Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I’m a different person. 

I’m not the person I was last year.  I’m not even the person I was last week.  I’m new. 

The girl who wanted so much to date Andrew (Andrew!), the girl so capricious and impulsive she had to enforce a Prohibition, the girl that went angry and embittered to a wedding on October 11th?  Who WAS that?!?

I admit, I do bear a resemblance to her.  But our similarities are fleeting and shallow; they’re expressions we simply wear the same way.  It’s like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, except she’s the emotionless pod person and I am Becky.  I woke up and I’m Becky!  Alive and scared and in love!  I’ve been reverse body snatched!

(i who have died am alive again today, and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay great happening illimatably earth)

And here in this new world there’s Michael. 

And yes!  I know everything of all the reasons there “shouldn’t” be Michael!  I know of the complications – how neither one of us has a certain future or any money, how difficult long distance is, etc.  I know, too well, the width and depth of the Pacific.  And maybe down the road, in a month or two months from now, I will rue those complications and groan with how frustrating and difficult they make it all.

But today?  I just can’t.

Today I don’t care.  Today I couldn’t care less.  Today those things make me laugh, in a vague and amused way.

Today I want to run the road, banging on car hoods and screaming, “You’re next!”

(now the ears of my ears awake and now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

In case of LOVE

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimatably

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any--lifted from the no
of all nothing--human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

-- e.e. cummings

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I had a job interview on Saturday.

They told me I got the job on Sunday.

I started on Monday.

It has been a crazy week.  The job I took is part-time at an after school program for primarily Chinese elementary school kids.  I’m the “teacher” in the 1st and 2nd grade room, which basically means that I baby-sit.  It’s my job to get a bunch of munchkins to do their homework, to stay quiet, and to not seriously injure each other.  And there are 17 of these miniature human beings in my charge.  SEVENTEEN!

So here’s a fun story from my week. 

Yesterday, I was alerted to trouble by the sound of crying near the back of the room.  Upon investigation, I discovered that Alan had decided it would be fun to use a pencil sharpener to, I shit you not, SHARPEN MATTHEW’S FINGER.  Matthew, as anyone would be, was sobbing.  I got Miss Christine to watch the kids and took Matthew to the bathroom.  Half his fingernail was missing!  He was bleeding so much that I had to put pressure on his little baby finger for a few minutes to get it to stop.

So I’m standing there, holding Matthew’s pinky, tears just streaming down his face, and all I can think is, THIS IS NOT MY CHILD.  Excuse me!  I don’t remember getting knocked up and carrying anybody around in my womb for nine months, thanks very much.  I never pushed another human being into the world and agreed to take responsibility for it.  No way.  I’m not Matthew’s mother.  I’m not anybody’s mother! 

But Matthew needs me to hold his finger.

And more than that, Matthew needs me to hold HIM.

So I take him in my arms and rub his back and tell him to just breathe.  In.  Out.  Breathe with me, Matthew.  Like this.  In.  Out.  And I tell him that he’s so brave.  You’re so brave, honey.

And eventually he stops bleeding.  And eventually he stops crying. 

So I take him to the principal and she puts a band-aid on his finger and sends him back with me to the room.

But the whole thing made me realize that you must not know ANYTHING about yourself until you become a parent.  How could you?  Parenthood requires a selflessness most of us can’t even comprehend.  I held onto Matthew, his entire heart completely in my hands, for about five minutes.  My existence during those five minutes?  Insignificant. 

AND I had the luxury of knowing that if Matthew didn’t stop crying, we could call his parents.  His real parents.  And they could come take care of it.  Imagine not knowing that!  Imagine sitting there in a bathroom with a child on your lap and you’re it!  You are the only resource you have!  And what if Matthew doesn’t stop crying?  Dear God! 

I don’t know.

So this is going to be my life? 

Maternal instincts, don't fail me now.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

In case of DRAMIRONY

Hello, Ohio.  I’m yours.  Yours.  Yours forever.

I really am SO Midwestern – which is boggling, if you think about it, considering I didn’t even grow up in Ohio.  Not really, anyway.  I wasn’t born there.  And I didn’t have any sense of “Ohio” when we lived in Toledo.  So my life in Columbus was really only two years long.  Aaaaaaannnndddd…they were the worst two years ever.

But Ohio is planted deep in my heart.  It’s as deep and old as the roots of my family.  And we’re still growing there, still at home in the Ohio earth, spreading and changing and becoming new with each passing year.  There’s no feeling on earth like coming around that last bend in the gravel driveway and glimpsing The Burrow through the pines.  There’s no color on earth like the oak and maple trees in spring, the cattails by the pond in the late summer.  There’s no view so pretty as the view out that big front window when the world is covered in snow. 


The crazy thing? 

I can’t live there.

I wish I could.  I honestly wish that I could.  But I’m a writer and it seems that Ohio doesn’t want me to write when I’m there.  It’s like the worst dramatic irony ever.  DRAMIRONY!  I’ve really never written anything good in Ohio.  It dries me up and when I sit down with my computer or a pen? No words come.  For some reason…no words come.

Maybe someday they will.  That’s what I keep hoping.  Maybe after years of life in the tumultuous spiral galaxy of Los Angeles, maybe I’ll go home.  And maybe my hands or my heart will unclench and release and I won’t be plagued by writer’s block and I can sit in a rocking chair on a porch in a sweater and write write write in the richness of life in Ohio.  Maybe.

Ah, Ohio!  I’m yours!  Yours forever!

But not yet.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

In case of OCTOBER

Dear God,

Thanks for seasons. 

It’s pretty cool how every four months the weather changes and different stuff starts happening.  Deciding to make the earth revolve around the sun?  Superb idea.  Really good work there. 

And let me just say that Autumn is an especially neat time of year.  I like how the air starts to get colder and the smog over Los Angeles thins out.  The weather makes it nice to walk outdoors in the mornings and at sunset.  Plus, we get to start eating soup and drinking hot cider and coffee.  And sweaters?  Come on, who doesn’t love to cozy up in a nice sweater?  Sweaters are like hugs you get to wear on your body all day.

Autumn brings all kinds of fun events and holidays too!  Halloween, for example, which makes us all bust out colorful costumes and feed each other candy.  Halloween sends little kids to my door.  Seriously!  Tiny people come to visit me!  That’s so cool!  And then there’s Thanksgiving, which is full of Harvest Parties and family and friends you haven’t seen in years.  And time off work.  And trips to San Francisco.  I mean, the creation of this stuff is pure genius.  Football season?  Who would have thought of that one?  But it’s great, God, just really great thinking.

Then there’s hay rides, bonfires, turkey, granny smith apples, fields turned golden, leaves turned red, pumpkins turned bright orange and sitting in front of every front door on my street, music played on the mandolin and fiddle, homecomings, reunions, long sleeves, boots, scarves, hats, gloves, plaid blankets, pumpkin ale, rosy cheeks, rakes, cold toes shoved into slippers, and a million other inventions we would never have imagined without seasons!

So thank you, Creator.  As the days get shorter and brighter, and as the weather gets colder and cozier, and as my life gets sweeter and spicier, thank you.  Thank you. 

Just writing to let you know that I’ve noticed and that I'm quite a fan.  

All my love,

Trixie Jean

Monday, October 13, 2008

In case of NED KELLY

Argue all you like, but I maintain that there is nothing not to like about weddings.  Free food, awkward relatives, and love love love.  Even having to wear high heels can’t ruin a day like that.


There are Groomsmen. 

Where else would a girl like me ever get the chance to dance with a charming, tuxedo-clad Australian?  Go ahead and picture it.  The last dance of the night.  A slow dance.  And there I sit, single, wistful, a glass of gold sparkling cider in my hand.  Then a Groomsman begins to walk toward me through the glow of the twinkle lights and I’m in his arms almost before the invitation is even out of his mouth.  It was magical.

And did he turn out to be a Bootlegger (or, in his case, a Bushranger)?


He turned out to be a wonderfully sincere gentleman.  And you don’t meet many of them these days. 

But if you’re looking, I recommend going to weddings.

My point is this.  There is no better place to celebrate life than a wedding.  There’s no better place to rejoice in a God who restores, who heals, who brings people together.  If you go to a wedding bitter, determined to hurt or feel resentment, you’ll only be met with love.  A wedding means that there’s hope in this world.  There’s hope.  A wedding is a lighthouse on an angry sea, a hand to hold, a shooting star.

So raise your glasses to Darren and Maureen.  This (!) has been a long time coming.  See, he’s a Star Wars Geek and she’s a Chronicles of Narnia Fanatic and they’ve now promised to take care of each other in sickness and in health and in all the nerdiness that will surely follow them for the rest of their lives.  I mean, they are just bound to have dozens of book-reading, cloak-wearing, light-saber-wielding Jedi children.  Seriously. 


Don’t be afraid to stand alone out there.  Because people are still getting married in this world. Because you never know when you’ll get asked to dance.

Weddings should make us all a little braver.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Self-Imposed Rules for the Unemployed

1.                  Go to bed at a decent hour and get up every day before ten.  There’s just no reason not to.

2.                  Regular mealtimes.  Three squares a day.  You owe it to your mom.

3.                  As much TV as you want.  It passes the time, it’s free, and it’s a great study of character and story structure.  (How's that for spin?)

4.                  No more than two cups of coffee per day even if you’re brewing it at home.  If you have to buy, only one cup.  Pay for it with spare change if you can.

5.                  Walk somewhere at some point.  A morning constitutional with Rachel is a good idea.

6.                  Wear clothes.  For the sake of the neighborhood children if for no one else.  

7.                  Take a trip during the afternoon.  It’s a fun game!  If you leave before anybody gets home from work, you win! 

8.                  Get drunk as infrequently as possible.

9.                  No false pretensions of dignity.  You haven’t had any “promising interviews” and you’re not “taking a break.”  You’re just unemployed.  It’s okay.  And as long as you’re young and you shower regularly, it's kind of romantic.

10.      WRITE EVERY DAY.  You don't have to work on the same thing all the time and you don't have to keep what you write.  But you do have to write.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

In case of INSOMNIA

This is El Tigre.  He is one of my best friends ever.

I met him in High School, junior year.  I thought he was one of Sean’s Brainless Flunkies.  I didn’t think he had a personality.  I didn’t even hate him all that much.  He was that insignificant to my life. 

Then, when things got better, I started hanging out with him by default.  You know, “Hey, everyone’s coming over.  Invite people.”  And someone would invite Tyger and he would just show up!  Like magic!

I still didn’t know much about him.

Then, one night, for reasons I have yet to understand, we got to talking.  We sat in my living room and talked for hours and hours.  We talked all night and into the morning.  My parents were like, “Who is this guy?”  And I’m like, “Yeah.  I have no idea.”  I don’t even know what we talked so long about.  But when he finally went home I decided to myself, “Tyger’s alright.” 

That was senior year. 

This is the part of the story where you think that Tyger and I are about to become best friends.  That we start to see each other all the time and then we’re inseparable.  That he makes everything about high school a little less sucky and I would start to have an ally out there in the world.  Or, at least, that he and I would start falling in love.

But no.  None of that happened.  The talking night?  Isolated incident.  Not to be repeated for years.

The truth is that I have no idea how Tyger and I became friends.  It wasn’t high school.  And it certainly wasn’t college.  I don’t remember the first day I invited him to a family party.  I don’t remember our first time hitting the town together alone.  I don’t know when it was that I called him, just him, to come out with me.  But I do know that he still just shows up!  And it’s still like magic every single time. 

Tyger walks into my house without knocking.  Tyger goes out to movies with my brother and cousins.  Tyger gave my Grandad a present in the last week of my Grandad’s life.  If we’re out together, Tyger always gets me home safely.  He watches me sleep.  He fills my life up with things to laugh about. 

The helping hand on the sets of my movies?  Tyger.  The person I called when my Grandad died?  Tyger.  My Valentine's Day date?  Tyger.  

And when I moved to California, Tyger said he would drive across the country with me.  Because there isn't 2,000 miles of road anywhere that I want to travel without him.  

Tyger is all-in-all one of the most selfless people I’ve ever met.  He’s incredibly giving, good natured, and easy to get along with.  He’s also freaking hilarious and talented.  If you know him, you’re so much luckier than you can even understand.  The man is unstoppable.  Be amazed. 

So here’s to Tyger, my Tyger.  I’ve never in my life been so happy to be so wrong about someone.

Happy Birthday.  Sorry it's late.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

In case of YUPPIES

Coffee used to be coffee.  You could get it anywhere, anyone could make it, and you pretty much drank it black.  It was either the drink of refined foreigners or some bastardized American working class necessity.  It wasn’t a big deal.  There was no “concept” to it.  Just look at old paintings.  Watch old movies.  Ask your grandparents what coffee “meant” when they were growing up and they will have no idea what the hell you’re asking.

But here were are in 2008 and suddenly I feel like we’ve stepped in some strange land of Oz.  These days, every city is an Emerald City.  And the man behind the curtain?  The man who invented Starbucks. 

Now, I’m not noble.  I like Starbucks as much as the next white, young, urban professional.  I like their big comfy armchairs and their vintagey music.  Hell, I know a few Starbucks employees and I like them too.  They are some cool cats.  I even like Starbucks, dare I say it, coffee.  Yes!  I like it!  But how DO they stay in business when they charge two dollars for a cup of black coffee and I could brew my own coffee for a week for that?   

It’s because, hear me out, they are NOT SELLING COFFEE.

They’re selling STARBUCKS. 

They’re selling an idea.   A concept.  A brand name.  They’re selling the type of person you think you are, or think you want to be, the types of friends you want to have.  See this girl who comes in on her way to pick up her expensive suit at the drycleaners?  See how she can afford to spend five bucks on a grande raspberry soy mocha?  You want to be her.  Or see this guy in his hand-knitted scarf and Sinatra hat?  See how he knows coffee so well that he gets into a conversation with the “barista” behind the counter about how they grind their beans?  Oh yeah.  You definitely need to be friends with him.

But what truly floors me about Starbucks is that they’ve managed not just to attract those of us who fit the profile, but by sheer ubiquitousness, they’ve gotten everyone. 

Big tattooed Hispanics?  Check.  12-year-old girl Bible study groups?  Check.  Homeless/crazy people?  Check. 

Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.

Starbucks has single-handedly transformed my generation into coffee snobs.  Because even if you never set foot in a Starbucks, you’ve developed some kind of principle about it.  Even if you’re all about “supporting local businesses” and standing up against “the man,” the man has already won.  Hello!  He’s The Man for a reason!  You’ve still got coffeehouse culture in your blood.  Your life is still not complete without the occasional trip to wherever YOUR place is with comfy chairs and vintagey music.  Maybe it doesn’t have those big corporate letters on the sign, but you still believe in the concept of coffee.  Coffee still “means” something to you.

So my advice? 

Hell.  Keep on keeping on.  There’s nothing we can do here.  Starbucks is inevitable.  Don’t fight it.  You’d have better luck fighting global warming or world hunger, and, hey, Starbucks will help you with that. 

As for me, I try to drink my coffee at home.  We buy it cheap and brew it strong, at a one-to-one ratio.  And I’ll swallow it even if it pretty much tastes like shit.

But every Saturday morning, I scrounge up my money, pull on my ruby slippers, get my roommates together, and yep.

We're off to see the wizard.  Just like everyone else. 

Monday, October 6, 2008


I admit it.  I am a virgin.

I either credit or blame this (depending on the day) on my upbringing.  Thanks to so many years of Sunday School and, later, Youth Group, I fully believed that sex before marriage was WRONG.  And this didn’t cramp my style at all.  I was a “late bloomer.”  Until very recently, sex never even sounded like that great of an idea.  Yes, I am a very successful product of Christian Subcultural Brainwashing. 

But then I met Bobby.  And I discovered kissing.  And the bastion of my sexual prudery began to crumble.

And why not?  We were in love.  Making out with someone you love is GREAT.  We always had so much fun finding new and interesting places to suck face.  We made out in closets, in bathrooms, in cars, on staircases, on rides at Disneyland, on cliff tops, on beaches, in the ocean, in my parents’ house, in his parents’ house, in mission bell towers, in the woods, in the parking lot, in every dark corner of every building we could think of, and a in million other places I’m sure I’m forgetting. 

And when Bobby and I broke up, I was angry and hurt and vulnerable and there was no way I was going to wait too long to see what it was like to kiss someone else. 

Now, that was two years ago.

And I haven’t been all as promiscuous as I could have been.  But I can still count my boyfriends on one hand, and, at this point, I’ve got to take off my shoes to count the number of mouths I’ve stuck my tongue into.  Thank God for toes.

But I miss being in love.

I miss getting to kiss the SAME person every day.  I miss the ease of a relationship, of making out with someone who KNOWS you, who you are, and how to treat you.  I miss getting turned on by my emotions, not just my body.

As Beth says, maybe making out for the sake of making out isn’t WRONG.  Maybe it’s just not as good as it could be.  And even if you’re kissing someone you care about, someone you like, someone you really respect and admire and maybe even love in some way, if you’re not IN love, it’s still not as good as it could be.  It’s not ideal.  Not the way that it should be. 

And why do I want to settle for that?  Loneliness?  Curiosity?  Sexual frustration?  Even to express comfort or affection, is that a good enough reason?  I want to be a part of something as good as it could be!

So this (!) is my official decision.  The next guy that gets to kiss me has to already be dating me.  The next guy is going to be THE guy, for a while.  This virgin is hereby laying off the sex.  I’m getting on the wagon.  I’m quitting, cold turkey. 

Bootleggers be damned. 

Sunday, October 5, 2008

If there's room on the train...

...I'll hop aboard.  No problem.
So this is my foray into the world of corporate blogging.  I don't have high hopes that I'll be more consistent on here than I was on Pitas, but I know that at least the change will keep me excited for a while.  I really do like to blog.  Really.
The title of this new little corner of the internet comes, originally, from a legendary advertisment by a man named Earnest Shackleton, who was looking for recruits to join his Antarctic expedition.
Supposedly, the ad read:
Men wanted for hazardous journey.  Small wages.  Bitter cold.
Long months of complete darkness.  Constant danger.  Safe return doubtful.
Honor and recognition in case of success.

But that's all just a story.
Anyway, I chose the title not to draw parallels between my life and an Antarctic adventure (although I DO see more than my fair share of penguins), but because I don't think I would even begin to know what to do if my dreams here in California should pan out.
So, really, the full title of this blog isn't "honor and recognition in case of success."