Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Call The Fire Department

February 27!!! Someone get the fire extinguisher and call 911!!! That cake was about to blow!!!

I bet you thought I was going to tell more hot fireman stories, didn't you?? Well, not today. Today I have to announce that I am an idiot for not putting a post up about my Sister's birthday yesterday... That's right! I forgot... I didn't forget her birthday, I had sent her a card and e-mails and told her Happy Birthday-I Love You over the phone and all that jazz, but I totally forgot her "Blog Tribute"... so here goes... better late than never. Thank you "anonymous" for reminding me eh?

To the Most Wonderful Sister in the Wide World (as forest would say)... Hope it was sooo HAPPY Vickie (Nana).

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Out Ta Get Me

There was something about him, maybe the way he played guitar, or his wild, 'bad boy' image. Maybe it was his excessive drinking that turned me on, or perhaps the cigarette that always hung loosely from his lips... not to mention that wonderful, wild enormous mane of his. That fateful day, the day we met is one that I won't soon forget... I had it all perfectly planned out.

I woke up extra early that morning and began to ready myself. Today was the day. I would finally get to meet him. Shivers ran through my body at the idea that I would be in his presence... face-to-face. I was so nervous that I could barely cake on the sufficient eyeliner and mascara ('I have to get this just right!' I thought, blood running cold).

Carefully, I dressed so as not to tear my brand new stockings, and I wore 'The Suit'... the sleek black sexy suit--something great always happened when I wore it... There was no other choice. So, I slid into the fitting skirt which landed perfectly above the knees and zipped up my jacket up the front. Then I put the finishing touches on my hair... It had to have enough body without being overly 'big' (Big hair had so gone out of style... except for HIS). I sprayed on some sexy smelling cologne, last minute make-up check and I was on my way.

How I was supposed to get any work done on a day like this was beyond me. My concentration was shot and I was only counting the minutes until he arrived. Everyone in the office was giving me Hell about my outfit... "Woooooo Jackie, aren't you sharp today?" and "Aaaahhhh who are you all dressed up for??" with a wink and a smile... I didn't care, I rather enjoyed the thought myself.

The time was creeping by as slow as molasses...

"He's here!" someone stoutly informed me.

Immediately, I stiffened up in a rush of panic. 'Oh God-this is it! Breathe deep Jackie, remain calm and smooth!'

He slinked into the radio station with the kind of walk that just shouted 'he didn't give a damn', glasses on, hair flowing... I smiled and watched with blood rushing as he passed my desk. First he went to the back to prepare, he was going to meet and greet, sign some autographs and then go On Air with the DJ for his interview. Later that night he was scheduled to play with his band at our Radio Station's birthday bash, but for now-he was mine.

When he had gotten settled in, I made my way back to the production room where he was waiting and although it was early, there were already a few people lined up to get his autograph and meet him. 'That's o.k., I can wait for you Slash my love.' I giggled to myself silently.

He sat there like the badass he was on the desk in his torn-up blue jeans, jeans that you just knew had seen many better days... his shirt sported the slogan "Only Users Lose Drugs". ('That's so hot' I thought.) I listened to him talk, as he made his acquaintances and signed shirts and breasts [so many enormous breasts (that's for you guys)]. The only two items that he had with him were his cigarette (still dangling erotically from his full lips), and his fifth of whiskey which he sipped straight from the bottle, still securely intact in the brown paper sack.

"That's what I love about Memphis!" He proclaimed, "It's the one of the only places I've seen where they have stores that sell nothing but liquor!"

Then it was my turn. My blood was rushing to my head... Oh my God. Me! Meeting Slash! This is it... I stepped forward and smiled shyly... not knowing exactly what to say.

"Hey." ('Hey?? What's up with that?? Can I be a bigger geek?? How is this going to land me in his hotel room tonight?? Hey!?!? Oh you're smooth Jackie'). Nevertheless, I hand him my t-shirt, the t-shirt the radio station gave us all that sported the logo and the birthday celebration design. He takes the shirt out of my hands. ('Dear God I just handed Slash a T-shirt! I can die and go to Heaven now... or Hell, wherever I'm going... no, scratch that God, not just yet').

"Mind if I use your back??" he uttered so velvety (or was that his smoker's voice?).

('Mind? Do I MIND? Use MY BACK?? Oh Slash, you can use anything of mine you want to use! It's allll yours!!')... **clearing throat**

"Ummm not at all!" I reply steadily. I turn in front of him, and move backwards towards him sliding my ample rear in between his legs ('His legs!! Oh God Slash's legs... where these legs must have been! My ass! Between Slash's LEGS!!' I mentally slap myself). I stuck it out blatantly and bent over so he could have a smooth surface with which to sign my t-shirt. I moved my long wavy hair out of his way.

He began to write, and I could feel the movement of the Sharpie through my clothing.... Oh how great it felt, I could sit here and let him write on my back forever! I was so close I could smell the smoke all over his clothing, and the vapors from his whiskey breath... I didn't care... ('Go ahead and write an entire novel Slash, I have no place to be.')

"Alright... cool! Thanks!" he muttered through the cigarette, and he gave me a suave musician-nod.

I floated forward, said "Thank you", then smiled, continuing to float all the way back to my desk... Oh what a glorious day... Slash, I met him... He signed my back.

Then I finally unfolded my shirt and read his words.

He signed it:

"To Jackie-Rock & Fuckin Roll! -Slash"

Rock On Slash...

Times Like These

Hope that this Tuesday finds you all well and you're feeling fine, if you're not feeling fine at least try to look fine because as we all know it is better to look good than to feel good, and you know who you are. If you can't feel good OR look good, then maybe you can at least be good-then if not, as the old adage said "If you can't be good, then be good at it."

I'll most assuredly try to post something of interest before the day is out, but you can still play some catch up if you haven't already, as you may have missed something hot or cool.

Also, I have added the link to my friend Faith's blog, and if you haven't already welcomed her (our newest blogger), then check it out here at "Jinks Writes and Rewrites" and give her a shout!.

I'll be back in a bit.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Stormy Monday

Well, not literally... basically i'm on my 2nd cup of 'afternoon coffee', and more so in a cloud of things to finish up today so I really won't be posting anything of interest. Rather, I will offer you the extra time to play 'catch up' on some of my 'previous posts' if you have interest and haven't had a chance to read back.

If so, you can still catch up on the saga of the Fireman, or my rant on inconsiderate drivers, or my general rant about how I am the worst procrastinator in the world... Oh yes, and my last piece on Soulmates if you like that--Something for everyone! It's all here folks! :)

Oh one thing I did want to ask is if anyone else saw the strange lights hovering low in the skies kind of late on Thursday night?? Richie and I had left band practice and we were driving home and there were little strange formations of low-hanging lights all through the sky not just near the airport, but even west of our airport. They weren't airplanes--they were too close together in some spots. They hovered, so they could've been helicopters, but I wasn't too convinced that they could've been helicopters either. Come to find out that my friend Faith (Jinks) said that the radio show Coast to Coast had quite a few reports from various cities of people reporting these 'low lights'. I'm still trying to research it a bit, but it was certainly odd... and since I don't quite know what they were exactly, I've no choice but to call them UFO's, right?? If anyone else has anything to say, please feel free to speak up--i'm definitely curious!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Soul's Journey

Anyone get into 'Soulmates'? Do you believe that everyone has just one? Or do you think it is possible that we cross paths with multiple soulmates during the course of our existence?

Everyone that we meet is for a reason, but I don't think that everyone we meet are soulmates of ours... However, I do believe in more than one. I believe I have had in my life (and still have) more than one. Some soulmates are friends, some soulmates are lovers, some soulmates are our families... they have a path to follow as do we, and sometimes we meet and only get to keep them long enough to enrich one anothers life, share a beautiful moment and then we have to travel on... although you might wish that it could last forever, it might not be meant to be... not this time.

Sometimes perhaps we wait and pray for the time to be right, for the universe to allow us to find them and then to hold on tight... but fate must follow the story of the book as it is written, as it has been so instructed and we must have patience and understanding and accept lessons, and these kindred spirits of ours as they cross paths with us and love, and be grateful that we were given those precious moments-however long.

This one was written for a soulmate I was once
fortunate enough to cross paths with:

For Z:
by Jackie Cutler

Awoke to a scream
as my soul this morn
told a tale, two ships
collided, then passed on

through the night they sailed
in waters so cold
the image now fades
leaving them feeling old

the rain pours on
on this stormy sea
and I paddle onward
hoping one day to free

those spirits - ours
that danced in the night
just a simple, sweet dream
nothing's been so right

i'm moving along
oh, I try to pretend
a dance was just a dance...
and dances always end

I'm alright half the time
but I can't seem to heal;
simply bandage it up
when I start to feel

the pain that hurt so severe
when we both tried to fight
though we knew that
it brought us such sweet delight

as we, two twin ships
who once sailed the same sea
crashed, then passed on
still waiting to be free
will we ever be free?

Be Good To Yourself

Well another weekend, or as I like to think of it (as of 5:00 Friday upon leaving work), 45 hours of my life wasted that i'm not getting back. I know-there's nothing wrong with kicking back and relaxing and enjoying life... I'm all for it. But doesn't that constitute a little 'going out' and actually experiencing some of it outside the walls of your house??

Maybe? Ok, well even in the vein of 'staying home and catching up on things that need to be done around the house', explain to me why none of that has been accomplished... I have not accomplished or completed one solitary task this weekend except for pointing and laughing at life as it passed me by.

Maybe I sound a little bitter or panicked. Well I am! What am I going to do about this lack of motivation and lack of self-discipline?? I've never been the best at it, as I am an extreme procrastinator. But I don't like it at all--I want to change. I want to begin again with a better spirit of fight and competition, motivation... I want to be a 'go getter'. How do the ones of you who wake up every morning, bright and cheery with a smile on your face do it?? How do you get up and go perform your morning routine (jogging, planning, getting things done) and have self-satisfying productive days?? I need to know, please tell me how this can be done.

As it stands now, for the past few weeks I want to flush my head down a toilet by the end of the weekend thinking of all the things that need to be done that I should've accomplished while I had "time" during the weekend, but I let it all slide and can only think "Well, o.k. next weekend I am going to dedicate to this, and I'll get that done... Feeling unaccomplished is a big contributor I think in my lack of feelings of self-worth... thinking that I am lazy and never do the things I love doing anymore... which contributes to bouts of depression, boredom, and the opinion that life has lost it's luster mostly. I think that some of this results from feelings I have about my family, and how things are now. Not as good, not as bright and happy as it once was. My family has grown apart, and we may never be the same with each other anymore. Feels like i'm looking 'the end' in the face where they're concerned. As my parents age, and as my siblings and their families grow distant, I see that only chaos and strife might remain. It's just over--and we're all hanging on to a very thin thread that gets thinner with each holiday we attempt to spend together.

The future, what we can accomplish starting now?? Well that's within our control! It is up to us (me) to paint our (my) own canvase(s) and make them about anything that we (I) choose... Nobody else can do it. Nobody. So that means it is all in me--So how do I go about this motivation process?? How in this universe do I find my muse?

The past is finite. It is already gone. Something has got to change in my life because I can't continue to live vicariously on my past glory stories, I've got to create some new ones or risk running out of material, am I right?? The future is infinite (I mean, physically our bodies will have an end, but unless we're a true physic and we can put an exact expiration date on these vessels then we cannot define the exact length of the future).

So I have to learn to take that, and appreciate it because it is unwritten paper... unpainted canvas at my disposal. Mine to create... I have already scribbled all over the used-up past ones, and I can admire and write about them still--But there's no going back and re-doing them... there's just not. I'm going to have to make a strong effort and pull myself out of my past. I know it looks great in retrospect, it seems to me now that it was the "best of times". In actuality, however, it wasn't. I was just Jackie Cutler... Just as dissatisfied with life, and feeling unaccomplished then as I am now (as Jackie Wood)--but only about different things. I think we tend to forget the negative, and only remember the positive moments sometimes, so it is inevitable to "pine" for the past.

It's time to jump up and take a stand and begin work on this next project--my future--and make it a masterpiece that can outshine the others... How can I kick myself, or light a fire underneath me and find my inspiration though??? It feels like a mountain of an obstacle right now to me... I need help to find my way. I desperately wish it would come soon.

For today, I can only share these feelings with you and let you know that I appreciate each and every one of you who happen to find my blog worthy of reading whether you make yourself known to me with a lovely comment, or whether you keep yourself anonymous... Thank you.

I'll continue to give stories and poetry whenever the memory and inspiration strikes... because I will always love the past-it made me who I am today! I have to share [what I can of] that. But I have to gear myself towards a more rewarding future too.

Lastly, I'll leave you with the lyrics to this song that I had on my mind this morning... it's very old, and kind of simple, but it's how I was feeling today... hope you remember and like it too. Enjoy what's left of your weekend, and continue [or begin if you don't already] to:

"Be Good To Yourself"...

Runnin out of self-control
Gettin close to an overload
Up against a no win situation
Shoulder to shoulder, push and shove
Im hangin up my boxin gloves
Im ready for a long vacation

Be good to yourself when, nobody else will
Oh be good to yourself
Youre walkin a high wire, caught in a cross fire
Oh be good to yourself

When you cant give no more
They want it all but you gotta say no
Im turnin off the noise that makes me crazy
Lookin back with no regrets
To forgive is to forget
I want a little piece of mind to turn to
(Lyrics by Journey)

Friday, February 23, 2007

Smoke Signals

"Hello Jacqueline." he says with a sultry voice (or maybe it was my imagination). "This is Bryan. How are you?"

My imagination runs wild, and I shake slightly with nervous anticipation, wondering why he'd called ME... what exactly was he up to? Not to allow my composure to be ruffled, I put on my cheeriest, sexiest southern voice.

"Well Hello Bryan. I'm doing just great and yourself?" Smiling, over-the-phone like they teach you to do in any type of customer-service work.

"I'm doing great, even better now." He blurted out with a sensual undertone. There was a slightly awkward pause, as I still wasn't sure of his agenda. He began to quiz me on my job functions and different aspects of the job. 'Did I like working there, etc...'

"How long have you been working there?" I'm remembering the frame of his body, his stature and the way he carried himself. He was smooth. I knew that already. He was pretending to be interested in the details of my work, and calling me on the phone on the 'premise' that he was thinking of bringing in an assistant to help him out with the courier service and he wanted to know if I would be interested possibly. I politely thanked him for thinking of me, but that I wasn't sure since I had not been with this company very long. I had wanted to be fair, but I would keep it in mind certainly. I knew he had found his sneaky way to make a connection. He didn't make the phonecall long and drawn out, but did make room for small flirts within the conversation, and as well he made sure to give his cell phone number so I could let him know about the 'assistant thing'. He was a regular courier, so I knew he'd be back around, and whenever he came through to deliver or pick up packages I'd usually make myself available.

Thinking back, it eludes me how exactly it came about but once over the phone, he invited me to come by the fire station where he worked one afternoon when I got off work, and told me he'd 'give me a tour'. I obliged.

I prepared myself accordingly. I had to call out the big guns... I decided to wear my "Slash Suit". You're probably wondering what the "Slash Suit" is, and I'll save the story of it for another post-but in short, the Slash Suit was the exact suit I wore when I got to meet Slash from "Guns N Roses", one of my favorite guitarists who I also happened to have the hots for. This suit was a Man-eating suit... it was a sleek, black sort of 'suede-like' material nicely fitted to every curve (and we have alot of curves in my family), the jacket had a simple collar, and it had a silver zipper with a little loop. The zipper ran completely from the collar to the waist. The skirt was in just the right place above the knees. Had my hair, makeup and perfume perfectly calculated and I was ready.

Once the work day was through, I "freshened up" and drove down to the station. He met me outside wearing their normal fireman attire, which consisted of blue pants, boots and a blue t-shirt with their logo, not quite a uniform but enough to fit the bill. He took me inside and showed me around, with all the other firemen on duty looking on curiously, wondering who I was. We made idle chit-chat as we toured through the facility. The tour was nothing that notable of course, if you've seen one fire station you've seen em' all. But it gave us some quality time for body language and further flirting.

He eventually walked me back to my car and stood there as I closed the door, and leaned in resting himself in the window as we wrapped up our little tour, and conversation, making more intense eye contact with me.

"Drive safely... and call me when you get back home." He ordered.

"O.k." I agree. "Thank you for the tour, I enjoyed it immensely."

And with that, he moved forward and gave me a warm and lingering kiss on the lips.

I barely noticed the traffic going home, as my mind was spinning with crazy thoughts and my lips were still tingling from the unexpected kiss. The streetlights blurred into a fine neon mist along the highway as I made my way back to my small one-bedroom apartment. Once back home, the night was quiet and I felt a distracted sleeplessness, so I went ahead and called his cellphone as I'd promised. The conversation moved towards a more suggestive nature and we discussed making plans to see each other soon.

As I desperately needed sleep, I tried to settle my mind by turning on the radio. Then no sooner than I'd closed my eyes, it was dawn.

Related posts:
Where There's Smoke, There's Fire
Those Magic Sunglasses

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Rules of the Road

I'm still finding it quite difficult to find any courtesy on the streets and highways all around. No matter where I go, someone is riding my tail High-beams A'blazin, seemingly unaware of their apparent ass-holery. There were 5 in a row this morning, before dawn... blinding the living daylights out of me. It's no wonder more and more people are getting dragged out of their cars and beat down, I have half a mind to do it myself. To the last guy, I pulled over to the side of the road and let him pass so I could get behind him and give him a dose of his own medicine... doubt he even cared. Rule is: (whether this is my rule, or law in some states) When you meet an oncoming car, LOW BEAMS! When you're riding behind someone, or riding their ass... LOW BEAMS!!!!!

Oh and if it's not that, it's some brainless twat trying to break the speed barrier and turn the already 'gridlocked' interstate into an obstacle course. Can't they see the person over on the side of the road sitting in their car skull-down? Enough people are "rubbernecking" past the accident that it should be common knowledge!

Therefore, ATTENTION all drivers! (Especially you, the most brain-dead: Mid-South and Memphis area) Where is the love people?? Where is the common sense, and last but not least simple concern and respect for yourself and your fellow drivers?? I'm not one to stand in the way of your progress by any means, if you have some sort of death-wish, and you want to go crash head first into a wall, or go flip your own vehicle then have at it! Just do us all a favor and make it a solo act.

---end of rant---

Ok, so I have a great deal to get done today... you won't get the continuance of the Fireman tale (tail?) lol... until Tomorrow--that's right, FRIDAY... TGIF is almost here.

Cheers Y'all!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Where There's Smoke, There's Fire

It was not unlike most other days at the printing company, everyone was just sprinting about, rushing to complete their tasks, crunching to make the daily deadlines. Most of the time, Printing is a fast-paced environment indeed.

For the most part, I assisted in a great deal of the proof making, proofreading and then of course backed up Glenda, who worked up front assisting the many customers that passed through.

I hadn't been working there all that long, but I was getting used to everyone and had made some friendly acquaintances by this time. Guess I had already gotten a rhythmic work flow about me. I was sitting at my desk in the proofing room, looking over some materials when I saw this extremely hot 'hard body' walk past the window, approaching the entrance of the shop. The window blind was positioned in such a way that I could only see the torso portion, and had not yet put a face to this heavenly body.

As he passed, I did a 'double-take'. There was no way I could miss this, I had to go up front and see who was underneath all that muscle.

I maintained the coolest composure, slinking up front in my calm, cat-like manner, taking stock of my prey. I shuffled around, creating the appearance that I had some business to attend to up front... he stood at the desk, long, tall and built to please, with a piercing gaze that was already on me. However, composure had to be maintained.

In a very Customer-service-like manner, I popped by the desk with a big smile, "Good Morning! How are you doing today??" Glenda was having the usual chat-and I could tell that this was someone who frequented the shop, and that she was quite familiar with.

Turns out, Bryan (yes another 'Bryan') was a courier for the printing company. He had his own Courier business on the side, but his main job was Firefighting. 'Hope he brought the fire hose with him!' I thought secretly, as I glanced over every section of his body. Standing at the counter, he proceeded to make small talk and we made rather casual introductions, as Glenda introduced me, telling him what I did and how I was somewhat new to the company.

"So glad to meet you!" he beamed, lowering his 'magic sunglasses'. We locked eyes, and shared some flirtatious glances. Already there was an electricity, but of course I passed this off as just another hot guy, which we would probably discuss all day whenever we were bored with the days regimen and needed something to pep us up.

He grabbed my hand, examining my nails, which were newly manicured. They were long, and painted a brilliant holiday blue with a couple of Christmas designs on them.

Caressing my fingers, and making dangerous eye-contact, he said "I lovvvee your clawwwss."

I didn't move my hand away, but rather kept them there allowing him to toy with my fingers, enjoying the attention.

"Oh, thank you." I said, smiling, "I just had them done a couple days ago, for the holidays and all."

"Well, very nice. They're so long!" He finally releases them, and looks at me. I quiver, melting a little under his fiery gaze... I secretly wonder what else might be long, and then stop myself. Then I inquire within about whether or not men are ever aware of the dirty thoughts that go through our minds, when we are acting so cool and calculating on the outside... Do they know that we're thinking possibly worse thoughts than they are?? They always take such pride in being the animals, yet nothing could top the mental image I had on my mind at that moment.

But I had to shake it off, after all there were several more hours in my work day and I still had a lot of work to do.

He wrapped up his business, and said "It was so nice meeting you... have a good one!" (Was he a good one? Maybe, maybe not I'd never know...) I didn't give any thought to the fact that I would have any other such encounters with him, but chalked it up to just a cool moment that I shared. I was glad that I went up front, however and got a closer look.

I watched him intently as he turned, and skillfully sauntered back through the door, outside and back to his car. He cranked up and headed out to deliver more packages. Even his car engine sounded hot.

Glenda, who evidently noticed his flirtations said, "Boy he likes you!! He was really checking out your 'claws' and smiling!" We giggled, and made several references to the incident throughout the day; My mind wandering where it ought not.

A couple of days later, Glenda and I were busy with a big job that everyone was working to complete. The phone had rang, as it does many times all day long in such a fast-paced environment. One of the Customer Service girls pops on the phone's intercom and says "Jackie??? Jackie, you have a phone call."

Glenda and I look at one another, puzzled... I can't imagine who would be calling me at the printing company, unless it was an emergency. So nervously, and hoping that nothing bad has happened, I pick up the phone. "Hello?" I squawk. It's Bryan, the courier/the fireman.

"Hello Jacqueline." he says with a sultry voice (or maybe it was my imagination). "How are you?" My imagination runs wild, and I shake slightly with nervous anticipation, wondering why he'd called ME... what exactly was he up to?

{To Be Continued}

Related posts:
Those Magic Sunglasses
Smoke Signals

Let Me Know If You Wanna Go

Today, shortly that is, I will be bringing you a titillating tidbit of the Fireman story... that is, if you can take the heat!! lol

Meanwhile, please jam with me on a great song by ZZ Top~~

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

On Climaxing

This is something I thought was worth sharing, it is taken from an art newsletter that I receive from "Robert Genn", author of The Painter's Keys which is a great publication for artistic inspiration.

I thought that today's newsletter had a lot of good things to say. It's about Climaxes--and yes, I know some of you might have different ideas about what you want that to be about today... and all Climaxes in life are good... I think this little excerpt will remind you of some things that keep life sweet... no matter who you are, artist, musician or just one who admires beauty and art from afar...
On climaxing

February 20, 2007

Dear Jacqueline,

Symphonies, movies, plays, novels, songs--all tend to have a
climax. Life and love have climaxes. Climax is one of the
essential life experiences. Without climax, nothing seems to
get anywhere. Climax represents the successful completion of
the story, the denouement of the plot, the reason for all the
effort, the snapshot at the height of the action.

Lots of paintings are short on climaxes. A climax in a painting
means coming to light, a center of interest, a delicate part, a
colour surprise, activation, sudden insight or rebirth, etc. In
the same way that other art forms build a case, foreshadow,
anticipate, disclose and darken before the light, so should
paintings. If you look at the acknowledged great works of art,
you often get the feeling, "Somethin's happenin' here," even if
what it is ain't exactly clear. You may also have noticed some
quite ordinary subjects come with built-in climaxes--mountains,
crashing waves, sunsets, etc. Maybe that's why this sort of
material remains forever popular.

In the subject matter of the creator's choice, it is the
creator's challenge to discover and evoke personal climaxes.
Without them, you may be saying little in your art--and your
work may be dull and uninspiring because of it. Here are a few
ideas to think about:

To have climax, you need quietude.
To have light, you need dark.
To have focus, you need lack of focus.
To have delicacy, you need roughness.
To have surprises, you need plain facts.
To have colour surprises, you need grays.
To have activation, you need blandness.
To have birth, you need death.

These dialectics can be inherent in the subject, planned to be
added in a proposed work, or "found" during the creative
process itself. It is the latter that makes the act of art most
satisfying. By innocently asking the questions, "What if?" and
"What can be?" the artist experiences the climax along with the
art itself and is partner to its happening. This sort of joy is
one of the high sublimations, and when it happens, you cannot
help but shout "Wow!"

Best regards,


PS: "One must always be careful not to let one's work be
covered with moss." (Marc Chagall) "He not busy being born is
busy dying." (Bob Dylan)

Esoterica: Then again, maybe a work with no climax is its own
climax. Such work, by its uniformity and flatness, may suggest
it doesn't need a climax because the work of art itself--the
place or thought it depicts--is the climax. After all, it's the
climax of somebody's wall. Dull though this thought may be,
eternal dullness can be subject matter, and many people these
days seem to need it. Perhaps the point is that life is dull,
even-going, plodding, and without surprises. I've never found
life to be that way--have you?

Current clickback: If you would like to see selected,
illustrated responses to the last letter, "Cheap advice," about
artist's talks and painter crits, please go to:

If you would like to comment or add your own opinion,
information or observations to this or other letters, please do
so. Just click 'reply' on this letter or write

Give the gift of the twice-weekly letters. We are currently
snail-mailing a free copy of The Painter's Keys (the book) to
current subscribers who go to the URL below and send us the
names and email addresses of five or more of their
creatively-minded friends. No strings, just a thank-you. We
make it easy. We even send your friends a personal letter to
let them know the twice-weekly connection is from you.

Climax your life. A Premium Listing in the Painter's Keys
Directory is the most effective thing an artist can do to be
tastefully and respectably noticed. This listing--really a mini
web page--costs $100 per year--and we do all the set-up. You
can find out how well it might work for you at

Yes, please go ahead and forward this letter to a friend.

If you think a friend or fellow artist may find value in this
material, please feel free to forward it. This does not mean
that they will automatically be subscribed to the Twice-Weekly
Letter. They have to do it voluntarily and can find out about
it by going to

In compliance with the welcome legislation on spamming, our
mailing address is: Painter's Keys, 12711 Beckett Rd., Surrey,
B.C., Canada, V4A 2W9.

(c) Copyright 2007 Robert Genn. If you wish to copy this
material to other publications or mail lists, please ask for
permission by writing Thanks for your

Take It Easy

I'm sure alot of you want to know more about my other exploits with either Bryan or the Fireman... We'll just have to follow the path of my inspiration, I have to strike as they come.

Going to see bands play used to be alot of fun, Tamra and I would go all out, dress to the nines and the whole deal. Once, we even had our Moms make us red velvet dresses which we wore with a red feather boa and red devil horns... I'll post that pic and story sometime soon. We had many people want their photo taken with us that night, and got lots of attention.

Nowadays, sadly, it is rare that I get to go and see anyone play. I need to make a point to change that, especially with worthy acts that come to town... which for some reason has decreased in numbers in the last months and years... Nobody good comes to town much anymore. Probably because they run into too much political conflict between trying to play the FedEx forum, or finding a place to play at all, or issues with Clear Channel.

However, we used to have some pretty good acts. Even before I worked at one of the local radio stations, 92.9--they had birthday celebrations and this was their 1st birthday party. It was scheduled to be at 616 Marshall (which was then known as Club 616 or just '616'). Pretty cool place... even Marilyn Manson played there back in his 'club' days before he went all 'superstar'.

Tamra and I planned to join this event, and the bands that were scheduled to play were "Stuck Mojo", "Drain STH", and "Type O Negative". Type O Negative was who we were mainly going to see, but we pretty much liked the other bands too.

So we got all dolled up, and headed out. We were a little late to see Drain, which I wouldn't have minded seeing but it wasn't a huge loss. Got ourselves parked, and headed into the club. It was loud as usual, it was packed elbow-to-elbow as usual and since Type O Negative was playing, there were many lovely vampire wannabes and goth dudes and chicks, all trying to look "Hot". {Remember the scene from South Park's episode "Hell on Earth 2006"? Where Satan is planning a huge Halloween bash to mock those shows where the teen aged brat would have her "Super Sweet 16 party"? Satan said, 'Nobody can come dressed like 'The Crow' no exceptions. If you come dressed like the crow, you're not getting in. I know there'll be like 12 guys trying to dress like the crow, cuz they wanna look 'hot' and NOBODY CAN LOOK HOTTER THAN MEEEEE!" } lol That was such a funny episode, I still have it saved on my Tivo.

Anyway, no matter how cool a show that plays in Memphis, and no matter how many cool and hot dudes and chicks show up, you still have your handful of rednecks and losers that descend upon the place and ruin the evening for everyone... Well, maybe not everyone--but of course ME!

No sooner than Tamra and I walk in and find a general place to hang, two such rednecks come up and begin to chat us up and try to 'claim us as their own'. Neither of us was pleased with this, so we had to plot removal of these rodents at once. I have forgotten exactly how we did this. All I know is that one of us would go and get beers, bring them back and eventually one of us came up with a riddance plan. Then we were able to go ahead and enjoy the show. It was loads of fun. Coincidentally, Richie (Mr. J) happened to be at the show that night--how weird is that?? We didn't know of each other's existence at that time, but met some time later as you would know if you have read 'The Jackie and Richie Story' (see links).

After the redneck plague was over, we thought we were home free. However, a brand spanking new loser had materialized right behind me... He said his name was "Casey". He was trying to talk, I was trying to listen to Peter Steele's vocals and getting into Josh Silver's keyboard work. So, I ignored him as much as I could. He attached himself to my side unfortunately, and stayed around until the end of the night.

After the show, Tamra and I had major plans on trying to weasel up and meet the band after the show. Of course, Peter was somewhere in hiding and wouldn't show his face, but Kenny Hickey was standing outside the club shaking hands and meeting people. Casey was all too helpful to Tamra when he said "Hey, there's your man over there! Go talk to him!!" Tamra goes up and gets to hug Kenny, while i'm sitting there looking on, envious, and cock blocked by Casey. Then, he offered to drive us to where we parked, and we allowed him to at least do that for us.

Normally, we 'chicks' will try to slip in a fake number when we're faced with the whole 'Let's get together and go out sometime' or 'Can I call you' thing... I don't know what was wrong with me. I gave him my real number.

Casey had a very slow, short-bus way of talking. It was very annoying. What's more annoying is that he had a 'catchphrase', or one of those things that he said all the time that just made you want to kick him in the head. It was "Take it easy." If he was telling you what he'd been up to lately, he would say he'd been 'taking it easy'; every time he'd call and leave me a message on the machine it would end in "Take it Easy" (that's right, I stopped answering his phone calls until he gave up). Finally it ended... but before it could, yes right in the 'height' of the Casey-saga, Tamra enjoyed a prank phone call or two.

[ *We were masters at the silly prank phone calls. We would leave people messages from everyone like the Manager of the Chinese Restaurant down the street to Elvis himself and my famous "Satan" voice... if someone did us wrong, or left themselves open, they were getting a phone call from one of our many characters. ]

You can imagine I was delighted to come home from work one evening to hear a disguised voice (Tamra posing as "Casey"), and reading off the most hilarious poem... a poem that completely rhymed and it was all in the context of Casey meeting and being in love with me. We didn't save it, or write it down. I wish we had... I only remember parts of it.

Went 'something' like this->

I Met a girl
she didn't look mean
so I wanted her to ride
in my love machine;
She was so sweet
with her long, 'purty' hair,
I stood behind her
so I could stare
Her friend Tamra was so excited
that she needed a sedative
when she got to hug Kenny
from Type O Negative...
now I know the sound
of my voice makes ya queasy
so i'm gonna hang up now
"Take it Easy!"

Ok, so remember that it may or may have not been exactly like that, I'm just remembering to the best of my ability. It is very close... Tamra's version was probably better. The funniest part of it was Tamra imitating Casey's voice on the recorder... Rest assured she got a return poem on hers, but I don't remember any of it. I think it was a bit too harsh and she was slightly mad at me afterwards.

Eventually, Casey stopped calling, and I of course didn't miss a beat... on to the next adventure as we always were... and still are on occasion.

Today's Agenda...

Today, Tuesday, will be another "Adventures of Tamra and Jackie Day"... we'll be telling the story of when we attended the Type O Negative concert and she brushed elbows with fame while I dealt with yet another unwanted suitor... lol

We'll touch on that story and another great tale from some of our finest 'rock show moments'.

Stay tuned (that means 'hey, check back later today after i've had 'umpteen' cups of coffee).

Auntie J

Monday, February 19, 2007

Those Magic Sunglasses

I'll do a short one today, unless I think of something saucier later... hehe.

Once I dated a fireman. This was the result (go ahead, I know you're gonna make fun-and if you're wondering, yes I did give him a copy of this poem):

"And there you were, eyes upon me... as I rounded the corner of "Self" & "Pity" streets...

You smiled, and lowered your magic sunglasses, and the world danced 'round in the opposite direction, and I couldn't stop it. Born of my strengths and my lust, you became my weakness, spinning me like a top, making me feel like the same toy of a child. What a fantastical, wild ride! I wouldn't--COULDN'T take it back and erase it; but rewind, maybe? Perhaps pause above you, as I stare into your mocking, subliminal eyes?

Feeling you, as you become that 'Midnight Train' that I've so often heard about on the streets--or in a song. Somehow, I manage to make it permissable... for me--it's okay. Where does it stop? Where will I land, when I pull into the station... will it be 4:00 in the morning?... or will you give me until sundown to swallow my tears, and heat up my pride until it is edible...

Maybe that's a meal I won't have to sit down to this time. It's late--the stars are busy doing the cha' cha' over a salty, Marguarita moon. Watch them... they are surprisingly quiet, given their apparent celebration...

Apart, we still seem to share this table, a front row seat (if you will) to this grand comedy. Let us enjoy it... just a couple of hours or so... Meanwhile, would you lower your sunglasses for me, just one more time?"

Related posts:
Where There's Smoke, There's Fire
Smoke Signals

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Sunday Morning Church Service

I know, those of you who have seen me post one of these before will be like "Oh god not again!", but I just thought since it was Sunday morning we needed to get a little spirit going on in here... Surely you can join me in laughing at some of these t.v. evangelists-whoever did this choreographed it to the tee, and I think it's hilarious.

So, can we have a little church up in here this morning? Take a look at this old 'gas bag', and i'll pass the collection plate around.

Homemade Jamz Band II

If you liked the clip of them playing "Boom Boom Boom" below, then feel free to check out their live performance of "Mustang Sally". The sound quality isn't the greatest, but you can still tell what's going on with these talented kids! Good footage of the little girl on drums, and once again please try to overlook the "dancers" to check out the kids... lol.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Boom Boom Boom

I'll be the first to tell you that if you want to see some talent and especially if you like "Blues", all you gotta do is come around Memphis, or the Delta Blues region of Mississippi (Clarksdale, MS home of the infamous "Crossroad" where Robert Johnson is rumored to have sold his soul to the Devil).

If you are ever in the neighborhood of Clarksdale, MS then you must go check out Ground Zero (said to be the Crossroad itself), which is conveniently right by Morgan Freeman's Madidi Restaurant. Appears that there are even apartments available for rent above the club--great for bands, or even just visitors who just want to get a taste of the blues.

The south in general has great pride in the music that we make, and I feel like we churn out some of the most amazing talent (old and young).

Well I ran across an example of just that, and I don't think it's just their ages that amaze me (14, 12 and 9!), but they really just grabbed my attention. They're called the "Homemade Jamz Band" and I found a clip on YouTube of them playing "Boom Boom Boom" (a great John Lee Hooker blues song). You have to check this out (and try not to get distracted by the rigid dance moves of some of the white folks 'attempting to groove'-cut us some slack ya'll! Although I personally have rhythm)-->

We have some serious contenders here. These kids are siblings the oldest, 14 sings and plays a mean guitar... the bass player 12 is quite the man already and the little baby darling on the drums (Sheila E look out!) has just turned 9! My plan is to try to find out where they're playing next cuz I gotta see these kids live... I'm just bursting with pride... Maybe you will like them, maybe you won't... I give them a standing ovation!!!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Rock-n-Roll Hootchie Coo

Everyone looks forward to Friday, right? I'm no exception really... and this weekend is a long one for me as I'll be off for the "Presidents' Day Holiday", so that's a 3 day weekend. Yeehah!

Since it is Friday and all, I would like to do something special and worthwhile. However, I had a hard time thinking of what to put up for today. I thought it should be somewhat 'debaucherous', as maybe someone has to take over for RockDog, who's busy writing a somewhat tame tale right now about a nerd named Kirby and the girl who loves him (or will love him, maybe?). I still have to keep it a bit tame myself, but I'll try to make it interesting. It is, however, a true tale.

I once dated a couple of Brothers. Now I know this can conjure up different ideas for everyone, but let me explain. These were physical brothers, sharing the same Mother. O.k., I guess they were half brothers as they had different fathers. Also, I didn't date them at the same time... well, not exactly-what kind of sicko do you think I am? (lol).

It all started when I was a cashier at Walmart. Shannon was a tall, lanky stock boy, a little younger than me and he had been flirting for a while, I thought he was 'kinda cute', so I returned flirts. One day I happened to be in the store, but I was off and just in shopping. Shannon had cut himself and needed to go to the doctor. He didn't have a ride (why was it during this time of my life alot of my boyfriends didn't have cars? That's odd). Anyway, I offered to drive him over to Dr. Adams (a popular town doctor and coincidentally, my family physician since I was like 3).

Dr. Adams was quite a character himself... he was an avid smoker to the point that he usually had a cigarette lit waiting for him in each one of his examination rooms, and would literally smoke when he was checking your lungs, throat, ears, etc. Quite ironic huh? He also had a terrible southern drawl. In fact, his drawl was so bad that when my friend Heather, who had recently then moved to our small town from Mareno Valley, California was forced to go to Dr. Adams she couldn't understand a word he said. She reported "I went into the exam room, and he said 'Habba blabba babba bubba slewwww??' " and she repeated several times 'What??... Huh??' Needless to say she went through a culture shock or two.

In getting back to our story, yes... I drove Shannon over to see Dr. Adams, which I evilly thought of as my chance to just really get him all by himself. (Not Dr. Adams, but Shannon. Eww!) He went in to the good doc, and got patched right up, and from then on, Shannon and I began 'hanging out' I guess you could say... and all was going pretty well. It was no big romance, but it was alot of fun--and back then, that's all I cared about really... I wasn't "wookin panub", but what I did wook for was usually was in all the wong paces!

Shannon coincidentally mixed sound (he said) for friends of his who were in a band called "Air Castle". These guys were from a little further south, a town called Batesville Mississippi. "Air Castle" did mainly cover tunes, like "Rock and Roll Hoochie Coo" and "Freebird", stuff like that. They weren't too bad really, or as I remember them at the time. I would usually go with Shannon and the gang when they had a gig.

As you may or may not know, here in the deeeeep south, there are alot of backwoods, country bars, redneck bars and such which depending on how seedy can sometimes be referred to as "Juke Joints". Juke joints are places that any normal human being should probably try to avoid, as there can be anywhere from half a dozen to a twelve-pack of "Bubba's" inside, bloodthirsty and looking for trouble. (Just friendly advice if you're ever passing through).

Air Castle was scheduled to play at just one of these fine establishments. It was called "Hoover's", and it was up close to Hernando Point near the lake. Hoover's had a pretty regular crowd of people; needless to say the dress was casual. So casual in fact that you would normally see its frequent funsters inside in cut-off levi's, with mullet hairstyles, or the ever popular 'rat tail'. Sometimes you might spy even the occasional barefoot party-goer. I had never been to Hoover's before that night, and didn't quite know what to expect. The gang played a pretty decent set, and I was trying very hard to cling close to Shannon just to feel 'protected', but he wasn't doing a very good job of it himself... he was too busy off partying, and of course hitting on other chicks to notice that I was being harrassed by a rather large guy who looked a little like he was in a motorcycle gang. Well, the guy was nice enough, but he just "wasn't my type" really. I desperately wanted to get away from him, but he asked me to dance to the absolute longest song that I have ever heard in my life... I don't think it is actually 'the longest song' done, but for me, at that moment since I so desperately wanted to escape the big guy, it was hellishly long.

The song was "Cocaine" by Clapton. I couldn't bring myself to be mean to the guy, so I obliged and danced... and danced... and danced until finally, Clapton had snorted out his last line--of the song that is... and I found some way of escaping. More than likely, not with the help of Shannon.

Shannon continued to be very aloof, and although I wasn't trying to be serious with anyone, I still would've liked him to be more 'protective' when we were out... He had a little brother, Bryan, who would usually like to hang out and go along for the ride alot of places we went--those he could get into that is. This brother of his, although younger was much taller and bigger than he was (take that any way you want to). He was paying alot of attention to me, and although I was still seeing Shannon, I was spending more and more time with Bryan. Bryan wanted to ride with me everywhere. If I was just going to town, Bryan would go. He would call me and ask me to do things and to come over to the house and spend time. Sometimes Shannon was there, sometimes he wasn't.

Bryan was six years younger than me, which at the time might not have been the best thing. He acted, looked and seemed so much older though! I was keeping the whole relationship with him merely friendly because... well because he was Shannon's brother, and of course because of the age difference.

One night, I was dropping him off at their house (which was wayyyy out in the middle of nowhere), and I was saying "Ok well I had fun... guess i'll talk to you later". Bryan didn't say goodbye really, he just reached over and turned the keys to my ignition, consequently turning off the engine.

"What are you doing?" I said, "I gotta get going really."

He smiled... "Why don't you hang out for a little while?"

We got kind of caught up chatting, and I did stay for a while longer... Oddly, though, we never moved from my car. Just listening to the radio, sitting there in the humidity of the Mississippi breeze. We make eye contact as I am telling him some story, and he just stares at me and smiles. I'm wondering to myself 'What is so funny? Why is he grinning at me like that?' Just then, he leans in and tries to kiss me.

"Bryan! What are you doing? B-Bryan???" I move back from him as far as my car space would let me... Too many factors wouldn't allow me to even fathom the thought of this kid, the younger brother of the guy who i'd been wasting time with (well you certainly couldn't call it really dating, just hanging out or whatever).

"What?? What's the big deal?" he asked.

"Well, for starters I'm going out with your brother." I point out.

He maintains his stare and his sly smile. "So? He doesn't care... he doesn't even treat you nice anyway."

The kid had a point... Shannon hadn't been much of a solid guy, or even protective of me when we went out, and he was goofy too--Tall and lanky... Bryan was taller, and much less lanky... He looked at least 22. Seemed so mature for his age and all... but nevertheless, the fact remained!

"Yeah, but i'm too old for you!" I proclaim. "So? Who cares?" He leans over and tries once again to plant one on me.

"Bryan!! We can't do this..." I'm already doubting myself, and we'd spent so much time together. He was really sweet to me to... and alot more attentive than his brother... (half brother I remind myself). "Bryan, I really gotta go."

He shakes his head, "No you don't, you need to stay longer." He leans back in again.

And again, I thwart his efforts "Bryan, i'm too old for you, it's not cool."

"I don't care." he says again with an all-serious look on his face. "I like you... alot."

He leans in and tries to kiss me once again, I look at him skeptically, and wonder to myself what the heck I am doing here, and why I hadn't left like an hour and 1/2 ago. Racing through my mind were reasons I was trying to convince myself that I hadn't taken a liking to him. His brother, Shannon--oh who am I kidding he's a dud anyway and we had stopped spending even much time together as I had been hanging out with Bryan more than him--The age difference? He didn't care... Did I care? It's not that bad, and his mother really liked me a lot... and as he had pointed out numerous times, so did HE.

Caught up in a surprisingly nice moment, I allowed myself to ignore the lights turning red on the boulevard of my mind. 'I'll think about that some other time.' I reassure myself.

This time, I didn't stop him. Our lips met... I wasn't dissappointed at all--he kissed like he was 22, he looked like he was 22... 'Alright well he can be twenty-two then.' I think inwardly giggling. Looking at the bright moon hanging above, I wasn't sure just how much time had passed... I look at the clock on my radio... the hour was very late.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Hearts, Flowers and All Things Sickening and Frilly

Ahhh... Love is in the air today eh? As for me, I've already explained that Valentine's Day is not my favorite holiday because it never was good for me, and I kind of gave up on the romance of it long ago, and the actions themselves are overrated and forced...

Guys are usually under pressure thinking "If I don't get her something she's going to be pissed... I'll be in the doghouse." It doesn't mean much if you have to hint or to force someone's thoughts or actions... Mr. J is definitely no Peppy Le Pew, so If I am lucky I might get a note that reads somewhat like the following:

That's fine with me though, we do things together and share fun, laughs and love enough every day that I don't need anything special to commemorate a marketing-scheme like Valentine's Day... If it isn't in his nature to do things like that, then I would never want to force the idea into his head because it wouldn't be genuine. My most sacred and sentimental moments are when something is from the heart, and unexpected... something that is just on a whim... "Saw this today, and it made me think of you... here you go." You know what I mean.

(warning: fun use of word verification, proceed with caution)
However, I know that many other of you " s" still dote on this day as one where you expect great romance, and big expensive displays of affection from your significant others... That's o.k. too... I truly wish you all a happy one filled with everything you hope for... Sugar, Spice, Everything Nice... I sincerely hope all of your little overpriced dreams come true :)

And if nothing else, enjoy the chocolates for me. Since I'm officially "cutting" they're off limits to me... Good, fine, they're disgusting anyway. ;)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Cheesy Rock Video Tuesday

Discovered this on and it was hilarious... Make special note of the horrible cheetah-tux and the lazer-powered guitar that break down the wall, even funnier than Ted Nugent in that 'Damn Yankees' video where he deflects bullets... lol

Thought you could use a good laugh since the weekend appears quite far away...

"Aldo Nova - Fantasy (1982)" :-O

Monday, February 12, 2007

Fear of Falling

Imagine a world where there are no video games, no electronic gadgetry to keep you inside the house. Oh sure there was T.V., but there was no MTV, no Comedy Central, no HBO, no "Tivo to go". We watched t.v., later when we came back inside the house from a full day of braving the elements and using our real, raw imaginations.

Growing up, I lived on music, love and relied heavily on fantasy to create the world that was mine... I can't think of a better paradise really. Although, others in my family don't quite remember it as magical as I do, but that's o.k. too.

During the summers, or any time we were able really my nieces, Kristie and Stacey (barely just my juniors by a couple of years as you may recall) spent our time at either their house, just 30 minutes north, or at my house out in the middle of 10 whole acres... an entire universe for a kid. Their house was in a subdivision just 30 minutes north of mine, just beneath Memphis, TN, so you can imagine this felt like 'city' to me. We had many fond memories no matter where we spent our time.

When they got to come and spend weekends or entire weeks at my house during the summer, we always found something to do. Once we took all of the ties that held the bails of hay together apart pulling them all off the hay, which later flattened... We then took the ties and tied them all together laying them along my very lengthy driveway. In our minds, we were piecing together "The Longest Rope In The World"... later we were reprimanded for destroying the hay bails.

There was a tree in the back yard where we spent many hours dreaming the day away, and even me by myself when there was nobody else around. It was a nice, sturdy tree--beautiful in color with strong, regal branches. The lowest branch was still too far up for me to climb so we found a big barrel, and put that next to the tree, and we put a 'milk carton' next to the barrel as a system of steps. How we loved that tree... we'd climb up as high as we could, and we felt like we were atop the world, and hidden. We'd sit and talk for hours, make believe and laugh... the things all kids (girls) probably do.

One particular day, we were climbing along in our little tree paradise, each sitting on our designated branch and a huge line of strange bugs were making their way the trunk of our beloved tree. They were unidentifiable by us at the time, but they were freakish looking and in perfect formation like an army. Downward they marched on our special turf as if claiming it as their very own. None of us being very fond of insects, we all screamed and frantically shot out of the tree like lightening. I think I was more afraid of insects (namely Wasps, Hornets or anything with a stinger) than Stacey or Kristie, but we equally agreed when we sorrowfully made the decision to "bug out" and desert our favored hang-out, this picturesque tree that we'd come to know as our friend.

"I'm not going back into 'Bug Track Trail' I don't know about y'all."

"We can't go climb it-the bugs are up there, I know they're still there!" one of us announced.

The name stuck and from then on, we referred to the tree as "Bug Track Trail" and indeed, we never climbed it again.

Lonely, It still sits in Mom's back yard, waiting for its favorite children to return home... but they never come.

Day in and day out, its branches stretched out to welcome us home, come rain come sunshine it is there remembering us fondly, as it smiles on those good old days... The bugs? Well, they continued on to reach their destination and never crossed bug track trail again. Time flew on, wasted by us, our unfounded fears thinking we couldn't climb, because there was something scary up there (we were convinced)... So we've forgotten how it feels to rest atop its soothing branches and look down and see the progress, and observe just how far we were capable of climbing.

But wait, as long as nobody has burned to the ground or chopped it away, as long as it remains... It's never too late to return to Bug Track Trail, why not today? We could climb on and on.

Let's go and play!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Taking Care of Biscuits

Went home to visit Mom and Dad last night, which is something that always soothes my soul. This morning, I had about 4.5 cups of coffee (maybe 5) with her. Black Coffee, with no sugar, no creme no "anything" is the way my Mom has always had hers... I guess I get mine from her recipe and the fact that we always drank tea and coffee that way in my family.

Enjoyed sitting with her and having a nice visit to our pot of hot java though... had spent the night there and just pretended to be a kid again. However, Mom asked Richie (Mr. J) if he wanted any breakfast, and she offered to make some biscuits. Now she makes no ordinary biscuits--they have always been a magic creation in our household. She takes great pride in the makings of these biscuits too... I've eaten them any wonderful way possible... Biscuits with brown gravy, biscuits with white gravy, biscuits with sausage, or jelly or honey or just biscuit and syrup... sometimes even just a delicious buttered-version of Mom's golden biscuits. Any way you slice em, they're pure heaven. Why would this morning be any different?

Well, possibly because of my meddling. I suggested that she use Canola oil instead of Crisco (which has tons of hydrogenated everything-filling it to the rim with trans fat). She protested but went ahead and used the Canola oil so that I would get off her back. Once she got them out of the oven, she began to give me a verbal lashing about how flat and ugly her biscuits had turned out and that it was my fault because I tricked her into using Canola instead of Crisco... "When I was growing up," she taunted "we ate them made with Pure-D Lard! And we were just fine!" Then she went on ranting about the ugliness of these crumbly creations. "I just can't believe this, rolling them out was like rolling out a piece of rubber. They don't look good at all, they're awful."

"They look beautiful!" I assure her... "Starving people in China would be happy to have these biscuits Mom. To them, these biscuits would be gorgeous!" (A line used on 'us children' so many times, right?) "Ohhh Jackie!!!!" she retorted. "Well this is your fault! I should've just used my Crisco."

"WELL, I AM SORRY!!!!" I shout, pouting. (A line that I would come to use near 100 times before the day was over)

We force my Dad to have some ham and one of the biscuits, as he is diabetic and it's time for a snack for him anyway. He does so, reluctantly... he never wants to eat regular meals, I guess he prefers to get near coma state and then have to drink a softdrink to regain concsiousness... However, he eats the ham and biscuit with a smile. "See, they're good aren't they Daddy??"

"Pull my finger." he replies.


"Yeah, they're good..." Mom volunteers the words she thinks Dad is thinking, "for a piece of RUBBER!"

I groan pitifully, "I'm never going to hear the end of this am I??"

"No, probably not--you know how I hold grudges" she said.

I take my cameraphone out and snap a photo of the regal, Canola-based biscuits, and then proclaim "I'm sorry, but this has been too much fun--I've got to put this on my blog."

"No you won't either!" Mom threatens, "You've already had me up there with my Corn Cob pipe and that was bad enough, and I don't want these biscuits to go up-they're plain ugly!" Then she orders Richie to take the cameraphone away from me and delete the photo of her biscuits at once.

"That isn't going to work, he doesn't even know how to work his phone, he's not deleting anything from mine! Just give it up Mom, the biscuits may not be pretty on the outside, but they'll make your heart and arteries sexy!" I announce proudly, yet with a sarcastic grin. She shakes her head in defeat... and with one last try, "You better not put them up on that internet!"

I think I might be grounded. :)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Sweetest Season

Saturdays are great, I should be getting something done, but I do so enjoy 'vegging out' sometimes... as with eating ice cream, however, I always feel like crap afterwards. Since it is so close to Valentine's Day (maybe one of the most sadistic holidays ever commemorated), I thought I would give you guys all a cavity with a story I wrote a couple years ago. Dig in! It's calorie free.

"The Sweetest Season", originally written by
Jacqueline Wood around Valentine's Day 2005

Winter being 'not quite over', but summer being so far away, things didn't seem very hopeful (as usual). It's not as if this year was any different than any other year. The halls were abuzz with laughter, chatter and romance was in the air. All of the girls and guys awaited the weekly school newspaper even more than ever this week because they knew that they would surely find a romantic dedication from 'that special love.' It was a magical time for any teenager… 'Any teenager…' I thought, 'Except for me.' Nevertheless and as hopeless at it seemed, I would await the same prospect with great eagerness.

The season was always one of bright intensity. Every storefront and every isle was laden with hot pink, saucy red hearts and candy. With flowers blooming everywhere, roses were on the verge of a nervous breakdown begging for sales. It was as if Cupid himself went on a reckless night of alcohol binging and puked up a Love Fest!

The big day finally came. As always, the excitement would grow, waiting… wondering (Is it possible? Maybe this year I will have my secret admirer and he will illustrate his passion in the form of a beautiful, single red Rose and/or a frilly balloon that screams to the world "I LOVE YOU!!!" Well, maybe not the whole world but at least the whole school). Just once I wanted to be like all those other girls, to walk into the office and the secretary to say "Jackie, we have a delivery for you." However hopeful, Valentine's Day was never momentous for a girl like me… and most of the time a crushing disappointment--Until I got home, that is, to find that Dad had bought my mother and me a big heart-shaped box of chocolates without fail. So, I would once again, drown my loveless sorrows in the sweet confection.

Adulthood hadn't been much better. Either spent my time depressed and crying over someone who had stood me up, or someone who was unattainable. Every year was the same, except for Dad's Old Faithful box-of-chocolates. In fact, I can count one year—the most memorable year—that I was surprised by a gift so thoughtful, so sweet. It was from a man! And it wasn't my Dad and it wasn't candy!!! He brought me a ceramic angel with a sweet card that read "So Glad We're Friends! From Me to You, Z" (Z was his 'nickname'). What an intense-long month we'd spent, meeting after work, flirting all through work, even taking Friday off and spending the whole day together. Holy Cow, this is it—this is L-O-V-E… what everyone had been shouting about forever, and what I'd been waiting for since I was probably 10 years old and in love with 'The Fonz"! But as sweet and special as that moment was, and as much as I can never forget it OR 'Him', it wasn't Love. It could've been, I guess at the expense of someone's family, and that wasn't me... not deep down.

That perfect Valentine ended, but life went on with or without my happiness, more Valentine's days came and went. Still, I waited, hoped and prayed and continued to make my mistakes and failures. Someone should have told us that life was this sour. Shouldn't our parents have warned us that it was this way? Instead, I remembered my parents telling me "You've only just begun, and you have your entire life ahead of you—the best is yet to come." ("Phooey!" I cursed)

This past weekend, as I deemed 'Valentine Weekend' (much to his chagrin), my husband and I spent it doing almost nothing. We went out to eat a couple times, watched movies, played video games and laughed. Many hugs and kisses were shared as they always are in my house—It was the way I was raised and luckily, he fits right into it—even though he wasn't raised that way. We are from opposite sides of the track: I was overprotected, and he could've stood a good bit more protection growing up… I guess our childhoods make us who we are and he's pretty good in my book.

He's just not your classic 'Valentine-Romeo', doesn't do 'flowers' or 'romantic poems'. He says the right thing about 70 percent of the time and the wrong thing maybe 30, and he forgets to pick up after himself a lot of the time, and he takes the garbage out 3 Fridays out of 4. He loses his tools and he can't find his socks and screams "Bear! Bring me a towel' when I've forgotten to leave one in the bathroom. He loves me, and I don't need a single beautiful rose (or even a dozen) to see it. Ok. He's not perfect, but he's my family he feels like "Family"—like my Mom and Dad and sisters. It's real and it's love--THAT is the greatest gift… Every day is a 'teenage slumber party'. I can't remember him not being part of my life now.

He called me at the end of yesterday to ask me "What's the name of your company?" I told him, but I asked "Why? You need it for the income tax forms or something?" He tried to be evasive but it was apparent that he was trying to do something sneaky in honor of the 'over-exploited, marketing scheme of a holiday' that we love so much. I felt as though my stories of my childhood and my 'hinting' (thinking I needed some gift to show it) had possibly pressured him into thinking he had to—but he says it was something he just wanted to do. (Yeah?)

By now, the frilly balloons of 'the pretty girls' in school have surely busted, and their Valentine's Days may or may not be good ones. I used to think that I wanted what they had, but I ended up with so much more than that—I ended up with the real thing, a true heart, not just one filled with chocolate or helium.

Winter is not quite over, and summer is still a bit far away, but that's just fine because I am 'Home'.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Youth On The Rocks, No Ice

Started out with a bit of ice this morning, the roads were bad, I stayed home until I felt like the hazards had cleared... Nobody in their right mind wants to be out in these Memphis streets in the middle of any hazardous weather conditions. This situation turns already horrendous drivers into some sort of zoo animals playing bumper cars. The morning went off without any fatalities as far as I know. Now, I feel like I have let everyone down with not much to say the last couple days so I will throw in a story. Since my niece, Kristie had been begging, I'll do the Serial Killer one.

Kristie is one of the smartest ones in our family. Of course, I say "ones" because we're all pretty smart cookies, but I admire her educational background as she has gone pretty much 'all the way'. Even now, she's on her way to getting a fantastic graduate degree. I'm very excited for her on that. She's had such a rough road in her teaching career, it will be nice to see her do something she enjoys.

Youth is quite a magical strange illusion at times. When you're young, you don't think everything through as well as you do once you get a bit older and realize your mortality. The same went for me. I think back on some of the things I've done, the places I've gone and the people that I went there with and I am truly amazed that I am sitting here sharing this story with you.

Kristie and I are only two years apart, which is probably a little odd for a niece and aunt, or maybe not. Before she went flying off to Tucson Arizona, far away from the comforts of home, she attended a reputable Math and Science High School, and on to a University not so far away to start her education. We spent a good deal of time together back in those days, while I was piddling away my valuable time at a local community college. My roommate at the time, Tracey didn't make it quite as far as I did. She stayed in the small town, and had a family... you know things that most normal people do.

One weekend, Kristie, Tracey and I went adventuring in my little minute Pontiac 1000 (you remember these cars, the same as a Chevette only different... somehow. Don't ask how, I don't know). These cars were not meant for the interstate. I would shift on up into 4th gear, gain some speed and then hit 5th gear [no wait, there was no 5th gear!?] Well, anyways, I was cruising this hunk of junk as fast as it would go, which wasn't but around 60 mph and you could already feel the entire car shaking, warning you to slow it down, that it simply couldn't tolerate life in the fast lane! At one point, I remember telling Kristie to roll her windows down, and I would turn off the air conditioner so that I could "go faster" (well, it felt like it! it really did!)

Upon this particular outing, we intended to hit up the Mall of Memphis, which was a favorite shopping spot of mine for a long time. We did the usual, made circles around the mall, up and down between the two levels, hit up the food court and all. We were on the upper level when an extremely well-dressed guy, dark hair, early to mid-twenties smiled and said 'Hello' to us. Being the polite southern girls that we are, of course we spoke back, and went about our way. None of us was really aware that the guy had an interest in any of us, and none of us had an interest in knowing anything further about the guy. So we moved along and noticed that he kept popping up in our general vicinity. Struck us uncomfortably odd.

We ducked into "Frederick's of Hollywood" to browse around for a few minutes, hoping that maybe he would take the hint and go about his merry way. Of course we discussed this while we were in the sexy underwear store... Wondering what the hell was up with this guy... each of us getting a bit 'urked' by his following us around. We finally decide that we'll venture back out of the store to see if he's vamoosed. We have to drag Kristie away from one particularly perverted-looking pair of men's elephant-trunk thong underwear, in which she was looking at with a gleam in her eye... I think I noticed a little bit of drool on her lip... (sorry, I'm getting off track).

We stepped out of Frederick's, and we don't see him. 'We're in the clear! Hot damn! He's gone.' we're thinking... we take a left turn to head on back to the lower level, and he appears from the other side of the wall, having been lurking around the entire time we were there. (What a perve! Geesh)

He approaches the three of us, as we're huddled closely together in female protective stance... "So... what are you three lovely ladies doing today??"

We all look at each other with sarcastically-puzzled looks on our faces. I mean, we're girls in a mall, what does it look like we're doing?

Replying, somewhat in unison we chatter "Uhhh, just shopping."

I've never seen this guy before in my entire life. I have no desire to see this guy ever again in my life. We appreciate that he's a well-dressed, seemingly polite creepy freak and all, but what else is there to say to him? What else could he possibly have to say? I mean, he's obviously a grand conversationalist and all. I underestimated him. He was far more calculating than I could've imagined. He looked straight at me, as if zeroing in on me and shutting out the two blonde girls (which is strange enough in itself for most guys, right?). We should have known then and there that this was the direct descendant of Ed Gein, if Ed Gein could've had any descendants that is. Then he made disturbing eye contact with me and asked me the following question.

It wasn't "Hey, can I have your number?" or "Hey would you like to go out sometime?" both of which would've probably bothered me about the guy since he had just seen us this once in a mall... but it was worse than that. Out of nowhere he just moved forward, looked straight at ME and says "Would you like to walk me to my car?"

Just so everyone knows, I was NOT ABOUT to walk this freaky Ted Bundyesque psycho to his car. But at that moment, I was so shocked and just trying to figure out what was with him that I was somehow speechless, and just standing there with my mouth hanging open. I have no idea why. It seems like slow motion in retrospect. Kristie and Tracey were both looking at me with astonished looks and trying to get the word out of my mouth... the word that I was going to say, the one that wouldn't come out for anything. Yanking my arm, they both sounded off... "NOOOO!!!" and I barely squeaked out a 'Um, no thank you." as they escorted me quickly to the other side of the mall and we went into hiding until we knew that he was gone.

Had this guy had previous success with such a bold maneuver? How many girls had he [Met / Dated / Chopped up and buried under the crawlspace of his house] with this line? I guess we lost him, because we never saw any more signs of him that day and went on to eventually hang out on Beale Street for a while, where I was ticketed for running a red light, by a female cop who might not have given me the ticket except for the fact that she nearly plowed into the side of my car as a result of my running the red light. I swear I didn't see it, as it was just another blur in the sea of neon lights that echoed down Beale Street, as it was nearing dusk.

Or maybe it was just the fact that I was still a bit distracted by the thought of nearly becoming a 'Skin Dress', which is how Kristie refers to the incident when she reminds me, even now.

It's a funny feeling when I sit back and think of how fragile life is, and just how many 'near misses' I might have had along the way.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

What Ever Happened To Floor Monkeys?

Sorry I was scarce yesterday... been a tad busy. Today is a good day for some strange comedy.

My friend, Faith had a little role in a "mockumentary" here with some friends of hers, and it's called "Whatever Happened to Floor Monkeys: The Movie?". Very zany... and I hope that you get it and like it too. She plays "Sweet Sally" so look for her.