Saturday, December 30, 2006

a snowball's chance in finland, or, dark days

Uh to the motherfucking oh. It didn't snow in Finland for Christmas this year. This is what they got instead.

Crocuses. This has never happened before. Also, apparently 22 hours a day of darkness is ultra-uber-dark without snow for whatever light there is to bounce off of.

And you got your giant ice shelf that broke off into the sea there. (Thanks to Jason Grote for the tip-off.) So, looking good. It's looking good. We're looking great. Our friend Neville in Australia used to walk around muttering, "Dark days, dark days." Word, Neville.

On the bright side, in hair news, I ditched the zero and got with a hero. Old hairstylist? Babe, I have left you. This not only means that I have a fine new haircut - this means that I don't have to be Zelig* any more. I have been Zelig with more hairstylists than I care to admit. They've been these loud obnoxious party girls, and I've felt this compulsion to kind of ape their brassy loud blah blah when I've been in their chairs. I was unconsciously working on the hypothesis that they would give a better haircut to someone they relate to. It was exhausting. (Confidential to the hairstylist of 2001: Your downstairs neighbor is actually a SAINT.) Not only is my new hairstylist sane and charming, she's also incredibly fastidious. And I can just be myself. My bachelor days are over.

*Zelig, for those who haven't seen it, is an old Woody Allen movie, wherein the title character has a disorder that makes him turn into whomever he's talking to. If he's talking to a Chinese person, he turns Chinese. If he's talking to an Orthodox Jew, he turns into an Orthodox Jew. During his therapy session he turned into a psychologist. During my haircuts, I became a boisterous Tri-Delt from SMU.

So there we go. We may all be up to our necks in seawater soon, but my head will look great.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Finn said it tonight and he meant it. Dave was feeding him bananas in the other room, and he bit the spoon in an unpleasant way and began to cry. And then he fucking totally said it. Purposefully.


An unbelievable feeling. Stomach dropped. I ran in there. I'm tied to him with the cord of all cords. I love that baby in a way for which I have no precedent.

Merry Christmas to me.

Monday, December 11, 2006

seasonal person hunt & scramble jumble

In honor of this blog's newly donned gay apparel, please enjoy this small play inspired by this photo of snowy Helsinki. See if you can attach the right person to the right line! Hint: There are more lines than there are people. Because, or wait, no. Okay. Two people have two lines apiece. I fixed it. It's cool. Never mind. Just play! Go! Don't overthink it! Jeez!

Finnish person 1: Hyvää Joulua!
Finnish person 2: Min
ä rakastan sinua, Joulu Pukki!
Finnish person 3:
Minä olen pikku vauva Suomalainen kotona laivasaattue vaunut!
Finnish persons 1, 2 & 4: Aaa!
Finnish person 5:
Minä olen epätoivoinen...ehkä palvelija , ehkä apulainen. Pääasiallisesti , alusta tähän epätoivoinen.
Finnish person 6:
Hei! Minä olen pikku vauva Suomalainen kotona laivasaattue vaunut! Hei, törkeä nainen!
Finnish person 7: Tokko me hapantua meidän takaistuin. jotta nyt kuluva lellitellä , se jälkisäädös unohtaa me aari tähän.
Finnish person 8:
Kyllä. Me aari ei tähän. La la la.
Finnish person 9: Minä olen astuva jotta sisu kotona nyt kuluva rakennus.


Finnish person 1: Merry Christmas!
Finnish person 2: I love you, Santa Claus!
Finnish person 3: I am a tiny Finnish baby in a navy carriage!
Finnish persons 1, 2 & 4: Aww!
Finnish person 5: I am a forlorn...possibly a boy, maybe a girl. Mainly, I stand here forlorn.
Finnish person 6:
Hey! I am a tiny Finnish baby in a navy carriage! Hey, bitches!
Finnish person 7: If we turn our backs to this baby, it will forget we're here.
Finnish person 8: Yes. We're not here. La la la.
Finnish person 9: I'm going to go in this building.

*Maybe this is a translation. I used one of those English-to-Finnish translators, and I suspect I may be offering you some wack Finnish.

Oh, partridges. I don't know about this color scheme. Help me.

Monday, December 04, 2006

finn rowley, gentleman space cadet, reporting for duty

Seven and a half months on this earth. Friends, he is getting the hang of it. All sorts of things are underway. First, I draw your attention to the photo in the lower left hand corner. That's the official shot of Finn Rowley, Space Cadet. Dave flies him around and he reports for duty. He's a gentleman space cadet because he's always floating around looking for ladies to assist. He hovers over ladies' heads and says, "Excuse me, lady, are you in need of assistance? You are? Well...I'm taking my lunch break now.....also, often after lunch I have a nap. Excuse me." And he floats away.

He's a man of three teeth. Two below, one above. He's a man who's working on crawling, but once he gets himself on all fours, he's like, pardon me while I pause for a downward dog. Yoga is my passion, ma'am. He's a fellow whose hands sneak their way to the upper rim of his playpen before he struggles like a nutjob to pull himself to standing. He can do it. For a second. And then he tips over in what looks at first glance to be the Agony of Defeat. But then he's just lying there blankly considering his next move. Pas de problem.

I was feeding him some applesauce tonight and he said, "Bbbbbbba bbbbba bbbbbbba bbbmmma mmmmaa mmmmma mmmmmma mmmmmmmmma," and my heart stopped. I was like, play it cool, lady. Play it cool. That sounded like mama. But don't have a heart attack. He's just making noises. And then he did it again and I started pretty much vogueing. I pointed to myself and squared my hands around my face all, MAMA? DID YOU SAY MAMA? I'm MAMA. MAMA, that's this lady right here. I know....whatever...have some applesauce. It's cool.

I should be asleep. I'm like a crazy person here blogging for you. I'm exhausted. Finn is glorious in the extreme, but he also kicks my ass all day long. Not metaphorically, although that, too. I'm talking about getting punched and kicked and headbutted and bitten on the toe and having my hair yanked and my nose ripped off and my ear brutally examined to death. When evening falls, Dave and I stumble around like slit-eyed zombies while Finn is still merrily fighting for his right to party. We laughed until we cried the other night as we tried to calm him down to go to sleep. He was on the bed kicking his legs and squealing, and I was attempting to give him a massage and saying, shhh, shhhh, it's bedtime. Time to go to sleep. And it had so little effect that we likened it to going into a giant football stadium full of screaming fans and walking around making that two-handed, palms-down, take-it-easy gesture and murmuring to people randomly, "Okay...okay...let's get some sleep now. That's enough, everybody. Night night now. Shhh. Calm down." Ah, lord, we thought that was funny.

He's a happy guy, our young space cadet. We thank our lucky stars. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

i did it i did it i did it

Oh, lord, lord, lord! Lords and ladies!

I said I was gonna do it and I did it. I wrote, well...not a novel. I mean, it's a novel. But it's not a novel yet, o'course. But what it is is 50,044 words of a novel with a beginning and a middle and an end. It's bones! It's a frame! It's a thing that could turn into an honest-to-god novel!

Oh, mofos. Dearest mofos. I am beyond pleased. I am also grateful for your forbearance during this bloggy drought. I promised you entries in the meantime, and I gave you NOTHING.

In the next days and weeks I will administer CPR to this languishing blog and revive it. It's holiday time after all, and there's much to tell. Babies are getting larger! Bloggers are getting smaller! Snow has fallen!

And novels have gotten their bad selves WRITTEN. Sma-boing!

Friday, October 27, 2006

we're flat as a pancake, germany

So over at my other blog, I talked about what I'm going to be doing in November.

Writing a 50,000 word NOVEL, WIENERS*. I mean, God willing. You can go read about what the hell I can possibly be thinking about by clicking here.

The upshot of this foolhardy endeavor is that The Gallivanting Monkey will not have the usual daily spate of up-to-the-minute reports for which it has become world-famous. (World-famous, I tell you! My stat counter tells me that I have visitors stopping by from such far-flung places as Egypt, Germany and Uzbekistan for up to 5 seconds at a time in search of* milk-inflated bosoms.) (Yes. Hope springs eternal for some dude in Germany. Herr Boobmann, keine boobs, zum hier zu sehen. Bewegen Sie entlang, okay? Bye-bye.)

*Now I'm going to be getting a bunch of visits from people in search of novel wieners. "What a novel wiener you have there, my good man. Positively groundbreaking!"

Does this mean that there will be a whole month of no new content on this blog? Friends, it does not. In between now and next Wednesday, I am going to try and bust out a few posts to scatter through the month for you. I'll write them now, and then toss 'em up here and there. And now and then I might pop on here and tell how you great or terrible I am at writing a novel.

Okay. I'm going right now to write some posts for you. When I post them, they'll all show up under whatever date I wrote the draft*, rather than the date they actually appear here. So don't be checking the date for freshness. These babies are going to be fresh to YOU.

Speaking of babies, here's the top of Finn's head:

See? That's all it takes for me. Man, it doesn't take much. He's got this little plastic lobster teething toy that he loves, with a little cartoon face. The fact that Finn loves it makes it a sacred object of great tenderness for me. I looked at it lying next to me on the couch the other night and had a brief boo-hoo on the spot.

Friday, October 20, 2006

six months in a leaky body

Finn Stanley John Rowley is six months old today. I think it's safe to say that he is a man, now. Men sit up on their own. Men bang you in the jaw with their heads twice in a row. Men wake up in the morning and begin their lectures. "Baaaaaaa," they say. "MrrrAAAAOOWglphhhh."
Men pull on your shirt and try and move it out of the way of their mouths. Men wear tights, yes, they do. They are the principal dancers in the Jack-0-lantern Ballet. The feet of the tights of men hang down a few inches below the actual feet of men. This is so that men can grab the feet of their tights while they're wearing them and wave their legs around manually. Men's opinion of pears from a jar changes weekly. Men look forward to rice cereal, because it won't be long now before men eat it. Men kiss your eyeballs. Men call bullshit on various things when they have reached a certain point of tiredness. Bullshit, they imply. And they are right.

When I was a young boy, I wanted to sail 'round the world....
That's the life for on the sea....
The spirit of a sailor circumnavigates the globe....
The lust of a pioneer will acknowledge no frontier....

Here's to you, Old Master Rowley. There's a world to explore, there's a town back on shore. You just spent six months in a leaky boat!

Mama Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 19, 2006

voyage of the dawn treader

I'm writing this post from the waiting room of the sleep clinic at Swedish Hospital. My brother is here, as he is an inordinately sleepy man. Right now I'm sitting at a tiny round kid's table near the cardboard books, on an eensy padded chair. This is the piece of paper I'm writing on:

Writing on a scrap of paper I found in a waiting room makes me feel like a real, dedicated writer. I'll do this anywhere! Because I have to! I'm Hemingway!

But I'm not here to talk to you about writing, or sleep. I'm here to talk to you about action! I'm here to talk to you about me on the treadmill.

So, I've mentioned recently that I've joined Weight Watchers. Well, ladies and mofos, I have joined the shit out of it, in my opinion. It's a weird sensation, going to meetings and all that, but it's working so I'm into it. I have a big Weight Watchers ounce-tracking water-drinker mug with a built-in straw. (I won't bring it out in public though until I papier mache it over, though. It's too much like, I'm drinking this water because I'm FAT!) And I got the Weight Watchers Walking-To-Keep-Fit-Or-Whatever CD and DVD set. I haven't used the DVD because Camp Finn Entertainment is in the way of where I'd be walking and watching. And I can't watch tv from too far away across the room, can you? I just can't. It stresses me out, it gives me...agoraphobia or something. All that space between us, me and the tv. Ack, it's creepy, like I'm falling off the edge of the world. That this is some sort of sad commentary on something is not lost on me.

But I'm not here to talk to you about tv! The treadmill. I am ON it. I listen to the Weight Watchers CD and I pound the treadment like a hero. This is what I look at whilst treading:

This is some of what the encouraging lady says on the CD:

I'm proud of you for taking action today.

You're doing great.

Picture yourself in that new outfit. Don't you look great? Don't you feel great? Keep burning calories and walking and that picture will be a reality very soon.


This is what I'm thinking about and imagining while I tread, my mental tread-fodder:

1. Don't think. Just look at those leaves. So pink. Red? Pink red. There's life in those leaves. There's life in me. It's the same life. Be quiet and feel the life in the leaves with the life in me.

2. I am on the catwalk. I am America's Smallest Next Top Model. I live in a world where a five foot woman who looks cute enough after she lost all her weight is considered model material. Or, no. They're just making an exception for me because I've got something so undeniably magnetic going on now that I am such a skinny little fairy. I've got some kind of fantastical geisha makeup on. Walk, walk. Man, that tiny old model has a great walk. Boomp, boomp. Many people I know are in the audience of this runway show, or watching it on tv. Wow, they say to their neighbors. I would never have pegged her as a model. Throw that on the pile of other amazing shit she can do that I didn't know about until recently. Have you heard her CD? I'll tell you later. She is working that jumpsuit.

3. Not that damned latin beat again. Snore. Snore clinic. Put my snore to bed!

4. Ah, the old lady Bob Barker music! My favorite. It's jazzy and pizzazzy. I wave my hands in the air like I'm a seventy-year-old lady who just doesn't care. Beemp beemp ba-deedee, beemp beemp ba-deedee! This reminds me of when I used to do water aerobics at the YWCA with Tricia. She hepped me to the beauty of water aerobics in a pool full of old people. A of all, it's one way to be exercising in a room full of people and not be the worst one in it. B of all, it's splashy! C of all, nobody but you and the instructor and the old people know that this old-people's-level class is the right level for you. D of all, it actually kind of kicks your ass. E of all, chlorine smells good. And finally, f of all, old people are largely excellent, and it's fun to smile back and forth with them supportively as we all try to speed walk across the bottom of the pool.

And this is what the treadmill counter looks like when I'm done:

Believe it.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

we are still alive

Maybe you thought that we sold Finn and moved to some underground bunker. Maybe you thought that we died. Maybe you thought that we never even existed.

But we didn't, we didn't, we do.

Here is proof that we still have a son:

This photo is also proof that Finn enjoys eating pears out of a spoon. He's done it twice. Once with a crowd of onlookers, once in a private seating.

Finn also enjoys looking like he's about to enter high school when he stands up. He also enjoys eating couch cushions and despairing about his new teeth. They're starting to poke out of his lower gums, two of them, rudely. Finn will be six months old in a week. Sunrise, sunSET, mofos. Sunrise, sunset.

I'm sorry about the long absence from the blog! I have been supremely uninspired.

Some things that have happened:

*I watched Jules et Jim again, confirmed that it is indeed one of my favorite movies. It took me like four hours to watch it because I kept pausing it every two minutes to enjoy the trains of thought it sparked. Plus it was a beautiful grey dark autumn late afternoon, and the lamp was lit low and Finn was sleeping on my lap and the ambience was just right. Linger linger linger linger.

*I joined Weight Watchers two and a half weeks ago to lose baby weight and also I-quit-smoking-seven-years-ago weight. Now I am unphotographable, as I have disappeared. I can sneak up on everybody and eavesdrop on their conversations, with my five-pounds-thinner undetectability.

More soon. I'm serious.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

there but for the grace of god goes jimmy connors

I loved him for an academic year.

November 1982 - July 1983

An academic year if you scoot it over a couple of months. An academic year if there were a long teacher's strike.

xoxox He was Bjorn Borg. xoxox

I didn't even like tennis, beforehand. FOREHAND! (I haven't played tennis in twenty-two years. Is it a forehand? The one that's not a backhand? Yeah. I was really good.) But then in November of my freshman year of high school, I went with a few friends to see an exhibition match between Jimmy Connors and Bjorn Borg.

We were sitting behind one of the ball boys on Bjorn Borg's side. (Do they switch sides?) (Twenty-two years.) I was eating Skittles. Bjorn Borg lost an important point to Jimmy Connors. He turned to get the ball from the ball boy.

I caught his eye.

I shrugged and made a "Meh, what are you gonna do?" face to him.

He shrugged back with the same face!

I suddenly loved Bjorn Borg and tennis itself. The bag of Skittles I was eating became the Shroud of Turin. I carried it like a holy relic in the plastic pencil bag that hooked onto the inside of my three-ring binder. Although I had never played a sport in my life for more than the ten minutes it took for any P.E. teacher to give up and let me sideline myself with a fake injury, I decided I would join the school tennis team. I even joined a community tennis team for a minute, concurrently. Also, I subscribed to Tennis magazine.

This bag of Skittles is a re-creation. A dramatization, if you will. The actual bag was not a bag of "fundraiser" Skittles. They were just regular non-fundraising Skittles. Although I suppose all Skittles are a fundraiser for the people who make Skittles.

I was the bottom seed of both teams. Except for once! Once, I beat the second-to-worst person on the high school team! And then I was the second-t0-worst person on the team! But then very very very soon I was the worst person on the team again. I think the teams should have been seeded according to who the happiest person on the team was. I would have been the top seed with a bullet. I was never discouraged by my poor play. If my racket made contact with the ball and made that fooomp sound, I was aces in my book regardless of whatever trajectory the ball had afterwards. If I didn't fault while I was serving, I felt like Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert Lloyd and Carling Bassett* all wrapped up. Pop! Foomp! Shuffle shuffle! Foomp! Net! Whoo!

*Carling Bassett! The Anna Kournikova of 1982. Surely you saw the tennis movie "Spring Fever", in which she co-stars with Susan Anton. Because I did.

Our tennis coach, Mr. Case, kept yelling at me, "Footwork!" And in my mind I was like, oh, footwork....footwork's irrelevant. You don't play tennis with your feet. You play it with your hand! Check me out....fooomp!

I thought of Bjorn Borg all year, and wondered if he thought of me. Who was that adorable woman who shrugged at me from behind the ball boy? She's so understanding. She relaxes me. She'd make a wonderful wife. I don't care what anyone says, I love braces on women. She's not THAT small. And what a cute blouse she wore. I am batshit for large leg o'mutton sleeves. If I was given a homework assignment, I wrangled Bjorn Borg into it however I could. I remember giving a presentation about Bjorn Borg in front of my Language Arts class. Later, many people found polite, indirect ways to tell me to please stop talking about Bjorn Borg when they signed my yearbook, as you may have seen in a previous entry.

I had to miss watching parts of Wimbledon on tv that year. Family vacation to Orcas Island. No television. HISSY FIT. NERVOUS BREAKDOWN. THE SOB THAT WAS HEARD 'ROUND THE WORLD. This resulted in a Walkman. I accepted bribes then, and I accept them now.

Boris Becker won that year, I think. And I was like, Boris Becker? Who's THIS Johnny-come-lately? I've loved tennis since LATE LAST YEAR. Feh. Tennis isn't what it used to be. Kids today. I think I'm going to hang it up.

And I hung it up. By August it was as though Bjorn Borg and tennis never existed. I dropped them like a couple of used kleenexes and started dating The Police's album Synchronicity. Bjorn Borg was the Iceman? I was the Iceman.

Monday, September 18, 2006

the plum tree house

Wooo! Woo-hoo!

Dave and I have decided on an exterior for our new house. I canna believe it.

At first I was like, it's got to BLEND into the LANDSCAPE! BLEND! BLEND! It must look like it grew out of the EARTH! Grey stone! Warm wood! But nothing we could afford was quite looking right.

And then dorking through a magazine I saw this ad for that door, and I went apeshit. Something about that blue-violet stain drives me nuts. Love it. And since the house is evicting a couple of beautiful old plum trees, that purple feels like a nod to the plums. Plus, the door. Love it, too. We'll take it.

Dave was at the Pink House today, cleaning it out (sad. SAD. Soon I will write of my relationship with the beloved old Pink House.) and when he got home I showed him this ad, and he loved it instantly, said he was rapt with it. I smacked him on the arm and some thrilled gibberish flew out of my mouth like, "TaTAH!" and then he made fun of me for five minutes. It was such a Finn-style response.

Okay, look, we're going to buy a new camera tomorrow. You've got to see that boy. He's crazy. His new thing is to suddenly attempt to launch himself backwards out of whomever's arms he happens to be in. You have to be on your toes. Placid placid placid placid NESTEA PLUNGE TO MY DEATH*!

*Universe. I am KIDDING.

Friday, September 15, 2006

i got myself a rooster and i put him on the fence and he yelled for hale high 'cause he had good sense

Well, we did it. We went to the reunion! Here's my report:

Wait. First, look, we have no photos because our camera hasn't turned up yet. I know. And also it's terrible because Finn has this excellent hilarious tall red velour mouse hat that he's finally grown into, so he looks like the Cardinal of the Mice. We just discovered that this morning. He's like, oh, my God, this magical hat makes everybody love me even more. And he bangs his mittened fist on the steering wheel of his Bébé Pod learn-to-sit-up seat with imperious new joy. Love me, subjects! Okay, now he's a king. He turned into a king, from a cardinal. Whatever, man. Bear with me. You know what I mean.

We're just going to buy a new camera, and then we'll find our missing one, and then we'll have two.


...dum dee dum.....

Well, we did it. We went to the reunion! Here's my report:

*Ladies are easier to recognize from their youth than men. The men were largely beefed out and sort of balded up. We were given little name tags that were actually our senior pictures (!) (return of the eyeliner!) with our names written tinily beneath them. You had to really peer like hell at the little nametag to make out the name, so they were pretty useless. You weren't going to walk up to someone and sort of make out with their chest for a second and then be like, oh, hello, Mike Frank. I kind of knew you. Or (squint, squint) ...oh, sorry....Richard.....Ro...senthal. We haven't met. Also, I wasn't wearing my glasses. Oh, I had them in my bag. But I wasn't wearing them. And I wasn't gonna wear them. Reunion! Vanity! Legitimate! If silly! And all night, I was like, dang it, would you believe it? I don't have my glasses. More's the pity. What a kerfuffle! Can't see who any of you are! So I talked to far more ladies than I did fellows.

*There was a healthy bunch of people that I was really happy to see. My friend Kris from Complain-o-Peeps, she and I met up with my dear old friend Sandi for a drink before the proceedings, and together we formed a reunion home base from which to operate. It was a joy to see her. You. It was a joy to see you. I know you're reading this, you cute Sandi. Call me. Seriously. (Kris, I see you all the time, relatively, so I feel I don't have to cite you, although you are always delightful.) And my old friends Kate and Kasia, it was a joy to lay eyes upon them. Kasia I hadn't seen since high school, and it had been nearly a decade since I'd seen Kate. Great ladies. A treat. And my favorite dude from high school was there, Mike Stanford. Only talked to him for a second, but I always thought he was the bee's knees. One of those quietly hilarious guys. That was nice! And Miss Kim Clark, who was in the drama class photo from the previous entry practicing her facial expression, she was a real treat to see as well. Warm and funny and down to earth. And there were lots of others, too. If for some freak reason you're reading this and you were there and you're like, what about me?, then it's safe to say that you're utterly among them.

*I totally got mistaken for somebody else in this great way at the end of the night. Dave and I were trying to make it out the door to go home, and I ended up in conversation with this one woman I knew. Lovely conversation, we were happy to see each other, but then I cut it short because we had to get home to the baby. And she was like, "Well, I would have known you anywhere. Kasia Zasoski!" And I didn't have the time or energy to correct her, so when she said, "But it's not Zasoski anymore, is it?!" I just threw out a cordial, "No, it isn't!" and we were on our way.

*Some people turned out to be dicks, is all I'll say about that. I'm not concealing any big story, I promise. You can just tell when somebody has turned out to be a dick, and that, my friends, was the case for a few of these ol' Raiders. But this was mostly only so for people who were headed that way twenty years ago.

*The keeping-it-real prize goes to Tim Little! Man, was he ever refreshing. He was like, I don't know what all these people are talking about, all "my life is so great"....MY life has been a roller coaster! He'd tried to go back to school six times, been diagnosed with ADD, been married, been divorced, is currently a bus driver, and was like fuck it! I'm on a ROLLER COASTER! God bless him. The honesty! I love it. Live long and prosper, man.

*Some exchanges were just like, here, these are my baby pictures. Okay, I see yours. Okay. Check. Move along.

*For some reason, a lot of people thought I'd moved to California. I've never even considered mvoing to California. They were like, we couldn't find your address! We heard you'd moved to California! Maybe they also thought I was Kasia Zasoski, who really lives in California.

*I wore that shirt. Nobody was like, AWESOME SHIRT! Nor was anybody like, what's with your shirt?

There was a lot of HEY! Nice to see you! followed by an awkward pause and then followed by I think I'm going to get a drink! Good to see you! Which is what you'd expect.

*It would be stretching it to say that I ate sixty dollars worth of spicy popcorn shrimp.

*Dave was a great sport. He and Kris's husband Orion played pool and were low-key together. And he looked all foxy in his black corduroy blazer. And I was like, man, why is this music so loud! Nobody's going to be able to hear his foxy accent! So I kept working it into conversation that he's from Australia, which is retarded, but so am I.

*I loved seeing how some people who hadn't really come into focus in high school had bloomed in the intervening years. That's always how it should be, and usually how it is. You don't want to peak in high school. It's better to save it up. I'll be advising Finn to be as awesome as he likes in high school, but keep a little awesome in his pocket to detonate later in life.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

i got my braces off and I know that soon you will too

I've been poring over my high school yearbooks, boning up for the reunion. First I will share some thoughts/epiphanies/top-notch ideas I've had, and then I will treat you to some of my favorite texts from my yearbook signatures over the years.

1. I looked, and the results are in. There is not one girl in my class who wore more eye makeup than I did. No one can touch me. If a little eyeliner is pretty, a lot is SO pretty. Have a look at my senior picture. Bottom right-hand corner.

In my defense, my hair is not particularly egregious, and that photo was taken in 1985. But that is some not-fucking-around eyeliner. I remember a friend of mine gently telling me during my freshman year, "Tina, your eyes are so pretty. You don't need to wear so much eye makeup." And I was like, what is she talking about? I look GREAT. In retrospect, I understand that she was just looking out for me. If she has any sartorial or cosmetic advice for me at the reunion, I'm taking it.

2. Was it your experience that all sorts of the most random people in the world wrote their phone numbers down for you when they signed your yearbook? Give me a call this summer if you get bored. People wrote down their phone numbers who would have been seriously startled if I'd dialed them. Here's my great idea: I want to call all those numbers now. Mrs. Skoglund? Is Eric there? Oh, not for a while, now? Well, if you talk to him, tell him I was bored so I thought I'd call. Tina Kunz. Kunz. Tina Kunz. From Nathan Hale. Great. Thank you.

3. Here are some photos from our drama class. The caption for the picture at the top really shows you what a great foundation we budding actors were given. I shall provide it for you below, as it's too small to read.

"TOP LEFT: Kim Clark, Kisha Palmer, Tina Kunz, Joanna Lasky and Christi Rhodes (sic) practice their facial expressions for drama class."

To be a good actor, you really have to know how to make facial expressions. Look what a good actor I was already at the tender age of 16! I could make a look at that, that's funny expression, and I could make an I'm an airhead expression. Twenty years later, I bet I can make at least twenty variations on those. I am a wonderful actor. They say it takes twenty years to make an actor. Perhaps I will do a skit for everyone at the reunion.


And now it's time to enjoy some classic yearbook signatures, or excerpts thereof, or simply a great opening line or so. Most of these are from people I didn't know well, or barely knew at all, rather than from my close friends. Those signatures are the ones I enjoy the most - the pure space-fillers. I think these people rose to the challenge of just filling the space very handsomely. I shall remove the names, so no one is unfairly shamed should they be Googled:

Hey, Tina!! Hey there's enough room up here so I think I'll start to sign! Oh no Mr. Bill! Where to [illegible] Well, hey dude! Chem was a joke this year with Mitch. Michellin Man! It was an adventure, an experience, or something like that! We're Seniors next year! Wow, Hey, Cool (and the gang) I like traffic lights I like traffic lights I like traffic lights " " " " But only when they're green!! Brrrrrrr [drawing of a rocket taking off] 1600 KJET Seattle, Whatever! KJET is cool, No class will ever be as weird or fun as Brock's! Strip Pocher in the Van! COP!! New Coke Sucks [drawing of a can of New Coke with the caption 'too much nutrasweet'] Anyway, I hope you have a rockin, rollin, splishing, splashing summer and I'll see you in September, In more classes! Bye, your friend, XXXX XXXXXX

How's life? Or should I say how's Bjorn Borg. You know you just love him. Too bad we didn't talk too much this year. Hasn't it been so boring in History. Oh, well, keep in touch. My number is XXX-XXXX! Gerard "The Great"

It is almost summer time and that means no more Kopta [old batty French teacher] and lots more PARTIES! Your tennis playing has really improved and somebody you will be as good as BJORG BORN. Have a great summer and see you at the beach. XXX, '86

Radical pen!

Your a really strange person but I'm glad I got to know you. Tina you shouldn't bring so much pizza if your not going to eat it. Not much time left so I'll just say have an awesome summer and I'm sure I'll see you around but if I don't give me a call - XXX-XXXX, Love, _arrett _mith P.S. We'll have to play some tennis this summer.

WELL I CONFESS I HAVEN'T HAD YOU IN ANY OF MY CLASSES! So I can't say that BUT I still enjoyed the things we did and I'm going to miss you. I'm going to miss lot's of people. Remember I'm going to Germany so while your missing people feel sorry for me. However I'm not depressed right now so I think the first thing we should do is go PARTY!! Dude. In all seriousness you are a wonderful person and I think your beautiful too. So stick to it dudette, remember me, remember Ms. Kreuger and remember to smile I LOVE YA _RUCE _ASON P.S. serious good luck in the years to come and may you live in a boat this big. [arrow pointing to a big boat in a photo] P.P.S. remember everything important studette

Well, there you have it. I bought that shirt. I'm going to wear it. I have a haircut scheduled for the day of the reunion, which is always a mistake. I considered flipping through the senior photos for the most upsetting haircut, and getting mine done that way as a tribute, but I think I will just let the chips fall where they may.

In parting, here's the back cover of my senior year yearbook. See if you can find my picture in there. (Hint: Look to the eyeliner.) Also, aren't you surprised to learn that Bill Cosby, Marilyn Monroe and that bull went to my high school? Well, they did. Look at 'em.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

i am waiting for the cloth version

A couple of days ago Finn had his first sit-down on his own with a book. It was a cloth number called "Fluffy Chick & Friends". (I would have taken a picture but our camera is missing. I know! Everybody send vibes that we'll find our camera. You know, find-y vibes.) It was so great! He was crinkling the crinkle business on the front cover, grabbing the pages in his little be-mittened hands and waving them back and forth.

And then I thought about cloth books, and went off on an imaginary tangent. See, I don't have a lot of time to read these days. While I was breastfeeding Finn the other day, "Fluffy Chick & Friends" was lying on the couch next to me, and since there was no grown-up reading material at arm's length, I grabbed it and read it.

The blah blah horse is in the stable. Give her a wave (or something), her name is Mabel.

I imagined some old friend coming up to me, maybe at the reunion, and asking me what I've been reading lately. And I imagined replying, "Oh, well, I'm been, um, sort of into cloth books? Um....let's see....I just read 'The Big Moose'...and that was pretty crinkly...there's a goat in it whose horns were sort of vinyl and pointy and you could grab them, so...yeah, um, it's got a lot of good textures, you might give that one a read...."

Texture is something that just gets left behind in adult literature*! And I think that should change. I'd love, say, a cloth version of Anna Karenina, where there could be interludes with different textures for various parts of the story.

*I speak not of porn, freaks.

****Anna Karenina Spoiler Alert, because I ran these ideas past Dave and he was like, I was going to read that.....******************

It could be like:

Feel Anna Karenina's black dress!
(and then you pat it with your big fat hand and you're like, oh, velvety.)

This is the wheat that Levin is growing!

(Stalky...wheaty....I can feel it with my fingers.)

Feel the icy indifference as it increases in Vronsky's heart towards Anna!

('s cold...and hard...I can poke his little heart...(stroke, stroke) feels cold on my hand.)

Here's a puff of steam from the train that Anna throws herself under. Feel the steam!
(.....feels poufy.....)


I think that this is an idea whose time has come. And I'd like to hear some of your ideas for the textures we can enjoy from famous books when the cloth versions come out.

Friday, September 01, 2006

my ultra prime number

Look down at the boy in the middle looking down.

He's 41 years old today, that guy. Happy Birthday, sweet Dave o' mine.

That up there is where we met, on the north shore of Maui. That's us in the picture in the same spot where we fell in love, two years later on our honeymoon.

We met on a yoga retreat that a mutual friend had organized - or really, that a mutual friend threw. Eleven of us were flown to Hawaii from various parts of the world, and treated to 10 days of oki-do yoga, fresh organic food cooked for us thrice daily, and for two of us, the loves of our lives.

*!*!*Thank you, Deb.*!*!*

Oh, man, lame! Lame! I mean, how do you thank someone for that? There's no way to ever do it properly. I will forever feel hobbled and backwards and inadequate in the thanking-her department.

The first five days were our Festival of Shyness. We each had instant flutters for each other, but neither of us were very forward*. However, the more Dave talked, the more the goner I. He seemed to me like a composite Beatle of some parallel universe, charming and foxy and sweet.

*I'm the worst flirt ever - not worst as in incorrigible, worst as in my best move was handing him his napkin directly as I was setting a table, instead of putting it down on his plate like I'd done with everybody else's napkins. Oh, lay it on with a trowel, Miss Loose Morals. Anything could happen.

On the fifth day, we went on a snorkeling trip to Molokini. In the van on the way back, our knees touched and we didn't move them. Smoke! Spark! Zap! Zzzt! Later that afternoon, Dave and I were hanging around reading poetry books and our friend Emma came up to us - THOUGH WE HAD DECLARED NOTHING YET TO EACH OTHER, NOTHING HAD BEEN BROACHED - and said to us:

I just want you to know that I'm so happy for you. You're both such good people, and you deserve love.

While I died and fell through the floorboards and was buried alive** of embarrassment, she apparently said something else, like, the rest of us are all leaving so why don't you two just do whatever you have to do. And then she left.

**Yes. I had died and was also buried alive.

I resurfaced from my grave and said something strangulated like, oh, Emma, but Dave had his shit supremely together and took my hand and made us happen.

I can't even tell you about our first kiss because it was too private even for Dave and myself to witness, I think. It was like some light came and hid the kiss from us. I can only get a vague handle on it. It was like this moment wasn't for our personalities. It was for something older or finer. And then we walked down to the chair that you can barely see in the picture above, and it felt like we were walking down some invisible aisle. Not some aisle. The aisle. You know what I'm saying.

The phrase "walking on air" - you know, that's a real thing. That actually comes from something! I had it with Dave, there in Hawaii. I could really not feel the ground underneath my feet, or I could, but barely, like my feet were so far below my brain that the message that ground was hitting them had too far to travel. I was like, oh, man! I can't feel the....hey, wait! That's...this is like that phrase! Huh! I thought that phrase was randomly generated! But this is what it's from!

And then came Dave in Australia and me in Seattle and the most horrible phone bill of all time. If you fall in love, don't have an AT&T phone plan, is all I'm saying. And then two months later I was in Australia, and then later we got married and now we have Finn and that's it. We're set. When Dave proposed to me in Sydney, we talked afterwards about how we were going to march cheerfully into a store, smack our hands on the counter and declare, "Two coffins, please!"

I mean it. Two coffins, please. But hold the hell off until I've done at least sixty more of these birthday posts. Thanks, universe.

Speech! Speech!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

i really need you guys to jump

We watched Rock Star: Supernova this evening. Many of the performers really needed the people in the audience to jump. They said it a lot.

I need you guys to jump!

Okay, now I really need you guys to jump!

Now I'm going to need you guys to jump!

You know what, would-be rock stars? I think you didn't really need everybody to jump. I think it was a preference that the people jump. You guys ought to be careful with that. You will be the rock stars who cried wolf. What if one day you truly need us guys to jump? What if you're stuck in a tree? Or what if it doesn't work out as rock stars and you become firefighters and we're all in a burning building and you're holding out something soft for us to land on and if we don't jump we will be obliterated by the flames in the room behind us? You didn't think of that, rock stars. You didn't need us to jump tonight. You just would have liked us to jump.

Also, rock stars, if you are performing and you SUCK, our jumping cannot help you - particularly jumping that you guilt us into. That kind of jumping is meaningless, rock stars. It's pity jumping. If the people spontaneously jump, though, bully for you.

Monday, August 28, 2006

foxy guys and classy chicks, we're the class of '86

I just found out that my twenty-year high school reunion is happening in a couple of weeks. OH MY GOD. I think I'm going to go.

The timing is fucking TUBULAR, as we happen to be living with my mom. That is exactly how I always imagined rolling into my twentieth. Look. I was not voted most likely to succeed. I was the class clown. And it's because of rats! Not because of failure! But that, too, is so awesome. Yeah, we have a house around the corner from here, but we're not living there because it's infested with rats. So we're living with my mom. Hey, where are you going? I am going to walk into this reunion with my Good Listener hat firmly the freak on. No, no, enough about me. I am so interested in YOU.

Also, baby weight. But who was I kidding anyway? I would have been telling people it was baby weight at my fifteenth.

What the hell am I going to wear? Do you guys like this shirt*?

Oh, my god, I'm running my outfit by the internet. That is hilarious. I'm going to start doing this every day. Do you guys think I should wear these sweatpants or these sweatpants?

*I wouldn't be wearing that little white camisole under that shirt. And I'd wear a little black jacket with it, maybe. Some trousers. Some boots. Oh my god. I don't know. I don't know.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

the rabbit is out of the hat

He's done it! Dave has begun a poetry blog!

Dave's imagination is a fantastical land. I love that he's gotten so passionate about poetry. He throws himself into whatever he does: poetry, poker, surfing, whatever it is. He eats it up, dives to the bottom of it. So smart. Such a beauty. I'm going to marry him again when he's not looking.

Go and look at hatrabbit.

Mrs. Newblog of the Seattle Newblogs

Sunday, August 20, 2006


I started a new blog. You can look at it if you like. But only look at it if you're going to like it! Don't look at it if you're not going to like it! Aah!

I'll still be keeping this blog. Oh, the Gallivanting Monkey will go on like always. This blog is like my HOUSE that I live in.

But the other blog is a blog I started to galvanize myself to do things that I really want to do with my life. The other blog is the blog I started in the hopes that I will have less to tear my hair out over on my deathbed. It is the blog wherein I will be holding myself accountable.

Aah! I'm shy! But I'm not shy! I told you about it! Go look! No, don't! Aah!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

it wasn't a beret, it was a cloche, and it was really more scarlet than raspberry

So in my dream last night, I was going for an interview to be Prince's personal assistant. We met at his little house. Dave came with me. I was wearing a snappy little vintage red wool coat and hat duo, a sixties sort of number. Prince came bounding out his front door and gave my outfit the once-over. He loved it! He grabbed my hand and we skipped inside with Dave trailing behind us.

The interview was in Prince's bedroom. Prince and I chatted for a second and then Dave came into the room. He didn't seem too pleased that the interview was going to be taking place in Prince's bedroom, but he tried to sort of make nice with Prince. He saw some scrapes on Prince's knee and gave him some advice about bicycle safety. Prince, on the other hand, didn't seem too pleased that my husband was taking place in his bedroom, so he was frankly quite chilly about the bicycle safety advice. Dave left us alone to conduct the interview, and Prince made an insulting comment to the effect that Dave was overly righteous or something. I said, that's my husband! You can't say things like that about him! This interview is over!

But it wasn't over. I was getting sucked into the black hole of Prince's sexy magnetism.

Before I knew what was happening, Prince started working some sexy jujitsu on me. He had the kind of arcane tricks you just knew Prince would have! As soon as Prince planted a teeny tiny kiss on my clavicle, I was like, uh-oh. I'm going to have to go on with this interview. I'll just go on with this interview for like five more minutes. And then Prince started talking into my shoulder blade in a deep, soft voice. And I was like, the shoulder blade! We've all been overlooking the shoulder blade as very prime erotic territory! You just talk into it! Who knew?? I'm going to go on with this interview for one more minute. But by now I had overly emboldened Prince, and he was pulling out some showstoppers. I knew we must cut this interview short or my marriage would be hosed.

I summoned all of my strength and with some difficulty I pulled myself out of the bedroom of Prince. Soon thereafter I woke up.

Dave was a trooper. And Prince and I must never meet.

Monday, July 17, 2006

max fischer didn't turn out well

Oh, man. This loud, wrongly genteel drunken fellow in a tuxedo just knocked on our door and asked Dave to help push his car into a driveway. He'd left his lights on. Much retardedness ensued*, involving Tuxedo yelling at an off-duty cop** who told him that he wouldn't be driving anywhere tonight.

*including Tuxedo telling us we have a beautiful lawn. Oh, Tuxedo. You can say many things about our lawn, like "Why don't you cut it?" or "You must love dandelions", but you can't say it's beautiful.

**He accused the cop of being a serial killer and demanded to see his license number.

But my favorite part was when Dave left him. Apparently, Tuxedo said, "I'm the star of a play, and I'm going to bring some tickets by for you and your wife!"

I love I'm the star of a play!

Next time I'm in a play, that's how I'm going to tell people about it. With verve like that.

Right now, the Tuxedo's out on the street yelling HELP! HELP! to passing cars, trying to get a jump so he can drive on ill-advisedly out into the night. I bet those cars would stop if they knew he was the star of a play!

Now he's fallen asleep in his car. Sleep well, Hamlet. Don't go anywhere.

hot for baby buddhas

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