert Day that I'm one of his biggest fans and who has enough pull to ask this man to drive all the way to Kansas City to have lunch with me?! And he's buying! ( I will offer to pay. I will buy the man a filet mignon if he wants one.)

Which pill? The little white vicodin, the little white valium, the little blue Tylenol or the Vitamin C?

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Holy Spirit Lives in My Bathroom

I'll get to the above in a minute, but first the Ashbaby. 'Cause the two are related.

On the left is THE Ashbaby. He is, without question, the Best Cat in the Universe. Yes, he is. No, I'm sorry, I beg to differ, your cat is sensational, fabulous, wonderful and marvelous, I am absolutely certain. But THE Ashbaby is the best cat in the Universe. I will not be budged.

So. THE Ashbaby is all bugged-out this morning because it's not hot. He's growling, yapping, chirping, squalling and climbing the walls (really, he does that) and chasing his tail and running back and forth from bed, through the kitchen, into the bathroom, where he starts climbing the walls. He jumps in the tub and starts yowling. It's Clem's job to play with him in the tub. It's my job to pick up this 20lb cat and walk him around the house so he can stare at the ceiling and anything hanging on a wall low enough for him to chew on.

Now we get ready for work, and THE Ashbaby goes racing back into the bathroom where he starts yowling and squalling and jumping on the walls and chasing his tail and playing the cello (cat people know what this is). He's making those low throaty growling sounds and Clem sez, "I think the Ashbaby is speaking in tongues. He's caught the Spirit!" And I say, "So the cat has found Jesus in the tub drain? Wow! The Holy Spirit lives in our bathroom! Where are those Jehovah's Witnesses now?"

Related story: The Jehovah's Witnesses like to knock on our door on Saturday mornings. Now, Clem and I are not exhibitionists or naturalists, but it's our house, dammit, and I will walk around in boxer shorts with the windows open if I want to. And I can't stop Clem from jaybird attire. It's his house, too. And you can't see anything unless you're at the front door. And we can see you coming before you get to the front door. Except for that one Saturday when we didn't see the Jehovah's Witnesses. But they saw plenty. Hee. Do we want to be saved? "I got yr salvation righchere, sweetheart!"

So, I'm wondering. Has THE Ashbaby got religion or is he just having a party in his mind? And if I pour Liquid Plumr down the drain am I going to hell?

Friday, September 22, 2006

Virtual Porch Happy Hour

I am on my porch with Lesbrarian and we are drinking beer (cause that's what I started with, but I have wine, if you want it) and we are talking about her new job. It is a balmy 82 degrees here in Kansas City and we refuse to wear shoes.

We are getting lightly toasted and will start talking about food after we are done making dirty remarks about everyone we know. But first, there are important world-shaking matters to discuss. The first is, "Which author are we going to spend the weekend with? Neil Gaiman or Dennis Lehane?" and "What should Marian do with her garden next year?" and "What color hair can Lesbrarian wear to her new job?" and "Yes, Lesbrarian will find a cool apartment AND be able to eat" and "What is the best way to transport feline critters from one town to the next? Do you need kitty-go-nap?"

Venus is singing in the basement with the rest of the Cass County Lamenters. She is on tonight and sounds great! When it's break time, Venus will bring that herbal beer she's drinking (what IS that crap?) upstairs and sit on the porch swing with us. She tells us what she's reading and Lesbrarian knows just the next graphic novel she should try cause she's never read one.

I take a sip of beer and start telling the story of the GrizzledMushMouthSanta I rode the bus with Wednesday who grumbled at me to get out of his "handicapped seat" and called me "four eyes" (ain't heard that one since third grade).

It's time for another round of drinks and the band is calling Venus back to sing again. Lesbrarian and I start hatching our scheme to take over the library AND military worlds. We are going to send all those Flyboys to William & Mary for MLS's and give the defense budget to the Library of Congress. Once the Flyboys have graduated, Lesbrarian and I will use them to create our own "Men of the MLS" calendar and GIVE IT AWAY because libraries will have plenty of money and won't need to fundraise.

Hmmmm. I should probably stop the Happy hour now.

Monday, September 18, 2006

#161 in the Transit Epiphanies Series

I have new buses to ride now. And I have a lot of choice. I can ride the 51, the 55, the 51X or the MAX.

I have a much shorter walk to and from my bus stop, but I never take the same bus to and from work. I'm too lazy to get up in time to catch the 55. DJClem drops me off at the corner of 59th and Ward Parkway so I can catch either the 51, 51X or the MAX.

The first time I rode the 51X I didn't like it. I ride with some bloodthirsty people and they are all blond women "of a certain age." They have sensible hair and earmuffs. I engaged in one of my favorite public hobbies, readsdropping and notice that one of them is reading In Cold Blood and another is reading The Empty Chair by James Patterson. The third person is reading a Mrs. Pollifax mystery. Nothing gory in that gentle little book.

But I do notice that we are all quiet. The bus driver has gold teeth and a sunshiny grin. He teases me when I get on the bus because I had to run the last half block to get on. He says good morning and I laugh and huff while I swipe my bus pass. This busride is eerily quiet and all the passengers are suburbanites.

I do not feel civilized enough to live in my new neighborhood. I wasn't cool enough for my old one and I'm not refined enough for this one. I'll get used to it.

The 55 going home is a little different. A blind lady rides with me every night. It's my job to tell her which bus is ours. Lots of buses stop at our stop and she needs to be certain she gets on the right one. The first time I ride the 55 a grandmotherly figure is driving. The blind lady asks Grandriver to drop her at 59th. It's too dark to see the bus stop. I ask if there's a stop at 61st and Grandriver says, "I'll make one."

The MAX is the bus I take in the morning. It's always crowded with business and office folk from the outer lying suburbs before we get into midtown and all the interesting people get on. There's Tweaky. She gets on at Linwood and is whippet thin. Not scrawny, just thin and sharp. Everything about her--her lips, her legs, her hair, her face--is sharp and thin. She has this high-pitched voice and talks like a projekt chik. She twitches a lot.

Until yesterday, there was never anything interesting about the bus riders on my new bus lines. Yesterday, something interesting happened. This tall guy in a Chiefs jacket and red ball cap, carrying a bottle of soda, got on the bus. He leaned against the bus wall behind the driver and when the bus lurched, he dropped his soda. It didn't spill, but he let out a "Dayyy--um." Some folks got off at the next stop and he sat down in one of the handicapped seats and pulled out his cell phone, flipped it open and tapped out a number. As usual, the MAX is full of quiet office-folk reading books, the morning paper, plugged into the morning news on NPR, snoozing, staring out the window, but not talking to each other. It's like riding a graveyard to work, I swear.

But THIS guy breaks the silence with, "Hey! Hey, is Peggy there? Peggy? Is she there? Put her on." I glance over, interested that FINALLY, there's some noise on this bus. Dude says, "Peggy? You 'member me? You know who this is? This is the tall white guy you used to cheat on!" INSTANTLY everyone on the bus looks up from whatever it is they're not doing and tunes in. The double take of the other bus riders cracks me up. It's a cranial chorus line to the left to look at the Cuckold. His Cheated Hart goes on, "Yeah, I bin outta town breakin' horses and ridin' bulls. Hey, how's yer sister?"

Maybe the MAX ain't so boring.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

A Moment for an Un-PC Position

Screw it all. I don't care HOW this sounds.

I. Don't. Like. Children. Especially. YOURS. I shall amend that to include In. Public. Places.

I don't even think I would care much for mine. While I think Andrea Yates is completely batshit loonball, the only difference between her and any other mother of numerous children all under 6 years, 3 feet, and 50 IQ points is she gave in to the little voice that said "make the lambs stop screaming."

I can't go anywhere I used to think was designated for grown-ups without running into some moppet demonstrating their latest mastery of vocal registers coloraturas train for at La Scala. They're in restaurants, screaming cause hot dogs aren't on the menu at the Classic Cup. They're at the Crave Cafe, tearing down flyers on the public info bulletin board (well, don't have too much to bitch about there, but they're getting in my way while I try to get a refill). They're at the movies, babbling through The Illusionist. Some of them are even in bars where I'm trying to escape the crappy parts of life (LIKE CHILDREN) and get drunk.

Kansas City is trying to get a smoking ban passed. I'm not a smoker and neither is my husband, but we do not support the smoking ban. He doesn't support it because he thinks if we're gonna ban smoking, then we gotta ban perfume (marital pet peeve I can live with). I don't support it because it's the only way to keep the little tykes away unto me.

I hear Susan Smith is looking for an online pen pal. Think I'll drop her an e-rant.

PS: I don't friggin' believe this. Some hipster dad just let his rugurchin trot at full speed into the room where I'm trying to work. The kid is screeching like Frankie Vallee. Dadster is all, "ain't I cool, I bring my kid to the coffee house!" I'm all, "get that little snot factory away from me." Holy mother, the next headline you will read is this one "Librarian beheads towhead toddler in coffee house. Father aghast. Staff applaud." They are sitting at the table next to me and the kid won't sit down to eat his breakfast. If the noise weren't so deafening, I'd actually enjoy the father's predicament. I think I'll get all Zen about it and enjoy the Dadster's discomfort.

#17 in the Transit Epiphanies Series

In a not so desperate attempt to avoid completion of the book proposal I promised my editor last Monday (hell, i promised it in flippin' December 2004. The woman has the patience of Penelope. I'm her biblio-Odysseus, flailing around in the world and not quite getting my act together.) here's another entry for Toast in the Bus Ride Follies.

Yesterday I rode home with my favorite bus driver. She's a large black woman with the most generous laugh and body and spirit. I see her and just want to climb right into her and I know I'll be in heaven. She's the kind of person that the only thing you see when you look at her is HER. Not her body, not her face, not her color. She wears HERSELF on the outside. You'd have to be made of granite not to smile just by looking at her.

She's laughing and talking and hooting at the passengers, her friend in the front seat, other drivers, pedestrians. Some fancy white car with cheap looking gold chrome stuck its nose out a little too far in the intersection. She taps the horn, waves, and says, "Gi' bak, honey! Ah tare yo grill off! Shoo'." She steps on the gas and revs the motor and we go flying up a short hill in downtown. She stops short to let on some passengers and those of us in the back bounce in our seats. Some wacky guy gets off the bus in downtown, about three stops from where he got on. He hoists his overstuffed backpack onto his back. You can tell he's a traveling homeless. In return for the free short ride, he sat up front and told animated stories to the bus driver. When he gets off the bus, the driver cackles lovingly and says, "He strang. Look at 'im, but he goo'. He goo'." And the guy trots across the street in front of the bus and starts flapping his arms as if he's about to take off for St. Louis. The passengers watching him walk away smile and laugh.

The bus stops short again in the West Bottoms and she yells at a young teen on a skateboad. He's contemplating the rush hour traffic on Summit and how to cross the street. "Li'l boy! Li'l boy! Don' go out dere!" she hollers as we drive by. He can't hear us, but he does stop. She's that powerful.

She resumes her conversation with her friend in the front seat. She talks about picking up her paycheck and going to the boats. Her seat bounces with every little dip and rise in the poorly repaired street. The bus stops and someone tries to use the rear exit. The door doesn't open. She hollers back, "Lee' it 'lone! Lee' it 'lone! Don' brayk it. Shoo'. We lucky this bus don' brayk dayown." Everyone laughs with her and we make jokes about the metro buses. She tells a story about a driver who had one of the new buses and it broke down and he couldn't finish his route.

I put away my book the minute I saw who the driver was and moved up to listen to her talk. I think I grinned like a simpleton the entire ride. When she gets to my stop she tells me to "have a good one." I tell her she's my favorite bus driver. She laughs that big worldengulfing laugh and smiles wide enough to feed the universe. She says, "You goo', baby. You goo'."

Le Cafe Dumbass

I'm sitting in my favorite empty cafe because if I go to my favorite busy cafe I won't get any work done. I'm not at my favorite moderately populated cafe because they are religious and don't open until 9 am on a Saturday. Which is sacre-bleu-religious if you ask me.

So I'm the only person in here and I'm beginning to remember why I don't come here on a regular basis. The help is always about as baked as the pastries. The baristard didn't know the difference between a dark coffee and a medium coffee. I had to ask for the creamer. It's roasting in here because it's 70 degrees outside but they haven't opened the windows. I took it upon myself to do that. And for the last thirty minutes the same damn song has been playing on the record player. Some PsychFursesque plaintive 80s lurv tuun. Kid you not, SHE DIDN'T NOTICE until I mentioned it. And the response? "Really? I didn't hear it?" See? As baked as an Alaska!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Congrats are in order

For my friend Jess who just got a new job with some very awesome library people in Virginia. Unfortunately, I can't send her a message cuz she's disabled her Myspace page (Jess, this means you).

Quit celebrating leaving that hole you called a workplace and get yr damn page back up! I have some cool stuff to send you. Cats, and Gaiman, and chocolate, and vintage things and book suggestions and to bug you about graphic novels and oodles more. Get back here! Take off those bunny slippers! Stop the dancing around the living room! With a cat in one arm and a glass of wine in the other. Turn down the No Doubt! Cuz there's no doubt you rool!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

All Java, No Jive

I have absolutely no motivation this weekend. I haven't done a damn thing and I feel as if I accomplished something if I scoop the cat box. I'm supposed to be prepping for a workshop, a teleconference and finish a book proposal, all by tomorrow. Hahahahahahahah! Yeah. Ain't gettin' done.

Instead I'm holding court outside the uni-can at the Crave Cafe. Just me, my journal, this blog and the caffeine-infused denizens of 39th St. There's a big mirror across the room from my couch. It's too high for me to look in it, which is a good thing as my own puss would only distract me from distracting myself. But it's stopping everyone else in their narcissistic tracks. That and assuming I'm the keeper of the inside outhouse as they all ask me, "Is someone in there?" To which I respond in the accurative.

Man, I'm only here for the coffee and the free wireless. And the Tom Waits on the stereo. That barista is da bomb!

#77 in the Transit Epiphanies Series

Editor's Note: I'm moving all my favorite blog posts from the MySpace page. I'm using the original post date so I know when I wrote certain posts. The only changes made are typographical or grammatical.

MToast likes to hear my bus stories and has been needling me to put them up on the page, so Toast, these little tales of vehicular weirdness are for you.

Who rides my bus, the 47 Roanoke? Well, quite a few folks, but it's the memorable characters you want to hear about.

The DragonLady is a surly woman who sits up front in the handicapped seats. She doesn't move for anyone. If you got on the bus holding a lung in one hand and your bus pass in the other, she wouldn't move over for you. She's got the looooooonnnnnnnngggggest fingernails I've ever seen. They are painted a myriad of colors and have little jewels, cartoons, stars, swirls, you name it. I wonder what she does for a living. Just what the hell could a person DO with nails like that?!? And I'm sorry, but her hands ain't that great looking. So she's not a hand model.

Jolly Esperanza used to get on the bus down in the West Bottoms, but she's recently moved and she's much happier. She picks the bus up at a much safer location. She is the nicest strangerlady I've ever seen. She's always in a good mood, always says hello and my day is made better just by her getting on the bus.

Her polar opposite is Cranky Sporty Lady. A scrawny pale woman in loose-fitting grey or washed-out blue sweats. She sits in the back of the bus and scowls.

Graphic Girl gets on at the stop right after mine because I'm too lazy to walk to her stop. She wears business-casual lingerie tops with slacks that should grab her butt but don't. They just hang off her ass. I call her Graphic Girl because she looks like a graphic artist. She's trying for that hipster downtown look and missing by inches but enough to notice. I can smell near miss on her like last year's trendy perfume.

Graphic Guy gets on a stop or two after Graphic Girl. Same deal, except he's ably managed the downtown hipster look. He watches Top Model and that makes me NOT want to have a drink with him.

Lost Beat Lady looks at her photos when she rides the bus and is always about one second behind whatever is happening.

Hipster Waiter sat next to me. He is dangerous-cute. Bad call on the occupation, though. He works for KMBC. He has lots of interesting tattoos and I bet he's a camera guy. He's lean in a white shirt, black jeans, one silver ring and cool shades. It's 100 flippin' degrees out and the dude does NOT sweat. He's in BLACK. He's the kind of smartsexyinteresting guy I'd hit on in a club if I were still doing that sort of thing. I just know he has interesting things to say. Let's start with the tats and the job.

Tattooed Mama is new. She has a big heart tattoo on her right bicep and her hand is clutching the industrial size Big Gulp cup from 7 Eleven. It could hold an entire liter of soda. She has electric blue finger nails and is reading something but I can't tell what book it is.

BeeBopGeek Boy is wearing the latest pair of futuristic deafphones and bobbing his head erratically in time to whatever is being piped into his lobes.

The Smiling Schizo has only ridden twice but he makes every trip memorable. The first time he sat in the back talking to himself in an off-beat intelligent way. I thought he had one of those StarTrek earpiece phones and was talking to someone in a Blockbuster trying to pick out a movie. He kept talking about Eddie Murphy. I knew he was a bit off when he mentioned Eddie Murphy and William Safire in the same garbled sentence and said "We're on the Red October! We're turning right, is everyone with me? Second turn SAT. Right turn SAT." He smiles the entire time. The second time I saw the Smiling Schizo he was telling passengers to "Talk to your parents. Talk to your children. Most of those brothers look like that. National Shirt Shop. None of those brothers look like that. None of those girls look like that. If I can get one thousand in plastic I can get five thousand in plastic. Ain't nuthin' but big business." His monologues are the verbal equivalent of Chex party mix.