Friday, May 29, 2009

trip to Los Angeles

“I need you to go out west,” said her editor.
Rachel made the arrangements. She thought of Mia.
“I think you should invite her to go with you,” said Jamie.
But Rachel doubted. They were friends, but would
Mia accept? Would she understand why Rachel was asking?
“Have you ever been to Los Angeles?” Rachel asked her.
Mia had not.
Rachel booked adjoining rooms and planned
an extended weekend.
“You will come back different,” Jamie predicted. “Things
will happen between you.”
Rachel shrugged it off.
But he was right. Between the beaches and the restaurants
and visiting tourist attractions, something did happen.
They saw each other differently. And one night, in the
doorway of the adjoining rooms, a kiss happened.
And everything that had been concealed became a topic.
Mia said everything she had been afraid to say.
Rachel heard everything she had been afraid to hear.
And when they returned to New York they were smiling.
And holding hands.

the Alex awards, part seven

Most Unattractive Celebrities, Male

#10 - Jay Leno. Question: How many caricatures can you find of this guy on the internet? Answer: Many.

#9 - Jack Black. Funny, maybe. But not pretty.

#8 - Donald Trump. Does anybody like that hair? Nastay.

#7 - Ozzy Osborne. Drugs may be responsible for most of this.

#6 - Marc Anthony. He just looks like a serial killer. Or a child molester.

#5 - Gary Busey. Who made that face? It's all lopsided.

#4 - Carrot Top. The body has vastly improved, but it's still hard to look past that face. And I hate to say that about a redhead.

#3 - Steven Tyler. Again, we must try to imagine this without years of drug abuse.

#2 - Michael Jackson. The only reason he is not #1 is because this is not really his face. He used to be such a cute boy. I had posters of him on my wall in the 80s.

#1 - Kid Rock. He just deserved it the most. Congratulations, Kid! (Does this look like a police photo to anyone else?

Rachel meets Mia

It was a mutual kindness, at first,
an exchanged smile on a New York
street corner, encompassed by a current
of bodies and smoggy sunlight and taxis.
Mia recognized the face from a
magazine picture, a small 1x1 with
a caption next to an article. She had saved
it and pegged it to her cubicle wall.
Someone had observed it and asked why.
Mia liked her writing style.

And here was the life of that image, almost smirking,
almost pensive, almost friendly. And Mia
took her opportunity. She boldly introduced
herself, held out her hand, offered to carry
some of the tower of parcels, and
Rachel accepted, flattered by the kindness
of a stranger, flattered by the compliment, engaged
by her eyes and her determination.

They were fast friends with much in common--
writing, theater, the use of language. Mia had
found a mentor, an audience with a shrewd eye,
kind and patient with a firm sense of self. Time
became a frustration because it shortchanged them.
Sleep became an obstacle. Tomorrow always
brought butterflies in the breeze.

The world is familiar with that first flush of
emotion at meeting someone spectacular,
when songs take on new meanings, the air
feels different, clothes are worn not to attract
but to flatter, and suddenly scent becomes an issue.
The sight of her sent Mia into an uninhibited
smile, into fumbling and stammering and
unbelievable physical chaos. And Rachel
received this with hesitation, knowing what
was likely happening and slowly letting it grow
upon her like a climbing vine. It could not be ignored.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

the Alex awards, part six

Most Unattractive Celebrities, Female

#10 - Tori Amos. And I don't like her music either.

#9 - Bette Midler. I think she's hilarious. But nothing to look at. This is one redhead I don't oogle.

#8 - Christina Ricci. No amount of plastic surgery can fix that forehead. She should always have bangs.

#7 - Kirstie Alley. She's annoying to boot.

#6 - Milla Jovovich. I honestly don't see how this is model material.

#5 - Liza Minelli. She's just scary-looking. I don't care for her voice much either.

#4 - Joan Rivers. She wasn't that bad before all the plastic surgery.

But downright hideous afterwards.

#3 - Tori Spelling. I think all the Hollywood web sites agree with me here.

#2 - Fergie. Ew. She's just...dirty.

#1 - Sandra Bernhard. Blech.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

the stalker girl

All right, so you want to know the story of my stalker, eh? I really was not fishing for interest. It just freaked me out seeing her here in my small town.

To be truthful, the whole thing was my own fault. It was several years ago. I was playing around on singles sites and one day, just for fun I clicked on the “women seeking women” link… I know it was stupid. But I wasn’t getting anywhere with the guys, right?

So along comes this pretty, voluptuous Brazilian girl who bites my bait. We chatted online and she wasted no time in setting up a meeting. Dinner in a crowded restaurant. Harmless, right? But I did debate with myself about it. I wrestled, in fact. But in the end, harmless won. (It seems to be one of the devil’s most effective tools with me.) I thought, what’s the worst that could happen?


Dinner was…weird. I kept waking up to what I was really doing there, and it scared me. But she was nice. And interested. There was a little bit of a language barrier, and the restaurant was loud, so we didn’t get a lot of conversation accomplished, but we ate. I don’t remember who paid. I think she did (bonus!). I was not wildly attracted to her. When we finally walked outside, I had had my “girl date” experience and I was ready to go home.

But she suggested we go for a ride. I know, I know, major red flag, right? But I was curious. I thought I could handle myself. I won’t go into detail about what happened. It’s just repulsive to me now. But I finally convinced her that I was going home. Alone.

We had exchanged cell phone numbers in arranging to go to dinner, just in case one of us got lost. In hindsight, it makes sense to do that. But she kept the number. She also had my email address. She called the next day, wanting to get together again. But after what had happened in her car, there was no way I was going to subject myself to that again. I tried to explain to her that I was not interested. You know how these things go, when someone doesn’t want to hear what you’re telling them. I stopped taking her calls.

Later, I had to add her phone number to my contacts so I knew who was calling. She called every few days. She sent flowers. She sent email messages. Sometimes they had pictures attached, and you can imagine the kind of pictures they were.

Anyway, she finally gave up after about six months. Persistent!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Ever since I lost interest in my book group and pretty much stopped reading altogether, I’ve wondered why. I have made speculations, but I still haven’t figured it out. I’ve blamed it on my attention span getting shorter, and that may be part of it, but even when I’ve sat down to read books, I can’t seem to get into them. The authors who used to draw me in don’t have the ability anymore. I used to love Chaim Potok novels. I used to say that I was going to be his Mormon equivalent, because he writes so matter-of-factly about Judaism in his books. His intent seems to be to tell a story with the Jewish culture as a backdrop, not to convert the reader to Judaism, and I loved that about him. I’m not going to compare the story I’m currently working on to his work at all. That's just a status I'd like to achieve someday.

My point is that I picked up a book of his short stories and have read two or three of them. They’re good, of course. I love everything he writes. But I just haven’t felt that draw that I used to feel—the desire to get sucked into a book and not emerge until it’s over. I haven’t felt that way about a book in a long time. I tried Dickens’ Nicholas Nickelby and couldn’t pay attention. Haven’t picked it back up since. I’ve tried more modern novels, like Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight, and thought it was okay. But I haven’t really wanted to read the sequel. This frustrates me, because I really used to like to read. A writer should read. How else does she get inspired?

Monday, May 11, 2009


I stopped at the grocery store after work today and I swear I saw my former stalker from a few years ago...with husband. And pre-teen with cell phone attached to the side of her face. And a younger girl. Apparently she stayed with him. I do not think she saw me, but even if she had, I do not think she would have known me. For me, she was the only one of her kind, but for her, I was probably one of many.


Thursday, May 07, 2009

movie review

I love Netflix. That was one of the best ideas anyone ever had.

Here’s my take on Imagine You & Me. But first, can I explain why I got this crazy fever to watch it in the first place? Lena Headey. I can’t resist the thought of two pretty girls making eyes at each other. That’s just how it is for me.

Back to the point of this post. Here you have this lovely young woman (Piper Perabo) and this terribly handsome guy (Matthew Goode—frighteningly attractive) who have decided that after years of being together, it’s time to get married. Rachel (the character played by Perabo—ironic) shows no signs of discontent. She seems perfectly happy and satisfied with Heck (short for Hector, apparently). But along comes the florist girl, Luce, hired to provide the flowers at their wedding. And for these two girls, it’s love at first sight. And not that I don’t believe in that, but I’m more prone to say it’s “lust at first sight.” I mean, you don’t really know someone after just a glance, do you? There are various ways that Rachel and Luce get to spend time together, which of course drives them both insane because each activity leaves them wanting more. Yes, I know the feeling. Don’t we all. And who is the one doing all the pursuing? It’s Rachel of course, happily involved and now married Rachel. (Because Rachels are like that.) She invites Luce to dinner, she stalks Luce at the florist shop, and of course she initiates the first kiss. If this girl wasn’t so pouty and pretty, I could hate her.

So she does the right thing and confesses her feelings to Heck, who is naturally heartbroken. Can I say I actually produced tears for him? Movies don’t normally make me cry, but I felt the guy’s pain. That part where he goes up on the roof and Rachel’s little sister brings him candy—extremely touching right there. I know the filmmakers were trying to get me to buy into the “true love conquers all” mentality, but I truly believe that she should have stayed with Heck, her “best friend.” Two to five years after the end of the movie, Heck will be a happy guy—writing his book, fulfilling his dream, probably hooked up with another cute girl, and Rachel’s fascination for the lovely Luce will be over. She will wish she had Heck back. I’m convinced. HECK, I’d take Heck. And it wouldn’t be settling.

Friday, May 01, 2009

list of likes & dislikes

Things I liked about hanging out with MJ:

  1. She always looked good. I was never embarrassed to be seen with her, even if I was embarrassed about myself sometimes.
  2. Getting her to talk was a victory. Listening to her chatter was a rare and wonderful occasion.
  3. The way she looked at me. Feeling loved, admired and appreciated.
  4. Making her laugh.
  5. Getting to the point where I knew her so well I could predict her reactions.
  6. Butterflies. Excitement. Anticipation.
  7. Learning something new about her that I didn't know before.
  8. Having companionship - someone to go places with.
  9. Receiving letters and surprises. She said things I longed to hear.
  10. Feeling needed, like I was helping someone who needed my help.

Things I didn't like:

  1. When strangers (retail people, mostly) would mistake me for her mother.
  2. Feeling the need to entertain her and keep her happy.
  3. Having to be careful about showing her affection.
  4. Being expected to respond to the text messages that came to my phone all day long. Sometimes a girl just doesn't have anything to say.
  5. The frustration I felt at not being to have what I wanted (whatever that happened to be at the moment).
  6. Trying to get her out the door when I wanted to go to bed.
  7. Worrying - about her and about what people thought of us.
  8. The emotional roller coaster ride.
  9. Being wary of her family.
  10. Feeling rebellious.