Alright, so I’m done with this blog, like I said. From now on, I’m going to be hanging out over here. I’d really appreciate it if you guys would help me make the switch, since it seems that it’s harder to get readers on Blog Spot (for whatever reason), but that’s where I’ll be blogging from now on since it’s much more reader-friendly, in my opinion…I know I probably shouldn’t talk crap about WordPress on WordPress, but honestly, it’s not that great. And besides, I needed a URL that included my name to help build my format and, what the hell, someone on WP has the same name as me apparently. Weird.
Anyway, it’s up and running. I’ve recently posted about good magazines to submit to, and there will be another one up soon. Also, if you haven’t checked it out already, I’ve started up a literary magazine that’s getting pretty popular, so go ahead and head over there, too.
Thanks, guys. I’ll miss my WP friends, but there’s lots more over on Blog Spot. Just help me move, please!
Let me start by saying I don’t even know what a ball-gag is.
My grandma, Swinger Granny, was sitting at the kitchen table talking to some salesman on speaker-phone, saying, “I need your XXL ball-gag in black, please” so loudly I could hear her from the bathroom. I was trying to pee, and there I was, fifteen years old, wondering: What the hell is a ball-gag? I had no idea why she’d want something to gag somebody with. Was it just a ball you stuffed down people’s throats?
Well maybe, I thought, maybe it wasn’t murderous at all. Knowing my grandma, she wouldn’t want to kill anyone. Maybe a ball-gag is just something you put in your sink pipes to stop them from leaking. I don’t know. To this day, I have no idea, but I just remember hearing Swinger Granny talk about it.
To be honest, I was afraid to ask what it was.
But after that day, I had at the gist of it.
To set the scene a little, it was the middle of August. I was sweating like a fat fuck and smoking so much weed my skin burned with THC. Shit, I was sweating it. But I was being forced to spend the summer with Granny, so the bud was the only way to dodge her weird behavior; I guess I didn’t mind as much because for the most part, she left me alone. She mostly showed up when it was breakfast, lunch, or dinner. We’d meet up in the kitchen—I’d smell like skunk, with squinty eyes and raven Russian hair all unfurled. She’d be in her curlers in her bathrobe in her facial cream with a cigarette butt in her mouth; she always smelled like poop, but I never said anything. I figured I didn’t smell any better.
That was all. Okay, not all, since sometimes the neighbor boys would come over and get high with me, but that was always boring. We just blew. Watched TV. Talked about celebrities. Kurt Cobain. His shit. Music, we called it. Do it for the music, man. Peace on Earth. Twenty-first century hippies. Beatniks. Poets. Fairies. All that. And when the neighbor girls came over, we made hemp skirts, talked about who’s hot (and who’s most definitely not), tied dandelions into bracelets, ate ice cream—God, I felt like a real girl when they’d come over.
They came over once, Anna. You’re kidding yourself.
Well one day, I’d been having a good day. I woke up earlier than I usually did (10 ante meridiem!), smoked outside with the cool wind and the sun, laid naked in the alfalfa, got dressed, and went inside for a bite to eat before going back outside. So, of course, I expected to see Granny in the kitchen, waiting for me to tell her what to make for lunch…but she wasn’t in the kitchen. See, the kitchen is the first room you walk into when you go in the house, so I could’ve stood on the porch and looked through the screen door to see if she was in the kitchen or not, but I wanted to feel the A/C so I went on in.
And I heard moans.
Yes. Murderous, sick moans like someone being gagged to death. That, I thought, that’s not what that’s for. And like I said, I refuse to believe that’s in any way aphrodisiac—you know, how we all think the ball-gag is supposed to be used. There’s no way women (or men) would find that sexy. No. Shit no. That’s stranger than strange—stranger than Swinger Granny and all the shit I have to put up with. Stranger than getting nailed by my autistic cousin. Stranger than a nine-inch dildo in my pocket. Stranger than everything I could think of—why the hell would you want to be gagged? What if you die? Turn purple? Here, take a picture and upload it to Facebook? Update my status, tell everyone I’m being ball-gagged, but don’t worry, guys, I like it?
Naturally, I was worried about the noises. If it were your grandmother screaming, all gagged-up like that, you’d be worried, too. You’d be shaking in your boots.
You’d go investigate, too.
So I walked down the A/C hallway, feeling breezy and flushed and high all at once. I think they call it nirvana, that feeling—I think they call it bliss. That fluttery feeling you get in your chest when something exciting is about to happen. Or, if you’re a guy, that tingly feeling you get in your balls when you’re about to go on a fucking rollercoaster or something. Or screw a drunken cheerleader. Or your best friend’s mom. Or a goat. All that. It’s heaven; heaven is whenever, wherever, whatever. It’s all around you, man, says my dad. Just gotta look hard ’nuff. For some people, he told me, for some people their heaven is killing people. It’s bliss to smell guts. Taste them. Swallow them up. The scary part is: My dad’s the wisest man I know.
But anyway, there I was. I was walking down the murky blue hallway, walking with my socks on, tip-toeing like Elmer, gonna catch me a wabbit. Well, no—not catch. More, I wanted to debunk my stupid suspicion of her being some kind of sadist. Rapist. Masochist. Gagger. Gaggee. All that.
I discovered that day that I’m a terrible sneaker-arounder.
Granny opened the door with the ball-gag in her mouth. Hands on her naked saggy hips. Pink curling spools in her hair. Shit aroma floating everywhere. As soon as she started talking, I could see a younger guy on the bed jacking off. A little blonde guy with a tattoo—almost sexy, save for his little dick.
She tried to cover the whole door with her body. She popped the gag out’ve her mouth.
“What? What do you want?” she spat.
Me, I turned on my soft little heels and went back outside to play. To light up.
Forget about this shit.
The rest of that summer was spent, obviously, getting high, but I also started to paint pictures. Swinger Granny was a big artist in her day, so she had lots of left-over supplies for me to use—it wasn’t awkward to talk about art, but everything else seemed off-limits. We painted big Picasso portraits of each other—I mean, if nothing else, it gave us something to do. I wasn’t weirded-out when we were painting together. Her hands, I didn’t think about them jerking anybody off. It just pushed the brush around. And her mouth, when she talked with the cigarette bouncing up and down, I didn’t think about it opening up for a measly condensed-milk splurge, aged 21 to perfection. And her ass, when she sat down, I didn’t think of the cottage-cheese waves it made when some skinny white guy was pounding it.
None of that, no. It was fun, if you want to know the truth.
One time I painted Granny’s cat, Marco, lounging on the window sill. One time I oil-pasteled a dick named Dick—and Dick had a dick, too. One time I sketched myself with face paint on—that shit took a week to get off all the way—I made an orange circle on my nose-tip, swirly purple vines around my eyes, and deep cherry red streams running from my forehead to my chin. Like I was sweating blood. I used colored pencils.
I was getting pretty good at art, so I decided to enter a competition of the YMCA.
I didn’t place.
I didn’t get an honorable mention.
It was a painting. It was of a dog sucking himself off. With Granny watching from her sofa, with a cigarette in her mouth, smiling. Admiring the mutt.
It was called “Admiring the Mutt.”
Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of novels, and it’s weird but I’ve noticed it’s been affecting my own writing. Like the way he words things, I’m starting to word things like him too (probably not as gracefully as he does, but you get the idea). Or my sentence structure. What he does, he puts the subject first, and then describes it. For example: “Her dress, it was falling off” or “The window, it shattered into a million pieces.” I like to thing I’m developing his style, I guess, even if I’ll never be able to fully match his genius.
I read somewhere that he lived in Portland, too, but I’ve yet to have that verified. I’d love to meet him sometime since I live in the Pacific Northwest, too, and he maybe goes to some of the same writing conferences (PNWA?)
Anyway, I’m going to read Fight Club next. Apparantly, that’s the most popular one he’s written. I swear, I always read the most unpopular of an author’s books and totally skip over the most profound. And there’s also Pygmy, Snuff, Lullaby, and Damned I’ve yet to read. So I haven’t quite experienced the full Palahniuk experience, but I hope to soon. I swear, I eat that crap up in hours. Minutes. Seconds. It has never taken me more than 2 days to finish a Palahniuk novel, and I doubt it’ll ever get to that point.
In conclusion, I guess I’ll say I’m still working on my novel(la) and it should be done soon. If I haven’t told anyone yet (I don’t think I have), it’s about an Artist Wife, her Gay Fiancé, his Skinhead Cop lover, and a Swinger Granny who makes everything all-the-more entertaining. If you love me, you’ll buy it. If not, then I don’t love you, either.
Love for literature, I think, is the only true love there is.
“Are you there, Satan? It’s me, Madison. I’m just now arrived here, in Hell, but it’s not my fault except for maybe dying from an overdose of marijuana. Maybe I’m in Hell because I’m fat—a Real Porker. If you can go to Hell for having low self-esteem, that’s why I’m here. I wish I could lie and tell you I’m bone-thin with blond hair and big ta-tas. But, trust me, I’m fat for a really good reason.
To start with, please let me introduce myself.
How to best convey the exact sensation of being dead…
Yes, I know the word convey. I’m dead, not a mental defective.
Trust me, the being-dead part is much easier than the dying part. If you can watch much television, then being dead will be a cinch. Actually, watching television and surfing the Internet are really excellent practice for being dead.
The closest way I can describe death is to compare it to when my mom boots up her notebook computer and hacks into the surveillance system of our house in Mazatlan or Banff. “Look,” she’d say, turning the screen sideways for me to see, “it’s snowing.” Glowing softly on the computer would be the interior of our Milan house, the sitting room, with snow falling outside the big windows, and by long distance, holding down her Control, Alt and W keys, my mom would draw open the sitting room drapes all the way. Pressing the Control and D keys, she’d dim the lights by remote control and we’d both sit, on a train or in a rented town car or aboard a leased jet, watching the pretty winter view through the windows of that empty house displayed on her computer screen. With the Control and F keys, she’d light a fire in the gas fireplace, and we’d listen to the hush of the Italian snow falling, the crackle of the flames via the audio monitors of the security system. After that, my mom would keyboard into the system for our house in Cape Town. Then log on to view our house in Brentwood. She could simultaneously be all places but no place, mooning over sunsets and foliage everywhere except where she actually was. At best, a sentry. At worst, a voyeur.”
Here’s an awesome poem by a guy named A.g. Synclair:
it would be my pleasure
to plant your face into that fucking wall
but only if it made
the madness easier to chew
the bar man comp me a drink
or someone laugh
because it’s only good
if someone else likes it.
Pretty awesome, right? Anyway, if you like that, then check out my literary mag. Plenty more awesome stuff where that came from.
Also, I’m uh, workin’ on that, uh, novel. Got, uh, got a good protagonist…got, uh, got a lotta good conflict…stuff like that. Anyway, it should be done in a few months. I’ll tell you when you can buy it.
It’s not like it’s a secret or anything. Pshaw.
No matter what you think you’ve accomplished: None of it matters. Not really. If you’re out in the middle of the lake fishing, and you catch the biggest fish anybody’s ever caught, and you know for sure that this is, yes, the biggest g-damn catfish in the entire world according to the world record book, but you’re the only one on the boat, who cares? And when you say, fine, I’ll take a picture of the stupid fish and show it to all my friends when I get home, what happens when the film doesn’t develope? Or the SD card gets swallowed up by the waves? And then, when you want to bring the stupid fish home, so you go to put it in the ice box, and it slips out of your hands and back into oblivion…no one’s going to believe you caught the biggest fish in the world.
No one cares.
We've come to know her as Lady Gaga, but before the world tours, "The Fame" or even the dress made of meat, photographer Malgorzata Saniewska knew her simply as her restaurant co-worker, Stefani Germanotta.
In the summer of 2005, Saniewska, who goes by Maggie, happened to be tending bar at the same West Village restaurant where the 19-year-old soon-to-be star worked as a waitress.