A is for Alphabet

His name is Antwan and he knows the first letter of the alphabet is ‘A.’

The notepad he came with has paper like coloring books, rough, and lines both bold and dashed, like a road. He also came with a pencil twice the diameter of a regular pencil, with a chunky black smudged eraser and a rounded point. This is why I use mechanical.

I take up the baton of a pencil and draw two lines, joined at the top, and then a smaller one connecting them midway down. A

“Now you try”

He brought his nose within an inch of the page and copied my letter.

Well, he drew a lopsided triangle.

“That’s pretty good, Antwan” (I lied) “but the letter A is like a tipi and if the door is on the ground, how will the Indians get in?”

He doesn’t know yet that ‘Indian’ really refers to India. ‘Native American’ would be the more PC term. Also, most Native Americans didn’t use tipis.

I draw another ‘A’, the tipi door half way up so “Indians” can get in and out.

“Ok, ok. I got this on lock.” He’s in first grade, but he’s got this “on lock.”

He puts his head down again and gives it another go. Must be really concentrating. I look around at other kids on C and D, mastering their curves. One girl is working on the intricacies of E already. Nerd. A is for Antwan so it’s really important that he get the first letter down.

I look over again and he’s still hunched over his notebook. Baton swirling, flipping, erasing, flipping. There’s no way it takes this long to make three lines, unless he’s pulling a DiVinci and making sure his angles are right on, lines crisp (as crisp as you can make with such a bulky instrument).


He drew an A alright- complete with hieroglyphics, a buffalo, and an Indian opening the door of his tipi.


My Pagan Palm

Dear Jai B,

Here is your personal palm reading! This will be a general reading of your palm, and what it says about you and your personality. Enjoy.

First let's take a look at your Life Line. The double Life Line you may see on your hand is a very lucky marking. The extra lines are called 'vitality lines' and they indicate increased vitality and positive forces at work in your life. The wide swooping motion of your Life Line indicates strength, enthusiasm and an improved love life. The island in your Life Line could indicate a period of hospitalization or some other kind of recuperation.

Now let's see what your Head Line had to say. Your Head Line is deep, long and straight, stretching across the palm. This indicates a logical and direct way of thinking. The straighter the line, the more realistic the thinking, and the deeper the line, the better the memory. The joining of your Head Line and Life Line at the beginning indicates that your strong sense of mind generally rules over your body. You also look at childhood with a cautious and fearful outlook.

The last line we'll look at is your Heart Line. A normal and content love life is represented when the Heart Line starts under the Index Finger as it does on your hand. A long Heart Line like yours, running almost all the way across the palm, represents an idealist in love. In love you tend to look for those whose status rises above your own, and you have a great respect for them. Those little lines you see running downward from your Heart Line indicate disappointments in love.

You posses a square hand. This is typically the mark of a working, balanced, earthy individual. Most businessmen who've become successful, and have risen from working with their hands, have square palms. This type of hand is typically found on people, who are involved in a practical, materialistic occupation. They see people usually have solid values and a lot of physical energy.

We hope that gives you a little more insight into your personality, and your palm. Thanks for visiting us.

Your friend,
The OFE Palm Reader



high*pot*eh*moose, noun

the antlers opposite the 90-degree angle of a triangle

see also: measuring degeese, isoscaley triangle, and equilateral triangle


Vampiric Suction Cups

“You keep em coming, and I’ll keep em coming

And one day we’ll both be famous writers.”

(jaibee to Michael Kopena)

(the first porn writers)

(Michael Alig to James St. James)

(Caligula to everyone at the orgy)

(Hard Touching)

(Valerie Solanas to Andy Warhol)


Welcome to the Yukon Trail

-Have you been eating at all? You’re, like, vanishing. P.S. you look like shit.
-I had almonds for breakfast today and, like, 10 cups of tea. And some raisins I found in my desk.
-Firstly, ew. Secondly, what the fuck. Like a fuckin fawn or some shit. Have a fuckin hamburger.
-… but I don’t eat meat.

This is how he expressed concern, punctuated with ‘fuck.’

And he was right, I do resemble a fawn.

Have you ever seen a deer up close? He saw a deer once so up close it had come through his windshield. It is true that he was drunk and true that it was foggy. It’s false he threw it in reverse to make sure it was dead. That’s what he meant when he said I looked like a fawn.

We had deer in the backyard every morning, I remember, eating the apples that fell to the ground, the bad ones that never rolled far from the tree. That was probably the last time I climbed a tree actually, against my grandmother’s stiff warning. I wish I could travel back now, to see myself sitting scabby-kneed in a tree,

“Who are you at the core?”
Seedy and fibrous, said the apple.

It takes a strong stomach to eat an entire apple, strong enough to break down the star-shaped cartilage, strong enough to keep the sprouted seeds from climbing up your throat. So Grandma says. Apples I can handle. Apples, when small, can be handled with myomectomies. Watermelons, on the other hand- well, that is something I might not ever be able to handle.

Besides, apples aren’t all bad. Ever make a star stamp? Cut the apple at its middle, dip it in that classroom paint that smells like crayon and voila! You are a divine creator well on your way to making a universe.

You are God (with a capital ‘g’).

Now that you’ve created the universe, you’ll want to mold some mortals a couple days later. This also is easily done, especially with all your divinity.

When I was in girl scouts, I carved my mother’s face in an apple. Its flesh was smooth and white and sweet. I left her on the picnic table when I was called in for dinner, but when I found her days later, she had aged into my Nana. Weathered and brown. Wrinkled. So I left her for dead, for squirrel food.

Apples taught me about growing old and about dying in the jaws of a fawn (car), or, if you’re lucky, the harshness of the seasons.

Welcome to the Yukon Trail.



Down. 1.
Down. 2.
Down. 3.

Gym class was no one’s favorite, especially not in middle school. Oh, the embarrassment of changing in front of the other girls in the locker room. Forget it if you were fat. Or thin. Or too pale. Or with fake tan lines. Or wore the ‘Sunday’ undies on Wednesday. Or if your boob slipped out while bending over to put on your friend’s shorts that you’re borrowing for the day because you forgot yours at home and this is your third strike before you’d have to come to run laps in the morning at 7am. Forget it.

Down. 4.
Down. 5.
Down. 6.

You’re half asleep because, I dunno, it’s first period and now you’re sitting in your perfect lines graphed out by the basketball court boundaries, on a dirty floor that smells like varnish. God, please no squats today. Jumping jacks were always first, which was fine for someone as flat-chested as I was. I felt bad for Jessica Hardaker. She was simply a set of big bouncy tits, 90% of the time. The other 10% of the time, she was a giant cunt bitch. (yeah, I said the c-word)

Down. 7.
Down. 8.
Down. 9.
Down. 10.

Lunges were cake. You could practically fall asleep leaning over your knee. As far as I was concerned, there was no physical benefit to lunges. Stretching was easy too. Being at the beginning of the alphabet has its advantages. Namely, not having to see half my classmates bent over, striving (ok not really) to touch their toes. Then again, I guess they had to deal with me. Which is their problem (I didn’t see it that way then).

[Position 1: squatPosition
2: kick your legs back and assume push up position
Position 3: bend and straighten elbows
Position 4: bring knees back in
Position 5: stand upright]


Now do that 20 times. Fill a gym with kids doing it at the same time and you’d swear you were in the middle of an orchestrated stampede. Oh, and if Coach feels like a dick that day, you can hold position 3, elbows bent, for a bit.

Down. 11.
Down. 12.

Crunches were whatever. Some of the nerdier kids would curl up and look like wiggling meal worms, pale and floundering.

Down. 13.
Down. 14.

Push ups were always last and there were no girl push ups in Coach Grymko’s class. (Coach Grymko looked like Wario in a sweat suit) I’ve never done a pull up so my push ups weren’t so snazzy either. My sinewy arms usually bowed outwards, bringing my chin down to an inch above the floor.

“Bloomer! Elbows”

This is warning number one. If you were really lazy that day, you’d have to redo them in front of everyone. Alone. Because then, and maybe only then, your form would be perfect- your back as straight as an arrow, elbows at right angles, and eyes forward, cheeks flushed (whether from embarrassment or actual physical strain, it doesn’t really matter)

Down. aaaand 15.


Something Borrowed, Something Blue

The chick that sits behind me got the rock. You know what I’m talking about- that glimmery, shimmery, rock cradled by a claw of white gold, suspended on the fourth finger to the right on your left hand. The finger destined to hold *the* ring- hence, ring finger.

I’ve heard snippets of the same story all morning: a dinner of lobster and pricey wine, a walk along the water on a cool night where they had to nuzzle to stay warm, the prince charming one-kneed proposal and a small robin’s egg blue box.


I haven’t spilled the details of my romantic life with as much gusto as this chick since …well, never. I don’t want you to know what cologne my boyfriend wears. I don’t want to know where you frequent for dinner, nor do I want you to have a good chance of guessing where I am on Saturday night. This chick gets her holy grail around her finger and she’s singing her story like the gospel.

I’m not the church-going type, but I’m helping choose between the amethyst halter top dresses and the sweetheart top yellow ones. Are we going with orchids??

If my boyfriend all of sudden gets a haircut, takes me to restaurant he can’t pronounce, and suggests we walk along the river, I’m jumping and swimming to safety. This person is obviously not for me. Pulling over on I-95 on our way to nowhere sounds preferable or pretending I’m Jodie Foster and taking a shot at the president. Now that’s romance. (Although I think the one-knee thing is kinda sweet. And while we’re on tradition, I would hope he ask my dad’s permission, not because he has to, but to insure that my dad/brother/grandfather don’t purchase a handgun.)

And I’m not a bitter, sarcastic person. Deep down I’m a sort of unconventional hopeless romantic- the one who’s more swooned by a small yellow flower hidden in a glasses case than a full bouquet of red roses sent to my work. Girls are expensive and needy, but I can appreciate a DIY dude. With a limited budget, an intro arts and crafts class and a rhyming dictionary, you too can impress any lady with homemade presents. And it works, I swear.

Supposedly, the diamond ring thing is a DeBeers conspiracy to make a ton o’ money, and James Bond and Beyonce were paid to endorse “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” Trust me; diamonds are not my best friend. My best friend cost a helluva lot less.

Besides, what the fuck am I going to do with a 4K investment on my hand?? Probably lose it.

I would hope my future husband finds a better way to spend a month’s salary (if he has a salary). There are a bajillion other things I would rather share: a vacation, a fireplace, a couple wells in sub-Sahara Africa, an awesome telescope, whatever.

Although, I am looking forward to the upcoming weeks of bridesmaid dresses, flower selection, veils, menu packages, venues, rings, family seating, centerpieces, music playlist, vows, invitations, manicures, in-laws, rehearsal dinners... As someone who has had a hand in the planning of several weddings, I will tell you that this chick’s work productivity is going to plummet, along with those in the general vicinity.

Personally, I’m down with daisies. Ties and jackets (and shoes) optional. No presents. Certainly no sweetheart tops.

P.S. How do you think your children will feel if you tell them your wedding song was by Death Cab for Cutie?... or Public Enemy?


Warm Milk and Honey

I’m starting to feel the first tinges of sleep deprivation- the long staring matches with the keyboard, the twitchy coffee fixes, reading the same page 5 times only to realize that you’ve only really absorbed the first three lines. I’m beyond yawning, but certainly not beyond bitching about it. All my mechanical functionalities, all my pistons and valves are fueled by a caffeine/adrenaline/dopamine cocktail- which if history repeats itself, I’ve had one too many.

It seems fitting then that I’ve been listening to unhealthy amounts of Radiohead, In Rainbows, which magically appeared on my desktop compliments of a Mister Chris Cannon (not the House Republican who got in trouble for internet gambling and shady finances, but a far cooler Mr. Cannon). Typically, it would take far more than a couple nights’ lack of sleep to slow this tough broad down, but I’m willing to submit to lethargy.

Thom Yorke is such a pretentious asshole, “too important to be cleaning up someone else’s shit” (his quote, about changing his son’s diapers)…but he makes great music for sleepy people.

At what point does one get too tired to sleep? What a disadvantageous phenomenon. And last night knowing that I would have to be on camera today and knowing that I would be at a staff meeting until midnight, prepped for bed like I was hitting the sack for a one-time-only with Johnny Depp. I washed up good, slipped into something “a little more comfortable,” put on some of the ‘sleepy time mix,’ lit a candle and read a page of my book five times. I was already spent and feeling lofty so I should have hit the pillow like a ton of bricks- a bear and moose nuzzled under my arm like puppies.

But I rolled until the sheets hogtied my legs. I laid still until the restlessness caused me to throw a tantrum to challenge any three-year-old-don’t-wanna-leave-the-ball-pit-yet one. I even tried Michael-brand tree meditation, to no avail. And warm milk and honey does not make you sleepy as your grandmother once professed. Warm milk is gross even when coupled with something as simply delightful as honey. Warm milk tastes like what cows look like. Besides, in a couple hours you will have to pee and the bright bathroom florescent light will only remind you further that it’s 4am and you won’t get a wink of sleep tonight.

All scenarios considered, I would love nothing more than to spend an hour or three sleeping with the window open so the breeze can roll down my back like a wave, listening to Radiohead, just like every day freshman year, spring term, right around this time of day.

And don’t get me started on my tricycle nightmare…