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Monday, January 30, 2006

are you ready?

Originally uploaded by kristalynn.

i'm usually a little too quick to judge whether or not i like someone. and this usually lands me in trouble with the boyfriend-du-jour.

"wasn't that evening of bowling fun?"

"yeah, i guess. i don't think i like that julie-person though."

"why not?"

"she said she liked that movie with michelle pfeiffer and the inner city kids. what's up with that?"

but, by the same token, as quickly as i am able to dismiss, i am also able to declare my fondness.

"what was it about tara jo-jo that you liked?"

"she drank all my tequila. didn't you see that?"

i got an email this morning from an ex-boyfriend. he and i met when we were 18 and living in rome. he was my first love. we stayed together until we were 23. he informed me of some bad news: "Our dear Didi has left this sometimes very nasty world. She was suffering from cancer for quite a long time now. I know you and her got along pretty well..."

he was right. i liked diane the instant i met her. my boyfriend's parents were living in senegal. we joined them during the summers - i decided to volunteer and set up a school for girls. diane was also living there for an indeterminate amount of time, escaping a faltering marriage.

and the reason i liked diane? she was ALWAYS game. you could propose anything and she was up for it. it didn't matter who proposed it or what it was, her answer was always, "i'm ready!"

she could be asleep in bed when i'd crack open her door.

"hey diane - i'm heading off to the beach. d'ya wanna join?"

"j'suis prête!" she'd reply, bolting up in bed. she slipped right into her sandals and grabbed a towel. within 45 seconds, she'd have the car backed out of the driveway, honking at me.

"hey diane, i gotta just hop across the border to the gambia for a visa run. do you wanna...?"

"j'suis prête!" she said as she flapped her passport in my face.

she was always the first one in the pool, the first one to lose her top in the pool, the first one to uncork the bottle of wine, the first one to break the ice, the first one to laugh at herself, the first one on the dance floor, the first one awake, the last one to bed.

she taught me everything i know about spontaneity.

Friday, January 27, 2006

happy birthday....

the walking machine
Originally uploaded by lori joy.

... to my little niece.

she's ONE this weekend.

i wish you were closer, sweetpea.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Originally uploaded by kristalynn.

"well, how do i know if i've had one?"

"you just know. it's one of those things."

"like an orgasm?"

"yes, like an orgasm."

two nights ago, i was awakened at 2 in the morning by some thugs having a fight across the street. the police arrived and everything quieted down. but as i tried to fall back asleep, all of my fears, insecurities, and worries flooded my mind. i lay in bed for four hours, tossing and turning. i was too hot, then too cold, and then the cat came and slept on me, and then my hair got in my eyes, and then i was itchy, and then i itched somewhere else, and then i realized how old i am getting, and then how much i owed to the government, and that my mortgage is up for renewal…

i got up to go to the bathroom and my boyfriend asked me what was wrong.

“i can’t sleep.”

“why? what are you thinking about?”


he fell immediately back asleep. i continued to itch and toss. i needed to go for a walk, read a book, go to another room. but i live in a loft - there was nowhere to go. i felt claustrophobic. i HATED my apartment. was this one? was this an anxiety attack?

and then, in a mini tantrum, i threw my pillow across the room, like a dufus. the cat leapt from the bed.

“what is it?” my boyfriend asked. “come here.” he pulled on my arm to try to get me to come closer to him. i just lay, face down, on the mattress, crying. i made myself become dead weight so that i couldn't be pulled over. i was too much of a loser to get close to anyone.

the next day i got an email from my cousin. she forwarded me the address of our other cousin's son's online journal. he's documenting the pioneering and risky stem cell operation that he's having tomorrow.

he broke his neck five years ago on a trampoline, when he was 20, and has since been paralyzed.

my heart got a start when i opened the email. i didn't realize the surgery was so soon.

i guess i got the real wake-up call i needed.

good luck to the strongest team i've ever met.

Monday, January 23, 2006

insert hand here

Originally uploaded by kristalynn.

marionettes scare me. their face paint is usually falling off leaving half an eyebrow or lip, their hair is in tatters, and they generally look like they smell because they have been placed in unmentionable areas.

so imagine my consternation when i was offered a job as set photographer for a marionette movie.

"there's one thing that you might need to think about," said my then boyfriend who had found me the job.


"it's a movie about marionettes, acted out by marionettes."

"oh gross." i said.

i used to love the muppets when i was young. even today, when i hear buffalo springfield's "for what it's worth", i see kermit and some other animals hiding from redneck hunters singing, "We better stop, hey, what's that sound? Everybody look what's going down."

i remember asking my mom one night, i think the night luke skywalker was hosting, how the hosts didn't get bored.

“what do you mean?” she asked.

“well, they have no other people to talk to - only muppets. doesn't that get boring?”

i guess the muppets were pretty convincing.

so i accepted the marionette job. i was in graduate school - i needed the money. i also like meeting freaks. so i did it under the guise of "facing my fears".

the first marionette i met scared the shit out of me. he had flaming orange yarn hair and freckles. all of the marionettes were about 2 1/2 feet in height. there were families of them. there were pirates and teenagers, and ones that swam. and they were mobile. and they spoke. i was screaming inside my head.

"aren't they great?!" asked the director.

"do you want me like this, or should i hold my girlfriend's hand?"

the redheaded one was asking me a question.

"...or do you want me to tug on my mom's skirt?"

i looked up to the puppeteers, who were perilously perched 20 feet above me on a bridge.

"can he hold her hand?"

there was no reply.

"if you want me to hold her hand, you're going to have to get some tape from federico."

the puppet was replying to me.

"who?" i spoke directly to the puppet. out of the corner of my eye i saw the director nod.

"federico - that guy." he pointed to a rotund gaffer.

i followed his whittled, brittle finger. "thanks joey." i stood up. my knees trembled. federico taped their hands together and joey and his girlfriend were photographed looking lovingly into each others eyes. each time they blinked, their eyes made a loud, clanking noise.

by the end of the week, i was having a blast with the marionettes. i had my morning coffee with them, told them about what i did last night, removed schmutz from their faces, and fixed their outfits. "thanks krista," their long-eyelashed eyes clanked at me.

i also have never laughed so hard in my life. as soon as each take was over, they started cracking jokes. they were sarcastic little buggers. i think one of them kicked me in the ass. but as soon as the director yelled "action" they were all business. they were also the best models to work with: so much patience, so willing to accommodate.

"how's this krista? are the shadows under my eyes gone?"

i'd managed, once again, to forget that there were men behind those strings.

except at lunch, when the puppeteers descended from the bridge. they definitely were a strange bunch and kept to themselves. i'd never been witness to so much sharp wit in my life. instead of joining the rest of the crew outside and be forced to listen to how fabulous they thought their careers were ("no kidding? six weeks with eric roberts on the jersey shore?"), i stayed inside in the dark with the puppeteers. they had me in stitches. and in tears. and probably peeing in my pants.

for people that worked with strings, nothing seemed to be able to tie them down.

"what are you doing after this?" i asked the head puppeteer.

“i'm taking my motorcycle to montana. i'm going to live in the woods."

his carefree attitude required that i develop a crush on him.

"where's peter these days?" i asked the director several years later. we'd become quite good friends.

"oh, he met a mountainwoman. he's living in the mountains with this mountainwoman."

peter continued to live in the woods - only sometimes resurfacing for a puppeteering gig - until he became ill a few years ago. the director visited him in the hospital. his spirits remained high. his sense of humor was untouched.

peter sadly died a little over a year ago. the world lost one of its best puppeteers that day.

i have peter to thank for reassuring me that it was okay, and not retarded, to believe in magic.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

team spirit!

does insanity run in the family: my grandmother's boudoir
Originally uploaded by kristalynn.

i was recently chatting with a friend when she flat out declared that she didn't like going to concerts.

"why? not even u2?"

"i don't like being part of a collective."

my brain raced. i was thinking i had just heard the most fascinating statement ever made.

"explain." i leaned forward.

"well, i just can't stand being part of a mass group of people - expected to share the same emotions. i hate that everyone faces in the same direction, looking at the same thing. and as for U2, i could maybe sit through 2 or 3 songs and then i'd have to leave."

holy shit. where has this woman been my whole life?

"now wait a minute," i said, "i really, really hated "spirit" days in high school. you know the days where you had to wear your pajamas to school. is that the same thing?"

she thought about it.

"well, yes, because essentially, if you wear your stupid pajamas to school, you're making yourself part of a collective."

"remember all the whores who dragged in their stuffed animals as well?"

"i do."

"now, what about movies? you can't go to movies?"

"nope. we're all facing in the same direction."

"is this ocd? are you mad?"


"well," i said, "in a movie, you're not all expected to have the same reaction. you can walk out. right? like the two old biddies at my screening of 'brokeback mountain' did right after the cornholing scene. or like i did during braveheart when the girl entered and i thought oh man. that's going to be his girlfriend or something. and then she's going to die....."

"you left during braveheart?"

"i did. it sucked."

"well, i left during some jodi foster movie where she was communicating with aliens..."


"i don't know. anyway, some alien was taking some kind of human form in order to present itself to jodi. and i said, if that alien takes the form of her dead dad, i'm outta here. and then the alien is all hello jodi - or whatever her character's name was - i have to appear in the form of your dead dad because humans do not have the capabilities to view us or whatever. i said that's it, stood up, and left."

"i thought you didn't go to movies?"

"boyfriends make me go."

don't ask us to participate in any parades.

Monday, January 16, 2006

overheard in my grandfather's kitchen as i was racing off to the airport:

grandpa: take this! take this banana!

me [yelllng]: no thanks grandpa. i already have three bananas!

grandpa: [after spotting me remove a couple of bananas to make room for the single serving can of sophia coppola sparking wine (complete with straw!)] what's that?!

me [yelling]: nothing!

grandpa: that's katia's!!

me [yelling]: i know! i'm taking it!

cathy, i drank your booze.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

i'm in love...

Originally uploaded by kristalynn.

i just got back from a cross-country, family-visitation trip. let me just say how crestfallen i was sitting alone in my hotel room, waiting for the phone to ring. everyone i went to see in vancouver seemed to be *unavailable*. so i walked around IN THE RAIN, BY MYSELF, AGAIN.

okay, okay. i'm being a little "james frey" about the whole thing (that means embellishment, btw), but i was totally stoked when i went to winnipeg to see my grandparents (divorced, yet competitive and flirting) and 10 (yes, TEN) people made it out to dinner in my honor!

wow. life does go on.

and it is here where i toppled in love.

my mom's childhood friend has a 14 year old foster child. he was born 2 months prematurely to a drunken drug addict. he weighed 2 pounds and i guess a few ounces at birth. he wasn't to live longer than 2 months.

and here he is at 14.

he was so shy and so well behaved. his head was not much larger than a california raisin. i smiled at him all through dinner. i caught him staring at me too. [i giggled here].

he said nary a word.

"did you talk to him?" my psychiatrist friend asked.

"YES! i asked him about school, his pizza crust, his unfinished coke, and if he liked computers."

"why didn't he finish his coke?' he asked.

"i don't know! he shrugged his shoulders. isn't that the greatest answer! so wise. damn. i totally understand that he didn't want that huge coke."

i just wanted to scoop him up.

i some(most)times want to just shrug my shoulders. i've resigned to do just that throughout the rest of 2006.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

overheard at the commercial drive skytrain in vancouver while on a public phone trying to change my flight

crazy white-trashy woman yelling (just for the sake of calling attention to her psychotic self) at her 5-year child (singular) who was tugging on her coat, trying to get picked up:

"oh, all right! i'll carry you, you lazy brat. stop pulling on me! jesus, i don't know WHO'S worse..."

um... who were you going to compare her to, you nutjob?

and then she looked around to see if anyone had heard her blunder. and i had. and i was jotting it down.

i'll blog more, once i get home. and deal with my taxes.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

overheard at my dinner table (while making fun of someone's perceived derision towards children)

the princess (sophia) and the pea
Originally uploaded by kristalynn.

Person A: oh no mommy! we don't want to see uncle enrique. he's mean!

Person B: he always hangs us upside down from the balcony!

Me: uncle enrique is so grumpy!

Enrique: i'm not grumpy!

Me: what's the matter? you don't like children?

Enrique: i don't like hypothetical children. you guys don't have children. you have CATS.

Monday, January 02, 2006

don't take it personally

Originally uploaded by kristalynn.

i was speaking with a friend who had just broken up with his boyfriend. he was telling me how they had tried to make it work through his boyfriend's addictive behaviors. ultimately, the boyfriend decided that he could not make my friend happy and needed to concentrate on destroying himself instead.

i said, "shit. that's such a shame. you know, you can't take this personally. it has nothing to do with you."

he said, "i know. it's his problem."

and then he started laughing. and i started laughing. and he began to say, "i won't take it personally, but the ironic thing is that..."

"i know!" i said, "it's happening to YOU. you're totally wrapped up in it."

"i won't take it personally, but it's not happening to anyone else."

don't take it personally is just another way to say, "oh hey, it's not you, it's me."

i first got the "it's not you, it's me" in grade 9. i had made out with ri¢h bank$ at the tears for fears concert. we "went out" for 2 weeks after that. one day, at lunch, he seemed particularly despondent. i asked what was wrong, and he told me that it wasn't me, it was him... i appreciated his attempt to not break my heart, but the damage was done. i curled up on my best friend's basement floor, eating hamburgers and crying. it took 2 years to get over ri¢h bank$. he was my first love. he played the guitar to me.

so i will take it personally when you say things like, "don't take it personally but...

  • "your front teeth are too big and your boobs are too small."
  • "nobody can stand to be around you. you have to be nicer."
  • "yes, she and i had groundbreaking sex, but it had nothing to do with you."
happy new year, y'all. this is the year i get braces, a boob job, and limit my eye rolls to when i'm alone. wondering what i did to my teeth.

and my boobs.