I'm leaving the old intro here, but adding this- it appears the doves have taken over my blog for their fiction. Just as well, I was doing a piss poor job of updating. They're doing much better.

This blog is infrequently updated, full of incorrect spellings, misused words, and general bad grammar. It started when I was trying to use google+ (which I've since given up on) and discovered there was no character limit for posts. If you've known me a long time, a lot of these stories will be old hat. If you plan to know me for a long time, you'll no doubt hear many of them in person. But, folks seemed to enjoy them, so here they are.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Seventy Second Story

Looking out the window as we were landing in Florida, there was an egret, enormous and white, floating along outside my window for a very long moment. It was as though he was guiding us in; some sort of divine tugboat so gloriously graceful that he needn't a rope to pull us behind him.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

the Seventy First Story

The first winter I was in Boston, My father had just moved to Miami. There was one really brutal week up north where the highs (not including windchill) didn't make it up to 0 degrees. At one point during the week we were talking on the phone, and the weather came up. He started in about how it was cold down south, too, and all the fancy ladies had broken out their fur coats. I asked him how cold it was. He said it had gotten down to nearly 40 one night. That remains the only time I've sworn at my Dad.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

the seventieth story

this is very quick. At least the first few years I was in high school, the group of friends I was part of would have the Fete Du Triumph at the end of each school year. This was a big party, some two or three days long, out in the woods. Folks would camp out or not, but there was a bonfire, full bodily contact capture the flag, and all the other craziness one might expect. My freshman year, my brother was going, and so, of course, I wanted to go, too. I called up my mom. I told her about it. I asked if I could go. She said I still had finals left on Monday, and I needed to come home and study. Before thinking about it, I said "but Mom- there's gonna be drugs and fire and sex!". There was a pause and a slight sigh from Mom. "Shall I bring your sleeping bag, or are you all set?"

the sixty ninth story

Previously mentioned- there was a surprisingly active live action role playing club at my high school. I was part of it. My English teacher, one year, had done some in that past. She also felt that role playing increased kids vocabularies, helped them get past that first hurdle of starting to tell a story, and generally made for better writers. Her way of giving back- she would respond to anyone using the accepted signs as though in a game- that is to say, if you entered class just a bit late, but did so very quietly, while making the handsign for invisibility, she wouldn't mark you late.

the Sixty Eighth Story

As teenagers, we used to frequent the 24 hour diners. Honestly, even as an adult, I look for a nearby 24 hour diner when picking a living situation. If one happens to be still awake at 3am, diner food is wonderful. One of these times, we were at the diner very late at night. It was a group of us, and not the best looking group- there were black trench coats and boots and lots and lots of mud. One particular young man was in full on black lipstick and white facepaint that had begun to run after a full night of sprinting about in the woods. He looked like shit. He carefully counted out enough coins and ordered a coffee. The rest of us placed our orders as well. The waitress came back with everything, plus an enormous blueberry muffin, cut in half, toasted, and buttered, which she placed in front of him with a big smile.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

the Sixty Seventh Story

I worked at a pet store for one year in high school. People would sometimes drop off little kittens in cardboard boxes, hoping we'd take over finding them homes. One time, we got two little bits who were only  a few hours old. They came home with me- they needed to be few every hour, so I would take them everywhere. They would suckle on anything, given the chance, so had to be kept separate when unsupervised to prevent them from hurting each other. So- to attend school with them as subtly as possible, I would put one in the right pocket of my lab coat, and the other in the left. All my teachers pretended not to notice, and I pretended not to know that they knew. I'd feed them in the bathroom between each class, and, for a few weeks, was late to everything. No one complained. As they got a bit bigger and only needed one feeding during the school day (and had stopped suckling each other's fur off), my art teacher agreed to let them stay in her office.

the sixty sixth story

When I was in high school, I hung out with a lot of goths. Being the perennially difficult person that I am, there was no way I was going to wear a long black coat if everyone else was doing it. One afternoon, after school, my friend Michelle and I were up to some mischief or other, and we ended up in one of the science classrooms. There was a white lab coat just hanging there, and in my size. I snatched it. I admit it. And I wore that thing all the time from there out- if it was cold, it would be under another coat, but it was always there. I loved having the pockets, and, I have to admit it, I loved that I was the only one who had one. Even my very conservative Jewish grandmother loved it- when it finally was so stained as to need to be replaced, she ordered one for each of us.

the sixty fourth story

The previous story was likely based on this one, in which I was only tangentially involved, and thus I am missing many of the details that would really make the telling worth the event.

I don't know how this started, but I do know everyone had water guns. There was an arms race that reminded one of the cold war- if one side got a supersoaker, the other would find a way to procure a supersoaker 500, and on up. There were folks involved that made no sense whatsoever- this war was not limited to the freaks and geeks- it was everyone. There were people coming in from out of town and doing drivebys in our dunkin donuts parking lots. No one was left dry. Alliances changed regularly, and with an alacrity that made it impossible for one to know if the car approaching was a friend or foe. It was best to simply leap behind the closest vehicle and hope to dodge the water that was quite likely to be coming your way. It ended as suddenly as it began, and I have no idea, really, what happened, except that for a few weeks, the world was tremendously exciting.

the sixty fifth Story

My art teacher, Ms. Joyce Hannah, used to take us all into the city occasionally. She'd hire a bus (a  nice one, with bathrooms!) and we'd get our permission slips signed, and most of the time, she'd just have the bus drop us off at the corner of Houston and Broadway streets, with the only rules being the time we were to meet the bus and that we had to eat something interesting for lunch. We'd go to galleries, and my favorite toy store, and eat empanadas and think we were hot shit. One of these times, though, there was a particular exhibit she wanted us to see at the Met. She had the bus drop us off in the middle of central park. As anyone local to NYC knows, the Met is free if you want it to be, but there is a suggested donation of something very high. If you show up as a school group, they give you a discount, but take away the option of not paying. So, she divided us up into groups, and handed each of us a dime to give them, to at least pay for our little tags. And we all met up at the exhibit, thrilled that our teacher had gamed the system.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

the sixty third story

Most of the real solid pranksters I was friends with in high school were either two or three years older than I. That meant that, my junior year, there was a gaping hole. No specific person filled it, but we did our best to keep up the tradition of pranks. For St Patrick's day, the fellow I was dating at the time decided we were going to stage the Catholics vs the  protestants. I sewed a huge irish flag (accidentally bigger than the US flag on the pole- whoops!) Very early, before classes, we snuck onto the campus, ran the American flag down the pole, clipped the irish flag right below it, and ran it back up. Then a bunch of folks stationed themselves at the front door of the school, handing out either a green or an orange sash to each kid who entered, along with a water pistol and the admonishion that the war would happen only outside of classes- all classrooms were to be considered temporary truces. And sure enough, we had a schoolwide water fight, with spies, and ambushes, and folks who "just happened" to have larger guns secreted away in their lockers. My memory is that no one got in trouble, but I could be wrong.

the sixty second story

there's a secret I haven't told you. I have a diary. I only write in it occasionally, and it exists on my harddrive, there are no paper copies. It isn't public, but, I wanted to tell the story of this day, and the fact is- there's no way I can do a better job than to simply copy and paste the word document into this space. So, I know that this was written on 5/24/99. This is the unedited text of a 17 year old girl's diary, complete with embarrassing bits on my adolescent interest in boys. It was a grand day.

I forgot my shoes
Not really, though
I had one
See, last week I was looking for my boots
And yesterday my mother borrowed the car
Cause its big
For cages
And she saw one of my boots
And she told me so
And I figured if there was one there would be two
And this morning I was in a hurry
So I figured there would be two
And I left
And I went to school
And I got to school
And there was only one
So I didn't have shoes
And it was raining a little then
So my socks were wet
And I went to class
And my math teacher won't tell us what our final project is
And then I went to English
And we had a seminar on time
I liked Gatsby
And Nick didn't live in the past
And fourth period I made graphs
And I forgot to eat lunch
But I was hungry
So I went to gym
And didn't do much
And sixth period I went to get money
From Phil
For lunch
But I forgot lunch again
I had given my five dollars to Sarav
Except that sarav wasn't there
So I wrote all over it
So no one else would take it
That was fourth period
Or maybe fifth
And sixth I spent in someone else's English class
And seventh was physics, except it wasn't
And I had all six physics books in a paper bag with handles
And then all I had was the handles
And then I was lugging all six physics books around in my arms
Six physics books weigh about 20 pounds
And then I carried them all down to the library
But I didn't go to the library
Me and my physics books went to the tech room, instead
I need to finish my fish
And I talked physics with a little freshman
He's going to be the next Bill Gates
I need to marry a rich man
He doesn't believe in faeries
He's a freshman
Elana says he likes me
He's a freshman
I'm so petty
Eighth was French
I went
Stuff due tomorrow
No filming after school
English instead
Food first
I had forgotten to eat lunch
We went out to my car to go to the Deli
The most Surreal five minutes of Elana's life
Me with no shoes, dancing in the rain
Thunder Lightening
Sheets of rain
W e both got in car
Chris was on the windshield
Funny, he wasn't there a second before
Not moving,
We can't have run over him
We haven't moved yet
Wipers weren't on, couldn't see him till he was pressed up against the glass
Not his face
His whole body
I need to wash my car
Why won't the Rain?
He went to Elana's window
Said he's soaked
Ran around to my side of the car
Elana was still looking for him out her window
I jumped out to dance, Chris jumped in
Elana looked over at me
I was Chris
Elana looked confused
Chris got out
I got in
Chris ran off
I turned on wipers and drove to the deli
I got a sandwich
Elana got sugar
Back to the tech room
I said I'm changing clothes in there
Brendan offered to duct tape venetian blinds up for me
We made Brendan leave
I change
Clothes strewn all over tech room
I laugh and put them away
I had a change of clothes in the tech room
We went back outside the library to eat
Brendan came
He missed his bus
Raining to hard to walk
He'd melt or something
Maybe short-circuit
I drove him home at three
Before that he played with my physics books
I can talk physics with him
Talk about surreal
He's a freshman
I came back
And went to go to the bathroom
On the way I put green footprints on the wall
I wiped off some of the paint
And put my socks back on
Later the green seeped through
We did English
Talk about surreal
We hear,
Topless dancers are the same as models
I agree
Elana doesn't
Elana took modeling classes
No matter what you do,
you have to sell yourself or starve
I think I'll starve
Maybe I'll sell myself
And marry a rich man
Maybe I'll be a topless dancer
But I can't dance
And I don't have a middle name
So I'll starve
And paint
And eat paint
I don't like that
I don't know what I'll do
We all go home.

Monday, December 17, 2012

the sixty first story

I had lots of pets growing up. One of my ferrets got cancer when I was in high school- maybe sophomore year. I was sad, no way around it. I must have been even more quiet than normal, as one of my friends, a certain Armando, asked me what was wrong. I told him about my ferret. I likely cried- I was a sensitive soul. The very next day he set up a fund among my friends to buy me a baby ferret. Sure enough, they raised the money, and I got to go out, several weeks after my elder ferret passed on, and buy myself a little ferret kit. I was delighted with the ferret, but moreso, with the fact that a group of people (mind you, a group I had not really considered myself terribly close to) would do that for me.

the Sixtieth Story

Our friend Dave had this thing called the Boognish. It was used as a nom de plume for pranks, and its face graced any number of unexpected places. Once, painted from edge to edge of a king size sheet, it was lovingly placed between the upraised arms of the field goal during the night before a home game. Several friends were in marching band, and thus got the full effect of this visage. It was beautiful. We felt like princes, or at least like rooks. It came down, but we were able to claim it and secret it away with the band uniforms. We decided we needed to recreate this wonder at the next away game. On the way, the bus stopped at a travel plaza thing for everyone to grab lunch, and our coterie snuck into the store, hoping to buy tape and rope. There was none. There were, however, furry handcuffs. I don't really want to think about the person who buys furry handcuffs at a truckstop, but we bought two pair. There were three of us- two gals and a guy, buying two pairs of handcuffs while grinning maniacally and holding a balled up king sized sheet. We made a fantastic impression. When we got to the game, though, there was a)no way we could hang the thing from the field goal without rope or a ladder, of which we had neither and b)no way we could be gone long enough to really fully pull the prank, anyway. We hung it from the back of the stands, instead.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

the Fifty Ninth Story

In light of recent events, I think i'd like to tell some Newtown stories. Yes, it was a sleepy suburb, but if anything, that forced us to use our imaginations to entertain ourselves, and we had a hell of a good time.

This story that comes up sometimes in conversations about my interactions with police (and the fact that I love them). I was in the role playing club, and we were the pinnacle of geeky- live action, vampire based games. Hell yeah. I loved it. Sometimes, we would have weekend games, not at the school, and sometimes these games featured boffer weapons- that is, pipe covered in foam with which two people might beat each other fairly safely. We would refer to these games as "going into the woods and hitting our friends with sticks". One of these games, though, was not in the woods- it was in the local cemetery, very late at night. Sure enough, a cop showed up. We didn't scatter, or not fast enough, and when he drove up, we were all standing there, looking foolish. He got out of his car. He asked us what we were doing. We explained. He asked us what kind of foam we used. We told him it was from an old couch. He said that some other, very specific foam was much better. We asked where to get it. He said he had lots extra, as he hadn't really had the time to make any new boffer weapons since joining the force, and he'd drop it by our club meeting the next friday. Then he told us to get out of the cemetery and go into the woods if we wanted to keep the game going. And, in a final note of awesomeness, as he was getting back into the car, he took a moment, turned himself into a gamemaster, and told a short story about why all the vampires had to run into the woods.

the Fifty Eighth Story

I have, throughout my life, moved a great deal. I never claim any one place as a “Hometown”, and most of the time, when people ask where I'm from, I just wave my hand in a vague way and say “East Coast, U.S.” and leave it at that. I have, very likely, never said Connecticut. But every time I drive on 84, I start hitting exits, and I remember parties that happened here, or friends that lived there. I remember summer jobs and cheap gas stations and diners and ice cream shops, and I feel like I am coming home. And so, even though I can not claim Newtown, I still feel connected to it enough that I want to say this.

My family moved to Newtown the summer before I entered ninth grade. I was nerdy, and geeky, and weird, and I had spent my middle school career being as quiet as possible, hoping that no one would notice. But already in that first year in Newtown, I met some other nerdy, geeky people. We made a Rube Goldberg machine, and there were enough other weird, nerdy folks to make a competition. When I got to Newtown high, I found a school that revered its drama club as highly as its football team- the days before the musical opened had the same high stress fun as those before homecoming. There was a role playing club, and a fantastic art department, and the ability to sign up for classes at the local college if you wanted more variety in credits. The community embraced the nerdy, the geeky, the weird. Columbine happened while I was in high school, and we, as children ourselves, would joke that there was no way it could happen in Newtown, not because we were a sleepy little suburb, but because the goths were too damned happy. I know, as an adult, that none of that has anything to do with a mentally disturbed young man who clearly would have needed more direct help than some after school singing lessons. Knowing, of course, does not make these events less of a shock. I can not even begin to fathom the emotions experienced by those who truly are part of the community, much less those directly involved. Still, here is my toast to the town that taught me it was ok to be different.

the Fifty Seventh Story

This morning, at nine AM, I rode through the beginnings of a Santa themed pub crawl. That really ought to have been enough of a hint for me to take a different route home.

the Fifty Sixth Story

Then, on my way home today, I was crusing along in my empty bike lane, next to a long line of stopped cars waiting for their light. There was someone double parked blocking my lane. The cabbie on his back end actually put his taxi into reverse and pulled back far enough to give me room to merge into his lane. Then the taxi in front of him pulled forward, allowing enough room for me to pull back into my bike lane and keep moving. Right now I have a lot of love for Chicago taxi cabs.

the Fifty Fifth Story

so, a couple days ago, I was riding peacefully down Clark. The taxicab behind me saw the guy in the parked car in front of me start to open his door. He came to a screeching halt to allow space for me to swing out around the door, and then he got out of his car to yell at the dude for not checking and almost dooring a bicyclist.