Saturday, February 23, 2008


I have moved my blog to here although I haven't beautified it yet. I suppose adornment will have to wait.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A New Mr. T.

Last night, Patrick and I went to see Sweeney Todd. I had looked forward to it. I love the musical, and I enjoy depictions of gloomy Victorian London. I squeal over Johnny Depp, and I like Helena Bonham Carter even though I take her less seriously than I used to. (I blame a friend of mine who refers to her a GNILF: a Gnome I’d Like to Fuck.)

Tim Burton’s movie is so dark it’s light—it shimmers with malevolence. It seems to achieve this at the expense of the play’s exuberance; the film feels a little wooden sometimes, especially during songs like “A Little Priest.” Part of the musical’s witchcraft stems from the way it gets you to cheer for murder and cannibalism: Here’s Patti LuPone and George Hearn (the original Sweeney) performing “A Little Priest,” for example.

“What is that? It's fop. Finest in the shop. And we have some shepherd's pie peppered with actual shepherd on top! And I've just begun-- Here's the politician, so oily it's served with a doily, have one!”

Scholars argue that one of the consequences of Romanticism was the startling conclusion that the human imagination, in all of its glorious potency, could create visions much worse than any Lucifer. Burton’s Sweeney Todd strengthens this claim; I like it the way I like a really good nightmare.

It will take some time for me to forget Sweeney’s blood-streaked face as it appears near the end of the film. He is either unaware of the blood or uninterested in wiping it off.

People are a wicked, wicked lot.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Kinder, Gentler

The scene at my home a couple of nights ago:

Glenn Miller and orchestra play classic Christmas songs on the stereo. My husband strings some multicolored lights around the perimeter of our front two windows. Chloe, our golden lab/retriever mix, runs around with a cheerful tongue hanging out of her mouth.

I stand in the kitchen making brownies, which 1) do not have pot in them, and 2) I plan to give to our neighbors. I'm practicing the ancient ritual of never returning a plate to a neighbor without something on it. The plate is decorated with Frosties and snowflakes.

Whose life is this?

(My cat Sybil, however, continues to stare up at me with huge, hostile, and startled eyes. Some things are constant.)

Happy holidays to all of you, and thank you for reading.


This is not my home in Old Orchard, Toledo, but it looks like it.
Old Orchard is full of narrow streets, old-fashioned houses, and many trees. And it's across the street from the university.

The Wanamaker (now Lord & Taylor) light show in downtown Philadelphia. I'm feeling sentimental today, apparently.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Acronym game


Every time I hope to write something

New, I

Notice that I get stuck in an

Unending loop of


Enough is enough, already. I

Need to turn outwards instead of inwards, or at least find a

Novel way to

Unite the two, thereby creating a more

Interchangeable I.

Expression should

Not be so circular,

Nor so insular. Let me look

Under a different rock or use it like a doorjamb to block further self-


Friday, December 7, 2007

Revisiting Prohibition: Rant

I'm sick of feeling like I'm disabled because I'm an alcoholic.

I'm sick of having to vet every situation before I enter it.

I'm sick of seeing that look of either pity or guilt on people's faces when I tell them about "my problem."

I'm sick of thinking about it all the time.

And I'm sick of not doing what I want to do.

(No relapse afoot here. Just needed to vent.)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Paging Doctor Starling

"I thought the killing scenes in the film made it a more enjoyable film to watch."

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Snippet from a short story a student asked me to read:

"Every time I look at him, his eyes take me off the face of the earth and to a world unknown."