3.22.2010

The Scripture of Kerouac

Are you tightwad and are you mean, those are the true sins, and sin is only a conception of ours, due to long habit. Are you generous and are you kind, those are the true virtues, and they're only conceptions. The golden eternity rests beyond sin and virtue, is attached to neither, is attached to nothing, is unattached, because the golden eternity is Alone. The mold has rills but it is one mold. The field has curves but it is one field. All things are different forms of the same thing. I call it the golden eternity-what do you call it, brother? for the blessing and merit of virtue, and the punishment and bad fate of sin, are alike just so many words.

Ginsberg Genius

America

Allen Ginsberg

America I've given you all and now I'm nothing.
America two dollars and twenty-seven cents January 17, 1956.
I can't stand my own mind.
America when will we end the human war?
Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb
I don't feel good don't bother me.
I won't write my poem till I'm in my right mind.
America when will you be angelic?
When will you take off your clothes?
When will you look at yourself through the grave?
When will you be worthy of your million Trotskyites?
America why are your libraries full of tears?
America when will you send your eggs to India?
I'm sick of your insane demands.
When can I go into the supermarket and buy what I need with my good looks?
America after all it is you and I who are perfect not the next world.
Your machinery is too much for me.
You made me want to be a saint.
There must be some other way to settle this argument.
Burroughs is in Tangiers I don't think he'll come back it's sinister.
Are you being sinister or is this some form of practical joke?
I'm trying to come to the point.
I refuse to give up my obsession.
America stop pushing I know what I'm doing.
America the plum blossoms are falling.
I haven't read the newspapers for months, everyday somebody goes on trial for
murder.
America I feel sentimental about the Wobblies.
America I used to be a communist when I was a kid and I'm not sorry.
I smoke marijuana every chance I get.
I sit in my house for days on end and stare at the roses in the closet.
When I go to Chinatown I get drunk and never get laid.
My mind is made up there's going to be trouble.
You should have seen me reading Marx.
My psychoanalyst thinks I'm perfectly right.
I won't say the Lord's Prayer.
I have mystical visions and cosmic vibrations.
America I still haven't told you what you did to Uncle Max after he came over
from Russia.
I'm addressing you.
Are you going to let our emotional life be run by Time Magazine?
I'm obsessed by Time Magazine.
I read it every week.
Its cover stares at me every time I slink past the corner candystore.
I read it in the basement of the Berkeley Public Library.
It's always telling me about responsibility. Businessmen are serious. Movie
producers are serious. Everybody's serious but me.
It occurs to me that I am America.
I am talking to myself again.
Asia is rising against me.
I haven't got a chinaman's chance.
I'd better consider my national resources.
My national resources consist of two joints of marijuana millions of genitals
an unpublishable private literature that goes 1400 miles and hour and
twentyfivethousand mental institutions.
I say nothing about my prisons nor the millions of underpriviliged who live in
my flowerpots under the light of five hundred suns.
I have abolished the whorehouses of France, Tangiers is the next to go.
My ambition is to be President despite the fact that I'm a Catholic.
America how can I write a holy litany in your silly mood?
I will continue like Henry Ford my strophes are as individual as his
automobiles more so they're all different sexes
America I will sell you strophes $2500 apiece $500 down on your old strophe
America free Tom Mooney
America save the Spanish Loyalists
America Sacco & Vanzetti must not die
America I am the Scottsboro boys.
America when I was seven momma took me to Communist Cell meetings they
sold us garbanzos a handful per ticket a ticket costs a nickel and the
speeches were free everybody was angelic and sentimental about the
workers it was all so sincere you have no idea what a good thing the party
was in 1835 Scott Nearing was a grand old man a real mensch Mother
Bloor made me cry I once saw Israel Amter plain. Everybody must have
been a spy.
America you don're really want to go to war.
America it's them bad Russians.
Them Russians them Russians and them Chinamen. And them Russians.
The Russia wants to eat us alive. The Russia's power mad. She wants to take
our cars from out our garages.
Her wants to grab Chicago. Her needs a Red Reader's Digest. her wants our
auto plants in Siberia. Him big bureaucracy running our fillingstations.
That no good. Ugh. Him makes Indians learn read. Him need big black niggers.
Hah. Her make us all work sixteen hours a day. Help.
America this is quite serious.
America this is the impression I get from looking in the television set.
America is this correct?
I'd better get right down to the job.
It's true I don't want to join the Army or turn lathes in precision parts
factories, I'm nearsighted and psychopathic anyway.
America I'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.

11.18.2009

Little Tiny Pockets of Happiness

I used to have a friend in college who would get so discouraged about her life, about her relationship, that she would break down in tears nearly every day.  She didn't know if she could go on.  She was lost.  She was beaten.  She was way down at the bottom of her spirit and she wasn't sure how she was going to rise to the top again.  We spent so many afternoons after class or work on the balcony of her third floor apartment, sitting at her white, plastic table in her white, plastic chairs and smoking cigarette after cigarette until the afternoon turned to twilight and beyond.

We never solved anything but we always felt better afterwards.

The truth of it is, I was just as lost as her.  Just as down-trodden.  We were a pair, the two of us.  Debbie-Downer twins, that was us.  Still, we managed to laugh.  Somehow.  Someway.  I don't remember how we did it or what we found to laugh about, only that we did.  A lot.

They were sad times.  But they were good times.

I used to have this thing that I would tell her and it went something like this:

"M.  Life is shit.  It's a fact.  There's going to be more and more shit before it's all said and done and the only thing we can do about it is find little, tiny pockets of happiness here and there and sew them into our hearts with little, tiny zippers so that we can open them from time to time and let the happiness out when the shit gets really deep."

I had forgotten all about that.  I had forgotten I used to say that to her until I came across a note from her in which she reminded me of exactly that.


It seems unreal to me now, lost as I am, as I always have been, that I would have said something like that to someone else.  I am almost ashamed of it.  Who was I to be telling her something like that?

Anyway, after I read that note, I started thinking about what I meant by little, tiny pockets of happiness.  What were they?  What were mine?  Could I remember them all if I tried?  I wasn't sure but I thought I would at least sit down and get as many out as I could.  Whatever came to my head first, that's what I would write.

And so that's what I did.

And that's what I present to you below.  Unedited.  And in no particular order.  Just thoughts as they came, trying to capture them in words as fast as I could because once I got started, another one was waiting to get out.  I'm sure I haven't done justice to many of them, maybe even all of them.  I don't know.  But I've found it doesn't matter.  The memories are inside me and that's all that really matters.  They live in me and there they will stay long after this blog is gone, long after my computer has died, long after the word document they were written upon has been deleted.

They live in me until I live no more.

Here's to you, M.

Dancing with my mother to Paul Simon's greatest hits when she came to visit me in college.  We were drunk, giddy with wine, and dancing all over the house, one behind the other - through the living room, into the bedroom, out through the kitchen, and back to the living room.  A fit of giggles.  Collapsing on the couch.  Refilling our wine glasses.  Changing CD's and dancing some more.


Understanding, many months and many days after the fact, that no fight was too big to keep me from my sister.  I don't know exactly when we forgave each other, the exact date.  I doubt we ever said the actual words of forgiveness that are so often meaningless anyway.  I only remember being in my mother's old house on Barnes Street when we finally spoke on the phone.  Cautiously at first, and then as if nothing had ever happened.  That's one of my most treasured pockets of happiness.

My brother's embrace the day I returned home from Atlanta.  Out of a job.  Out of a five year relationship.  Depressed.  Not wanting to be here at all.  He hugged me to him so tightly and held on longer than he ever had before or since, whispering in my ear, "I'm so glad you're home, Steph."

Saying goodbye to Fischer before he left for Hawaii.  Standing outside with him in the cold.  Looking at his beautiful, sweet, never-could-never-will-hurt-a-living-soul face.  His twinkling eyes looking back into mine.  The lines at the corner of his mouth turning up into a smile.  His arms around my waist.  My arms around his shoulders.  The warmth of his body.  His body sturdy.  Strong.  Knowing I was kissing him for the last time ever in this lifetime.  Happy just for the chance to know him.  Happy for the few short years he graced my life.

Brenda's gifts to me the day I left my job for good.  Three boxes of tampons and a bag full of lotion in every scent imaginable.  How we fell down in fits of laughter when I opened it.  Beautiful in its simplicity, this gift from her to me.  Beautiful in its significance.  A secret between friends.  Really knowing someone.  Really understanding someone.

My brother-in-law saying over the weekend:  "We don't love people because of what they do, Steph.  We don't love them for their jobs.  We love them because of who they are."  Thank you, brother.  I needed that.

The old man at my table who only wanted a steak, rare, and a glass of red wine.  Watching as he cut into it.  Sending it back again and again, while all the while, he never complained.  I believe he would have taken it the first time just the way it was.  He ended up eating it medium and asking me to sit down with him and share a glass of wine.  I did.  I was drawn to him in some way I couldn't define or explain.  He was kind.  He was old.  He was not long for this world.  I don't remember his name but I remember the feel of his arms around my shoulder as he hugged me on his way out the door.  I watched him leave, walk down the street, until I couldn't see him anymore.  I remember thinking to myself that he was an angel but I didn't know why I thought that.  I cried feverishly after he was gone.


Listening to Concrete Blonde sing Joey (the acoustic version) with my friend, Kenneth, over and over again in his car.  Belting out the lyrics at the top of our lungs and not caring how horrible our voices were.  Being out of breath at the end of the song and pressing rewind to play it again.  To sing it again.  To feel every single lyric, every single note.........



I could write for days and still the memories would come.  I know this.


That's all life is.  A series of moments, of memories.  Little, tiny pockets of happiness in the midst of pain, struggle, and despair.  These pockets are the only things that keep us here, the only things that allow us to wake up and face another day.


The hope that we will make another memory.

The hope that we will see something beautiful.

The hope that we will feel something sublime.

The hope that we will learn something unknown.

The hope that we will forge a connection.

And knowing, without a doubt, that "sometimes you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right." (Scarlet Begonias - Robert Hunter & Jerry Garcia).  Knowing, that in our darkest hour, in the darkest places, there is kindness, there is beauty.


For Kenneth

11.17.2009

"Pig Pen, This Here's Rubber Duck, And I'm About To Put The Hammer Down"

Because it's fun.  And I got nothing for you today.  Zero.  Zilch.  Nada.  Come back another time.







And now, in totally unrelated news..... Johnny Depp.  Because he's gorgeous, intelligent, and weird (in other words, PERFECT).  And also because I got nothing for you today.  I told you that already so why are you still here?



I have no words.

Over and out.

11.03.2009

Shit List

Currently on my shit list:
  • The bird or birds that serenade me at 6 a.m. every fucking morning. Apparently, they didn't get the memo stating that I don't need to rise and shine at six. Therefore, I don't. I would just like to know who their leader is because I demand to be reimbursed for the two alarm clocks I've broken in the past week by throwing them across the room. This morning, I thought it was my cell phone making that incessant noise since I no longer have an alarm clock. I even think I may have dialed the Office of the President trying to get the damn thing to shut up. I'm sorry, birdies. I think you make lovely music but maybe you could come back around, say...8, instead? That would be superb.
  • Lady Gag (the 'a' left off intentionally) saying this: "Art is a lie and every day I kill to make it true," when Pablo Picasso already said this: "Art is a lie that makes us realize truth." If you can't figure out that she completely regurgitated that and didn't have the decency to give credit where credit is due, then you deserve to listen to her music. Go ahead. Turn the volume up in your headphones and dance around in your fishnets and wigs. Look at yourself in the mirror and proclaim, "I am DEEP! I am ORIGINAL!" Right. Like for five bucks and a cheeseburger, I can't cruise down to the strip and pick up a prostitute wearing an exact replica of the kind of shit Lady Gag wears on a daily. At least the ho's only go out at night in that shit. What I really want to know is what exactly is she killing to make art true? Hmm...  I'm confused.
    • The guy in the parking lot of the gas station who asked me out on a first date by stating he would pay my car note and give me money. Umm. I'm not really in the market for a pimp right now. Thanks anyway. Your flattery was overwhelming, dickwad.
    • The neighbors who insist on opening their blinds at 9 a.m. every morning and not closing them until 6 p.m. every night. I don't care if you want to open your blinds, but do you really have to only open the ones that directly face this house? Every time I go outside, I'm staring into your living room. I know I'm so very interesting but sometimes when I walk out onto the porch, I have to scratch myself and that's hard to do when I can see you sitting in there. Sure, I guess I could scratch myself inside but I can't control when I get an itch.
    • Another rejection letter from a job I was probably too good for in the first place. Not that I'm above any kind of job but, really, it does start to piss you off when you're applying for jobs that only require a high school education and you have a college degree.  Then, to top it off, they're not even persuaded by the fact that you're willing to relocate to their fine city at your own fucking expense. Do you think I want to live in your hellhole Alaska? No, but I can be there tomorrow if you've got a job for me. My dog and I may have to live out of our car for the first month or so, but no need for you to worry about that.  I can take a hooker bath in the sink at the gas station before I come to work. Ugh. I'm tired of opening my email and The Office of Human Resources telling me they regret to inform me that I didn't meet the minimum requirement for the position of Assistant Toilet Bowl Cleaner. Jesus H. Christ! Can somebody just employ me before I have to don my fishnets and wig and whore it out like Lady Gag? Shit.
    • People who are afraid of my dog. I have no patience for you. You really get on my nerves. You should be more afraid of me than of my dog. My dog doesn't have a more complex thought in his head than which part of the yard he'd like to shit in on any given day. I, on the other hand, am thinking of all the ways I'd like to torture you and make you scream every time you throw your hands up in fright or grab your stupid kid in a protective body hug. He is a lab/great dane, for fucks sake! What do you think he's going to do? Jump up and lick you to death? Death by Dog Tongue. There's an idea.
    • The nightmares I've been having for the past 3 nights. Exit light. Enter Night. And move over, Mr. Stephen King. Seriously, I'm thinking of jacking myself up on No-Doz so I never have to sleep again.
    • The fact that today is only Tuesday and I have no idea how I'm going to make it through one more hour, one more minute, one more second with my sanity in tact. Oh...wait...I lost my sanity a long time ago. Sometimes I forget. But I still don't know how I'm going to make it through the day. I'm thinking about putting on my pleather leotard, downloading Lady Gag's Fame Whore album from iTunes, rigging up some mega outdoor speakers and putting that shit on blast while I strap myself to a chair on the porch...so the neighbors can get a good look when my eyeballs start to bleed and I spontaneously combust.

    I've got your poker face right here, bitch.





    10.27.2009

    16 Shades Of Depression And One Of Them Is You

    I am calling you, my friend. Can you hear me?

    You have overwhelmed me, Joel. For many days now. You have been banging against your steel door in my heart. So tonight I am yours, once again. Speak to me and take me back to a life I no longer know. I am giving you your voice, the one that has lived inside me, quietly, all these years. I want to hear you. I want to feel you.

    I need to remember you.

    I was so in love with you. Did you ever know? If you did, did you fully understand what that meant?

    So many nights we spent drinking after work...and talking. Talking all night long. Talking until we had grown weary with each other and couldn't imagine what we would have to say the next time around. But always...always there was a next time.

    We would find each other in the middle of a crowded room and, with one look from you, I would know. I could feel your hurt as if it were my own flesh bleeding. I could taste your tears just as surely as if they had fallen from my own eyes and traveled down the hills of my cheeks to land, salty and raw, on the chapped planes of my lips.

    It was late at night or early in the morning, depending, the first time you called me. We had just spent the night in a glorious mind-fuck, dissecting our souls and offering, each to the other, little pieces of them - as we often did. "What do I need to do," you asked. "Do I need to take you out on a date? Do I need to buy you flowers? What, Stephanie? I'm asking you because I don't know. I really don't know."

    You didn't need to do any of those things and I told you so. But two nights later, we met at a bar for drinks and called it a date anyway. In the parking lot, on the way to some party, you grabbed me and kissed me for the first time. It was everything I had ever wanted in my life.

    I'm sorry if I never told you that.

    Later, at the party, I was sitting on a window ledge on the balcony of a second story apartment. You were kneeling between my parted legs. You looked up at me and asked, in all seriousness, why you felt the need to kiss me all the time. I didn't have an answer for you. I was too busy hoping you would just do it again and never stop. I looked down at you, speechless, and you looked back up at me....and smiled - one of those rare things you did sometimes.

    (That was something we could never figure out, you know. Our attraction to each other. We tried so many times to understand it, remember? It was way past physical. Had gone beyond that realm two seconds after my eyes found yours for the first time and words flew out of your open mouth right into my soul.)

    That night ended in fire. Literally. Kenneth and Shannon's duplex burned to the ground. You looked at me after you took the call and we both knew we had to go. We stood there with our friends while the flames licked the side of the house, the cops took names, and the firemen turned on their houses. Kenneth ran into his burning house at the last minute and returned with a CD that he handed to me. I still have that CD.

    We left after the flames were doused. We sat in the car under the lights of your dashboard and you turned to me and said, "Well. That wasn't exactly the first date I had envisioned but I guess I somehow knew it wouldn't be that way with you anyway." And then you turned to me and we kissed as if The War of the Worlds was happening right outside the windows of your car and it was our last moment on earth together. The War of the Worlds could have happened that night. Or any other night I was privileged enough to share space with you. I would have gladly followed you into the dark.

    Weeks later, you sat down beside me at the bar. You didn't speak. You needed to tell me something. I could feel it. You ordered your drink then put your hand on my knee. You looked over at me with those eyes of yours. It was always in your eyes, wasn't it? At least for me it was. I could read you a mile away. You knew this and you hated it.

    You told me about your demons that night.

    How they were wrecking you.

    You were so ashamed.

    And the fucked up thing about it, J, is I already knew. And I loved you anyway. Maybe even because of. Probably in spite of.

    Because none of that diminished who you were when we stared at each other across the table, saying nothing and yet everything. Or how you would come to me at night, put your hands on my shoulders, and touch your forehead to mine until the tips of our eyelashes brushed together.

    I loved you crazy. Messed up. Perfect.

    I didn't need you to wrap yourself in a neat little box and tie it up with a bow for me. I wanted your broken and beaten, your strength and courage, your flawed perfection.

    I wanted every little piece of your puzzle. I did not need for you to assemble it for me. We could do that together.

    I loved the black t-shirt you wore to work and the blue bandanna you tied around your head. I loved the glass in your eyes when you had spent the night thinking too hard and too long. I loved the quiet way you called me 'baby' so no one else could hear; the way you could walk up behind me and wrap your presence all around me without touching me at all; mornings when you couldn't speak to me because the night had been too hard; how you brushed the back of your hand against mine so our knuckles were perfectly aligned; the way I could feel you before I even knew you had entered the room; your anger when you would yell at me to get out of your head, and the laughter that would always follow after.

    I loved every dirty, ugly, despicable, beautiful, clean, holy, magnificent thing you were.

    The drugs were only a part of you and I knew they were not the whole. Just like the darkness in me is not the sum total of my being.

    They never disguised you, J. I think you thought they did. I think you thought they were a shield you could hide behind. But they weren't and you couldn't. I could still find you. I knew you were in there. And I knew you didn't want to be lost in there. So you never really were. Did you know that? Do you know that you always kept a piece of yourself so close to you that nothing could ever take it away from you?

    It all ended that night in the parking deck, didn't it? We had been fighting and when you tried to kiss me, I slapped your hands away and grabbed your face instead. I asked you if anyone had ever loved you before, if anyone had ever given a shit about you. We were standing so close I could feel your stomach contracting and expanding with each hard breath you took. You cried, holding on to my hands around your face. You touched your forehead to mine and for a moment, only a moment, stared into my eyes, out of breath. Then, you pushed my hands away and said, "Fuck you, Stephanie. Fuck you for arousing emotions in me that don't need to be aroused." You turned from me and walked away. I called your name and you turned, walked back toward me and said, "You'll be just like all the rest. The minute I show you, you'll leave me. The minute you see the scars, you'll be gone."

    Never.

    I would have never turned my back on you. Just the thought of you believing I would was enough to break me. And it did.

    I've never told a soul about your tears or the way I screamed after you that I loved you while you slammed the door to your car and raced off. How I crumpled beside my own car, too weak to even open the door and get in. How I cried for you on the cold, hard floor of that stupid parking deck.

    I had already seen the scars on your soul and I loved them. How could you think I wouldn't also love the scars of your flesh?

    You called me months later, after I had left town. I drove back to see you and you told me you were sorry about that night in the parking deck. Your apology meant nothing to me because I didn't need it. I never needed you to apologize for anything you did, were, or felt. It wasn't that way with us and you knew it.

    That was the last time I ever saw you.

    I know you are out in the world, J, because I looked you up. I hope life hasn't changed you much...your core, your center. I hope you are the same J I knew and loved. Mostly, I just hope you found a way to finally wrestle your demons. I hope you have made peace with yourself.

    I'm sorry I could never help you do that.

    Maybe my memory of you is stronger than the one you keep of me. Maybe our time together meant more to me than it ever did to you. It doesn't matter. I didn't love you because I hoped you would love me back. I loved you because I had to. Because it was all I could do. Because it was the only thing I could do and it didn't matter if you felt the same. I can no more choose who my soul connects with than I could have chosen my parents at birth. We are all free to love but we are not guaranteed that our love will be reciprocated. If any of you are waiting for someone to love you back before you give your own love freely, then many are the moments of life you will miss out on. Beautiful are the people you will never know.

    I'm glad I didn't miss out on my moment with Joel.

    Anyway, I'm locking you back up now, okay, J? I can only take so much. I wish the best for you and I always will but it hurts to think of you. I'll love you always but I have to say goodbye for now. It isn't forever. I know your memory will pound on my heart again and my soul will set you free.


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    For several days now, I've had this song on continuous loop...in my car, on my computer, anywhere I found myself alone and had a moment to listen. I knew it was speaking to some deep part of me but I couldn't figure out why or what it wanted me to know. When I started writing this to J, it all made sense and I finally understood. Even though Conor is telling his own story in this song and it isn't mine, I found Joel in the lyrics anyway. Not in the individual words, because the story Conor tells is a very personal one, but in the song as a whole. Like the way a good book can take you places you didn't even know you could go. That's what Conor did for me by sharing his story and I want to share it with you.

    You will need to turn the volume up as loud as you can stand it. It's the only way to take this ride.

    10.22.2009

    Fatty McDuff and the Pig Suckers

    No, not the name of my new band.

    Listen up. I'm about to share some knowledge with you. So turn your thinking caps on and grab a pen.

    Oh, who are we kidding here? Knowledge? From me? I don't think so. But I will tell you a story. And maybe you will learn something.

    Or maybe not.

    In any case, read on, reader.

    I woke up Monday morning, got naked, and jumped on the scale. As is customary for a Monday morning. When the digital readout appeared I blacked out, stumbled off the scale and dove headfirst into the bathroom sink, slashing my forehead on the counter and splitting my lip in two. I lay there for a good 30 minutes or so while my body regained consciousness. Finally, when I was able to stand, I gingerly stepped back on the scale because surely I had read the numbers wrong in the Monday morning fog that pervades my brain each week. Right? Right?!

    Wrong. The numbers were the same. Luckily, I was holding onto the counter for support the second time around so I didn't take another tumble, but I did let out a four letter word that sounded something like 'suck' but started with an 'f.' Got it?

    Okay. So none of that really happened. Well, at least the part about falling over and injuring myself. You believed it though, didn't you? Of course you did because if you know me, you know it isn't too much of a stretch. I did, however, check the scales twice just to make sure it was true. Because we all know, SCALES DON'T LIE!

    After my communion with the scales, I stared at my face with revulsion in the bathroom mirror for a good 15 minutes.

    Then, I had the following conversation with my reflection:

    "Pig sucker with an f! You disgust me! What are you doing with your life? What? Tell me, please, because I really don't know. Is this some kind of a sick joke, Fatty McDuff? Why don't you just jump in your car and ride on over to McDonald's and pick up one of those sausage mcmuffins you like so much. Better yet, get two... one for the ride home and the other one after you've mounted the three steps into the house and worn yourself out from the exertion. You know, so your body can refuel. You make me sick! I can't even look at you!"

    After my pep talk, I draped the mirror with a black cloth, then went in search of clothing that might fit over my newly acquired curves. I debated staying in my pj's all day because surely none of my clothes were going to fit now. In the end, I opted for a loose t-shirt and drawstring pants (which basically looked a lot like my pj's minus the hearts). I didn't bother with the whole make-up and hair thing, just threw a head band around my bed head and called it a day. I debated on whether or not to even brush my teeth, what with me now being a fat slob and all.

    Sexy, no? I know you can hardly control yourself from drooling at the mental image I have prepared for you. You're welcome.

    I sat on my bed for a few minutes while I gathered my thoughts. What to do. What to do. That was the question.

    That is the question I know you are all dying to get answered.

    Well, this is what I did.

    I grabbed a cup of coffee because there are just some things in life I simply will not give up and you can't make me. I opened the fridge to see what delites (de-lites, get it?) awaited me there. In the brilliant glare of the refrigerator's dome light sat a dozen oval goodies just begging to be tossed into a pot of boiling water for 20 minutes, give or take.

    Eggs, people! Eggs! Perfection in a shell. (Don't start with me about cholesterol and how egg whites are better than egg yolks and yada, yada, yada. I am on a budget, people, and can't afford the fancy egg-white containers they sell at the market. And I know all about how you can separate the yolk from the egg white in the privacy of your own kitchen if you are scrambling said eggs but, frankly, I don't know how to do that and besides, I am lazy. But we're not talking about scrambled eggs here, we're talking about boiled, and what good is the sucking egg without the yolk anyway?) After the little dead chicks finished their death boil, I peeled one back, added just a dash of salt, and by dash I mean a lot, and dug in. De-li-cious.

    After my hearty breakfast of one boiled egg and 37 cups of coffee, I filled up my water bottle from the tap (33.8 fluid ounces, thank you very much) and set about to do what it is I do every day. Which, to be quite honest, is a whole lot of nothing except stalk internet job boards in the hopes that someday soon I will be gainfully employed. Oh, and I take Elijah outside a bunch because really the weather is almost perfect and it seems sinful and slothful to stay inside all day long in front of a computer (which I guess is the same thing since slothfulness is a sin, right? I don't know. I fell asleep during the first chapter of Genesis).

    Three hours later, I feasted on a salad consisting of romaine lettuce, garbanzo beans and pecans with a dab, which means a lot, of lite Italian dressing. Now, here are two things you should know. It's very important.

    1) Nuts are your friend. NOT the human variety. Get your mind out of the gutter! Of course, it's true that not all nuts are created equal and some are better for you than others. Again, NOT the human variety. Geez, people. Work with me here. But it's also true that nuts are sucking with an f expensive! Who can afford nuts? I mean, good god, nuts break the bank. Lucky for me, I have at my disposal a freezer full of pecans that will probably outlast my tenure here. So pecans it is for me. You, however, should feel free to take your pick with the nuts. Just be careful and don't overdo it. It's hard, I know. Nuts are so damn good. (I'm not going there again.)


    Enough about nuts. The other important thing you should know is:

    2) Salad dressing is tricky. You think you've done a great thing for yourself buying that bottle of fat free, don't you? Think again. Fat free salad dressing is often loaded with sugar to make up for the fact that it tastes like cardboard. And we all know that sugar translates into carbohydrates and that is almost never a good thing if you are sedentary like yours truly. Lite salad dressing is a little better with the carb/protein ratio, depending on which kind you purchase. And some regular salad dressing is even better. Sure, it's a little higher in fat but, honestly, you need a little fat in your diet, right? Just read the label is all I'm saying here. And be wary of that black hole which is the fat-free mind-suck of all sucks. Of course, you could always opt for lemon juice and olive oil but, really, that tastes like horseshit and we all know it.


    A study in science, that's what I have you given you, friends. For free. You can thank me later.

    Another three hours later and I had finally finished my 33.8 fluid ounces of tap water so I rewarded myself with a diet coke and two slices of extra-sharp cheddar cheese. Yummy. You're salivating, right? I filled my water bottle up again and stuck it in the fridge to chill for later.

    The whole water thing was seriously starting to get on my nerves anyway. I couldn't make progress on my job hunt because I was running to the bathroom every 10 minutes or so to pee. Which totally distracted my focus since after the blessed urination took place (it does feel so good to pee, doesn't it?), I would inevitably give myself the finger in the blacked-out bathroom mirror and then remember the book I had started reading yesterday. There, through the open door of my bedroom, it lay. On my crumpled bed sheets all splayed out and face down like a whore just waiting for me to dive in. How could I resist? I couldn't. No harm in going in there and picking up where I left off, just for a few minutes at least. And I may as well get more comfortable by making myself horizontal, and so what if I just happen to doze off? Bite me, potential employers.

    So, anyway, you see my trouble here? With the water and the bladder and the cursed book? It's hard to be productive when such are the enticements of life.

    Shit. Where were we? Hell if I know. Moving on.

    Later that afternoon, I laced up my sneakers, put a leash on Elijah, and decided to hit the trail. There's a park not far from the house that really isn't much of anything but it does boast a mile long 'nature' trail through some pine trees. Stunning. Elijah was beside himself with joy at the prospect of finally getting out of the house. It's true. I'm a bad mother and don't walk my dog like I should. Caesar Milan would be appalled at my ineptitude. But, lucky for me, Elijah is perfection in a 115-pound, black coat of beauty. No, he isn't fat. He is big. BIG, I tell you. He's part great dane, part lab, and 100% perfection. Did I say that already? Well, it's true. The discussion of Elijah deserves its own separate entry so I will refrain from regaling you with tales of his awesomeness for now.

    Off to the races for us because I had decided I was going to pick up running again. I used to be a runner, or at least what I considered to be a runner, which was probably more like a jogger or one of those retarded looking power-walking people. At the height of my running career, I ran 4 miles a day. Please, for the sake of order, try to contain your amazement at my athletic prowess. Then, for reasons we won't delve into here, I quit. Just like that. I wasn't sure I would ever pick it up again even though I wanted to.

    Lucky for me, the scales changed all that. In a way, I guess I owe a bit of gratitude to them, huh? Nah. Suck it, scales.

    Our first run together was really a bit of a joke. I could barely breathe and my legs were on fire. Eli, for his part, was more interested in pulling my arm out of socket on his quest for squirrels, birds, and insects than he was for physical exercise.

    But, we persevered. And we've been back every day this week. I even think I've made some progress, although I'm pretty sure I have shin splints.

    Once we made it back from our marathon, I grudgingly grabbed my chilled bottle of water and chug-a-lugged. It was about time for Eli to eat and me too. Now, here is the tricky part. Dinner is hard. Hard for many reasons but the main one being I always feel like I deserve some kind of goodness for dinner. Why? I don't know. Maybe on account of all the hard work I do in a day? Just suffice it to say, I want 'comfort food' for dinner nine times out of ten. And that clearly wasn't going to happen.

    I settled for a salad prepared the same way as earlier and Elijah settled for the scoops of dog food he has been eating every day of his life for the past five years. Man. Dogs have it easy, don't they?

    I finished my water, all 735 ounces of it and called it a night. (Truth be told, I didn't really sleep all that much what with the water and 37 cups of coffee making a beeline to get the hell out.)

    That's it, kids. That's how I lost four pounds in four days. Are you impressed? More importantly, did you learn anything? Or did you find it somewhat difficult to keep up?

    If so, let me recap:

    Water, water, and more water. And after that? More sucking water.
    Exercise. If I can do it, what's your excuse?
    4-6 small meals a day, every 3 hours or so and go easy on the carbs.

    And the most important tip of all: Motivation. How do you find your motivation, you ask? I can't tell you that. Only you know the answer to that. But for me, the scales were a pretty good place to start.

    Those pig suckers.

    P.S. I forgot to tell you. I'm on the last day of my period which means the shedding of the four pounds can most likely be attributed to the end of my cycle. We all know you pack on a few extra pounds during the dot and then lose it shortly thereafter. But I made you read all that anyway because that's what I do. I am a pig sucker like that.