Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Love Affair of Egg and Sperm

From the College Vault:

Thursday, August 17, 2006


The sunflower that was given to me as a birthday present and that sits on my desk beside my computer, it has worms. When I received the flower from my coworker last week, I nuzzled my nose in its soft brown center and breathed in its sweet perfume. The next day, I saw a few flies swirling around its gold petals and a little green bug manically hopping around from leaf to leaf. A few days after that there were worms; tiny spring-green guys inching around the petals, snacking on microscopic goodies at the flower’s center.

At first, I was fascinated by this sudden infestation. Where were these little fellas when I was inhaling the flowers fragrance? How curious that they had waited until after my birthday to surface. How interesting that an entire microcosm of insects and other squirmy little things was living in a flower that was sitting in a vase in a fluorescently lit office; a flower surrounded by paper, plastic and electricity and that was hanging on to the illusion of life several days, possibly a week, after it had been cut from its stalk and taken from its home in nature.

I sat next to this infested flower for a few days after that. Every day, I’d monitor the progress of the little zoo. Each day, as the golden petals browned around the edges, the worms got a little bigger. After a few days had passed, I could barely discern their little mouths, always eating, perceptibly smiling. The way they’d stand, balanced on their one little leg, they started to remind me of Richard Scarry’s Lowly Worm. In my comfortable office without predators--birds and spiders and Mother Nature--and with the abundant feast of an enormous sunflower, they were growing exponentially and multiplying all the while.

I am generally squeamish of all things creepy crawly, but it didn’t occur to me to be grossed out by these little worms and bugs. Until yesterday, that is--when I looked up and wondered where they suddenly had all gone. The brown center, their favorite chomping grounds, had been deserted. Then, I noticed the ten or so worms were stop the petals at the crown of the flower reaching, stretching their quarter-inch bodies up to the sun of my desk lamp doing what looked like a belly dance in unison. It was a worm ritual of sorts and it creeped me out.

I sat beside this squirming spectacle for about 30 minutes. Each time I looked over, the worms seemed to get more assertive and my stomach soured a little more. I tried to put mind over matter, to enjoy the last days of this beautiful flower, but I just couldn’t so I made an impulsive decision to lay to rest the drooping sunflower.

As I picked up the flower with its large sunny face and walked to the office kitchen, I felt conflicted. But then I noticed a few of the tiny worms were now dangling in the air down from silky threads they were somehow making with their bodies. I immediately pictured other such expeditions on my desk and, worse, my person. I high-tailed it to the kitchen holding the vase and flower far from me like a peeing baby and dumped the flower in the trashcan without hesitation. I spent the rest of the day swatting invisible bugs from my body.

Today at the Farmer’s Market, a farm stand was selling sunflowers for $1/bunch. I picked up 3 bunches and arranged them on my desk, in the same place as the old one. We’ll see what happens.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


It is a beautiful day. The sun is shining and the sky is cornflower blue. While I am sitting under the umbrella of a table in the Thompson Center Plaza, at least 6 people walk by and sneeze. Usually multiple times. Always in the same spot. Weird.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


The elation of success, especially creative success, is such a fleeting feeling. It’s a hunger, much like that for food. You may go a long time feeling hungry, with an heated pit in your stomach. Then one day, you find it; you gobble it up; you are warm and sated in the moment and for some time after. But no matter how much you devour, how full you feel, you always end up hungry again. Unless you are grounded and are at peace with yourself, with a steady stream of mind and body nourishment, you will always end up feeling empty inside. And the search for food can take you farther and farther away from home, through rough and rocky terrain. The key is to making success last, is keeping home in your heart and making sacrifices for the things that really matter (things that pump blood) in a way that won't breed resentment, which can eat away at your stomach as much as hunger. It’s a hard balance to strike.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Don’t come to breakfast at my house...

If I hear his fake laugh one more time—that slanted cascade of cackle paired with wild eyes and a gum-exposing joker smile; those booming guffaws; the come-and-go-lightly hoot that is habitually preceded by some lame comment and stalked by a sharply punctuating sigh-moan—I will rip my intestines out, twist them at intervals of 4 inches, hang them in a smokehouse for a week, brown them on a sizzling skillet and serve them with eggs and pancakes.

Laughter should never be forged.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

You are what you eat...

From what I can tell its mostly crap.

Crap that pickles organs and corrodes pipes like rust.
Cancer-causing, memory-deflating, a second cousin to plastic, third-arm growing crap.

Frozen dinners that have a huge sub ingredient list for Chicken.
Shouldn’t it just say chicken?
Why does “Chicken” need 25 other ingredients, mostly chemicals, to make it Chicken? At least list it as “Chikin” so there can be no mistake.

My lawyer friend says that KFC is called KFC because it’s not technically chicken and to call it such would be false advertising.

Our food should be made in kitchens--not factories and labs.

Can’t a girl get a good tomato without having to take out a loan?

I’m about this close to selling my possessions and moving to The Farm.
Hell, I’ll drink the organic Kool-Aid, although my vendor can’t afford the organic label.

Call me granola.
(Make me some granola—with homegrown fruit and homemade yogurt.)

Play me some Yanni.
(He’ll be the most synthetic thing I’d love.)

Give me a turban.
(I’ll use any excuse to wear a turban.)

I yearn for the simple life.

I just love the city too much.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Furrowed Brow

She sort of regrets shaving off her eyebrows. It seemed like a pretty good idea at the time. Her eyebrows were thin and scraggly. No amount of plucking would give her the plush sexy arched brow she so desired. So in a fit of frustration she swiped a pink Lady Bic over the right one. She looked at her face in the mirror. Her face looked eerie and lopsided. The razor took care of the left one too. She felt liberated. The skin was so smooth and sensitive. And she looked so much younger—like a baby, almost. She was free to create the brow of her dreams.

But she failed to anticipate the amount of effort involved in the daily brow draw. Often, she had to try several times before they’d look symmetrical. For many weeks she looked confused, angry, sad, astonished because of slight deviations of the drawn eyebrow’s curve. Before she invested in waterproof brow pencil (which wasn’t truly waterproof) her drawn brow would run down into her eye on a rainy or sweaty day, leaving her looking run down and crazy. Forget ever going on a swim. That’d be a disaster!

But growing them in is a test in patience and humility. Patches of dark hair will pop up unevenly in undesired places—off the beaten brow. Her decision to make friends with her razor had sealed her own fate: Either she will have to endure the embarrassment of a scrappy looking halfbrow for a good couple of months weeks while she waits for her hair to completely grow back or she’ll have to resign herself to getting up earlier to pencil in that damn brow.