Thursday, May 26, 2011

outside the other night & the next day

A few nights ago I was still wide awake around 4, lying in bed internet surfing when I heard sounds similar to cans being sifted from a trash can next door. I went to the window to see, and though I was a story up, standing in the dark, and peering through a screen, I was scared wondering what could see me back from the street.

As my eyes adjusted, I searched in the dark towards the source of the sound, and finally after about a minute I caught a glimpse of a dark figure in my neighbor's driveway digging through their trash as wheels and plastic scraped against inclined concrete.

I tried to make out the figure: raccoon, bear, something on two feet dragging--then a car approached, headlights blaring and turned in the driveway beside it. The figure retreated into the dark corners of unfenced bushes. Minutes later, after the driver was inside, it was back.

I put myself into the feet of a few perspectives: fear of the garbage sifting shadow, of the driver coming home from a) a tryst b) a late night get-together c) geez it was late--was the person even sober enough to notice? I went back to bed and fell asleep to the scraping and clanking noises of the unknown shadow in the street below my window.

The next day, as I walked with my husband to our car parked beside our trash cans, I swerved around a Mexican man in his forties going through our cans and plastics to fill an ever growing bag of cans that he was lugging around like Santa Clause on Christmas eve.

Residue of Southern grace, mixed with the sunshine had me almost say hello, or excuse me, but a second instinct said let him be, avoid eye contact and walk past, into the car; and I did. He's digging through our trash, I said. He's doing us a service, said my husband. Like a vulture, I said. And we drove away without another word about it.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

your coffee is a sacred blend: silence & sweet, roasted, ground & boiled brown: a science

I've never been so enticed to wrangle dust particles
as I do, for a constant witness to my competency.
This is how I define coupling on a neutered day.
With good days kissing the sun with my skin, when
a nice walk replaces the boozy wasted adrenaline
of battles against no one--to call it the world. As
of late, I cook to create, adjusting to taste; presented
with barely a taste myself. I have a desperate desire
to be useful, to relax, I've escaped the necessity of
self-imposed stress...for now anyway. Can words
have hidden price tags, for every defense of value
put upon us by those words? Everyone, everybody,
the world, all: for those who decimate responsibility,
but take credit for an ounce of praise or acceptance.
Pity for people who are sensitive to judgment, ridicule,
criticism or fawning. Pity to me and my nervous energy
to appease the sensibilities of those who share my home.
I suppose I learned this from my mother whose duty it
was to feed her brothers and father til the day they bled
her skin, she ran away and met my father. And pity to
him for dying so young of disease without a daughter
by his side, though who's to say what I would've done
if he had ever even called me. Even once in a decade.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

the origami octopus has hiccups again

I had a terrible dream the other day, about a man who broke into houses consecutively, a locksmith I assume from glimpses of his interacting with his victims earlier in the day in some sort of house maintenance attire, with assistants, a van, and I could swear he handed them all a new set of keys.

Then I heard him say: do me a favor, would you, and the homeowners would say...sure, almost instinctively. The man asked them to do something small, easily forgettable: turn a porch light on at seven, call a random number at six. When the time came, it seemed ridiculous to everyone to do. Why should I? How would he know?

But somehow he did know, like a supernatural psychopath psychic, and in the late, late evening, he'd let himself in, find his victim in the living room, in a robe with a glass of milk, say: one simple thing I asked you to do, then slice these people to bits, a living sliver at a time.

There's more, but I'm done remembering the details.

In other news, I have twelve days to go before I am officially a mother. The long anticipated shower was a success thanks to Ashley and Camille, incredible ladies, jesus, they worked hard to put everything together from the baby back ribs to baby quiches. I think the final headcount tallied forty, and I never stood still for a moment without loving attention and praise for looking beautiful.

Family and friends have been extremely generous. When I registered 70+ items on the Target website, I never imagined they would very thoroughly be purchased for us. In fact, Ned's family, bless their God loving souls, got us most of the big stuff: a crib, dresser, car seat; while the rest of the items: a tub, blankets, carriers, toys, and enough clothes to last a year's worth of growth, were all bought for us by friends.

I tried to get my family into it too, but my mom will not learn how to use the internet to save her life, and my aunt's in Korea with my two cousins having a huge bonding session over fresh kimchi. Ultimately, my mom got her new husband to buy the stroller we had listed, while he was on his work computer. She tried to come to LA on the day Felix is going to be born to stay with us for a couple weeks, but seriously...I don't want to dilute the initial experience of bonding with my baby.

What seems like an unselfish deed on her part, seems extremely selfish to me. It's been nine months and I know everybody wants to see him, but I really don't give a shit about feeding the curiosity of others. Topping off their quota of feeling like a helpful citizen. I have never seen a picture of my mother holding me as a baby.

As far as my body goes, I've been fairly svelte and agile up until this last month when my belly has finally decided to blow up like a watermelon. I can relate to ancestors who worked until they gave birth in a rice field somewhere, strapped the baby to their back and kept on working. And I'm not used to being so debilitated. Walking the equivalent of a mile and being exhausted.

My hands are arthritic. My feet are exposed lungs. All in month nine, and I have imbibed not a drop of alcohol. I've held my breath passing every cigarette waft that came near me. Please be healthy, baby, please. He's crumpled inside me now like an origami octopus. I feel his folded legs beside my ribs, his hiccups near my groin. I'm almost ready, he says, I'm almost ready to have you hold me.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Thor-a review


Kenneth Branagh, what got into you? You go from being the exclusive representative for modern day Shakespeare, to Frankenstein, a boon of other here and there period pieces--to Thor. I guess I see the connection. For someone into the "classics" the story of Thor's older than weather.

Chris Hemsworth, I remember you from that terrific opening sequence from the beginning JJ Abrams' Star Trek. You were Jim Kirk's dad. You sacrificed yourself by steering the Kelvin on a collision course. That scene made me cry. Nice to see you again. I see you've been working out, too. Who cares about milk--got protein shakes? You blond hunk o beefcake, you.

Natalie Portman, playing a frigid ballerina is one thing, but a brilliant astrophysicist with a thing for Norse gods? I know you've got a pretty face and all, but exuding a hyper intelligent understanding of dynamic processes of celestial objects and phenomena? Come on!

When asked why she took the role, Portman replied, "I just thought it sounded like a weird idea because Kenneth Branagh's directing it, so I was just like, 'Kenneth Branagh doing Thor is super-weird, I've gotta do it."

Like you know?

For it to be even remotely feasible for Thor and Portman to have a believable romantic connection in this comic-based Blockbuster, I had to pretend Thor as a huge movie buff back on Asgard; that The Professional was one of his favorite movies of all time, so when the time came and Thor met Natalie on earth, he didn't care that she was a performing multiple acts of involuntary manslaughter on him with her jeep. He wanted to make out with the girl from Garden State.


And the Portman being used to this by now was all: guess what, you get to kiss me eventually. Aren't you stoked, Chet Hicklesworth, I mean Thor, I mean what-ever!

Less hard to believe and more enjoyable were the great supporting characters: Hopkins, so good, and the superstar who totally stole the heart-shaped pie had to be Heimdall (Idris Elba), gatekeeper of the Bifrost Bridge. Tom Hiddleston was also great as Thor's miserable milquetoast brother Loki.

Overall, the atmospheric effects were fantastic, pacing was quick, the story had substance, and lines mixed with comic timing let the humor take way of the movie taking itself too seriously. Entertainment is where it's at with Thor, a very 2011 film with zeitgeist-saturated thunder strokes galore, and many premeditated sequels to follow.

Monday, May 2, 2011

at the end of preggo road

The countdown begins. Today is May 2nd and Felix Vizzini will be born in 25 days. A Gemini. A Rabbit. And I will no longer be pregnant. I'll be a mom. And my mom will be a grandmother.

It's been a big year for her. Her only child got married in September, pregnant in October, then mom found the man of her dreams, they got married this past Easter, and now at the end of May, boom.

She called on Sunday. The first thing she said to me was: guess what, you have a new step-dad! He was beside her when she said it. Awkward...

Later she handed him the phone to hash out the flight details of her coming to LA from Tennessee for a week after Felix is born, to cook for us and help us she said.

I'm going to have a c-section (I'm terrified of natural birth. I don't care how many women do it every day {and have since the beginning of time.}) so I know I'll be sore. Plus, family bonding is normal and healthy. This is why we got a place with a guest room. Below is a picture of my mom as a pretty Las Vegas bride on Easter:

my mom looking like a princess

This has been an easy pregnancy, I'd recommend it to my peers--if they really like somebody and get along with them and feel like taking a straight-forward commitment to a--great, big, giant level of commitment.

Besides, we're not kids anymore. We're both in our early 30's. So we've tasted our fair share of the party cakes. Heyo!

My check-ups are weekly now. Today's was simple: a cup of pee, blood pressure, measuring tape across the gut and a warm stethoscope to check Felix's heartbeat. My next check-up will be more intense: a measurement of my cervix. I told my doctor I'd shower for that, which made her chuckle.

My doctor says I'm lucky, I have "superior" genes, which means no stretch marks and good muscle tone. I've gained 30lbs. On average women gain 40-50.

My skin is clear, my rings still fit, I haven't had any nausea or strange food cravings. The worst thing that's happened to me is heartburn, but chewing a few Extra Strength Tums takes care of that. Otherwise, I can bend and run and rest with no problems.

I might miss being pregnant when it's over, reaching for my phantom belly in my sleep, or I'll just be glad to hold my living breathing creation. I can't fathom how that will feel. I suspect it will change me forever.
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