create_destiny: (Road To Karma)
1. The thought of our next president being that Mc guy.

2. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

3. Remembering how I used to sing this song to my nephew Curtis when he was a baby:

For Bobby

Dec. 7th, 2007 10:19 pm
create_destiny: (Default)
Dear Bobby,

Tonight I went to Barnes & Noble to pick out a few books to mail to you for Christmas. It was hard to choose because you just turned four last month and I haven't seen you since your first Mother died. I don't know what books you already have, but I assume you have some because I know your Dad likes to read books.

I browsed the picture book section and bought you some books that Karma and I had when we were kids: Harry the Dirty Dog***Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile***The Fire Cat and a book of poetry by Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends.

Looking at all the children's picture books sunk my heart into murky water where memories of your Mother lay and the reality of her departure from this world and what she had to leave behind: you, her beloved son and the rest of us who loved her so much.

There seemed to be so much symbolism in the titles of books on these shelves, books about things she loved when she was alive: horses, unicorns, rabbits. I pulled a book about horses off the shelf and looked at the pages, wondering if she is riding horses in another world with your brother Brandon, your uncle Bobby and your Grandma and Grandpa Jones. Or maybe they're riding unicorns, who knows? Or giant velvetine rabbits.

I got you these books because they are familiar to me and they live somewhere in my soul and in Karma's soul, too.
create_destiny: (statue head)
After San Francisco we headed south to the sand dune town of Marina, just a few miles north of the Monterey Peninsula. We checked into our hotel around 6:00 pm and rushed to the nearest beach to catch a phenomenal sunset.

marina beach at dusk

After the evening light took its final bow, we headed to a randomly selected seafood restaurant. We looked at their menu and decided the prices were too high. Next door was a Korean BBQ. We looked at their menu and decided the price was right.

None of us had ever eaten Korean food before so we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. My Mom and I played it safe and decided to split an order of "Tofu and Vegetables." My Dad ordered "Beef and Vegetables" with the beef on the side (this cracked my Mother and I up -- that's pretty much like ordering lasagna with the noodles on the side, wouldn't you say?).

Anyway, what the waitress delivered to our table will be the subject of a humorous yet cautionary tale passed down in my family through the generations for at least the next few weeks.

What came to our table was a large tray with 8-10 small white bowls, each filled with an unidentifiable "vegetable" matter. We politely thanked the waitress and waited until she was out of ear shot before we started in with the what in the hell have we got here jokes. My Mom thought it was the discarded remains from a fisherman's bait bucket. I wondered if it was the same organic sea debris we had just seen washed up on the shore.

We started forking small portions of the more edible-looking matter onto our plates. One bowl contained rubbery minnows (none for me, thank you). Another had white blubbery chunks in it. Other bowls held what looked like fried grass. I thought I recognized a form of zucchini in another.

In the spirit of adventure I tried to shirk off my narrow, white American culinary expectations and experience something new. I stabbed some of the blubbery substance onto my fork and gave it a go. It was soft and actually kind-of tasty truth be told, but I couldn't get past the fact that I didn't know what the hell it was. It could have been octopus testicles for all I knew!

We ate as much as we could. My Dad even ate some of the minnows. "Oh God, they're chewy!", he said as he ate them.

The next morning we explored the Carmel River State Beach. Here's some sea matter that looks suspiciously like our dinner at the Korean BBQ. I just now googled "Korean cuisine" and it's true! Seaweed and other algae are part of a balanced Korean diet.


My Dad dared my Mom to pick up this thick, ropey strand of seaweed. She was apprehensive at first, but figured, what the hell we were putting this stuff in our mouths the night before. She said it felt like a garden hose. The part she's holding on to is called the "stipe." Finally, the mystery of Michael Stipe's last name is revealed! From here on out you can think of him as "Michael Seaweed Stem." I know I will.

carmel river beach6
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Mom & Dad @ City Lights

My folks and I went on a literary pilgrimage of sorts. Our first destination was City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco's Italian-American district--- better known as "North Beach." North Beach was once a low-rent bohemian scene where Ginsburg, Burroughs, Kerouac, Neal Cassady, Gary Snyder, Ruth Weiss and other artists, musicians and free-spirits lived, wrote and played.

City Lights Bookstore was co-founded in 1953 by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. This bookstore shared the same name with Ferlinghetti's pop-culture magazine City Lights. A few years later a publishing wing was formed. In 1956 City Lights published Ginsburg's Howl and Other Poems and gained notoriety from the obcenity trial which followed.

My Dad refers to the first time he heard a reading of Howl as a pivitol point in his existence. He's also a big Kerouac fan, but made a point of telling me several times, "These guys are assholes, I hope you know that. I used to like them but they're all just a bunch of cock-sucking assholes."

Don't get me wrong, he's got no problem with guys sucking cock. I'm not sure what the problem is, but it's not that. Later he told me Kerouac's The Town and The City is his favorite.

city lights bk store1

A few years ago my Dad wrote these lines about Ginsberg: I heard Allen read (perform?) "Kaddish" in Kansas City back in the early 70s at the University of Missouri, the place was packed with neo-beats, long haired, tofu-sucking, kelp-eating, new-age hippie freaks; the type of people Jack Kerouac held in the highest disregard. The whole scene turned me off...

I could have browsed for days in City Lights Bookstore. I showed considerable restraint and acquired only a copy of Carson McCullers' The Member of the Wedding which was recommended to me by one of favorite ljers [ profile] robin_rule and seconded by my Father. I also picked up an issue of "Cometbus." Maybe I'm a girl with low ambitions but I think you've done something pretty cool when City Lights sells copies of your zine.

These are the stairs leading to City Light's famous poetry room. Poetry books I was sorely tempted to acquire included Poems from Guantanamo, The McSweeney's Book of Poets Picking Poets and The Essential Neruda.


Read more... )
create_destiny: (Default)
My good friend, Jeff Brunson of Ft. Wayne, Indiana passed away two days ago after a brief struggle with cancer. As far as I know he had only been diagnosed a couple of weeks ago. But the diagnosis was pretty bleak: cancer in his brain, his liver and his bones. He was only 44 years old.

Jeff Brunson 3 Jeff Brunson 1

Scanned photos of Jeff taken in the early 1990's--In our backyard with our new kitten & Manic journalist at work in our tiny apartment.

I met Jeff in 1990 when we were both poor college students. When he found out that I had a secret crush on him we started going out. He became my first "co-habitation boyfriend." We lived together for about 2 years until he morphed into the brother I never had and I had to end our relationship. It just felt too weird to make out with my brother. But we remained great friends. After I left Ft. Wayne, he stayed in contact with my folks and would bring his new girlfriends to their house for BBQs and euchre.

But man, the times we had when we were together were some of the best in my life. Protests, Grateful Dead shows, Pints of Ben & Jerry's Rain Forest Crunch and The Simpsons on a Sunday night.

Read more... )
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My parents with Kurt Vonnegut, April 18, 1985, University of Toledo.

This is what my Dad has to say about meeting one of his "literary heros":

...the meeting was fantastic; [Vonnegut] did not disappoint me as other authors I worked with in my long and checkered career selling books have. [Specific person] was the manager of the [big chain bookstore] in Toledo, I the district manager. When she told me that the University of Toledo had approached her about selling books at the lecture and after I changed my pissed in pants I put into motion the idea of a reception. This was not a gig from corporate but one of my own making. I, as district manager, supplied the wine and cheese ([Big Chain Bookstore's] money), [Specific person] and her crew of booksellers assisted: I had them all wear a name tag that included the phrase “HI-HOst” or “HI-HOstess”. Kurt got a kick out of that. We had an amicable chat, both of us decrying the affect of the big chain book stores on the literary scene. After he left, I pilfered a long cigarette butt of his from an ashtray. I still have that Pall Mall, stuck in the base of a bust of Mark Twain. “So it goes.”

It isn’t often that one gets to meet another human to whom one assigns the status of “Hero”, approaching godhood: further it is all too often that upon meeting one’s Hero that there is disappointment or often a tremendous let down at griping the flesh (shaking hands). I was not let down nor disappointed; Vonnegut continues to rule in my pantheon of literary gods.

In the late 1970's - early 80's my Dad owned and operated his own bookstore in downtown Jefferson City, Missouri which he named, "The Mark Twain Bookstore." I was just a kid but I remember he also used the big room upstairs as an art gallery. My Dad was forced out of business when a new concept came to town called "the mall" which came complete with a big chain bookstore and essentially killed most of the downtown businesses. Because he had three young daughters to support he had little choice but to go and work for big chain bookstore. I remember this being a very difficult time for our family because my father's dream of having his own bookstore had been shattered. I also remember going to see my Dad at "the mall" where he took me to my first arcade and taught me how to play this crazy fun new video game called "Pac-Man." He was promoted up the ranks pretty quickly and we followed his promotions to Ft. Wayne, Indiana. His career with big chain bookstore only lasted for a few years before he moved on to other work but his passion for books never waned.
create_destiny: (Green Circle)
ME: "Well, at least he didn't have a long, drawn-out, agonizing death."

DAD: "What are you talking about?!? His whole life was a long, drawn-out, agonizing death."

My Folks

Dec. 3rd, 2006 03:12 pm
create_destiny: (Bonsai)
These people celebrated a friend's birthday at a gay bar last night where they did jello shots, danced in cages and watched a drag queen show!

Funny Quote from my Dad:

ME: "Have you tried any herbal remedies for your insomnia?"

DAD: "Just coffee."

Funny Quote from the BF:

ME: "Can you hand me my purse?"

BF: "Which one? The girly one or the lesbian explorer one?"
create_destiny: (Road To Karma)
The story of my family can be told in the rocks we gathered together from rivers, forests, deserts, mountains, backyards, railroad tracks and parking lots. These rocks tell the story of my folk's recent visit to the west coast.

Rocks in Hand2

As a family, we always looked for rocks. We went canoeing every summer on the Gasconade and Current rivers in Missouri. A couple of times we went on cross country camping trips and explored remote areas of National Parks . My Dad hated crowds and we always took these trips off season.

Scattered throughout our house on shelves, mantles, in window sills and on wooden boxes we displayed our magnificent rocks: chunks of petrified wood, fragile trilobites, sparkling geodes split in halves, flaky pieces of mica and glassy spikes of quartz. We had a rock that looked like the baby Moses in a basket, found along the Gasconade River. We had a flat, pink one we called "the moon rock" because it had a perfect, pale circle on it's face. My Dad found it in Utah. He also lost his wedding ring in that desert and we'd always joke that had had an affair with a mysterious moon woman who gave him this rock in exchange for his ring.

I used to take rocks to show-and-tell at school and tell outrageous stories about fossilized dinosaur eggs and porous pebbles that were really miniature skulls of a very tiny people who were now extinct. When I got older, my Dad would sometimes take my boyfriends fossil hunting at an abandoned quarry in Ohio.

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My Dad told me to look at this rock. So I did.

create_destiny: (Default)
Be verry quiet, I'm hunting wabbits
This is the butt-nugget with whom I am competing for my sister's attention. Please note the Michelin man tire legs which I hope he retains FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE! Oh, he may look innocent, but he's guilty as sin! Guilty of tearing me and my sister apart! Guilty of depriving the world of the much needed comic relief that was formerly supplied by his mother via phone calls to me and updates in her livejournal. And he's also guilty of stealing my rightful spot as the center of the universe.

Okay, enough of that Shiite Muslim...on to other news.

What I really want to say is ***HAPPY BIRTHDAY*** to my mother, who was born on Friday, the 13th of August in like 1943 or thereabouts. Everyday when she goes to work, the first thing she does is check my livejournal to see if I've written anything. Then, and only then, does she check my sister's husband's website to see if he's posted any new pictures of the butt-nugget. So at least one person in this family has their priorities straight!--first ME, then Bobby. It's only fair since I was here first! So get in line, BAH-BEE!

Now, I don't want to gloss over the fact that my mom was born on Friday the 13th. In fact, I'd like to discuss an interesting pattern that appears to be developing in my family's history, a little pattern that from henceforth I shall refer to as "The Family Curse."

I'm not sure how far this goes back but to my knowledge, crazy, wacked-out things have happened on certain family member's birthdays.

For example, my mom was born on Friday the 13th and everybody knows that psycho serial killers like to wear hockey masks and murder teenagers on this day.

Then, there's my other sister, Cathy, who was born on July 20, 1964. Not a big deal. Not a big deal that is until her 5th birthday came along and we landed on the moon! Nobody cared that day that it was her birthday, as everyone was glued to their respective televisions, watching the news unfold.

Then, my sister Cathy had her first baby, on SEPT. 11, 1991, and nobody gave a rat's ass about his 10th birthday, I can tell you that much right now.

So, are you seeing the pattern here? I predict that on butt-nugget's 15th birthday some serious shit is going to go down. Possibly the discovery of life on other planets. Possibly another 9/11. We'll just have to wait and see. But remember this day folks, Nov. 5, 2018.....


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