Before you solidify your fabulous weekend plans, make sure to schedule in an hour or so to stop by the West Hollywood Book Fair this Sunday, September 30th, and say hello to us! Admission is free, and we have our very own booth there! While you're there, ask us about our new one-day writing seminars, which we are announcing at the fair, and participate in the magical Exquisite Corpse writing exercise which we will later post on our Web site. Exquisite Corpse is an ongoing poem where each person writes two lines without seeing the preceding lines. We will also have a few groovy new LAwritersgroup.com T-shirts to purchase.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
Think about all of the gay teens in similar circumstances that sadly become victims of hate crime or feel so desperate they take their own lives. Yeah, he's flamboyant, but he's fabulous. Of course he's not representative of many gay men. He's out there literally and figuratively.
Friday, September 21, 2007
This afternoon at 5ish it started raining. It rarely rains in Los Angeles, especially this time of year. Me and The Kid always went to the park in the rain. The first rain was never missed. No matter what time it started raining, even if it was 3AM, we were at the patch playing catch.
I've always loved the rain and so did The Kid. Watching him run and shake himself off, the way he smelled of wet dog when he got back into the car. After a few tosses, he would look up at the sky with his mouth stretched open catching each and every drop of rain. It was just PERFECT. The joy it brought me made my heart push through my chest. They were uninterrupted, complete moments. I cherished each one of them.
When Guthy mentioned how much she loved the Avinu Malkeinu prayer, it reminded me of why I love this prayer, "Avinu malkeinu (Our Father, our King) is a penitential prayer that originated on fast days as a plea for rain." Etc. Etc. Etc. Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful. Read. You'll love.
On the eve of Yom Kippur for the rain to fall, to mourn the loves we've lost, especially The Kid, it's so special. It feels like a sign.
Tonight, I said the Kaddish, a prayer for the dead and I lit a Rokeach for my kid. Tomorrow I will go to Shul to share my mourning with my peeps. We will think about this past year, about how we fit into the landscape of life and about our futures. We will learn from our mistakes and we will love in Yiddish.
As soon as it started raining today, I was at the patch, walking his course. Pausing where he paused. Feeling the rain on my face. Crying. Aching. Missing him. And that's ok.
I wish you all a beautiful, healthy, happy and peaceful Yom Kippur.
PS: It's still raining...
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
Friday, September 14, 2007
Have ya's heard about Mormons Exposed? The calender of studly Missionaries that seeks to educate the masses about just how cool and easy going Mormons really are. Anybody want to fuck a Mormon? Yeah... Me neither.
The double standards are unbearable. One of the calendar missionary muffins said that it would be ok if women participated, provided they weren't so exposed. According to him, it's ok for men to show their nipples, but not women. Ya know what, mormarooney, if you can show your tits, SO CAN I!
Check out the Mormon's Exposed Promo...
Thanks to our sweet Lewchers for sending me the debacle that is the Leave Britney Alone video. Had he not, I might not have discovered just how queenylicious Chris Crocker really is. I'm listening to Take Me Out as gayspiration while writing this post. I love ChrisTINE because she's just too much. It's deeper than her intoxicating plea video to Leave Britney Alone. My love affair for peenyette began when I read an MSNBC interview she did.
When asked if she was worried about her fame being fleeting, one of the things she said was, "The public doesn’t make this diva, I’m already made."
How can you not love her for that, alone. Being a former fagallah hagella, I appreciate her overbearing sense of drama and passion. I just love ha. I've thrown together a montage of her video greatness for your review and if you don't love ha hahd now, you will-- trust me.
Chris's warning to men who try to fuck and run.
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This dramatic little number is about the color of skin.
See beyond skin color.
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The Britney Videos, Take One and Take Two
LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE! pt.1
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Ah, my father really does know how to dish up the rePUKEican party, doesn't he?! What's not to love.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
The High Holidays are upon us Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. This is my favorite time of year. I get way too inside my head and my heart. Oy, do I peel the layers. I cleanse. I clean. I organize. I reflect about the choices I've made, the people in my life, where I'm going, where I've been, who and what I've lost. So, so, so much to ponder.
This year feels different for many reasons. Some I know about and others I don't--not yet, anyway. The Kaddish, a prayer for the dead, has always been one of my favorite prayers. This year, reciting it will feel different, too. I just know that.
Guthy is Jewcying all month about the High Holidays. Be sure to hit it daily and read her wonderful posts and don't forget to comment. Yesterday's post, "Sit, Already, and Have a Little Something" is filled with fabulous, funny heebaliciousness. Today's post, "Kindly, with Open Eyes?" is about tolerance and pausing for a quick shalom. Run. Nosh. Now. It's beauuutiful.
PS: Do not forget to hit Facebook to use my brother's iPredict application. Capisce?!
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
We all know how Katie feels about a split pookie. It's just wrong on every level. Ain't nobody need to see a dame's lips literally pierced to her pants. The world knows ya got em'. When the pants fall there isn't a big reveal. However, with proper grooming and an air of mystery, it could be the pookiestravaganza event of the year. Coco is another story. She was born to exude her cavernous taco. It would be rude not to recognize and support that commitment.
Moving right along... On a far more important note, our beloved Bubbsie has a heavy heart. Be a mensch and send him warmth and loving thoughts. He's always there for us when we need him to lift our spirits, make us laugh and impart a pearl. Run. Go. Now.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Saturday, September 01, 2007
I worked on an essay about hagamuffin today and recalled so many fabulous memories. I laughed and I cried. It was cathartic. It was difficult and that's OK. I still miss him so much. I think I always will. I need to learn to live with that, which I will do... eventually.
Crimes Against Dog
My dog, Marley, was named after the late music shaman, Bob Marley. I never saw or heard him while he was alive, but once I heard his music, everything about him-his voice, his trancelike, holy dancing on stage, his leonine dreadlocks-went straight to my heart. He modeled such devotion to the well-being of humanity that his caring inspired the world; I felt a more sincere individual had probably never lived. Considering his whole life a prayer, and his singing the purest offering, I wanted to say his name every day with admiration and love. Marley has grown up on his music; Bob, leaning on his guitar in a large poster on my living room wall, is regularly pointed out to her as her Spirit Dad.
Marley was born December 19, 1995. She shares a birth sign, Sagittarius, with my mother and several friends and acquaintances. At times I feel surrounded by Sags and enjoy them very much; they are fun to be with, outspoken, passionate, and won't hesitate to try new things. They also like chicken. Marley has all these qualities, though I didn't know that the morning I drove out to the breeder to look at the litter of Labrador Retrievers I was told had arrived.
Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, a friend and I joked about whether I was in fact ready to settle down enough to have a dog. Who would feed it when I was distracted by work? Where would it stay while I was away on book tours? Had I lined up a reliable vet? I had no idea what would happen. I only knew this friend was about to go away on a journey of unknown length. I would be unbearably lonely for her. I needed a companion on whom to lavish my overflowing, if at times distractible, affection. I needed a dog.
My first thoughts are always about enslavement on entering a place where animals are bred. Force. Captivity. I looked at the black and the chocolate Labs who were Marley's parents and felt sad for them. They looked healthy enough, but who knew whether, left to themselves, they would choose to have litter after litter of offspring? I wondered how painful it was to part with each litter. I spoke to both parents, let them sniff my hand. Take in the quality of my being. I asked permission to look at their young. The mother moved a little away from her brood, all crawling over her blindly feeling for a teat; the father actually looked rather proud. My friend joked about offering him a cigar.
I was proud of myself, too, standing there preparing to choose. In the old days of up to several months before, if I were going to choose an animal from a litter I would have been drawn to the one that seemed the most bumbling, the most clueless, the most un-amused. I saw a couple like that. But on this day, that old switch was not thrown: I realized I was sick of my attraction to the confused. My eyes moved on. They all looked much alike, to tell the truth. From a chocolate mother and a black father there were twelve puppies, six chocolate, six black. I'll never get over this. Why were there none with spots?
I asked the woman selling them, whom I tried not to have Slave Trader thoughts about. She shrugged. They never spot, she said. That's the nature of the purebred Lab. Well, I thought. Mother. Once again doing it just any old way you like. Mother is my favorite name for Nature, God, All-ness.
I settled on a frisky black puppy who seemed to know where she was going-toward a plump middle teat!-and was small enough to fit into my hand. I sometimes wish I had chosen a chocolate puppy; in the Northern California summers the dust wouldn't show as much, but I think about this mostly when Marley rolls in the dirt in an effort to get cool.
After seven weeks I returned alone to pick her up, bereft that my friend had already gone on the road. It didn't feel right to pay money for a living being; I would have been happier working out some sort of exchange. I paid, though, and put Marley in my colorful African market basket before stroking the faces of her wistful-looking parents one last time. In the car, I placed the basket in the front seat next to me. I put on Bob Marley's Exodus CD and baby Marley and I sped away from Babylon.We wound our way back through the winter countryside toward the Golden Gate Bridge and the bracing air of San Francisco. Before we had gone twenty miles, Marley, now about the size of my two fists, had climbed out of the basket and into my lap. From my lap she began journeying up my stomach to my chest. By the time we approached the bridge she'd discovered my dreadlocks and began climbing them. As we rolled into the city she had climbed all the way to the back of my neck and settled herself there between my neck and the headrest. Once there she snoozed.
Of the weeks of training I remember little. Dashing down three flights of stairs in the middle of the night to let her pee outside under the stars. Sitting on a cushion in the kitchen, before dawn, her precious black body in my lap, groggily caressing her after her morning feed. Walking with her zipped up in my parka around and around the park that was opposite our house. Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge on foot, her warm body snug in my arms as I swooned into the view. She grew.
Today she is seven years old and weighs almost ninety pounds. People we encounter on walks always ask whether she's pregnant. No, I reply, she's just fat. But is she really? No matter how carefully I feed her or how often I downsize her meals, she remains large and heavy. And she loves to eat so much that when her rations are diminished she begs, which I can't stand. This is one of those areas where we've had the most work to do. I've settled it lately by taking her off any slimming diet whatsoever and giving her enough food so that she seems satisfied. I did this after she was diagnosed with breast cancer, had surgery, and I realized I might lose her at any time. I did not want her last days to be spent looking pleadingly at me for an extra morsel of bread. To make up for giving her more food, I resolved to walk her more.
The friend who went away never really returned. Marley and I ceased expecting to see her after about the first year. Marley was an amazing comfort to me. What is it about dogs? I think what I most appreciate in Marley is how swiftly she forgives me. Anything. Was I cool and snooty when I got up this morning? Did I neglect to greet her when I came in from a disturbing movie? Was I a little short on the foodstuffs and did I forget to give her a cube of dried liver? Well. And what about that walk we didn't do and the swim we didn't take and why don't I play ball with her the way I did all last week? And who is this strange person you want me to go off with? It doesn't matter what it is, what crime against Dog I have committed, she always forgives me. She doesn't even appear to think about it. One minute she's noting my odd behavior, the next, if I make a move toward her, she's licking my hand. As if to say, Gosh, I'm so glad you're yourself again, and you're back!
Dogs understand something I was late learning: When we are mean to anyone or any being it is because we are temporarily not ourselves. We're somebody else inhabiting these bodies we think of as us. They recognize this. Ooops, I imagine Marley saying to herself, sniffing my anger, disappointment, or distraction. My mommy's not in there at the moment. I'll just wait until she gets back. I've begun to feel this way more than a little myself. Which is to say, Marley is teaching me how to be more self-forgiving. Sometimes I will say something that hurts a friend's feelings. I will be miserable and almost want to do away with myself. Then I'll think, But that wasn't really the you that protects and loves this friend so much you would never hurt them. That was a you that slipped in because you are sad and depressed about other things: the state of your love life, your health, or the fate of the planet. The you that loves your friend is back now. Welcome her home. Be gentle with her. Tell her you understand. Lick her hand.
Animals teach us decline and mortality. We understand the importance of being able to help our ageing parents or grandparents, or ill and incapacitated relatives and friends, in just this accepting way.
Cats, in particular, teach us to be ourselves, whatever the odds. A cat, except through force, will never do anything that goes against its nature. Nothing seduces it away from itself.
Contemplate ways we can strengthen our resolve to live our lives as who we really are. See the beauty, for instance, in forgoing an 'important' meeting or gala event in favor of a warm fire at home and a restorative nap.
What makes us purr with contentment? Find it and let it, easily, find you.
Posted by Katie Schwartz at 1:34 PM