Monday, May 24, 2010

I can't explain this

But I watched the final episode of LOST last night. Even though I have never watched LOST. And guess what? It made me cry. So what I have learned from this experience is that I never have to watch an entire movie or follow a series or read a complete book again. All I have to do is cut to the chase, have a good weep and be done with it.

I thought I might talk about handling rejections this morning--sort of the do's and don'ts--but instead I have to say it's snowing here in Salt Lake City. On May freaking 25th. I'm holding Ken personally responsible since he's always all I HATE THE HEAT! I NEVER WANT TO LIVE IN ARIZONA! LET'S TURN ON THE AIR CONDITIONER RIGHT NOW! That's why my beloved and I are living in a state where it can snow 9 months out of the year.

He just called up the stairs to tell me he brought me home a surprise 12 pack of Dr. Pepper. Clearly he's trying to get on my good side.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Book-y stuff

Hello! I missed you!

Anyway, while I wasn't flogging (FREUDIAN SLIP! I MEANT BLOGGING!), I managed to read two books, A WEEK IN DECEMBER by Sebastian Faulks and THE TOWERS OF TREBIZOND by Rose Macaulay. Liked them both very much. A WEEK is kind of a sprawling satire/soap opera set in contemporary London, and kids there's a drunk character at the end who does the best job of clearly explaining why our global economies are collapsing than any single thing I've heard or read. NOT KIDDING.

TOWERS is pure quirk. It's all Thomas Merton meets Monty Python--daffy British humor with the underpinnings of tough real questions about religion and faith. It's not a book everyone would like, but I kind of adored it.

Meanwhile I've spent the morning trolling local libraries for Austen pastiches. WHO KNEW THERE WERE SO VERY, VERY MANY? Including pastiches where familiar characters (think Jane Fairfax) are vampires?

I SO missed the vampire boat . . .

Saturday, May 15, 2010

It's a beautiful world, folks

Yesterday I went kayaking with my great childhood friend, Gigi Ballif Arrington, at Rockport State Park. Doesn't that sound cool? And adventurous? The written word can make something sound that way, although in reality we were just two mildly nervous middle-aged ladies sitting on a plastic raft in shallow water fumbling with binoculars, looking for birds we couldn't really identify.


I felt more peaceful, more relaxed than I have for some time. The glassy water, the bending reeds, the pelicans clustered like sheep reminded me again that this is such a stunning world. Kids, I am glad to be alive.

I'm headed out the door for a writing weekend. I'll be offline.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Blog as sketchbook

So I think blogging is great, actually. For me it's a way to stay connected to those of you who read this. That's the best part right there. Blogging is also a good warm up for whatever writing I have to do in a given day. AND (as it turns out) my blog has turned into the equivalent of an artist's sketchbook.

When I was a student in London BACK IN THE MIDDLE AGES, our humanities professor made us carry a sketchbook so we could "seize" our visual impressions. Those of us who were artists (not me) could use these images later in a more detailed drawing. Brill idea, no? Anyway. I've decided to use my blog as a writer's sketchbook. To this end you'll note that sometimes brief posts HERE end up as longer columns on Monday in the D-news. Also brill, no?

I mention this because I was fresh out of column ideas last week. So I re-read old blog entries and decided to do something with that moment of recognition that passed between me and that young mother in Rubio's. And voila! I got a column out of it.

See? Blogging is NOT a waste of time.

Meanwhile I have returned to MY DOUGH GIRL. Every. Single. Day. This. Week.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Another reason why I love my mother, aka the rodeo queen

She sends me e-mails with topic headings such as "What Religion is Your Bra?" (Answer: Catholic if it supports the masses, Salvation Army if it lifts the fallen, and Baptist if it makes mountains out of molehills.)

You're welcome.

Actually, I'd like to write a desnews column about how having a parent over the age of 75 means you're going to get 20 forwarded e-mails a day. But I think that's an idea I'll just keep to myself.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

May 11, 1993

So I've been thinking about this day seventeen years ago because it's my youngest boy's b-day. Happy birthday, Quinton Cannon! The whole world got sunnier the day you arrived!

Still. We had a rough go of it. Not to be melodramatic, but mother and son almost cashed in their chips. Seriously. As I lay there on the delivery bed, I had the very clear thought that yes, this is how it feels to die. How can I describe the sensation of it all? I could feel my life seep away through my fingertips. (For the record, I felt oddly calm--warm and not afraid.)

Well! Thankfully, we all rallied and here we are--to which I can only say that life tastes good today. I'm happy to be here.

And I think Quinton is too.

May . . .

. . . is the best smelling month.

Yesterday I went on a ramble through the Aves, which quickly morphed into an extended sniffing tour. Lilacs! Daphne! Viburnum! Not to mention Sweet Woodruff, crabapple blossom, late tulips and Cheerfulness daffodils. It's just extraordinary that all of this LIFE is so accessible. Step out of your front door and there it is.

Last year during a particularly trying spell, the thought occurred to me that no matter how bad things got, I could always step out of my front door and see some beautiful thing. Every. Single. Day.

And I did.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Dough Girl! Hello!

Today my friend Maddy picked me up for surprise purposes. She said we'd only be gone for 30 minutes, but that she had something to show me. Since Maddy and I both like to garden, I figured it was something cool in bloom.

Instead she drove me straight to Dough Girl Cookies on 3rd West (which some of you have recommended) and bought me--then force fed me--THREE COOKIES: an orange one, a lemon one, a cherry one. I promptly went into a coma de bliss and have only just now emerged to tell the tale that these cookies are worth devouring.

BONUS SURPRISE! You can buy Mexican Coke at the Dough Girl, too!

I love America so, so much. Rock on, America!

Sunday, May 9, 2010


So I grew up with this fabulous person named Kelly Clark who is pretty much the best violinist in the world, and here's the great thing. She lives (sort of) in my neighborhood here in Salt Lake, which means we run into each other occasionally, which means I get to tell her she's pretty much the best violinist in the history of the world and also that she has great legs.

Which she does.

Also, whenever I see her I say, "I want you to play at my funeral." The last time I said this, Kelly went, "Well, what do you want me to play?" And I said "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" because that's what they played at my friend Becky's funeral. It was a solo on the sax and it made me cry.

Anyhoo. I saw Kelly today and she told me that she has almost finished the arrangement of "Somewhere" and if I want to hear it BEFORE I die, I can attend her concert this fall.

Can I just say how much this means to me? Thank you, Kelly Clark. I love you.

Friday, May 7, 2010

How I know I've really gone around the bend

I spent the night dreaming that Angelina Jolie and I were having an intense conversation about her daughter Shiloh. "She's very cute dressed as a boy," I told her, "but it confuses people."

Movie stars these days! Good thing I'm around to straighten them out.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Another YA novel

I just read a new YA novel called THE AGENCY: A SPY IN THE HOUSE by Y. S. Lee. It's a mystery set in Victorian London, featuring an intelligent young woman who goes undercover as a lady's companion to solve a crime.

Anyway. I enjoyed it a lot. I would have LOVED it as a thirteen year-old. I wish I'd written it. But what else is new?

Meanwhile, my belief that Mormons make the best lemon bars IN THE WORLD was strengthened by the lemon bar I ate in Centerville tonight at an awesome Young Women's function. Thanks to the Hintze family for their invitation.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Oh yes, I have been eating

Our friend Jayne wondered here if I haven't eaten anything since the end of April due to lack of food-related posts. I am here to assure you all that (see blog title above).

In fact, I must confess that I have now driven several times to the Cheesecake Factory to buy that red velvet cheesecake thing so I can take it home and hide it from others. So the hiding part is bad. Also the driving to the Cheesecake Factory part is bad because it's a long way from my house. I have to pack a lunch and sunscreen and also get my shots updated and slip my passport ito my purse before leaving the house because the CF is on 62nd South whereas I live downtown. So that means it takes a good portion of my day just to drive out there for cheesecake purposes and that's kind of sick, don't you agree?

But here's the sickest part of all. Rick Horne, who told me about this dessert in the first place, just informed me that one slice of red velvet cheesecake has 1500 calories which is more calories than many Hollywood starlets eat in a month. And the worst part is that I've been eating the cheesecake on top of everything else I inhale.

Feel free to push my Shame Button now.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bad endings, good beginnings

Ken and I went to that Polanski film "The Ghost Writer" last night. I really liked it until the last 30 seconds, in large part because of the the cast, which is AMAZING--it's easy to forget sometimes how good Pierce Brosnan is because he's spent so much of his life being really really ridiculously good-looking.

So yeah. I was feeling all happy and satisfied with the movie--also my popcorn--when suddenly the STUPIDEST thing in the world happens and BOOM CHAKALA it's all over, Rover. I was SO annoyed I told the ladies sitting in front of me that I felt ripped off and wanted my money back! Even though I didn't know them!

On the opposite end of the entertainment spectrum, I picked up a British novel called THE TOWERS OF TREBIZOND which opens with this line: "'Take my camel, dear,' said my Aunt Dot, as she climbed down from this animal on her return from High Mass."
THAT's a fine first sentence, I think.

Feel free to post your fave opening lines!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Our weekend of magical thinking

So every December Ken and I put out the Snow Village on our dining room hutch. And I enjoyed it so much this year that we didn't take it down. Every night I've lit it up and thought how very pretty it is.

But on Saturday WHEN WE WOKE UP TO SNOW ON THE FIRST DAY OF MAY Ken went, "Maybe if we take down the Snow Village, it will stop." Yes. That's how we think about things at our house. We can control the weather and possibly the universe by taking down the rest of our Christmas decorations. So we took it down. And today it is not snowing.

You're welcome.