Michael Jackson

I was in Philadelphia, my friend Laura's apartment, when I learned that Michael Jackson had died. Growing up, I didn't listen to his music much. Most of the folks in the circles I frequented spoke of him disparagingly and I wrote him off as another 'person of the world' as I listened to my CCM favorites.

It wasn't until college that I really listened to anything he had done. That's when I realized his talent. That's when I began to wonder about the musical genius who had become the eccentric, scandalized weirdo. Would the real Michael please stand up? I'm also pretty sure that at one point or other I bought Thriller on vinyl.

I don't know that I would ever consider myself a fan of his, although for years I have admired his talent and wondered about him as a person. Is he a freak? a creep? a criminal? or just another person who couldn't handle excessive fame and fortune? I randomly caught one of those E! True Hollywood Stories about him years ago, and every time I would hear a song of his, or of J5, playing, I would get really sad for the man he had become and the experiences that drove him there - not to mention the pain and negativity he brought to the lives of an unknown number of individuals.

Michael Jackson as a whole is incomprehensible, but Michael Jackson the eccentric really is not that hard to understand. All you have to do is listen to his record Childhood. So much of what he created to be his life appears to be a desperate attempt to find a dream childhood to become something like the elvish Peter Pan. Peter Pan never grew up, and in so many ways, Michael Jackson tried not to.

Michael Jackson

Have you seen my Childhood?
I'm searching for the world that I come from
'Cause I've been looking around
In the lost and found of my heart...
No one understands me
They view it as such strange eccentricities...
'Cause I keep kidding around
Like a child, but pardon me...

People say I'm not okay
'Cause I love such elementary things...
It's been my fate to compensate,
For the Childhood
I've never known...

Have you seen my Childhood?
I'm searching for that wonder in my youth
Like pirates in adventurous dreams,
Of conquest and kings on the throne...

Before you judge me, try hard to love me,
Look within your heart then ask,
Have you seen my Childhood?

People say I'm strange that way
'Cause I love such elementary things,
It's been my fate to compensate,
For the Childhood I've never known...

Have you seen my Childhood?
I'm searching for that wonder in my youth
Like fantastical stories to share
The dreams I would dare, watch me fly...

Before you judge me, try hard to love me.
The painful youth I've had

Have you seen my Childhood...


real live mystery

No talk of books this morning.  We've got ourselves a puzzle to solve.

This morning, like most mornings, I got up before Brian.  I went to take the dog out - he goes outside through the kitchen - and I noticed that all over the tile kitchen floors there was a brown splatter.  This was not there last night.

I looked around, checked other places for any sign of the whatever, didn't find any, and sat there puzzled.  (Notice I did not clean it up.  I'm not about to get elbow deep in mystery goo until I know what it is and I know what will get rid of it effectively.  I just...won't use the kitchen, yeah.)

Brian woke up a few minutes later, and before I could ask him about what he spilled all over the kitchen, he showed me similar-colored brown smears all over his hands, asking if I thought they were blood.  I said I didn't know, but that it was all over the kitchen floor too.

After a series of questions and poking and looking places, we learned that Brian did not (knowingly) go in the kitchen last night; it's not a nose bleed because his hands are the only place it appears on him, and it is nowhere on his clothes or pillow or anything.  JUST the kitchen floor and his hands.  AND, I can vouch that there is/was no meat in the fridge last night that might have dripped everywhere if moved or taken out.

Bizarrrrrrro.....  cue the creepy music.



At the beginning of this year, I carried a pretty big purse because I was job-hunting and I needed to keep my records, job descriptions, spare resumes, etc. with me. The bag I got was a really great shade of plummy purple, and it was tall enough to keep a portfolio but not HUGE - it had a slim profile.

After I started full-time permanent work, I didn't need to keep carrying around my portfolio. I lost the paperwork but kept the giant bag. And I bred in myself a new kind of crazy. My purse became the thing I've often sworn it would never become: a giant pothole of cluttery papery doom, heavy and lumpy and not convenient at all, attached to my shoulder and requiring me to adjust my stance just to port it.


Around the same time I decided I was going to lose my mind if something purse-ular didn't change and soon, I stumbled across a bin of my 'spring purses' (whatever that meant) up in the attic. Small cute bags! many of which I've had for years and still love! Perfect. Time for the switcharoo and re-establishment of at least one sector of sanity in my jumbled-up head. I picked out my favorite, a cheery little bucket bag from Coach a la 2002ish, with red and white and various-shades-of-blue stripes. It is SO CUTE and actually does not clash with a good portion of the outfits I wear.

This is it. Frugalista purse nirvana. I love it, I didn't have to buy it, and it's too SMALL to get cluttered up and jumbled, right?

Say it with me: WRONG.

I am now faced with a super-cute bag that is big enough for just the essentials, though I am not really a 'just-the-essentials' kind of girl. Time for a new strategy. I think it's time to be a grown-up and actually clean out and declutter my purse on a regular basis. Because clearly I have a problem.

Do you carry a purse, backpack, handbag, briefcase, or other related carry-all? How often do you find it needed to be cleared out?


manic monday #171

This week's Manic Monday questions:

If you joined the circus, what act would you most want to perform?

I'd want to be either an acrobat, or the lady who plays with the elephants. Those things are cool! And this may or may not be a response to the novel Water for Elephants :)

Would you generally be overdressed or underdressed at a party?

Ick, on the hit-or-miss scale I am almost always a miss. And sometimes it's because I'm overdressed and sometimes it's because I'm underdressed. Or dressed in the right level of dressiness but my actual wardrobe choice is a bomb. Things I think are cute end up not being cute. I am not very good at dressing myself.

Do you feel that children should be sheltered from unhappiness?

No. I think kids need to learn to be disappointed, angry, uncomfortable, etc. I think the notion that 'everybody wins' and 'there is no best and no worst' are doing no favors. Kids are people too, and I don't think youth means you get an exception to being let down by life.

Play along here!


booking through thursday

From the BTT website:

“This can be a quick one. Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you’ve read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.”

I'm not sure I can come up with 15, but here goes:

- to kill a mockingbird
- tuck everlasting (i don't remember too much of anything from my childhood, but this and the next one come soaring through)
- the fall of freddie the leaf
- early from the dance
- crazy aunt purl's drunk, divorced, and covered in cat hair
- a year in provence
- chasing cezanne
- the reluctant tuscan
- water for elephants
- the time traveler's wife
- back when we were grown ups (i will always wonder how rebecca ended up)
- peace like a river
- tuesdays with morrie

most of these are novels. i think the reason that novels stick with me harder is that most of what i find 'sticky' about books is wondering how things turned out long-term for the people invovled. with memoirs and nonfiction, there isn't a whole lot of wondering to do because it really does play out. with novels, most of the time you don't get the next installment down the road. it's like a friendship cut short for me.

Read other responses here. How about you?


the joyful affliction of early-rising birds

We are fortunate to live in a relatively wooded area, as far as 50s-suburban neighborhoods go.  Makes for lots of cute wildlife like rabbits and chipmunks and birds...lots of different kinds of birds.

We also have a blackberry bush/tree thing in the back yard, which we just discovered this past weekend.  That would explain all the purple bird poo.

I love having birds around, hearing them and seeing them and getting things thrown at me by them.  It makes me want to study bird calls so I can know who is screaming what at me.

Screaming, yes.  Am I the only one who sometimes gets woken by over-eager winged and feathered friends making all kinds of vocal racket outside at 3 and 4am?

Most of the time I don't mind, I guess, minus that whole you-woke-me-up-at-3am thing.  But still.  How is that a part of the natural way of things?