Wednesday, August 31, 2005


I don't know how to carry myself during these disasters.

For instance, I'm strangely conflicted posting about this. I guess it's good because it's one more place to catch someone in the mood to make a a donation. But some voice in me says something like, you don't have the right to talk about this, it's not yours. I understand that the tragedy is humanity's, and I'm a member of that group. But there's a free-floating wrong feeling that strikes whenever something like this happens.

Sometime in the afternoon of September 11th, I got up to make myself a plate of food. This seemed indulgent in some way, or blasphemous, something. We had some leftover Thai food and I put some on the plate, and then I decided that I shouldn't heat it up. Heating it up seemed like going over the top into totally disconnected, Marie Antoinette territory.

I've been looking on Craig's list at the people who are offering places in their homes for Katrina refugees. Most of those entries I find unbelievably touching. One man, however, was offering a place for female Katrina survivors only. No, no, don't let it be. Don't let some guy be trying to capitalize on this fucking tragedy by hitting on its female victims. Don't let that be why. Fuck.

And I feel guilty that we're not opening our Seattle home to Katrina refugees. I'm so impressed with the people around the country who are. (Mostly.) And then I think, why aren't we? Do we have a good reason? And then I have to come to terms with the fact that maybe I'm just only partially good. I don't suck, I realize. I'm fine. I'm basically kindhearted. But it feels small and ugly just the same.

Well. Anyway. Please donate. A little or a lot.

Red Cross donation form.

*edit: Holy shit. Read this. They just keep it coming, don't they?

**new edit: Now I'm hearing on the news that they're diverting a large number of forces in New Orleans from search and rescue to the anti-looting beat. Are you shitting me?!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

blogger goes 0-60 in, what, TWO DAYS

Good grief. Hilary is tearing it up over there. Read everything, but read this story if you haven't yet. Come ON. Evil stepdad, stolen truck, serious crash, koo-koo consequences.

Part One
Part Two

um, i'm not ready to go with anybody

Church Sign Generator = go geek out.

Monday, August 29, 2005

light years

I've just been re-reading the most fantastic novel, Light Years, by James Salter. I first read it in the fall of 1995, and with the exception of the last couple of years, I've re-read it every year since.

It's perfect, I think. It's the chronicle of the dissolution of a marriage, and it's done so lyrically. Each time I read it I feel myself grow smarter, finer, better able to see, more attuned to beauty. I can see my life better. I can see its flaws and its strengths, I can see the little lies I tell myself, the myth I spin of myself, what drives me.

Here's a little passage from the book. Salter is describing Viri, the husband, as he's reading to his children:

"And he reads to them, as he does every night, as if watering them, as if turning the earth at their feet. There are stories he has never heard of, and others he has known as a child, these stepping stones that are there for everyone. What is the real meaning of these stories, he wonders, of creatures that no longer exist even in the imagination: princes, woodcutters, honest fishermen who live in hovels. He wants his children to have an old life and a new life, a life that is indivisible from all lives past, that grows from them, exceeds them, and another that is original, pure, free, that is beyond the prejudice which protects us, the habit which gives us shape. He wants them to know both degradation and sainthood, the one without humiliation, the other without ignorance. He is preparing them for this voyage. It is as if there is only a single hour, and in that hour all the provender must be gathered, all the advice offered. He longs for the one line to give them that they will always remember, that will embrace everything, that will point the way, but he cannot find the line, he cannot recognize it. It is more precious, he knows, than anything else they might own, but he does not have it."

I was 26 when I first read the book, and now I'm 36. It's amazing how my relationship to the book has changed. Characters I found impressive at 26 I wouldn't give the time of day now, if I crossed paths with them in my current life. Different details stand out, are less poignant, more poignant.

The novel is also incredibly grounded in the seasons, which I find deeply satisfying. The setting is mainly upstate New York, in a big stone house on the Hudson, and in New York City itself. It's the perfect blend for me, neither completely urban nor completely rural.

The story begins in 1958, and soars lightly and quickly through the next two decades. The book is rich with detail, like a giant Christmas tree heavy with old and meaningful ornaments, yet it moves swiftly and gracefully though time. Salter draws your attention to a leaf, the leaf lifts off the ground, and deposits you somewhere new, where everything and everyone has gently changed.

Here's a description of Viri's wife, Nedra:

"One wants to enter the aura surrounding her, to be accepted, to see her smile, to have her exercise that deep, imputed tendency to love. Soon after they were married, perhaps an hour later, even Viri longed for this. His possession of her became sanctified; at the same time something in her changed. She became his closest relative. She committed herself to his interests and embarked on her own. The desperate, unbearable affection vanished, and in its place was a young woman of twenty condemned to live with him. He could not define it. She had escaped. Perhaps it was more; the mistake she knew she would have to make was made at last. Her face radiated knowledge. A colorless vein like a scar ran vertically down the center of her forehead. She had accepted the limitations of her life. It was this anguish, this contentment which created her grace."

Look, I hope I chose the right passages for you. Oh, listen. One more. Skip it if you have to. Or pretend you skipped the others! Or maybe you already did. I don't know what to pick for you, I want to pick a passage that will be a little hole you can fall into.

Let's try this one. Viri and Nedra's life, the one that becomes ruined, has so much creativity and beauty in it. Here's an example:

"Viri was making an Advent calendar. He was late, as usual; a week of December had already passed. He had made a whole city, the sky dark as velvet cushions, stars cut with a razor blade, smoke rising from the chimneys and vanishing in the night, a city that was a compendium of hidden courtyards, balconies, eaves. It was a city like Bath, like Prague, a city glimpsed through a keyhole, streets that had stairways, domes like the sun. Every window opened, so it seemed, and within was a picture. Nedra had given him an envelopeful, but there were others he had found himself. Some were actual rooms. There were animals sitting in chairs, birds, canal boats, moles and foxes, insects, Botticelli's. Each one was put carefully in place and in secret - the children were not allowed to come near - and the elaborate facade of the city glued over it. There were details that only Franca and Danny would recognize - the names on street signs, curtains within certain windows, the number on a house. It was their life he was constructing, with its unique carapace, its paths, delights, a life of muted colors, of logic, surprise. One entered it as one enters a foreign country; it was strange, bewildering, there were things one instantly loved.

'For God's sake, Viri, haven't you finished it yet?'
'Come and look,' he insisted.
She stood at his shoulder. 'Oh, it's absolutely fabulous. It's like a book, a fabulous book.'
'Look at this.'
'What is it? A palace.'
'It's a section of the Opera.'
'In Paris.'
'It's beautiful.'
'See, the doors open.'
'Open them. What's inside?'
'You'll never guess. The Titanic'
'No, really.'
'Sinking.' "

I hope I chose right. I hope you want to read it. Get yourself a warm glass of something spicy, and a little plate of apples and cheese, or gingersnaps, and go be in your favorite seat. I want this to be perfect for you.

Here's James Salter:

I can't wait to read the book again ten years from now and see what I find.

blog day afternoon

It is my great joy to tell you about a couple of new blogs that have recently been born.

First, I must acknowledge my friend Jenn at The Palace of The Spitting Frog, whose excellent photos I poach freely with her generous blessing. And here I go, poaching again. She is a delightful blogger herself, but she's already linked over on the side, so perhaps you will have already met. If not, go meet!

But very recently, my good friend Hilary has begun a blog. Hilary is a ONE-OFF.

Here's Hilary, on the right, talking to my dear friend Bog Face, on the left:

Picture her like that, talking to you with a Martini in her hand. This suits her. Hear her voice as a California version of what the Preppy Handbook described back in the day as Locust Valley Lockjaw. It's shades of Lovey Howell, only young and hot and decidedly SoCal. Hilary is one of the most entertaining creatures I know. Former cheerleader, former blue-haired punk, has a life story to tell that is worth hearing.

And then, friends, I give you Pete the Poet. Unassuming, brilliant, kindhearted Pete.

Here is Pete. He is the bobblehead on the left:

Pete is the real deal. His poetry will make your head spin. He's got a fierce intellect that doesn't drown out his heart or soul. Running on all cylinders, with his eyes open. This is what you want in a poet. He's devoted to his work, strives to get better all the time. He's a real craftsman. He'll be looking for people to comment anonymously on his work, so he can know what works and what doesn't. I've never met a Pete poem that didn't. He's one of those people that has both true humility and no need for it.

By the way, I'm publicly calling out the bobblehead on the right. It's a crime that she isn't blogging. She'd be so flipping great at it. I know you hear me, bobblehead. Bring it, bobblehead.

kitten war

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you:


And his mortal enemy:


These are not my kittens.

These are kittens currently battling over at Kitten War.

The winningest kittens are a sight to see.
The losingest kittens are...a sight to see.

Thanks to Dave Greten's blog for leading me to the guts and the glory.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

bad times at bloodmont high

Four technicians. Two hours. Both arms. A hand.

I am officially a turnip.

A traumatized turnip that looks like a junkie.

That water thing? Doesn't work.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

some thoughts while I drink a lot of water

It's quarter to 2 in the morning, and I'm sitting up here with an enormous bottle of water that I have to finish. I have my first prenatal appointment tomorrow morning, and I have to get blood drawn.



I have teeny tiny veins buried somewhere in my bone marrow, and it's always a horrible production number trying to find an in. A friend of mine told me that if you drink a lot of water beforehand, the veins make themselves friendlier and suppler, less psychotically evasive. So, I have a few bottles of water and I am going to stay up drinking them until they are gone.

I always weep when I go to the doctor and have to get this done. (More Gallivanting Monkey weeping...allright! Who's this Gallivanting Monkey?? She sounds like a giant pussy!! Yeah!)

It's always been this way. When I was 19 and home from college with mono, I had to get blood drawn each week, and I'd be near hyperventilation, tearing up in that six-year-old, I-can't-breathe way. In the car on the way back home, I'd always be staring out of the window but actually looking at my reflection in said window, picturing the movie-of-the-week chronicling one young woman's bravery, a woman with a tiny little bandage on her arm, a tiny little bandage in the same spot every week. That car reflection window shot seemed like a great opener.

There she goes.....brave little thing.


Might as well also talk about The Motherhood Fears.

First of all, I want to say that I'm not feeling, and am in fact totally opposed to, paranoia. Paranoia is for babies. Paranoia is a halfway, polluted thing. It gets in the way of your joy
And, oddly enough, gets in the way of your fear.

No, I'm full-on glowingly joyful, and full-on fucking totally afraid.

I'm afraid for this tiny little growing pea. Is it getting what it needs from me? Will it make it? Is it possible? Am I healthy enough to do this? Am I too old?

I'm afraid the baby won't make it.

I'm afraid that it will.

What if it does? What if it keeps getting bigger and bigger here inside my body? Ho-lee Shit. I can't really feel the little Rowley right now, and that's freaky enough. But what about when I can feel it? What the fuck is that like?

What if it gets big and gets a foot caught between my ribs? That can happen! Holy fuck, that's creepy!

What if it's a footling? Okay, a footling - I read about this in What to Expect When You're Expecting - a footling is a baby in a kind of breech position where it's like the baby is standing up, with one foot sticking out of your uterus like it fell through a tiny manhole cover.

Excuse me??

Here's a bastardized drawing of the drawing in the book:

I know there's more to the woman's body that's not shown, but it looked in the picture like you could see the foot sticking out of the lady. Like, hey, oh, never mind, that's just my baby's foot sticking out beneath my mini skirt, ha ha. She's a footling. Ho ho. Yeah.

Apparently, many of my fears are foot-based.

And then there's the retardo fear that goes something like, but I'm the baby! Seriously, I'm the baby, everybody. I have not previously been displaced from my spot as the baby. I have no younger siblings. I have no little nieces or nephews. I don't have a pet. I'm it, mofos! The baby, c'est moi! Dave is humoring me, as I've shared this fear with him. Every now and then I present him with myself, like, check me out! Have you SEEN a more adorable baby than I am? LOOK AT ME! Hello! And yes, he has, all right, he has seen babies way far so more legit and adorable than I. But he gives it up for me, God love him.

Whatever, because THEN, there's the, yeah, that's it, GIVING BIRTH. Jesus Frankenstein Guggenheim, that is going to happen to me. If I'm lucky!! I can't even go there, now. It's so early. But it's there, up ahead, the giving birth, waiting for me just like death is. Yes, mmm hmm, those are the facts, but I can't do anything about them, so I'm just going to read this magazine and put it out of my mind. La la la. Hoo hoo hoo.

So, let's say that that all goes well, the rib, the footling, the birth.

After that, we have a child! Yes, that's great! Beautiful, unspeakably delightful. Our very own child. Our very own child. Our child. We have it. It's ours. We have one. It's coming home with us. To live. To live, to yell, to freak out, to shit itself, to make urgent, indecipherable demands that we are absolutely beholden to fulfill if at all possible.

What is happening?? What is going on?? This is happening. It's happening, we're underway. We're off. No going back.

And I don't want to go back. I walk down the street now by myself and I just feel how empty my left hand is, and I just go ahead and pretend there's a small hand in it. I can't wait for that. I can't wait for the small person to come home from school with a problem, and to sit down with my little person and help figure it all out, to listen. I'll have a baby child person, with thoughts in its head, ideas about this whole place so far, and I'm going to be like a junkie, just dying to hear anything the little person will tell me. I'll have a little fatty in a terrycloth suit curled up on my shoulder, all small and fat and diapered and puffy, and I predict that I'll go mad with joy. Dave is over the moon, waiting for his child to arrive, and he's going to be an unspeakably beautiful father. I've seen him with children, and it turns me into a puddle. I can't imagine what will be left of me when I see him with our own.

I want this, I've always wanted it, it always seemed like some part of my destiny, somehow, to be a mother. I want it. I'm in. I'm stunned.

On my 19th birthday, I sat in a room full of friends, drinking wine, and we all talked about the lives we want to lead. Someone posed the question, "Would you rather live a life of great joy and great sorrow, or a life somewhere in the middle that - though it misses the great joy - spares you the great pain?" To my shock, everyone but me and my oldest friend, Kris, chose the middle one. I was blown away. It seemed to me like a no-brainer. And it still is a no-brainer.

Screw it. I'm terrified, elated, sad to be saying goodbye to my own childhood, and at least I'm totally alive.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

quick, quick, a new post

I've just been following the blog trails, and I ended up at a blog of a person whose mother just recently died of lung cancer, and my story doesn't seem funny anymore. So, moving along.

But not quite moving on from my mom just yet.

We spoke this morning. She's got the fever for doing word jumbles right now. She wakes up in the morning and does the jumble in the Seattle Times with my brother. She asked me, Do you do the jumble? Like it's 1995 or what have you and jumbles are this year's Macarena, and surely everyone's doing it.

Also, she told me about these memory books they used to have in Finland, which you'd have your friends sign. These are some of the things they'd say, translated from the Finnish:

When a flea bites you, remember me.
And when it bites hard, you'll become a Reverend.

Flowers growing here and there.
And you're sitting on them.

Happiness, happiness.
A red house and a field of potatoes.

Then she told me about a word she was having a hard time finding in the crossword puzzle she did after her jumble. And she told me the Finnish phrase for what it's like when your mind isn't quite working.

Your mind is like a potato in yogurt.

She went on to explain that it's not really just regular yogurt, it's like really thick yogurt. And exhorted me to imagine sticking a potato into thick yogurt, how the potato isn't going to go anywhere once you put it there, and that's how it is when your mind doesn't quite work.

I can see it.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

kickball showdown, or, my mom doesn't really have cancer

I think it's time to break out a non-baby-related classic story of my youth.

The year is 1978. The grade is third. The setting is the Ridge Street School, in Port Chester, New York.

The mood: anxious

Who has the mood: me

What time of day is the mood: afternoon

Why: Kickball.

When were the seeds of this story sown: That morning

That morning, I got dressed in a state of ignorant bliss. There were events coming that day, but my memory had done away with all knowledge of them.

I was 8. I had a fairly new haircut - a NOT DOROTHY HAMILL haircut. A pixie haircut. It behooved me to dress like a girl those days, as my dad had exclaimed when I came home from getting that haircut, "How's my second son??!!" This had traumatized me to the point that my mom kept me home from school the next day to buy me girly things like bobby pins with ribbons on them, dresses, fancy little shoes. We stopped by the school after we'd purchased/I'd donned these things, to pick up my homework for the next day. The boy I had a crush on was there, and I decided to take a positive, pro-active approach to dealing with my untested new look. I said to him:

Hey, look at my hair! And if you don't like my hair, look at my dress! And if you don't like my dress, look at my shoes!

He looked blankly at me. I quickly moved along.

By the way, my shoes were clogs. Fateful clogs.

So, we're back to that morning, the morning of the anxious afternoon, when it all went down. I got dressed in a girly, girly pinafore and my fabulous new burgundy leather clogs. I had tennis shoes, sneakers, what you will. I owned some, I had some. But I didn't wear them. I could have. But I did not.

The morning passes, the early afternoon arrives.

Who was the messenger? Was it Dana Sugarman? Was it Lauren Ponterio? Was it Debra Drimmer? I can't tell you. My memory shot that messenger instantly.

What was the message?

Hey, today is the Third Grade/Fourth Grade Kickball Match.

What? What? It's what? No! No! No, it isn't! Aarrgh, Aarrgh! My shoes, I'm...AAAH!

That was part of my internal monologue. Other parts of my internal monologue were:

*&^Fqv8nw clogs @*@)(#%28 no good! (*&H%^&R^&## phys ed bad already me @#((*%$& search search (*&YWT^&98%$% saline eyes wet wet it's going now @*(#@(*#

I was crying within seconds of receiving The Message.

You see, I was NO ATHLETE. None, none at all. I made up every excuse possible to sit out of gym class. My gym teachers got so sick of hearing things like, "My doctor said that I'm supposed to sit down and rub my leg all the time" that they stopped challenging me about them. They let me sit down and fakey rub my fake leg problem, they were beyond caring. Once in a while I'd be like, "Oh, the Virginia Reel, I'll do that" or "Today is that giant parachute we all wave around, I am in!" But mostly, physical sportly activity inspired in me a sick terror.

So, I was crying. This wasn't a Phys. Ed. kickball game. This was the for-real, a-whole-grade-versus-another-whole-grade, event-status kickball game. It seemed large and unstoppable and I didn't know where to appeal to get myself out of it.

And I was wearing fricking clogs. I could have been wearing special bionic Harry Potter Space Kickball shoes and I still would have sucked it out there, but I was wearing clogs, which would reduce my already negative level of athleticism to Honest-to-God Black Hole levels.


While I was crying, I had a flash that it was totally uncool to be crying about kickball. Because then I'm not just a non-athletic dork, I'm also a baby.

Somebody asked me what I was crying about. Who was it? A friend? A teacher? I don't know. I was in a panic, scrambling internally for some better reason to be crying.

I found it.

I had it.

I said: My mom has cancer.

As soon as I said it, I knew it was poorly thought out, but it proved to be very immediately effective. This girl's no baby! Hey! Her mom has cancer! Oh, no! Are you all right? Is she all right?

I'm all right, she's all right, it's just, um, that she has cancer.

Let me state for the record that my mom did not have, does not currently have, and has never had cancer. She is perfectly healthy.

But the sympathy flo-o-o-owed that day. Oh yeah! This is stressful, this lie, but not as stressful as kickball!

And you know what? We got phone calls to the house, checking on my mom's health. It is possible that there were flowers. My mom would hang up, puzzled. BUT THERE WAS NO RETRIBUTION. THE COWS DID NOT COME HOME TO ROOST. THE CONSEQUENCES WERE ONLY THAT I DIDN'T HAVE TO PLAY KICKBALL THAT DAY. NO ONE SPOKE OF IT. I WAS NOT BUSTED. I felt weird and nervous for a while, but the other clog did not drop, and soon after that we moved to Seattle.

It's my hope that my psyche has ironed out whatever corrupt curl was left by the total consequencelessness of that day.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

you must be *this* tall to Ride The Hormone

I. Am. Exhausted!

This is all so new. My word. Senator Rowley is not even the size of a kidney bean - the child aspires to be the size of a kidney bean at this point. But this teeny locus of life is the most powerful little wizard I've ever run across. The child pulls all of my energy into its little domain like a tiny god. The child has all the sucking power (and none of the darkness, I might add) of a black hole.
(I made that green so it would be clear that my impending baby is no vacuum.)

The child has my feelings on a string. If the child wants me to feel that the plate of toast Dave is bringing me is unbearably touching, then there I am, feeling it, weeping up at the toastmaker with unutterable gratitude. If my child wants me to feel fear and awe and sadness at the fragility of life, then there I go, vulnerable and petulant like a small tiger. If I bat my claws around, the child and I will be safe.

The new world I live in doesn't feature:

*sweets - don't want them. what??!
*decaf coffee even - feels wrong
*casual movement through the world without hyper-tummy-awareness
*large amounts of inner patience, in a previously inner patience-rich self

The new world I live in features:

*ventriloquism: both the papa bird and I provide frequent voice-overs for the small bean
*sudden copious weeping, in what was already a weep-rich environment
*disbelief that these babies do this all the time -- start so tiny and get so born
*great feelings of vigilance
*impossible dedication to vegemite in all swallowable formations

I'm in rehearsal for a play - that's going to take place at IKEA (!) in those little roomlets - and our play has some dance sequences in it. Our choreographer knows that I'm pregnant, and she's a mom herself, so I know that she's got my back regarding sketchy moves that could put the senator in jeopardy. But every time she introduces a move to the rest of the cast that seems like it would be rough for me - EVEN IF I ALREADY KNOW I WON'T HAVE TO DO IT - my mouth begins to quiver and turn down at the sides. Embarrassing! And tonight, I came to rehearsal weeping from nothing but exhaustion.

"How are you, Tina?"
"I'm weeping - don't worry! I don't have a problem! I'll just be weeping! Carry on!"

World, if you have some slack, I'm going to have to ask you to
cut it for this pregnant freak.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

magic 8 ball says insufferable at yule time

Dave and I went to a big party last night in honor of the closing down of the sketch comedy group I used to be in back in the day. But I'm not here to talk about sketch comedy, lords and ladies. I'm here to talk about babies, mofos. Bear with me.

Clearly, I'm nowhere near the Down Low with this impending baby. But at the party last night, when people asked me how far along I am, and I was like, "NOT VERY, BEBE!!!", I got a few sort of recoiling responses. Like, ew, oh, you didn't say that. Like, AWK-ward!

Let me just say that I totally understand some people's instinctual nervousness to hear that. Some folks have been down a bad road, and that response is just going to be automatic for them. But others, others just had it anyway, the AWK-ward! response. And then I felt like a jackass.

So, yeah. That happened.


Today began the freaky tiredness. This isn't like a regular tiredness. My mind is alert. Even my arms and legs, they're alert. But my belly is WEIRD! It constantly feels like I've just done a large amount of situps - that fresh, non-achy muscle exertion feeling. And it makes talking difficult, because it feels like talking uses some of the same muscles that are building the baby wing.


Christmas is coming.

Yes, not soon. But it is coming. And I know just how I'm going to be.

INSUFFERABLE, wieners!! I'm gonna be like:

(singing in whispery, reverent, transatlantic-accented falsetto):

What chi-i-ld is thi-is who laid to re-est on Ma-ry's la-ap is slee-eeping?

Ah-wa-ay in a manger, no crib for a bed, the little lord Rowley laid down his or her sweet head....

Si-ilent ni-i-ight, Ho-oly ni-i-ight.....

I'm going to be jackassing around looking all serene and knowing and wise and beatific. Look at me, everyone. The beauty of motherhood.

Am I not so sensual, so pure? Behold the holy womb, my hands alight upon it like resting doves. Fetch me a plate of cookies, you person. I cannot move, I must rest.

Because I have a little of that going on right as we speak.

Friday, August 12, 2005

the incoming

Friends of the Gallivanting Monkey, momentous news!


I understand that many expectant mothers keep a lid on the whole scene until a certain amount of time has elapsed.


And, might I say, HATS OFF to you, if you are! You are made of steel, of granite, of pure will! You are an enormous flexing muscle and I salute you, Amazonian Queen. Because the minute I found out my mouth opened like this:

and has not shut since, except perhaps when I've been asleep.

Trying to go to sleep the night we found out -- holy hell. How do you just go to sleep with that information in your pocket? Are you just like, well, I guess that's a day. G'night! And you click off the light and that's it, you're asleep? I mean, is that what you do? Did you do that? Because I lay there like, hummina-hummina-hummina-I'mpregnantohmygod-hummina-hummina-hummina until I ran out of power, I suppose, at some point.

We're dying to know what sex the little senator is going to be, but we don't want to guess, for fear of offending it. We don't want to be like, we think it's a boy! and have it be a cranky little girl in there who's all like, you always think I'm the other one, and I'm NOT. I'm gonna be in my ROOM! Or vice versa.

So, yes. Yes!

I'm blogging about this because my policy is FUCK IT. I am going to celebrate fully and openly from day one, and if, god forbid, we have any reason to stop celebrating, then I will turn on that dime and grieve fully with all I have right out here in the world.

We here at the Gallivanting Monkey have no choice. The way here is the Way of the Open Book.

More to come, good gravy, much, much more.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

we don't need no stinkin' photoshops

My entry = Guns N Worfs: Worfetite for Destruction

You know where you are??!!

You're in the WORFGLE, BAYBEE!!!


Wednesday, August 10, 2005

in praise of vegemite

What is one of the ways that I know my marriage has taken?

This is one:

Crazy, freaky, salty Vegemite.

Dave introduced me to Vegemite, after we had fallen in love and were briefly separated by a globe. We would send packages to each other full of books, letters, CDs, treats. In one of his packages was the salty spread of his heart.

This is my husband, Dave. He's from -- well, hey. Take a stab at it.

I didn't exactly hate it, right off. Dave counselled me to begin my Vegemite odyssey by buttering a piece of toast, and then putting the thinnest, teeniest layer of Vegemite on it as possible. I did that, over the phone with him, in one of many conversations so long that when my long distance was finally cut off and the horrible sum I owed the phone company was revealed to me by an unsuspecting customer service agent, I swore at her uncontrollably for maybe five minutes. (Shameful, shameful five minutes.)

(But also, fuck AT&T. They could have warned me about how high the bill was getting! MCI DID. Fuckballs.)

I bit it. The toast. Um. Well. All right. Hmm. My immediate feeling was, plain buttered toast, it is so good, so why, why? Why did we do this? Why did we put weird thick soy sauce on it?

Vegemite. Yes.....but why?

(This reminds me of my old friend Jessica, who in college used to do these wonderful little tiny drawings, always with a little mundane object in it...well, I will try to recreate one for you, in cheap MS paint form. This will not be as good, but all right.)

Jessica's handwriting/drawing skills were infinitely better than this.

So, now, nearly two years have passed since I was first introduced to The 'Mite. Dave and I have been married. Twice. Once in a courtroom, to get our immigration ball rolling, and once in THE BEST CEREMONY EVER, in my mom's garden about a month ago. And something started happening recently, wherein when Dave has been making toast for us, I've started asking him to put a little Vegemite on mine, for the hell of it.

And now it's escalated to this; I ate four gigantic slices of toast this morning and I scraped the jar of Vegemite clean to get them all dressed up for myself. Then, in the evening, I went off to rehearse for a play. All during rehearsal, a small part of my mind was like, we're out of Vegemite. I'm going to go to the store later. We need some Vegemite. Breakfast is coming. And right after rehearsal, I screamed it on over to the store and bought two jars, so we would not suddenly run out.

Dave and I are truly, truly married now.

Things to know:

I have never eaten Marmite, but Dave has, and he feels that it sucks.

Others disagree.

When Dave was 17, he was in a band called "The Happy Little Vegemites". They took their inspiration from this.

This is out there, and it is weird.

Okay. Carry on.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

you got your worfolate in my worfnut butter -- no, you got your worfnut butter on my worfolate!

There is some funny shit going on over at the Nickerblog. Go look. Do you have Photoshop? Then for the love of god, DO THIS THING THAT PEOPLE ARE DOING.


plus this:


= A Good Time

It is retarded. It is excellent. It is hilarious.

Now, go. Go!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

to pee and carolyn

A week ago my friends Pete the Poet and Carolyn "Blade" Thompson were married. A perfect, joyous wedding. The bride, brilliant and always unbelievably humble, wore glasses and Converse sneakers with a very, very glamourous gown. She was completely herself and completely beautiful. The groom, a soft-spoken genius, moved skillfully around the proceedings with real warmth and elegance. Their friend Watie officiated, and wove in a wonderful story about Fra Angelico, replete with diamond dust. All the guests participated in the proceedings with great love and vigor. I mean it, we whooped and cheered and wept and shook our moneymakers for all we were worth.

Shaking his diplomatic tail feather, above: our friend the Ambassador
Getting their backs up off the wall, below: Bruce, Brian, Pete, Tricia

During the toasts, the three-year-old son of the officiant and the matron of honor got up and walked right up to the toastmakers with his little camera, and snapped away. Like, right up to them, like right beneath them. And soon afterwards the mic was spontaneously handed to him.

There was a long pause, barely filled with some nearly inaudible murmurings of maternal and paternal encouragement.

And then this teeny voice distributed itself over the loudspeakers,

hi pee and carolyn...




Congratulations indeed, Pee and Carolyn. You'll go the whole route, I'm sure of it.

*The Gallivanting Monkey offers thanks to The Palace of the Spitting Frog for what she hopes is condoned piracy of the Spitting Frog's excellent photos!

ladies and gentlemen, my two overused words of the week

I have just become aware that I keep trying to work the following two words into conversation:


I'm onto me.

Friday, August 05, 2005


My friend Bog Face wrote this excellent post about her current tiny brief stint as a hausfrau.

To make sense of what is written on the chalkboard read this post and then this post, too.

Bog Face does not have a claw hand. I have a claw hand when I DRAW.

the courier

Here is my picture for my dear friend Jenn, who requested a picture of a sunset. Jenn requesting a drawing of a sunset is like this guy requesting a drawing of one of these for this guy. Sunset for Jenn is bright with feeling, full of import, and very useful. I know that she sees beyond the lameness of the actual picture to its intention.

Jenn's dad passed away coming up on two years ago. This doesn't stop Bob from keeping Jenn company on plane trips. As if it would.

Here, my dear, is the small reminder.

failed pagliacci, sadness not hid

Here is the first picture from the requests that I demanded that you make. Thank you to Eve and Kerry for caring enough to humor me. This is clown class. It may as well be a photo, for I look at it and see TOTAL REALISM.

This post will make sense of it, for those of you who have joined in late. Brrr.

*edit: The clown with its eyes popping out into arrows is not asking the question, "Poor sad clown?" It is oh-so-totally making the declaration, "Poor sad clown!" I realize that my exclamation point is drawn a bit ambiguously. THERE IS NO AMBIGUITY.