Wednesday, December 10, 2008

If you were a river of whiskey, and I was a diamond jar....

Tiny seizures. Tiny sparks. In the dark, as the fan hums in the distance, as James' quiet breath leads him into his restful oblivion, I cannot stop. I am tense. I am drained. I turn. There. Suddenly a jabbing sensation invades my left calf and charges up through these strange tunnels, myelin covered wonderlines, and draws up hands and feet and back and shoulders and...there it goes. Gone.

And then another, my ear - down the side of my head to my shoulders, hands and feet. My eyes smart momentarily, but I brave up and stay the jolting of my body causing Jim to turn and hold tight, as if to hold me down, like it would make a difference.

Nothing makes so much difference as a good nights sleep. That difference is something that I've been fighting for so long. Even now, as I sit in this chair writing you and listening to Claire Campbell play her saw, her sister Page in quiet harmony, the minutes pass, the morning comes so quickly. I am left weighted.

"I can feel my life beating slow, I can feel my life beating low, I can feel your mind, It's right in line with my mind..." - Hope For Agoldensummer, New Whiskey River, Adriadne Thread

I'm still braving it every day at my new job. I have a few wonderful co-workers who trade tasks with me when I need to stay off of my feet. The bottom of my feet are all pins and needles. My boss said that if I needed to wear houseshoes around the office, I long as they're not bunny slippers.

When I come home, James is there. If I feel like I want cook, most times whether or not I have the strength, I do. If not, he takes care of everything. Slow motion. Slow motion these days. Waiting for all of the little symptoms to disappear. We don't know what this is really, a body warning me to take it easy. Some days I convince myself that I am invincible, that I have all of the energy in the world. I overdo it. James is my sounding board, he's my common sense, he's my tucker-in when he finally convinces me to rest.

I'm in the midst of my second attempt at drawing a Holiday card for all of you. If they don't make it into the mail by Christmas, I'll email them. They'll be beautiful, I promise you.

Love you Kids. Send me suggestions for GREATEST HOLIDAY ALBUMS.
I'm working on a mixtape.


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Incandescent Clouds in a quiet sky

"Desperado" by the Eagles has been running through my head all morning, and from that haunting horror of a melody comes the memory of recording it in a YOU CAN SING booth at Six Flags Over Texas in 1992. I was on a Youth Trip with a rather awful group of kids from the First Baptist Church of Birmingham. I was a farm-fed Yankee thrown in with a bunch of Mountain Brook/Homewood...I don't even know how to explain them, I'd never seen a group of kids like them before. Polished, preened, and progressive. Designer clothes, perfect hair, lots of gadgets to travel with. I was in faded snowboarding t-shirt, a hand-me-down flannel, and ripped up jeans. I had a walkman and two mix tapes and a few books. They had game systems, high tech music players, and (I kid you not) one girl even had a pocket translator (English vs Spanish). "What's that for?" I asked pointing to it. The svelte southern belle held it two inches in front of my nose and looked at me like I was a complete idiot, "Like, when we stop, so, like, I can order food at the restaurant, or whatever."

I wanted to explain to her that New Mexico (our final destination) was not actually part of Mexico and that when we stopped at McDonalds for lunch the staff would most probably understand her just fine...but I kept my mouth shut. I kept to myself the majority of that trip, my head leaning against the bus window, staring out into the ever-changing landscape. It changed, just as my feelings changed about this journey I was on. This opportunity had been accepted with a song of adventure, a dream of cross-country discovery. Not quite the same as a chartered bus with television and vcr to while away the endless hours on the road. But it kept my companions busy and gave me time to reflect on the predicament that I was in.

When we finally got to the camp in New Mexico, I made friends with a bunch of kids from Reno, Nevada, most of them forced there by their parents. You could pick the lot of us out a mile away, mostly in black and really uncomfortable with all of the hand-holding, song-singing, jesus-ness going on around us. I guess for the most part, it was that feeling of overwhelming "agape" that threw us off because we all knew that once we left the auditorium filled with frenzied kids belting along to cheesy, emotive music while reading reptitive texts from a state of the art slide-projector it would be just like high school again. We were the outsiders in this setting, lonely, tired, bored, somewhat scared, although now as I look back on that creeping, endless least we had each other.

I had an intense crush on William Cotran, a tall, graceful boy with dark eyes and chin-length black hair who would often, between Bible Study and supper, sit on a hill over-looking the Glorietta campus and scribble things into a small black book. I would walk past him, behind him, in front of him, dreaming, dying for some sign of notice. I had decided that he was a great artist, because up to that point it seemed to me that all somber and mysterious men were artists of some sort and at that point in was the visual arts that fascinated me the most. When I finally got up the nerve to go speak to him, he told me that in fact it was not a tree that he was sketching, but the forest beyond the horizon that he was describing. Poetry. At this moment, I decided that poetry was for me. I went to the camp gift shop and bought a journal and sat there for an hour or so, thinking of words, words, words to describe the grass, the trees, the sky, my shoe, my arm, my pencil....I would use words that I had heard, words that I didn't understand, but that sounded absolutely fantastic. Incandescent. Erroneously. Eradicate.

From that moment until the day we finally arrived home, I never despaired outwardly again. I become a pleasant, quite docile young woman. Quiet. Always scribbling away. I dreamed and despaired (in an incredibly dramatic style) on a white lined page and that was enough.

Recently while packing for the move to Cincinnati, I found this journal and all of the editions that followed. I was amazed at the sadness contained within it's pages. I was taken in by violent declarations of joy and love from such a young and silly girl. Who was than girl? Surely not me. I see within these pages, so peppered by moments that I have now forgotten, vital turning points, new discoveries of music, friendship, young love. Now I am transported. All by these silly, sad words.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Cincinnati Windstorm (or My Life in the Dark) part 1

The storm had come on Sunday, in huge whipping bursts of wind through our fair city. By the end of it over half a million homes and businesses were without power.

As we sat on our balcony in the silence of the evening, staring out at the pitch black horizon of our new city, James smiled at me, a little weary, a little drained by the excitement of the day. I squeezed his hand and returned an encouraging grin and then got up from my chair and walked inside. In the darkness, in this cavernous room I walked and turned and slowly sat down. I lit a candle and picked up my guitar and began to play, singing light and airy versions of dark and worry-laden songs. It's all I could do. The quiet was unbearable. The silence and darkness and stifled air of this day had to be overcome. I brought but little sheet music with me when we moved and was bored with what lingered in my memory (mostly Red House Painters songs) so I turned to a book of songs by REM, the piano book for Automatic For The People. "Find the River" became a waltz, "Try Not To Breathe" a quiet bossa nova, "Nightswimming" a climbing clumsy jumper, and "Everybody Hurts" (a song I'd never had much use for) turned into a loud and lovely twist of blues. James walked in, pulling his beard with a twinkle in his eye. "I think the whole city is feeling this song right now. Nice."

I love our apartment, with it's huge fireplaces and dark woodwork. I love having my things about me, all of my family heirlooms, the cream and gold of french provincial, the straight lines and dark stain of my grandfather's craftsmanship. Illuminated by candlelight that first evening, they became ever more so dear to me. Our apartment became a home, a refuge, and it was beautiful.

We were afraid to open the fridge. I called my brother for consult and text messaged Morgan "How long will it stay cool if we don't open it?" No one quite knew the answer. What we did know was that reports thus far had said that it may take a week to restore power. I sat in the kitchen and stared at the refrigerator, thinking of the incredible amount of produce just on the other side of that insulated door. I thought of the bright colors, the red of the radishes, the yellow of the spaghetti squash, the green of the serrano chili peppers. I thought of their brilliance slowly diminishing. Ice. I needed ice. Then I could save my poor produce from a terrible fate, if that could be the fate at all, for in truth we had no idea. The state of things inside of our fridge could only be guessed at, theorized with furrowed brows and the forceful wringing of hands. The next morning, James went on to school (UC had power) and I ventured across the east side of city in search of Ice.

"WE HAVE POWER. WE ARE OPEN." declared the handwritten sign on the glass door of the Meier's General store. I parked my car and walked inside to find but little light coming from an occasional security lamp and the Check-out Area. Otherwise, the store was completely dark. And it was comparatively busy for early morning. People were walking swiftly past me. I followed, scanning the aisles as I headed towards the back. Little glimmers of light lit the shelves. I stopped and stared. Every person around me held up a flashlight. They were all shopping with mag-lights in hand and it wasn't as if they were foraging for supplies. I turned to my right and up the aisle in Womens Clothing, a woman stood perusing a rack of shirts, holding her flashlight up with one hand, checking the size and price tag with the other. Maybe she had run out of clean clothes. But she sauntered down past a shelf of jeans and a display of dresses and touched them almost whimsically as she walked by, as if it was a normal day and she was just getting out of the house, as if the stoplights down the street and across the entire city worked just fine (and people weren't driving absentmindedly and dangerously straight through every one), as if every grocery store within a 20 mile radius hadn't yellow-taped their rapidly defrosting frozen foods section, as if every gas station on every corner had a huge refrigerated room full of ice. No one had ice. Not even dry ice. Nothing. I went home to play my guitar.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Revelation at the Comet on a Friday Evening

Sometime last Summer:

"I'm sorry 'bout the bad reviews, man."

He looked at me with this surprised and suddenly hurt expression. He hadn't expected it from my lips and neither had I as a matter of fact. But I had been looking for a topic to converse about and that seemed as natural as any. Everything I had heard lately, about any album, not just his, had been a little bit if everyone in the industry was jaded, tired of the next big thing, sitting back, taking a drag off of their American Spirit and waving their hand in front of their face. "Too rock. Too hard. Too much bass. Meandering lyrics." What does it matter who it was about. It became all the same over and over and over. And when I said it to Josh as a topic of conversation, on a warm Summer night on the porch of the hurt. And it made me sad that the world was so just one moment.

To tell the truth, all of those things that I read and heard were nothing. The album was rocking and was hard and had amazing bass and the lyrics were searching and beautiful.

I don't know. When I sat at home the next day, listening to the record and condemning myself for the comments I had made, suddenly I understood everything about this business to which I had latched myself and I didn't love it so much anymore.

Tonight, ages later, as I sat in the Comet next to a new group of friends around a small table in a dark dismal corner, we got into an argument about a particular band and their inner workings. Who was better than whom. What made the best songwriting. The overall creativity level of a man's work. I thought to myself that it didn't matter so much one way or the other. The extraordinary beauty of the work was that it made an impression on one individual, one quiet socially awkward individual who would probably never take a chance to voice his opinion ever again. But it was there in the glaringly beautiful wide open...if for just a moment and definitely under the influence. This is what matters. Not the reviews. Not the published critique of a particular piece. It is what one little lovely person brings home and cherishes about a piece of music, how they connect with the arrangement, how they can read into the lyrics with just one listen. This is what matters.

Monday, September 01, 2008


Gold and cream floral bedspread, darkened to a light brown by low blinds. The stiff and fuzzy arm of Theodore Ethan Bear across my face and the scent of Dreft detergent. The smell of soapy warm water and the clank of pots and the clink of dishes and the shadowed leaves peeking in, then waving from the window across the apartment. My gaze rests for a moment upon the leaves' dark forms, a grayish green with strangely bright edges. I lay on the bed with intentions to rest, turning, wanting to read, wanting to get up, wanting to...

"I don't want to have any limitations." I look up, pouting.

Jim the James smiles down at me, a warm smile, a momentary mocking grin passing quickly across his handsome face, warm again. "You spoiled brat. Everyone has limitations."

I thought, I once thought, I believed that I was superhuman. This is the thought of youth, unending emotion, unending energy, never ending life. As we walked up the steps from the park today and I gripped the railing for support, for balance and strength underneath my heavy feet, my heart dropped remembering a day when I could have skipped up those stairs with a smile and without a care.

"You must have patience. It's been a really tough summer. When it gets a little cooler, you can exercise, build up your strength again. Be patient. You'll be okay."

We spend the evening on the porch, then on the futon, listening to Grant Lee Buffalo and Will Johnson, being patient, being quiet, sharing space and love and warmth.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Party on Jefferson

As the incredibly loud bass line vibrates through the ceiling, down the walls, and into my head, I lift my glass. I drink the wine slowly. I drink it quietly. I cross my legs and uncross them and cross them again as ashes, burning ashes float down from above. Jim takes my hand and smiles a half smile. His eyes are tired and sad. "I'm sorry, Baby."

No need to be sorry. We moved into our apartment on Wednesday, loading in in record time. Jim's dad Jim, his friend Dewayne (the Cleaner), and his brother Chris passed boxes through our bedroom window from the truck, managed to struggle up the landing with my over-abundance of French Provincial furniture and did not grumble when it came time to transport my beloved spinet piano into our high ceilinged quaint old apartment. Jim's dad Jim even took the time to lift the lid on the piano and play a haunting rendition of a Beatles ballad while standing sweaty and sore in our alley.

The apartment IS charming with it's large bedrooms, old oak fireplaces, butler pantry, and claw-footed tub. What is not charming is what is going on upstairs at this moment. We are in the middle of the college neighborhood, but our apartment is on the high-end spectrum so we expected that the majority of our neighbors would be grad students, serious students prone to quiet dinner parties and cocktail hours filled with conversations on Kant and variations on Miles Davis arrangements. I think that this assumption must have been formed after a few pints of celebratory ale. That's the only thing I can come up with. We are in the middle of post-quarter apocalypse. Last night there was a party next door with (I'm just guessing with the amount of screaming and cheering) more than one keg stand. Tonight, Studio 54 has been revived right above our bedroom. Do we call the landlords? Do we call the police? this is our first weekend here. Do we leave a note for the neighbor in the morning that says "Thanks for the jumpin' moonlight serenade. Hope you don't mind the 8am piano scales." I had actually really wanted to meet our neighbor to establish a proper time for practicing. Right the cigarette ash drifts down from above and the constant blur and banter from the second floor abounds...I don't know that it matters anymore.

Maybe I'll launch into some David Lanz right now. Maybe I'll pull out the songbook for REM's Automatic for the People and flailingly ramble through "Find the River" to my hearts content. I don't think it would matter. I don't think anyone would hear me...except James. And I know that he doesn't mind.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

St. V's

Somehow I knew today would be like this, rainy and dark and quiet. I sit here at my faux granite desk, organizing the sugar and cream packets for the coffee room into little straight rows in their baskets. I stare out the huge gridded glass window in front of my desk as the morning traffic zooms down Red Mountain Expressway. I fixate on the lonely bicycle that has been sitting outside this window for a month and a half, ever since a young man coasted down from Highland Avenue with a broken leg and locked it up on the handicap parking sign before crawling up to my desk. I wonder if he'll ever come back for it. His mother picked him up that day. I guess I'll never know.

Today is my last day in the Emergency Room. On this cloudy, drizzley day there have been far more falls than car accidents arrive for treatment and this is quite uncommon. The Olympic Coverage is playing on the TV across the waiting room. I thought I should give my morning crowd a break. I usually turn it to the Turner Classic Movie channel and hide the remote.

They threw me a party, my wonderful department, a surprise party. Everyone had to come to visit me in the department break room two at a time, as it was a busy day and none of the locations in our department could really do to have one rep leave at a time, let alone two. So I sat at the table, surrounded by chips and dips and vegetables (my co-workers have finally come to grips with the fact that I am a vegetarian) (don't worry, they made a pot of beef nacho cheese craziness for themselves that was simmering in the corner by the wide array of beverages) and waited for my wonderful friends to come, two by two.

I've been at the hospital for 4 years. I know that I have sent out a few character sketches to some of you over the years. I have tried my best to make my job, my work there something extraordinary and fun. I've made posters for various departmental events. I've had early morning Emergency Room dance parties (early on Saturdays and Sundays I would bring in my old soul collections and Wylie Jean and I would go through the steps, the Mashed Potato, the Jerk, etc...) (those were always perfect days, no matter the craziness in the ER). I had finger puppet parties. And made Vulcan (at least my bobble head Vulcan) the unofficial mascot of the St. Vincent's Birmingham Emergency Department.


And yes, sometimes B.H. Party Vulcan got a little drunk-ed off of the triage nurses ready store of alcohol swabs and attended said finger puppet parties. Hilarity ensued. I assure you.

B.H. and I will miss our home away from home terribly. So very much. There was never such a place as this. There were never more caring and amazing co-workers.
I am so thankful that I got spend these four amazing years, four years full of transition, of growing and creating and loving and helping. I will miss everything. I miss you all terribly. Goodbye my dear St. V, my dear Patient Access, my dearest Emergency Department. Take care.

The SL

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Just Like Heaven

Today I will deliver my letter of resignation to my boss. Two weeks from today I will walk through those sliding glass doors in front of my desk for the last time. Three weeks from today, Jim and I will finish packing the last of the moving boxes into the U-Haul and drive 500 miles to our new home.

I can't believe all of this is happening. For the first time, on this very day, I'm excited. Like really excited. Ecstatic about all of this. I don't know what made the switch. I've been worried and apprehensive about the future, sad to leave my friends, scared... But not now.

from the letter:

"I find that I cannot adequately express to you how much my time at St. Vincent's has meant to me, how much it has changed my life. I've grown so much as a person in my four years of employment with this department, under your guidance and with the support of so many incredible co-workers. There is such a wonderful spirit about this group of people. I find that I am leaving behind some of the most caring and thoughtful individuals that I have ever known. As I make this transition to a new life, halfway across the country, I will not forget what warmth and love I have left behind. I will use these thoughts, these great memories, to keep my spirits high as Jim and I start our next great adventure, married life, school, and employment in a strange new city. Thank you for everything"

Thank you for everything...

I feel like I owe Birmingham a letter as well. I guess I'd better start working on that.

Friday, July 25, 2008

James' Birthday Battle: Beer VS Robots

A message from Tremendous Mike - Robot Command:

SIMPLE HUMAN --- On this Cosmic Holiday, the 35th Birth Anniversary of the James, the Robot Army will travel from the far reaches of the Galaxy to celebrate (and to take over your feeble green planet). IT IS YOUR SOBRIETY THAT MAKES YOU WEAK. PREPARE YOURSELF. PREPARE TO BE PURIFIED.

(James' arch nemesis, the Koala Commander, has sent Vulcan as a beacon of peace in these trying times.)

Vulcan's Message from the Koala Army (presented with a wrapped box of sacred chicken): "We shall join you in your fight against the Robot scourge. We will bring a funnel. And maybe a bottle of Jack Daniels. And maybe a few Chilton County Peaches. And a good mix tape. Happy Birthday to the Jim."

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Marble Staircases, Mini-relapse, and Michael Griffith

just spent a billion hours with my mother writing Thank You cards for wedding stuff. It took 1 husband being out of town, 1 cute puppy, 1 smallish MS relapse, and one strong cup of coffee to coerce me into doing such a thing. Yep.

1. James is in Cincinnati for the weekend. He has found an apartment for us. He's found a two bedroom apartment with a marble entranceway, 15 foot high ceilings, hard-wood floors, a balcony, a butler's pantry, two fire places... and heat and water are included. Sounds like a dream.

2. Mini-relapse/Restification Summer Edition - came on about two weeks ago. Have had another atrociously boring week and a half off where I couldn't do much (numbness, fatigue, blahblahblah), but My Darlings, I did read two rather wonderful collections of short stories.

A. One is by V.S. Pritchett (1900-1997), a Brit who wrote wonderful dirt about the upper class and made the lower class human. His last works were published in 1989, another collection. I couldn't imagine writing anything interesting when I'm 89 years old. I barely do it at 29. Dear lord, I hope I will still be able to see then...and hear...and that I'll be able to eat my soup with dignity.

B. The other collection is actually a novella and a few shorter works by Michael Griffith.. He is actually teaching a workshop at the University of Cincinnati this Fall, a workshop that Jim will be taking. Mr.Griffith's works seem to be mostly based in and around Baton Rouge. His stories are about communication between people, the chain of communication that links them all, what makes them act out, what makes them dry up. all brought upon by the way affect each others lives, no matter how small this way might be. But it's not just that. There's a delightful cloth of something dirty and dark draw all the way around and through. "Bibliophilia" about an aging Librarian forced to do rounds of the stacks, hoping not to have to carry out the moves she learned in Bouncer School on young lusty teenagers. There's also a young Egyptian hydrologist or soon to be in any event. He would love to be anything else in America other than an Egyptian hydrologist. His list of all of the wonderful occupations he sees goes on and on. I started thinking, why wasn't I an ice sculptress, or a laundress, or a flipper of burgers at Harry's place? I might have to sneak into James' lectures this fall. Do you think I could just go as James, you know, give him a day off. I'd have to grow a beard and most probably wear a tie and dress pants. Nope. My dress pants are French Wide Cuff (therefore they'd never believe it) and I'm not a big fan of shampooing my face. So no. James will just have to sneek a tape recorder in. dear ones. The lease starts on September 1 and if I get a job before that, we could be moving up to the Ohio-ness of Ohio rather soon. Holy crap, Birmingham. I am moving away. How does that feel? full of Joy and sadness and relief and awesomeness and dreams and light. I'm so full of the future that I'm just about to burst.

I'll start back to work on Monday, just to see how it goes. I'm sure it will be fine. I miss the ER a great deal when I'm away from it. I know that it must seem strange, but I do. I'll be glad to get back. After Monday, dear lord, call me, bombard me with emails, anything to get me out and seeing you before I leave this fair city. I've still several movies to see at the Alabama this summer. A few shows to see. Lots of coffee to drink etc...etc...etc

All my love,

Sara Leah

Friday, July 04, 2008

How Vulcan is celebrating the 4th

I hope to watch James Cagney awkwardly dance through "Yankee Doodle Dandy". Then I shall retire early. What are you kids up to?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

Chronicles from an ER on a Monday

Dear Lady in a wheelchair who won't stop eating the hamburger,

There is no one out to get you.

But I will say this. If you don't stop waving your greasy fast food bag in the air, insisting that your life is in will be...very very soon.


Ineda Latte


Searching For The Wrong Eyed Jesus

LOBIO on MiddleWestMeals


Have you been here yet?
Bookness Galore!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Birmingham's First Annual Bloom's Day Celebration

4pm at J. Clyde's on June 16th, 2008

Featuring passages from Dubliners, Ulysses, and Finnegan's Wake soaked in Guinness and irish whiskey.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Bloom's Day!

No full Irish breakfast this morning of sausages, rashers, toast, beans, and black and white puddings (which was offered in Dublin in 2004 before the 100th "Bloom's Day anniversary"of the fictional events described in James Joyces's book Ulysses). I broke my water glass getting out of bed and stumbled to make some brae burn apple yogurt for breakfast. A rather long train made me late for work and I have a roaring hangover from the small bit of wine we had at James' family's Father's Day Gathering yesterday. Seeing as today is an Irish holiday, I guess that in the very least I got the roaring hangover right.

This last December, Jimmy Joyce came to visit the Emergency room.

He gave B.O.B. the Frog a present (which contained a bar of lemon soap and a lucky potato)(B.O.B. was very upset because for the moment he did not have pockets to carry them around in).

This evening, James, Leah, and I will find a few pints and some poppyseed cake in a quiet place and read a bit of James Joyce's masterpiece. And then Jim will sleep with his feet next to my head. And Bloom's Day will be at an end.

PS - DETAILS! I need details about the Flaming Lips show at City Stages AND the Mark Kozelek show in New York. Come on! Spill the beans!

Thursday, June 12, 2008


is right now in her 17th hour of labor. Jaime is my best friend. She's been my best friend since 7th grade and she's having a baby. Right now. At a hospital over 500 miles away from where I sit at this very moment.

Excuse me while I freak out a little. I've tons of friends who've had babies. Heck, I helped to bring Canaduh's little girl, Indiana Scarlet, into this world. But, this? This is Jaime. This my best friend, my Shirley, my Diana. She's the Dino to my Jerry. She's the straight man with the great looks and good sense. And yes. I just compared myself to Jerry Lewis. Under the right circumstances, most of my friends would say that's pretty accurate, especially if there is a robot, a fingerpuppet, or a Mark Kozelek within 50 feet of me.

I've always done my best to keep Jaime up on whatever I'm listening to (which really means that since we were kids, I've commandeered the radio whenever possible. Sometimes that didn't work out and thus I know all of the words to "Cheeseburger in Paradise".) and get her out to shows when she'd come down to visit. One night we went out to the Nick to see the Goodies. It was really the first time I'd ever seen that light in Jaime's eyes. You know the light. Here's the best way I know to describe it:

Go to a Flaming Lips show. As Wayne Coyne walks out with a strobe light attached to his chest/People in Furry Bunny Suits run out into the audience/the whole audience throws confetti in the air at the beginning of a song, turn around and look for the light. This certain type of smile. The wheels are turning and there is warmth in that expression.

That is the smile that crept across Jaime's face as Holiday Childress took the stage in bowler hat and three piece suit. I've been to hundreds of shows over the years and that particular show is in my top 10. I've actually seen better Goodies performances, but to see it with Jaime, for her to enjoy it so much, made it something extraordinary.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wednesday! Wednesday!

I'm not sure how cool I am with produce distribution in the Emergency Room, but I just couldn't pass this up.

Sheila, our director of Nurse Education got it from her neighbor's garden.

Bloggy Blog Updates:
E* is BACK!
Yesterday - E about Andrew Bird!
Andrew Bird will be playing at Birmingham's City Stages this Weekend!
(Andrew Bird's Armchair Apocrypha is a definite driving soundtrack for me. It always reminds me of mid-day errands in the rain, especially up and down the streets of Southside.)

Chris Mitchell posted about the new set at CBS 42 featuring photography by one of my favorite local blogger/musician/picture-takers Brian T Murphy.

We are celebrating the birthday of Wade Hulsey!

(He's the guy in the background who is apparently so elated about the convo at T&A's house that he's fallen asleep.)(Sorry, Wade, that's the only picture I had of you on my computer.)

Wade has been cooped up for a couple of weeks, recovering from knee surgery, so we're totally excited to get him out and feed him lots of thai food.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Mark-Paul and Me

Dear World,

Why is Jason Collett trying to be Bob Dylan for the first half of his newest album?

For the same reason that throughout Dan (Destroyer)Bejar's latest, Trouble in Dreams, he stumbles all topsy-turvy in the drunken shadow of David Bowie. Not that David Bowie's shadow is particularly drunk.

(I'm a terrible drunken ghost!) Maybe Dan Bejar just got it drunk so it would tell him all it's secrets.

I enjoyed Dan's last album, Destroyer's Rubies, so much more. Maybe because of the production seemed so much more...I don't know...lush? It was full of sound, full of landscape, a landscape full of color and texture and light. Trouble in Dreams just seems so bare. I need to give it a few more turns, I think.

Back to Jason. Idols in Exile was disjointed and jubilant. Each song had it's own unique subject drowned or enveloped within an intense emotion. Each was a glipse into a day in the life and no matter how bi-polar those days were, each one, each song, viewed on it's own was valid and beautiful in it's own way.

So the new record. The first half is so rolled up in the Dylan with rambling vocals and low-grade sound that it is actually incredibly boring. But the second half. Beauty.

Once when I worked in the record store in Illinois, there was a young man who often came in to buy records. He thought he was Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Zach from "Saved by the Bell") and had an obsession with Chris Farley. Once he bought the Dukes of Hazzard soundtrack and discovered when he arrived home and gave it a listen that it was not exactly the same as the TV show theme song. He kept calling me about it over and over and over. Each time he would call, he would watch the beginning of his videotaped episode of Dukes of Hazzard, watch it to listen to the theme song and take note of the rather large "Yeehaw" sound at the end and then listen to the record, which did not include the yeehaw... Each time I explained that although it is different on each recording, one would not change to accomodate the other at any time, no matter how many time he played them side by side. "How can I make them change, Sara?"

"Magic, Mark-Paul."I replied. (We called him Mark-Paul, even though his real name was Joseph.) (He truly believed that he was the actor.)

He called me fifteen times that night. The next day he brought the soundtrack in and exchanged it for another one, reasoning that it was defective. I let him do this two more times, reasoning with him each time that there was nothing defective about the actual recording and just because something is one way on TV, it don't mean that it's the same on CD. He finally gave up. He brought the Dukes of Hazzard soundtrack in to the store one last time and I told him that he could exchange it for another CD. After two hours of deliberating (with an ice cream break in the middle) he brought me the Poison Double Live CD set. "Mark-Paul, I told you that you could exchange it for something of equal value. That cd set is almost double the price."

"I know, Sara Miller. I know. I just want half of it."

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Marriageness: The Beginning

We are now on the third morning of married life. I look at the clock - 5:59am. I jump out of bed, flipping on the lamp, exclaiming "OH MY GOD! I'm going to be late for work!" The Jim exercises his new rights as a husband by completely ignoring my freak-out and pulling my pillow over his head and going back to sleep. Smart boy. (My clock is set 10 minutes fast and it really only takes me about 15 minutes to get ready for work and about 45 to get to work. Therefore I had about 10 minutes of free time to properly freak out, frantically make breakfast, and search for my keys, earrings, and shoes all over the apartment.) I made it to work on time. (Jim is probably smiling in his sleep right now. He knows me very well indeed.)

On the way home from the Redmont on Sunday, Jim and I picked up She and Him (the new Zooey Deschanel & M.Ward record) and Broken Social Scene presents: Kevin Drew. I wish I'd had time to really listen to them. Instead, the Jim and I have spent the last two days either stretched out on the davenport watching old movies (The Thin Man, Auntie Mame, Vivian Leigh in Anna Karenina) or playing the Bed, Bath, & Beyond version of Supermarket Sweep courtesy of our multitude of gift cards! Hurrah!

Pictures! I know! Pictures to be posted of the ceremony and receptions! And of crazy, drunken Bocce Ball Bachelorette Party!!! Hurrah!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Looking Back - HFAGS Dec 2006

Hope For Agoldensummer will be playing at Workplay on Friday, May 16th with The White Oaks. Their latest album, Ariadne Thread, was released in late 2007.

Here's a short chachipiece from Dec 2006, brought along by Hope For Agoldensummer's previous album i bought a heart made of art in the deep, deep south.

Laying down the gun....

This morning as I mindlessly packed my little bag for work, I pulled the Hope For Agoldensummer album from the towering stack of cds sitting dangerously close to my bed and slipped it into the inside pocket. I had to bring it with me, because every time I've taken a moment to daydream in these last two days, every minute wonderfully wasted, I hear "Laying Down the Gun" and it has been building and building and building into a frenzied triumphant chorus.

I see my friend Sunni just as she sat on her couch Saturday night, leaning back with Ralph's steel guitar, pushing her golden hair out of her eyes and picking out the all of the tiptoeing, intricate loveliness of every line as we sang the harmonies high and whispered:

"It turns out, instead of blood you've got love songs traveling through your veins. What I found were all the words you ever sang tapped into the bones of your rib cage...."

I think of the first time I saw it performed live, upstairs at the Moonlight, the tense and burning energy turning around the stage. Deb Davis and her xylo. Will Taylor wavering from side to side, cello churning. Claire's eyes are closed. She's sitting straight and tall, her face turned up into the light as she's crying out:

"Instead of stopping our hearts, we play music because we're rock stars.
We come together and we work and we fall apart...."

I listen to the song again and again and it burns brighter every time.

"I play music because I'm in love with silence and sound. Just like a machine I picked my pen...."

And all of the sudden, it stops.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Marry Mix/ Chronicles from the ER (on a Tuesday)

I've asked my cousin Brandon to play the music for the wedding. I've been going through my stacks of records trying to pick out can I narrow it down? Worse, how can I find some appropriate happy music, beautiful music that I love for the wedding? I've realized more and more as I've organized the last years worth of music lying at the foot of my bed just how dark my palate really is. Even the upbeat music tends to be about awful things, like a twist of Magnetic Fields or a ride on the roller coaster of an M. Ward record. M. Ward, with his dancey saloon songs so full of death and disappointment, afterthoughts and whimsically damaged dreams, always makes me happy.

I wish I could write Tiny Mix Tapes for some suggestions:

"Mark Kozelek couldn't play my wedding, the spring flowers made him cheerful."


Some guy just walked up to my desk with a baby and said "Hey! We just left the hospital and realized we took the wrong we thought we'd bring him back." He held out the baby and all of these thoughts started swirling through my head, my face froze and I stopped. "Nahhh Girl. Just kidding! Got you! Got you! Where's the food court?" His family walked up behind him as I slowly pointed the way and they all started laughing.

Monday, May 12, 2008

mothers day and other halves

My mother got some Neutrogena products, a loofah, some chocolate, and a song.

I sang with her church choir. Actually, I should say that it's my father's choir, since he is the music minister. I'm not much of a church person, even though I come from a long line of missionaries and fire-and-brimstone Southern Baptist preachers, so it meant a great deal that I came (on time) and sang, standing next to my father and near to my mother on that small stage.

Mother. We went shopping, which is usually a quite life-threatening experience, and somehow through the eyelet sleeves and teal blue linen carnage we both survived.

I have to say that I suspect she might have become a Feist fan through the weekend. SHe had to listen to the record three or four times as we drove from store to store and around and around looking for parking spaces. I think I saw her nod her head a few times to the beat, though I'm not sure. She may have just been popping her jaw (she has a history of TMJ). She is definately not a fan of Broken Social Scene although I know that she does enjoy the better part of Jason Collett's "Idol's of Exile".

She tends to scoff a bit at the music I love, at least when we're in public. To her, pretty much all of it is noise. She spends her driving days listening to the sweet sounds of the Brothers Cazimero or to the soundtrack of the 1987 original Broadway production of Les Miserables. Because of her, I know every single word of that musical. Every single word, every note, every stage direction...

Because of her, I also know every word to Lewis Carroll's the Jabberwocky. This talent has come in handy many times over the course of my life, as you can imagine. Very popular with Jim. Also performed at random during parties where much alcohol has been consumed (it is to be understood that this has not happened for some time).

Thursday, Jim and I will run away to the Great Metropolis of Columbiana to get the marriage license. That's so crazy. That's so awesome. And also, Jim tells me that I must change my Sikahip Eel Semaj, which is such a strange name that I don't quite understand. I guess I'll just have to get used to it. Oh. I just got it. It's his name spelled backwards. Nice. It's Monday. I'm a little slow.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Look what I made on Craft Night!

Shut up! I know. The wedding is two weeks away! Merrilee said it would be a great idea to make a little Jim puppet and have them exchange vows later on at the reception. Yes, the reception at the bottletree that I've not even sent invites out for...I'm so behind. Shut up. You won't mind a finger puppet making booth next to the half eaten wedding cake will you? Super.

I can't stop listening to this:

Monday, April 28, 2008

things mean alot

I turned the key in the ignition and reached down to release the parking brake. Turning to glance behind me, turning to pull the seat belt across, I smiled and smiled and smiled. It was the first day that I felt this certain freedom. My cloudy eye was clearing, my strength had returned. I was to meet Angela and Leah for an afternoon of shopping and for the first time in so long I didn't need Jim or my brother or my mom to drive me. I cannot express to you the joy of just driving down the street in my small neighborhood, turning on my radio, switching out cds in the stereo...Brad Armstrong's voice slow and steady through the speakers. I have the new record by 13ghosts, "The Strangest Colored Lights". Travis brought me a copy while I was in the hospital. I had heard a version of it last year while I was still with the Bucket. Listening to it, I felt quite blown away. The newest version is even better, the song sequence more refined. One of the many things that I love about 13ghosts is the play that occurs throughout each album between Buzz and Brad. They are like two sides of a coin, Buzz with his spacey pop laced with shredded rock and Brad's crunchy, wheaty alt-county outlined in futuristic tones. The end result is this gorgeous twist and turn of a summer's day, like a soundtrack, like a very lucid dream.

Saturday night, after the long day of shopping, Jim and I drove over to the Bottletree for the Raindrop Music Festival. It was my first show in over six weeks and it was worth the wait. I got so see so many people I've not seen in a long time and two of my favorite bands, Through The Sparks and Vulture Whale. I have to say this: Vulture Whale? ON FIRE. Amazing. Wes McDonald was absolutely hilarious. Les and Keelan and Jake were the ultimate rockness. On the way home, Jim turned to me and said "You know, Vulture Whale is the best band in Birmingham. It's true. They are. And I don't know if they have any idea how good they are." I think they know of the magnitude of their rock and revel in it.

Speaking of reveling, Jim got into the PHD program for Creative Writing at the University of Cincinnati. They gave him a full fellowship. Hurrah! This means that my new Mister and I will be moving to Ohio in late August. I'm so excited! I've never been to Cincinnati before, so if any of you know anything about that fair city, please feel free to send me a line.


p.s. Amber just sent me this pic. In her boredom with the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple, she's decided to grow a mustache:

I think she should keep on growing it until the wedding. I've always dreamed of a hot handlebar mustache on my maid-of-honor.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


I stood to the side of the stage. I stood with one foot in front of the other, hands pushed deep into my pockets. Cherry colored lights beamed down upon you. Heat and smoke surrounded us all. I couldn’t breathe. You caught my breath with your downcast eyes and lazy, quiet voice.


April. Jim handed me the CD and said, "It’s called April." I smiled. The new Sun Kil Moon record. What a way to end such a good day. Yesterday was the last day of steroids. I’m so glad. So glad. Thanks for sticking with me through all of this. I’m so lucky. I’m so blessed. And right now, it’s so good to hear Mark Kozelek’s voice, his lazy, quiet voice and his meandering guitar. This is the first record that I’ve really listened to in a long while. So strange, especially since my whole life for so long has revolved around music. While stumbling through this mess of a relapse, I feel like I sort of lost myself. I feel like parts of my life just toppled while I tried so hard to keep everything balanced. It didn’t matter what I did. This disease is so unpredictable. I hadn’t had a relapse in four years. Four years. I had the small symptoms everyday, the numbness, the dull aches, pins and needles, the fatigue, but I learned to live with it. That’s what you do. You go on. Embrace this strange and wonderful life you’re given. I embraced it. I saw the beauty in it. I made the best of it. I hoped. I hoped against hope that this would never happen again. The Avonex did it’s job at least. It may not have stopped the attack, but it did lessen the severity. And that means all the world.

Tonight Jim took me to Workplay for a dinner and lecture hosted by EMD Serono. It was your run-of-the-mill "You should totally take our disease modifying drugs" deal. Jim and I have been to another of these recently hosted by Biogen Idec. They are all the same. They feed you and then make you sit through a long lecture listing facts and figures from all of the latest research. The dessert was pretty tasty, some sort of chocolate pie. I really did enjoy the evening. I got to dress up and go out with my best guy. I made some new friends. And I got to see this video, a short film by MS Ambassador Kristie Salerno Kent.

Um..."I don't think it's a coincidence that the word Dreams ends in an MS."
Hilarious. (Although, I don't think it was supposed to be funny) Jim and I both agreed that the mall sequence was really great. I think it gave Jim a better understanding of symptoms. It's hard sometimes to describe what I'm going through. From now on, when I'm trying to explain, I'll just pull out my high heels and scuba gear and he can go to town.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Metropol 47

Benadryl was probably not the best idea for the middle of the day. Yet I really thought I needed it to combat the side effects of everything else. And so I lay, curled up, tucked in, upon the white wicker couch in the sunroom. My sleepy tears and nervous hands folded within a large pink pillow. My feet searching along the bottom arm of the sofa for rest. The sunlight spent the afternoon weaving around Jim’s form. His head was bent over multi-colored folders, his hand traced his thoughts with a blue pen. I watched him work a while and then turned towards the wall, the fan swept air coming down and keeping my warm face company. Sleep. Just a little while.

Metropol 47

Flash your smile and face at me
Open your eyes wide at me
Lay down every day with me
Until the long gone days

Speak a native tongue to me
Say some funny things to me
Roll around and laugh with me
Until the long gone days

Take me around the city streets
Find us pretty things to eat
Find us something good to drink
But buy me one more day

One more day to know this place
To kiss your sweet koala face
To love you deep into the night
To feel you underneath me

- Mark Kozelek/Rock N Roll Singer


Mother took me dress shopping last night. Bridal tea for the family this weekend. I don’t know how I feel about it, actually. The trip itself was way too much for me. Funny. I couldn’t wait to get out of this house for an evening, and by then end of it I was begging to return. The dress is beautiful, though. And it will be really good to see so much of my family in one place, at one time. So many of my friends too. I feel I’ve been away too long. I’ve been out today 3 weeks. Crazy. Ah, well.

On Sunday, Dutch drove me to meet Traci for a movie. He retreated to 10,000BC while Trace and I sat smiling through "Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day." It was a sweet movie. The set design was absolutely fantastic. I’ve been watching so many movies from the 1930’s and 40’s lately and have greatly admired the different elements of style throughout both decades. In Pettigrew, they brought all of these gorgeous backdrops that I’ve really only ever seen in Black and White and turned them into dreams of glorious color, of form and function, so vibrant and rich. A few of the rooms seemed ripped straight from "Shall We Dance" and "The Women." I do actually wish that someone had used that incredible bathtub design from homewrecker Joan Crawford’s bathroom in "The Women". Absolutely beautiful and quite scandalous, with the glass sides and everything. Also, if you ever do see "The Women" please explain to me the Technicolor Fashion show and Rosalind Russell’s character.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Great Escape of Escapism

I have to ask this first:

Who in the world thought it would be a good idea to invite actress Rose McGowan to co-host TCM’s THE ESSENTIALS? I’ve been watching it every week. I ADORE Robert Osborne. I love to hear what he has to say about film, the little back stories that have been dug up for the feature presentation. I tune in early when watching films on TCM just so I can hear these little tidbits of who didn’t like to work with whom and which co-stars were secretly in love and strange filming locations and how much they went over budget, etc... I do not want to hear Miss McGowan refer to Steve McQueen as an "It" person, admit that she’s not sexist, and say that films like "The Great Escape" are really escapism.


In any event.
Now that that’s over, I’m going to escapism right back into my Netflix and watch 4 more episodes of "The Duchess of Duke Street".

Restication News: I’m getting around pretty well. My balance is getting better every single day. Jim takes me on a drive most days, to get me out of the house, so I can get a little bit of sunshine. He took me to Barnes and Noble today so I could pick out some stationary. I picked out a few notecard sets that I liked, but got a little lightheaded before long, so we had to go home. I’m going to be working on wedding stuff all this week from my lovely floral couch and I wanted to have some pretty cards to use in correspondence. I’ll have to see if a Parental Unit can stop back by tomorrow to pick them up. I’ll be gathering guest lists for Wedding Partiness. Email me yours if you believe I may not have it, if you’ve moved in the last two years, changed your name, gotten married, or joined the peace corps and just want me to write to you while overseas. That’s all I want. Lots of addresses from the people I love best.

We’ve another whole week until I see the great Opthamologist (who will tell me "Good! At least it’s not worse!") and the Neurologist (who will make me touch my fingers to my nose and ask me to walk in a straight line and then he will hit me in the knee with a rather small rubber triangle and my leg will kick and he will smile because it means that I have good reflexes) and until then I plan to keep my self busy. Not terribly busy. I’ve still got to rest. But I will be eating well (send me some good vegetarian soup recipies!) and getting enough sleep and will be doing my balance exercises. I’ll be walking down the street with Emilybird a bit in the mornings. Then it will be time to get busy, wedding planning, consolidation of my things, boxing things up for my future, getting rid of all of those things from the past (Don’t worry, the Planet of the Apes dolls go with me) (So does the Baby Smurf doll that Dutch brought me back from France 25 years ago). CD organization, poster framing...

OH! And I haven’t told you of my latest project. I’ve boxes of old show T-shirts, from years around crappy midwest bar bands to Greenville College, and the hardcore scene in St. Louis to the festival circuit, to the south, working for the X and the record stores, seeing bands play in garages, late night parties, later nights at the Nick... The t-shirts I’ve held on to were the ones that meant something, particular show, particular band, particular moment etched in my memory and it didn’t matter how battered or tattered they became, I held on. I held on for old time’s sake. So now I want to take all of these beautiful rags and make a quilt. It would be a quilt of my music soundtrack, my music life. Monica is going to help me with the planning. As far as I can see it helps in so many ways. I’ll be doing something that will help rehabilitate this silly slow and weak right hand of mine. I’ll be emptying out several boxes that I could be using for other purposes. My mother will be so happy that she’ll never have to see me in my off-the-shoulder "Vessels of Sin" t-shirt again. And I’ll have a freaking amazing quilt to use in the start of my new household, my new life as Mrs. Jim.

Now I can’t stop smiling when thinking about it. Yes. It’s been a terrible few weeks. SO much uncertainty, fear of what was to come next. Well, toss all of that fear right out of the window. I’m getting better every day. I’ll do my best. And when you see me next, my dear and lovely friends, I’d better be smiling, because I have so much to look forward to, so much to be happy about!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Thursday Night Netflix

Someone ought to have a talk with my sleeping medication. Tell it to work...or something. This is the third-billionth night since on these steroids that my eyes just haven't been able to close. So here I am with you, full of Sara Leah Late Night 'roid Rage" and wondering why I just spent two hours watching Frank Capra's "You Can't Take It With You" on Netflix. Lionel Barrymore and his crutches were superb (they both deserved an academy award) (or I guess all three of them). The live kitten paperweight was hilarious and astounding. The "Madcap" antics of this freewilled family - chosen well, and could have had the kind of mix-chaos moments that would have made Uncle Teddy (Arsenic and Old Lace) seem as docile as my Uncle Michael (seminary professor and composer). All of the right elements were there, live birds, portrait painting, candy-tasting, darts and target, ballet dancing while executing household chores, xylophone and harmonica duets, firecracker production in the basement with frequent explosions...
Why couldn't they pull this beautiful mess into something more? The script by Riskin ("It Happened One Night" and Mr Deeds Goes to Town") taken from the Kaufman and Hart pulizter Prize winning play" You Can't Take it with you" was to have been worthwhile. These young men were writing the snappiest, most forward and fun thinking comedy around. Was it Capra? Don't know. The film itself has so many signature Capra moments, speechs, monologues of isms and America. The delivery of lines, the set up of shots seems to falter, awkward silences and rambling conversations.
I wish I could understand why through all of this snail-like dialoque and sober plot twists, in the end....I wish I knew why I was still crying. Maybe because I'm always happy for Jean Arthur to find love. Maybe because I was glad Barrymorre once more played his harmonica and with that signal...everything would be alright. Maybe I was just crying with happiness that it was finally over and I could start downloading the Peter O'Toole flick "My Favorite Year"(1982) which I've heard so much about. And since becoming completely captivated with him in the cheery Christ/Murder/Musical "The Ruling Class" (1972), I thought, might as well.

Monday, March 24, 2008


Hello Dear Ones!

I am home. Doing much better. My balance is improving everyday. I've been trying to rest. That's a difficult task, especially today, since I realized I've exactly two months to get ready for the wedding. Craziness. My vision loss seems to have plateaued. The opthamologist stated on Friday that the steroid infusion may have slowed it down or stopped it from getting worse. We'll know more in the next few days.

Keep me in your thoughts and prayers. And thank you so much for all of your words of encouragement and support. It's been tough. But I know that I am surrounded by love and that's made all the difference.


Monday, March 17, 2008

"All I Do is Dream of You" by Arthur Freed

I wish that I could express to you the strange and wonderful contentment that I get from from listening to Gene Kelly’s quiet croon send this sweet song into a cloud. Nothing at all like the flash and jump version from the party scene in SINGING IN THE RAIN. It was one of the many surprises that I found in the EMI Music Resource : THE STANDARDS. Amber gave this collection back to me before she left for New York. I can truthfully say that I am glad she held onto it for a while. During it’s furlough, I learned to truly appreciate it. For the last 9 months, I’ve been stumbling happily through a rather large catalogue of Hollywood musicals (thank you Netflix), and pulling Jim kicking and screaming all the way...well maybe not kicking and screaming. He loves Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, enjoys a good Stanley Donen or George Stevens musical, and the Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields, and Arthur Freed songs keep bringing smile after smile to his handsomely bearded face. In the midst of this whirlwind of song and dance, I picked up a colleciton of Astaire recordings. I listened to it so much that the words of the silliest tap-dancingest songs stuck in my head for days and days. I listened to it at home, at work in the Cancer Center, in my car. I couldn’t stop. I found my feet tapping along under the covers when I listened to it in bed. I’ve always thought my life a musical filled with these sorts of songs. No one bursts into them in front of me, but Jim can tell you that I definitely burst into them enough for everyone else. The constant flow of Musicals in the mail and the Astaire collection prepared me for the gem that I was returned to me a couple of weeks ago. The Standards... Frank Sinatra? Of course. Dean Martin. Yep. Billie Holliday, Cab Calloway, Mario Lanza, Mel Torma, Ella, Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett...yes. But oh...Sarah Vaughn...Bea Wain with Larry Clinton and his Orchestra....Kitty Kallen...a little bit of Fats Waller...

Awesome. Total Awesomeness.

Tomorrow morning, bright and early, I report to Brookwood Hospital for a short stay. A few days really. For any of you who’ve been missing me at the old St. Vincent’s ER, I’’ve missed you too. I’m in the midst of a relapse. They found some dark spots on my spinal cord. Travmo has suggested that I just get it whitened. Just line up some of those Crest Whitening strips down my back and I’m set. Unfortunately, MS doesn’t work that way. I’ve just got to work through the flare up. The steroid infusion that I’m going to get will help me do it. As is usual with Multiple Sclerosis, there’s no telling what caused the exacerbation, whether it was stress or a seasonal illness set it off. I think that it was the egg sandwich that I got from Whataburger on my way home from the Vulture Whale show a week or so ago. Jim doesn’t quite buy that one.

So. Email me. Call me. Come by. Whatever. Let me know how you’re doing. I’ve spent a good week staring at the TV (mostly TCM, but a little bit of Bravo) (What is up with those Housewives of NYC? Could we not just give them Southern Accents, some Vicoden, and send them to Seaside and say that they are the Housewives of Mountain Brook?) (Dude, Bravo would save like a THIRD in production costs doing that show here.)
As you can see, I’ll be ready for a few friendly faces and some good conversation and you can check out my new Whale patterned PJs. They’re awesome.

Love you!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

View From An Emergency Department Waiting Room

It is a dark and dreary day outside.

There is a small, quiet, leafless tree right outside my window. It contains, wedged between it's delicate branches, a tiny nest. What an unhappy little home, probably built over the summer when everything was green and leafy. How was the mama bird to know how bleak and barren her resting place was to become?

Across the highway, upon the telephone lines that tower over the Nick, rest about a hundred black birds. They crowd together, close to the pole. They sit there all day, rain or shine. I often wonder why they don't venture out to perch on the lovely, large trees all around them. I guess that sitting above the constant zooming traffic gives them some enjoyment. It would certainly be some entertainment, watching all of the merging and passing. All of the daring stunts that people pull off these days while driving down the highway.

Turning his wee head towards his companion, Benji Pigeon ruffled his wings, "Hey Harold! Did you see that lady in the SUV? She's amazing! She was talking on her cell phone and putting on lipstick at the same time, all while steering with her left knee. That's so incredible! I wish I had knees."

"And hands, fingers, and a cell phone," grumbled Harold, "so I could call her and tell her that she's about to hit that ugly, bright yellow Crown Victoria...Whoa! Dude. That was a close one."

Harold leaned forward, grimacing. "Why DO they call that 'the bird'? That offends me so much. It doesn't even look like one of our feathered friends. I've seen some kids make some shadow puppets that would be appropriately named that. I love shadow puppets. One time I sat outside of the window at this big house on Highland and..."

"That's so weird." Benji hopped to the side and back again.


"Peeping in on a human kid's playtime."

"It's fun! They can do so many things that we can't do."

"For instance?"

"Well...draw pictures, play scrabble, eat peanut butter sandwiches with the crusts cut off."

"We can eat peanut butter sandwiches, Harold."

"If you want to call that eating. If I had hands, I'd pick up one of those beautiful know I love it when moms cut them in triangles. Cutting sandwiches in half, totally boring."

"I think you think about this too much. Seriously, did you see the way that Grandma I-Forgot-To-Take-My-Meds in that boat of an Oldsmobile pulled out in front of the horse-faced guy in the white BMW? If he hadn't stopped with the hair flipping in the rearview mirror, they might have ended up with a real crunch fest. That was awesome."

"Yes. That WAS awesome," sighed Harold, staring at the tip of his wing. "Peanut butter and jelly."

"Did you say something?" Benji leaned forward.

"No. Nothing."

Thursday, January 03, 2008

New Year, New Monster


Sockfield Orestes Fitzcreature

I stitched him together last night while Jim sat at the glass table in the sun room to work on his computer. My parents have commandeered all of the televisions in their house and stacked them one on top of the other to create a Wall of Sports in the living room. So without a television in the sun room and as I was not in the mood to resume one of the fifteen books I have stacked next to my bed, I decided to create something. If any of you are still looking for something to get me as a late Christmas present...I could use a nice, sturdy thimble...actually, I could use ten of them.


song totally stuck in my head today:

Anyone Else But You by The Moldy Peaches

It's been playing on the jukebox in my head ever since Jim and I saw Juno on January 1.