Monday, December 31, 2007

Attention Birmingham:

We have been invaded by inhabitants of the Windy City.

But do not be alarmed, we have lured them into the containment unit on Oxmoor Road also known as the HoJo.

Armed with liquid-filled metal projectiles and burning sticks, the Maid of Dishonor and her treacherous Bride guard the doors of this aquarium-like prison.

They are the warriors of the 4th Wedding, filled with spitfire and vengeance and protected by a impenetrable, flame-retardant combination of nylon and polyester handed to them by the Gods. Do not fear, Dear Citizens. You are well protected.


I can't stop listening to Gene Krupa's Drums, Drums, Drums

New Years Soul Trip

Jim and I are leaving for Oxford, Mississippi this afternoon. We're meeting up with John Ciba and Rachel and Derek and J.D. at the Wiley and the Checkmates New Years Eve show. This will be our first non-family Adventurfication since my birthday.

Wiley and the Checkmates - Ponderosa Stomp - SXSW 2007

I'm so excited! Anyone have any suggestions on where to eat once we get there?

Sunday, December 23, 2007


I just ate two butterscotch/Chow Mein noodle cookies right before I collapsed into bed. The cookies were made by one of my mother's therapy patients.

1. Does my mother have a good relationship with this patient?

2. Do I really have to reattach my walking boot to trek to the restroom to brush my teeth again, or will the Orbit Gum left in the side pocket of my purse suffice? Shut up. I totally know the answer to that one.

Friday, December 21, 2007

CTD and O: Myrna Loy -> Luise Rainer

She smiled down at me from yellowed fragile paper trapped in wood and glass. I walked up, gazed at the wall, full of faces, smiling and glazed over, "Gary Cooper, $13.00" "Will Rogers, $13.00" "Eileen Sedgewick, $13.00" and then "Movie Star, $13.00". The faces went on and on, down the wall and spilling out onto the table, but all I could do was look at her. I reached up and pulled her picture down, and turned and walked quickly to catch up with Jim.

"Movie Star, $13.00"

Why does that make me smile so? When we finally gathered all of our spoils onto the checkout table, the snow-white haired, crinkly old lady writing our ticket leaned over as I pointed to the picture. "Can you believe that it just says 'Movie Star'? That's so funny. Myrna Loy? Can you imagine?"

She stared up at me and smiled politely. "Oh IS it? Oh dear, I guess so."

She had no idea. And I guess that scared me a little. And made me a little sad for her.

Myrna Loy solved crimes with William Powell in "The Thin Man series"(1934). Myrna Loy battled brains with Cary Grant in "The Bachelor and the Bobbysoxer" (1947) and "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House."(1948)

Myrna Loy vamped it up in a Natacha Rambova penned film, "What Price Beauty?" in 1925. (Rambova was the second wife of Rudolph Valentino) She also appeared in Al Jolson's "The Jazz Singer"(1927).

In 1934 she appeared in "Manhattan Melodrama" with Clark Gable and William Powell. The gangster John Dillinger was shot to death after leaving a screening of the film. She also played the part of Billie Burke (Florenz Ziegfeld's wife) in the Academy Award winning film "The Great Ziegfeld". Billie Burke is best known as Glinda the Good Witch in "The Wizard of Oz". Anna Held, Florenz Ziegfeld's common-law wife, was played by none other than two time academy award winner Luise Rainer.

Some November night, shortly after I broke my foot, I sat in the living room watching an array of musical biopics on TCM. I fell in love with Luise Rainer in the midst of the film "The Great Waltz"(1938). As she (Poldi Vogelhuber) becomes aware of her husband's (Johann Strauss II) affair, her eyes fill with tears. She loves him so much and is so devoted to him that she weathers effects of the tumultuous affair. She is brave and amazing. The movie also stars the great French actor Fernand Garvey and opera singer Miliza Korjus (who garnered an Academy Award nomination for her performance).

Luise Rainer

At 97 years of age, Luise Rainer is the oldest living Academy Award winner.

1936 - The Great Zeigfeld
1937 - The Good Earth

Thursday, December 20, 2007

below the surface - July 2007

The rain spills down, buckets tilted from heaven towards the ground. I stand waiting for the light to change, dress weighing down, shoes swimming. Clouds blanket this dark southern summer sky. Clouds form between my furrowed brows. I feel helpless and all at once surrounded by sound. The cracking of water to pavement, the rush of cars two feet from where I stand. I clutch my bag, fingers bound around the handle, twisted with anxious thought.

I've wanted to write about the song that's been rolling through my thoughts for the last few days. I listened to it again and again the other night and thought to myself, that's it...but I'm not sure anymore. The rain does funny things. The rain conjures a spell of winding melodies...

Brown Eyes

tell me and take your time
set free this soul of mine
freeze frame this sedate moment
lie me in your quiet ground

i understand your
tired eyes for these
tired homes and tired trees
i see the pain in those
brown eyes
fires burn in autumn skies

-Mark Kozelek, Red House Painters, Rollercoaster

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I'm on my guard, quiet and turned. I feel the breeze and the damp of the dawn float across the room, across the right side of my face. The left side is cradled in the warmth of my quilt, one eye closed, and all I can think of is the chatter of dry leaves…and the chill. But I keep watching, waiting. Waiting for the sound of the morning train, I’m waiting for a different sort of day to come.

I am weighted. I am weary. I am 17 years old and wondering if I'll ever stop feeling so alone. I keep listening to Glen Phillips' strange hollow tenor tell me of his every hope and disappointment and I nod my head in the dark. I understand. My adolescent heart is bedraggled. Its edges and outsides are as worn and frayed as the ancient, woven paper that covers the walls of this house.

High on a Riverbed

why try
when everything i do seems half right
how can i be satisfied
writing words from someone's else's lies

but sometimes i'm standing here
high on a riverbed
and light breaks through
everything feels good for a while
high on a riverbed

i see myself sometimes
vision is a mystery half blind
i wander through my life
wondering what i could be if i
if i

- Toad the Wet Sprocket, Pale

Monday, December 17, 2007

CTD: Meet Me in St. Louis - Lucille Bremer

In the dark, warm glow of the Alabama Theatre, underneath the twinkling Christmas lights, my father turned to my mother and whispered loudly "I know who the sister is! She played the good witch in the Wizard of OZ!"

I clutched Jim's hand and bit my tongue. I turned to Jim and we smiled at each other. Judy Garland was sitting there in her red velvet ball gown and Mary Astor was crying happy tears.

Lucille Bremer, the sister in question (center), did not play Glinda, the good witch (Glinda was played by Billie Burke, more on that later). Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) was only Miss Bremer's second film. (Her first film was the Stan Kenton short "This Love of Mine")

In her next film, she co-starred with Fred Astaire, "Yolanda and the Thief"(1945)

(i love this poster!)

and then again in "Ziegfeld Follies".

By 1948, Lucille had made her last film, "Behind Locked Doors", a black and white B-Movie co-starring Richard Carlson("Creature from the Black Lagoon").

She married the son of former Mexican President, Abelardo L. Rodríguez, and retired at the ripe old age of 31.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Fuzzy Encephalophagi Authors

Sorry, Loves, about the error in dates on the last post and for the typos and questionable content...

I have an excuse.

James Joyce ate my brain.

This class has been pretty extraordinary. Not because of the excellent teachings, although Bingram was at best quite interesting and informative, but because of how eye opening it was for me. I had taken so much for granted. So often, in my leisure, I've sat for so many hours in front of my computer with a finger forever upon the backspace button and my thumb standing guard by the spacebar. Editing... Thought. Backspace. Cut. paste. Insert thought. Delete. Thought. Thought. Delete. Thought. I love computerness...but - Ohmygod.

I walked out of my final today, the last student out of the room with my hair all crazy, covered from head to toe in the remains of my pencil eraser, actually three pencil erasers...the side of my hand was silver from the lead of my pencil. I'm left handed so I drag my hand across the page when I write. Two hours to write a paper. Two hours to take a simple opinion about a story and turn it in to something wonderful. Let me tell you, folks, that by the end of the paper, my head was lolling in my hand, the other hand was taking turns tearing paper, writing on it and twisting my nervous finger through the front of my hair until I looked like a pale, dirty blonde version of Davey Havok on the Black Sails?Helloween tour, you know, in which he was trying so desperately to be Glen Danzig?

I actually didn't see myself in the mirror, because I was sitting in class writing for my final, but in my head, that's exactly what I looked like, only prettier, in my beautiful new puff-sleeved Bannana Republic winter jacket and instead of combat boots I had one New Balance Tennis shoe (grey and powder blue) and the large metal and foam black boot that I wear because I decided a few weeks ago that it would be a good idea to trip over a roll of tape while walking down the sidewalk in Knowville, Tennessee.

Yes. I am not at Rebecca's party tonight. I am in bed with the covers up to my waist while I listen to Fred Astaire. I am totally exhausted. This has been a crazy few weeks. But my absence from the crazy Sweet 16 + 20 party does not mean I love Bec any less or am any less devoted to helping her conquer the world. 1. I cannot drive and Jim is at home grading papers. 2. James Joyce ate my brain -- after he came to visit me in the ER today.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hello World!

This is how I feel right now:

finals week
Speaking of Halloween costumes and total nightmares...I should get back to the studying.

Oh! and tomorrow night...after you've finished assessing the significance of the the three main characters of Doris Lessings's "A Woman on a Roof" and deciding whether James Joyce's narrator in "Araby" actually talks to the girl (or is he just dreaming?) on out into the night and check out this awesomeness:




Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Today's CTD + Foot Update!

Judy Holliday


prompted by:

Monday night's showing of the film Born Yesterday on TCM - Holliday won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Billie Dawn. She beat out Bette Davis ("All About Eve") and Gloria Swanson("Sunset Boulevard").

She's also wonderful in the Hepburn/Tracy flick Adam's Rib.

Judy recorded an album with Gerry Mulligan - 1960-61 - Holliday with Mulligan -

In 1959, Judy also worked with Gerry in the Oscar nominated film"Bells are Ringing" (which featured Dean Martin, Jean Stapleton, and Eddie Foy, Jr). This film was not only Judy's first color feature but also the last picture she ever made. "Bells are Ringing" was also the very last musical to be made for MGM by Vincente Minnelli and Arthur Freed.

Yesterday, I spent a good deal of time (between patients) reading Judy's 1952 testimony before the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee. I must say, I enjoyed it immensely, especially after I found out that Judy Holliday was reported to have had an IQ of 172. The testimony was Judy's greatest role, the greatest part she ever played.


After an examination of the footness by Doctor Elkus yesterday (during which Jim swears that Elkus barked a dictation into his tape recorder that I was a big baby, "Patient is a big baby"), he gave me the okay to bear weight on my foot. So, I've been hobbling wonderfully all day, all over the ER, at school, at home. I did not fall down once. Hooray!

Monday, December 03, 2007


My foot rests slightly to the side, to the right, on top of a couch cushion and a pillow. It's sandwiched between this high altar of floral print and a layer cake of pink sheets and antique quilts. My poor foot, still decorated with dark blueberry patches and pressed lines, is restrained within a splint of white plastic and blue foam, a quiet little contraption with nylon belts and plastic buckles. It is my night splint, light as a feather compared to the velcro strapped, air-pumped, metal and plastic boot of my days.


Fourteen days in and I'm a bit tired of the frustration of not being able to drive, not being able to carry my drinking glass, of scooting backwards up those two flights of stairs to my room....

It seems so silly to be longing for such simple things. But I took these daily motions for granted.

Tomorrow, Jim and I will go to see Doctor Elkus after I get off of work. Tomorrow, I will find out how long I will have to wear this dark and heavy captor of my dear foot. Keep me in your thoughts.