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Showing posts from March, 2012

What kind of killer are you?

Telling a group of people how you'd kill them -- or just telling them what kind of killer you'd be -- is a genius conversation starter. It's a very personal thing -- murder -- and it divulges a great deal about a person's character.

I accidentally stabbed Jerod with a toothpick once. I was tickling the bottom of his foot, and he tried to kick my hand away, but he got the toothpick instead, and it lodged in his toe. I felt a little pop as it penetrated his skin -- I heard it too like a knuckle cracking. And I remember thinking at the time:  how could anyone do this with a knife on purpose? It was awful -- almost as bad as the sound the cartilage in his ear made when I tugged it a bit harder than I should have. Ick.

I'm not the type to get my hands dirty. I'd be a Ted Kaczynski or a John Doe (Seven) minus the beheading, stabbing and prostitute killing -- John often manipulated his victims into choosing death over things they perceived were much worse. 
You're…

SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE

I tried to fashion myself a pair of noise-suppressing headphones today from a bra and a pair of water-filled bust enhancers that never leave my underwear drawer, because I'm too embarrassed to use them.

My design failed -- Hank Hill's stupid voice is still violating my eardrums as are my children's repeated attempts to break down the door.

All I want is a couple of hours of peace and quiet -- that's it -- to compile a few hundred words so I can say I wrote something today. But no one in this house cares what I want or need. They've driven me too far this time -- obviously -- I'm wearing a bra on my head -- THERE'S A BRA ON MY HEAD.

Jerod seems to enjoy my suffering. He walks into the room, farts, does a stupid robot dance and to asks me, "What's wrong?"
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

One of these days I'm going to hop in my car and just drive -- drive to some place where I won't be interrupted every five minutes by someone who needs me for some m…

Distractions and a-holes

Works in Progress

"There is neither a proportional relationship, nor an inverse one, between a writer’s estimation of a work in progress and its actual quality. The feeling that the work is magnificent, and the feeling that it is abominable, are both mosquitoes to be repelled, ignored, or killed, but not indulged."

-- ANNIE DILLARD



I get antsy now and then -- dissatisfied with things like my carpet and my wardrobe and my face and so on. My house is dark -- depressingly dark, and it doesn't help that we have shit stacked everywhere sucking up whatever sunlight does penetrate the gloom. It's one of the many things that gnaws at me when I'm sitting in my little chair at my little desk not typing or doing anything remotely close to writing. I just know if there was more light in here and everything was clean I would have no shortage of brilliant stories to tell, and I would never stop working for the rest of my life, and I'd buy a house on every continent on every …

Chatter boxes: human spam

There are people who cannot stop talking under any circumstances as if the world will stop turning if they shut their mouths for five seconds. I always seem to find these people especially when all I want to do is sit quietly and think.

They're almost predatory in that they seek people out like myself who couldn't look less interested in having a conversation and they pounce,
It seems perfectly reasonable at first -- they need directions or bus fare or cigarettes ... but as soon as you give them whatever it is they're requesting -- in that moment that you expect them to exit your life forever -- they start in on something ridiculous and invariably inappropriate.

I attract the TMI crowd -- teenage girls and 40-something women who feel compelled to share everything with me from the number of times they've had sex to the dizzying list of mind-altering substances they've ingested throughout their lives. And I just sit there and listen, because I'm way too much of a…

It's bad to torture kids, but it's fun

Oh to come home to my little girls diving off the couch--THUD--and screaming at an earsplitting pitch that only girls can master. What fun. My hair has been sufficiently brushed and slathered with the latest trend in styling products--2 percent cottage cheese and tiny bits of Velveeta.
You never know around here what will happen from one minute to the next. SURPRISE--Ashlyn colored herself green for St. Patrick's Day. SURPRISE--Ashlyn's wearing 10 pairs of underwear, AND she peed. SURPRISE--Lily's standing on the kitchen counter. SURPRISE--Daddy's asleep downstairs and the girls are running wild with pantyhose on their heads.
"Mommy, what are you doing? Mommy, what are you doing? Mommy, what are you doing?"
"I'll tell you what Mommy is doing if you'll just shut up for five minutes--are you ready?"
"Mommy is making a list of all the people she wants to stick it to -- people who teased her or stole from her or lied to her or annoyed her …

Blah, blah, blah, BLAH

I hate the blahs. They're not happy; they're not angry; they're not sad; they're not ANYTHING. They're just blah. The challenge is to write myself out of said blahs -- pick a topic that I care about enough to invoke some spark of emotion, but as long as this sentence goes on and on the more clear it becomes that I feel nothing about anything except my inability to feel (period) HA -- I actually enjoyed that.
It's after 4 p.m., I haven't showered, I didn't sleep particularly well, and the children are violating my space -- I know that's just what kids do, but I don't have to like it even if I have to accept it. BLAH. 
Is it wrong that I feel like running away all by myself to a warm, sunny beach in Hawaii? 

I don't want to talk to anyone or be talked to by anyone. I don't want to look at anyone or be looked be looked at by anyone. I want to melt away into nothing remotely traceable so no one can find me to bother me. BLAH. 
I want to be …

Run for your lives

I've wracked my brain for a single word frightening enough to convey the horror I experienced on my drive to work yesterday, but there isn't one -- I'd have to invent a new one, because nothing like what I saw has ever occurred in history.

I witnessed an entirely new phenomenon; water falling out of the sky. I know it sounds crazy, but it really did happen -- tiny beads of water were splashing all around me. I thought to  myself: this is it -- I'm going to drown on the freeway in my car. The other drivers were obviously just as shaken, because they were driving in such a way to avoid the water. It was honestly the most terrifying experience of my life. The roadway was absolutely soaked, and who knows what the stuff was made of. I mean it looked like water, but it might have been something truly awful.
Think about it -- a colorless, odorless, tasteless liquid. I slowed the car to approximately 30 mph before I dug out my smart phone and typed in the search parameters.…

A penny for your thoughts

I've never been a party person -- drinker, smoker and bar fly, yes -- but social gatherings really push the limits of my comfort zone. I think of parties as rejection enablers -- opportunities for lots of people to come together in a mutual distaste for me and everything I stand for.
Stepping into this whole social media scene is equal in my mind to walking out of the front door naked. It's just not something I feel comfortable doing. Today I created a Facebook page for my blog; I joined Twitter and Pinterest; and I haven't the slightest clue how to manage any of it. I want to participate in all of these e-circles, but I'm not very good at the marketing piece -- My name is Alexis, and I like to write silly stories about myself, and post them on the Internet; will you be my friend? It sounds so pathetic.  
I follow these advice bloggers who frequently stop short of reporting anything valuable, because they're all selling books -- self-help crap about blogging for c…

If I'd only known then ...

Words came so effortlessly when I was a teenager. It seemed like everything then was the end of the world -- every heartbreak spawned a poem about death and pain and blood and tears. Life was rich with tragic breakups and rejections, and I loved so many boys, or I thought I loved them until they gave me the time of day -- mutual affection was like so totally lame. If Poison couldn't capture it in a rock ballad it wasn't love.
I stalked a lot of guys who in all likelihood would still -- to this very day -- run screaming if someone dropped my name in conversation. And they'd be right to. There was nothing too extreme in my teenage brain -- I'd walk for miles just to sit on a sidewalk in front of some landmark where I'd seen whichever boy I happened to be chasing on the off chance he'd pass by and see me. The scheme actually worked a couple of times, but instead of making conversation or even waving "hello" I ran away as fast I could with my heart seizi…

Writing from the hip

Just sit down and write whatever is on your mind: this is the advice nearly every successful author tosses out to us struggling tadpoles who've yet to see our work on the bargain shelves at Barnes and Noble.

Nothing and everything: that's what's on my mind. I am -- surprise, surprise -- rather gloomy today. It's cold and gray and incredibly noisy like hundreds of bratty children are pelting the house with rocks and basketballs, and my inner witch is groaning, "chase them down the street screaming with a broom in one hand and a cat in the other." But there are no children outside; just rain drops and leaky gutters.


I'm sitting on a legion of maniacal impulses that I mustn't entertain because doing so would make me a sociopath. Being a writer, however, I can invent any number of disgustingly perfect characters, and torture them just for fun. Take beautiful Patty Mayhew, for example.
Ms. Mayhew woke up this morning -- cheerful and rested in a climate-cont…

Douchebags in sports cars

Today was one of those why-did-I-bother-getting-out-of-bed days, I-wish-I-lived-alone-in-a-van-down-by-the-river days, what-the-hell-is-wrong-with-people days, I-wish-I-had-a-lightning-bolt-so-I-could-give-every-douchebag-on-the-planet-a-jolt-from-my-angry-place days.
It started last night on the drive home from work. I was stuck behind the prickiest 50-something Corvette-driving jerk -- I wanted to punch him in the face. Traffic was moving until this asshole overthrew the passing lane -- speeding up and slowing down to prevent us lowly drivers in poor-folk cars from getting around him.
There were horns honking and arms flapping angrily in the air; there were middle fingers and I'm sure a lot of red faces. A couple of drivers overtook the bastard, but as soon as they got comfortable again in the FAST LANE he got out in front of them and slammed on his breaks.

He jammed me up three times before I laid on my horn and gave him the "WTF," which I caught him grinning at in h…

Writer's desperation

I start to panic mid morning -- I have nothing to write about. What am I going to do; oh my God the world is going to end; please let me think of something; there's got to be something worth while in my stupid brain; think god dammit; I only have a little time left.

Sometimes inspiration will save me -- the family will do something insanely hilarious or too awful not to write about. And other times I'll sit and stare at my computer like maybe I will burn the words into the screen with my eyes.

That's called writer's desperation. When you find yourself sort of hoping that someone will crash their car into yours on the freeway. Maybe the oven will catch fire -- just a little bit. Maybe you'll be abducted by aliens or a bank robber on the run. Or your house will be swallowed up by ghosts and you can find the developer who built your neighborhood on a cemetery and rip him a new one like Craig T. Nelson did in Poltergeist -- "You son-of-a-bitch, you left the bodies…

They're coming to take me away

They're coming to take me away -- ho-ho, he-he, ha-ha -- to the funny farm where life is beautiful all the time, and I'll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats, and they're coming to take me away --  ha-ha -- to the happy home with trees and flowers and chirping birds and basket weavers who sit and smile and twiddle their thumbs and toes, and they're coming to take me away, ha-ha. (Song by Napoleon XIV)

If only it were true. It would be like a spa vacation -- a couple of months or years parked on a chair in a big field, surrounded by nuts like me. I could write and write and write and write ... I'd be interrupted occasionally by someone's imaginary friend or roll call, but then I'd go back to being invisible. No one would notice if I talked to myself and walked in circles snapping my fingers.

I just threatened to tape Ashlyn to the toilet if she didn't at least try going potty like a big girl, to which she responded laughing, &…

Stranger than fiction

I'm a weirdo magnet. As far back as I can remember I've had dealings with the strangest cast of characters -- stranger than any paperback writer could think of.
Take this evening for example. We were visited by a gentleman I'll refer to as Mr. Skeevy -- the serial killer I've been looking out for ever since the boy next door told me 30 years ago that the Green River Killer was living in our neighbor's tool shed. 
I was rather alarmed when Mr. Skeevy -- a guy who hates us so much he yells obscenities at us through his car window -- rang my doorbell. He got a lot off his chest tonight ranting to my husband on various topics including his recent acquisition of an AR15 with a grenade launcher. He's also interested in putting a shipping container in his back yard so he has a place to manufacture bullets -- yay our own William Foster.

That's just my latest encounter. I think it all started with Old Ms. Emery -- an odd little woman with a mess of white hair pinne…