Tuesday, January 08, 2013

New Year, New Outlook

I haven't posted in almost a year.  One of my goals for this year is to get back to my true Jen while simultaneously investing myself in a more organized, pragmatic way.  At this point, I need to reference the book The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.  Paula Daunt turned me onto it with a beautiful image of a page she posted on facebook.  I saved the image on my desktop at work, put the book on my Christmas wishlist and voila!  I started reading it the other night and so organized, daily writing is now part of each day.  I will be blogging very frequently while I get myself into this new rhythm.

And I don't seem to have found my beat yet tonight but type away, I will...  However, I think I will take the rest of tonight's words to my own verbal masturbation in microsoft but I plan to frequent the blogosphere again.  We somehow made it through the end of the Mayan calendar so I think I am safe to go retro -- circa 2007.

See you soon...
This image is by Katherine Barber.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Culturally Rooted Tangent

I sang at choir in the church basement tonight. Please, laugh away.

Yes, I'm a good Irish Catholic lady who practiced with fellow choir members for two and a half hours -- less a twenty minute break in which we drank wine or beer and ate hors d'ourves. (You can refill your glass at the end of break so you have sustenance for the second half of practice!)

Since I am grooving on my catholicism tonight, I shall make confession. I love singing! It's challenging fighting all of the complications of harmony (so appropros on so many levels), it is so challenging fighting all of the bullshit of organized religion -- but somehow set it to music and I feel it. So many conflicts, but goddammit -- I'm still a fucking catholic!

Excuse me, Irish Catholic.

See, that differential is significant. I don't buy into that political pope crap. I also grew up with several guys who killed themselves because they were destroyed by the tragedy of being raped by priests. I imagine one of them as a significant image in the Jungian Archetypical Heaven now. He was golden and beautiful and Michelangelo would have painted him as the Archangel Michael. And I was taught to practice catholicism by 13 years of catholic school and my Irish catholic grandma and Jesuits and a book of the saints. So really and obviously, I'm an overanalyzing, superstitious woman. But aren't those the qualities that keep religion solid, stable and historical?

The point I was trying to make a minute ago is I don't pray to Jesus or God. I think pure, unsinful beings are unapproachable (and a load of misogynistic, hallucinogenic bullshit). I am the product of faith passed on from the oppressed -- pray to your mother and your friends and family, the Blessed Mother and the saints.

And the name is also significant. I was not taught to pray to the Virgin Mary; I was taught to pray to the Blessed Mother. Recite both of those names to yourself and see who you want to call on to assist you in your petitions. Tonight I stood on a bridge that rocked over the Chicago River while singing "Gentle Woman" to a a gift of urban nature which always blesses me. Blessed Mother, thank you for your children.

And tonight I also sang with the church choir -- even "Danny Boy" (yuck) which according to the music notes was published in "Londonderry" rather than Derry. I hate "Danny Boy". Over-played and praising saccharine martyrdom to The Man.

We should sing "The Wind That Shakes the Barley". It's a more valuable theme and it relates better to the times.

"Twas hard the woeful words to frame
To break the ties that bound us.
But harder still to bare the shame
Of foreign chains around us."

Today, the foreign chains are made of different steels. In this millennium, foreign does not refer to other nations and cultures, but rather, multinational corporate persecutors. We are cuffed by different oppressors but we are all still trapped.

And now to quote a catholic from a different culture: "Better to die on your feet than live on your knees."

So let us pray.

Saturday, December 03, 2011


I'm coming on a caliber year.

My friend Tom coined the term "caliber year" year. A caliber is the width of the internal diameter of a gun barrel (in inches). Guns are generally designed in a limited number of measures. I can't recite them all off the top of my head but some are: .22, .36, .38, .40, .44 and .50. So when your age is .22, .40, etc., it is a claiber year.

I used to own a .22 rifle as a bonus in a housing move but the cops took it away because it wasn't registered. Too bad, because that house was about a mile via three turns off the gravel road and sometimes coyotes and cougars would do battle around the house in the middle of the night. So I would walk out of the house, shoot the .22 across the corn or soy field, depending on the year. The field was about 20 acres, which was key since .22s have a long range & I didn't want to hurt anyone -- just run off the coyotes and cougars.

Anyway, back to the caliber years -- my .38 SUCKED. No ability to hit a target steadily unless that target moved. I hope my .40 has better aim -- it's less than 6 months away. I'd better start practicing.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Evil Diva, Banshee Bitch

Evil Diva

This is me

When I flash my tongue, silver

Razor, sing my blood

My gunfire cracks

Through the canyon

Yes, my throat

I am that bitch in sequins and

I am the naked warrior

I lead the battle with my shrill

Sing death home

Home and howl, keen

Through the night

Through the canteen

And whiskey spews through my nose

And love from my lungs and

Wicked, wicked lies

The green in my eyes

The gold and brown

The earth in the shadows

My hips in the sway

In the mist, my lips

Sing you home

Sing you home

Sing you

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Wave-particle Duality

The landlord painted the backyard sewer cap and all of the stray cats are rolling on the fresh white coat and getting high. I'm trying to get the drunky ladies out for end-of-the-work-week Friday cocktails and they sound like the temperance league. My nephew is fevered, my dad is tubed and my son is steadfastly working his way into the 1%. I'm getting unspecific orders via text, PJ Harvey is coming through me and I'm skimming the quantum theory of mechanics on the internet for shiggles.

Seasonal shifts bring out the strange.

Photo by Ted Nelson

Sunday, September 25, 2011


I am not neat by nature.

Growing up, my mother instituted "Saturday Chores" for my sisters and me. We had to clean our bedrooms and then were each given a scouring assignment: front room, kitchen/ tv room, or bathroom. Kitchen/ family room was the worst. You had to clean the stove, fridge and scour the counter tops. You had to pick up and put away all of the flotsam and jetsam from tvland and scrub the floors. The floors were tough because you needed to accomodate the kitchen floor linoleum and all of its grime then dump your water and work the wooden parquet. Our house was pretty small but ma did a good job embodying every type of housing wing in about 1000 square feet.

The bathroom was grungy but easy. Swipe up the mirrors, scrub down the sink and then the toilet. Change the litter box. Scrub the small floor, then scour the tuband shower walls. Strip down and take your shower while rinsing away all the scrubbing bubbles. Hop out, dry off, throw on your sweats and mop your way out the door.

The living room and hallway assignment was the longest process but the most soothing. The walls were an astonishing bright green and the wall-to-wall carpet the color of the forest. You had to oil all of the colonial wooden furniture and shelves, remove and dust all of the books and knick-knacks and then vacuum the carpets and cloth on the furniture. You also had to vacuum under the furniture -- no cheating! Strangely, cleaning the living room always made me feel kind of Zen.

The motivating beat for Saturday Chores was ma's vinyl. She had splurged on the entire Beatles Apple Collection. Also, there was Steve Goodman, the "Three Legged Man" and Billy Joel. (Trust me, if I never hear "For the Longest Time" again, it still won't be long enough.) I enjoyed dancing & dusting to The Last Waltz by the Band. But nothing beat cleaning to Jesus Christ Superstar.

And now for confession number one. I can sing the entire original Broadway soundtrack note-by-note and word-by-word from the Overture through John Nineteen Forty-One. I once won two tickets to a performance at the Chicago Theater on Johnny B's morning show by calling in and singing a medley from the score. Through the years, I definitely have had some strange wins and losses.

And my losses and my nature have led me to the juice of confession number two. My apartment is a horrible, disgusting dastardly wreck. It looks like it was hit by a dust storm, followed by a mental monsoon and sealed with a hiccuping hurricane. And when you add my nature + earning a master's + a ridiculously menacing cerebral blow, you get Disaster Land.

So today, I put on Jesus Christ Superstar and sang it word-for-word while scrubbing the grease stains and soot out of my kitchen. Mostly. I still have to scour the floor. Damned Saturday Chores perfectionist upbringing.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Witching Hour

I am not a nice girl. I am not a sweet woman. The clock just struck truth and madness. I started this mermaid symbology to tap into my inner beauty but my inner beauty is dark and strange. On Saturday I was toted in a bicycle chariot up California Avenue by a potion brewing warrior. We kissed in the shadows and now I finally release my inner mother nature. This year, boys and girls, mother nature is tsunamis and tornados. She is moonstruck coyotes clamoring at the cataclysm. She laps up chaos and laughs at your dismantled structures. This siren sings sailors from their personal bondage and throws mona lisa smirks from her island.

Swim, bitches, swim.

(Credits to Dean and Diamanda Galas for inspiring this train of madness. Also to Tray Mead for the image.)

Diamanda Galás & John Paul Jones - Skótoseme (live 1994)

She is singing with my soul.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Fin Agains Wake

One semester I studied James Joyce. We read Dubliners, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and Ulysses. I mamad with my sister and those bright boys and nights poured jack and bud over class notes singing Patsy Cline and Lynard Skynard. Thus:

That was a tuning fork the tuner had that he forgot that he now struck. A call again. That he now poised that it now throbbed. You hear? It throbbed, pure, purer, soft and softlier, its buzzing prongs. Longer in dying call.

Long death's call? Oh, singing through all logic lures the sailors to the rocks but the rocks remain. Sailors swim and bleed and minds drown in the song but these scars tissue silver and the siren sings songs not sirens and science. Silence.

river run, past Eve's and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay,bring us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.

(ps. Image by Velikov.)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

These Theses

I'm trying to concentrate and create my thesis paper, so suddenly every other thing in the world is interesting and intersecting. Which would almost sound raunchy if it wasn't so dull.

My thesis is on cravings. Does treatment with such-and-such device reduce cravings? Unfortunately, the people being rated are already lacking cravings in life which is why they are seeking this treatment in the first place. This muddles the data.

Muddles... data... It's all gone uncertainly Heisenberg on me. It doesn't matter, I guess. I just have to do a remotely comprehensive presentation and then turn in one stack of paper so they'll hand me a stamped one.

Hey, I almost sound like pre-June 2010 Jen, again. I think I'll have to add a picture of a topless mermaid, now. Then we'll all feel better.

I'll work on flowing sentence structure after my thesis.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


...of your precious love. Of your precious love."

I noticed today that I posted on St. Patrick's Day in 2010, 2008, and 2007.
I don't have much to add today. The world has gone mad & will get worse with the current struggles in Japan, Libya, Wisconsin & Egypt. According to the end of the Mayan Calendar, we may be done in on December 21, 2012.

We all have the true Luck of the Irish. So "may the road rise to meet you and may the wind be always at your back."

Thursday, March 03, 2011

"Don't ask, tell...

...I tell you such fine music waits in the shadows of hell."
-- Charles Bukowski

I don't have the tolerance to swallow the bullshit anymore. I am terrified of the whole I have been breathing through for seven years. I am a pussy. But I endure. I get up and I go to work and I bust my brains and my boss says I am not up to this work anymore because my short term memory is scarred. I am a pussy. My exboyfriend called me a pussy once. I told him pussy was tougher than cock. He said yes. Pussy is like good tires. It stretches and flexibly spreads around the road's barriers. Pussy is the toughest mover and shaker. I am a pussy.

I am not me. I lost myself nine months? seven years ago? I am waiting for my map.

I probably drank too much tonight. Right now, I perceive a level of vision that lets me see through the trauma drama bullshit that I am supposed to live up to... that I could never live up to. Tomorrow I will face my come-uppance when I am pointed out as incapable of fulfilling my occupational requirements. I fulfilled them yesterday and I was still called a failure and they were never my calling or destiny in the first place.

I am going to hell. Thank god, I don't believe in it.

This is not where I belong. I haven't walked the road home in twenty years. Actually, I don't even remember what my house looks like. What home is. I do see my sisters of mercy on the road and I don't want to leave them. I don't want to disappoint them. And I can't find my way back home.

There's no place like home.

Suck it up, bitch. Quit being such a pussy. Go to hell. I tell you such fine music waits in the shadows of hell.