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.