Sunday, January 29, 2012
Friday, January 27, 2012
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Monday, January 23, 2012
Sunday, January 22, 2012
I once knew a ball python named Monty. At first Monty frightened me, but as we grew to know each other, he would sit on my lap, curled up in a ball, literally. We would watch television. Monty knew me when I’d come over to his house, which made me feel oddly special; to be known by a serpent.
Saturday, January 21, 2012
My church-lady mother was a closet Kent addict. She would lock herself in the family bathroom with a pack of menthol cigarettes and a Del crossword puzzle paperback. I spent many mornings yearning for an alternative toilet situation, scoffing at the tainted odor of smoke. Now, when I encounter a recent smoke sanctuary bathroom, I reek of nostalgia for my her.
Friday, January 20, 2012
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Some people can eat you alive.
Some people suck the air out of the room.
Just when I was ready to take the dive,
He started a feeding frenzy of doom.
I didn’t know he was a piranha.
I didn’t mean to get involved.
“Hey Lady, do you wanna?”
I’d like to have the question absolved.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
A black whale breached beside the boat.
A white orchid tucked behind my ear.
We laughed and partied into the night,
All was magic, joyful, without care.
I was a beautiful hula dancer.
He was The Handsome Turquoise Knight.
In the morning something was not right.
White orchids, red blood, blue fright.
The diagnosis was full-blown cancer.
Twenty five years stepped to the right
Since I danced with that orchid in my hair.
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Saturday, January 14, 2012
As an animal-loving girl-child of the 1950s, I schemed to order, from a sketchy ad on the back page of a comic book; a tea-cup monkey, a chihuahua, and ex-ray glasses.
Years later, as a result of a natural disaster in the form of 7.3 earthquake, I was to finally have a personal close encounter with the Capuchin monkey. After the earthquake, travel became impossible and housing became tight. I was invited to lodge with my new best friend, the Capuchin Jane Goodall of Costa Rica. I was assigned a bunk in a stench-filled guest room with a frantic, caged foster fur child as a roommate. Jane was surrogate mother to several clingy, vile, stinky, snarling, human-like little beings, all dripping off her dress like live jewelry.
I quickly got over my 30 year wanting of a tea-cup monkey and settled for the chihuahua and ex-ray glasses.
Friday, January 13, 2012
Although I cringe to admit it, in the early 1970s, I was obsessed with Theatre del Arte, improvisational performance, and (cringe) mime. I studied at the very prestigious, pretentious, and fascinating “Le Centre du Silence” in Boulder, Colorado. One day a week we were required to dawn the “Mask of Silence” and inconveniently and solemnly refrain from speaking for 24 hours, still continuing with business as usual. Of course, the day we were to make Death Masks fell on my weekly day of silence. I was selected to arrive at the home of two of the director’s minions and experience having my face covered in plaster. For several hours I was a prisoner of the World of Silence, breathing the home’s scent through two drinking straws. Ceremoniously, I was blindly led around the room, a minion at each elbow, to fully experience the process. SQUISH! Plaster-faced, straws protruding, I step right in a fresh pile of dog shit! Forgetting the sacred oath of silence, I belched out a stream of my own fish monger’s daughter’s vows. So much for that Mask of Silence.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Lightnin’ Hopkins, Lightning Red, Lightnin’ Slim, Lightning Bar Blues, Lightning in a Bottle, Smokestack Lightning, Grease Lightning, White Lightning, Lightning striking again and again and again.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Life in the keys of me:
Aunt Betsy’s Victorian
Wild Hair salon
Safety deposit box
Ranchita at Seal Rock
Portland crash pad
House of Dad
Apartment with a view
High school library
Homes of the dead
United Hair Force
Port dock bath
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Monday, January 9, 2012
I love the smell of ink. You know, back when ink, paint, and magic markers used to really smell! Ink aroma transports me to an era when I was full of creative life and love.
Back in my 1980s Graphic Designer Daze, I harbored an intriguing crush on a dark-haired, dark-eyed, mysterious print shop owner, Walking into the print shop, (strictly on business, of course,) I would fill my nose with his ink cologne. Elsewhere he smelled out of place, like spilled ink in the grocery store aisle, bar, theater, or kitchen floor.
Today, 20 years and 200 lifetimes later, although I cannot recall Mr. Print Shop Man’s name, he crosses my mind when that ink odor crosses my path. I concern for his health. We weren’t talkin’ soy fru-fru ink back then. All those smells. All that ink.
Sunday, January 8, 2012
Hair! I saw in in New York, in all its nakedness, when I was but a young lass. Hair: I passed two Cosmetology State Boards tests all about the it. Hair: I cut, curled and dyed it for 25 years. I was the “Queen of Big Wigs” for Portland’s live theater scene.
I found it in my soup. Plucked odd stray ones off my face. My dog shed out a daily pound of it. I have had bad hair days, a hair-trigger temper, been given the hairy-eyeball.
From life, I have always have taken just a hair more!
Saturday, January 7, 2012
She weighed as much as a small car. She was slow as molasses. She shared the whole wide world with me. She kept me company. She kept my secrets. She helped me heal. Together we traveled, loved, and learned. She was my Gateway drug. Now speedy Mr. Mac is my crack. I cried when I dumped her body in Recycle.
Friday, January 6, 2012
May I photograph your black eye?
Fill this bathtub
With corn meal, Karo Syrup, and dye.
Latex over foam rubber.
Doesn’t it look like whale blubber?
That chunk of rotting flesh,
Does it look like it would in death?
Who cares if this shit gets all over the crew?
This would look great coming out of Jesus’s asshole
At the end of Act Two.
Thursday, January 5, 2012
I craved the sanctuary of a rural neighborhood, sans rock & roll stars, crack heads, and major assholes, when I moved next door to a Hungarian immigrant named Betty and her husband Glenn. Betty just may have saved my life with her realism, joy, and humor.
“Betty, five feet tall with a poodle-curl easy-care hairdo, scurried from overflowing planter to fragrant fledgling tomato starts, dragging 200 feet of water-weighted garden hose. Middle-ageless in her button-down flowered blouse, comfortable pastel pants, and garden gloves, Betty sported a headscarf knotted European-field-worker-style under her chin to protect her ears from the wind. From my side of the property line, overgrown with laurel, blackberry vines, and falling fence-work, I could hear Betty working in her giant visqueen greenhouse, chattering away to her vegetables and flowers. Tisza, Betty’s drooling black lab, named for a river in Hungary, heralded the arrival of any possible customers to “Betty’s Garden,” a cottage industry which kept Betty running and complaining. The Lay-dies, a gaggle of overfed chickens, were busy clearing Betty’s Garden of slugs. Several domesticated ducks, along with a few wild squatters, wallowed in a muddy bathtub inside their safe domicile. Betty chanted to the ducks in sing-song Hungarian, “Lily-Ka, Lily-Ka, Lily-Ka.” Bland store-bought eggs never quite made the breakfast grade once you fried up a few of The Ladies’ delicious organics, “fr-resh from the chee-kins’ butt,” as Betty so delightfully illustrated.” (From "Betty" by Jane E. Herrold 2009.)
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
I have seen the devil in the eyes of a coke-crazed stage actor.
He was about to break a chair over my head.
My injuries were not to be validated.
I was silenced.
The show must go on.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Monday, January 2, 2012
Forty years ago I attended Astoria Beauty School. I developed a passion for the history and tools of “Hair Design through the Ages.” Hairdressing has always served me well, in theater design, and as a “fall back career.” (Thank you Mother, for thinking I needed one.)
Jeff Hafler, collector and curator of “The Beauty Bubble Museum and Salon” is hoarding metal curlers, hair nets, hair dryers, bizarre permanent wave machines, beauty-oriented advertisements. Beauty history is alive and well in Wonder Valley, California. A visit to the anticipated light-blue resin-covered geodesic dome is a required stop on any “Roadside Attraction Tour” of the Old West. It’ll curl your hair.
Sunday, January 1, 2012
The men and women became known as “The Greatest Generation.” He never spoke of The War. Stationed in the South Pacific during World War II, my young and handsome (future) Dad crafted an airplane from brass Japanese ammunition casings and shells. The aircraft still keeps perfect balance atop the point of a horizontal bullet pillar. I have fancied this household trinket all my life. It now harbors no one’s memories by mine.