The Invention of Laughing

My hubby and I wandered down to the local cinemaplex after a particularly serious day filled with legal shinnanegans and other adult nonsense. The cure for all of this brew-ha-ha seemed obvious - the newly released Ricky Gervais film, The Invention of Lying.

Popcorn, pop, and candy bar in hand, I made my way into an empty theater while Jason parked the car. There are perks to watching a 4:30 matinee, and one of them is that you can dance in the aisle to the piped in Regina Specktor music as you try out every possible seating location. Come to think of it, there's nothing saying you can't dance in the aisles even if the theater is packed to the gills.

A little bit of strategy had to go into my seat selection. As much as I would have loved to believe that I had my own personal viewing room for the afternoon, I knew I could depend on the 4:35 stragglers to come in during the Coke commercial that preceeded 10 movie previews. If I were seeing a movie alone, I would head for the very back row. Theory being that the wall behind me can't answer its cell phone, ask its girlfriend what's going to happen next, or snap gum. With my husband along, an entirely different strategy was needed. He likes to sit way up front, chin darting up to the cieling while the actors on stage look like the spaceship in the opening credits of Star Wars. So I compromise and try to find something in the middle.

If you want any evidence that humans are a herd specieis, simply try to park your car far away from all the others in a parking lot or sit in a remote location in the movie theater. Chances are, you will become the pioneer of a small cluster of humanity that ignores dozens of other empty spaces. I can't say that I mind this, as long as the unspoken courtesies of movie etiquette are followed. There is something to sitting in the dark with several other people who are eager to get whisked away in a fabulous story that has its own charm. When it goes well, it's enchanting.

Heaven knows I have been in movie theaters where gummy bears faced martyrdom as they slid a painful dissent down the silk screen. I have had Coke flood the bottom of my shoes and soak the underside of my purse when the person behind me accidentally knocked over their drink. I have also been the priss who calls in the usher to get the person behind me to get off their stupid cell phone.

But today, I had already made my peace with the four other people in the theater. There were two single women who I doubted would make any noise at all. An elderly couple sat four or five rows behind me, and at worst, they might ask each other what had just happened in the last scene. Whatever chair squeek, cellophane crinkle, or poor attempt at whispering happened in the next two hours, I was ready to tune them out and simply enjoy the movie. Yes, after 18 months of rigorous meditation training, I'm sure my mentors would be thrilled to know that I am putting the ancient discipline of mind mastery to the enjoyment of feature films.

Today, the last straggler in was a man I had seen outside the movie theater talking loudly into his cell phone. I imagined he was talking to a friend, and he didn't seem to have his heart set on any particular movie as he blithly ripped off the times of each flick. Secretly, I hoped he wouldn't go to mine. I had nothing against him except the idea that his overflowing voice and personality counldn't be adequately contained in a movie theater for 100 minutes, and he and I were both fools to think otherwise.

Sure enough, he popped into the row directly in front of me just before the credits began. Turned out there was nothing I could fault him with. The only thing that stood out was his sheer enjoyment of every punch line and gag. A line that might deserve a chuckle got an enthusiastic knee slap as he doubled over in his seat, repeating the line to himself as he wiped his eyes, and said things like "That's rich!" "Too funny!" or "Hillarious!" It wasn't ironic - he geniunely was loving each and every line. But it had a unique effect. I realized you could focus on his over the top reactions and think they were out of place - too much for too little gag. In no time, it would be easy to be annoyed at his constant outbursts. The alternative was to let his laughter become infectious, and this worked pretty well. Sure, my husband and I noticed that he got up at least 3 times during the movie. My husband guessed he was supporting the drug habit that allowed him to giggle so easily. I decided to believe that in addition to enjoying the film so much, he didn't want to disturb others when his silent vibrating cell phone went off. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


The Blessed Boat

I woke this morning to Saturday, blessed in that I did not have to, at nine AM. It was the first time in a long while I've awakened well rested, knowing that this is in fact when my body and mind feel like taking on consciousness. Hijacking one's physiology via alarm clock has always struck me as one of civilization's many 'hidden' barbarisms, but that's a discussion for another time.

I've been blown to pieces by Allende's House of the Spirits, which has reminded me repeatedly why writing matters, to me, and what role it can at best play in the evolution and maturation of the human spirit.

My good friend Mukoma has often chided me, You Have Issues, Kenyon. You Don't Trust Your Imagination. You Have To Finish Your Shit. I knew simultaneously that a) he was on to something, and b) that imagination has never been an issue for me.

It occured to me for the first time this morning, in a Krishnamurti breakthrough moment, that it's my Words I do not trust... that I've been seeking some impossibly poetic perfection for what should really just be flying out of my fingertips at least several hours per day. Enough said.

Two good friends of mine are sailing south tomorrow morning, bound for the Carribean. Mamalinda mentioned more than once she wanted me to come out and bless the boat before they left.

It bears explanation at this point that I performed the wedding ceremony for her golden child, TKO, and one of my oldest dearest friends, Raquelita, in Charlotte one year ago May. This entire crew refers to me with some irony as The Good Reverend, which shortens nicely to TGR in written form.

Around 4:30 I hit the road, drove east to the marina on the St. Croix, where I parked the Full Monte and got into TKO & Raquelita's Lexus, and promptly placed myself in the hands of the GPS lady. She was smooth as hell and never steered me wrong, through endless sunlit golden cornfields and along the ever widening river, through a half dozen small towns and past innumberable bikers cruising & drinking in legion throughout the region. When I arrived two hours later at the appointed place, T & R met me with a cold glass of champagne and warm hugs.

They took me out on the docks to Mamalinda & the Captain's boat, which I'd spent one relaxing day upon a couple weeks before. Captain had replaced a part that day, which I asked about. "Is that an underwater job?"

"No," he said. "Do you want to see?"

"Sure," I said, "Unless you'd rather just relax." Captain was already opening the floor hatch. I followed him down the step ladder once he clicked on the light below. Crouching room only, he showed me the part he'd replaced, a fat rubber gear with long teeth which had lost its gripping capacity. The notion of losing one's grip (via an Avril Lavigne lyric) occurred to me just then, and it struck me as a reasonably apt way of evaluating mental health. At what point do we have, or not have, a grip on ourselves, our situations? The question too is raised as to when we must loosen our grip (Lavigne's album is titled Let Go) vs. clinging to expectations; the 2nd Noble Truth is, of course, Expectation is the root of our suffering.

Captain pointed out that a particular hose was going out, where a certain belt was a bit looser than he liked, and when I asked, explained that he'd loosen xyz bolts and pry a certain framework outward to increase the tension. He gave me a brief tour of the diesel generator, the three house batteries, and the AC/DC/AC converter which enabled one to run things like refrigerators and hair dryers without running the generator 24/7. All this in a relatively warm crawl space, but the man was a fountain of knowledge, and I am always interested in his perspective.

Up above, TKO asked "What'd you think of the engine room?"

"Cool," I said. "In a warm kind of way."

Mamalinda and the Captain took us out for dinner. Two musicians played guitar and keyboard and sang outside a nearby cafe; a couple or two danced on the sidewalk while the rest of us awaited tables or enjoyed the warm summer evening.

Afterward, we returned to the boat. The blessing had been mentioned, but things were winding down. There wasn't going to be any kind of group ceremony going down; we are not by dynamic a spiritual clique, but I did get a strong sense that I should go to the foredeck, which I did.

Up there the air was cool and the stars glistening, and I understood immediately it was them I'd be addressing. Overcome with emotion, I simply said, Stars, I know I've been asking you for a lot lately, but you've come though every time, so I just have to ask you to help protect this boat.

And the musicians back up the hill, outside the restaurant, were seriously playing some extraordinarily solemn and churchy music. I'm more a natural than a stained glass mystic, but everything aligned in this energetic and solid way. I went to the railing, touched the ropes and felt that they were solid. This boat is solid, I knew. It doesn't need my blessing. It's aligned with the fucking stars.

"Reverend, you ready to go?" asked Raquelita, out on the dock. I was.

Up at the car, Mamalinda and the Captain said their goodbyes to R & T & their granddaughter Mia. When I shook the Captain's hand, he said, "Well, your blessing must have worked, cause if I hadn't noticed that hose was going, I'd have been in a world of trouble further down the line."


Still kicking!

Bad, bad blogger. Sorry, it has been way too long.

I turned 31 last week. It's sort of one of those very adult birthdays. Too adult. Like you should go and buy yourself some shredded wheat or something.

Staying put for as long as I have is making me sooooo itchy. Not that I have any real idea of where to run off to or how to get my very responsible professor husband to play hookie. So of course I'm trying to find the legitimate reasons for my escape. I need to do an MFA (no - I probably don't). Yes I do! I do! I do! I do! (Why?) Cause I can walk around Greenwhich Village dressed as a post-millennium copy-cat hippy. (A+ on the originality) And I must write!!! Dammit!! Write I say!!!!! The art is calling me!!! (And you can't do that where you are because . . .?) There are cows and horses looking at me. I need to suffer in the city. (Doubtful.) Are you questioning my muse!!! She will not take that! No she won't!!! (yes, I'm Irish, one of the only two nationalities in the world singled out by psychologists as the most likely to suffer from schizophrenia. And to boot - I have the other nationality on my mom's side! Seriously, I'm not schizophrenic. Herbie the 7 foot purple hamster I live with would have told me so.)

So I'm chatting with my friend last night telling her about my scheme to get my 4th degree (Hello, my name is Kaye, and I can't stop signing up for shit). Her response: Kaye . . . meet Fun. Fun . . . Kaye. Her point? I often find the hard way to loosen up. True, I'm a nerd. A ridiculously focused nerd who can be a little too snobbish in what she finds "interesting." Phooey.

And part of me wonders if I am not avoiding the embrace of a new turn in life. After a decade worth of proving myself, I am being offered the top slots like "director" of work projects, "creator" of educational content, and even the person who gets to teach meditators how to teach meditation to novices. If I'm an addict for anything, it's the open realm of possibilities, and maybe my inner twitchiness comes from the idea that my path is getting a little more defined. It's kind of like when you endlessly flirt with someone, egging them on to notice you - and then they do, and you go - oh, right, that's so, ummm, great.

But the truth is, one of the only definitions I am happy to take in life is the title of writer. Hell, even the guy who drives the Oscar Meyer hotdog truck can call himself "Director of Mobile Meat Snacks" (and that's no diss on the Oscar Meyer hotdog truck man). But saying you are a writer means you write. And I am very, very insistent that I stay a writer. Even if, like now, I take a break from the writing (itty bitty break, I swear) - I. AM. A.WRITER. Hear me roar. This isn't just ego talking. The writing is what I love. It's scary as shit. And really, to get the job done, you sit your ass in a chair, write, and keep up with great writing. There's another topic - Define "great" writing. I'd rather not right now. I'll just stick with what I know. If anyting, I think I need to maybe stick my fingers in my ears and go "la! la! la! la! la!!!" But I'm a sucker for a community of like-minded artisits. Did I mention my friend has also pointed out that I am a relentless idealist?

About a month ago, KDawg was talking about lilacs. Interesting because these are my father's favorite springtime bouquet, and one that makes him very melancholy. Me, a whif of the lilacs fading into the heady green of a wet summer makes me restless. As my father would say - it is still spring afterall.


Shipping In Oblivion

I was driving this enormous delivery truck around the University
campus for the past two weeks. Bruce was my partner on these runs,
and riding shotgun, he twice warned me when pedestrians to my right
were about to walk/run right out in front of the (accelerating) truck.

Once it was a student (okay, ipods, springtime, finals, etc),
but the other time it seemed to be three University faculty
basically double-timing into the path of this obviously accelerating
delivery truck.

Bruce & I reflected on how strange it was that in some parts of the world,
you have to be on the lookout because someone might rob or kill you
(for your car, possessions, or political beef)-- while in places like this,
you have to maintain utter vigilance because people might actually run out
and kill themselves beneath the wheels of your truck.

It is also interesting to note that in the first example,
your jackers & guerilla assassins are among the most
desperate people on earth (economically, legally, politically).

In the second case we have students and faculty so utterly assured
of their survival that they see no need to acknowledge the existence
of moving motor vehicles, much less other human beings.

All that aside, this was a good two weeks.
The delivery truck rocked, the pallet jacks & I eventually became friends,
and the vast majority of students and faculty did not wander out in front
of us as we ran our daily routes.

I scored copies of The AP Style Manual,
Elaine Pagels' The Gnostic Gospels,
Mardsden's Understanding Fundamentalism & Evangelicalism,
& Lakoff's Don't Think Of An Elephant!

Looking forward to digging into these--
though first I need to blaze through the second half of
Rushkoff's Coercion. It's on loan from a friend,
& I'll be heading to Madison for the summer soon.



Impossible shards of starlight

we tear across the face of creation

ever skeptical of the Whole

from which we exploded

so many forevers ago

When Wave & Particle fell in love

& had such wonderful sex

that they had trillions of children

& as they watched their tiny beloveds

spiraling luminous out into the infinite

they glistened with pride

naming every last one of themAlign Left



Sans Segue

Lilacs intoxicate me.

We had what seemed a forest of these when I was three...
deep purple & lavender, bright white & everything in between.
They still smell like Life to me.

There was a writer of some kind on NPR this morning,
wheezing on about the lilacs for what seemed like forever.

In all honesty, poetry & lilacs are two of my all-time favorite things,
but after three minutes of telling myself this was somehow poetry
(while miniature kittens played the needle-sharp claws game
on the chalkboard of my inner ear), I had to break out the headphones.

Bon Jovi's Runaway exploded, instantly synchronizing a million
yowling brain waves into a singular harmonious flow.
(Say what you like about Bon Jovi; they have brought into the world
a number of musical moments which, if one is willing to actually listen,
are likely to rock one's face off.)

The line in this track that slays me is--

No one heard a single word you said
They should have seen it in your eyes
What was going 'round your head...

And I'm reminded of friends-- and women in particular--
who grew up in homes with idealogical frameworks so stringent
that it took them decades to reach the outside world.

The three women I think of off the top of my head
are as bright, beautiful, creative and resilient as anyone
I've ever met. Moreso.

What takes some people through hell brighter than ever?

What buries others, and resigns millions to Thoreau's quiet desperation?

Real Gold Does Not Fear The Fire
titles Sifu Ray Hayward's biography of Grandmaster Wai Lun Choi,
suggesting the rest of the saying, only the impurities are burned away.

For the past couple of days I've been making the morning & afternoon deliveries
for the warehouse that supplies the University bookstores.
They're having a sidewalk sale on campus, and there's hundreds
of boxes of sweatshirts and pants and keychains we drop off in the morning
& pick back up in the afternoon.

Well today it started raining like a MF tsunami.

I could hear rain drumming on the warehouse skylights high above.
Ravenous, I put on my perennial hoodie/flannel jacket,
grabbed my bag & headed out to lunch.

One of the office ladies was blocking the doorway,
talking on her cellphone, watching it pour.

She didn't look up; just leaned there bullshitting
between me and lunch. This was insanity.

"Excuse me," I said.

"Oh," she said, stepping aside.

"Thank you," I said, pushing through the door.

A metallic ca chunka clack gave way to a rush of rain.

"You're going out in that?"

"Yep," I say, flipping up my hood, running down the stairs.

It looks and sounds like there's more water than air.
I begin to wonder which of my electronics might electrocute me
on the 15-foot walk to my car.

Inside the Monte, the door slams shut, cutting off the rain.
It's dry in here but I am wet. The lady had a point. I'm not dressed for this kind of rain.

The cellphone rings.

"K-- it's Cal," says my manager. "We need the truck out here-- it's pouring."

"Now?" I ask.

"Yes, now, please. Take Mike."

"Mike took off."

"He what?"

"He's on lunch," I said.

"He's in the lunch room," said Cal.

"Oh right," I say. "We'll be right there."

Mike was salty about losing the last five minutes
of his lunch break, & me, I'm thinking--
Shit is getting rained on, man-- the captain needs us!
Out loud I say, "I'll meet you out at the truck."

When he finally came out he was wearing a
yellow rain slicker, which is admittedly wayTF better
than the hoodie/flannel in rain, but by then the rain
had more or less given up.

So we bounced down the road in this loud ass diesel
monster of a delivery truck. This is my second day
driving; it's the biggest thing you can drive
without a CDL, and the MF gives me perma-grin.

So we bump the truck up over the curb (which is apparently
acceptable) & park on the sidewalk.
The rain has stopped. Out in front of the student center,
Cal and another manager survey the damage, draping back
crackling plastic sheeting off t-shirts & sweat-pants in various stages
of wet, cradled in soggy cardboard boxes.

We stand around contemplating whether to take down the sale
& load it up, or whether that blue patch over there is in fact
the end of the rain, in which case maybe the sun would
just dry everything out. To what degree were these items doomed
to stank of cardboard? Would they dry out in the truck overnight
or would that just seal the wetness in?

Only in academia. We're trying to get people on the phone.

Still, it's stopped raining, and students are once again browsing,
holding up the dampened University gear for a better look.

"Erin would know," I say.
Hell, she deals with every one of these products,
and picks up things like climbing & kayaking
for the simple pleasure of passing the knowledge &
experience on to others. She'd tell us what to do with
these soggy ass sweat pants in a NY minute.

This does not address Cal's fundamental question, which is more like,
"Why do we have all this wet & potentially ruined product on our hands,
and how do we prevent this from ever happening again?"

It must be pointed out here that Cal is the nicest possible guy.
He's a fair manager and an intellectual in the truest sense;
once a quandary of significance presents itself, the pursuit of its
absorbs his full attention.

Eventually the sun breaks through. Mike & I climb back up into the truck,
fire up the beast, then clunk clunk down off the curb, roaring out over the wet
& pot-holed pavement on our way back to the warehouse.

BTW Kaye I'm so glad you mentioned it
because Grandma asked me about crystal meth once too,
& I'd completely forgotten this.

I remember saying something to the effect of--
"Well, it's like cocaine, but it lasts a lot longer,
& people can basically make it in their bathtubs
instead of flying it all the way in from Colombia.
Plus it's super addictive and is decimating a lot
of rural areas."

I may have then gone into something re: friends who'd kicked meth
back in the summer of 95 in Monterey (there's an angel in that story,
but we'll come back to that one later), and somehow tied that to the
current meth epidemic.

And my folks are there listening, and there's this silence during which
I realize my explanation of crystal meth might have been too raw for the
family/third-ring suburban setting.

"Because I hear about it all the time on the news,"
says Grandma, "and me, I don't know the first thing about it.
I figure you kids get out more than I do," she says, laughing
with a wave to the world outside her patio door.


How Grandma got me rethinking "just say no"

So as long as we are telling Grandma stories, I will share one of my recent favorites:

About two years ago I was out on one of my all too infrequent visits to the Twin Cities. When you come to the Twin Cities you go to Grandma's house. And by house I mean one bedroom apartment where roughly twenty people can all find available floor/couch space and make it into an impromptu party that puts Mexican fiestas to shame. All who enter must either grab themselves a pop, an ice cream bar, or some of the Dove chocolate candies that are in some crystal dish. You are best served grabbing yourself something right away, because Grandma does not easily accept "no" as an appropriate answer to mid-day goodie consumption. Just another reason my husband thinks she walked straight out of Central Casting's grandma department.

Anyway, it was a quiet afternoon, just Grandma, my husband and my folks plus the hourly drop by of one of my five aunts. I was bringing Grandma something from the kitchen, and as I put it down next to her recliner, I saw a sticky note on her tiny side table.

In Grandma's elegant script penmanship it read: "Ask Kaye about Crystal Meth."

Several wildly conflicting emotions went through my head. First I was a little alarmed that Grams might be interested in picking up a serious drug habit. Then I was a touch in awe of her counter culture coolness in her mid eighties. Damn, I hadn't even smoked pot, and here she was thinking I might have connections with the drug world. Which led me to my next concern which was how to let her down gently because even though I was a lawyer and my husband worked in criminal prosecution that didn't mean I could score her some of the happy stuff from Lil'Antony in Cell Block 8. But then I did think about how her family had lost the farm and all the other sucky circumstances she lived through and I began thinking "Well, anything for Grams." But then logic kicked in and I figured before I risked my standing with the Bar, I might want to ask her what the hell she meant by "Ask Kaye about Crystal Meth." But really, how many interpretations could there really be?

So very tentatively I asked her about it. She looked up at me with her bright, crystal blue eyes that I swear twinkle, and the sweetest of smiles went across her face.

"Hey, Grandma, what's this?" I said picking up the sticky note.

"Ohhhh, yes! Thank you honey, I've been wanting to ask you about that."

"You wanted to ask me about crystal meth . . .the drug?" Just checking here. I don't know, maybe Madame Alexander was trying to appeal to a more urban demographic with a limited edition doll that came with ripped jeans, a leather jacket and black circles under the eyes and went by the name Crystal Meth.

"Uh huh." Still smiling. Still looking so sincere and earnest.

"Okay . . ."

"They were talking about it on the news the other day. What is that stuff? I don't know why anyone would want to take such a thing!" And there is one of the other great things about our Grandma. The woman has educated herself by reading every newspaper she can get her hands on and watching all the news programs. She has her favorite anchors and then there's "those idiots" who just don't know what they are talking about.

I just hope that side of the gene pool kicks in for me. If that's what life can be like in your eighties, I'm looking forward to it.


Truly Righteous Cannonball

What remains truly amazing about Kaye is that
even in the midst of all the kickboxing & milk-snorting confusion,
she always remained present & willing to roll with the craziness...
totally & utterly herself. The Care Bear jokes are a perfect example--
how much more Real can one keep it? It makes sense, in retrospect,
that she'd teach yoga & meditation so many years later.

The feeling of awe is mutual-- hearing from afar that Kaye had whipped
through her bachelor's degree, took on law school, passed the bar, and BTW
had published a book on interest group advocacy...

& all this blew my mind on the schiz, but the fact that she remained so completely herself
through all of this-- and remained genuinely interested in the writing and insights of her gonzo-bohemian cousin who had published exactly jack shit-- really challenged me to rethink the possibilities of the work I was doing.

I remember those times when we were kids, and had hounded Grandma or one of our aunties to take us down to the pool. We were young yet, and didn't have much in the way of money or services to offer... I suspect we relied on our yowly catlike persistence to convince them.

In any case, our guardians were often generous enough to escort us down to the apartment complex pool, where we would either toe in shivering or run up shrieking over the shimmering water, nose plugged, to explode like sixty-pound cannonballs into the pool.

One of the first things we'd hear was "Now you Kids-- no Wrastling in the pool!"
This struck us as insane: aquatic whoop-ass was exactly the reason we'd goaded the adults into bringing us down here. All our blows were slowed considerably, you couldn't land on your ass, and in the pool we were actually strong enough to body slam each other in ways that didn't play out in normal gravity.

Marco-Polo was acceptable-- shrieking was not. These rules seemed arbitrary and strange at the time.

Now, as adults, I think we can all agree that the screams of children--
inspired by whatever emotion-- trigger a primal-threat response in us
which does not distinguish between a child being abducted, flayed,
or simply getting live in the shrieking run-up to a truly righteous cannonball.

To the nerves of the mature adult, this noise detracts in alarming ways
from the fresh air & relaxation they might have envisioned when finally agreeing
to accompany a small pack of caffeinated youngsters to what would soon amount
to a giant aquatic WWF ring.

& yet it must also be understood that this very primal shriek--
in many ways akin to the roar a great cat emits before making a meal of us
(to tenderize our flesh, we must assume), or the whoop-whoooop-whooooiiiip!
of howler monkeys keeping it real in the treetops--
is every bit as essential to the Truly Righteous Cannonball as the run-up,
the nose-plug, and the leap.

We hope that future generations will work out this quandary-of-the-ages,
which has likely persisted since homo sapiens' children figured out how to
make each other scream.

It's interesting that adults (who aren't presently raising kids)
require relative quiet in order to feel safe. These primordial alarms
are programmed into us, though, aren't they? Should a horde of barbarian marauders
appear on the horizon, we'd be powerless to stop them. We just weren't throwing that kind of cannonball at that age.

Grandma may or may not have turned to us and said,
"Didn't I tell you kids? They must have followed the sound of your blood-curdling screams."

We are fortunate, though, that Grandma now remembers only good things about the grandkids. She's not suffering from acute memory loss, it's just that her memory has painted the past some shade of sepia gold. She can't even remember her own children acting up. In her mind now, the decades-long process of raising all those kids, and wrangling their kids-- in and out of pools, through the whirlwind visits and cannonballs and forbidden wrastling throwdowns-- was more or less peaches.

& it's not like she doesn't remember the handful of people on her Horse's Ass list (& that is the actual name of Grandma's Shit List... it's presently resting on the endtable right next to her chair).

She will remind you weekly how when her father lost the farm during the Depression, an uncle got her dad a job in the Twin Cities, but demanded a hefty kickback every week.

Sitting there in her living room chair in the last of the day's light, she becomes karma's messenger... a reminder of how much we have to share, & the tragic splinter in the memory of a woman who does not even remember the pain of delivering six children, but recalls precisely a time when a blood relative saw more advantage in fleecing his kin than in protecting them from an amoral, profit-driven world.

There's a creative quickening happening here, as Kaye & DJ & I engage our mutual need to carve stories out of the myriad. We'll discover them in ways we never expected, reflected through each other's eyes, and I truly look forward to watching that unfold here.

& if I remember correctly, the All-Time Righteous Cannonball Award goes to Denny Marv. Cousins?



Oh! Oh! I'm a Blogger!!

I think my cousin doth praise me too much, and I blush. But I am so happy to be writing here!! Hi everyone, I am K Dawg's cousin - yes, the girl twin that the poor guy had to dress like. Even at five I knew he had the raw deal of the two of us. I could rock overalls any day of the week, but God help him if my Mom was in a Holly Hobby phase and I came into Grandma's living room wearing something with a smock. Luckily, it never went that far.

I'm sure by now all of you faithful readers have become well acquainted with K Dawg's wit, philosophical guru like qualities, and innate charm. He mentioned that my father was the only boy out of six Irish Catholic kids, but he didn't mention that out of the resulting nieces and nephews, only two were girls, and, for awhile, I was the youngest. Which meant I had all these incredibly cool older cousins who could make me laugh until I embarrassed myself with either milk out the nose or a quick sprint to the rest room. It was so unfair. All my Care Bear jokes just fell flat, I sucked at kick boxing, and it would be years before I understood several choice innuendos.

So I take his praise of my first draft with true gratitude, because frankly, K Dawg has always exemplified my highest standards of creativity. Long before I started teaching yoga and meditation I remember sitting legs akimbo out in the summer grass carrying on great philosophical discussions with him, and then being in total awe when he just started writing fiction and poetry because he had to.

My real name is Kelly and over the course of my blogging I may send you links that show me in real action, but I decided to blog as Kaye Ferrick because, well, what the hell? This is actually the name of one of my novel's characters, and while I don't think I will be writing as her per se, it's kinda fun to have an alter ego to mess around with on the internet, no?

More soon! Thanks for having me!



Being back in the TC has put me in touch with my cousins again.
We were tight growing up; Grandma & Grandpa had five girls &
a boy; they grew up Irish Catholic and had kids around the same

Most of us grew up in the Twin Cities, but our uncle moved to Jersey
with his family thirty-odd years ago to pursue a career in whooping
corporate ass. I think he's probably really good at it because there's
always multiple Corvettes at their (truly) beautiful New Jersey home.
Manor-esque, complete with deer grazing out behind the pool.

My cousin Kelly grew up out there. She's also an only child,
and when we were growing up we looked enough alike that our
aunts would try to pass us off as each other.

Now I have a beard, and Kelly is a knockout,
so no one's confusing us anymore.

The last time we talked in person, we were at our cousin Jay's wedding.
We said how are you, hugged, and then a minute later were talking
meditation practice, breathing and yoga.

And thought I don't remember ever discussing these things with Kelly before,
it was like we were just picking up a conversation where we left off. It's like
there's no time lost, which is grand.

Lately it's writing-- she's writing a novel. She sent me the first chapter,
and halfway down the first page the word Delightful crossed my mind.

The narrator is a young lawyer who's getting her first shot at
heading up the legal team for a major political campaign.
She's bright and magnetic, like Kelly, and the narrative benefits
from her instictive curiosity and genuine appreciation for people.

I'm stoked to read the rest.

Our cousin Denny is also hugely creative; he's done a lot of (consistently breathtaking) photography in the past several years. He's got a lot of ideas coming through him, too,
broader storylines, etc. He thinks he's slacking but he's got three kids, one of whom is
right around one year old.

We're collaborating on one project for shiz, and then he just pitched me this
worst-case-scenario handbook variant which is both more practical and funnier
than the original concept.

I'm gonna invite these two to contribute here. I'd love to know what's on their minds
in a day to day way.

Geeking out on Pat Benetar's Fire & Ice today. OMG that woman can whoop ass on a microphone. I think I need a cigarette, & I don't even smoke.

Peace to the family; crazy love congratulations and blessings to R&T out in QueenCity NC
(What!), and a warm welcome to Earth for their new daughter Mia.