Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Revisionist

If you’re lucky like my two sisters and me, you’ve grown up with your siblings sharing experiences and memories that make a good childhood. As children, we would ice-skate in our backyard, swim in our above-ground pool, go boating with my grandparents and play with the other kids in our neighborhood. It was a nice normal childhood with scraps of weirdness thrown in, but overall, terrific.

As adults, my sisters and I share these memories, along with certain emotional and physical qualities, as brothers and sisters do. However, we’ve grown to be different from one another, making our little marks on the world in our own way and by our own rules. We still share our light-colored eyes, small noses, thick hair and above-average height. We’re politically very liberal. We each delight in good books and good music. We all work hard to make our homes cozy and welcoming. We spoil and love our pets. We obsess over the condition of our feet. Our senses of humor are alike. From there, though, our similarities gradually dissipate.

The Redhead and I will remain in this sisterly petri dish I’m preparing for you today, but The Brunette has sprouted little legs, stepped out the dish and set up camp in the laboratory down the hall-- a kind of old-world, Dickensian, day-camp laboratory, full of difficult needlework, dark cobwebby corners, and where she stands at the sink peeling mountains of potatoes for latkes in the kosher kitchen.

This is why The Redhead and I call her (alternatively) “THE REVISIONIST”.

According to The Revisionist, she was forced to perform the “household mending”. As if we were a household of early-American settlers. The “mending basket” held socks, pants, shirts, and anything else that needed a stitch or two to fix it up. As far as The Redhead and I recall, the only person who mended anything around the house was Mom, or she’d just drive to Sears and buy us new socks, pants, etc. Dad did perform the “household mending” on one memorable occasion where he sewed the legs of his pants together, but that’s another story.

Does any mother forget a trip to the emergency room with an injured child? The Revisionist recalls a childhood trip to the emergency room with a piece of gum stuck to her tonsils that was threatening to choke her. Mom has inexplicably banished this traumatic emergency room trip from her mind, probably because it was so traumatic-- or probably because it never happened.

Finally, The Revisionist is absolutely certain that we are Jewish. This idea was conjured from the vague reminisces of my very fanciful Grandmother Esther, who as a baby was adopted by a family by the name of Putzig. So The Revisionist, being part Esther, latched onto the idea that we are of Jewish heritage, due to the possibility that one of Esther’s biological parents could possibly have been Jewish. The Revisionist has gone on to embrace our supposed Jewish heritage, buying my nephew Hannukah books, celebrating Hannukah, having a menorah, etc. Frankly, I think it’d be wonderful to have Jewish ancestors, because it would add some spice to our otherwise full-on WASP background; however, no proof of any Jews in our family exists.

Oy vey.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Hey! Ho! Let's Go!

I was a cheerleader in high school. I jumped around, did the splits, yelled until I lost my voice, had shin splints and sprained my ankle so many times I lost count. Yes, I did all that shit.

It was fun being on my squad. There were only six of us-- two sophmores, two juniors, and two seniors-- me (the gawky, goofy one), Yay (the deeply tanned, drop-dead gorgeous one), Nicki (my best friend and Yay's little sister), Willie (the sly, mischevious one), Taco (the brainy, no-nonsense one) and Phelps (co-captain with Taco, beautiful, outrageous, and our homecoming queen that year). We were a tight little unit despite our obvious differences, probably because we spent so much time together as a result of traveling together, practices and the dozens of games at which we cheered.

Cheering at my school was a relatively serious proposition. There were camps, there were clinics. There was practice everyday after school until 5:00 or 5:30, with two-a-days before the state cheerleading competition. There were bake sales. There were pep rallies. There was travel to games, sometimes over 100 miles away, and sometimes on weekends. There was football, wrestling, volleyball and basketball season, all of which we attended.

The biggest pressure, though, came from the accomplishments of previous cheerleading squads at my school, because for the last decade, they'd brought home the 1st place state cheerleading trophy each year. We didn't want to break that streak, and we didn't; we won the trophy that year despite the fact we didn't have a coach and Willie broke her arm two days before state, falling off of a mount.

Keeping in mind my background-- tonight, out of morbid curiosity, I watched a show on TLC called "Texas Cheer Moms". Well... all's I can say is, they've got a cheerleading freak show going on down there in Texas.

The girls' moms go to practices. They actually sit in the bleachers and watch their girls practice cheering. The moms have matching red jogging suits that they all wear to cheering competitions. They call the coach and advise him how he should coach their girls to get the best performance out of them.

The coach is just that-- a cheerleading coach at the school. He doesn't teach and coach-- he was hired specifically to coach the cheerleading squad. Apparently this particular school district has money to burn.

The assistant principal attends cheerleading practice too. He has private meetings with the coach, and says things to him like, "I'd really like to see that first place trophy in our case along with all the others."

It was a trip watching this show, because these folks are soooooooooo serious about cheerleading. Our parents came to games to watch us cheer, but they certainly didn't wear matching sweatsuits (thank you Jesus) and attend our practices-- no one was allowed to watch us practice. As I mentioned, we didn't have a coach that year for a couple of reasons, and our school district certainly didn't hire someone to step in and coach us. Phelps' dad was the athletic director and videoed us a couple times, but that was about it. I can also say that no pressure was applied on us from the school faculty-- we put the weight on ourselves to do well. It was just fun and challenging, that's all.

I feel sorry for those girls on that show. Since when did something like cheerleading become a do-or-die proposition? What is all this input from the parents on how the coach should do his job? Why do they spend so much money on cheering at this school? Why do they say "ya'll"?

Clearly, I'm missing something.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Dream Theatre

No one knows why we dream. Are dreams the subconscious mind's method of working out our day-to-day problems? Are dreams portents of things yet to come? Do dreams reveal our "true" selves- the selves we keep dark, deep and hidden during our waking hours? These are all interesting questions, but I only want to know one thing-- why are my dreams such a pain in the ass?

As a child, decades before my they turned to the crappy, I had beautiful dreams. Usually, I dreamt I was flying far above the ground, over my house, over lush fields and lakes. I'd swoop down towards the earth, then shoot back high into the sky. Flying felt dangerous because I couldn't fly in my real life, however, given the gift of flight in my dreams, I was a daring aviator.

Some parapsychologists say that recurring dreams are a peek into one's previous lives. I had a recurring dream as a youngster and apparently in my previous life, I was a faceless nobody in a freakish technicolor "Little House on the Prairie" soundstage somewhere. Probably in Burbank.

As I've grown older and life has left its inevitable marks on my psyche, my dreams have become heavily symbolic and redundant. I have the basically the same dream every night with slight variations in the symbolism. Here is the Basic Dream:

I'm getting ready for a trip and I'm late for my flight, my train, my ride. I'm trying desperately to finish packing, but I keep remembering things that I've forgotten to put in my suitcase, which is already filled to bursting. There's someone nearby urging me to hurry or I'll be left behind. Knowing I don't have everything that I'll need on the trip, I leave anyway. I get to the plane, the boat, or the car, which is completely filled with other passengers. So I have to wait for the next departure, which never comes. I'm left there, alone, with my bulging suitcase.

Another dream variation is I leave on schedule, but this time, I'm driving myself. As I start on my journey, the highway is narrow and treacherous, usually with shark-infested waters on either side of the road. The water has risen to dangerously high levels, and is lapping onto the highway. I'm terrified I won't make it to wherever it is I'm going. Sometimes I make it to the destination (usually someplace I couldn't give a shit about).

I don't necessarily look forward to dreaming. The travel dreams are a source of exhaustion. When I wake up, it's as if I've not slept at all, because I've been running around my house all night, packing everything I can get my hands on, and stressing out about making it on time to the train, plane or automobile.

On my good nights, I dream regularly of a beautiful and ancient castle in England, with groves of gnarled, dark trees and gardens of blooming roses. This castle can't exist; the architecture is absolutely crazy and it's quite small-- manor-sized, really. When I visit this castle, I feel as if I'm home. It's peaceful there, and I know I belong. Is this a previous life dream?

Monday, November 20, 2006


I'm not feeling particularly top-drawer today and frankly, I don't feel like writing something terribly clever. Rather, I will share with you a few of my various obsessions.

Russell Crowe (a.k.a., "My husband, Russell Crowe").

I don't remember when it started, but it was sometime after I saw "L.A. Confidential". Suddenly it occurred to me that this guy had managed to flip a switch in my brain that has yet to be turned off. Is it his eyes? His body? His cantankerous attitude towards the press? His varied interests-- such as music and his ranch? His fabulous grumbly voice (that I imagine whispering in my ear)? His enormous acting talent? I don't know what it is, but holy crap... he is at the top of my list.

How My Feet Look

I have nice feet and I take very good care of them. It is of the utmost importance that they are pedicured, pumiced, lotioned, and dressed up in cute shoes at all times. I look at other women's feet too, and if I see dry, cracked skin or dirty toenails, I want to scream.

My Family History

On one side of my family, our ancestry can be traced clear back to England prior to the Crusades. On the other side of the family, we can trace it back to abooouuuuuut... the birth of my Grandmother. Even that event is plunged in mystery. The stark difference between the two families is kind of funny and ironic and I like to think about it, do research on it, and ponder all of the unanswered questions presented by such a passtime.


Oh God... I love food. Love, love, love it. All food. Any food. Bad or good food. How is it prepared? How long does it take? Are there other variations of this recipe? I will try any food with the exception of bugs, and might even consider that-- IF the bugs were prepared well. One of my goals in life is to go to Scotland and try haggis. How bad could it be really?


History books, biographies, autobiographies, poetry, interior design, political, art, parapsychology, the occult, true crime, animals... all kinds of books. The only books I don't like reading are those of fiction, because I get impatient reading them. A contradiction: most of my favorite books are fiction. Hm.


Come to my house and you will see that I am obsessed with animals, as I have a house filled with them. I cannot pass a dog on the street without loving it up. I can't see a cat without trying to make friends with it. Cows, guinea pigs, birds, lizards... I love them all. Except hairy spiders that jump. They aren't animals though-- so it's okay not to like them (because they suck).


This obsession draws the wrath of one friend: "It's MORBID that you like graveyards. They're scary and full of dead people." Cemeteries sure are full of dead people, but I disagree that they're morbid and scary. I think cemeteries are very peaceful and filled with history. To me, gravestones are a source of wonder and endless ideas.


I love to sleep (even though my dreams trouble me-- more on that in another post) and a good night's sleep is imperative to my well-being.

Speaking of which, the little pills I take to get that good night's sleep are kicking in as I write this, so this concludes today's List of Obsessions. We all have 'em!

Friday, November 17, 2006

A clarification for my readers.

My sister, The Redhead, was concerned after reading my entry written earlier today. She felt it sounded bitter. "Oh!" I said, worried. "Wasn't it funny at all? I meant for it to be funny, too!" She said, "No, I'm sorry... it just sounded bitter."

I am mortified that I wrote something that sounded that way. I told her I was going to write a clarification on the blog, and she said, "WHY? Isn't that what a blog is supposed to be? A diary?" I suppose it is, but I DO want to clarify my reason for writing what I did.

I wrote that entry as kind of an "open letter" to those who have wonderful significant others-- significant others who do nice things for you and who care for and love you. You should consider yourself very lucky you have a buffer against the world out there.

If you have a significant other in your life and they've become something that you take for granted, please take a look at your behavior and adjust it. The Golden Rule applies here: "Do unto others as they do unto you."

Being alone isn't half as much fun as being in love with someone who loves and cares for you in turn. Enjoy your Other. Take care of them. This is what I was attempting to illustrate in my entry--badly, I might add.

How To Stop Taking Love For Granted

The above is the title of an article that I read on "MSN Relationship News" (like there's a bustling city editorial desk somewhere, with hard-bitten, chain-smoking reporters writing this shit), which outlines, for the benefit of selfish morons, how to stop taking love for granted and treat your boyfriend/girlfriend with a bit of care and respect.

It gave such illuminating advice as saying "thank you" and "please" to the loved one for doing things like taking out the trash; to exchange one's current sleepwear of sweats and stained t-shirts for the more palatable silky negligees or crotchless panties, so those smoldering embers can spark; to set aside one night per week as a "date night" so one can play footsie with one's "date" under the table, instead of breaking up dinnertable fights between the kids-- and other little tidbits of wisdom.

Wow. Thanks to those writers at MSN for this information. My response is: NO FUCKING KIDDING-- REALLY?!?

For those who had no idea they were taking love for granted, this single, hard-bitten, chain-smoking writer at Sixty-Four Twelve has her own city desk, and she has some relationship advice for you. Here it is:


There are so many benefits of not having a significant other, especially one that treats you well! Here are a few of those perks:

Being me, you will get to take out your own trash! It's fun hauling a bunch of stinky refuse out to the dumpster which stands inconveniently in the middle of a muddy lake.

If you are me, you can also do all of your own housecleaning. It's a giddy feeling, looking around at mounds of cat fur and dust, knowing that it's all up to you to make things shiny and spotless once again.

Cooking-- a wonderful proposition cooking for just yourself, knowing that your nightly dinner companions will be Larry King and the cats.

While being me, you can enjoy the benefits "date night". For example, there'll never be the question of "which car shall we take" because there's just one option-- my car. If you choose to eat out on date night, you can order whatever you want without someone asking for a taste of your meal, because it's ALL YOURS. Another nice thing-- you get to eat in complete silence, without talking to anyone! If you're at the movies, you can revel in the freedom of seating yourself as far foward or as far back as you like, without discussions of any kind. Afterward, you can walk yourself back to the car and drive home alone. It's truly lots of fun. Really.

Bedtime. Ahhh, the joys of sleeping alone. No pesky snorers, no blanket hogs. Just the wide expanse of cold sheets on either side of you. Refreshing! Particularly in the summertime when it's really hot outside!

Being me, you'll never have to worry about having sex with anyone. No wet spots, no heavy breathing, no moans of delight. Instead, you'll have unopened, aging boxes of condoms and full bottles of Astroglide to fill your medicine cabinet. An added bonus-- no shaving necessary! Hurrah for celibacy!

When you have a problem, you get to solve it (yes!) all by yourself. It's liberating not having a sounding board or a person off which to bounce your concerns. You can trust yourself, fully and completely, to make your own decisions. The biggest bonus of all: when you've made a disastrous decision, you have no one to blame but yourself.

So, if you'd like to be me and stop taking love for granted, if you're tired of your significant other doing nice things for you, if he's/she's become a piece of furniture that you no longer notice, just shoot me an email. I'll be happy to exchange your life with mine!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Sara Teasdale

She is one of my favorite poets. After this evening, this is eloquent.

"Advice to a Girl"

No one worth possessing
Can be quite possessed;
Lay that on your heart,
My young angry dear;
This truth, this hard and precious stone,
Lay it on your hot cheek,
Let it hide your tear.
Hold it like a crystal
When you are alone
And gaze in the depths of the icy stone.
Long, look long and you will be blessed;
No one worth possessing
Can be quite possessed.

Friday, November 10, 2006

An Evening That Will Live in Infamy.

Aside from the time on I-15 when I barfed Jack Daniels all over the highway after channeling Janis Joplin at my boyfriend's son's bar mitzvah (sorry Michael and sorry Brian), I offer this as My Most Embarrassing Moment As An Adult:

I was 30 years old. I was hot. I had a great job, a great boyfriend. I was going to college at night, majoring in Political Science. It was late fall in Southern California. The light is golden, as it is always, and I was striding across the very large campus on my way to Philosophy class. I had just gotten off of work, and I was dressed as such-- a simple blouse, black high heels, black pencil skirt, and, as anyone who loves and knows me is aware-- NO UNDERWEAR.

On my way to class, I had to stop to get coffee. It's that way with busy, intelligent hot chicks such as I, striding into the student cafeteria which was stuffed to the gills with other (not as hot) students, all skipping dinner on Tuesday evening, books in arm, things to do, dragons to slay, fucking people to see. So I get my coffee, pay for it, strut out to the seating outside the cafeteria, and settle in for a brief overview of tonight's chapter in PHI 212, because we're having a test and by God, I'm gonna ace it BECAUSE I'M THE SMARTEST FUCKING WOMAN ON THIS CAMPUS AND NOT ONLY THAT-- BY THE WAY-- I'M HOT.

I feel a tap on my shoulder.

I look behind me, annoyed. There's a guy standing there, grinning.

"Hi," he says.

I raise my eyebrows. "Can I help you?" I ask, all business-y and important.

He averts his eyes, then they meet mine again. "Um," he says slowly, "Do you embarrass easily?"

"No. I don't," I decide to lie. "Why do you ask?" I say, tossing my hair, raised eyebrows, half-smile.

"Well," he says, kind of shifting from foot to foot, "Your skirt is unzipped. Your ass is hanging out."

"What? Oh," I said, holding my notebook over the offending crack, "Thanks." I get up clumsily from the seating area and backed towards the building wall. "Thanks very much."

"No problem," the guy smirks, salutes, saunters away.

Like a crab, I edged, ass to the wall, around the corner, into the Ladies' Room. Powder Room first, prior to Pissing Room. Thank God. Powder Room empty. I turned my back to the mirror and looked over my shoulder.


"Fuck ME," I breathed. I zipped up the skirt. Adjusted everything else that could have needed adjusting (just in case). Stared at my face in the mirror, which has never been that red-- before or since.

I sprinted to PHI 212. Sit in my seat. Ten minutes to class. My coffee was left back at the seating area. "Goddammit," I thought to myself.

Soon I heard a "Pssssst! Psssst!" from the door of the classroom. I looked back to the door. It was the guy who informed me my ass was hanging out of my skirt.

"Hey! Howyadoin'?," he waved and asked me. An old pal.

"Great," I told him, "Thanks for the info."

"No problem," he said, "See you soon!"

"Yeah. See you soon," I said.

What's ten days amongst friends?

Yeah, so I haven't blogged in well over a week. I've been, er... busy. "Doing what?" you ask. My answer is, "Thinking."

Most of my thoughts have been of my Lust Object. He and I are on two different pages in the Book O' Life. I am certain that he is worth every ounce of energy I have to give him. He feels that I am something of which to be afraid and consequently avoid.

Secondly, my thoughts veer to my current state of unemployment. When will I find a job? Who the fuck knows?!

Third, how could my life be reduced to such a small pinpoint? When did this happen?

Talk to you in another 10 days or so.