Where does the good go

Archive for November, 2012

Gilda who?

Friday, November 30th, 2012 by Dawn Summers

Chapter of Gilda’s club to change name because college age students don’t have access to google. Wait… what? O_o

The saddest part of this story? The Gene Wilder quotes and the sense I get that he talks to Gilda Radner OFTEN.

Couldn’t have said it better myself

Friday, November 30th, 2012 by Dawn Summers


The blight man was born for

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012 by Dawn Summers

I went to Thanksgiving dinner at a college friend’s house.

The cast of characters at her dinners is surprisingly unchanged since she first started having them in 2000, after she graduated from law school and moved to New York. I have probably made it to 8 or 9 out of those 12. This year, as I surveyed the table looking for my placecard, I noticed I was seated at the children’s table.

I was highly and immediately irritated.

I had poured myself a glass of wine before walking into the dining room, so I turned on the Texans/Lions football game, sat on the sofa and thought about my choices. It was an issue of fairness, I decided, there were other single women coming to dinner and they weren’t put at the children’s table.

I don’t even care about Thanksgiving. Never have, in fact. If nine-year-old Dawn could have gotten safely from Halloween to Christmas without stopping for turkey in between, she would have! I know this, because she sketched out pretty detailed plans for same in her diary. And now that I love football? DUDE! I would very happily wake up at 11:30, shower, make coffee and then watch football in bed for the next 12 hours.

Nope, this would not stand. I decided to come up with some benign excuse, one that would get me out of there, but not cause a scene. I don’t care about Thanksgiving, but I wouldn’t ruin it for others.

I poured another glass of wine and settled on some vague stomach ailment. The kitchen door creaked open and a woman I had never seen before walked into the dining room.

“Hi. I’m Lisa. I went to Yale with her.”

“Dawn. Me too,” I drank deeply from my glass.

“Oh yeah… maybe we met before. Were you at the wedding?”

I raised my eyebrow. The game was back on, I needed to start exhibiting symptoms of my stomach ache, but here I was, now trapped in a conversation with a, presumably, crazy person. If she were at the wedding, she would know that I was *in* that wedding — a conspicuously plump brown ball wrapped in green satin with green fingernails — which I swear had seemed like a great idea at the time.

“Uh…yeah, I was there.” I finished my wine.

“Oh, then we probably met then. Have you heard of Yale Ladies?”

I refilled my glass, leaving about a swallow in the bottle.

“Well, I was one.” I swallowed that swallow straight from the bottle and put the empty bottle on the floor.

She chuckled. “No, it’s a charity organization. I started it a few years ago with my friend Mira, she’s upstairs.”

I had been told that my nephew was upstairs napping with the son of another of the dinner guests.

“Oh, is she napping with the babies?”

“No, she’s praying. She’s muslim.”

“Oh.” I took a sip of wine from my glass. I turned back to the football game.

She was quiet for a bit, then said “so you like football?”

I continued watching. “Yeah.”

A few more moments of silence, then:

“I used to watch, but I don’t really anymore.”

“Mmm,” another swallow.

“Oh, so I was telling you about Yale Ladies. We do a lot of community service and we’re planning a big conference in DC with a number of prominent speakers. I’m very excited, but I can’t divulge any of the names yet.”


“Well, I can tell you, but you can’t tell anyone!” She tells me.


She laughs awkwardly, “you’re not interested in any of this, huh?”

Andre Johnson, who I started in my game against VinNay, drops a pass and it’s recovered by the Lions, who I picked to lose.

“FUCK!… oh…what? No, that sounds great.”

“What do you do? We’re always looking for new people to join…”

I finished my wine. Seriously, I swear they are making wine bottles smaller than they used to…

“Uh…I’m very busy working. I’m a lawyer. I work all the time. Working…”

She fell silent. I went back to watching the football game. I reached for my glass and frowned at its lightness. I eyed Karen’s bar and smiled.

I half refilled my glass with some Lagavulin. I swirled the scotch around.

I decided to stay.

I didn’t notice when whatever-her-name was left. But when I cheered the Texans victory and looked around self consciously, I was alone.

I was hungry and probably drunk.

From the couch, I yelled that by law, hors d’oeuvres should be served between the football games, to prevent death. My host’s husband brought me a meat pie.

I was hungry, but I did not like it. So, I said something like “UGH. YUCK. WHAT IS THIS?”

Turns out, whatever-her-name’s grandma made it, and she brought some for the party.

“Oh,” I replied, wiping my tongue with my fingers and washing it away with more scotch.

I had seen some grapes in the fridge earlier.

“Bring me grapes!”

“No, you’ll ruin your appetite.”


Yeah, definitely drunk now.

Guests started arriving about an hour after that, including my tablemates at the aforementioned children’s table — the 2-almost-3 year old and her five year old brother, their parents, as well as the parents of the nine-month-old infant.

“I brought coloring books for your kids,” said the infant’s mom, producing the books and markers.

The older children sat down to color.

“WHERE IS MY COLORING BOOK?!” I asked from a prone position on the couch.

She laughed. I was NOT joking. RUDE.

The little girl walked over and handed me a marker and said I could color with her.

“That is SO nice of you,” I said.

“You’re pretty,” she replied.

“You are the best little girl in the whole wide world.”

My dinner at the children’s table was awesome, as I was totally the boss of them. Also, they fried a turkey and that was the coolest most delicious thing ever in all of human history. She also made a roast turkey, but when offered pieces of said roast turkey, I replied “Um… if there is fried turkey, why on earth would I eat non fried turkey?” At which point, my minions also decided that they would only eat fried turkey. They would also only eat the pies I would eat as all other pies looked “like something Tony Romo would eat and Tony Romo was not cool.” Incidentally, all whining, complaining and fighting were all prevented by me looking at them and saying “mmm… that’s probably what Tony Romo would do.”

“He’s not cool,” they would reply.

“Nope. He is not.”


I drifted over to the grown up table for a bit, during dinner, to say hello or steal back the plate of fried turkey… boring, I thought, absconding with the foodstuffs and returning to my land of little people. I wondered though, was that really my place or had I just decided to make it so.

Is that not the way of all things? You find what in life you can live with and accept them; those that you cannot tolerate, you leave.

No right or wrong; good, nor bad, but that believing makes it so.

Or something.

Thinking about the night, and some of the weirdness of this year in general, got me thinking about this poem:

Spring and Fall
Gerard Manley Hopkins

MÁRGARÉT, áre you gríeving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves, líke the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Áh! ás the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you wíll weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sórrow’s spríngs áre the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It ís the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.

Bearable heaviness of being fat

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012 by Dawn Summers

I just might be the queen of yo-yo dieting.

It wasn’t the fiefdom I ever wanted for myself, I assure you. My wish list very clearly said “Emperor of the world” in bright, red lettering. But there you have it, after discovering, in my mid twenties, that I actually lose weight fairly quickly when I try to, I decided that meant I could get as fat as I wanted when I wasn’t trying because, well, I could always lose it later. (Also, yes, I know all about the studies suggesting that this is very very bad. It is. And I would much much prefer my Emperor of the world papers to come through instead.)

There are many drawbacks to being the queen of yo-yo dieting.

One of the more hilarious ones is that I no longer know if someone I haven’t seen in a while is giving me that look because I have gained a lot of weight since they last saw me or if I have lost a lot of weight since they last saw me. Actually, my default is to assume that I’ve gained a lot of weight, if the look isn’t quickly followed by “you look great.” Evidently, one NEVER looks great after massive weight gain and the politest of company will stare and then quickly change the subject to “what’ve I been up to these days?” Apparently, eating Doritos. #WOMP

As queen, there are also certain burdens which I bear. After a spell of massive weight loss, there are endless questions about “how I did it” and “how much better I feel.” Ate less/exercised more; TONS (get it? get it?) *GROAN*

I am also completely and utterly unmoved by any weight gain or weight loss stories involving less than 60 pounds. As Ugarles says, quoting a guy quoting Jay Cutler “DDOOOOONNNNNN’TTTTTT CCCCAAAARRRRREEEEE.” Frankly, I don’t even really care about my own weight fluctuations, except if it goes way too far in one direction or the other and I am forced to buy large quantities of new clothes. I DO care about my money.

Also, and I know this is terribly horribly wrong, but I want to punch pregnant women, who natter on about how “fat” they are, right in the face. On the other hand, I’m not a fan of the “I’m not fat, I’m pregnant” line of accessories. We get it, you don’t want there to be any confusion! Being a fat woman is the single worst possible thing ever and I’m pretty sure we’re supposed to kill ourselves or lock ourselves up in an attic. Dicks.

I’ve long since given up deconstructing images of fat women in pop culture. (Although, I always loved the Gilmore Girls for how they portrayed Sookie St. James — she was always just a regular person; her weight was never a subject of any storylines, she was just another kooky resident of the town… unlike Melissa McCarthy’s current TV role or her most famous movie role. #LeSigh)

I was “watching” an unbearable episode of Glee yesterday. It dealt with the stick thin daughter of a 500 LB lunchlady becoming bulimic because her Grease costume wouldn’t fit. (Turns out the villian blond girl had been taking in the skirt every night after rehearsal! GASP! Meaning that instead of worrying about whether she inherited her mom’s fat gene, she should be worrying about the stupid gene which made it impossible for her to figure out that if all her other clothes fit, the problem was with the Grease wardrobe; but, I may just be “overthinking Glee” again. I do that from time to time.) Anyway, the episode was fairly terrible and so I found myself pausing and doing other things, including reading newsfeeds, one story jumped out at me:

I KNEW that face. Those eyes. Without trying very hard, I could hear the voice:

“Maybe you try 3X, yes?”

His voice, the soundtrack of my tormented teenage years as the size of my clothes went up from 20 to 22 to 24 then magically down to 2x, then up to 3x and 4x.

His heavily accented voice mingling with my mother’s outside of the tiny dressing room in his shop.

That voice meant 1. there was some formal occasion coming and 2. I couldn’t fit into the dress we bought there for the last formal occasion.

No offense, and rest in peace and all that, but good lord, I hated that man and I hated his shop and I hated the checkered cardboard notebook he used to keep track of my mother’s crumpled twenty dollar bills as she finished paying off her “lay-a-way” balances. (He would “give good price for good customer.”)

Again, not his fault, but there wasn’t a single time I didn’t want to die stepping foot into that store. That store meant tight binding shoes and relatives and my mother’s lecture about how I was too big and was going to die of a heart attack and/or lose a foot to diabetes on a loud repetitive loop. (Never mind, that we’d go get pizza for dinner right next door afterwards.) OY.

That he was murdered is awful, though. And that it may be the latest in a string of serial murders, awfuler still (am I just making up words now?) I see that dreadful crime scene police tape around landmarks in my old neighborhood, with a heavy heart. And heavy arms, heavy legs and heavy stomach.

Not pregnant, fat!

I’ll be here all week, folks, tip your waiters.

Taylor Tuesdays

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012 by Dawn Summers

And maybe we got lost in translation, maybe I asked for too much
But maybe this thing was a masterpiece ’til you tore it all up
Running scared, I was there, I remember it all too well

And you call me up again just to break me like a promise
So casually cruel in the name of being honest
I’m a crumpled up piece of paper lying here
‘Cause I remember it all, all, all too well

Time won’t fly, it’s like I’m paralyzed by it
I’d like to be my old self again, but I’m still trying to find it
After plaid shirt days and nights when you made me your own
Now you mail back my things and I walk home alone

But you keep my old scarf from that very first week
‘Cause it reminds you of innocence and it smells like me
You can’t get rid of it ’cause you remember it all too well, yeah

Orange You Glad’s fundraiser was a *insert some food pun here* success!

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012 by Dawn Summers

Scrumptious? Mmm…nah.

I hope you all got a chance to participate in it (exchanging a donation for a drawing of your favorite food) because the art coming out of it is SPECTACULAR!!

I especially loved this whiskey one that Mary linked.

But I liked mine most of all. Of course, because of my ingrained hatred for everything and everyone, my desire was for the magic keebler elves to draw something terrible happening to food that tried to kill me, so they did this to peanut butter:


I laughed so hard!

Posted without comment

Thursday, November 15th, 2012 by Dawn Summers

Cause mmmhmmm is not really a comment.

Re-election is the best revenge!

Thursday, November 8th, 2012 by Dawn Summers

O-ba-ma! O-ba-ma! O-ba-ma!

Even as the networks declared Mr. Obama the winner, Mr. Romney, who had earlier told reporters he had written only a victory speech, paused before the walk downstairs from his hotel room in Boston. It was 11:30 p.m., and Romney field teams in Ohio, Virginia and Florida called in, saying the race was too close for the candidate to give up. At least four planes were ready to go, and aides had bags packed for recount battles in narrowly divided states. Bob White, a close Romney friend and adviser, was prepared to tell the waiting crowd that Mr. Romney would not yet concede.

But then, Mr. Romney quietly decided it was over. “It’s not going to happen,” he said.

As Ann Romney cried softly, he headed down to deliver his speech, ending his second, and presumably last, bid for the White House. Four decades earlier, his father and inspiration, George Romney, a former Michigan governor failed in his own such quest.


Not much to say, I am pleased as punch about the result — it’ll be nice if the President keeps Florida, but whatevs. I developed such a dislike of the Romneys in the last 45 days of the campaign that I was sweating out this race in a very personal way — probably not since Clinton’s first race.

Hopefully, now that the race is over, we will never again hear from the “I want to punch the President in the face” Romney Jr and “Stop being so mean to my husband” Romney Mrs. or the “you freeloaders who want free stuff, get off my yacht” man himself. Shudder.

I’m also glad that the coo-coo for rape n stuffs candidates lost their Senate bids — unbelievable to me that Akin is on a congressional science committee but doesn’t seem to grasp simple facts of human biology. Sigh.

Also, um, can we go back to ignoring Bill Clinton please? It had been SUCH a quiet three and a half years.


And now Sprockets… we dance…

Notable Quotables

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012 by Dawn Summers

Excerpts from Jess Walters “Beautiful Ruins” — yet another not so great book:

“What kind of wife would I be if I left your father simply because he is dead?”

“He tossed rocks in the sea. He endured the teasing of the fisherman. He peeked in on his dying mother. And he waited – as he always had – for life to come and find him.”

“If he wasn’t entirely happy, he wasn’t unhappy, either. Rather, he found himself inhabiting the vast, empty plateau where most people live, between boredom and contentment.”

“Act as if ye have faith and it shall be given you.”

“You’re not dying,” Pasquale said./ “I am already dead inside,” she said. “You should push me out into the sea and drown me like that old sick cat of yours.”/ Pasquale straightened. “You said my cat ran away, while I was at University.”/ She shot him a glance from the corner of her eye. “It is a saying.”/ “No. It’s NOT a saying! There is no saying such as that. Did you and Papa drown my cat while I was in Florence?”

“My book is about an American who fights in Italy during the war, loses his best friend, and falls out of love with life. The man returns to America, where he hopes to teach English and write a book about his disillusionment. But he only drinks and broods and chases women. He can’t write. Perhaps it is his guilt over being alive while his friend died. And guilt is sometimes a kind of envy.”

“A writer needs four things to acheive greatness Pasquale: desire, disappointment, and the sea.”/ “That’s only three.”/ Alvis finished his wine. “You have to do disappointment twice.”

“Words and emotions are simple currencies. If we inflate them, they lose their value, just like money. They begin to mean nothing. Use ‘beautiful’ to describe a sandwich and the word means nothing.”

“If you leave this village you will die a whore’s death, blind and thirsty, scratching at your dry dead birth hole.”

“God, this life is a cold, brittle thing. And yet it’s all there is.”

“So this is what ghosts are like, Michael thinks. Not white corporeal figures haunting your dreams, but old names buzzed over cell phones.”

“Our names are writ in water anyway, as Keats said, so what’s it bloody matter?”

“Amid all those drinks, they’d told their stories: first the bland, self serving story one tells a stranger – family, college, career — and then the truth.”

“This is what happens when you live in dreams, he thought: you dream this and you dream that and you sleep right through your life.”

“Some memories remain close; you can shut your eyes and find yourself back in them. These are first-person memories – I memories. But there are second-person memories, too, distant you memories, and these are trickier: you watch yourself in disbelief.”

“She realized that lying to everyone about what had happened had been like holding her breath for the last year.”

“Pasqo, the smaller the space between your desire and what is right, the happier you will be.”

“His aunt never made breakfast, even though Carlo had insisted for years that a hotel hoping to cater to French and Americans must offer breakfast. (It’s a lazy man’s meal, she always said. What laggard expects to eat before doing any work?)”

“He wished he could reassure his mother: a man wants many things in life, but when one of them is also the right thing, he would be a fool not to choose it.

“At peace? Who but the insane would ever be at peace? What person who has enjoyed life could possibly think one is enough? Who could live even a day and not feel the sweet ache of regret?

“This idea that true sacrifice is painless.”

Taylor Tuesday… and America’s Presidential Election Day!

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012 by Dawn Summers

I just like hanging out with you all the time
All those times that you didn’t leave
it’s been occuring to me
I’d like to hang out with you for my whole life
I’ll be loving you for quite some time
No one else is gonna love me when I get mad mad mad
So I think that it’s best if we both stay stay stay stay

Stay stay stay stay stay

I’ve been loving you for quite some time time time
You think that it’s funny when I’m mad mad mad
But I think that it’s best if we both stay
stay stay stay stay