Monday, December 14, 2009


Let's do it for reals.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Pinch Punch Ch. 19: Every surgery is a success if you have a positive attitude

They danced like instinct around the bottle. Anaesthetized, necks flopping as though cooked, their jazz hands popped and limpened. All olive-skinned and tawny and freckled, my own sweet tribe of wavy-haired combos. Joining, then separation, then joining, then separation. It has traditionally been male to female merging in the past, mostly due to biology, but The Pinch Punch is like a large scale Petri dish.

Damn, they’re beautiful. Powdered blood puffs out from every pore, giving them the high color of drunken Northern Europeans.

The Plus-sized Models howl as the chemicals wear off and projectile vomit on my army of hedgehog nurses. They don’t mind. Their soft needles slough off everything.

Just because I am hot doesn’t mean I’m stupid. Have I created four monsters? Will they attempt to usurp me? Will they work out that knotted bedclothes make as good a rope as rope does? The tiny monkeys have agreed to distract them with double dutch stylings and aerobatics. They also will be underfoot. No one is ever more careful than when there are many adorable tiny monkeys cantering about your ankles. Cuteness unseats evil.

Did you know that it is possible for someone of my stature to despair? It hurts me more than it hurts you. Now drink up.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I can't stop thinking about this

There is this grave that can hold up to four people. This is real, by the way. And in this grave are the matriarch and the patriarch on one side, dead and under the ground for many years, and the other side is reserved for the son and his wife. Except that the son isn't dead yet, so just the son's dead wife is in the grave.

This is real: Carved on the son and wife's side of the grave it reads: "[This son] married [this other person, probably his foxy secretary or a golddigger or maybe it was true love late in life] in 2000." This is carved on the dead wife's grave. News of the alive widower's second marriage. On the first wife's grave. Carved.

I hope she's haunting the everloving ish out of him.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Postcard From the Norton Anthologies

Dearest Literati,

I have emerged from the Norton Anthologies; finally I can read things I like again, such as this blog.

I had an affair with Lord Byron via the Norton Anthology. I traveled the world with various Byronic heroes whom I had thrown myself at in order to be invited. That was pretty awesome, but I'm itchy now. Do you know that Byron was considered ridiculously attractive during his time, but was genetically prone to obesity and existed mostly on crackers and soda water? I was very hungry traveling with Byron; if we went to restaurants he only ordered water or clear liquors. I had to eat greasy things alone.

I also attended Wordsworth on his walking tour of the Alps. Mostly he grumbled about Byron's fame and picked me a lot of flowers that made me sneeze. I grew bored of his rhymings.

I never knew what Blake was talking about, and enjoyed his company most of all.

Mostly I forgot to study other things that didn't interest me, and left the test center with 50 questions blank. Alas.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pinch Punch Ch. 18: Prep

Psychic severance is the most difficult to accomplish. Gazing at their roaming eyes, their nervous tics, fills me with dread. It is so easy to kill my confidence. I don’t know if an eggbeater, a table saw, and sandpaper will do the job. But I have always made due. When they said I couldn’t, I said nothing. To their faces. To their backs TYRA always spoke truth, singing hymns with alternate, rude lyrics, subtly stripping the screw.

I am fairly certain that surgery was accomplished mostly by magic in the past. I bring my own brand of fairy dust, but I am no sorceress, despite (self-started) rumblings to the contrary among the residents. All it takes to get ahead is a little bit of common sense, a touch of street smarts, a strong constitution, and a chameleonic philosophy.

The gruel has protein powder in it, okay? The compulsory Pinch-Punches contain some milk. I blend broccoli, got it? I am gentle.

I just don’t know how they managed it, the merging. I don’t think they even did it on purpose. I hate it when people succeed at something they’re not even trying that hard to do. I guess that’s called talent.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The flu, the prisoner

Everyone I know either has the flu, just got over the flu, or is terrified of getting the flu. The skin on my hands is starting to bubble from using so much sanitizer. I guess I'm in the third camp. It's starting to seem inevitable.

The problem with this is that I recently decided that I hate cable. I don't even like Real and Chance anymore. Heidi Klum looks overtanned. There are way too many shows where dudes stand next to a green screen and talk. I can't even special order movies because I don't have a landline. How, if I have the flu and am debilitated, am I going to enjoy myself? I'm not.

In other news, they're (being AMC) remaking The Prisoner, starring Jim Caviezel and Ian McKellen. But at least 90% of the reason that The Prisoner is so awesome is the dude who played Number Six, Patrick McGoohan. His facial expressions are so...cross between charming and smarmy: smarming.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pinch Punch Ch. 17: Self-Absorbed Non-Conversation Between Howling Girl and PUDDIN’, As Transcribed by the Tiny Monkeys

HG: It’s what they tell me, what everyone tells me: Get over yourself! I do not disagree, however howling is addictive. It’s like ho-hos or weightlifting.

P: Why does everyone hate me just because I’m not ashamed of stains?

HG: I mean, whether you are being vocal or not, you are howling, you know? Howling takes on different forms: you, for example, howl by hiding in the telephone booth with as many teacup piglets as you can cram in. Kashmir by refusing to speak except with the vampire teeth in, and only to say: Um. Caravaggio by stabbing. Charming Man’s brilliant smile, upon closer observation, is a howl, too.

P: I can’t help it that my hair smells like lilacs, lilies of the valley, ocean, freshly cut grass, oranges, topsoil, and coffee beans all at once. Why don’t they get that? I can’t fucking help it!

HG: Sure, I see where they’re coming from that a howl is not words, and therefore not the best way to explain oneself, but that is generally the motivation: to release your sorrow into the atmosphere for everyone to feel so that they come running after you and bury you in a big pile of soft animals. Yet nobody does that. Why doesn’t anybody ever do that, anyway? We need more of that in this world.

P: I heard the Plus-Sized Models saying the other day that my legs look like raw chicken breast, and also that they don’t think I poop. You don’t think that, do you? Because I do poop. It just happens to smell good, and it’s really tiny so there are never streaks left behind like the ones Caravaggio leaves. I can’t help that, either.

HG: You know how once you howl once, you just get this feeling like you’ll be at it your whole life? How the more you howl the more the howl fills you up and the more you have to release it? I think that howling is basically undiagnosed bulimia. Drink a single Pinch-Punch and you’ll howl the rest of your life away.

P: Also, yes, I know the tiny animals follow me around like I’m their queen, but it’s not like I asked them to. And plus I do know everything. I scored perfect on my SAT. People who score perfect on their SAT know everything.

HG: I mean, I don’t completely disagree, but they don’t get it, how if you howl long and deep enough, everything around you fills you with howl: the empty sky, the sky full of stars or rain, commercials, supermarket muzak, everything.

P: I just happen to care about my teeth. I am a self-respecting human. I brush. I floss. I have never done that laser-whitening like they all say.

HG: Of course we would all prefer not to howl; not to be so human. I do not trust people who do not howl, like that bitch-ass gleeful seamstress making her Animalfits™ up on the hilltops. Her howl is released through her split seams and masked by her pink paisley patterns at once. She just doesn’t happen to know it.

P: And you know what? Just for fun I actually lied to them all the other night about how TYRA lets me go beyond the red curtain. I had too many Pinch-Punches that night and couldn’t help myself. I’ve never been there. Tee-hee.

HG: Nobody gets over themselves; what would be left anybody if they did?

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Benny and Joon: Some sort of cosmic significance?

We all know Megan is totally and completely obsessed with Benny and Joon as of like a month ago, and then last weekend I was at a party where two people who don't know Megan brought it up independently, and then it was a question on Jeopardy, and then last night it was on television, and I watched it.

You are right, Megan: They are not--ahem--mentally challenged as my former young self thought, and that icky feeling I had associated with it the first time around has disappeared. So where is all this Benny and Joon coming from? What does it mean? Am I about to become schizophrenic? Or meet Aidan Quinn? Either seems possible.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

chris killen is my new favorite comedian

he has videos that everyone else on the internet was laughing at a year ago while i wasn't paying attention. and also this awesome choose your own adventure game. and also a novel called the bird room. do you want to read it for the next venom literati book? or also, i think i have a chapbook that he wrote with shane jones. i could make photocopies. let's vote. i am happy we are meeting at headquarters this weekend. someone please shine a batman light in the sky so jen and i can find our way.

Oh! Oh!

Wayne Koestenbaum: The Anatomy of Harpo Marx
#604: Sat, Nov. 14 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Poet and cultural critic Wayne Koestenbaum will share his contagious enthusiasm for the silent hilarity of the mostly mute Harpo Marx brother.

Admission: Adults: $5.00, Educators & Students: FREE Where: Chicago Cultural Center - Claudia Cassidy Theater, 77 East Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60202

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A gimmick will make me famous

I saw Julie and Julia over the weekend, and anything in it that didn't involve Meryl Streep sucked (by which I mean all of the Julia stuff was good, and I could have done without Julie entirely). Really: That husband with his meaty smacking lips and eating grunts was so repulsive that I really wanted Julie to divorce him on grounds of disgustingness and selfishness so when the inevitable Marital Problem Scene surfaced I just got mad.

Also, I am pretty sure that the parents of writers everywhere are suddenly calling up their kids and asking them if they have ever heard of this thing called blogging. Which will make them famous. All they have to do is find a hook.

Crap. I just looked that dude up on imdb, and he's going to be in An Invisible Sign of My Own, too.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pinch Punch Ch. 16: The Tiny Monkeys Overhear an Odd Conversation Among the Residents, Re: Who the Fuck is Tyra

“I think she is a robot.”

“I think she is made of fiberglass and plastic.”

“Yes, but that doesn’t make a very intelligent painting: I have already made 36. To look at them is to lower your IQ by fifty points.”

“I think she is the fire that shall inherit Oprah’s forest.”

“It’s true that the chameleonic philosophy of the common man churns in her hair, but there is the bald spot, the flaw, the hunk of pink exposed brain, human as any other: warding off unforeseen desires, releasing the bitter chemicals of loss into her blood.”

“Still, she walks the robot’s walk. Do you choose your robot, or does she choose you?”

“Maybe the chemicals just pile up. Maybe the chemicals char and blacken and harden over the years until you walk like that.”

“Dreams and mothers are just piles of chemicals, too, but what do hers sound like?”

“A child kneeling in a Saharan mirage, scrubbing her face with sand, scooping sand into her mouth to ward off thirst.”

“Just think how pure her blood used to be back then.”

"You know her secret ingredient is moon, right?"

"I hear she rises mornings and claws it down with her fingernails. In her giant’s hands it is bright and tiny like a baby, then she mortars and pestles it to death, scatters it fizzing into the vats: a cremation undone."

"The moon does not resist; the moon does not strive, it only reflects."

"What would happen if she tossed it out over the ocean, into all the city’s orifices like a cure? What would happen if she bathed in it? If we all did?"

"Nobody ever looks into a shot glass before they put it inside of themselves. Nobody sees how the silvered liquid reflects us doing cartwheels across the lawn in unison."

"Only the werewolves know, and only for a minute before the moon recollects itself."

“Um, guys, I think we’ve been in here way too long. Everything is starting to get way too poetic.”

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Friday, September 11, 2009

And plus, this

More faces.

Dag. Like weeks have passed.

So here's a post to get me/us out of our stagnation. Look at this. I am interested in family resemblance because I think it is creepy.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sex Toy Hostesses Are Surrealists

Clearly I can't escape these things: you know how much I hated that effin' jewelry party? Well, one of Garrison's friends from the climbing gym invited me to a sex toy party. What a way to get to know people. But the party was actually not at all uncomfortable. The hostess lady just handed around a bunch of sparkly liquidy things to try on that were basically all the same lotion that tasted like cotton candy or Smarties. She also handed around this amazing pheromone spray that made your pheromones show off their own unique scent. Mine smelled like burning wood and tabasco, which was hilarious.

The best part was that we played Surrealist games. One went like this: think of the chore you hate most around the house. Think of exactly how you'd describe it. ("I hate ______ because _____.") Now substitute the word sex for the first blank. This is totally the surrealist game where they'd pull the labels off of household products and replace the brand names with "Love" or "God" and then read the descriptions on the packaging as if the products were Love or God!

The other game we played was the exquisite corpse except better. You answer questions and fold over the paper for each one and pass them around. If you could go one place in the world where would it be? Which boy would you take with you? What's the first thing you'd do to him once you arrived? What would he say afterwards? What would you say?

Venice. Anthony Bourdain. Eat seafood off him. I'm hungry. A-ha. I liked mine how it would have been originally if I'd kept my own paper. But those answers got distributed and the girl who read mine didn't know who Anthony Bourdain was, which was disappointing.

What is the connection between sex toy hostesses and surrealism? I feel like I should become a sex toy hostess now.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Mission Literati

Okay, I just found out that one of my personal heroes was born and grew up in the town in which I currently reside. It is now my mission to make him come back here and perform.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The dots, the dots

First there was this spider caught between the storm window and the interior window in our kitchen, and it didn't move ever. I thought it was dead. But after an indeterminate amount of time there was a small brown ball sort of next to the spider that didn't move. This small brown ball was clearly an eggsac, but I am not a handyman, so it seemed like the only recourse for removal was breaking the window, which I did not want to do. I told myself both the spider and the eggsac were dead. And then after another time period there suddenly were many dots. Many, many dots. These teensy baby spider dots also did not move, and were in a sort of exploding star formation around the sac. But they weren't moving, so I thought they were probably all dying, if they were not already dead.

But now the dots are gone. Where are the dots?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Drive-in movies, WK

Do you think that Wayne Koestenbaum goes to the drive-in? I'm pretty sure he does.

I have seen four movies at the drive-in this year; each of them could be considered bad, but there is a hierarchy of badness. To wit, I have ranked them from one Wayne Kostenbaum (worst) to four Wayne Koestenbaums (best). Please do not forget that none of these movies would receive any Wayne Koestenbaums under any other normal rating circumstance.

1. Night at the Museum II. This movie is for stupid people. Not even children, just stupid people.

2. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Abby and I spent the first 20 minutes of this movie asking each other questions like, "Are they in outer space or underwater?" "Is Sienna Miller the red-haired one or the brunette?" "Wait: Is she a hologram right now, or is she really there?" "Is that the kid from 3rd Rock from the Sun? He's a slender villain." "Are we in the past?" Granted, most of these questions arose because it was the second movie shown, and both of us were slouched in our seats to the point where we couldn't see helpful words at the bottom of the screen, but still. Also, I kept thinking of Austin Powers for some reason.

3. Wolverine. I saw this movie after Night at the Museum II, it's like Wolverine was an average-looking person hanging out with someone very ugly: It looked comparatively beautiful. Also, the mouthless Ryan Reynolds at the end was actually cool.

4. G-Force. I giggled a couple of times. And the guinea pigs' hands were cute.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Pinch Punch Ch. 15: Oh my god what if I’m not the main character?

Nugget number one: It takes time. Well, duh. Some of the residents don’t think that should count as wisdom, but I always record it with such a triumphant air that they get confused. I spent four days meditating on the roof deck, thinking about it. It is like mu: Has a teacup piglet a Buddha-nature? One spoke to me in Italian on a moonless night, of having been the pope’s shoes in a former incarnation. Even the pope’s feet stink.

The tiny monkeys have taken over the second floor. I woke up and there was one curled around every finger and every toe. Their message was clear: Move out.

Caravaggio and Kashmir perform symbiotic stabbing rituals all night long and wouldn’t let me crash in their third bed. The Plus-sized Model(s) bared their rows of teeth at me and gave me the octuple finger. Now I’m sleeping in the corridor, like a common Edwardian hall boy. Everyone’s started to give me things to do: anaesthetizing kittens, blocking out the moon with my palm, following the marten parade around with a push broom.

It has occurred to me that I might not get a muse.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009


One way to quit smoking is to oversmoke, like chain smoke until your pallor turns minty green, and then you'll be disgusted with yourself and feel sick and not want to smoke at all for a couple of days, during which the nicotine can leave your system, and then, voila, step one is completed and you're practically free of that pesky addiction.

Last night I watched the two trashiest shows on VH1: Real Chance at Love 2 and Megan Wants a Millionaire.

The whole time I vacillated between shame and elation, and I got up and did things during the commercials to avoid spiraling into watching that one show where five women in lingerie rate themselves according to who has the hottest face, legs, butt, etc., and then three dudes rate them, too, and they win money if their rankings are the same as the dudes' rankings. You can actually see self-esteem deflating on that show.

And then I felt depressed because all of the "suitors" on Megan's show were verified millionaires, and apparently you can be both socially inept and kinda stupid and still make at least a million dollars. Because of luck? Or perhaps a high tolerance for risk often is associated with dumbness? Whatevs. It's slim pickings for poor Megan.

I am overwatching, so I can be free of the tyranny of trash television, which apparently I am powerless to resist, except I think this plan has already backfired because I'm kind of worried about Real and Chance and their bevy of strippers with real estate licenses. Will they find love? How will I ever know if I don't watch?

Tonight, nothing. I swear.

Friday, July 31, 2009

I have found them all.

If you had Channel One in your high school, you probably feel weirdly close to Anderson Cooper, as I do. I remember him cowering in his hotel room in Iraq during the Gulf War, reporting while half under his bed. In that moment, I loved him. I also have a soft spot for Lisa Ling, and not knowing what happened to Rawley Valverde has made me feel incomplete.

Last night I found him. He's supervising producer of this cable channel called Current TV and host of at least one show on it. I may have pointed and laughed and clapped and chanted his name a couple of times when I saw him. Here's his LinkedIn page. He has four connections. Let's all link to him.
UPDATE: Weirdly, the two correspondents that Bill Clinton rescued like a superhero were from Current TV, and one of them was Lisa Ling's little sister. Talk about current.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pinch Punch Ch. 14: All I want to do is breathe

It is no fair. The Plus-sized Model(s) won’t let me breathe in their room. They say that’s one way to find out if I’m dead or not: If it’s tough for me not to breathe, then I’m probably alive, but I really feel like there’s more to it than that.

TYRA is so busy performing plastic surgery on herself that she won’t tell me if death is real or not. She says, “Being, non-being, Kathy.” She says, “Self, non-self.” Something about matter not being destroyed, and the soul weighing eight pounds. Something about teacup piglets being so snuggly because they don’t have souls or die. Something about there being no such thing as teacup piglets, which is clearly not true.

Maybe TYRA is manipulating me. Maybe that’s how I got here in the first place. Maybe this is all a construct of my mind. If teacup piglets don’t exist, then TYRA doesn’t exist either. I don’t think I’ve breathed in days.

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

venom literati: cincinnati branch

The Cincinnati branch of Venom Literati has officially opened. The literati office is in my backyard, because my backyard is so huge and overwhelming I am not sure what to do with it.

I think we should use the clothesline to hang our writings on, and also collages, and also ourselves when we get too old to live fulfilled lives.

I want to have a party for the literati where we all just roll around in the grass like dogs.

Kathy, see that 1980's-style lawn furniture way there in the back? The chaise lounge is for you. When it gets cold you can bundle up in a blanket and sit in it like you used to do on Sarah and Abby's porch. Don't worry, there will be a fire pit soon.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

megan left, i got bangs

dear literati,

today megan left chicago. it was so sad. the literati must unite in these tragic times. sarah and abby, when can we meet at your headquarters? so then after that though, i got bangs. here is a picture of me kissing megan goodbye with them. that is what i look like when i kiss someone goodbye. it's very scary. also here is a poem for megan. walt. whitman.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

There is always an orange cat

In Chicago, there was a cat we called Orange because at first that's all he was. He'd hang out in our back yard and walk home with us from the train station. Later we figured out where he lived and that her name was Julia, so we could call her and she'd come trotting up and collapse at our feet wanting ear rubs.

When we moved there was an orange cat again, who ate voles out of our yard, greeted us on the sidewalk, and visited our real cats in the windows. We called her Julia. We just found out that where she lives and that his name is Seamus.

If, when we move again, there is not an orange cat that we can call Seamus only to later find out his name is Orange, I will be disappointed.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fashion post!

This woman, Sheena Matheiken, is wearing the same dress every day for the next year as a fundraiser for the Akanksha Foundation. This appeals to me for many different reasons, not the least of which is my own comfort with uniforms (and with wearing the same thing over and over).

Click on all the pictures to see the many combinations of tights and leggings. You can waste at least 30 minutes of your day on this.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Pinch Punch Ch. 13: Wait. I’m your muse.

CONFIDENTIAL TO THE PINCH PUNCH RESIDENTS: It has come to my attention that several of you have taken on the role of muse to the more “artistic” of the residents. Those of you that are muses have developed complexes about your lack of greatness, and those of you that are artists have gotten big heads.

There is only one muse in this house, and that is me, TYRA. From now on, all artistic works must be of, for, or about me. Everything you do should be for my glory. If you get stuck, come to me, and I’ll maneuver my body this way and that; the light will catch my cheekbone just so, bounce off, permeate your brain; your hand will move of its own volition sweeping strokes or pushing buttons. Your work will be hung on the gallery wall of the bar.


All amateur muses get 20 demerits and must report to surgery immediately.

NOTE: Works of art are not a form of currency. Nor is flattery. You still have to pay your rent.

NOTE: If you’re not artistic, you’re not worthless. Just not as exciting or flaky or weird as the others. This might make you feel invisible, or worse, dead. Actually, you might be dead because there is little to differentiate those that are from the living in here. If you suspect you are dead, go visit the Plus-sized Model(s) and see if she/they’ll let you breathe on their mirrors.

NOTE: If you’re dead, you’re not worthless. Just not alive.

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

You remember everything.

So you know how people can find all this old stuff on YouTube, and then you watch it and feel like some part of your brain that long lay dormant re-awakens, and you remember the whole thing, but there's no way you could have remembered it without the helpful prompt of watching it again? And then you have the feeling that you probably remember everything; you just don't have access. It's sort of like when I was meditating the other day and a crisp image of my Aunt Mary's bathroom popped up unbidden. It was a really nice bathroom. There were two sinks.

Anyway, I saw this skit during a marathon of The State last night, and I sort of freaked out because I remembered the whole thing and even said, "Good-bye, mailbox." at the appropriate time, but if you would have said to me yesterday morning, "Hey, remember that sketch that The State did about the tacos and the mailman?", I would have said something like, "Um.....?"

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

new blog friend: bianca stone

literati alert: there is a person on the internet that makes beautiful poetry comics. i found her on html giant. because the literati is too busy with top secret missions to mindlessly scour blogs all day, i am bringing her to you. bianca stone. she is so great.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Some people are afraid of conflict

Shared bathrooms and refrigerators are rife with passive-aggressive opportunity.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Why am I reading a book by Chuck Palahniuk?

Sometimes I am a total sucker for plot. Plots are underrated. Next summer I'm going to write a mystery horror novel that's an update of Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Detectives. Don't hold me to that.

C.P.'s plots are all sort of similar to one another, but they're also horrifying in slightly different ways, which is interesting. I like that there's a lady who kills people by bouncing a bowling ball down the street in Haunted, for example. And the idea of a culling song is cool.

Okay, clearly I've read practically everything he's ever written. Apparently I love Chuck Palahniuk and that's why I'm reading something by him. So why am I writing this post? Am I ashamed, so I need to justify it?

Oh, I know: The thing is that I totally hate his voice, and it's one of those voices that gets stuck in your head and affects your writing. I feel like I need to wash my brain after I read something by him. Recommend me something for when I'm done, something that will destroy the urge to write entirely in fragments.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

New cable! Hooray for sloth! Oh wait.

My "cable" for the last year has consisted of two home shopping networks, the regular old main networks, two public television stations, and a buttload of Christian talking and singing heads. And AMC, which might as well be called "The Roadhouse channel."

But today, we got real cable installed. I flipped through the channels whilst home for lunch and found: Montel William's health machine is on every third channel; P90X infomercials are on all the rest of them.

If in a month or so I start thinking that I should juice our bountiful crop of collard greens to be drunk as meal substitutions and install a pull-up bar, this is why. Be prepared for my washboard abs to scrape your eyeballs.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Pinch Punch Ch. 12: A Fearless Inventory of Light in All its Forms: Caravaggio and Muse

Deep in the night, just after he has digested my latest stabbings, Kashmir disappears under the floorboards and I am alone in my bunk, the soundtrack of my life’s miniseries drowned in the sounds of the Pinch Punch that float up through the register: all its groanings, squealing, drippings, writhings, stabbings, sobbing…all the sounds of life here enter my testicles like a terrible symphony in the groin. This is as close as one ever gets, in the Pinch Punch, to lying in bed as a child listening to crickets or cicadas. You take what you can get at the Pinch Punch.

The Pinch Punch is not unlike life, not unlike dying on a Mediterranean beach full of malaria.
Have I mentioned that my testicles are the sensitive orbs where all my artistic goo resides? In my former life, they used to tingle when I painted, but now they tingle only when TYRA stabs or slaps them to punish me, which is totally different: there are good tingles and bad tingles in life.
Tonight, a tiny, squeaky, unkempt voice, sloppy as mud but barely there, alights on the skin of my testicles like a mosquito. Under my tongue for thirty-seven years…knitting shawls for the earth… The bite of my muse blooms in the dark. The bite of my muse (the present) eclipses the miniseries of my life.

I am not certain whether I am having an actual conversation with my muse, or if my nightly Pinch-Punch just really kicked my ass this time, but I am thinking about light and dark for the first time since I painted David With Head of Goliath, in which I am both David and Goliath; in which I have just switchbladed off my own evil head and am looking down on it.

MUSE: Bulbed, artificial, glancing off a hubcap or a Tylenol, or the flesh of geriatric Anita; sunlight, twilight, starlight, motion light, really it’s all the same, you try to put the light inside yourself and it fumbles and chokes.

ME: Exactamundo! Just like how the point of all my paintings is that it’s as impossible to light a candle inside one’s own private residence as it is to play Parcheesi in a tiny monkey’s bellybutton. Nobody ever understood that. They thought I was talking about Jesus or some shit.

MUSE: Despite the fact that it’s undigestable, I wish there were more light coming up from under the Pinch Punch's leaves. That doesn’t happen in the city, and if it did I would reject it, just as I do the teacup piglets, in order to make them love me.

ME: You talk about picking through flesh to get to the icecaps. I talk about scaling forests to make a new color of light: the sound and flavor of sunlight through falling leaves, changing with the seasons.

MUSE: It is surprisingly comforting to be of four minds, isn’t it? I feel sort of like TYRA.

ME: Me, too. My effect is spontaneous and meaningless.

MUSE: Um, I gotta run, but I really think you should take a shower. I can smell you through the register.

ME: You are so correct. You are so very correct. Thank you for allowing me to feel the present; I have not felt the present in so long.

Ch. 1 here
Ch. 2 here
Ch. 3 here
Ch. 4 here
Ch. 5 here
Ch. 6 here
Ch. 7 here
Ch. 8 here
Ch. 9 here
Ch. 10 here
Ch. 11 here

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Un-American confession

I kind of don't like fireworks. I mean, I like them when they are in the sky, and some crazy dudes are shooting them out of cannons, and they're relatively far away, but I don't like them when they are in my hands, or the hands of people that I know and like. Or even don't like.

I personally know three people who have lost fingers to fireworks. Two are named Steve.

I am scared of the oven. Grills seem like death machines to me. Loud noises make me tic spastically. Fireworks are like small, deafening, exploding stoves. No thank you.

Exceptions: sparklers and bottle rockets.

Monday, June 29, 2009

10 inches, gone

So I just got 10 1/2 inches lopped off my hair. What do you think it looks like now? Is it:

a. shaved close to the scalp, with a single braided rat tail proving that once my hair was quite long.

b. exactly like Suri Cruise's

c. a "lob," as the magazines are calling this season's favorite new haircut, the long bob

d. the Rachel

e. the Dorothy Hammill

f. a mohawk

g. a fauxhawk

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pinch Punch Ch. 11: Room 4833: The merging

When they went to sleep, there were four. When they woke, they were an indistinguishable amorphous mass of flesh. They’d gone from ferret to wolverine. The Pinch Punch affects everyone differently.

The conjoined Plus-sized Model(s) stretched and her/their twin bed groaned beneath her/them. Eight eyes are better than two. You can see all 15 dimensions and wield switchblades aplenty. Your liver(s) are better able to process the caramel-flavored breakfast mash.

It is surprisingly comforting to be of four minds. Someone always wants something, and the one who wants things the most always gets it.

The skinny men were waiting when she/they descended to the common area, ogling her/their rumples and flow. The men's eyebrows were thin, as if sketched on with dog doo, their backs attractively attached to their stomachs, so visible spine knobs could be seen, interlaced with intestines. Several of them brandished knives, but she/they could eat those blades. She/they could eat those blades, their tooth-fillings, the staples in their shoulders, their nipple rings, their chastity belts, their wedding rings, their spectacles, the iron in their blood.

But think of the flesh she/they’d have to pick through to get to the metal, the stringy muscle exactly the perfect width for getting caught between four rows of teeth. Flossing takes forever.

“Hey hey hey,” the skinny men say, pretending not to notice her eight arms and legs. She/they catherine-wheel(s) to the breakfast bar and prepare(s) to tuck in.

Ch. 1 here
Ch. 2 here
Ch. 3 here
Ch. 4 here
Ch. 5 here
Ch. 6 here
Ch. 7 here
Ch. 8 here
Ch. 9 here
Ch. 10 here

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Other People's Things

Packing other people's things is way better than packing your own things. Today I nearly packed Mis and Trav's entire kitchen. I caught myself getting into arguments with them about things I wanted them to throw away, like a can of asian vegetables, and another can of strange and scary mexican stew. I threw away some things without asking, like a water bottle from the Brookfield Zoo because no one needs that. And a 9-volt battery that was being kept on the off-chance that it wasn't completely dead, but just mostly dead. And a bunch of other things I can't remember now because there were so many, but they will clearly not be missed.

My best friend from high school, another Missy, was in town a few years ago and did me the great favor of throwing away two artworks of birds I had that were made of real feathers. These bird-works were amazing. My ex-boyfriend had bought them for me years before and looking at them made me miserable but I could not give them away. She just said: These are going, and I said, Okay. I am very glad the birds are gone.

On the flipside, I would not let my Missy get rid of Raymond Carver, Aimee Bender, or Lorrie Moore. I just would not allow it. These are important things to keep even if you'll never read them again.

So do not ask me to help you pack. But if you want to clean all the crap out of your life, then ask me. My new career goal is to start a life-cleaning service.

Monday, June 22, 2009

People who you didn't know are basically the same person

It's like that picture where you're all "is that candlesticks or profiles of people about to kiss?" and then it flips back and forth. Elijah Wood, Johnny Depp, Johnny Depp, Elijah Wood.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Country mouse

Last night we made a dinner that was almost entirely composed of vegetables from our garden.
It was a strata of collard greens, potatoes, pesto, and cheese. We are brilliant cooks. Chefs, I mean. Chefs.

Except we did not grow the cheese. Our outdoorsy neighbor who is getting chickens should also get goats. I'm going to talk about goats a lot when he's around, just to get him thinking.

Next on the menu: mojitos, complete with homegrown mint.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pinch Punch Ch. 10: puddin’: Tragic Audiodiary II

They call it primordial stew, in other words brown pudding, in other words a dream, a subconscious spewing. It never really happened except in sleep.

The pudding grew a thick skin, expanded and ballooned: an atmosphere. Is there anybody out there? A teacup piglet grew up out of the salt.

Mother found me under the porch with a tongue coated in brambles and blood, said: those berries are exquisite. She was always mistaking injury for beauty.

It was summertime and she bundled me in a store-bought afghan. It was summertime and she made a thick stew of mud for the piglets. It was summertime and the piglets were screaming. It was summertime in the country; in the back of my throat I tasted ice.

Whoa, okay, that’s way too dramatic. True, but so poetic it rings false. Let’s try that again:

Upon awakening, my rollerboard is crammed with items I do not and have never owned: sequined thong underpants, a rack of sparkling spices, a shotgun, and an expandable hangglider. All of the things I am certain I will die without: Aqua Net, pencil sharpener, first aid kit, rotary telephone, all of the things that constitute my past, are absent from my rollerboard.

TYRA yells:

“Kathy! Come brand this freak!”

TYRA whispers something in Kathy’s ear and Kathy giggles in an evil way, then sews brown thread into the chestskin above my heart that reads: puddin’ in tiny lowercase letters, and scurries off.

TYRA says it suits me: lumpen, brown-spined, amorphous. Says I shall eat puddings for the rest of my days at the Pinch Punch. Says I shall wrestle and shower and drown in the deep, mundane puddings of myself.

“You never climbed the icecaps, therefore you are puddin’ for all eternity,” says TYRA. “You are puddin’. puddin’ you shall always be.”

Yeah, whoa, that was weird, how TYRA just read my mind. That's pretty fucked up, how she knew about the icecaps. I don’t use obscene language, but it was seriously fucked up. And I hate it how she's totally right. I was born into a family of teacup piglet breeders--can she see those, too? I held my dream to conquer the icecaps under my tongue for thirty-seven years; I grew browner and more lumpen by the minute; irreversibly so. I bred teacup piglets which were never tiny enough to be blue-ribboned; I took up knitting shawls for the earth.

Now the teacup piglets in the bar follow me around like puppies, and I want to kick them across the room.

puddin’ seeps into my skin all at once; the brown painting of my life all at once, into the blood; this is how one suffocates.

Ch. 1 here
Ch. 2 here
Ch. 3 here
Ch. 4 here
Ch. 5 here
Ch. 6 here
Ch. 7 here
Ch. 8 here
Ch. 9 here

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Anne, get in here!

So I'm obsessed with The Tudors all of a sudden. I love Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the king, partly because of his crazy eyes (second only to skeleton face for automatic celebrity crushiness), but even more I love Anne Boleyn. I love her beautiful crowns and her mood swings.

I recognize that it's not historically accurate. I know that like a full year can pass in a single episode and that no one is aging, except princess/lady Mary who went from three to fifteen in like five episodes in true soap opera style. I still would enter a contest to play dress-up in its costuming department. And then the king and I would have grapes for lunch. He would have boar's head, too, but not me. He'd make crazy eyes at me, and I'd scream, "Anne! Get in here!" and let her deal with him.

Anne gets the chop soon. She's just way too jealous, and her hair is more out of control than usual.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Wait...can you go back?

Maybe it's because I only visited often instead of living there, but going back to Iowa City was somehow a better experience than going back to most places that acted as settings in my life as a youngster. Most of the same stuff is still there. Most of the people seem familiar in that out-of-time hippie/ster way. We weren't constantly walking in to places and being like, "When did this turn into a businessman bar?" Am I right? Did you feel this, too?

And then we got Happy Joe's on the way home. And it turns out that kidney failure feeling that you get from driving a long time is universal and does not actually mean kidney failure.
Let's be pioneers. Let's move to an unsettled location and start building our own town. It will have quirky stores and cheap t-shirts, and we can take turns being the mayor. I'll plant a huge vegetable garden and a whole raspberry patch. We can make moonshine and become a tourist destination. Yes?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Stacey Levine's blog

Stacey Levine now has a blog. Check it out!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Where's Stacey's book?

Way back on April 1, I was all excited because Amazon had told me that Stacey Levine's new book was coming at me, but it still hasn't arrived. Where is it? Why am I not reading it right now? I spent most of the morning pretending to read it, but that's just not as much fun.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Pinch Punch Ch. 9: Kashmir, Video-Diary #1 Plus Added Bonus Fantasy Kashmir and TYRA in Paradise

No one knows it but I love to sit in the closet and videotape myself. I love, love, love it more than anything. I say things into the camera that will boost my self-esteem, which is forever plummeting, when I watch the tapes later. When I feel a low-self-esteem attack coming on during filming, I take a break and recollect myself. The tapes are what keep me going; the tapes are how I survive; the tapes will bring me glory, fame, and bitches, namely TYRA, unless I kill her first.
I am eating the flesh off your face to expose the bone, to rip into and puree it with my vampire’s teeth. I have a taste for fame and I know there is some buried in your blood. I eat the flesh off the earth by ingesting all of its polluted carrots, all its landfills of human spewage, all the rare creatures that cohabitate on the oceanfloor, dying out from the heat. I eat polar bears and their switchblade claws and their fantasies of unified religion. I had a lover once, Samosa, and I ate her, too. She was like the Russian Bottle Dance going down: broken and flailing. It is best to feed on the broken and flailing; call me evil but nobody can help biting into their squish. It is the way to fame, fame, fame, the vampire teeth are so cut-throat they will eat your famous face. ROARRRRR!!!
Did you see how brilliantly I bared my teeth during that roar? Really I have spent my life eating flesh because I have no personality. Really I have not even eaten any flesh; I don’t even like meat, really. The vampire teeth are not so tough. The vampire teeth are plastic. I’ll take them out right now, off-camera. See? No teeth. All my real teeth fell out from eating only candy all those years I was a suburban latchkey kid, and fell out immediately upon consumption of my first Pinch- Punch, at which point the plus-sized models scurried to scoop them up because they thought they looked like Milk Duds. Now I eat via Caravaggio’s miniseries, a more inventive way of destroying a life, but as usual there is no joy in it for me.
Also sometimes I videotape stories of me in really sexy scenarios in exotic locations with TYRA, because in real life I know she sees me as just pasty and vampirish and really pretty nerdy at heart. Plus I’ve never been anyplace beyond the West Suburbs and the Pinch Punch.
I, Kashmir, I am TYRA’s little pup, her little favorite, following her about, sniffing after her through the underground tunnels of the Pinch Punch, following her (leashed) beyond the red velvet curtain deep into the earth late at night after all of the other residents have been forced to bed. The system of underground tunnels goes on for ages, where there are trains to China, the Mediterranean, the Sahara.
This morning we travel to the Irish sea, cold and refreshing as death, to float on our backs, watching our toes go pink, then purple, from cold. The martens frolic on the waves on their tiny boogie boards: the size of children’s tennis shoes, screaming with delight. TYRA drinks Guinness; I, seawater, which has no calories, for I am allowed to ingest only forty calories, in the form of an early-morning and a late-night Pinch-Punch, per day.
No one must ever know of our secret travels, bitch, says TYRA. Not even the innocent martens, whom I have blinded with battery acid. Our travels must remain ours and ours alone.
Possessive love is the truest kind, where no one else can penetrate it or see inside, where all others are left to wonder: what is it those two taste in one another? Where I, who have not a single strand of poetic DNA inside my voluptuous bosom, can speak this way to you love, only to you, and only in this world we shall create and inhabit together.
Love, allow me to wash each and every hair on your miraculous body, all the way down to your cold, pink toes, and later to wax all of your hairs off, and to ingest the waxy carpet of them, so that they may be part of me forever, I say.
TYRA, secret devourer of romance and praise, says:
Hells yes, baby. Hells yes.
Sometimes I have to cut because all of the evil truths that are forever squirming around waaay deep inside my chest feel about to spew out of me onto what could become very, VERY public tapes. For example, in that last one I was just overcome by the impulse to say:
TYRA does not know that I am plotting to take over her world, steal away with Caravaggio and the Pinch Punch forever, and to make billions off of the miniseries of her life…that I will never ever, love her—despite her ridiculous beauty and brawn.
Ch. 1 here
Ch. 2 here
Ch. 3 here
Ch. 4 here
Ch. 5 here
Ch. 6 here
Ch. 7 here
Ch. 8 here

Monday, June 8, 2009

Public health announcement

These are the symptoms of Lyme Disease:

  • Rash; sometimes it looks like a bulls-eye, but in more than half the cases it doesn't manifest this way.
  • Chills, fever.
  • Severe muscle aches, or impaired muscle movement.
  • Fatigue.
  • Confusion, meningitis, Bell's palsy (when half your face falls).
  • Irregular heartbeat.
  • Pink eye.

In other news, I was bitten by a deer tick yesterday, one-third of which carry Lyme Disease. Dramatic, eh?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Kid Frankenstein

Last night we watched this video adaptation of Frankenstein on one of the public access channels in which all of the characters were played by children. They all had rolled-up pants and white shirts on. The boy who played Victor Frankenstein was like a young Kenneth Branagh. It was a really faithful adaptation, too, until the third act, where everything kind of fell apart. There were some pretty realistic fight scenes, like, I'm pretty sure the big kid who played Frankenstein may have actually been feared by the littler kids.

I searched and searched for this movie so I could share it with you, and could not find it. However, I did find this video, which employs the same flickery setting on their digital video camera. The costumes leave a bit to be desired, and this is more an homage to the Frankenstein movie than anything else, but still, it's kids and Frankenstein.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Pinch Punch Ch. 8: PINCH PUNCH NEWSLETTER, VOL. 1, ISS. 428

Dear Fan Club,

Try as you might, you will never be as glamorous as I.


[Insert that one photo of me in a pink sequined bikini and Lucite heels, Kashmir. You know, the one where my bangs look like a Fu Manchu is growing out of my widow’s peak? If you can’t find it, have Caravaggio recreate it.]


Kashmir: 100 demerits for plotting against me
Plus-sized Models: 50 demerits for being difficult to differentiate
Caravaggio: 12 demerits for as many weeks of unwashedness
Everyone else: 5 demerits each


For every demerit you get, you owe me one back rub.


All sex-change operations were performed with great success!


[Title] 3 Ways to Escape The Pinch Punch

[Deck] Growing tired of mush enhanced with coffee flavoring? Well, borrow your roomie’s magnifying glass and get out your pencil stubs! These tips will give you fresh hope.


If you’ve ever felt like one day at The Pinch Punch is just like every other, you are not alone. Even I get a bit grumpy every now and again when faced with the prospect of yet another day of waxing and sawing. These three tips for escape will not work, but they sure make for mighty nice daydreams!

Throw mattresses out the window, and then jump out, too.

Seems foolproof, right? Wrong-o, buddy. Cast your mind back to just two days ago when that excitable fellow on the second floor slid betwixt the bars and liquefied on the pavement. Not cool at all. Because it’s not just pavement, folks, it’s lava.


The devil and I have a pretty sweet deal worked out. I get your soul. Especially if you suicide.

Kill me.

This one is particularly laughable. I’d like to see you try!

Despair not, my poppets; you always have Entry Days to hotly anticipate. Until the next one, build escape castles in the air.


Doubt my powers? Here’s a message from the One Downstairs: ROAR!

[Kashmir, please use one of the photos of Oprah from my personal stash. I like the pitchfork ones even though she thinks they’re obvious. I think we can convince her.]

Ch. 1 here
Ch. 2 here
Ch. 3 here
Ch. 4 here
Ch. 5 here
Ch. 6 here
Ch. 7 here

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Spirit, vampired.

Chicago is exhausting. I've been sleeping 9-10 hours a night just to be a normal(ish) person since we've returned. I remember now that I didn't do anything after work because I needed to recuperate. And almost everything I liked there has closed. I blame whoever now lives in our little old apartment; they've upset the balance.

How tired are you right now? Do your arms feel like logs? Are you napping? Do you sort of want soft-serve ice cream but realize it would take hours to find it/get there? Me, my tummy hurts.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

No, Your Eyes are PERFECTLY FINE!

I may have used this one before....hmmmmm...I just can't remember! It seems odd to have forgotten an image such as this, but it HAS been a long time now, hasn't it?
My favorite part is the tiniest peek of tantalizing...mmmmmmm. Is this a family blog!!?? I hope not! I remember what a stir my dimples caused on ABC. Men were leaving their wives and children in droves, on pilgrimages, to find me and the Lesbians were sent into a frenzy. It all led to the financial crisis and good Americans lost their homes as a result. Also, I think gay people actually married each other in California somewhere. I have powers that even frighten ME!
I figured it was safe to show my face again but the tiny peek of cleavage may be too much! GOD! I hope you don't go and do anything crazy after seeing me again. I tried to use a picture that was around a twelve out of ten on the sexy-scale. You should see the twenty-fives! WAIT! No you shouldn't....not yet.
I suppose you are wondering where I have been? I have been enveloped in academia and now my nails have grown unusually long and curved. No, I mean UNUSUALLY! You remember that guy in the 80's that was from India and he was always on the opening credits for Ripley's Believe it or Not and his nails curved and curved and curved in concentric circles and if you stretched them straight they would circle the earth, or was it reach the moon and back? I make him look, mine are longer. They shine and make a sound like a wine glass orchestra.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I Saw Cincinnati: a Plagiarism

I was expecting a downtown. I was expecting hillbillies.

Instead, Cincinnati was fascinating. It looked like a bunch of dirty, tiny Iowa river towns crammed together, with sprawls of ghetto and/or nature in between. It was eensy and seemed like it would taste of dirt, like when you're a kid and the wind comes out of nowhere and blows dirt into your mouth. I had that taste in my mouth most of the time I was there. This is because everything in Cincinnati is crumbling.

I was looking through the ruins of a city that was living in the 1970s. That's what the world looked like then. I kept thinking about 30 Rock and how hot I was in Cincinnati. Because I was definitely hot. And even fashionable! There is no fashion in Cincinnati; first this appalled me, then it refreshed me. I realized I could wear cutoff jean shorts again! Most people in Cincinnati are in their 40's. I'm not sure if other age groups are allowed.

I had this experience with everything there: appalled then refreshed; appalled then refreshed. You can go kayaking in Cincinnati. You can climb rocks. Technically, there are even mountains.

It is confusing. You never know where you are. Nothing lines up. In that picture, for example, there is an amazing european market in the center of the worst neighborhood in town.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Two things to report

1. I am trying to slim down my morbidly obese cat by giving him hug endorphins. Every time he sits by his bowl, I scoop him up, throw my back out, and squeeeeze him, instead of giving him food. I may actually be training him to sit by his bowl.

2. Our entire side yard is covered in strawberries.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I saw Saturn

I was expecting a fiery ball. I was expecting space dust.

Instead, Saturn was adorable. It looked like Atari, white on black and totally clear. It was eensy and seemed like it would taste of really sharp peppermint.

Mostly this was because I was looking at it through a telescope that was built in the 1880s. That's what the world looked like then.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pinch Punch Ch. 7: Welcoming Committee

Plus-sized Model: I didn’t know there would be so much blood on the sidewalk, did you?

Plus-sized Model: That’s not blood. It’s cake batter.

Plus-sized Model: No, I licked it. I didn’t like it.

TYRA: You’ll develop a taste for blood in here.

Plus-sized Model: Who are you?

TYRA: Why don’t you follow me up to the roof deck?

Plus-sized Model: No, that’s okay.

TYRA: I wasn’t talking to you.

Plus-sized Model: Then who were you talking to?

TYRA: Have some boneless, skinless bunny feet with a side of Venus flytrap. Have a pinch-punch.

Plus-sized Models (in unison): Ow!

TYRA: Just kidding. Here’s a real Pinch-Punch. Delicious, right?

TYRA: Carry them off, Caravaggio.


Call: How do you live your dream?

Response: I do what I must.

Call: Do you renounce Satan?

Response: What?

Call: How do you live your dream?

Response: I pinch. I punch.

Call: Do you accept that you have thus far been unable to live your dream and must relinquish yourself to my care that you might become truly beautiful?

Response: I do.

Call: Do you understand that I am doing this for your own good?

Response: I do.

Call: Call me Mama.

Response: Mama.


You are not here to be painters. You are not here to be songwriters or filmmakers or bookkeepers or entrepreneurs. You are not here to work. You are not here to think.

Plus-sized Model, your disease is Open Drain. Whenever you speak, an overwhelming sewer odor will permeate the air. People will associate it with you, even if you take to obsessive mouth-washing.

Plus-sized Model, your disease is Bird Call Fever. You will speak as a cardinal for the rest of your days. Here’s a water whistle I got at the circus. People will be able to interpret your meaning eventually, I think. But it’s really up to you. How good you are at it.

Plus-sized Model, your disease is Broken Tubing. That seems self-explanatory.

Plus-sized Model, your disease is Worthlessness. No one will ever pay attention to you until I have freed you from its clutches.

Kashmir, show the ladies to their room.

Ch. 1 here
Ch. 2 here
Ch. 3 here
Ch. 4 here
Ch. 5 here
Ch. 6 here

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

let's talk more about television

i just watched the 30 rock finale. boy, it was a doozy. i really liked it when jack said "rainstorm katrina." what was your favorite word coupling? if you can't remember, watch it and report back.

i started doing cognitive behavioral therapy and it's making me really depressed. isn't it supposed to do the opposite.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Last night I saw Obsessed, which is a movie that stars Beyonce and the handsome fellow from The Office (who took over as Regional Manager when Michael Scott started The Michael Scott Paper Company), who was also on The Wire, who is also secretly British.

The best part: When Beyonce and the woman from Heroes were in a fight involving two-by-fours that culminated in a 40-foot fall through a glass coffee table. This fall did not result in death—at least not until the chandelier squished the victim into spatter. (I don’t want to tell you whether it was Beyonce or Heroes in case you are ever watching this movie where it belongs, on television, deep, deep in the night.)

The lesson of this movie: Call the police.

The other lesson: Women are only ever assistants and mothers, and gay people are possibly a different species altogether, one that is related to humans but which has the intelligence and motivation of seven-year-olds.

The other, other lesson: You can trust Jerry O’Connell. He is just there to be a recognizable name in the credits.

The other, other, other lesson: Drink Starbucks. Listen to Crudo, which is apparently real and also probably managed by Beyonce’s dad.

The final lesson: If you walk out, you will miss the awesome fight. If you don’t walk out, you will be able to work up an excellent impression of Ali Larter making a sex-crazed face. Weigh those factors.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Pinch Punch Ch. 6: Song of the Plus-sized Models…and of the Howling Girl…and of Kathy

Ch. 1 here
Ch. 2 here
Ch. 3 here
Ch. 4 here
Ch. 5 here

The Plus-sized Models, in unison: “The first time we became aware of TYRA watching us, we were quite small. Her eyes seemed like Jupiter compared to our Mercuries. Her hair was like genetic jackpot, ours like a scratch-off ticket. Her legs like whoa and ours like teacup piglets’.”

Oh, the luring story. Everyone has one. TYRA offered me bobbins and acres of jersey. There is a girl, on the third floor, who recreates the moment of her luring, again and again. She cannot articulate this (or much of anything, anymore), but I suspect she needs to know how it happened. At what point could her mind have been so weak?

She clambers atop a stepstool and smashes her head against light fixtures. Glass shards have joined with her hair to create a sparkly tangle. Her concussed speech is slurred, her tongue lolls uselessly much of the time.

In the light, she looks fantastic, her hair like iridescent candy floss. But then she goes and butts her head into its source. TYRA has tried everything: fluorescent tubing, candles, elimination of dropped ceilings. The other residents are getting pissed. She’s put her head through all the television sets.

The Plus-sized Models continue: “We could sense her desperation and wanted nothing to do with her. Most of all, we were frightened of her body weapons: vagina dentate, need we say more? We probably should have reported her to The Authorities. But she took us horseback riding and then for manicures. And our pet marten disappeared. Implied threat.

“She fattened us on a diet of gin and babyback. The tenderness, oh! The first time she kissed us, our tongues retracted, and we choked. We would have died if she hadn’t been there to snag and tame our struggling muscles.”

That crazy girl howls at the night sky, straining her neck to break the moon. She is so dumb. The moon is really far away.

“We grew up with her in our peripheral vision. The day she left we took some pills. They were just Tylenol, but that is still a cry for help.”

I take the Plus-sized Models on a tour before handing them over to TYRA for the ceremony, and they’re all way too interested in the vat room. “What’s in there, perfume? Fabulous cash and prizes? World-famous photographers?” The vats, the vats: What could they possibly contain other than gore? This is no funeral parlor, but it ain’t exactly an amusement park either. I guess Movie Night is okay. I’m getting better at the piano. And TYRA gave me some silk once in exchange for my grandmother’s engagement ring.

The Howling Girl spaces her neck with bangles. Each day it grows half an inch, a rate alarming to our keeper. We have been told not to give her jewelry because, even now, her height far exceeds door frames, and it’s interfering with her massage duties. She rolls shattered pieces of glass in her shredded cheeks till they’re smooth enough for beading. She is her own ocean.

I would like to surf her tongue, but must content myself with staring as she showers. How come everyone but me gets a muse? And do you choose your muse or does he choose you?

The Howling Girl needs to get over herself and start helping me sew clothes for the small pets. I hate that I can see the teacup piglets’ nipples.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

i feel like i am about to do something really weird

like give away everything i own, including my hair, and join a sun worshipping cult in the weird new age-y part of arizona. and then two weeks into it realize that i am miserable and bald and want to go back to my old life but i can't because i gave all of my money away so i'm forced to live in a women's shelter in tucson where a lady punches me in the mouth for my ipod nano that is like two years old anyway, and knocks out all of my teeth. and the next time abby and sarah come to visit chicago they will find me face down in a trash can with my legs sticking up in the air, and it won't even be my first day of crazy.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

i want to live in poemland

I spent a couple hours today reading Chelsey Minnis's Poemland. The reasons I love Chelsey Minnis are sort of endless. Here are some:

1. I can read her books straight through; I can fly through her books; usually I make it to page 5 of anyone's poems and feel tired and like I need to take a break or enter a coma. But I can eat Chelsey's poems one after another. They are light like rice cakes. They are delicious like rice cakes aren't. You do not feel heavy after eating 126 of them.

2. She has planned and bought the most awesome "death outfit" ever: "White boots, tan suit, orange shirt and pink necktie." She should probably design a line of death outfits. People's death outfits are usually so bland and awful.

3. She can write so accurately about how awful it is to write things. "Poetry is like waking up drunk in a lemon yellow room," or "If you want to be a poem-writer then I don't know why...It hurts like a puff sleeve dress on a child prostitute," or "With my poetry I want to barricade myself from other people's poetry..." I hate when writers write about writing, unless they are Chelsey.

4. "I am so drunk I'm seeing toy bats"

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

kumquats are the stupidest fruits

They look like they are going to be awesome and interesting because they are very small and also have a weird name. They are like the tiniest oranges. They are like grape oranges. But they are sour, and their rinds are thick. Nothing can be done with them. Also, I am not sure if you are supposed to eat the rind. Kumquats need a new packaging designer.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pinch Punch Ch. 5: New Rule: Plus-sized Models Clause

Ch. 1 here
Ch. 2 here
Ch. 3 here
Ch. 4 here

Only four (4) plus-sized models are permitted in The Pinch Punch at any one time. If you see a new plus-sized model at Entry Day ceremonies and her hair is the same color as yours, you have the following options:

1. Knit your contraband jump ropes (eyes in the back of my head) into a ladder. Attempt escape.
2. Dye your hair (NOTE: Ash-blonde and blonde are the same color. Black and blue-black are the same color. Red and auburn are the same color. Brown and dishwater are the same color. As is chestnut.)
3. Use your switchblade in any way you see fit (NOTE: I am not encouraging, or even condoning, violence).
4. Sex-change operation.

NOTE: Hair-dye option is included so that you may face off with the least burly of the plus-sized models admitted.

NOTE: There is no such thing as a male plus-sized model.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Four new plus-sized models have been admitted to The Pinch Punch! See TYRA for your sex-change operation today!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Crotchety old man post

I hate Twitter. I hate that when I was watching the Miss USA pageant last night, Miss Teen USA was live-twittering. I hate that the word "twitter" appeared at least 25 times in the OK Magazine that I impulsively bought. Then this morning while driving to driving to work I listened to a story about how Twitter is both helping and hurting traditional journalism.

This is a new development, this Twitter over-exposure. It happened yesterday. I hate Twitter.