Schpider!

spiderDon’t look, Dad!
It’s a terrible sight!
If you can’t see him,
It’ll save you a fright.

I’ll protect you.
Don’t worry now.
I can tame spiders.
Mom taught me how.


Lilli and Dad at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in 2009. She was 6. We were being goofy and I thought this would be a funny picture for my black and white film photography class.

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Hot Beach Trash

Photo credit: Guy Maggio


We recently went to Sharky’s Pier. A well-known tourist trap close to our home. Everyone goes there to look for shark teeth. It’s the shark tooth capital of the world.

It was interesting, but stinky. Dirty. Smelly. Because of all the tourists, visitors, beach-goers, fishermen, pier-walkers. It was filthy, full of cigarette butts and trash.

We arrived and walked out to the pier. The breeze way structure, where the restaurants are, is nice. Cool, shady, fountains. Boiling pots of seafood. Shops. Nice.

The beach and pier were a disaster!

First we walked on the pier. It was the end of the day so the trash bins were full! Gah. Looking down from the pier into the shallow water was cool. You could see fish and things. But it was a long way down. Me no likey looking down from any height.

Next, it was so sunny, we decided to go on the beach, check out the sand quality, look for shark teeth and see what the water was like. Cool off under the pier.

We took a picture and quickly left. Duuuurrrrty. Too busy. Old guy in a Speedo. BYE!

So, we can finally say we’ve been to Sharky’s Pier. I prefer our private beach. We can see the pier from where we are. And that’s close enough! 😀

An ode to Hot Beach Trash
(WARNING: DO NOT READ WHILE EATING OR ABOUT TO EAT!)


Dirty diaper
Rotting fish guts
Leftover hot dog on a bun of hair
Vomit
Flies
All on fire in the setting sun
Inside a hooded (wish it was sealed) trash can.

Will someone please empty me???

Oh, Beach Trash Can. I’m so sorry your life is one hot, steaming pile of mess.
If I could, I would draw wings on your sides so you could fly far from here.

Thank you for your service.

Will someone please empty HIM???

Ah, lovely day at the beach.

Let’s All Go To the Movies.

More from Vol. 2 of Present Tense


My mother and father have lost the will to parent. I am sitting in a dark movie theatre with Mom, Dad and my sister. I am five, almost six.
Alien.
Oh, God. That man’s face has just been attacked by an octopus egg.
Oh, God. The android’s head is decapitated from his body and milky fluid is shooting out from his neck.
I am screaming. I am crying. I am being ushered quickly to the lobby by my mother.

We lounge for about a minute.
“Ready to go back?”
Okay, there are no more bodiless robots. Popcorn.
I have to have my legs in my seat. I am sitting cross-legged. No aliens can possibly eat my dangling legs if they are safely tucked up, away from their snotty teeth.
Oh, God. There’s spaghetti exploding from that guy’s open stomach.
Oh, God. It’s a baby alien. I am screaming. I am crying. I am being ushered.
A minute.
“Ready to go back?”
My parents also let me watch Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Deliverance (ABC Presentation of the Week). Also, A Thief in the Night.
This 1972 (made before I was even born) Christian classic talks about end times. Christians are taken to heaven in the rapture and non-believers are left behind. Everyone has to take the 666-Mark of the Beast tattoo or they can’t buy eggs and butter. People who just want a little breakfast are arrested for trying to buy groceries, and a girl with a balloon gets beheaded on a guillotine. There’s a fun song at the end, too.
I wish we’d all been ready…

The synopsis of this movie may be slightly inaccurate. It’s what I remember and the impression that remains.


I lived through what seemed like a very real threat of nuclear annihilation during the height of the Cold War and was constantly worried about being microwaved to oblivion by a nuke. These movie nights and paranoid world destruction fantasies could be considered the bright, sunny moments of my childhood with an abusive father. My prayer, as I got older, became this:

If I have to die–God, just don’t let me die a virgin.

Bible Stealer

I would not describe my father as a dishonest man. Brutal and demanding, but not a liar. Sick, twisted and eternally paranoid. Sneaky, weird and selfish. But not a liar. He truly believed his delusions.
But he did have a bad habit of stealing Bibles. From hotels. Hospitals. Anywhere.


Is that a sin? LOL Is it stealing?

The Best

If you’re a llama?
Be the best llama you know.
Sorry, Non-llamas.


If you can’t be a llama, be the best version of yourself today. Or at least be a little better than yesterday–in understanding, patience or kindness. That’s what all these tomorrows are for.

Drawing credit: Jimmy King (dad)

Castles and Pie (mmmm)

Throwing castles and pie
Way up in the sky
And hoping

Throw that hat (Mary)
Everything but the cat (Berry)
And wait

Keep on hustlin’
Don’t stop jugglin’
And watch

Something’s gotta stick
Whip out your Bic
Keep writing!

Dolly Llama

So I did a really silly series except I only did one or two. So it’s not technically a series. Yet. So I’m coming back to those. This one (below) is Llama Doorjamb (Spoof of Lama Dorje from Little Buddha, one of my favorite movies. It’s not the best acting, think Chris Isaak, but it’s a great look at Buddha and his story). My daughter, Pencil Princess, drew him. He’s so friggin’ cute. She drew it several months ago, but it didn’t scan properly and we didn’t have time to go back and rescan.llama doorjamb.jpg

I mean NO disrespect to any Buddhists, Tibet or the Dalai Lama. In fact, the opposite. I have found many things in Buddhism that reinforce my Christian faith and help me overcome my weaknesses.

Things like, when a wave or storm comes at you, don’t be overwhelmed. Anticipate the wave, accept the wave, overcome the wave, be the wave, understand the wave. Help others who are drowning. And suffering. Stop suffering by letting go of needless desire. All very good advice and here is where Buddhism and Christianity overlap. How to be a better Buddhist, Christian, person.

This llama has that Bill Murray pout, the one he had in Caddyshack. I love it. Murray has that speech about talking with the Dalai Lama and reaching enlightment? He ends his brag with “So, I got that goin’ for me.”

This is my catchphrase as of late. Whenever I say something that sounds braggy or lame such as:

I just leveled up in Toy Blast!

or

Today, I didn’t almost-crap my pants!

I always follow those phrases up with “So, I got that goin’ for me.” in that sideways-Bill-Murray voice. And it always makes me happy to think of it.


So I usually dole out some silly wisdom or joke in these little asides. It’s more of a poem for my nugget of wisdom with a touch of silliness, and oh-so true for me lately:

I never thought it would happen.
But.
Turns out?
I’m an optimist!

LOL, this might be a new take on an old joke, but it’s how I’m feeling today.


Feel good about yourself today. No one else might! 🙂

88

Slow down, you move too fast.

I met a gentleman this morning with the most lovely accent. From Virginia. He was 88. I could listen to him talk all day.

I knew moving into this driving job, I would meet interesting people. Aromatic people, talkative people, desperately lonely people. But I had no idea I would meet magical people.

“I just need to stay alive and keep a house going.”

That was his mantra all morning long.

Two things to keep in mind when you’re 88:

  1. Stay alive! (very important)
  2. Keep a place going (also very important)

Survival and shelter. Can’t argue with that.

I carried him to Winn-Dixie to get some groceries. From here on known as grosh. As I helped him out of the car and into the store, he kept reciting things he would be doing. He was full of helpful tips and practical suggestions. To everything he stated, to affirm I was listening, I replied, “Smart.” and “Good idea.”

He would reply, in the most charming Southern drawl, “Smart?! Only way to go as I see it.”

I love you, sir. Let me help you with your grosh.

Two things to keep in mind when you’re 44 (exactly half his age, that would be my age):

  1. Stay alive
  2. Keep a place going

Got it. Smart. Only way to go as I see it.

*apathetic kazoo toot*

so they don’t toot their kazoo
for every passing parade
i have to merit attention–
earn it or don’t get paid

some say it’s harsh and rigged
but i say it’s discerning
if they all liked everything i did
what would i be learning?

no, i won’t get a trophy
no, i won’t get an “A”
no, i won’t get a million bucks
for just waking up today

how will we be equipped and prepped
if we’re all coddled like cattle?
how will we conquer the glowing opponent
in the smoldering heat of battle?

it’s okay to fail
it’s okay to lose
it’s okay to just. be. okay
egos can handle a bruise

don’t. stop. trying.