Archive | November, 2009

Dear Thanksgiving

24 Nov

Dear Thanksgiving,

I would like to give thanks for:

1. Ok, well, guys, let’s start here– I am in school. I am a student. This means I LEARN THINGS all the time! And it’s what I’m supposed to be doing! I show up, I learn some things, I go home, I think about some things. I do not make coffee or sit in a cubicle all day or dig ditches. And for that, I am grateful. I mean, I don’t know, maybe you love your job digging ditches, and for that I thank you. I need ditches in my life probably. For culverts and stuff. Those seem useful, even if I can’t think of exactly why.

2. …FOR POETRY. I am in SCHOOL for POETRY. This means not only do I live the life of a student– and seriously guys, in case you’ve forgotten, that means like 2-3 hours of class a day and then….umm….drinking coffee and playing board games, mostly– but as a student, my main jobs are to read some things and then to write some things. This is what I do with my life. In fact, this is what I get to do with three years of my life. I would like to thank whoever thought up MFA programs, and whoever decided they were a legitimate way for people to spend their time, and my parents for supporting my dreams, and my heart for dreaming, and “last but not least, the wonderful crew from McDonalds who spend hours making those egg McMuffins without which I’d never be tardy” (Clueless? Anyone?). Ok. Well. Seriously. Thanks. I will be in my armchair reading some more words on a page. And writing some other words down sometimes.

3. Cookies. Baking. Dancing while baking. (DANCE-BAKE.) That doesn’t link to a definition of Dance-Bake. It links to my friend Kristen. Who is the definition of Dance-Bake. Anyway, Dance-Bake is pretty self-explanatory. You dance and you bake. Or you dance while you bake. Whatever. Put on some music, make some cookies, see what happens.

4. New Friends. Including ones that like to talk about poetry. And dance. And bake. And tease. And go to the beach. And sometimes play board games with me: bananagrams, chess, cribbage, Jenga. Yeah ok, it’s an odd list, but it’s what we’ve got. Next on the list: backgammon. Also: actually learn how to play chess, not just memorize (mostly) which pieces can move where. I’m working on it, ok?! It’s hard. Cut me some slack.

5. A seafood taco truck. You heard me. I’m not going to even tell you where it is. But I will say this: $1 fish tacos.

6. Bagels. I have a lot of bagels in my life. I love it.

7. Hillcrest. I have a lot of drag queens in my life. I love it.

8. My apartment. I love it.

9. The restaurants around my apartment. This really counts under both “Hillcrest” and “my apartment.” But the restaurants! So wonderful! Deserve their own listing.

10. The Dog. She’s my parent’s, but I get to see her sometimes, and she’s soft and cuddly and will let you haul her around with you like a stuffed animal (a really, really big, patient one).

11. Family. Hi guys!

12. Books. Who came up with books? High five.

13. Food.

14. Doughnuts. The real ones, not the vegan ones. Or Donettes. Not real but I am grateful for them anyway.

15. Health. HEAR ME, WORLD? I am grateful for my health! After four years of illness, sickness, ailments, infections, whooping cough, I am HEALTHY. And I appreciate it every day that I wake up feeling like I can tackle whatever comes along, that I can commit to plans whether they be today, tomorrow, or a month from now, that I can take on an extra class or extra work hours or sign up for yoga and not worry that it will go to waste. I appreciate every day that I can walk around breathing easily and thinking clearly, every day my body moves, jumps, stretches, breathes without pain.

16. The ocean. I live near the ocean. I try to remember to go see it at least once a week. Just to sit with it. It makes me happy.

So Thanksgiving, happy you to you.

Another year, another turkey (it’s such a boring meat! what is UP with having the most boring meat the centerpiece of the biggest food holiday of the year?)

With thanks and blessings and yams with marshmallows (of course that is my favorite part, obviously),

MM

Dear Coming Home

20 Nov

Dear Coming Home,

Well. I’ve been in Seattle less than 24 hours, been awake for less then 10 of those.

And the thing is, I’ve never visited Seattle as a person who does not live here. I have always lived here. I have never arrived on a plane and not been “coming home” from a “trip.”

Anyway, in those short hours that I’ve been here, I have: well ok first of all, I spent some serious time petting the dog. What can I say? She and I really like each other. I have also slept in my old bed, taken a shower in the shower I grew up taking showers in, been to Paseo like nobody’s business, and at the moment? At the moment I am wearing a softball sweatshirt from high school and sitting at the kitchen table where I grew up sitting when doing homework.

And it is pouring. POURING. And the grass is so so GREEN here. And when I went outside today I wore boots and a big scarf and a North Face jacket…I AM BACK, BABY.

I can actually hear the rain. Also, there’s a leafblower going in my neighbor’s yard. And bus #25 just went by. Oh, inner city suburbia.

And I’m going to my favorite Chinese restaurant tonight and tomorrow I’m going to study at Zoka. Anyway, the point is, it is both strange to be back and not strange whatsoever. And it is really, really nice to drive in a city without thinking about where I am going or the best way to get there.

Thanks for having me back, Seattle, and it’s nice to be home. Don’t worry, sunshine kids, my return ticket to the land of nice weather is nonrefundable. At the moment, my cities and I are all in this “open relationship” together.

So yes, it’s possible to come home again…and possible to miss the rain, be glad to see it, and be perfectly happy to know that I will see the sun again before May. And yeah, sometimes that’s a real question when you live in Seattle. But hellooooo green! Hello hello hello.

Love,

MM

 

Dear Middle-Aged Man…

17 Nov

Dear Middle-Aged Man…

Yes, you, the one who is wearing a black polo shirt neatly tucked into navy blue cargo shorts with converse and sport socks. Buying a case of Natty Light at Rite-Aid at 1:43 pm on a Tuesday.

I feel like this is the start to a great joke. But I don’t know what the punchline is. Or rather, maybe you are the punchline, but I don’t know what the set-up is. So instead I will end with a question:

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE?

Best,

MM

Dear Going on a Trip

17 Nov

Dear Going on a Trip,

How, exactly, do you involve quite so much work? So many lists, and so much Getting Things Done before I go?

Only to be repeated when I come back? There’s the laundry and the picking up my apartment so I don’t cry when I am tired and just off the plane when I return. There’s the cleaning out the refrigerator but also trying to make sure there is some kind of food in the house because when I come back, life does not stop to let me catch up and rest after my vacation. There’s the making dinner plans for tonight and tomorrow. Oh wait, that’s just normal. Um, there’s all the work I have to do before I go, and all the work I have to do while I am there, and all the work I have to plan to do when I get back. There’s not only watering my plant today, but figuring out who is going to water it while I am gone.

There is figuring out what to do with my car while I am gone and how to get to the airport and then how to get back from the airport and get my car. And laundry. Did I mention laundry?

There is also, by the way, figuring out what to pack for cold weather and rain. You do know that packing warm clothes takes up more space then just throwing some sundresses in a bag, right? That taking boots makes things heavier, as does taking a stack of books? Don’t tell me there are books where I am going; I need these books. And yes, I am going to do work while I am on my trip. First of all, I am determined. Second of all, I don’t really have a choice.

Taking 12 days for Thanksgiving in the middle of the semester doesn’t exactly mean those are 12 days off.

LIST. I need to make a list.

Adio, cheerio, bon voyage, make a list, ahh! my brain!

MM

Dear Publishers Weekly

13 Nov

Dear Publishers Weekly,

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

ON YOUR TOP TEN BEST BOOKS OF 2009 LIST, THERE IS NOT A SINGLE WOMAN AUTHOR.

THAT IS NOT OBJECTIVE. SAYING THAT YOU IGNORED GENDER WHEN YOU CHOSE THE LIST DOES NOT JUSTIFY YOUR END RESULT. AND SAYING THAT YOU ARE DISTURBED BY THE RESULT DOES NOT SAVE YOU OR EXCUSE YOU FROM BEING RAMPANTLY SEXIST.

As Kamy Wicoff, founder of She Writes, wrote in an email to members (through The Rumpus: Women’s News by Elissa Bassist):

“According to the novelist and journalist Louisa Ermelino, the editors at PW bent over backwards to be objective as they chose the Best Books of the year. ‘We ignored gender and genre and who had the buzz. We gave fair chance to the ‘big’ books of the year, but made them stand on their own two feet. It disturbed us when we were done that our list was all male.’ It ‘disturbed’ you? In what way exactly? Like, did it make you think, ‘we are insane?’ Try to imagine if they had come out with a list of the Best Books of 2009 and it had included ZERO MEN. Try to imagine if Amazon had released its Best Books of 2009 and it had included only TWO men. I know it’s hard. But just try.”

I’m sorry, I know all caps lock is yell-y, and nobody likes to be yelled at, and DEAL WITH IT.

WOMEN BUY 65% OF THE BOOKS SOLD IN THE U.S. You really think they’re buying only books written by men? You really think none of the books they’re buying or that women are writing could be top ten of 2009? You really think the problem is with what’s being WRITTEN or READ?

No. I didn’t think so.

LEARN SOMETHING. RETRACT YOUR LIST. CONSIDER THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR ACTIONS. CONSIDER THE POWER YOU HAVE AND RE-EVALUTE YOUR DAMN CRITERIA FOR “BEST” SO IT DOESN’T INCLUDE MALE AS AN UNSTATED REQUIREMENT.

That’d be great. Thanks!

MM

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