Monthly Archives: February 2007

More notes from a coffeshop

When did my daughter start climbing stairs like a grownup? When did her hair get so long? Was there a particular day that she started living in this incredible make-believe she has going on? How did she suddenly get so tall?

My father just leaned over and told me that Nonie, my grandmother, used to call him “Ox” because of his enormous physical strength. He said, “How wonderful, that you’re using the name Blue Ox.”

When did I suddenly get so grown up?


The Blue Ox Top Ten List You’ve Been Holding Your Breath For

Top Ten things I’ve been thinking about lately

By Blue the Ox

1. Scrabble
2. Escape
3. How much I miss my little brother, who is suddenly engaged and I’ll probably never meet her until they have been married for four years
4. Sex
5. Intimacy
6. My current Biggest Problem (see 5, then 2)
7. I hope the fish are ok in that bitty little tank…
8. School, which starts in two weeks or something – I guess I should find out, huh?
9. How much Rocky looks like Rukan, talks like Rukan, and dances, paints and pouts like me
10. How I wish my mom, who still occasionally calls me “Dove Bottom”, would move to Austin

Mom counts me as her best friend. “Well, you and Bonnie,” she clarifies. “But you never even talk to Bonnie,” I say. “Oh yeah. I guess that just leaves you.” I might be one of the few who understands Mom’s sense of humor, because I grew up with it. Tonight she was playing with Rocky, and suddenly did something crude involving a farting toy horse (I won’t repeat it, because seriously people, you won’t get it) and we were both red-faced, teary-eyed, laughing on the floor. We now call Rocky’s plastic horse doll “Hoo-Hoo the Magical Farting Pony”.

The fish are fine, Blue. Stop worrying. They’re JUST FISH. The kind you eat at seders. Mmm. Seders.

Scrabble? Because back before there was TV, before the internet, before cell phones, basically back in the time I’m living in now, there were board games. It’s actually kind of fun. When you’re bored out of your mind and there’s nothing, NOTHING else to do.

My brother sent me an email telling me he’s engaged. My brother and I grew up joined at the head. We were best friends, and we were always together. I was the outgoing one everyone noticed because I was always trying to be the one being noticed, and he was the very quiet one keeping to himself. He’s only met my daughter once, when she was tiny (and I can’t even be sure of that, so far down the potty has my mama-brain flushed) and now he’s engaged, and I’ve never even met the woman and probably there won’t be a public wedding. When I talked to him I tried to be happy for him, but when I opened my mouth to say mazeltov what came out was “And you’re sure she’s not psycho?” I’ll call to apologize tomorrow. I just want to meet the girl, you know? See for myself. I mean, he’s my baby brother. I should be giving him away or something. She should be asking me for his hand.

Somebody asked me recently if I’m excited about school. I thought about it. And had to admit that I’m really not. I’m not dreading it, and I’m sure once I’m there it’ll be interesting and I’ll enjoy the learning of new skills and all that. But really I’m avoiding thinking about it, because of the load of stress it’s probably going to put on me for the next year. I got the loan, and I was all excited and felt like I had done this grown-up thing all by myself, and then it hit me that you have to pay loans off, and rent’s about to rocket because of the new studio. And then I lost my last weekly cleaning gig. So I’m buying veggies in cans again, and advertising like crazy. I was writing my ad, and instead of “dependable” by accident I typed “desperate”. For real. I had to backspace over it. “Housekeeping. Friendly, thorough, non-toxic, desperate. Call Blue, 333-5555, PLEASE.” Really, Concerned Friends, I thought this all through beforehand, and I’m not putting my family in danger or anything. Unless you count canned peas. Eew. It’s all . . . UNDER . . . CONTROL . . .

When people tell Ril how “she has your eyes!” and “oh, look at those curls, just like your Mommy!” I think she should just say “I know, it’s amazing, isn’t it?” When they say “Which side of the family gave her that classy pout?” we should say “the donor.”

Sex. Because it’s just always there, nowadays. Lurking in my mind. Because it’s ok to be a mother and to also lust after the shirtless lawn guy. Because I’m 33, and that’s the magic decade for the women in my family. Primetime, baby. Get me while I’m hot.

Am I missing anything from the list? No? Well, great! Have a lovely night!

I don’t want to talk about it, OK???

Actually I do. It’s just a really big one this time, and I don’t know where to begin. I said I wouldn’t therapize on my blog any more. Because surely you’d rather hear about Pocket’s constipation problems. But if you have any insight into why a sensitive, creative kid who grew up with drug and alcohol addicts in a totally fucked-up society turned into a touch-starved, insecure, anxiety-riddled addict who can’t look her partner in the eyes, and how such a wretch can unlearn intimacy-fear, let me know. Melissa, at her wits’ end, will thank you.

On that light happy note, I will bid you bonsoir, which is French for “Good evening, oh la la, I need to go have sex in the shower”.


I’m still alive! And Miss Elsa is NOT pleased with me.

I’m hunched over Stepfather Ox’s laptop on the floor, pirating wi-fi waves (I LOVE techno-babble, don’t you?), in the tiny efficiency I’m sharing with my wife, our child, our dog, our cat and two goldfish. It actually has been mostly fun so far – kind of like camping. Without tv, computer and, at times, phone, we’ve had some real quality time together. When we’re not trying to strangle each other, we play Scrabble.

I don’t have long, but I did want to give you this week’s . . .


Tight bluejeans with something embroidered on the front of one thigh (very trendy, these days, it seems). A grey v-neck tee shirt, close-fitting (that goes without saying, of course). As always, very put-together, very perky, extremely gorgeously sexy.

And now, the Blue Ox very much not impressing Miss Elsa Oufit Report!

Hairdo: bedhead. Hair color: dull. Snotty, red swollen nose. Glasses askew from Rocky jumping on them. Mouth hanging open, since air will not pass through nostrils. Huge, baggy man’s sweater. Man’s baggy camo pants with knees ripped out. Stubbly kneecaps visible. Gift Socks: white with kitties and balls of yarn. Scuffed black clogs.

Who would YOU date?


Notes from the Coffeeshop

Did I tell you the Rocky-Mama Valentine conversation? This is how it went.

Me: Rocky, will you be my valentine?
Rocky: No.

She’s playing on the coffeeshop floor next to me. She just said “Fuck. This doesn’t work.” Then she looked up at me and said, “Mama, I said ‘fuck’ because this doesn’t work.” I said, “you sure did.” I won’t be the one giving her the ole’ double standard. It’s just a word, right? Yeah, well, tell that to her grandparents and the church ladies during communion.

“Ms. Ox, are you aware that your daughter is teaching the other children curse words in Sunday School?”

“Well yes, see, it’s a cultural thing. She’s descended from truck drivers, pirates, sailors and gambling Arabs.”

“Yes, that’s what she said.”

Mother and Stepfather Ox are coming into town this weekend. I’m very excited about it. Though I’m not sure where we’re going to hang out, since the efficiency we’re living in is about the size of a homeless guy’s cardboard box. I remember seeing those boxes when I’d visit the Big City, when I was a wee lass up in the great white North. Around here, the guys have really ingenious digs out in the greenbelts – really big tarps and blankets strung between trees, makeshift campstoves, even lawnchairs. Not that I’m condoning the illegal burning of things; after all, it was a homeless person’s campfire that burned down Pato’s Tacos, my favorite Tex-Mex joint, and when they rebuilt it they raised the prices even though the food still sucked. But people have got to stay warm. And what’s warmer than a blazing building?

When it’s raining and I’m out walking the dog I can always find Monk by following the smell of smoke from his “stove” – we hike around for a while and there he is, smiling broadly at me, with the Scary Guy who never talks, with a crafty tent ceiling over their heads and a fire burning in some kind of big can, and a couple of giant empty Lonestars at his feet.

When I was living in Western Mass, I took a few days and went out into the Pelham hills for a few days as part of a class project. My goal was to try to cure myself of my terrible phobia of the dark. I built a little deadwood lean-to all by itself by a stream. I was very impressed with myself, and remain so to this day – it was really a dandy little shelter, solidly built, and almost impervious to weather. And I burned a little candle in there all night long. So I was never in the dark.

So I suppose when Mom and Jeff get here we can just string some blankets over the tree limbs on the patio, light the chiminea, and they can just stay out there for a week.

My medieval teeth

I don’t know how I went so long without you. Thank god for friends’ computers.

So in all the purging of boxes of old things to make way for all the new things we’ll surely accumulate when we’ve moved back in, I found a box full of my drawings, poems, report cards, stories and that sort of thing from when I was a wee lass. Here’s a letter to the tooth fairy I found.

“Dear Tooth Fairy,

This is a special tooth because when the dentist pulled it out I almost peed my pants. You’ll notice that there are marks on it where he had to use a saw to make it squeeze out.

Please take this into consideration when you leave me a gift, and think of the torturous agony I went through to give this to you.


I ask you: HAVE I CHANGED?

And yes, there was indeed a little molar in the envelope, which looked as if it somebody had taken a chainsaw to it. Back in the days of my youth, dentists were specially trained to hurt little children with medieval devices.

What neighbors are good for

Oh no! The time has come . . . we’re all set up to move downstairs . . . and, the computer – the computer – the computer is being . . . TURNED OFF!

Goodbye . . . goooooodbyyyyye!!!!!

Notes from the Sickhouse

I’m afraid I’m going to have to conclude Sex Toy Week. Not that displaying my whips on my blog for whoever to see is not an absolutely charming idea. After all, it’s not like I USE them or anything . . . no, I’m not having regrets! Me, regrets? Hah! Ahem.

So, how ’bout them Red Sox?

Not to change the subject, but . . . somebody forwarded me this photo of two ancient human-types who died hugging each other.

The bone-digging community as all astir over it, because it’s very rare to find two skeletons together, much less two skeletons together engaged in some sort of romantical act.

In other news, everyone in the world and outer space seems to have caught the same cruddy cold. I myself am fairly miserable with aches, faucet-nose and the rare sinus infection; Rocky and Melissa are at the tail end of theirs, and everyone else I know is either just over, in the middle, or about to catch the miseries. Melissa and I are in the middle of packing up our house, so the place is in a shambles and our food and stuff to live is all in the downstairs apartment, where we’ll be staying until everything up here is done.

The other day Melissa was standing on the couch, taking things off the wall, and when she went to step off she tripped over all the shit on the floor and fell across the room, somehow, and landed on the fish condo, the 300-pound fish condo, hard enough to move it across its stand. When you move big fish tanks they’re likely to break later on in the middle of the night and flood whatever’s below your house, in our case still-wet drywall and two brand-new studios, so we had to transfer the stressed-out fish to a little tank and drain the big one. Luckily Melissa was not hurt badly, but Pocket and Parsley are petrified in their new digs. Whenever I come near they dart around frantically and try to break through the glass to get away.

Well, that’s the report. Boring? Perhaps. But hey, I’m sick.