Monday, December 31, 2012

Begin Again

Happy New Year, Party People! Wishing you all health, happiness, peace, and prosperity . . . Um . . . Wishing you health and happiness!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy, Happy and Merry, Merry!

See ya'll in the New Year!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Haiku Monday Winner: Resolution

Howdy, folks.

Unfortunately, this round up and winner announcement is going to have to be short and sweet. Internet's been out most of the day and I've got a bunch of stuff to catch up on. Thanks to all who resolved to play—and did!

Here are my top three out of the bunch:

Chickory, with:

The whiskey river
flows from New Years eve into
Lake Reformation

No kidding, right? This reminds me of one of my favorite songs.

Czar's pitch-perfect mix of humor and despair:

Making and breaking
Daily. Veneer together;
Insides collapsing.

Which reminds me of another favorite song.

And, finally, Grumpy Granny's

The Way beckons on,
Sore foot blocks pilgrim’s resolve.
One day, I’ll return.

Which also happens to be this week's WINNER. And not because it reminds me of the theme song to Rocky, which I happen to think is pretty sucky. I like it because it's such a compact and vivid execution of the theme, and something with which I can personally relate.

Thanks to all who played and congrats, Grumpy Granny! I hope you "resolve" to host a whole new theme in the New Year!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Haiku Monday: RESOLUTION

Hello all! Señor Karl somehow saw fit to bestow upon me the win for last week's HM. Given that both Christmas and New Year's fall so close to Monday for the next couple weeks, I think this will probably be our last meme of 2012. So I thought the theme of RESOLUTION would be appropriate.

The usual rules apply: 5-7-5, season reference optional, visuals nice but not required. Drop your 'kus in this post's comment box on or before midnight PST on Monday, December 18th. I'll announce a winner that Tuesday or Wednesday.

Good luck!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Haiku Monday: Class

This week's host, Señor Karl (aka: the most interesting man in the world), has come up with a fun topic for what I'm beginning to think is one of the longest running Blogger memes in the history of the universe. So drop by his place to chime in on the topic of CLASS.

* * * 

Youth’s sartorial
slips forgiven. At fifty?
Girl, put it away.

* * * 

If you still got it, at least flaunt it with some . . . class


Monday, December 3, 2012

Haiku Monday: Pretend

Is it that time again? Sheesh, where did the week go?

This go round Miss Fleurdeleo is hosting Haiku Monday over at her place, with a theme of PRETEND.

Drop by, por favor, and play.

Wee-billed grey-winged bard
trills brethrens’ symphonies. Mock?
No, that’s flattery.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Haiku Monday Resist Results

You haiku ku kuers don't make it easy, do you? No, you do not. There was something to love about each and every one of your efforts to cover the topic—whether from a political, personal, or . . . architectural?—point of view.

Before I outline my favorites, I'd like to once again thank the newbies for jumping into the fray. We've upheld this meme for, what, two years now? I'm not sure. But let's just say it's been an awfully long time, and there are those of us who still miss its founder, wherever he may be (making the world unsafe for Democrats and Black-eyed Peas listeners, most likely).

At any rate, Island Rider and Magical Mystical MiMi, welcome! I hope you continue to play.

Oh, and thank you to Aunty and to Blazng, both of whom arrived late on the scene and yet posted some very resistance-worthy haiku.

So, starting at the top and working down:

von LX declined to be included in the competition (most likely because he is busy swanning about Germany and having a richtiges gutes Zeit mit viellen Bier trinken WITH OUT US!), but, hey, how awesome is the word kakistocracy? Please, y'all, go forth and use it in a sentence at least once this week, okay?

Likewise, Ms. Fishy always conjures up many brilliant turns of phrase. This time around, Whimperors of Self. A great big Bill and Ted's Adventurous whoa to that one.

Serendipity, who must be the most awesome aunt EVER, made me chuckle with the image of her poor nephew trying to explain his cargo of frozen elk to a TSA agent.

Ms Becca always produces such lovely and evocative musings that speak to a rich and contemplative imagination.

As for Chickory, perhaps, as Czar points out, my sistah from anutha mutha. Certainly, there are very few people on this planet who share even a portion my particular (peculiar?) politics and she is one of them, as well as a most excellent example of why the political must be personal, and that true change starts with the individual, not the power structure.

Which is why I also really loved Magical Mystical MiMi exhortation to rattle our cages. Uh. Yes.

Fishy again, with "those are not bombs, those are breasts!" That seriously needs to be on a t-shirt.

I very much enjoyed Island Rider's deftly spun odes to empty nesting—one bittersweet, one humorous.

Señor Karl, someone with whom I could also easily share a foxhole, always hits just the right note of skepticism blended with optimism and can probably MacGyver his way into or out of just about any situation, including under the water and 10,000 feet up in the air.

New home drone contract
.95 billion / 5 year
For your protection.

is a really cool haiku.

Then there is Czar, with whom I share absolutely no politics, but who does understand my love of late 1970s punk vis-a-vis the grit that was once NYC, so we're even. Did he appeal to my vanity this go-round? You betcha. And nearly snagged the win.

But another of his buddies snatched victory from his clutches.

And that would be Fleurdeleo with:

His narcotic scent:
orange groves on a Turkish sea.
Married now! Defriend?

Yes, I know that orange should most likely be judged as two syllables but in some parts of the country, it is one: orn-j. And, besides, if we take out the word "a"—not a significant omission—the haiku still makes sense and we can pronounce the fruit or-ange. Does that make sense? I think I'm on solid ground here . . .

Anyway. What won this for me was that second line. Dang. I'm a sucker for anything scent-ual, and those seven little syllables instantly encapsulate everything I need to know about how this man intoxicates. And the third line of course says everything about how those kinds of memories can latch themselves into our brains like a pit bull with a tennis ball. Sweetie? Yes. Defriend.

And host next week, por favor!

Thank you all for playing, and mmmmmmwah!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Haiku Monday: RESIST

S.B. and I flew down to South Louisiana on Tuesday to spend Thanksgiving with his family. On the flight both down and back, getting ready to go through security, I witnessed several folks struggling to figure out just what, exactly, was required of them in this Brave New World of Training Submissive Americans.

One, an elderly gent who didn't look like he'd ever flown on an airplane (but at least had the good sense to know that when you step out in public, you put on your very best suit and NOT a pair of flip flops and pajama pants) couldn't quite figure out what it was he was supposed to do in that machine. What? Put my hands in the air? Like a criminal? Did I do something WRONG? At least they didn't make him take off his shoes, poor man.

Certainly, the herd mentality in humans is nothing new. A good deal of it is evolutionary—we survived because like bands stuck to like bands—and a good deal of it has become part of the fiber of our social make up. We all want to feel like we belong, that we're part of a family of like-minded individuals. It makes us feel less . . . exposed. Less isolated. But it's one thing when the herd dictates, say, fashions in food and clothing. It's quite another when it extends to dangerous ideas and mob rule.

My mother told me once—only once—about the day the Nazis took the Jews from her village. The people who ran their shops. The mothers with whom they gossiped over the fence. The kids who played with their kids. Everyone knew why their friends and neighbors were being taken and where they were going. And no one did a goddamn thing about it. Don't think it couldn't happen again, were mom's last words on the subject.

Obviously, my mother forgot about our relatively recent Holiday in Cambodia and the seemingly endless crop of one South American military junta after the other. And she didn't live long enough to watch the Twin Towers come down on morning television or read about the tragedy of Darfur.

With few exceptions, it seems, history tells us that resistance is futile and that even the most unspeakable horrors are bearable if we're all in it together. Just shut your mouth and keep looking down.

Or, am I wrong and simply paranoid? Are we less easily herded today and more capable of putting a foot down and resisting whatever it is that makes a voice inside us shout out: No, this is not right? Is there something, for instance, up with which you will not put—even if it means danger for you and your family?

Let me know, in a haiku of 5-7-5, seasonal reference not necessary. And if you want to deal with the theme in terms of a physical and not psychological or political force, that's fine too. Submit as many as you like, but I'll judge only two. And give everyone an extra day, to boot. Post here and/or on your site up until midnight PST on Tuesday, November 27th. I'll pick a winner by the end of the week.

Happy 'kuing!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Haiku Monday: Rock Edifice

Once when I was in elementary school—fifth or sixth grade, I can't remember which—my teacher called my mother to discuss my lack of participation in the daily 20-minute group discussions that ended each period of my "accelerated" English class. I remember how my mother's voice sounded over the phone, heavily Germanic and clipped in that way she had when she could tell she was going to have to suffer fools: "I told you, Mrs. Smith, that if she's not interested in doing something, she's just not interested. You'd have greater success trying to move Mt. Everest. Leave her alone; she'll be fine."

So she left me alone and I did, in fact, turn out fine (I think). I also turned out to be quite the chatterbox, eventually going on to become an active participant in my school paper, drama club, and speech and debate teams. I just didn't like that class or that teacher or that particular method of classroom instruction, which seemed pointless and self-indulgent. I also learned that one of the best ways to get my way was not to rant and rave, but to shut up and dig in. As Buster Keaton once said: "Silence is of the gods; only monkeys chatter."

I need to remember that more often as an adult. I need to remember why nothing makes me happier than the sight of a mountain looming in the distance or the prospect of hiking/climbing/running/skiing one. Because it takes a literal act of God and Nature—over eons—to make a mountain change.

* * *

No stranger to the beauties of the wild herself, Ms. Serendipity naturally came up with this week's rockin' Haiku Monday theme. Drop on by and see what's shakin'. Maybe even add your own to the mix.

Devil's sacred rock.
White man whack on crack climbing.
Just glad I survived.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Haiku Monday: Southeast

My constant refrain:
"What on earth is 'rurnt'? Do you 
mean runt or ru-ined?"

* * * 

Señor Czar was the winner of last week's fete, and thus is hosting this week with the awesome topic of SOUTHEAST. 
Run on by there and play, why don't you?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Oh, Bummer

Kool Thing sittin' with a kitty
Now you know you're sure lookin' pretty
Like a lover not a dancer
Superboy take a chance here
(I don't want to, I don't think so
I don't want to, I don't think so.)

Kool Thing let me play it with your radio
Move me, turn me on, baby-o
I'll be your slave
Give you a shave
(I don't want to, I don't think so
I don't want to, I don't think so.)

Hey, Kool Thing, come here, sit down
There's something I got to ask you.
I just want to know: what are you gonna do for me?
I mean, are you gonna liberate us girls
From male white corporate oppression?

When you're a star, I know you'll fix everything . . .

Now you know you're sure lookin' pretty
Rock the beat just a little faster
Now I know you are the master
(I don't want to, I don't think so
I don't want to, I don't think so.)

Kool thing walkin' like a panther
Come on and give me an answer
Kool thing walkin' like a panther
What'd he say?
(I don't want to, I don't think so
I don't want to, I don't think so.)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Haiku Monday: The New Yorker Covers

Taking a break from my Doomsday Soundtrack to play Haiku Monday. That the beat of this meme keeps going on is quite astounding—and also cool. Ms. Fishy is hosting at her pond this week, with a terrific theme of New Yorker Ccovers. Check it out.

Summer’s beauty shed,
a pointillist scrim subdues.
Even high noon’s light.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Best Pals

On squirrel patrol.


Sun snoozin'

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Other White Meat

I haven't been around in a long while, but I still hate the government. Even more so, now that S.B.'s accountants sent what amounts to five whole pages explaining the impact of Obamacare on his small business. Near as we can tell? It's not about health care. It's about squeezing more tax revenue out of the middle class. Nice. This go 'round? I'm heeding the advice of several laudable pundits who suggest that if all you ever do is vote for evil and incompetency, that's all you'll ever get. I don't care if my vote won't count. At least it will be meaningful to ME.
Hope y'all are doing fine. I'll be along to visit soon. In the meantime, please, don't get fooled again.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Gone Fishin'

I wish. Actually, I'm just really, really swamped. I'll be around to visit, but probably won't post for a while.

Monday, August 13, 2012

"The wild animals answer, consciously, no question about their conduct. But once in a while some human belonger to silences who has a heart, that watches and receives, gets an answer."
Sundown, by John Joseph Mathews

* * * 


* * *

In spite of his love for us and us for him, Otis did not love the rest of the world. He presented with aggression towards people both outside and inside our home. We had to put him to sleep last week.

It's taken an unusual emotional toll on me. One day I think I'm fine; the next I'm not—I can't eat, I can't sleep, I can't concentrate on work. I think a lot about what it is we as a society now expect of dogs, the stress we put on them to measure up to sometimes-impossible standards of behavior, the laws that try to hold them—and us—up to these standards. And then sadness turns to anger.

Growing up, I was surrounded by dogs, not all of them nice. A constant refrain among adults was, "You leave that dog alone. He'll bite you and you'll only have yourself to blame." We never thought anything of it. A dog was allowed to be an individual, allowed to have its likes and dislikes. Only if it turned out to be an unmanageable problem, only if it failed in its ability to work, did my father or one of the ranch hands take it out into the hills to be shot. But that rarely happened. Even the most surly dogs managed to fit in with the groove of day-to-day life.

Take a dog like Otis (who, by the way, was not a pit bull, but a mix of what our vet thinks was American Bulldog and perhaps Dogo Argentino), though, and put him in the hands of the wrong kind of person (Otis's previous owners), and you have a problem, not an asset or even an individual. You have, according to courts who adjudicate in our increasingly fear-based society, a monster. The solution is zero tolerance.

Had we known Otis's history (which I only found out after the fact and at great insistence with the shelter), had we realized that territorial aggression cannot be tested for in a shelter environment but only manifests once a dog bonds strongly to its people and place, we would never have adopted him. But so many shelters, under increasing pressure to MOVE dogs, do not test correctly and refrain from providing potential adopters with the information they need to make safe, educated choices.

One way or the other, Otis was going to pay the price for this neglect. One way or the other, Otis was always dead dog walking.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Nature Loves Her Little Surprises

 Baby horned toad, my garage, several days ago.

Around here, July is the season for all manner of new-born critters to burst forth from eggs, wombs, and cocoons. Spiders and snakes and dozens of different kinds of beetles, some black and shiny like armored Town Cars, others dun-colored and plug-bodied that amble amiably along the sides of the roads looking for snacks. When I go out running these days, I really have to be careful where I step, and it upsets me if I inadvertently crush one while I'm driving.

The little feller above I spotted squirming along the garage floor a couple days ago. I ran in to get my camera, locked Maddie inside, and managed to snap a half dozen photos while he tucked himself under the car and launched into invisibility mode. Then I went back inside to load the photos, wondering not for the first time how anything this small manages to grow up and make it to adulthood, given all the forces of man and nature against it.

Adult horned toad, top of the Sandia Mountains a couple weekends ago.

But that's the thing about Mother Nature. She persists. Thank God.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Haiku Monday: Fiery

Taste buds stung, then numb.
Eyes brim, forehead sweats. Yowza!
Pleasure's worth the pain.

* * *

Our hostess for this week's Haiku Monday is none other than the fiery Ms BlazngScarlet herself. Head on over to her 'hood to catch some of the heat, why don't cha?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Reaping and Sewing

Project Runway Season 10 Snarkstation is up at Miss Pam's!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Vengeance is Mine

There is a difference, I think, between vengeance and revenge. Revenge implies a tit for tat evening-up of a score, a righting of a personal wrong—whether a small slight or a grand insult—and it rarely involves violence. In other words, living well is the best revenge. But not the best vengeance.

Vengeance is something else entirely. It implies a point-of-no-return addressing of an intensely universal, not just personal, injustice. It is large scale, Biblically proportioned, sometimes morally ambiguous, and almost always violent. No one will deny you your revenge. But it's a good bet they'll look at you funny if you start talking vengeance.

It's always been a concept that has fascinated me, whether in classic literature (Hamlet), modern novels (Deliverance), or movies (from The Searchers to Death Wish to Kill Bill to Gran Torino). When the authorities fail, when anarchy rules—even briefly—just how long are we expected to turn our cheeks and accept injustice?

Some of your haiku this week dealt with the theme on this spiritual/moral level. Becca reminds us just how much it must suck to have one's soul hoovered out of one's body, doomed to roam the earth with the same endless thirst. (I think I finally figured out why vamp lit is so popular these days—aren't we all similar victims of succubus governments and their corporate lackeys, so drained dry of any purpose and meaning that all we can do is mindlessly consume?)

Karl ponders both the satisfaction and the devastation that can result from taking matters into one's own hands. I'm still not clear on what it is exactly that Karl does for a living but I sleep better at night knowing he's out there, somewhere, doing his Karl thing.

Then there's Aunty, who tongue-in-cheekily asserts that, why, no, y'all, Aunty DON'T sweat. While her contemporaries undulate their sculpted abs in an endless series of beach volleyball games, Aunty lounges smartly beneath a wide sunbrella, a blonde Elizabeth Taylor flashing her baby blues or greens or browns and just a bit of delicate ankle wrapped in a K. Jacques sandal strap. Go ahead. Thumb your nose at the jocks, eat the chocolate, and work it off in the garden.

Fishy contemplated the meaning of Vengeance is Mine, Sayeth the Lord. No, not a commandment. Otherwise, on the eighth day God would not have created Smith & Wesson.

Serendipity presented two crack 'ku's about natural vengeance, reminding us that the last thing anyone wants to see when they wake up in the morning is the aftermath of a pissed-off bear.

Curm reminded us that nature—wrathful or regenerative—will always have the last word.

Speaking of which, Czar's smack-down of naysayer English teachers is pretty darn funny if you know that he just finished what is probably the world's first—and likely last—copy edit of the online book version of James Joyce's Ulysses. I think he should go out and celebrate by getting drunk on Irish Whiskey. Right now.

Rafe, one of HM's most gleeful wordsmiths, gave us a few things to ponder about the nature of one straw too many piled on a back. He also managed to work in a beloved Italian American cuss-out, which I think I will adopt as my personal credo for the rest of the week.

And I couldn't help but laugh at Foam's entry this week, either the perfect evocation of Zen acceptance or Gen X slackertude ("Dude, I can't be bothered to get off the sofa to put a cap in your ass, but believe me, if I could do it with a look, I would"). Either way, it's funny.

As is Blazng's. Who hasn't been that girl? Or wanted to be? Which is why I give her the win for this week:

Hell hath no fury!
A gas tank full of salt; cure!
Vengeance can be sweet.

It grabbed me from the get-go, with it's clever play on "salt cure," the juxtaposition between bitter and sweet, the way she qualifies the satisfaction in the last line—vengeance can be sweet, rather than vengeance is so sweet.

Nicely done, girl. Snag your badge and let us know if you're up for hosting next week.

Thanks again for playing, everyone!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Haiku Monday: You Talkin' to Me?

Earlier this week Ms. Serendipity got it into her head to award me the win for her Haiku Monday challenge and so here I am, posting this week's challenge.

I admit it. I've been a slacker blogger lately. It's not that I don't have anything to talk about, bitch about, or rave about, it's just that I'm so busy with so many projects that when I do have down time, I'm . . . sleeping. Or running. Or planning intricate ways in which to sabotage the vehicle of the twerpy tween who pulled her stupid car in through the out door at the mall the other day, thus forcing me to stand my vehicular ground while she backed up, screaming curses and flipping me the bird all the while.

Honestly, is THIS what parents are teaching their kids today? To do whatever the hell they please regardless of the actual and metaphorical arrows pointing them in life's right direction and then throwing temper tantrums when they don't get their way? Had I had my gun with me, I most likely would have shot her tires out, I was that mad.


Regarding my blogger slackitude: It's nothing personal. I adore each and every one of you who drops by my little corner of the virtual universe and miss those wild and wacky days of furious back-and-forth-ing. Is this a case of all good things must come to an end, or just a bit of a lull?

I don't know.

What I do know is, right now? I have a topic for this week's Haiku Monday contest.

Give me your two or three best 5-7-5's that in some way—directly or indirectly—deal with the theme of:


Post here. You'll have until midnight EST on Monday, July 16th to do so.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Haiku Monday: SKULL

Severed, scoured, bleached,
cranial cradle rebirthed—
cliched home décor.

* * * 

This week's competition is being hosted over at the incomparable Serendipity's place.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth of July

Get pissed. Stay pissed. It's the only way to ensure your freedom.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Haiku Monday: ECOSYSTEM

Evolution’s creed—
Adapt or Die—matters not.
Helios laughs last.

* * * 

Ms. Fishy is hosting this most excellent theme over at her Pond today.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Watch Your Speed

Tell someone you write for a living and their eyes take on a certain sparkle. As if all of us who push words around do so at the level of a Stephen King or that gal who foisted Carrie Bradshaw onto the world and made it impossible to buy a pair of Manolos on sale, when in reality writers are more or less the vocational equivalent of a Comic-Con computer nerd living in mom and dad's basement, only on occasion someone actually sends us a paycheck and no one shoves food under the door. (Yet.)

Tell them you are also an editor, though, and the sparkle dulls and they start fidgeting and mumbling about having left a bunch of wet clothes in the dryer. Now, you're really a nerd.

Hey, I get it. Writers create. They make things happen on the page that no one else ever thought of before or if they did think of it, it wasn't in quite that way. And then editors come along with their big red pencils and Cheetos-stained fingers and spoil all the fun, regardless of the fact that editors and writers need each other like oil needs vinegar and wings need wind, even if it all ends up so very Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

Not to mention that whenever anything goes horribly wrong, it's the editor who takes the fall. I recently took a big one, part of a triad of FUBAR-esque ineptitude formed when the writer, my copy editor, and I neglected to pay full attention. No sauce to go with that crow.

Nor with the one I ate a couple years ago, a fork-up I will share with you because it perfectly illustrates how mistakes are very often the result of the complex wiring of the human brain, which, were I superstitious, I'd believe has a separate will of its own.

I was assigning a series of stories on a regional magazine for which I have served as editor for five years. One of them a profile on a local business person and community advocate. The publisher gave me the gal's name: Casey.

"What's her last name?" I asked.

The publisher frowned slightly and then replied, "I don't know. Jones?"

Not realizing she was being flippant, I sent the writer her contract, outlining that she would be interviewing a Ms. Casey Jones. The writer in this case was not a newbie, but the former editor of an award-winning city weekly. Which means, like any writer worth the paper their degree is printed on, they know to always, always, check the correct spellings of any names used in a story.

Writer writes story, sends to me before deadline, and I edit, noticing that subject's name is, indeed, Casey Jones.

Issue comes out. Two days later, I receive a call from a very irate Casey . . . something else. Who yells at me, "How on earth did you all get my name wrong? I told the writer several times!"

Yes, but did you tell her brain?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Peeve Petting

I know it's been a long time since I've had a driver's ed class and so maybe things have changed since Jesus last roamed the earth in a pumpkin-colored Ford Pinto, but I was taught—and so I always thought—that the far left lane on any freeway anywhere in the entire universe was for passing not hanging.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Dog Gone

Heart broke.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Why this song never became a hit.

What song makes you wonder why?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Haiku Monday: OZ

Draped in winter white,
sun-scorched or monsoonal lush.
No place like mountain.

Childhood's magic film.
Watched a thousand times.
Fetishized those shoes.

* * * 

This week's Haiku Monday host is the supremely electrifying Rafael (whom I hesitate to called Rafa because then I start thinking Nadal, and I then I start thinking of his little habit in spite of his tennis talent and then . . . oh, never mind. Boys are so weird. But Rafael's a kick.) At any rate, great, great theme, one close to my heart and probably yours. Head on over there to play, won't you?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


There's a Forest Gump quote that's applicable here, 
I just know it.
Why don't y'all supply me with it?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Haiku Monday: HURRICANE

‘84’s airwave
assault. Rock mir wie ein was?
So much for punk rock.

* * * 

Our winner from two weeks ago, the Most Interesting Man in the World is hosting this week's foray into the 5-7-5 with the timely theme of 
Head on over and see how it all shakes out.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

How Quickly We Forget

I'm having a downright good giggle over this whole Fifty Shades of Grey business. Basically, a naughty trilogy with roots in an actual Fan Fiction spin-off of the Twilight series, it is about as well-written as a grocery list—but running up the charts nonetheless. Because of its steamy sex scenes. From what I can tell from the excerpts I've read online, it's not for its prose or particularly in depth examination of male/female relationships, sexual or otherwise. Yeah, yeah, there's some noise being made about how women everywhere are awakening to their own desires because of this book, but I call shenanigans. There's nothing earth-shattering about any of this. It's porno for the Harlequin Romance crowd—sexual politics lite, with an eye towards riches and stardom for the author, who was lucky enough to have hitched herself to a good PR team.

I'm not sure I could read the entire series, actually. What with the impossibly insufferable heroine with the impossibly insufferable name of Anastasia Steele and the impossibly titled "mega-industrialist" Christian Grey doing all kinds of naughty things to each other while Anastasia examines the meaning of it all in a string of insufferable internal dialogues rendered in unbelievably badly written prose. It's like the ghost of Ayn Rand met the ghost of Judith Krantz, whipped together a pitcher of martinis, pulled out a pack of smokes, and decided to have a rollicking good laugh.

But what really gets me is, the public outcry, the banning of the trilogy from libraries and bookstores. Not because it's so badly written (which would be justifiable), but because it's so dirty. Geez, Louise, people! Doesn't anyone remember Xavier Hollander? Erica Jong? Jacqueline Susann? These women not only wrote dirty books, they wrote them rather well. Back in the 1970s. And they were on my parent's bookshelves, right out there in front of God and everybody, and no one went screaming for the hills or ended up in Sexaholics Anonymous because of it.

What a nation. On the one hand, overstimulated and hyper-sexualized, addicted to cartoonish levels of sexuality via the porn industry—on the other, continually waggling a finger of outrage in the direction of any little whiff of impropriety.

Then again, is it possible to deal with sex—in a book, on film, in photographs—in a way that isn't cartoonish or trite or downright eye-rolling? Isn't it all, at some level, nothing more than porn?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Haiku Monday WINNER

Once again, the Crack Monkeys of Haiku Mondays did not disappoint. Oogey bodily mis-functions (is it just me, or do any of you also insist on separate bathrooms?), cortisol bloat, earthquakes, spine aches, deadline grind, bid shock, and changing room horror. All of it stressful in some way, shape, and form, all of it vividly (ah-hem, Rafe) illustrated here.

To the point where—bummer!—I have to show some resolve and pick a winner. Since the hounds of deadline hell are still nipping at my heels, I will have to make this brief. Here, in no particular order, are the ones that resonated most strongly with me.

Scout's squeeze JT chimed in with a couple, including what I believe is the only haiku that hinted at a solution to stress: fuggedaboutit, don't worry, be happy.
The silent killer
unseen by most but all feel.
Defense? Live with joy.

Fishy, last week's winner, with this giggle-inducer:
What size are these slacks:
The zipper seems . . . Oh! My! God!
Rear view mirror stress.

Corey Jo, encapsulating one of my all-time biggest stressors:
Cabinets and floors,
Counter tops, tubs and faucets.
Grand total is WHAT!!!!

(Yeah, yeah the HOME improves, but the owner, she never recovers.)

Czar, who deserves double bonus points for making me crack my Merriam's.
Beer? White bread? Forfend!
Wack physiques courtesy of
Cortisol. Brain . . . gut.

The grinning curmudgeon, who should hurry up and become a famous humor writer, already, I need a coattail to ride, with this bittersweet morsel:
Fretting and fuming
My pitiful excuses
I dream of running.

But the bittersweetest of all was this one, by Karl:
Mothers ore, steel strength
Induced fatigue, cause to fail
Is Willow stronger?

And, also our WINNER. Because it's just so pretty, has a marvelous rhythm, and builds to ask a very important question: How best to deal with stress? With steely resolve or flexibility?

So, Karl, as winner you have the honor of choosing a topic and hosting next week!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Haiku Monday: STRESS

Ms. Fishy, the winner of Serendipity's truncated but rollicking 'ku contest earlier this week, has kindly asked me to host in her stead this week. So here ya go, you Haiku Crack Monkeys. Your theme is:


Deal with it in any way you like. Then drop it off here—up to two to be judged—and let me know if you're also up at your own blog with images.

Y'all have until Monday at midnight EST and I'll judge sometime Tuesday/Wednesday and reveal a winner.

Good luck!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Culture Rip (Lite)

(Because I'm really, really, really, really swamped, I can only make this a short rant), but holy heck fire and Christ on a Cracker, WTF aren't there any great rock groups anymore who make music that rips the top of your head off and sends shivers down your spine and makes you want to put your thumb out on the highway to vagabond it for a little while behind the bar in some dusty desert town with a belly shirt and cut offs? How come it's all Rhianna and Beyonce and Earnest Guitar Players with Americana chips on their shoulders and stoooooooopid John Mayer trying to pants off the little girls, but no one with any kind of real grit and verve?

At least there is this song:

It's all I got for now . . .

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Cactus Flower

I'm always surprised when anything blooms out here of its own free will. Appropriately enough, this yucca flower's petals look like little licks of flame. So pretty! But, oddly, scent-free. (Yeah: ouch.)

At any rate, I remain snowed under with work (or should that be blown over, given the time of year?), but will get around to say hello to everyone regardless.

What wildflowers, if any, bloom in your neck of the woods? 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Haiku Monday: SUMERU

This week's challenge is hosted by Chickory, who has tasked us to write a haiku based on our reactions to a selection of images by Nick Peterson, which in turn were inspired by a Zen-Buddhist concept. As beautiful and compelling and inspiring as I find these images, I've just plum run out of steam and have not a single more word inside of me to express how I feel about them. So I'll let Bjork do it instead:

Now head over to Chickory's to see what our weekly round of haiku-cuckhoos have finely crafted for our awe and amusement.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Welcome to the Jungle

Dear Writer,

So sorry to have to tell you that, in spite of the clarity of the original assignment and repeated efforts after submission of your article (4 days late, I might add) to further clarify the assignment and provide you with additional, step-by-step-instructions and criteria to help you meet said assignment (and not your wildly WTF interpretation thereof), you are FIRED.

For it appears, yes, that you are an egotistical windbag who has grossly over represented your talent, thus wasting my time and delaying production by at least a week because I now have to scramble to fill the spot of a major feature for which there is no other recourse but a swift and silent death.


Otherwise known as The Editor Who Never Wants to Hear Your Name Uttered in Polite Company Ever Again. Ever.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Haiku Monday: SMOKE

Like a bad boyfriend,
addicted, foresworn, and mourned.
I still dream I smoke.

* * *

Who put the Troll out, who, who, who, who, who?

He's only half back, so in his stead, Anonymous Boxer has kindly offered to host this week's Haiku Monday. Come back soon, Troll!
Until then, I'll just have a bit of a pout.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The 50 Percent

She can watch, she just can't play. Yeah . . . Same as it ever was.

Can you believe that in this day and age, the Augusta National Golf Club is still hemming and hawing over whether to admit a WOMAN?

As a libertarian, I think any privately owned club, institution, business, whatever, has the right to hire, admit, and patronize whoever and whatever it wants. I would never stick the barrel of congressional legislation at their head and threaten to pull the trigger just because those choices are stupid. But let's all admit that they are—and say it loudly and often.

If Augusta is all about where the big boys of industry play, well, some of those boys are now girls. So, what, the dudes running Augusta are just going to la, la, la, la, la, themselves over that one?

You know what else is stupid? Those schlumpy, "yes massah" overalls the caddies still wear at the Masters. Can we just get rid of those now?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Here's a Ten-Dollar Word For Ya


Oh, Samantha, I don't want to join the camp of the 4000+ people who have already hit you over the head for this bit of journalistic foolishness, because I think some of their comments to you were cruel. But I'm really struggling to figure out not only the point of this article but also how on EARTH you couldn't foresee the resulting shit storm response. 

Don't get me wrong. You're a pretty gal. But I know many way more attractive women than you appear to be, a few, even, whose beauty would give Angelina Jolie a serious run for her money. And yet none of them have ever experienced anything close to the kind of off-the-charts attention—good and bad—you describe in your article. 

Well, okay, so one of my gal pals does get an inordinate amount of attention from men, but none of us who count ourselves part of her wide circle of friends has ostracized her because of it. We are mature enough and secure enough to know her movie-star beauty is a combination of happy genetic accident and a whole heck of a lot of work, so more power to her. It's not the only thing that defines her, besides. She is also kind and caring, wickedly funny, a terrific cook, and a gracious hostesses. Who wouldn't want someone like that for a friend?

So I'm beginning to wonder if there isn't perhaps another reason for the gobs of antipathy slung your way by members of our fair sex.

But this, this is the worst: You can't wait for wrinkles and grey hair so you can "blend into the background?" I can't even begin to deal with the utter stupidity of that statement.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Haiku Monday: SENSE

What ten bucks will buy:
"Mellifluous chirruping."
Ten cents? "Tweet, tweet, tweet."

* * *

Señor Rafe is hosting this go round, so head on over to his place to check out the action. 
Looks like there's a whole lotta sensin' going on!

* * * 

Also, my favorite non-sense band:

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Eventually, It Happens

Is is wrong of me to be glad that at least his dog is safe? 
I hope they find Mr. True soon.
Alive and kicking, because he's a pretty cool dude.