Monday, December 27, 2004

The Creek, re-lived.

Bob gave me the third and fourth seasons of Dawson's Creek on DVD for Christmas. I watched the twenty-three episodes of season three between Friday night and Sunday night of this past weekend. So happily. And so engrossed. Dawson's, Sex and the City, the Sopranos, movies with Dermot Mulroney, Reality Bites, Dirty Dancing, French Kiss...I have a fixation that feels abnormal. Or perhaps the word 'involvement' might be more appropriate. When I watch, I absorb the fictional characters' emotions and feel them myself. Perhaps because in middle school and high school I had so few real relationships to invest in, I learned to feel them through movies. Or perhaps because it's my escape - my version of Bob's video games. Probably explains the origin of my melodramatic perceptions of the Events of My Life, particularly when I was still in college, that angst/joy-filled time for us all. I don't know. All I know is that last night, when I got to watch Pacey and Joey fall in love all over again, I felt like I was one of them. I also felt like a big, silly, dorky gal. But I was okay with that.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Oy Vay.

Well, it's been a hell of a weekend. Some bad, some good to come out of it, and a whole lot to sort out. Raise your hand if you knew that I was a great big ball of codependence. I didn't know. Seriously. I didn't. But I'm starting to and I'm feeling like there is light at the end of the tunnel. That maybe, just maybe, I can learn how to breathe the day in fully, exhaling without fear. That grudges can give way to forgiveness. I've become this giant sponge, absorbing everyone's emotions and blaming them for it - secretly believing that I can save the people I love from themselves. This weekend I began to get a firm grip on myself. It's time to wring myself out and figure out how I'm feeling. A slogan I found that amuses me:

Expectations are like resentments in escrow.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Massachusetts Liberals Have Highest Family Values

In case you hadn't heard, Massachusetts has the lowest divorce rate in the nation: 2.4 per thousand.

It would appear that us blue folk know how to keep our families together better than those bible thumpers elsewhere. Yes, today I'm feeling the snooty Northeastern yuppy liberal in myself. And yes, as a married, snooty Northeastern liberal yuppy, I'm feeling pretty proud of my roots and a little bit "nyeh-nyeh" toward the red states.

On its way out: 2004

I thought I would take a moment to reflect on the steps forward and back in 2004...

All of my gay friends can finally get married - at least in Massachusetts. Hopefully sometime soon the state and feds will change other laws, like the tax code, so that my gay married friends will actually have the same rights that Bob and I enjoy.

For the first time in memorable history, the Dems outraised the evil ones for the year. Yipee. Crazy liberals are finally putting their money where their mouths are.

I finally settled down into a job that I will likely hold for more than a year. That's pretty darned exciting. Caveats aside.

Bob has a fantastic job that he loves and just got an 8% raise. We like that.

Our friends and families are generally happy, healthy and well.

Not so forward - in fact, downright cruddy
Bush won. A lot of other states decided that they should codify gay-bashing even further with hateful anti-gay marriage laws. And my abortion rights magic 8 ball keeps telling me 'my sources say no'. People my age are dying or becoming injured at an obscene rate in a war that may or may not end in the forseeable future.

So that's my 2004 analysis in a nutshell. My little bubble is okay, but whenever I think beyond that bubble, I get kinda queasy.

2005, I hope you've got some good news up your sleeve.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Joshua Jackson AND Patrick Stewart

* Sigh * I'm embarassed to say (though not so embarassed that I won't post it online) that I love both of these two men. And now they're appearing on stage together.

The Apollo Theatre will play host to David Mamet’s two hander A Life in the Theatre, starring Patrick Stewart and Joshua Jackson. Rather fittingly it’s about a veteran actor teaching his craft to a younger newcomer – Stewart has appeared in numerous West End outings whereas Jackson, best known for Dawson’s Creek, is making his West End debut. The last time we saw Patrick Stewart on stage was in 2003 when he headlined Ibsen’s The Master Builder - quite a contrast to Joshua Jackson, who has not appeared on stage since he was eight. The play is directed by regular Mamet director Lindsay Posner, who has attracted such celebrities as Matthew Perry, Minnie Driver and Julia Stiles.
In other ridiculous Lauren celebrity news, I saw Matt Damon last weekend at
The Burren in Davis Square. I have now mentioned this fact at least three dozen times. Also, have you seen any of the promos for that silly-looking reality show about the "real-life" princess looking for a wealthy mate? Apparently, she is my friend Debbie's roommate's ex-girlfriend. Karen, I hope you've enjoyed this pop culture post.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004


At work, not exactly recovered from my 3am bedtime last night. A coworker was a little bit rude to me a few moments ago, but instead of getting upset, I just sat quietly at my desk, closed my eyes for a few moments, and realized how soothing the sound of the rain outside and the hum of our lights can be. My hands feel a little tingly and the moose are definitely getting quieter. The rain deposits on my window make it look like that funky corrugated glass, the kind that is sometimes tinted green. It's a bubbly window.

Stillness and tacos don't seem to be a matching pair. Did I mention that I was up too late last night?

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Of Moose and Me

My stomach is filled with what my co-worker D'Arcy calls "dreadsies." I call them butterflies. But really, they are big, bellowing moose.

I'm in the midst of one of those weeks, or months, or lifetimes, where I am procrastinating and procrastinating until it might catch up with me. Years of experience tell me I will get my act together at the last minute, finish everything in a stellar manner, and move on. But I wish that I could
  1. Let go of the tension in my body cause by this slacker/manic worker cycle;
  2. Actually get out of the cycle and just be on top of things from day to day; or
  3. Suddenly discover that I have a trust fund, don't have to work for a living, and suddenly have as much free time to just be with people as I want.

At the moment, these three things seem equally and painfully unlikely. So I will just plod along with my moose, and feel good when I come up for air in two weeks.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Ding dong the witch is dead!

I particularly like the opening line of a CNet News story on Ashcroft's resignation:
John Ashcroft, who was a proponent of encryption and privacy as a U.S. senator and a champion of expanded Internet surveillance as the nation's attorney general, resigned on Tuesday.

I thought a brief retrospective on Ashcroft's tenure as the Attorney General would be appropriate:

gregarious gossamer...

what gregarious gossamer, we three
imbibing autumn at nearwinter’s table
gold cheeks akimbo rolling up surprised laughter

If Elshaday is reading this...

an audre lorde poem that spoke to me way back when...

In what had been a pathway
our bed and a shared bathroom
broken hours lap at my heels
reaching my toothbrush
I see
wide valleys filled with water
folding into myself
I cross them into the shower
the tiles right themselves
in retreat
my skin thrills
bruised and battered
as thunderspray splatters
plasma on my horizons
when no more rain comes
I cast me out lightly
on tiptoe
shifting and lurching
aginst my eys
plastic curtains
I hung
last December
watching the sun flee
through patterns
always and never
I spiced my armpits
courting the solstice
and never once did I abandon
I would contrive
to make my world
whole again.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Open Auditions

Calling all skeeterdogs for sidekicks
or highjinks or a game of jacks!
Your doors must be well-kept, your noses
orange or green.
No marmalade monologues, please.
You must arrange a smorgasboard between
the hours of Tennesee and Texas and come
unprepared for flapjacks on toast.

We will have a sandwich to celebrate
meeting our greatest handyman Gustav-
he's missing a few jacks don't
hold it against him
his game's pretty good anyhow.

Movement will be required, jigs
are always a plus and oh
you must sing in the key of Saskatchawan.
No sad sepia can enter without
shorting the circuit, so
I suggest you leave your jacket
at the door, better yet, under the bed!

We're looking for new enigma and
curtain call will be at 7pm last Tuesday night.

Davis Square

These streetlamps are strange -
I can barely tell them apart from trees
casting their autumn yellow light
illuminating passing traffic in A-Minor. Goldenrod

fingers of hay on brick, windy
pigeons' launchings moving small mountains, iron
masked statues watching and I
regard closely their shifting limbs, small motions

of their eyes. Sun and shade casting
definitions - your hands half-covered in uneasy
sunshine, you and I quietly obersrving the calm
inside the shade, its restless

inhabitants scuffing, shuffling, limping and dressed in green wool,
or workpants, footsteps track through the haystacks, our voices
looking like that man in the leather jacket, tired, a little
overworked and sitting to breathe a moment or two before wondering.

This is the place where trees are centered in granite mandelas.

You, the Apple Peeler

I think of apples
when thinking of you,
peeling apples
spirals, descending
unwinding, white
fruit unwrapping
to its sweet
core or myself
red ribbons
or maybe yellow
green scarves
continuous motion,
a blade -
your sharp fingers -
working its way
under wrapping
surface coverage,
sinking teeth
into wet fruit.

Hamilton Fish

Singing moving from main street movie
theater bookshop barbershop
kisses and full moon daydreams
this prelude to my vagabond days
will take me west on 34 rolling
country music over
amber and tan
driving fast, past
a building called Actors' Colony
and I wonder how
long ago the actors settled
this country alongside Quakers
whose farms are on my next left.
Can't stop - I'm coming to the crossing.
I want to know what's over the Hamilton Fish Newburg Beacon Bridge.
Keep driving.

Green Tea

The pad of his thumb circles
the freckle above and
to the right of my navel, spirals
of grass woven hair fall on
faces looking into sun,
limbs golden glow
green tea taste familiarity and
soapy flannel smell, his lips
tongue on the small of my back, baby sweet
kisses of sleepy Sunday
mornings, crawling through green melon, dripping
lush scoreror's bounties, aching
hungrily climbing his limbs
enveloping sweet smell
of sweat seeking his thights.

This is the easy part, I think,
as our chests find familiar
rhythms over and over again.


Step carefully, the earth here is more rugged than you
and my memory is wrapping itself into the soil
right alongside the earthworms. This familiarity,
the rusty brown fertility and the smell of dirt and leaves decomposing, is home.

Follow me past this gnarled twisting trunk -
just there, sit down and look up through the leaves and twisting languid limbs.
See how the sun has seperated into visible rays
that filter down into your eye,
how gently the wind pushes the branches?
I was here for years.

The kitchen is through this door -
the knob still feels ready to slip off into my grip.
How empty and ready for life this room is still
muted grey walls - unassuming and adaptable observers,
equally regarding first kisses (and our kises), Sunday dinners,
threatening fathers who wield themselves
with more authority than they could create.

We follow this hallway as far
as it goes and here - this whitewashed room
was where I could never sleep. Let me
turn out the too-bright lights then
look at the ceiling, how I arranged the stars,
Leo was above my head at night. Sit down
beside me, I just discovered this mattress
isn't as uncomfortable as I remember.

Sleeping now, I am swimming through today,
through this house, this tired splintery home,
still angry at its vacancy, this rundown shithole,
and still missing my invented memories.
I lean in
as I roll over
touch your chest to my lips,
then my ear.
Listening to your steadiness
and finally today I rest.

Thoughtful comment about Christian conservatism

I am an ex-Southern conservative.
Open Letter to the Democratic Party.

I'm not one who thinks we lost on the moral issues. I don't think our party needs to move right toward the center, or sound more manly. I really, truly believe that we lost because we proudly talk about how much smarter we are than everybody else, especially the everybody elses who live in the dreaded Red States. I do it, too. Growing up in Maine I knew truckdrivers and troopers and folks who cleaned toilets who understood our political system better than most of my "educated" friends. These folks also understood what it is like to live day-to-day without the overwhelming sense of entitlement I feel and most people who went to upper tier colleges and universities feel. And I think that there is something very fundamental in any person's psychology - if a group of people tell you that you're foolish, you probably won't like them very much, even if liking them appears to be more in your self-interest than not. Because it's hard to believe that it's in your self-interest to side with people who clearly do not respect you.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

to sleep soundly

to sleep soundly, a woman must welcome her visitors by choosing poetry that will sing to their particular tongues and she must laugh clearly enough to break the fog on a cold, humid evening. she must eat heartily so that deep flavors settle across her body and anyone who kisses her can taste them. she must trail her fingernails against her own palms and quiver at the feeling of her own touch.

to sleep soundly, a woman must encircle the moment of crystal waking that comes just before her evening journey begins, but then let it pass, without clinging or grasping. she must shout her argument only when poetry or the sky is at stake and then she must do so from her belly, with the weight of the world’s children coloring her breath.

to sleep soundly, a woman must breathe maple syrup on snow each fall and salty ocean lips each summer. the lilac smell of her own sweat should cause her to burrow into her own writing and she must let the jewel in her belly shine.

to sleep soundly, a woman must forget herself while she makes love, forget the word physical. she must extend into her own limbs and scream and moan and touch herself and her lover without noticing whether the lights are on. her arms must open freely with no need to hold her heart against the fear that it might fall from her chest.

to sleep soundly, a woman must put down her work. she must lie down in a quiet room with daisies and chrysanthemums and quiet the lights. if crying, she must observe her body’s sensations without declaring a meaning or wondering if they will keep sleep at bay. she must touch herself sleepily while the moon wanders into her room and she must say, finally, this is where i will rest.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Ten People

Another writing exercise - enjoyed this one quite a bit - describe ten people you know using only one sentence. I cheated on a few, using more than one sentence, and didn't post them all.

A science teacher who is more comfortable letting his students play with mercury than a Ouija Board, Mr. Zanoni tunes into Rush Limbaugh’s radio program as religiously as he attends Mass and questions the idea that his grandfather was an ape.

He walked for hours with the girl, assuming he would probably get laid, but not so wrapped up in that outcome that he couldn’t spend the time comfortably, thinking to himself that it was good to just be.

She felt flaky keeping her secrets, and even flakier when she mentioned them. People hoped she would be a certain thing to them, and so she was. She would rather slice off pieces of herself and give them away than disappoint.

Dancing felt like mania to him and women were like liquor locked away. He had to consume them as quickly as possible, without letting anyone discover how empty they were becoming.

When a frizzy-haired waitress at Denny’s ate Matt’s pecan pie, vacuumed the table at which he sat, called Matt ‘pigboy,’ and threw Matt and his friends out of the restaurant, he defended her, declaring that she must be joking with them out of fondness.

She was a thirty-year old woman who fooled me into believing that she was a natural blonde who didn’t smoke.

He ran just under a mile to tell the girl to look up at the rainbow.

Writing Exercise: A Supermarket in California

One writing professor I had frequently gave us an exercise in which we would convert poems we liked by authors we respected into templates for our own brainstorming. I decided to do this tonight with Allen Ginsberg's "A Supermarket in California." Text of my page plop first, then Ginsberg's wonderful poem after.

A Playground in New England
What memories of you I have today, my ghosts, for I wandered down hallways under fluorescent lights with a dry throat gulping at the woolen plaid skirts.
In my playful wishing, and seeking to hide, I went to the primary colored slide swing playground, whooping and hollering your names!
What games and what gaiety! Fathers and daughters playing tag! Sandboxes full of friends! Whispering on the monkey bars, laughing not at me! – and you, blue frog, what were you doing talking to the shy girl?

I saw you, my ghosts, children, lonely little beets, shuffling outside the perimeter and eyeing the others.
I heard you sighing at each: Who will talk to me? What place politics? Are you my Love?
I wove under and above the ringing streamers of giggles following you, and followed in my imagination by a celebratory circus.
We rode down the winding slides together in our silly reverie, faster, our hair whipping against our faces, and never going home for dinner.

Where are we going, my ghosts? The sun sets in an hour. Which way do your sheets blow tonight?
(I touch my face and think of our fantastic height on the swings and feel absurd.)
Will we dance all night through these dim halls? The faces don’t change, combinations don’t work, we’ll all be lonely.
Will we run dreaming of the lost childhood of slumber parties and Halloweens past a quiet man brushing his teeth, home to a still backyard?
Ah, sweet apparitions, fading lights, what childhood did you have when you were ravens, calling out loud, and rejoicing in the sound of your own voices?

A Supermarket in California
What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whitman, for I walked down the sidestreets under the trees with a headache self-conscious looking at the full moon.
In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went into the neon fruit supermarket, dreaming of your enumerations!
What peaches and what penumbras! Whole families shopping at night! Aisles full of husbands! Wives in the avocados, babies in the tomatoes!--and you, Garcia Lorca, what were you doing down by the watermelons?

I saw you, Walt Whitman, childless, lonely old grubber,poking among the meats in the refrigerator and eyeing the grocery boys.
I heard you asking questions of each: Who killed the pork chops? What price bananas? Are you my Angel?
I wandered in and out of the brilliant stacks of cans following you, and followed in my imagination by the store detective.
We strode down the open corridors together in our solitary fancy tasting artichokes, possessing every frozen delicacy, and never passing the cashier.

Where are we going, Walt Whitman? The doors close in an hour. Which way does your beard point tonight?
(I touch your book and dream of our odyssey in the supermarket and feel absurd.)
Will we walk all night through solitary streets? The trees add shade to shade, lights out in the houses, we'll both be lonely.

Will we stroll dreaming of the lost America of love past blue automobiles in driveways, home to our silent cottage?
Ah, dear father, graybeard, lonely old courage-teacher, what America did you have when Charon quit poling his ferry and you got out on a smoking bank and stood watching the boat disappear on the black waters of Lethe?
- Allen Ginsberg, Berkeley, 1955

Friday, November 05, 2004

Especially for Karen

The Apprentice is one of those shows I wish I could ignore, but just can't. Donald Trump's decisions frequently strike me as inconsistent, lacking in regard to group dynamics or leadership skills, and utterly absurd. I watch the show, and I don't like him. I don't like what he stands for, or the role that people like him play in business, pop culture and the American landscape. The disciples with which he populates the show are equally appalling, not least in their utter devotion to him. It's painful to watch. But I watch anyway, completely wrapped up in the drama, politics and psychology of the game.


Uh-oh. Bad news. Writing this post just sucked me further into the show. I went looking for the show's url and I discovered that a season one favorite, Heidi, writes a weekly online commentary about the season two happenings. It's great, as is she. In that, 'I can't believe I think this is great' kind of way. Oy.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

New Pro-Choice House in MA!!

From a NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts communique:
Amid this national defeat - believe it or not - I do have some good news. On Tuesday, we elected a pro-choice House of Representatives for the first time in our state's history!

What year is this?

Wait, am I confused? Are we actually in year 2000?
(CNN) -- A majority of Americans polled said they were hopeful that President Bush would do more to unite the country than divide it, a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll found.

Moving the country to the left

With a full night's sleep (11 hours!) and this mydd post, I'm feeling inspired this morning.

...When conservatives are 33% of the electorate, and liberals are only 21%, we start twelve points down in every campaign. The solution to this problem is not to move to the center and take the left for granted. The solution to this problem is not to simply energize the base so completely that our activism and energy alone carry us over the top.

...We have to define liberalism according to positive semiotic frames. We have to be willing to take these frames to every corner of the nation, and run candidates in every single race in every single district (preparation for which begins today). We have to be willing to spend tens of millions of dollars not to win elections, not to help "worthy causes," but simply to sell liberalism. 2008, we could become even more active and do even better on the ground, but still lose because we have kept shrinking...we can only win by moving the country itself to the left.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

*Sniffle, sniffle* Kerry's concession

Listening to John Edwards introducing Kerry's concession speech right now. Feeling called to step up in the coming years. Frustrated by yuppie world's vocal contingency - some folks are throwing up their hands, announcing their anger at John & John, blaming them, blaming the Democratic party, announcing that they will never vote again, or will never vote for the Dems again.

The Democratic party is not a sports team. Candidates are not players. They didn't lose this election; WE lost it. Every single one of us. It is our job to advocate for the candidates we support, not just by showing up, but by writing checks, getting involved and working as hard as we can. The folks on the right seem to get this. The labor unions and working class voters on the left get it, too. What makes it such a tough concept for "educated" suburbanites? Folks who wear the word "progressive" like it's an alternative fashion statement?

Kerry is speaking now. He sounds gracious and statesman like as always. I am tearing up. I haven't felt so devastated and emotional about an election since the 'Contract with America' mid-terms during Clinton's presidency. Though I expressed uncertainty in the days leading up to this election, underlying my comments was delicious optimism that I haven't felt in quite a few years. I'm not yet ready to let that go. I don't think any of us should.

'Don't Mourn, Organize' - A Must Read

From the Daily Kos:

....It’s tough on the psyche to be beaten.Throughout our country’s history, abolitionists, suffragists, union organizers, anti-racists, antiwarriors, civil libertarians, feminists and gay rights activists have challenged the majority of Americans to take off their blinders. Each succeeded one way or another, but not overnight, and certainly not without serious setbacks.

After a decent interval of licking our wounds and pondering what might have been and where we went wrong, we need to spit out our despair and return – united - to battling those who have for the moment outmaneuvered us. Otherwise, we might just as well lie down in the street and let them flatten us with their schemes.

Pretty much how I'm feeling.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Visibility in NH and damned good polling methodology

Liz, Bob and I outside a New Hampshire poll. According to Liz's double counting of smiles, nods and hand gestures, we are winning in NH. 53 - 7 at the last count that I remember. We held large signs and did the can-can, making ourselves a hit with the older voters and even getting our picture taken by the Gilford Steamer, Gilford's local paper.

Eminem - Election Video

If you haven't seen this yet, it's worth a try. Eminem finally won me over. And, he made me cry.


Woke up just before 6am to get ready to go to NH for the day. I thought I was nauseous before. I wasn't. NOW I am nauseous. The jittery nervous atoms are having a wild dance party in my tummy. Liz will be here soon to pick us up - glad to be doing something with a productive outlet today. Don't think I could successfully do much other than Election Day stuff today anyway...

Monday, November 01, 2004

Musing on procrastination

Why is it so much easier to finish something after it is already late? Any thoughts?

Fairness and accuracy?

Last week on Fresh Air with Terry Gross, Jimmy Carter mentioned that prior to the his debate with Ronald Reagan in the 1980 presidential race, George Will stole Carter's debate briefing book from the White House and used it to rehearse Reagan. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting has an article from 2001 about this incident - apparently Will was on the airwaves immediately following the debate, talking about how well Reagan had done, and never mentioning his role in the campaign. He has acknowledged the incident but never apologized. And they say liberals are morally corrupt. for the FAIR article.

Latest polling, methodology critique, hand-wringing, and lots of optimism

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Give Bush a Brain Game

Great link from Doug:

Waiting for relief...

I'm addicted to the horse race right now. As though absorbing more polling data, or reading more analysis is giving me more control over the outcome. I am alternately nauseous and exhausted. I feel like I should be making plans in case Kerry loses, but ultimately the problem is that if Kerry loses, there will be nothing I can do to prevent the next four years of a Bush presidency. Sigh. Let's hope it's not an issue.