Thursday, December 19, 2002

I think I have figured out something very important.

This message is for anyone who lives in or around Memphis: It's no secret that you are plagued with horrible head-splitting, eye-popping, year 'round sinus malfunctions. This isn't pretty, but I have finally figured out why.

When I moved here three or four years ago, I scoffed at the idea of me ever having allergy attacks or sinus problems of any kind. Walking around in a daze with a crumpled tissue in each pocket like Lisa Lubner from the good ole days of SNL – that just wasn't me. Except for the nerd part. The closest I ever came to having any type of reaction to a flowering tree was an emotion or strong thought of "Hey look at that pretty tree with flowers on it." I was never moved to tears by tiny, alien pollen particles attaching their UFO's to the linings deep within a human head. As God is my witness, I actually don't even believe I had sinuses before I moved here.

But now, oh dear Lord... I am tragically allergic to the toxic wastedump engrossing most of the real estate inside my own head. This has played out like an Invasion of the Body Snatchers. It's a horror movie, and while everything that flowers has died down for a couple of weeks – and until the toxic mold spores take over – I'm here to scream it out to you. I have this moment of control over my own brain and its tattered thoughts. Much like Charlton Heston and his discovery of soylent green, I am here to plead with you, listen to me, and maybe something can be done. Because I know why we're all plagued with the internal head rot:

Memphis is cursed with an ancient Egyptian curse.

That sentence could have been a lot better, but I can't breathe. See? It's cutting off the bloodflow to my brain.

You know, Memphis is famous for its bad drivers, and it's clear that most of them are over-medicated. Tavist-D, Benadryl, Ny-Quil, NightTrain... it's all the same. Running yellow lights, t-boning cars left and right... the Egyptian gods are eternally mad at this city being named Memphis. And don't even get them started on West Memphis, Arkansas.

When I first moved here, I thought people were just laid-back. Then I realized that wasn't the case at all. Some people are just non-functional members of society, and the rest seem to have brain damage from the constant internal pressure within their own heads. And now, I fully understand this silent killer with its blinding epidemic-like qualities because that is what has happened to me. I thought I could fight it off. Much like the tomb raiders in the early 1900's thought they could fight off the deadly fumes from the bat guano placed inside tombs to pretty much kill anyone who opened the door later. Death by Sinuses. It's brilliant. I thought I could fight it, but I can't. I may have to move, but I can't remember how, and I'm not even sure where I parked my car. There are only certain times of the year when I can finish a sentence without saying "What the hell was I talking about?"

It's The Curse, I tell you. The Curse of the Dummies. The curse is making us all dumb. See how dumb I am now? Look how funny the word "dumb" looks. Why is it "dummies" and not "dumbies"? What's for lunch? What the hell was I talking about? Oh yes...

All I can say is that I have figured it out, and here I leave it for posterity, possibly useless and never read. Much like some type of ancient heiroglyphic warning scrawled out on a tomb wall before someone passed out underneath it in a heap of old, ripped up Commercial Appeal newspapers used as makeshift blankets and then hankies (since the person obviously never could concentrate at work anymore, was fired and forced to live under a flowering tree until they died slowly, broke, alone, congested and swollen in places).

I said it, I believe it, and now someone please help us. Please tell us how to appease the gods... Please, Egyptian Curse Gods, forgive the fools responsible for building a big, glass sports arena in the shape of a pyramid. We're sorry that the Worldwide Wrestling Federation has desecrated your symbol of life, perfection, knowledge, and communal effort. How could we have known that wrestling wasn't a true fad? Yes, we do remember Jerry Lawlor and Andy Kaufman. Quite well, actually. But that was at our colisseum, not at the Pyramid... okay, and yes, we understand that Arkansas is right next door. Okay, uncle, I give, you win. But please have pity on us, spare our poor sinus cavities. Because the food here is quite good, and the view of a river sunset seems to be worth the head rot. Or, that could just be dementia talking.

Thursday, December 12, 2002

"There comes a time in a woman's life when the only thing that helps
is a glass of champagne."

~ Bette Davis

You know life is good when you find a quote like this.

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

~:: Thank God for boody-ism::~

In the same way that someone in the midst of a rough crowd guards a wound with great care, so in the midst of bad company should one always guard the wound that is the mind.

-Santideva, "Bodhicaryavatara"

You know, I was born Christian, and was taught the preliminaries of it until a young age, when our church split because apparently the preacher was gay. We chose the side that split off with him, but it folded soon afterwards. From then on, I had a lot of time on my hands to try figuring out the world of good and bad, right or wrong, on my own. And I have always felt guilty because however hard I tried, I never understood a lot of the teachings from the Bible – in the same way that I never quite understood Shakespeare in high school. And still don't today. But I appreciate them both. But as far as Buddhist thoughts, I understand this stuff. I just get it.

So be it. We get comfort where we can in this world. And as long as it doesn't hurt anyone, it might just help someone in the end. The world's full of enough mystery to ponder. I need a light at the end of the tunnel here on this earth today more than the one at the end of my life.

Everybody does.

Never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be.

- Clementine Paddleford

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

All you need is deep within you
waiting to unfold and reveal itself.
All you have to do is be still
and take time to seek for what is within,
and you will surely find it.

- Eileen Caddy

And hopefully,
you won't need a prescription
to deal with it.

- Bubbles

Saturday, December 07, 2002

Xmas time is here again.

on 12/2/02 9:58 AM, wrote:

Hey there,

I am the new elf. The old one is lost at the Pole.
So update your wants and needs so i can perservere.
Let us not dawdle either in a response.
Time is money and money is great. Wish I had a machine to make some.
On the run. Let me hear.
My best, Melvin

on 12/7/02 8:58 AM, wrote:

Dear Melvin:

Sorry for the delay in the reply from Bethany. We have her in our custody til our demands have been met.

We are a not-for-profit terrorist group based in Orange Mound (just outside Memphis past the bait shop, yall come) and have abducted her and are now demanding a big, fat ransom. Only thing is that so far no one in her family has replied to our ransom notes. We are beginning to think we aren't going to get any money, as if 20 bucks was a lot to ask for, and are considering selling her into white slavery or reducing our price.

However, if we haven't gotten rid of her by christmas, then we recommend an acceptable gift for her would be either a booklight with an a/c adapter jack but not the a/c adapter (we have a warehouse full of those, pyramid scheme gone bad, long story) or a blow-up, stick-to-the-wall bathtub pillow much like the ones found at Target. We like pink. I mean... she likes pink.

Ok ok, these presents would not be for her but for us instead. We've had a long year as a start-up terrorist group, especially after the WTC thing, and need to take a bubble bath and read.

Any attempt to trace this email will result in a serious altercation.

Yours truly -- The Bill-Qaedas, Ltd.

Friday, December 06, 2002

~ : your daily dose of boody-ism :~

Just as a monkey roaming through the forest grabs hold of one branch, lets that go and grabs another, then lets go and grabs still another, so too that which is called "mind" and "mentality" and "consciousness" arises as one thing and ceases as another by day and by night.

-Buddha, "The Connected Discourses of the Buddha"

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

~ : your daily dose of boody-ism :~

It is crucial to know when it is appropriate to withdraw our attention from things that disturb our mind. However, if the only way we know how to deal with certain objects is to avoid them, there will be a severe limit as to how far our spiritual practice can take us.

-Lama Thubten Yeshe

Monday, December 02, 2002

Things I am thankful for:
or "a holiday's debriefing"

• Truth: That I love my true friends; they are the greatest things I could ever have in my life. They are amazing people, each one of them, from whom I learn constantly. And that my parents are honestly just good, decent people who would never hurt a fly, who usually get bulldozed for being so compassionate, who support each other and enjoy the smallest things in life, and who are their own source of constant entertainment, like a sitcom. I appreciate that they have an enormous sense of humor, twisted and normal. And they make me feel better knowing where I get my strange flaws from, as well as where my loves in life really are. And, that Ron is the quite possibly the greatest boy in the whole upper-right quadrant of the universe, always there and always selfless without being minus his true self. Even if he does have a dog as big as a goat, and he does fold laundry like a guy, the electricity of his thoughts overpowers the stupidest damn things that have always tried to get in my way.

• Justice: That my sister (or what's left of her) finally had to pay for her behavior and is now on probation for two years, due to her tendency toward domestic violence and the charges against her. Good. My whole family is so used to letting her get away with murder, being held emotionally hostage by her self-induced dramas, that it's just so weird for justice to be served up to her like a big plate of deep-fried turkey and Aqua Velva or whatever it is she drinks now. Cheers to you for throwing your life under a bus with both hands. And, oh yes, "I've thought of something for you to be thankful for – that you're not living under a bridge yet." And to anyone who feels sorry for her, we've all been there. And you must be a nice person, and I apologize to you in advance. She's possessed. Worst thing is that she likes it that way.

• The American Way: That people can grow away from harm's way if they choose, that subjects can be changed and that Claritin will be available over-the-counter soon. So hopefully, breathing will be a little easier for more people even if the air never clears.

Another thing I'm thankful for is that even though I've given up on hope before, apparently, it hasn't given up on me.

Friday, November 22, 2002

~ : daily boody-ism :~

From striving comes wisdom. From not, wisdom's end.

- Dhammapada

#01: Dhammapada does not sound like a Star Wars Character...

#02: Does so.

#01: Does not!

#02: Retard.

Thursday, November 14, 2002

~ thought for the day ~

Good advice is like Beano. If you take it, you're not sure if it worked. If you don't take it, well....

Saturday, November 09, 2002

(A word about laundry)

When a spider crawls out of the laundry in the basket that you are sorting, it's not up to you anymore. It's up to the laundry. All nine loads of it.

I love clean clothes. I hate to do laundry. And, I hate to shop for new clothes. Therein lies the frustration.

Around here, when the laundry calls, the laundry actually calls. I'm lucky that it doesn't move but just screams at me from the other room to get it done, or else.

And don't even get me started on what the vaccuum cleaner called me the other day...

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

"I think it's got some Eagles in it."

Justin Says He's No Jackson Copycat
The Associated Press
Nov 4 2002 10:23AM
NEW YORK (AP) - Justin Timberlake says Michael Jackson has been a big influence on his sound, but not the only one.

Timberlake, the 'N Sync star whose debut solo album, ``Justified,'' is due Tuesday, has been tagged with imitating Jackson because of a few wardrobe choices and big appearances with the King of Pop.

``I've used a lot of different sounds than just Michael,'' Timberlake told Newsday. ``I think there's some Eagles in the harmonies and a lot more Stevie Wonder.

``I'm also a big fan of Donny Hathaway,'' he added, referring to the 1970s musician. ``I think it's shocking to people that I even know who Donny Hathaway is.''

Timberlake, whose breakup with Britney Spears this year was widely reported in the entertainment media, said he tweaked a few songs on ``Justified'' to throw off people who might try to learn about his personal life from his music.

``Some of it was a little manipulative because I knew what people were saying about me,'' said Timberlake, who declined to say what songs he changed. ``But it's not a Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde type thing like Eminem - not that that's a bad thing either.''

11/04/02 10:20 EST

Saturday, November 02, 2002

Solid, Liquid, Gas and Marshmallow

I've never made Rice Krispies marshmallow treats until this year. I'd say to anyone who hasn't made them before: splurge on the pre-melted marshmallow creme instead of melting marshmallows on your own. I learned that melting marshmallows is kinda like making a rue for a gumbo – you have to stir it and stir it and stir it more, wondering if you've done it all wrong, if it will ever set up right, and waivering in the self-doubt that maybe you aren't melting them right at all, wondering how much longer this is gonna take, and thinking the tiny white beasts have finally given up and turned the proverbial corner, thinking you've melted them all – only to find a big, marshy area of unmelted mallows that will neither stick to the rest of the melted marshmallow nor will they be melted on their own.

I've discovered a new state of matter: the marshmallow. And it's not to be trifled with; it is to be respected. I don't know why scientists decided to leave it out of the books. Unless they decided, as I have now, that if the government found out about the true potential of marshmallows, they might decide to use them for evil, like developing an M-bomb or something.

If you decide to turn up the heat to melt the marshmallows faster, they will fight back just as hard. And if they get on you, they're a tiny bit like napalm. Therein lies the tricky part of "trick-or-treat." Fight the urge to turn the heat up. It just begins to toast the marshmallow, and that's when things could turn on you and get really ugly.

Armed with an entire stick of butter versus the three tablespoons recommended, and reinforced with newfound determination plus a little elbow grease, I became the conqueror victorious. Ha-HA! The marshmallows waved their tiny white flags, surrendering to me in one, hugely sticky mass. I quickly added the Rice Krispies to them before they changed their collective minds, and I kneaded the mixture like bread dough while trying not to flatten all the krispies or get too much of the hot, sticky marshmallow on me. And hear ye, they were tasty. I even smashed orange and brown M&M's on top of them to make them extra-festive.

Breathing hard, feeling extra smug and only slightly sticky, I turned back to the Trail of Terror, Will and Destruction: krispies were scattered to the left and right of me, across the countertop like schrapnel from a cannonball, across the floor here and there in an irregular line over to the other countertop, the countertop where I planted my flag atop Mt. KrispieTreat. And my mom's old frying pan was covered with marshmallow goo now quickly turning into a hard, shiny taffy-like substance.

"Oh... no... Not my mom's frying pan." I thought. "Any pan but that pan." That pan was the Magic Pan. Just the sound of a wooden spoon dinging in that pan would recall years of happy memories of my mom's dinners – feasting on Rice-a-Roni, on Hamburger Helper and on the rare occasion of the heralded tacos of Taco Night. Oh my God. Any pan but That Pan.

Saddened, weakened, I put the Magic Pan in the sink and gave it one last squirt of dishwashing liquid. As the warm bubbles drowned the marshmallow goo, I heard Taps playing softly somewhere in the distance. "I'll miss you, Magic Pan... I'm sorry. If only I had only bought the marshmallow creme..."

I retired to the couch in a broken heap.

Later that evening, I decided it was time to exhume the Magic Pan from the dishwater, to give it a decent and proper burial. A fitting tribute to the perfect pan. A pan that I'd known since I was a child old enough to recognize a good pan. A pan whose handle is probably made from some sort of pressed asbestos. Still, a Damn Good Pan.

I pulled out the wooden spoon first, to ruefully touch the hardened marshmallow goo once more, just to see how tough it still was. And to my glorious surprise, it slid right off beneath my fingers.

"My Pan, My Pan! Speak to me!" I raked away the bubbles and scraped at the pan with the spoon. Rubbing the slippery goo away with one hand, and searching for a pulse with the other. It was a miracle. Arising like the phoenix from the ashes, my Magic Pan gasped for air as I rinsed the final rinse. It shined silver once more as I gently scrubbed it clean. My Magic Pan crossed back over from the other side, walked through the valley of the Shadow of Death, yet it fears no marshmallow. My Magic Pan – with the possible asbestos handle and missing D-ring for hanging it high overhead – now lives again. Forevermore. Never to bravely hold its own against the marshmallow. Instead, retired as a hero, only to serve in Italian skirmishes, dosed liberally with olive oil and a nice red wine.

Monday, October 28, 2002

As a great fish swims between the banks of a river as it likes, so does the shining Self move between the states of dreaming and waking.

-Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

I don't know about this one.

He says he's never fit into a normal society, and he struggles with it on a daily basis. Man, I can appreciate that. The last time I checked, which is pretty much every morning I've woken up since second grade, I didn't fit in either. In fact, a lot of people don't fit in. Some people pick up guns, some drop out, and then others drop out completely by still going to a job they hate, everyday, to a job that doesn't really exist. And so, yeah, I admit it -- I still go to work.

I'm trying to remember what the problem is again.

I'm trying to be objective. He also says that homeless people tend to gravitate toward the library. Again, I have misled myself, moving all my possessions to a town with an unfulfilling job, where if I were to be homeless in this town, I'd be in no way able to concentrate on a weblog but would in fact be completely screwed. I have to read on to find out where he is geographically located. Relocation would not be a problem for me (especially if I didn't have to move my couch) and actually sounds quite groovy, very reminiscent of "free thinking", if I can live in a library all day versus hanging out on a corner and starving literally to death here, one way or the other.

Okay, which reminds me: yes, food. I'd love to have some right now, but I didn't bring my plastic-money today. I think there is a donut in the kitchen, but it's old. And eating a donut when you are hungry is like drinking sea-water when you are thirsty. It just makes it worse after the sugar-buzz wears off 30 minutes later.

Oh wait, we were talking about my unfullfilling crap: You see, the problem is that I have too much crap to keep up with in my life. That's right. Too many physical, personal possessions to carry with me. If I could give them away to someone, then I would. These possessions I have were someone else's idea, not mine. Like bank cards, cell phones, day-planning books to plan a day that I don't even own and don't have enough time for in the end. Having less should mean that I could live a livestyle that was more free, only clinging to several possessions like Grasshopper. Unfortunately, I need too many of them to exist properly.

Maybe not, though. I guess some people might be afraid to be honest and say how remarkably healthy the Homeless Guy looks. His skin alone has more of a glow than mine, and I'm supposedly years younger, and not homeless yet.

But you can't say that about a homeless person, right? Don't mind me, I'm just jealous. I'll just be forced to pay more to have less in life. Because I don't fit into what's considered normal society either. So I know my limitations. I'll come back to work tomorrow so I can have a home to go home to at night, to be rested up for the job that takes more than it gives.

And I'll give him that one: not having a place to stay at night is a bad scene. I know this, it's happened to me, too, for one reason or the other. You just either keep driving or you keep walking until the sun comes back up and then you really don't feel homeless anymore. At least not for 12 or so hours until you have to go back to sleep somewhere.

If I was him, I'd hide in the library at night. I'd steal a toothbrush and some toothpaste, soap and shampoo -- unless someone donated some to me, the perceived less-fortunate -- and I'd hide in the library bookstacks until lights-out.

But for now, for me: I am very still, sitting here with a life-sucking job and a home where I left my plastic-money, yet still hungry in more ways than one. Reading about a guy who has no home, yet spends all his days at the library, reading and writing. He wishes for the simple things, like having a home of his own. So do I. What seems to be worse is to have a job and still not be able to afford a home. Financially or mentally. "Who knows if today might be my last day here? Where will I go tomorrow if I get downsized, again?" And at this particular moment, I am really hungry and wondering what else I can pilfer from the Freezer Graveyard here at work besides the ice-encrusted microwave dinner I ate for lunch.

No pension plans, no increase in pay, no job security. Just frozen food left by employees and interns past. Not knowing it was their last day or maybe, just not caring.

These were people who fit into society better than the other before them or after. Or maybe they just seemed to fit in.

I just realized that I am the Job-less Girl. Stuck in a job that I never wanted, but had to have to live in a world that's not quite right. But that doesn't sound as bad as being homeless, does it. But it is similar -- not knowing what's going to happen to you day after day. Not filling your head with any knowledge or eduction as the hours slip by. And having to expend whatever creative energy you might have left on a life or a job you may not have next week, and definitely a job you never really wanted but had to have so you could have too much to keep up with in the end, and a job that won't get you any further along in a career than where you are today.

That is weird. Why do I do it? To have less direction in life than a homeless guy.

I wonder of he'd trade places with me. It seems abnormal to me that he would.

Besides, I'd miss my couch. I just need to find another job.

ps: I found some ramen noodles and rehydrated them. jackpot!

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

"When eating a fruit, think of the person who planted the tree."
– Vietnamese proverb

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

holy crap.

The hilarity continues, thanks to my contributing friend, the fabulous Miss Jacquie "J-Snatch" (named after Jacqueline Bissett) as she recounts her experience in a mother-son-daughter conversation she overheard in a bathroom in Mississippi:

"SFX: *flush*

DAUGHTER: How does the water go down, mama?
SON: Jesus does that.
MOTHER: Yes kids, Jesus makes the water go down. Jesus makes everything

ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND? Do you think Jesus has the time to follow you
around and make sure your doody is sucked into the plumbing system??
This is how ignorance lives: it's passed down from generation to

What's even better, j-snatch, is that I misread "doody" as "daddy" the first go 'round.


SCENE: Mall shop specializing in eastern religious items and the like. Teenage girl-to-girl conversation between two browsing the shop; volume high enough to impress the two teenage boys pretending to browse an aisle nearby.

Girl 01 (talking on cellphone but also talking to her friend shopping with her; she points to a carved mahoghany sculpture of a Chinese dragon):
"I would not touch that rat with my hannnds."

Girl 02
"Uhhhhhhhhh-huhnn. People brang that stuff into they house and wonder why thangs don't be workin' out for them."

Girl 01
"Mmmmmmm-hm. You cain't just brang all this stuff into your house. It's all, like, a different religion and stuff, like what, you know... boody-ism..."

Girl 02
"That's right, you cain't have all this stuff from all over like from different... different... different origins, you know what I mean!"

Girl 01
"That is right..."

:~: Today's Hindu Words of Wisdom + Bubbleview :~:

"Try to be reasonable in the way you grow, and don't ever think it is too late. It is never too late. Even if you are going to die tomorrow, keep yourself straight and clear and be a happy human being today. If you keep your situation happy day by day, you will eventually reach the greatest happiness of enlightenment."

-Lama Thubten Yeshe, The Bliss of Inner Fire

"oh yes, and and try not to work in advertising."


Tuesday, October 15, 2002


"Attentiveness is the path to true life;
Indifference is the path to death.
The attentive do not die;
The indifferent are as if they are dead already."
- Dhammapada

Somebody else got fired yesterday. And today, we got pizza. Hmm. I guess it's quicker than a cake order. Plus, bakeries don't usually deliver without an additional charge. One girl called it the "Pat on the Head" pizza. The patteroni pizza. With extra cheese. Somebody got fired, and we got pizza.

One guy thinks that we have enough work to create the appearance of actually working for the next few days or so, equating it to making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich when you are almost out of peanut butter. "You have to start kinda thin at the beginning," as he pretends to scrape peanut butter around his palm on his invisible slice of bread with his invisible knife. "You have to spread it to the edge and then see if you can kinda spread it out to the sides, like this... no jelly, though... we can't afford that."

"How is the company morale?" I'm not sure what exactly makes me feel so poisoned by this question. If it's not the completely useless and insulting point of anyone asking a question they already know the answer to, then what is it? Is it that I've been used in a handout here and there to sell a service that doesn't exist at this company? Or that I can't stand being around some people who are as shallow as pie pans, and as easy to read as a cheap comic book? Maybe I feel sick because it's payday, and we have yet to be paid today. Is this the day that the place went under? And shouldn't I care, instead of wondering how I'm going to move all of my shit out of this office and into my foyer for the second time in ten months?

When I was a little kid, I thought that you go to school and you work hard and you do well; then you go to college and you work harder still (plus you drink beer and probably have a decent set of boobs by then and hopefully a car, of which I had neither), and you do well; and when you get out of college, even if you don't set the world on fire being whatever it is you hoped to be, then you could at least have a job where you didn't have to worry every day if you were going to lose it. Especially if you didn't care.

If i would have known that then, if I would've known that life wasn't going to be like that, results produced by results, then I would've moved to another country and taken more chances.

People can always say the pedestrian, "It's better than digging a ditch. You should be lucky that you even have a job. Life is not fair." And to that I say, "I didn't go to all the trouble for such little incentive. And I didn't major in ditch digging. And if I believed you, then I'd stay here."

To the people who try to make us feel insecure about out present futures, who manipulate us into feeling somehow grateful to have a job that doesn't really exist, I hope the day comes soon. When everyone finds out that you were officially nobody all along, even though your business card seemed to spell out a different story in six words or less.

And I also hope one day that we all hear about it, wherever we all might be. That's beginning to sound very fair to me.