October 31, 2006

Better Than the Water Kind (a conversation with Beautiful Maisy, who is four)

Maisy: Do you believe in God?
Me: Yes, I do.
Maisy: Do you LOVE God?
Me: Yes, I do.
Maisy: Me too. I believe in God and love him so much that when I grow up, God will make me queen.
Me: … Okaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay.
Maisy: *pitch rising with excitement* And then I will pick the boy to marry, and that will make him KING! To marry me! And then when we get married I will KISS HIM! And flap and flap! *makes a kiss noise*
Me: I think we are watching too much Disney Princess craps.
Maisy: Mommy, when do I get wings?
Me: What?
Maisy: When do I get my MARRY Wings. Do I get them for being a grown up or for marrying with?
Me: Um, you don’t get wings when you get married.Or when you grow up.
Maisy: Do you have wings?
Me: …No.
Maisy: But you SAID you had wings! You SAID. When you married daddy you got WINGS.
Me: Like fairy wings?
Maisy: No.
Me: Like bird wings? Like angel wings?
Maisy: Yes, for flapping.
Me: Oh, honey, in a true and horrifically sappy way, your daddy DID give me wings. But not the flapping kind. The metaphorical kind. Honesty compels me to report that he is also the wind beneath them.
Maisy: *nonplussed silence*
Me: WAIT---- you mean on the bed yesterday???? When we watched Little Mermaid and talked about getting married????
Maisy: Yes.
Me: I said daddy gave me RINGS, Maisy. RINGS. See these? These are RINGS I got at my wedding to show that I belong to daddy forever, and I gave daddy one, to say he belongs to me.
Maisy: *clearly disappointed* Oh. …*perking up* Is that a WEAL diamond?

It IS a weal diamond, as a matter of fact, but I think she’d STILL rather have the wings.

And now, because you asked, even though----TRUST ME----the photo cannot do HALF justice to the bizarro reality, I present to you that catheaded walrus poodle, hunching resentfully beside his dish:
poodlecat.jpg

Posted by joshilyn at 5:13 AM | Comments (20)

October 29, 2006

What the Cat Was or Will Be

Or is. I’m not sure how to verb it, as the topic is the cat’s Halloween costume. It is not yet Halloween. Even so, here is the cat, already in his.

Schubert (aka The Cat) has a DRY SKIN problem, and as the seasons change --- especially summer to fall ---- he gets itchy and unhappy under his pelt of long luxurious brown hair. The fix is usually a soothing dip and shot of steroids, but when I took him this year...

HE WAS NOT VERY HAPPY. I could up the font size on the previous sentence a good ten points and STILL it would be understatement. Schubert is….strongwilled. I once tried to transport him in one of those CARDBOARD cat-porters the vet gives out, and midway through the drive he DUG AND TORE a big rip in the SIDE of it, and RIPPED his way out, screaming feline obscenities.

If you’ve read Between---that scene where the dog gets OUT through the fence crack? I used the memory of how Schubert looked tearing his way into the world like Yeat’s Rough Beast. Once loose, he rocketed around and around the car like a brown blur of fury and plague, rending people and upholstery, releasing a thick cloud of panic fur into the air so that we could hardly see out the windshield…

After THAT, I went and bought a reinforced plastic MAXIMUM SECURITY PRISON thing that has METAL SCREWS and a locking porthole gate. It is obviously a jailhouse vehicle for the transport of criminally insane miscreant cats, but it’s called something perky (I forget—something like “The HAPPY KITTY KARRY KASE) and that is SO inappropriate. It’s like calling an Iron Maiden “Mr. Happy Fun Box.”

Getting Schubert INTO the HKKK means blood will be shed (mine) and eardrums will be burst (also mine) as he calls upon Father Tiger to loose a dark ancestral jungle curse upon the world. We only do it once a year, combining his skin treatment with his booster shots. SO An hour after I hurled the Happy Kitty Karry Kase through the vet door and fled from the demonic yowling that came ceaselessly from the box’s confines, I got a call from the veterinary assistant.

Her: Um, Joshilyn? I think we need to SHAVE Schubert. I see you clipped his back already, so we can even that out, and…His belly fur has gotten matted and snarled up and the dip can’t penetrate.
Me: I know. I can’t really brush his stomach. He doesn’t care to have it touched.
Her: *In a firm tone* Well, whether he cares to have it touched or not, it has to be done.

This is the same tone she uses when she tells me he is too dern fat. I KNOW, OKAY.
He is OBSCENELY fat.
I squirm in humiliation every time, convicted of cat abuse via overfeeding, and I say “But he BEGS.”
And she gives me a look that contains the elements of that same STERN tone and says circumspect things that imply, “YOU ARE THE HUMAN HE CANNOT POUR HIS OWN KIBBLE YOU MADE HIM FAT AND YOU WILL ONE DAY GO TO HELL FOR IT THIS IS WHAT WILL PUT YOU INTO HELL.”

I sink lower than worm bellies and whine and cringe and grovel apologetically.
But he pokes me with his TOE, I say. I work from HOME and he comes into my home office with his DREADFUL TOE and pokes and pokes me until I feed him.
Then she says, So shut your office door.
I say, He can open it. Same toe. It is prehensile. And evil. You don’t know how strong willed he is. He BENDS me. He BREAKS MY SPIRIT. He MAKES me feed him.

She has NEVER bought it and I get the YOUR CAT IS FAT AND YOU ARE BAD lecture every time I take him in. WHICH I DESERVE because he IS fat and I AM bad, but Lord, He wins. Call me spineless, if you like --- she certainly does. BUT HE WINS.

So she calls and wants to shave him.

Me: I don’t think he will like that.
Her: Well, whether he likes it or not, it should be done
Me: Good luck.

Not an hour later she called back, asking for permission to sedate him. He WOULD NOT let the entire vet team subdue him enough to get him shaved, even with a cat muzzle. They tried wrapping. He tore through. When she called back she sounded breathless and iron deficient, as if she had recently lost a lot of blood. I asked how bad it was, and she said, “Well…let’s just say he tore the vet up a little bit.”

SO they put him out and shaved him and dipped him and shot him up and OH MY LORD but you should SEE this poor thing. It still has Schubert’s one-eyed ornery head on the front end, but after that---there’s this sort of PACKED FAT TUBE of a body, like a walrus body, with four stumpy skinny legs that hold it up, and they left a PUFF of his LONG LONG hair on the end of his tail. Like a POODLE tail. He looks like….a cat-headed poodle walrus. In fact, that is what he is going to be for Halloween, and I am going to eat all the mini chocolate bars he collects.

BY THE WAY! When I picked him up? After he “Tore up the vet a little bit?” First time I have ever NOT gotten the lecture. Our talk went something like this…

Her: You should put him on a diet.
Me: I know. But he doesn’t really LIKE to be on a diet.
Her: *Deep breath* Yeah. He’s very…strong-willed.

Lady, you don’t know the half…

Posted by joshilyn at 3:40 PM | Comments (25)

October 26, 2006

3 Questions: Laura Florand

My friend Jill, in an e-mail she group sent to MOST of our mutual friends, tried to say that this woman she had met was smart and funny. But she suffered a few typos. What she actually ended up telling us was that her new friend was “fart and sunny.” She swears to this day that alcoholic beverages were not involved. If it were ME, I would claim a three martini lunch immediately, because I think drinking multiple cocktails is LESS shameful than making multiple typos as long as you don’t drive when you do either. Also, if I drank HALF as often as I typo’d, my liver would be scrabbling up my spine and trying to escape via the closest nostril…

I bring up fart sunniness because I think Laura Florand is Fart and Sunny, and I flipped for her book. I read it in galley form and said absolutely sincere nice things about it for the cover, so I will quote me here, because I am right:

“Laura Florand offers up an outsider’s oddly inside view of Paris, and she does so in a narrative that is by turns witty and touching, but always charming. Best of all, she turns the tables and lets us see our own culture through the fresh, French eyes of the man she loves. Do yourself a favor: Read this book.”

And to that endorsement I add: ALSO read this interview. She had me giggling like a loon.

JJ: What’s the deal with BLAME IT ON PARIS?
You say it’s a true story, but your publishing house calls it a novel. Don’t you know the difference?

LF: I do not know why this happens to me. Whenever I tell any event from my life to anyone, there’s always a moment when my auditor is dying laughing at my tragedies, rolling on the floor, and I’m protesting: “No, really, I’m not making this up! And it’s not funny!” This also happened with my agent and my editor. I kept talking about my elegant, thought-provoking memoir, and they kept talking about my crazy, comic novel. Finally, I just gave up.

We had actually signed the contract, and I was very excited, because it’s my first book, and my new editor called, our first conversation, to talk to me about my novel.

blameparis.jpeg

I about jumped a foot. My heart sank right down to the toes my dog was currently licking. “Novel?” I said. “What novel? You mean my thought-provoking memoir? The, uh, memoir I’m supposed to be getting an advance for any old day now?”
“Memoir?” she said. “You mean it’s true?” And then, “That man who answered the phone—was that him? Sébastien? He’s real?”

If you ask me, the only reason my editor keeps putting up with me is for the excuses to meet Sébastien. If she wasn’t happily married, I would be very suspicious.

JJ: It reads like a memoir to me---a really FART, SUNNY memoir that has the kind of narrative flow you would like in a novel. And as history has taught us, better to call a memoir a novel than call a novel a memoir…BUT back to the interview. A lot of writers read this blog----how did you
a) Find an agent

Your basic. I researched agents and what they were representing, made a short list of the ones that interested me, researched what they liked to see in a proposal (most agents post this on their websites, and writing magazines often have interviews with agents), then sent them a proposal per their specifications. People always seem to think finding an agent is an arcane secret or a great magic trick. It isn’t. Agents are very open about what they want and how they want it. It’s writing the book that’s the trick. If it’s sellable, there’s someone somewhere who wants to sell it, and you just have to persevere until you find him.

b) sell that first book
I actually went through two agents with BLAME IT ON PARIS, both of whom worked with me a lot, recommending rewrites. My first agent referred me on to Kimberley Cameron when we both realized that, much as I liked him and as good as he was, we just had different visions of what the book should be. Kimberley Cameron was very enthusiastic about the book right from the first, asked for minor rewrites, and then started contacting editors. And, voilà…

c) come to realize you wanted to pursue writing as a career instead of a personal passion or a hobby.
When I was nine years old, we were assigned a short story for a class. I and my best friend and bitter rival for “smartest girl in class” kept calling each other all evening to report how long ours were. Hers kept getting longer than mine, which was a problem, because I’d had the big dénouement at page 4. She kept calling back, and I kept having to try to tack on something to keep it going. She won. Hers was 12 pages and mine was only 9. Not to mention that hers made sense. I have never gotten over it and blame it on her big handwriting.

I have been writing pretty much daily since then. Since all the writing magazines I began reading at nine said you had to submit, submit, submit, I have also been submitting my stories and poems to major magazines (Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, New Yorker) since I was nine years old. I can only imagine what those editors must have thought. I have a notebook with pages and pages filled with name of story/poem, date of submission, market, date of reply. They also have columns for “Amount Paid” and “Payment Received” that are, strangely, all blank.

I didn’t actually get any positive feedback until age 16, when I won a poetry contest and $50 for what is truly the most awesome villanelle in the world, second only to Dylan Thomas’s. However, it is so sappy I won’t share it. I also wrote three or four books during my teenage years, or, as editors put it, “what I called books at the time.” I actually wrote a “book” that was the story of an Eve (yes, that Eve) who participated in most major events throughout history AND pre-history. I think it was about 80 pages long. I still had that length problem, as you see. Fortunately for my reputation, these and other endeavors were all on floppy discs that worked only on an Apple IIC, and they have been lost to posterity.

The moral of this story is: when people tell you to back up all your work and make hard copies, don’t necessarily listen. Use your own best judgment.


JJ: How important is location to you as a writer, or, a better way to say that might be, could these books be set anywhere else?

LF: If you take away location, I don’t have a book. In BLAME IT ON PARIS, for example, the crazy disjunction between Paris/Parisians and small town Georgia/ Georgians is the reason I had to write the book in the first place. And location is just as crucial to the book I just finished and to the books I’m working on now. None of them could possibly take place anywhere else.

What’s interesting is that back in the before-mentioned halcyon days of my writing career, from age nine on up until my early twenties, my oeuvres had no sense of location whatsoever. And neither did I, really. It wasn’t until after I left home and thus my native land for the first time that location became not-so-coincidentally one of the most vital aspects of my work. That’s also the moment when people (editors, agents, with any luck the general public) actually became interested in reading my work, which might say something about the importance of location in literature.

But then again, that turning point might have something to do with advice my grandfather gave me, which was one of the things that inspired my finally leaving my hometown. He said, “Maybe you should go live your life first, then you can write about it.” And it was when I let writing take a back burner and started spending much more time living than writing that what I was writing began to interest people. Which makes sense, when you think about it. Grandfathers can be pretty smart.

Posted by joshilyn at 1:23 PM | Comments (2)

October 25, 2006

Going Around

It is. Everyone has it. No one is in school, no one is at church, and the Charmin sits unmolested on the shelves of Publix, for no one will leave their beds to come and squeeze it.

Me, I have decided it is the consumption, and I am going to go to a sanitarium and get as emaciated as any Milan-Banned Supermodel as I breath Swiss air for supper, lunch and breakfast. I shall cough red into a lace hanky JUST like Nicole Kidman in that Baz Lurman film and fall off a swing and die in a swirl of petals. I AM SO BORED OF MY HOUSE that car pool line was kinda fun yesterday. Because car pool lane was not my sofa, my office chair, or my bed. Which are all the exciting places I have visited in the last week.

In other news, I think I feel better.

Today I WILL be LEAVING THE HOUSE briefly. Very exciting. I’m scheduled to be on Atlanta and Company for the book club discussion of BETWEEN, GEORGIA. If you live in the Atlanta area, tune in to 11 alive at 11 AM and then if you wanted to be SUPERNICE you could come back here and say kindly things to me.

Sample kindly things you could say, if you are having trouble thinking of any:

1) No, honey, it didn’t look like Holly Firfer was recoiling in terror from your plague every time you spoke! And when they came back early from commercial and caught the P.A. hosing down the sofa with that stuff, I REALLY think it was just air freshener. Sure the can SAID “Industrial Bleach with Lysol,” but I think that’s the name of a spring flower …yeah….that…that grows in obscure meadows.

2) Flat hair is IN this season. You say “Limp and vile from illness,” but girls are over America are IRONING their hair RIGHT NOW trying to make it fall in JUST those exact kinds of greasy strings. Also in: Corpse pale skin, watery eyes WITH dark circles, and glazed expressions.

3) You absolutely did not sound like Harvey Fierstein in Torch Song Trilogy. You sounded like a DOVE, a COOING MELODIOUS dove who, yes, okay, might have just smoked 4 packs of unfiltered Camels, but A DOVE ALL THE SAME.

ANYTHING in the above vein will do. Shine me on, people. I have CONSUMPTION, okay?

In other news, I HAVE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING THIS CREEPY IN MY WHOLE LIFE. Wait for the intro to finish and the menu to load, then try clicking “Have some fun” on the right end of the menu bar, but be warned, “Have some fun” here means “Induce some night terrors.” OR you can avoid night terrors by clicking on the PLAY THE GAME option and I promise, you will NEVER SLEEP AGAIN.


I am waiting for the worms to turn on that one, I tell you. The STEVEN SPIELBERG-Y music does NOT help --- in fact it makes it worse. SOON an ominous cello will creep in under the warble of more cheerful instruments, and when those hungry little scissors run through the ready supply of VISA cards, they will go right after baby toes and my own personal eyeballs. I KNOW IT.

I SWAN I am going to have to go become an advertising exec because they NEED someone to stand around infecting people and coughing up blood and saying, “No. Oh honey, no. Not the scissor thing. Really. Just….no.”

Posted by joshilyn at 4:03 AM | Comments (17)

October 23, 2006

Sick. Sickettysicksicksick. Con’t

I am SO Sick that I went to the doctor on Saturday. Of course my doctor’s office was closed and all the doctors were off doing whatever they do on weekends---and they could be playing naked hooker golf in Vegas or maybe they are in South America hand-spooning nutritious gruel into the mouths of sickly orphans---their lives are mysteries wrapped in enigmas. I miss my doctor I had in Chicago---I actually KNEW the guy. He was very personal and personable, and once when we ran into each other at an opera, HE KNEW WHO I WAS.

I am not sure any of my current troop of doctors and I would recognize each other if we were tied together for a three legged race. On Saturday, I had to go to a doc-in-the-box, but he is now probably as recognizable to me as my own league of physicians, so.

Him: You have a virus, maybe a touch of bronchitis so here is a pack of antibiotics to fix that, but your MAIN problem is a virus so eat Wonton soup and wait to feel better.
Me: HOW LONG THOUGH because I have felt like UTTER POO for 4 days now.
Him: Oh, Sometimes these viruses can go on for ten or twelve days….

Then I grew fangs and leapt across the examining table and ate his face off.

Okay, not really, but if I still feel like this in another 5 days I AM going back, and I WILL grow fangs and I will absolutely eat his face right off. For even SUGGESTING it. I cannot continue to be this sick. I CANNOT. Do you hear me? Because it is BORING.

I wander into my office and peck feebly away at TOGWISS, and then I wander to my sofa and collapse and sweat and watch TV. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. My house is a STY. My hair is lank and sorrowful. My nose runneth over. I am SO SO SO BORED. I want to leave my house. I want the ability to sniff flowers. I want to GO RUNNING IN THE CRISP LOVELY FALL AIR.

Mostly, and this is probably due to extreme viral induced GRUMPINESS, but mostly most of all, I want to track down and spank whatever marketing executive decided to call this crap I am living on WONTON SOUP. It is NOT Wonton soup, it is chicken and noodle soup with the little sanded down chickeny bits put INSIDE noodles which have been formed out of wallpaper paste to look like little envelopes. NO ONE HERE IS FOOLED, CAMPBELL’S. *grumple*

Meanwhile, my novels are once again having more fun than *I* am having. Stupid Between, Georgia. My friend Elizabeth went overseas to a toxic algae conference…. no, really, that’s not code for anything. She studies DINOFLAGELATES which are used to make diatomaceous earth which is a dietary supplement FOR HORSES which I used to EAT, yes EAT, in my actual MOUTH because I had this crazy idea that it would make my pelt glossy and my hide sleek. No, REALLY. Anyway, Elizabeth found B,G slumming in COPENHAGEN, all expenses paid. Or perhaps it can afford to take itself, because LOOK at that price tag!

denmark1.jpg

It costs 99. 95 DANISH MONEYS! (aka Crowns) WHEEEE! Can’t wait to see THAT royalty statement!

denmark2.jpg

Here is B,G taking a quiet moment to….um…appreciate some art.
Yup.
That is definitely what it is doing.

denmark3.jpg

Soon after, B,G went to Roskilde Cathedral---it must have looked directly up during art appreciation, and then hied to the nearest church to rinse its eyes and try to feel clean again. Or perhaps it just wanted to hobnob with royalty; several Danish monarchs are buried under the floors. Between has been hanging out with Crabtrees too long to be allowed to hobnob with LIVING royalty. It can only hang with kings who are too long dead to get up and move to a better lunch table.

Meanwhile, if I do not get better soon, I am going to end up under a church somewhere myself. Bleh. Sick. Sickettysicksicksick. And did I mention GRUMPY?

Posted by joshilyn at 9:21 AM | Comments (15)

October 20, 2006

3 Questions: E. Lockhart

Sick. Sickettysicksicksick. Whatever plague the children brought back from the magic kingdom has felled us ALL --- even Scott has taken TWO sick days, and this is a guy who never misses work. EVER. In fact once he even went to work while he was ON FIRE and another time he went dragging a herd of RABID BADGERS that had sunk their diseased fangs into his leg and refused to drop off. So. You know it is bad.

While I lie sweating and muttering on my bed of woe, I’m going to ask E.Lockhart to talk, okay?

She has three questioned before, talking about her YA book called The Boyfriend List. I read the book and came away thinking E. is so talented she is practically GLOSSY with it. It’s a DERN good book. At the time I wrote a Boyfriend List of my own over at HER blog --- If you didn’t get a chance to read it you can find it still up here. Warning: It’s VERY true confessions.

The Boy Book: A Study of Habits and Behaviors, Plus Techniques for Taming Them
is the sequel to The Boyfriend List, which is just out in paperback. The Boy Book is about Ruby, who in the first book plummeted from social butterfly to leper, rebuilding her life junior year of high school -- with the help of a guide to understanding the male sex that she wrote with her ex-friends.
Publisher’s weekly, in a STARRED review, says, "Each chapter begins with an excerpt from 'The Boy Book' which is hilarious...The book not only covers topics teens obsess over, but it helps illustrate the connection Ruby had with her friends, especially Kim, and what a loss she has suffered. Ruby's overanalytical, fast-paced and authentic narration will win over new devotees, while her loyal fans will no doubt hope for more."

And heeeeeeeeeeeeeeere’s E!

JJ: What do you think of your cover and how does it compare to the cover you imagined when you were writing the book?

EL: I am madly in love with this cover.

The Boyfriend List had a frog on it, and my standalone book Fly on the Wall had a fly on the cover. So it was only natural to think, as I wrote the book, that the design for The Boy Book would have some kind of animal.

There are Humboldt penguins in the book. My main character, Roo, has this job giving the penguin lecture at the local zoo, but she's in the middle of giving the speech and she sees her ex-boyfriend cheating on his new girlfriend right there in the dark of the penguin house! and ---- drama ensues, I'll tell you that.

So I suggested a penguin, and then the designer (Angela Carlino) gave me this cutie patootie toy penguin tipped over to one side, which made it surprising and inviting and a little ludicrous -- which is what I hope The Boy Book is, too.

the_boy_book_13.jpg

JJ: A lot of writers read this blog----how did you
 come to realize you wanted to pursue writing as a career instead of a personal passion or a hobby?

EL: I went to grad school for English literature. And I wrote two books while procrastinating my dissertation.

Two books! That's not including all the ideas I wrote that never got published.
I was looking at graduation, which for me (I was not a star academic) meant a job at a low-level college in some state far away from all my family and friends, with tenure-track requirements pushing me to publish articles on subjects I wasn't really interested in -- I was looking at graduation and I felt this sense of doom. I could not live that life. I would not.
I wrote fiction to save myself from it.

JJ: Tell us about how crappy your high school boyfriends must have been.

EL: They were wonderful and crappy. I do still think about them. My college boyfriends, too. They were like these experiments in human connnection I did -- some of which scarred me deeply, others of which taught me neat tricks, others of which pushed me in some new life direction. When you are young, a new boyfriend (or girlfriend) can be like a new life -- an experimental identity. And the relationship can also go awry so easily and horribly, because everyone involved is inexperienced and only just figuring out how to behav. I had a very roller-coaster emotional life until I was like 27.

I had one boyfriend who really did give me a half a carnation on flower day, the way Ruby's boyfriend did in The Boyfriend List. I had another boyfriend who gave me an USED office phone -- like the kind with several lines and a hold button -- made of wood veneer as a valentine's gift. And it was not even wrapped. It was something from the junk room where he worked. I also had boyfriends who wrote me mad love notes that I still can't believe anyone wrote to me. Poetry.
I got my heart broken a lot. It has been great for writing books.

Thanks for having me to your blog, Joshilyn!

Posted by joshilyn at 8:26 AM | Comments (6)

October 18, 2006

Disney, Day Home

The sad news: I have 3.5 toes per foot now. I wore the little one completely OFF and sanded my big one down to half its former glory hiking back and forth between Splash and Space Mountain as my son fast-passed first one and then the other. Were they all the way across the Magic Kingdom from each other? WHY, YES. THEY WERE. I am SO glad sandal season is over because it’s going to take all winter, wearing out a pumice stone, and an ocean of lotion to salvage them.

The other sad news: I have completely succumbed to marketing. I have AVOIDED Disney Princess toys as if they were manufactured from the carcasses of diseased weasels for two years now. Not with the same rabid hatred that I have avoided, say, THE BRATZ DOLLS (Scott calls them THE SLUTZ) but I have been proactive about steering Maisy toward Olivia the Pig gear and Dora Dora Dora the explorer and even Hello, Kitty whenever she has leaned toward DPs.

My editor has a girl child around Maisy’s age and after a protracted battle, she too succumbed to her daughter’s unwavering devotion to Princess gear, but she always ends the her reading of the princess tales by saying something like, “And so the prince and the princess decided to go to different schools and get good educations and travel and date other people and THEN they got married and lived happily ever after! THE END!” Because, face it, these are 16 year old chicks getting married off and--- Mulan a blessed aside--- their biggest claim to fame is prettiness.

BUT! BUT! BUT! THE PRINCESSES ARE SO SWEET. You could die of it. Seriously. It doesn’t help that they are played by adorable fresh faced college-aged girls. They speak in soft, high voices that are pink-wall level soothing. I think they should pipe in tapes of Princesses talking about goodness to the rooms of the criminally insane to stop recidivism. They are so patient and slow moving and kindly with the little children. AND! They all KNOW THEIR BACKSTORY, so if my son says, for example, “Are Iago and Aladdin still fighting?” they know how to ANSWER that in a way that seems to satisfy him. Which is more than I can do.

When we finally at last at last got to meet Maisy’s forever favorite, Cinderella, and Maisy got so So SO excited that her voice racheted up into a register so high that only dogs could hear her, Cinderella apparently READ HER LIPS and caught every word and answered her and stayed by our table for EXTRA, and she put a pink lipstick kiss on Maisy’s cheek. Maisy cried when we washed it off in the bath that night.

Here is Maisy losing her mind with happiness, my niece looking lovely as always, and my son looking hideously uncomfortable, his arms crossed defensively, his manhood impugned, as he is forced to stand by girly old Cinderella. See how he is looking off camera? He’s looking at me, and I am making a thunderous face and hissing, SMILE! COME ON SAM A REAL SMILE. PLEASE??? PLEASE???

Princess.jpg

As she was leaving, Cinderella bent down to Maisy’s level and looked directly into my daughter’s small open trusting bloom of a face, and she touched Maisy’s nose and said, “Always remember, Princess Maisy, your dreams CAN come true.” And she said it with total sincerity, and Maisy nodded with SUCH vigorous hope and belief that SOMEONE at the lunch table, I am not saying who, but SOMEONE had to hide their face in their napkin because they got a little watery.

That SAME someone later purchased Maisy a metric ton of Disney PINcess Princess trading pins with matching pink lariat AND a hot pink Satin Princess Gear Backpack.

“I needed a new backpack ANYWAY,” Maisy confided to the saleslady, “My big fat cat FREW UP on my Dora one. It was GWOSS.”)

This vacation was JUST what I needed. I feel like me again, except with callousy aching troll feet. It ended this way: We left the happiest place on earth and went to the CRAPPIEST place on earth, forever and henceforth defined as “ANY airport.” Before we even left the hotel lobby, Maisy turned into a 34 pound snoring piece of carry on luggage and Sam was running a fever. By the time we got home, five hours later than we were ‘sposed to, it was already today and both kids were sicksicksick as little dogs.

EARLY this morning, as we AT LAST came into the house, Maisy stirred and whispered, “Mama?”
I said, “Yes bunny?” and put my ear down near her mouth.
“In just a minute,” she said, “I want to go to go see Cindewella again at her castle.” Then her eyes opened a crack and she saw our front door. “Oh,” she said. “Look. We’re here now. Never mind. Imma go back to sleep.”

And she did.

Posted by joshilyn at 7:45 AM | Comments (25)

October 15, 2006

Disney, Day Something

On the monorail to Epcot on Friday, a well-modulated female voice encouraged us to get on some slow-pokey little sim called LOOK AT EARTH or OH SPACE! or PROJECT SPACE---I forget but it sounded drippy-- and she said something like "glide over a wealth of cultures and appreciate the diversity that is our earth"

Scott: I prefer to appreciate the diversity that is our earth as I rocket past at 80 miles per hour.

He's ESPECIALLY appreciative if we do loop-the-loops. We went to MGM yesterday. Three Towers of Terror and 2 Rock-N-Rollercoasters in a row and I was close to re-appreciating my lunch. Which would have been a shame, it was a VERY nice lunch the first time.

Earlier, we sat outside the Brown Derby in MGM Studios perusing the menu and waiting for our Your-Table-Is-Ready beeper to light up and buzz and fetch us to foodly goodness. Maisy was on Scott's lap, half asleep. My father had his eye on buttery grouper served in a nest woven of balsamic glazed grilled asparagus.

Dad: What are you having?
Me: Either the salmon or the duck.
Scott: I am definately having the duck.
Maisy: *sleepy* I think it must be Donald Duck.
....
Me: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand I'll be having the Salmon.

THE FOOD WAS PRETT DERN GOOD. Dad's fish was SO fresh and his asparagus was CRISP and perfect. I ended up ordering Donald after all----he was served over grits with a mushroom and portwine glaze and chili jam, and I tell you---It was yum. We were all surprised...We each drank a quart of pellagrino, and it made a HUGE difference to sit down for 90 minutes and enjoy a good meal. We were able to pop back up, refreshed, and stay in the park until closed. We even caught Fantasmic or Fantasmagastic or Fantasmagaorastical or whatever that final show is called. They said you had to get there an HOUR early to get into it, but we rode rides until 3 minutes after start time and walked right in to good seats. The way the show is set up, there ARE no bad seats. If you go to MGM, see this show.

Speaking of FANTASMORATORIUM, Scott, my closet theatre geek, is blown away by how much Disney has borrowed from Asian theatre----
The type of puppet you see used in Chinese New Year parades, those segmented dragons, MADE the final show. They put a different puppeteer in each snake segment and then they worked together to make him coil and undulate and rear.
The mechanics of the Ariel show were taken from Bunraku---A Japanese technique. In the Disney version, colorful puppets are lit and play against a black backdrop and the puppeteers are dressed all on black to render them invisible.
Shadow Puppets of India were used quite a bit, and the it's ALL pretty much stolen from Kabuki, a can't beat combo of special effects, dance and drama.

WE ARE HAVING SUCH FUN.

Posted by joshilyn at 8:29 AM | Comments (11)

October 13, 2006

Disney, Day One

Okay - I know about Disney. The corporate piracy, the awful dollarmongering, how Walt would be turning in his grave, how it is all one huge obscene tricksy commercial to sell action figures based on movies that will hopefully become lucrative franchises and yes, it is TRUE, they RUINED the TIKI ROOM by putting a bunch of bird puppets from Aladin and Lion King in it and MULTIPLE Johnny Depp lookalikes ---both human and animatronic --- are popping up on rides and floats and in gift shops in full-on Cap'n Jack Drag and and and I KNOW OKAY I KNOW.

disneykids.JPG

It's still the happiest place on earth. Favorite moment so far: We saw Cap'n Hook mugging about, our first character sighting, and Maisy was LONGING to get his attention. She ran up behind him and tugged at his red velvet coat. He did not notice. She bounced up and down, sproingsproingsproing, saying CAPUN HOOK! CAPUN HOOK! HULLO IT IS ME, MAISY! Alas, the actor, who was no doubt sweltering in the hell of a 20 pound plastic head and a frock coat, did not hear her.

He turned around to walk toward us and almost ran her down. At the LAST second, he noticed her tiny personage in his way and and paused. He made "surprise hands" (elbows bent, palms forward, fingers spread) or rather he made ONE surprise hand and one surprise hook, and then bent down toward Maisy, reaching with his non-hook appendage to pat her head.

hook.JPG

She saw that HUGE EVIL MUSTACHIO'ED HEAD as it came ZOOMING toward her. The LEER! The outsize black hat! The CRUEL PIRATE-Y TEETH!.....she screamed! Screamed like that little girl did in Aliens, a single toned high-pitched wail of complete terror, and then took off like a gazelle, FLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! We of course caught her up and soothed her immediately, but it was PRICELESS. We had no video cameras out, alas, but some chick standing nearby caught it on hers, so we expect Bob Sagett will be sharing it with America soon.

IN SHORT, I am having DISGUSTING amount of fun. It's EMBARRASSING to have this much fun living in a giant commercial. And yet and yet and yet...

Both my kids are FOAMING with pleasure at every new delight. NO one is getting crabby when they get overtired, and they have changed the FOOD. Sure there are still 10 dollar greasy hotdogs with limp fries, but for the same price you can also get fresh fruit and a chicken wrap, a veggie burger on a whole grain bun with baby carrots, or a VERY DECENT grilled chicken salad made with REAL lettuce (read: not iceberg) and tequila lime vinagrette. We are eating healthy and not having that overfed park bloat that can RUIN a vacation day. Eating this stuff, we parked around for 13 hours yesterday and came back to the resort tired but pleased and cheerful. Two other things set Disneyworld apart from other park-like facility:

1) The restrooms are cleaned constantly by troops of invisible and hyperactive fairies. Seriously. The toilets are cleaner than my toilets at home, the floors sparkle, the silver spigots where you wash your hands gleam like treasure. You could serve a lunch in these bathrooms.

2) NO ONE PHONES IT IN. No one. Every gravedigger in the Not-So-Scary Halloween pararde, every Princess, every pirate, every dancing zombie bride, every Jungle Cruise Guide, every SNACK VENDOR in a cowgirl outfit in Frontierland is Broadway musical style ON every second. They believe it. They SELL it. There is no irony, no sly wink-y "But of course, this is silly, and we do it for your yard-monkeys." They may be tiny prancing cogs in a huge and probably evil corporate machine, but before that, they are professionals, actors and dancers, and they ACT like it. It makes a world of difference. Their absolute commitment is permission for every adult in the park to act like a complete moron. To be eight years old again. And when Mickey stands in front of Cinderella's castle and asks us to, we affirm with absolute conviction that (as Maisy says) "Dweams DO come twue! Dweams DO come twue!"

If it makes you feel any better about my tatterered street cred, always a sketchy thing and now TAINTED with geek-o-riffic Mickey-love, let me reassure you that my cynical husband is suffering mildly, and would probably rather be golfing. TODAY = EPCOT! And lunch with FOUR REAL PRINCESSES. I am hoping like MAD for Ariel! Maisy wants Cindew-ella.

Last night, the kids got to park trick-or-treat in costume, and Scott accidentally had the camera set for a LONG expose time----so here is a little ghost pwincess, a ghost Jail Bird, and a VERY see through ghostly ninja. You can use this shot to play a fun game of "guess which child can not sit still for 5 seconds...."

disneykids2.JPG

Posted by joshilyn at 9:47 AM | Comments (21)

October 11, 2006

House of Mouse

This afternoon, we leave for DISNEYWORLD. My parents have taken each grandchild as they have turned four, and now Maisy, their last and littlest , is four.

SO for this final journey into prefabricated plasticene joy, I wanted our WHOLE family to go, including my brother Bobby and his tribe. I called him last year when we were planning this jaunt.

Me: Bobby! Scott and I are going on this final Disney Trek with mom and dad and Sam and Maisy. Want to go???
Bobby: Hmm. I think I would rather put ground glass put into my eyes.
Me: It’s going to be FUN!
Bobby: I think I’d even prefer to then RUB and RUB my eyes until I had NO EYES LEFT.
Me: …So that’s a no?

Bobby is not a Magic Kingdom kind of guy. So then I asked if I could just have his kids. Sure, he said, assuming they want to go. His son is in high school now and Erin is in middle school.
They DID want to come, but my nephew Daniel has a football game.

Genes are weird. My dad went to college on a football scholarship. He was such an amazing field goal kicker that the Alabama papers dubbed him, “The little man with the gold toe.” The Alabama football coach came and scouted him, and they brought him out to the University for a tour. Alas, his uncanny ability to put a pointy ended ball through two poles couldn’t overcome the height requirement. He’s only 5’8” and change. He went to UNA instead. Go Lions!

My brother has all the athletic ability of a cucumber left to molder in a cardboard box under the stairs. I have a little LESS athletic ability than that. Also, sports interest Bobby about as much as Disneyworld. I have never seen him sit down and voluntarily watch a sporting event, and I have been there NOT watching them with him, every time.

And yet here is my nephew, a long, long, tall skinny long thing who can put the ball between the two poles, boom, perfect almost every time, just like my dad, and his team needs him.

SO from that branch, only my niece is coming. If you have read BETWEEN, GEORGIA, THIS NIECE is the fantastical little human who was the template for the character of Fisher. I hate little soggy, sentimental child characters who sunshine around hoping the adults in their lives will soon be romantically fulfilled. It’s SUCH crap.

Real children are bizarre little sociopathic pragmatists--- NOTHING I could make up could match the odd mental shenanigans and quirks of the REAL kids in my life. So I based Fisher on my niece and borrowed little bits of my son as well. That’s very unusual for me --- I don’t USE real people as templates, but I found I almost had to to write a credible five year old.

ANYWAY, we are OFF to DISNEY in just a few. I will post pics HOPEFULLY as technology allows… I am taking the laptop and the digicam, but who knows how my con will be etc etc.

My brother thinks Disney is HELL ON EARTH, but you can’t ascribe pure evil to a place with such relentlessly clean public restrooms. And anyway, on our LAST family vacation, we went to ACTUAL HELL, and it looked nothing LIKE Disneyworld…Here’s a pic of Maisy handfeeding one of the smaller deamons…
badrodent.jpg

Posted by joshilyn at 3:45 PM | Comments (11)

October 9, 2006

Betweening

On the way to my son’s school, there are yard chickens.

Not regular red or white hens, either. These are more the kind of chickens you see at the county fair. FANCY chickens. There are TWO roosters (I thought you could only have one????) Both are strutty, and their backs and necks are glossy and golden. They have speckled sides and their green tail feathers puff up in an extravagant bouffant, crowned by foot long swooping feathers that shimmer like iridescent taffeta.

Most of the hens are those meticulously speckled black and whites that look too uniform to be Jackson Pollack. More like, 70’s WALLPAPER chickens, high contrast and so closely and evenly patterned they can give a girl flashbacks. There is also at least one blindingly white pinheaded chicken who is very skinny-necked and sleek. She has a huge tail that comes out the back all higgledy piggedly like a feathery Butt-splosion.

It doesn’t seem like the sort of house that would have yard chickens. It’s one of those mini-McMansions---you know the kind. One side brick, bay window, deck in the back. It says, “Hello, you are now officially in the suburbs.” And yet, and yet….yard chickens. It gives me hope as I look at the small Georgia town we moved to a decade ago. A little hope. Because I also see two Super-Walmarts and 15 housing development signs on every street corner. Atlanta is eating us.

We lost out Mexican-Thai restaurant this last year, the only place in America where you could go in and order Tom Ka Gai and a taco. It couldn’t compete with Chili’s and the Noodle Bar. Granted, there’s a Taco Bell in our miniscule downtown, and you can get a Pizza Hut Personal Pan Pizza there, and if THAT doesn’t make you go HMMM ….but that is somehow not the same.

But as long as there are yard chickens I may hang on here for a little. See what happens. There aren’t a lot left. My friend Julie used to go biking down what is now a main thoroughfair, back when it was newly paved, and there was PACK of red hens and little Weiner dogs all mixed in together that lived in the front yard. They'd chase her bike from one end of the yard to the other, some barking and some releasing outraged, piercing clucks. Attack Chickens, Julie called them. They are gone, and they have taken all their weiner dogs with them.

The man who sat out on his front porch, shirtless, wearing overalls, and asked Sam to touch his piglet (and he was, thank God, holding a piglet when he said it) packed up and moved farther out into the wilds of Paulding county. The Sam-touched piglet has long been sausage, and now no new piglet will come to our neighborhood.

I’m sad about that.

We have good friends here and a good church, but as I watch more and more mini malls take over the fields between us and Hiram, more and more trees are bulldozered so 350K same-same-allsame houses can stick up like thumbs on the barren landscape with two bulimic option-package saplings flanking the uniform brick porches….I keep thinking, “No one is going to like it if I put goats in my backyard.”

And what’s the POINT, I ask you, of living outside the city then? The city is where the good theatre is and the only place to get decent Tapas and go to literary events and in the city I can find the kind of bar that knows how to make a chocolate covered cherry martini without resorting to squirting Hershey’s syrup and some Maraschino juice into tepid Vodka, and REALLY, I am SERIOUSLY asking you, what is the POINT of being AWAY from all that, if you can’t put GOATS in your BACK YARD?

I love the city. I love the rural South. I’m just not sure I love whatever it is we are living in now.

Posted by joshilyn at 6:54 AM | Comments (22)

October 6, 2006

The UN-Whelked

Here is the TV interview ---thanks to my pretty friend Mir for the link. I tell ya, I LOVE that Holly Firfer---that’s the name of the cute blonde who is interviewing me, for you non-Atlanta folks who may not remember her from CNN. If you live in Atlanta area and are reading Between, Georgia you can send Holly an e-mail for a chance to be part of the on air discussion on October 25th. We could be on TV together. And I am guaranteed to make weirder facial expressions that you, so there is NO reason not to go for it!

I hate watching myself on TV --- AND this time I forgot to vainly take my glasses off! MAN, I must have been nervous. I didn’t think I was, but I sound REALLY Southern, and when my accent escapes my control, it means I am nerved up. OR I have had a minimum of two beers. Since this was a morning show, let’s assume the former. *grin*

I had some trouble remaining clam yesterday. I was the opposite of Clam. Would that be UNclam? Non-clamular? Centipede-y? I FORGOT my daughter’s ballet class, even. SEE, I finally had COURT, and I was all atwitter to know if I would remain a master criminal or if my wrongful arrest would be rightfully stricken from the record. I put on four inch spike heels (red, thank you) and the kind of MAC lipstick that doesn’t come off (also red, thank VERY much), for confidence. These props failed me on every level. I was a wreck.

I had that bad-dog-in-trouble feeling I haven’t experienced since I was nine and STOLE a Christmas present out from under the Gayfer’s Department Store Christmas tree.
TRUE STORY: The Tree was so MATCHY MATCHY and PROFESSIONAL, like Mrs Claus had decorated it, and the tempty boxes under it were wrapped like TV presents, with hospital corners and ENORMOUS gold ribbons. I STOLE one of the smallest packages and then opened it in secret in a bathroom stall. It was empty, nothing but crumpled ribbon and ruined paper and the little cardboard box.

SO essentially, I stole NOTHING. I stole a box of Gayfer’s Rightful Air… but I felt so HORRID about it I couldn’t breath properly in Cordova Mall for months afterward. It made it worse that there was nothing to return. If only they had wrapped an actual something so I could have taken it BACK and wept and confessed and gotten absolution. Even at NINE I was a sucky master criminal. Almost thirty years later, I have not improved.

I sat in criminal-ish court which, in Austell, I SWEAR TO YOU, is now held in a MALL. Yes. A MALL. No wonder I had Stealing-From-Gayfer’s flashbacks! It is a MALL that never quite made it as a shopping complex---there used to be an awesome Cajun place in it and a dollar store and a Claire’s Earring Boutique and a Clinque Spackle Make-up shop etc etc. All those closed, and now it has….criminals. And a center fountain.

Because I had a lawyer, we didn’t have to go sit for the whole session. We got to go first. WHICH WAS GREAT. Because the guy I walked in with had a MULLET and a police escort and his hands were chained to his waist and he smelled like prison. NEAT. I did not want to, you know, hang out. Make friends. Pick up cool prison lingo. I just wanted to GO HOME.

So …. The clerk comes out and I pleaded guilty to speeding because…I was speeding. As for the BEING A TERRORIST WITH A FALSE IDENTITY WHO IS ALL COVERT AND POSSIBLY EVEN THE DEVIL, my lawyer walked them through my paperwork proving it was a DMV/Social Security Office joint balls-up, and so those were dropped.

BUT! DROPPED IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
I STILL have a freaking ARREST record. Which gives me HIVES.
If ever I get pulled over for, you know, a broken tail light or cutting a yellow light a little too close, it will COME UP on the computer that I have been ARRESTED and they will probably want to feel me up and look in my car for heroin. Cops look at you differently if you have ever been arrested.

SO, getting the charges dismissed was STEP ONE and now we are doing the million and one time consuming and expensive OTHER steps we have to do to get my record expunged. It can’t OF COURSE be as simple as proving empirically that the arrest was wrongful … OH NO! There must be multiple levels of paperwork and filing.

Your tax dollars at work…

Posted by joshilyn at 9:51 AM | Comments (18)

October 3, 2006

I Prefer to Remain Whelk

Monique works for a company that has sent all the employees a set of guidelines to use in case of an earthquake.
Top of the list: Remain Clam.
Yes. I said Clam.

I’ve been virtuously working all day! I need a little break before my mind snaps and I end up in the Safeway with a water pistol, moistening grandmothers. I must remain clam! No MOISTENING! SO, I came to talk to YOU, my prettiest internets!

THING THE FIRST: I’m going to be on the TV tomorrow. If you live in the greater metro Atlanta-ish area, why doncha watch it and then you can tell me later that I did not look like a hippo strung out on meth. Even if you have to lie. ????

I am, quite frankly, terrified. Not of being on TV--- I’ve even done this show before, and I LOVE the hosts and it’s a great show and I am their BOOK! CLUB! PICK! For October which makes me happy as …a mollusk who isn’t currently experiencing an earthquake.

I’m ascairt because LAST time I went to do TV, I was wrongfully arrested …And I am even planning on wearing the same outfit, my arrest outfit, because my other specced for TV clothes are at the cleaners. Somehow I have associated these things in my head.
Driving to TV = Jail.
Cranberry Indian Print Skirt = Jail.
So. It will be an exciting day.
Please send medication.

SECONDLY THING: Based on TRAFFIC today when I drove my kids to their various institutions of learning, October 3rd is “Be a big jerk day!”
AND NO ONE TOLD ME!
But hey, never too late to jump on the jerk bandwagon. As my jerkly contribution, I am going to hand out POUNDS AND POUNDS of COMPLETELY unsolicited advice!

***For the crafty types: Don’t crochet this.

*** For the writers who want to get blurbs and promote their work:

Send a letter through the publisher or an e-mail to a writer whose books you actually LIKE. Tell them what you like about their work, how it relates to your work, and why you think they might like your stuff back. Then ask them to read for you. You’ll get some yeses and some nos depending on the writers’ schedules, but…wow. You won’t make Scott want to punch your nose in.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD YOU EVER….
1) Use the mail forwarding service of an author you have not read and do not respect to
2) Unexpectedly mail your 500 pound book so that the author
3) gets charged 8 bucks by the service only to find the book is not even to her but rather
4) to her husband
5) whose name you have gotten wrong.

If you feel you SIMPLY MUST perpetrate 1 – 5, at least avoid 6.

6) Write an inscription to the incorrectly named husband in which you speak dismissively of his wife’s work, implying that after all HER silly prancing drek, YOUR book is going to be a relief to his manly gonads.

I TRIED to work up a good frothy outrage for the sake of a better blog, but the promo was SO botched on every level that I ended up getting the giggles and was unable to be actually offended. Now I just kinda feel bad for the guy.
Others among us, however, wanted to move directly from BE A BIG JERK day to NOSE PUNCHING day.

You don’t say mean things about me to Scott. He probably likes me better than he likes you.

***For the owners of delicious yellow kittens who keep sending me pictures of said kittens and linking to blogs with pictures of said kittens and telling me cute little anecdotes about the adorableness of said kittens: You do not need those kittens. Send them to me.

THERE! That’s, like, THREE unsolicited advices. PLENTY to make me a big enough jerk to satisfy the holiday.

What did YOU do to be a jerk today?

Posted by joshilyn at 4:07 PM | Comments (33)

October 1, 2006

Things I need to be Truly! Happy! Forever!

1) A kitten. The successful candidate will be yellow and possess an enormous puffy tail. Competitive salary and a benefits package including Iams kibble and “being named Pompymoose.”

Scott says I don’t want JUST a kitten. A kitten, he says, is not enough pets for me, and TRULY the number of pets I need is a variable, demonstrated via this mathematical formula:

Truly! Happy! Forever! = X+1

Here, X is the number of pets I have NOW.

So FIVE is currently X, as we have Schubert the cat and then four gerbils named Cosy Mole Mouse, Snickers, Alice, and That Cross Dressing Poet Tennyson.

Once Pompymoose is installed, X will become 6 (+1), because, SCOTT SAYS, I will then need a parrot. And then a goat, And then another goat for company for the first goat because otherwise the first goat will be lonely and lonely goats head-butt and eat your wash off the line. Then he says I will need a hedgehog named Pigling Bland because that is the very best name for a hedgehog and it seems a shame to not have an actual hedgehog to pin it on. And then a horse to keep the goats company and a medium-sized houndish sort of dog and a small herd of those vibrantly colored and sleek and adorable house lizards to run up and down the walls and eat any roaches that DARE put one clicky, repulsive, pointy leg-end part into my domain. Also, Sam wants a snake. I am open to the concept, as long it is a small cricket-eating sort who won’t be eyeing That Cross Dressing Poet Tennyson.

I say, “Silly Scott, That’s not TRUE! RIGHT NOW, I only need one negligible kitten.”

And I think that’s reasonable. Kittens are SMALL and make peeping noises and delight me. Just say yes to kittens, I say! Or a houndy-dog. Or a goat. See, I am SO VERY reasonable.

2) To secede from the union and live here. With X number of goats. Plus one. And a SMOKIN’ HOT internet con I would steal from my wealthy neighbor, America.

Reasonablereasonablereasonable.

3) Another beer.

4) A time machine, so I can travel back 48 hours and change, back to those halcyon days of innocence and sugared air, back BEFORE I decided I needed to march around the house for a solid hour listening to GOLDFRAPP to mentally prep to write a sex scene because you KNOW how comfortable I feel staring at my characters delecto-ing their flagrants and such because we southern girls are FAMOUSLY unrepressed, right? Right! SO!

I marched and marched and Goldfrapped and thought about the mechanics of the thing and how to indicate what was going WHERE without baldfaced directly LOOKING at it, you know, and my cheeks were all ablush. SO I am thinking and marching and marching and plotting and thinking with Goldfrapp….and I did not notice Miss Maisy came up from the basement where she had been playing with the Living Family Happy Non-Gold Unfrapped Dollhouse, and she was marching behind me, one little foot after another, and now I have a four year old who wanders through the kitchen warbling “I’m in LOVE! I’m in LOVE! I’m in LOOOOVE with a STRICT! MACHINE!”

“No,” I say. “You are NOT.”

“Wonderful! Electric!” she trills.

“WANT A COOKIE?” I say. “WANT TO PUT A COOKIE IN YOUR MOUTH AND CHEW IT AND NOT SING THAT SONG WHICH SOUNDS SO VERY DIRTY?”

“Uma LUB Wibba Stwick Ma-Shee,” she yodels, spewing crumbs across my kitchen.

So.

Scott has looked over my list and says I have an EXCELLENT shot at being Truly! Happy! Forever! if I choose just one of my four needs. He suggests I pick number three, and he is going now to the fridge to make all of my dreams come true using a mathematical formula that looks like this:

X = all dreams come true.
And here, you understand, x is defined as “my very best boyfriend is getting me a beer.”
I think it will work.

Posted by joshilyn at 7:03 PM | Comments (17)