Buttery Goodness

I have just had the honour of reading something so good, it was like having a plate of cookies all to myself, with a pot of tea, & The Sound of Music on the telly.

Not a lot of what we read these days is in any way comforting or nourishing. Much fiction (my own included) suffers from deep wounds, bleeding & festering with infected psychological fissures each chapter is meant to debride, but seldom does. Hell, this paragraph alone is a perfect example of that. 

And the stuff we see daily on social media is in some ways worse. Much of it has about as much flavour & substance as a rice cake, & worse, some of those rice cakes have fallen in the cat box. But we dust em off & eat em anyhow. We consume news, or what passes for it, although we are not really starved for it. We mindlessly eat whatever is served to us; social media is the stale bread basket in the chain restaurant of reading.

These delicious little morsels of writing I was sent were rich, sweet, & filling. The writer is an 85 year old friend, & it is my sincere hope that she keeps feeding me these warm, buttery morsels, because I’m pretty sure I need them now. It is my sincere hope that she is writing them down with the aim of sharing them with the world. We could all use some tender loving humour & whimsy.

Meanwhile I’ve written one book about a homicidal narcissistic sociopath, & I’m working on another, which although miles more delightful, also features as a villain a narcissistic sociopath. The second novel is far less bloody, however, & has kind & decent main characters on the whole.

My writing is not so much nourishing as it is bracing, maybe.

I hope that at 85, my wounds have been healed, & I am also able to provide melt-in-your-mouth dearness to my readers. Failing that, I hope my friend publishes so you can behold these wonders.

I am genuinely happy right now.


A Day At St. Thomas

“HOW ARE YOU EVEN DOING THIS?!” you scream at your screen. “You’re doing NaNoWriMo, writing pieces for Phantom Sway, and now you’re going to subject us to your personal blog again?”

Yes. Shut your gob. Because as luck would have it, Len & I sat together in the parish hall today, waiting to have our glucose & cholesterol looked at, & she asked me about my writing.

“Which thing?” I asked.

“All of it,” she replied.

Long story short, she convinced me (in a gentle, subtle, possibly psychologically adept way) to keep some sort of daily diary on my blog. Like I used to. And that became a self published book that has helped a few people with fibromyalgia feel less alone. So why not now, when my life is infinitely more interesting?

I told you about lying around in pain all day in Reno, hopped up on goofballs. I can’t tell you about freaking Hollywood?

Well, part of the reason is that my job requires me to listen to confidential material all day. So I can’t tell those stories. Those are others’ stories. But I can drop a couple paragraphs here each day, right? Sure! 

hold me to it

So let’s start with today. Today I woke from a dream in which I was petting a penguin. It was soft & darling, like a kitten, which I imagine penguins are not actually in real life. The alarm woke me & I was so cross to have to set the penguin down.

I rose, showered, dressed, and ate this, which is irrefutable proof of something many people are jerks about:  


That is a gluten free breakfast sandwich. That dotted disc is meant to be a biscuit. You know, those warm, flaky things you Norms smother in sausage gravy? Not so for the celiac sufferer. So those of you who think gluten stuff is a fad, you can blow me. If I have to get out the door quickly, I have to heat this up. This. This…disc.

It actually tastes ok. But still! Disc. And the company knows celiac people will eat it because we don’t want to die. A death proceeded by crapping in church. So they can get away with selling us convenient discs.

I then brushed my teeth & did my eyes & took my hair out of the bun I slept in…NO. I cannot wear an Anglo Afro to church! I cannot be both Weird Al & Carrot Top at mass. People behind me need to see! So I wrestled all the curls into yet another bun & somehow made it to rosary on time.


15 minutes peace with the Virgin.

After saying the rosary with Stephen & John, I took my place in our usual pew with my sister Caroline & her boyfriend Sam, who joined us today. Jimmy sat in front of us (as usual) & told us a beautiful story I’m not sure I’m allowed to repeat. It was very personal, but demonstrated how God moves in our lives. 
The pews filled, waves were exchanged, phones were turned off, and I blinked at the sculpture of Jesus over our altar because my new contacts do not correct for my worsening astigmatism. The familiar echo of substantial boots came down the aisle right before the procession; Robert was in the house.

We then had a lovely Remembrance Day High Mass in which it was announced that Brit had been accepted by our diocese to pursue holy orders. This is magnificent news. Brit was in the same catechism as me & Caroline. I am inordinately fond of her & had the privilege of writing a recommendation for her. It would not shock me if she were made bishop of Los Angeles by the time she’s 40. She is a universe of love in a 5′ singularity. We are all of us blessed by this decision, across space time.

We sang one of Canon Davies’ favourite hymns during communion, & one of mine at the end. We listened to Jeffrey play us out, & then waited in the reception line with Christopher, who was wearing a penguin tie. So I told him about the dream & he sang “Soft Penguin”. If you’ve even heard of Big Bang Theory, you know.

We had a health fair today so the parish hall was packed with nurses ready to measure us and stick us & give us flu shots. My friend Salvador & our parish nurse Debbie worked hard to put it together (it was our first) & I think it went fairly well. The poor gal who stuck my finger was alarmed at how long it took me to stop bleeding, but I’m B12 deficient so I just kept assuring her it was ok. And it was.

Then Dee, Rodney, David & I had a civil conversation about politics, proving it is actually possible, no matter what social media will have us believe.

Achy & starving, I got home finally & made buffalo chicken dip with celery for football lunch. And now I’m writing this. And soon I will Nano again.

Things I learned today:

  • I’ve been without contacts for so long that there are a number of people at my church who had no idea what I looked like without glasses. Many remarked that my eyes are very big.
  • Don’t use mozzarella for buffalo chicken dip. The bleu cheese is essential.
  • It doesn’t matter what I wear; my Pats will always win. This is a relief.

My subsequent entries will be much shorter because church is always more fascinating than anything else I do. Promise. Well, probably.


My Ongoing War With That Fucking Guy From “The Mentalist”

If you follow me on Twitter you’ve already seen me have bursts of righteous ire any time I catch even a millisecond of The Mentalist. Aside from the fact that it is a typical American procedural with utterly no regard whatsoever for actual police procedure & a penchant to hyperdramatize nonsense, it is a show entirely designed to make twits fall in impossible stupid girl love with a floppy haired blond boy bimbo (who is probably a very nice bloke in real life).

Women, TV thinks you’re stupid. A bunch of executives hopped up on vegan cruelty free triple shot skinny lattes got together in a room one day & said, “What do middle aged women want?” After pitching a show where Gary Sinise & David Caruso strut around shirtless & oiled carrying babies & healing people w/ lupus, they said “Lets have really sensitive Robert Redford solve crimes with sensitivity & feelings.” And all their eyes lit up & they high fived each other & started taking lunches with central casting and every blond blue eyed guy on the planet. Then they came up with simperingly cute That Guy From The Show. I have such disdain for this show I’m not even gonna IMDB that for you. He’s Australian & my middle aged friend is in untempered uberlust with him.

In a fit of unbridled pandering, they devised the following characters: Patrick Jane, a tough broad who will never love him that female viewers can hate, a beefy cop guy, & a token Asian. They made Jane have the ability to read body language & neuro linguistic cues, as far as I can tell, so it seems like he can read women’s minds. Sigh. Then they made him a widower so he’d appear difficult to reach but unencumbered by some bitch exwife & bratty step kids because that is the personal hell of half of middle America.


What set me off today was a horse episode that came on while I was peeling a great deal of Trader Joe’s sweet potatoes exactly the size & shape of the average male penis. I heard horse sounds, & I love horses, so I peeked out of the kitchen to see what was on. Lo, the manufactured dreamboat Patrick Jane leaned forward toward a horse’s face, kissed its muzzle, and whispered to it. Fucking whispered.

For the sake of fuck are you assholes kidding me?! This was the pitch session: “Broads like horses. Tomatoes get fuckin’ wet for guys who are good with horses. Let’s make Jane a good body language expert of fuckin’ horses.” Cos we all learn that in psychology courses, by the way. Fucking horse body language. Then they all high fived each other, banged out an insulting script (where he also saves a young girl SIGH), did an 8 ball, & jerked each other off. I don’t know. I assume. It was probably for sweeps.

They think you are stupid, women. Stop watching this fucking garbage.

I’m a writer, as you might have guessed from the few decent pieces in my foul mouthed rants. When I write a male character, I want him to earn your love. I started a book with the male romantic lead shooting a woman in the face with a shotgun. He is a selfish dick workaholic with a stupid hat. And by the end of this book you will beg him to impregnate you with his mind babies. Is this because I think you harbor fantasies of being hurt? No. It’s because I think you’re smart & you can handle a flawed character who screws up sometimes. Like a real goddamned man.

I hate you, TV. I hate you so hard.