Thursday, September 30, 2004

Confronting Barbie

I take classes at a local gym, and really enjoy it. People seem down to earth, and I'm often the youngest one in my step classes (which is not saying much).

But a couple of weeks ago, she started coming to classes. Younger. Gorgeous. Slim. Perfect. I know this because I've seen her in the showers. Not a blemish on her, unless you count her tan lines, which are minimal, if you get my drift. (It's taken me weeks to check her out surreptitiously--don't want to go staring in the locker room.)

It's probably all on my side, but things are awkward between us. We don't make eye contact in class or in the locker room, even though she wants to put her step in the same place where I usually put mine, and store her stuff in a locker adjacent to where I park my crap, making it tricky to change (it's a small locker room). I always feel like she's trying to show me up in class--pushing harder, doing all the combinations perfectly. I try to do the same. I end up grossly sweaty. And I've noticed as I get older, I'm stinkier, too.

But today I couldn't stand it any longer. I gave up trying to compete--took out the extra riser from under my step. Didn't get overly sweaty. And back in the locker room, when she was squarely in my way (again!), I spoke to her.

I had to excuse myself to grab my bag. I made some lame comment about us seeming to be in the same place.

And she replied. She has a lovely voice. Something like "we're always together." I had another lame rejoinder, something about good feng shui.

Maybe we'll acknowledge each other in class from now on. Start exchanging pleasantries in the locker room. I need more friends, lord knows. But I don't know if I could bear having a friend as perfect-looking as her--if we ever started hanging out, I think I'd constantly see my imperfect self reflected back.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Billy, Will You Marry Me?

Sigh. He's just the dreamiest boy in poetry.

Billy Collins, former US Poet Laureate, gave a talk at City Arts & Lectures, which was broadcast this week on KQED. A wonderful combo of poems, Q&A, food for thought, and laughter. I was thinking how my 15-year old niece, who is just starting to study poetry and love reading, might enjoy this talk. He just makes it so OK to enjoy poetry. I wish I had taped it--I had assumed it would be on the KQED archives, but sadly, no.

And while intros to talks/lectures can often be obscure or centered on the introducer, Billy's (we're on a first-name basis) introducer made a good point, about how artists sometimes shy from "lightness," afraid that they won't be taken seriously. One of my poet friends does scorn Billy a bit for this very reason. But I think he's fab--his poetry is as deep as it is funny--and if he brings poe' into the lives of more people, I say more power to him.

My curiosity was piqued about the 9/11 poem to Congress that he mentioned. I found the poem, The Names, on an ABC News site. Even though it wasn't his voice reading it, it still made me cry.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Visa for Avalon

I was just listening to Maureen Corrigan's review of the book, Visa for Avalon, by Brhyar, on Fresh Air. Corrigan raved intelligently about the book, even though she made it sound a little like her description of The Lottery: "I get it already" fiction. It makes me so happy to hear about new things intelligently discussed, whether it's my speed or not.

I have "White Teeth" by Zadie Smith on my nightstand. Gotta get to that. And "Kavalier and Klay." But first: time to watch the last hour of The Trial (that'll make one paranoid), then I'll cozy up the bed with flannel sheets that have lain in hibernation over the summer. Fall is here.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Backyard View

Backyard View
Originally uploaded by suzipaw.
I love this tree. Last year, the back half split off--what a sound that was. It still looks great, but I'm a little afraid of it now. What if the front half falls towards our house? Aren't oaks supposed to be mighty?

M., our dog Rex, and I went walking up the hill behind our house yesterday. There are some magnificent old oaks up there. There's also a great view of the new subdevelopment going in nearby. I wondered if the 'burb would creep up the hill and overtake the oaks. It's private land, so noone would even know to miss them. The subdevelopment has already chopped down some really wonderful specimens.

I love living here, and I know that something nice must've been sacrificed to build my house, but I wish we could stop now, or at least not cut down any more oaks. They take so long to grow, and there just aren't enough of them any more.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Big Surprise--I'm Marge

Which character are you?

But if I had answered the "Do you like children?" question differently, I'd be Edna.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Many years ago, in a galaxy far, far away

With Mark and Huckleberry Hound
Originally uploaded by suzipaw.


I tried to resist starting a blog, but all my writerly buddies are doing it. I like reading their blogs--it's a great way to see what they're up to in between in-the-flesh visits. Will anyone care to see what I'm up to? I dunno, but I guess I'll find out.