Saturday, January 30, 2010

talking gratitude here

so there's this oddly famous lady in salt lake who has the world's longest fingernails. literally. she's in the guinness book of world records and everything, which why? what would take you to that place where you wanted to make that your life's goal? at least when i was in mutual they forced you to make practical goals involving exercising and scripture reading and NOT growing your nails out two feet so you could scare the holy crap out of kids who came to your house for trick-or-treating purposes.

anyway. i was talking to a man the other day who used to work at a store where this nail lady shopped. she would try on rings sometimes and the process took a lot of time and a LOT of assistance from store employees who had to slide and loop those rings up the nail until they hit her ring finger. and every time this guy would go home and say WTH. how does she do anything, ANYTHING. AND I MEAN ANYTHING with those things.

i, on the other hand, have one extremely excellent good hand which can do many many many things.

and i am grateful.

and now i and my excellent hand are off to tooele again to speak again. this time to a women's conference. tooele has become my home away from home this month.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

in medias res

so some days i wear red lipstick. which OF COURSE makes me look EXACTLY like christina aguilera. in fact, there i'll be shopping for produce in the produce section at my smiths. and suddenly people are saying look! it's x-tina! Hey, x-tina! can we have your autograph?

anyway. i started putting on my red lipstick este manana. which is NOT a job that requires two hands. it does, however, require your dominant hand. otherwise, it looks like someone has been coloring outside the lines on your lips.

halfway through i looked at myself in the bathroom mirror and went oh wow. this isn't working.

meanwhile no one looked up from a vegetable bin in smiths and called me x-tina today.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


with two thumbs is HARD when you're old. texting with one non-dominant thumb is impossible. yesterday i sat in the dr's office and watched a teenage boy text away like la la la la la la la this is no big freaking deal and suddenly i started imagining bad things happening to his cocky young thumbs.

i ate french fries at hires last night--a pleasure still available to the thumbless ones.

Monday, January 25, 2010

here's another hard thing to do when your fingers are in a cast

flip people off

which i pretty much wanted to do today

but no one would have noticed

and i had to use the other hand to drive

Sunday, January 24, 2010

i'm taking lisa b's suggestion

and i'm going to write many tiny essays about being one-handed. because really it's consuming my life. and also affecting every thing i do. like getting dressed in the morning for instance.

this morning as it took me 30 minutes to hook one hook on my bra--i'm old enough to wear one now--i thought how much easier it would be if i could just spray paint my clothes on. and then they would always be on. i'd rolled out of bed. and BOOM. they would be on. i'd step out of the shower and BOOM. they would be on. that is if the spray paint were water-proof.

and so i got all excited about this idea. and i even planned out my spray paint ensemble, including decorative daisies. and then it occurred to me that i would have to spray paint on my new clothes WITH MY LEFT HAND.

and that would be hard.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

something else that's hard when you just have one hand

eating lunch at a Brazilian steakhouse.

because they feed you MEAT. which you must cut. which is like clapping with one hand. only in a much less zen kind of way. because really when you sit there looking at your beautiful meat which you CANNOT CUT you want to take your steak knife and stab someone. which, the last time i checked, is totally unzen. i am pretty sure you would not find buddhist monks stabbing each other in tucanos at the gateway.

good thing geoff was there to cut my meat. also to stand on his chair and limply shake a tambourine when the waiters brought his gratis b-day dessert and sang happy birthday to him. they made him do it. and i laughed. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

even though he cut my meat for me.

Friday, January 22, 2010

what people say about you

so i heard a story on the radio just now about how some doctors want to make their patients sign agreements promising that they--the patients--won't say anythings snotty about them--the doctors.

yes. i know. that was a gangly sentence but i'm too tired and lame to fix it.

anyhoo. i went SERIOUSLY? why do doctors think they can do that? A lot of professionals--football coaches, politicians, owners of charming little tea shops, brad and angelina, WRITERS-- have to deal with people saying snarky things online about them all the time.

look. it's reprehensible that people are so casually cruel in their comments at times. but if you enter the public forum in any way, well then you can't gag your fellow citizens.

doesn't mean you should go googling yourself though. THAT can only lead to hurty feelings.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

purple cow

i'm off to tooele today to visit the lovely isla at her sweet store the purple cow. there will be talk of boys and books, thanks to the utah humanities council public square program. and then i may possibly get the opportunity to sign a few books with my left hand. good times!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

the death of everything

it's january so of course i am thinking about death . . .

in this case i'm thinking about the death of literary magazines as bemoaned in a recent article in funding is being cut everywhere and so many lit mags have folded and i'm wondering in some ways is this not a good thing? certainly in the last 30 years there has been a surfeit of short fiction that only other grads of mfa programs care to read. maybe short fiction might become something less self-indulgent, something more satisfying to read.

anyway. the world of print is a-changing. all the venues i've published in--newspapers, magazines, whatever. will they even be around in ten years?

i'm trying to see this as opportunity somehow.

Monday, January 18, 2010

and also what i've been reading since christmas

THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU--hysterically funny dysfunctional family saga. VERY sexual at times, so be advised.

THE SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE--charming and deftly written murder mystery set in 50's rural England. At times the main character, Flavia, got on my nerves, though.

Now reading WARLOCK, a literary western (of course) for my book club. It's a worthy book full of worthy discussable themes, but i probably wouldn't finish it if i didn't have to give a book report on it.

What are y'all reading?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

observation apropos of nothing

yesterday my mom (aka the rodeo queen) gave me a scentsy which is a non-candle candle thing that makes your house not smell like 2 dogs and 3 cats. it's really powerful and i think most people would walk in here and go wow! spicy vanilla. but i walk inhere and go wow! oral surgeon's office because our oral surgeon always has suffocating pumpkin cndles burning in his office.

so now my house smells like oral surgery.

it's like when i started having our babies at women's centers as opposed to mere hospitals, the rooms were filled with baskets of eucalyptus to give them a nice homey feel--the kind you'd get at a bed and breakfast in vermont. but i just felt like i was suddenly having our babies at a craft store.

either that or the quilted bear.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

but what does it mean

when an idea strikes i often jot down a single word to capture it. later, when i'm ready to write, the word or phrase jogs my memory and off i go.

except not always.

i just found a scrap of paper with the phrase FAKE GHOST. clearly this was an idea for something. BUT WHAT? what did i want to say about FAKE GHOSTS? and just what is a fake ghost anyway?

i despair. truly.

Friday, January 15, 2010

when you have just one hand

putting on panty hose is hard


So then i go stop your damn whining and put on your damn panty hose

you can bet jim abbott wouldn't be whining if he were putting on panty hose

Monday, January 11, 2010


but type like crap

thanks for happy wishes today

I'm goin' to the hopsital and I'm gonna have surgery

The above is to be sung to the tune of "I'm goin' to the Chapel."

Surgery on my hand today, folks! Last year's break resulted in this year's frayed tendon, so hopefully we can get it all fixed up for good. I won't have the trauma of a break, but my thumb will be immobilized (and wrist will be in another cast), so I may actually be more useless for a couple weeks than I was the last time around. But I will blog if I can.

Meanwhile, IF I DIE TODAY, thanks for reading. You're good friends.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

COMPLETELY disturbing moment

The other day I wrote a column about how my dogs were refusing to eat dog food. And then I started to worry. Hadn't I read a column on this subject recently? So I looked at a lot of blogs, searching for dog-feeding stories, only to come up empty.

Anyhoo. I read the column to my son. And he laughed. And then he said, "But, Mom, this is a lot like the column you did last summer."

So yeah I'M RIPPING OFF MYSELF NOW. Which makes me the ultimate hack. Meanwhile, I tweaked the new column, making it sound like I meant to write about the same thing twice. Clever Me. Clever Scary Profoundly Disturbed Me.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Faux resolutions

Lisa B. asked to see my resolutions for famous people. Here's the piece I did for the desnews this week on the same subject.

Yup. It’s that time of the year when my brother Jimmy and I draw up a list of resolutions we REALLY wish famous people would make. Here you go—the 2009 edition, from our homes to yours.
TIGER WOODS I: I resolve to play “golf” . . . not “the field.”
TIGER WOODS II: I resolve to learn how to apologize . . . in Swedish.
MRS. TIGER I: “Forlat mig.” Ja! That’s how you say it.
MRS. TIGER II: But don’t bother.
MRS. DAVID LETTERMAN: What she said.
JON GOSSELIN I: I resolve never to make anyone look at me wearing an Ed Hardy t-shirt in public again.
JON GOSSELIN II: I resolve never to make anyone look at me in public again PERIOD.
BALLOON BOY PARENTS: The next time we think about squandering other people’s time, money, and goodwill, we promise to take ourselves behind the woodshed and give us a good licking.
AL FRANKEN (D-Minnesota): The next time I’m tempted to go all holier-than-thou on the Senate floor, I promise to remind myself I used to play someone named Stuart Smalley on Saturday Night Live.
SARAH PALIN (R-Alaska): The next time I blow through Salt Lake City with my “I-respect-the-hardworking-people-of-America” routine, I promise NOT to stiff another hardworking hairdresser who resides there.
LEVI JOHNSON: Hey, America! Look at me! Look at me!
BRAD PITT: I resolve to just say NO to nasty facial hair.
CITIZENS OF UTAH: We resolve to just say NO to nasty nuclear waste.
ROD BLAGOJEVICH (D-Illinois): Me + Hair Jokes = Shooting Fish in a Barrel.
LINDSAY LOHAN: Oh, Honey. Where to start?
CARLOS BOOZER: I will not covet an offer from the Miami Heat . . . at least not publicly.
URBAN MEYER I: I resolve to retire from college football.
JAY LENO I: I resolve to retire from television.
JAY LENO II: Or not!
KARDASHIAN SISTERS I: Why are we famous?
KARSHASHIAN SISTERS II: Seriously. WHY are we famous?
MR. AND MRS. SALAHI: Hey, America! Look at us!
TRACY MORGAN: I resolve to keep that Tracy Jordan Crazy Train rolling!
BCS: We resolve to give EVERYONE a fighting chance.
CARRIE PREJEAN: I resolve NOT to make any more home movies.
KANYE WEST: If Taylor Swift wins another award at the VMAs this year, I promise to stay home.
BRET FAVRE: Yo. Whatever it is I’m doing to keep these guns loaded, I’m gonna keep right on doing it.
MADONNA I: Anyubody wanna see MY guns?
MADONNA II: Because these days I am just a one-woman gun show!
CHARLIE SHEEN: I will try to improve myself by becoming as good a person as my TV character in “Two and Half Men.”
HUGH HEFNER: I can’t believe I’m still alive. And still wearing silk pajamas.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

This? Or this?

Here's the context. Our young heroine is eating at Sizzler (of course) with her parents who tell her that the family is moving. The character panics. Which sentence better describes her reaction?

This? "I thought I might spin away if I didn't grip the table's edge."

Or this? "I grabbed the table's edge so I wouldn't spin away."

That was my bit of revision today. I changed the first sentence into the second because it occurred to me I should have my character DOING instead of THINKING about doing. I'm surprised by how much I do that, actually--make things too interior, which just. slows. everything. down.

On the food front, I think I might be over cupcakes.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Setting goals for 2010

Over at Throwing Up Words, my funny friends Carol Williams and Ann Dee Ellis have been urging fellow writers to set writing goals. And I enjoyed Louise Plummer's post about resolutions at Five Crows. So now I feel like I oughta set some goals (other than the ones I make every year for famous people) (because making resolutions for other people is so much EASIER than making them for yourself).

Anyway. Here are a few.

1. Read More. I'm kind of shocked by how much I don't read these days, and I want to correct that. To wit, I'll read in the morning because THEN I won't fall asleep.

2. Write (something!) (anything!) M-F.

3. Don't order soda at restaurants (ha!).

4. Think about running a marathon.

5. You'll notice I said "think."

What else? Enjoy friends. Go on dates with Ken. Rehabilitate my right thumb. Call my mother every day. Set limits for myself when it comes to buying more holiday decorations.

Still deciding . . .

Monday, January 4, 2010

Stuff you can do at 3:00 a.m.


That would be the ideal thing to do at 3:00 a.m. And that's what I wish I could do right now, but somehow I can't. So I think, instead, I'll just read. Right now in my pile I have a mystery called THE SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE, which my son gave me for Christmas based on recommendations made by Anne and Margaret at TKE. Maybe I'll dive into that.

Any suggestions for an insomniac?

I had key lime pie for dessert last night btw.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Bree Despain

TKE is having an awesome launch party for awesome Bree Despain and her first novel THE DARK DIVINE. Rumor has it that purple fingernail polish will be involved . . .

Come! Greet! Enjoy!!

Oh and Happy New Year's btw.