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June 29th, 2009

Not “hmmm” or “mmm” and certainly not “mmmmmmmmmmm…”

“The writing has been an exercise in trying to work my way towards clarity. Get out the pen and try to face the beast yourself. And what’s bothering you, right? Well, that’s not exactly it. It’s very hard peeling the layers off your own onion. When you get to the truth, do I want to say that in public?”
— Joni Mitchell in an 2003 PBS interview

Reading Michelle Mercer’s biography of Joni Mitchell, “Will You Take Me As I Am.” It’s excellent.

I’ve been doing the Wii-Fit every damn day practically since God spoke to Moses and have I lost weight? No. First I did, oh yes, I did. Seven pounds. But now it’s back. I blame it on the cupcakes, cheesecake and adult beverages we’ve been enjoying since my mother-in-law has been in town. And the pizza.


Maybe I’m lucky it’s just the back and forth seven pounds and not, say, twenty.

Goodbye, pizza. You are no friend to me. Desserts? You’re next. Get to steppin’. It was my birthday I wanted cake. Aiiiii. (In the words of our friend Ilsa, “More cake.”)

How goes the healthy eating for you? Doesn’t it seem like it should be easier in the summer, what with all the carrots and fresh fruit and everything?

I’ve been thinking about this whole Farrah and Michael thing and here’s what I’m thinking — why do I care? Sure, the Jackson Five was the first album I ever owned, and I loved Charlie’s Angels, but I didn’t know them. I didn’t give birth to them. They didn’t belong to my family or go out for coffee with me or bring me food that time when I was sick. We never did a neighborhood clean-up together, broke bread together, talked gardening, yelled to each other during a parade or any of the things that count in my version of “real” world.

As Steve put it, “They represent the ’70s. There goes our childhood.” True, that.

I guess why their deaths bummed me out was 1) Unrealized potential. 2) Unrealized happiness. Or maybe it’s because it’s only been two months today since we lost my Dear Granny. It is still too fresh. In my mind I can hear her say, “Ol’ Elvis, that poor boy had too much, too soon” and “Patsy. Now Patsy had her a hard life.”

The same can be said for MJ. Poor guy really did have too much, too soon. And Farrah had her an exceptionally hard life. Hair, teeth, talent, skin, looks, ambition, money, money, money. None of it matters, does it? Not if you’re choosing to be with people who abuse you, or you can’t get away from your demons. All the money in the world can’t save you from your own self.

My Grandpa, my Dear Granny’s beloved husband, installed draperies, raised cattle, played with his grandkids, loved his wife, loved to laugh at the everyday foibles of the world. He was such an Arkansas boy. Hard working, minded his own business, didn’t cheat or bullshit. He would shoot the breeze, but would never bullshit. Would rather wear the same pair of jeans, patched twenty times, than buy a new pair. I used to ride along with him sometimes to jobs, if he was working out of town. Such a chatterbox — my Granny and Mom knew that he wouldn’t fall asleep on the long drive home, exhausted after a day of physical labor, if he had me riding shotgun.

We were working in this big, beautiful, brand-new house once in Sun River, over in Central Oregon — OK, he was working, I was perched on a window seat upstairs, writing in my journal and reading my book. I said, Man, Grandpa, this is a nice house. I want a house like this when I grow up.

He tells me, “The lady who owns this house is dying of cancer. She won’t be around much longer.”

I’m all, awww, that is sad!

He says, “Honey, things are not always what they appear to be.”

Work hard, play hard, have fun. Be good to yourself and fight those demons cuz you’re the only one who can.

much love,



  1. Lelo says

    Amen WM. Amen.

    June 29th, 2009 | #

  2. edj says

    Your grandpa was very wise.

    June 29th, 2009 | #

  3. LIB says


    June 29th, 2009 | #

  4. wacky cousin says

    That’s the truth.

    June 29th, 2009 | #

  5. WackyMummy says

    Hear hear!

    June 29th, 2009 | #

  6. Debbie Davis says

    So true. Your grandpa sounds wonderful.

    June 30th, 2009 | #

  7. The Other Laura says

    It is the end of our childhoods, isn’t it?

    I’ve lost seven pounds since I started running and I have not given up a darn thing. I’m having strawberry ice cream for dessert. Ha!

    July 1st, 2009 | #

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