April 29, 2006

Kill Me Now Before Everybody Realizes I'm a Fraud

I am having one of those moments of insecurity that always cause me to procrastinate until the last possible minute. I am working on a grant, and I feel like I have been turned loose with no idea what I'm doing. I feel like the world is my etch-a-sketch, but I am sans opposable thumbs and any previous etch-a-sketch experience. It's quite discouraging.

I know I'm being ridiculous, but I was sick all week, so I feel behind, and I feel like what I did last weekend could be classified as "sucked-a-lot," too. Add to that the fact that I am no longer holding to my old addage (I am a grown up, so I do not work on weekends anymore), and you get one fairly crazy chica.

I used to do this in college. I would sit at my computer all weekend dinking around and do only probably 10 hours of real work, but my whole weekend was ruined because of it. But the difference is that back then, one of my closest friends was in my program and had already done the assignment four weeks ago, so I could just ask her what she thought the assignment meant.

There's nothing to make you feel like a sixth grader so much as sucking at something you enjoy.

And the truth is, all I really want to do right now is go to Albertville; look at bookcases; have a tall, cold beer and a cheeseburger; and stay up all night watching movies. Where have all my 20's gone? I don't know. And eventually, everybody is going to realize that I have been faking it for years and have no idea how to write a complete sentence. And then I will have to live in a box. Or with my parents, which would be worse.

Somebody kill me, please, and spare me the humiliation.

Posted by LoWriter at 12:47 PM | Comments (0)

April 26, 2006

April Is National Poetry Month

So, every year, I promise myself that this blog is going to go crazy with poetry come April, and every year, I flake out and forget and don't do anything, but I decided that I must at least nod at the occasion.

My workplace celebrates Poetry Month, but this year I did not really feel like partaking. I did do my part by typing up poems to post. This is my way of contributing to the committee without having to actually be on one more committee. It's quite the nice alternative. (Plus, I love the chair. She's fantastic and a very gifted poet herself.)

I celebrated by actually touching my poems again. I haven't done poetry in awhile. I looked back at my stuff and decided that the large majority of it was crap. I blame Skittles. Not because they're responsible, but because eveyone knows that somebody must be blamed, and who better to blame than Skittles? (I am probably blaming them because I am running a fever and am stuck at work and it seems funny to me even though it probably isn't, too.)

So, basically, I cut a poem in half. I decided that part of my problem in poetry is the same as my problem in everyday life, which is that I talk too much. It might be better now. I can't tell. But I decided that I don't care about spirituality in my poems right now. I was trying for awhile to make everything about the big contradiction between religion and true spirituality (as I saw it), but it all came out with mixed messages. I'm scrapping that. And I've got enough distance on it to feel like I can scrap it, so that's a good thing. It's just become less important to me. I only have one job when I'm writing these days: Have fun. I'm not concerned about theme or presentation or poise or pacing or anything other than playing with the words. That's not to say that I'm writing much because I'm not, but when I do write, it's better than it used to be. (Excluding, of course, this website where I merely spew random thoughts into the big empty black hole that is the internet.)

My favorite poet is Edna St. Vincent Millay, and there's a new biography out about her that I want to read. I enjoy her because she makes me laugh ("Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand/come and see my shining palace built upon the sand.") I also enjoy Sylvia Plath with "Lady Lazarus," and lately I am a fan of Robert Frost, particularly "Birches" although there was a time when I didn't like his stuff very much. I think maybe you have to be older to appreciate Robert Frost fully. I also found a lot of stuff I hadn't read before this month.

So, here's my favorite poem from Poetry Month. I hope you all celebrate by reading a poem/discussing your favorite poem/posting a poem to share in the comments.

Dream Song

I go about pitying myself
While I am carried by the wind
Across the sky

~Chippewa poem translated by Frances Densmore

Posted by LoWriter at 03:40 PM | Comments (5)

April 14, 2006

Sweedish Fish Worship, Half a Bottle of Brandy and Other Interesting Fragments to Make for an Incredibly Long Title

Interesting Fragment A: Here is my favorite clip on the internet right now. It makes me laugh out loud.

Sweedish Fish Worship: If I were going to create a religion, I would not muck around with worshipping aliens like some (crazy) stars we might think of like, oh, I don't know TOM CRAZY CRUISE.

Oh, no. If I were going to create a religion, it would center around worshipping the Sweedish Fish. And the only appropriate way to worship it would be to eat them in large quantities.

I love Sweedish Fish. I sneak them into the movie theater on a regular basis. They make a long drive that much more fun. How can you not be excited to be driving on a nice, sunny day while listening to Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell and eating Sweedish Fish? You can't not be excited when the planets line up to create such a perfect set of circumstances as that. Quit lying.

Half a Bottle of Brandy: So far, the highlight of my visit came in the first 15 minutes after I walked in the door. Dad asked me if I wanted some Brandy and took down half a bottle of Christian Brothers Brandy from the shelf in the kitchen.

Now, my family is a bunch of teetotalers (yours truly excluded although I plan to one day completely abandon the stuff as well) (most of my family had their "roaring 20s" and then settled down into the teetotaling bunch they are now, so no, I don't think that statement makes me sound like an alcoholic). So, it is completely uncharacteristic for my dad to a) even mention alcohol (I think he feels awkward now that we all know he spent some time enjoying beer in his younger days) or b) allow it to sit in plain view on his kitchen shelf (excluding the time my grandpa tried to put raisins in gin for some "medical" reason I no longer remember or the time my little sister brought back the bottles of "apple jack" that Grandma, Grandpa and Dad had created while trying to bottle apple juice) (don't ask). And he would never, ever seriously offer me brandy.

It was Grandpa's Brandy. He had it on a shelf in the back of the closet. Dad revealed that Grandpa used to mix up "What he called a hot toddy" on particularly cold nights "once in a great, great while." Dad said that Grandma wanted Dad to have it because he'd "get a kick out of it."

I get a kick out of it, too. Not because I have my own half bottle of rum hidden in my filing cabinet (which I do) but because I think it's sweet and funny all at the same time. Some of you know that I interviewed my grandpa last summer and tape recorded those interviews. I wanted to know more about the farm, but I found out a lot about my grandpa. One of the things I found out was that on hot days after haying, he used to come in for a beer, but he quit when us kids started asking about it because he thought, "Those little girls don't need to see that" (probably not an exact quote but as close as I can get without sifting through three cassetts and bawling my eyes out, so it'll have to do).

I don't know what it is that I find so poignant about this. Maybe it's just that I feel like I'm like him, and I feel like even if he knew about the rum, he'd probably laugh a bit. I'm not sure. It makes me laugh and cry all at the same time. All this from half a bottle of brandy.

Posted by LoWriter at 03:28 PM | Comments (19)

April 11, 2006

It's ON

To the person who ate my string cheese:

(Unless you turn out to be a friend who accidentally grabbed the wrong string cheese, in which case, ignore the following. Friends are forgiven automatically because they've had to put up with my crabbiness and will probably continue having to for weeks to come.) Otherwise...

You are worse than the person who stole my grapes last year, mostly because I am sad, and string cheese is the highlight of my day. I bought it for the express purpose of forcing myself to eat my lunch even though I'm sad. Grapes are something I eat because the surgeon general tells me to. String cheese is something I eat for the sheer enjoyment of string cheese with the added bonus that it's good for my bones (because I'm a chick). String cheese is the only thing standing between me and a steady diet of nothing but Whoppers.

If, in fact, you did not mean to steal my string cheese, then I suppose I can forgive you. If, on the other hand, you meant to steal my string cheese, you are now my rival (not my arch-nemesis; I already have one of those. Don't flatter yourself--it takes a special kind of evil in order to attain arch-nemesis). If you are not sure that you ate my string cheese, it had a dumb picture of "Cheesoids" on it because it is Crystal Farms, the best kind. And there were two of them--one for lunch and one for a snack at my night job.

Additionally, whoever brought in rice crispie bars is definitely going to heaven while you, String Cheese Stealer, unfortunately, are definitely going to hell.

To conclude, if I were feeling nicer, I would probably not have written this, but I'm a vicious SOB these days, and you are the lowest of the low because you steal string cheese from sad people who are using it to bribe themselves to get their % daily value of grapes, String Cheese Snatcher.


Posted by LoWriter at 03:07 PM | Comments (8)

April 04, 2006


Grandpa's funeral was on Saturday. It kind of fits if you knew him. Crazy relatives were present in abundance.

So, I've decided that what I only knew in theory before is actually true; grief is different each time you experience it. So, not only is our condition impossible because we can't understand each other but also because we can't even understand ourselves.

I'm sorry if you've been trying to reach me. I've been really good at responding to emails and really terrible about responding to phone calls. And I'm sorry in advance if I don't write on here for awhile. I'm finding that everything grates on me a bit. I do appreciate all your calls and emails, though. Don't feel like it's that I don't appreciate you. I'm just feeling kinda... raw... or bruised.

And I didn't read a single book in March, so I won't be posting a book list this month, either.

Posted by LoWriter at 08:57 AM | Comments (2)