I bought a new sweater vest in Chicago the other week. Many made fun of me. But I didn't care. I told them - I'm bringing it back!

Also, in this month's GQ, they have a one-page layout of how sweater vests are awesome. We all know GQ is my style bible - so truth be told that the vest is here.

I'll dress it up with a loosened tie or keep it relaxed with just a button-up. Maybe I will be the only one rockin' it, and that would be ok.

my half-friend i keep in my trunk

I get a call last night from my cousin Dee. 'Can you give us back the money we gave you for the car?'


'Joe got pulled over and they searched the trunk to find you had half a body in there! Now we need the money for bail.'

I was relieved. I had forgotten to take out my Banana Republic mannequin. I'm not sure why I also kept it in my trunk - but every time I would take a sharp turn, I would hear him switching sides.

I come home to the picture above. My half body had my running shorts on. The funny thing is, I didn't notice him for about 30 minutes.



Some people are afraid of what they might find if they try to analyze themselves too much, but you have to crawl into your wounds to discover where your fears are. Once the bleeding starts, the cleansing can begin.
-Tori Amos


leaf = fall = comfort

This morning as I stepped out my door something caught my eye. On the ground, there two were. One of my favroite things - autumn leaves. I know fall isn't until Sepetember 23, but it makes me excited anyways. I love the colors of fall, the weather - crisp and cool, and the smells.

I count down the days until it comes. Until drinking warm apple cider is acceptable. When you can carve pumpkins, only to have Midnight and Brownie eat them within a week. When you can wear cable knit, and not sweat your ass off.

This beautiful picture was taken by Jeff Keesee at the Chattanooga Aquarium.


Van Morrison - Autumn Song
Leaves of brown they fall to the ground
And it’s here, over there leaves around
Shut the door, dim the lights and relax
What is more, your desire or the facts

Pitter patter the rain falling down
Little glamor sun coming round
Take a walk when autumn comes to town

Little stroll past the house on the hill
Some more coal on the fire will do well
And in a week or two it’ll be halloween
Set the page and the stage for the scene

Little game the children will play
And as we watch them while time away
Look at me and take my breath away yeah

You’ll be smiling eyes beguilding
And the song on the breeze
Will call my name out and your dream

Chestnuts roasting outside as you walk
With your love by your side
The old accordion man plays mellow and bright
And you go home in the crispness of the night

Little later friends will be along
And if you feel like joining the throng
Just might feel like singing autumn song
Just may feel like singing autumn song

You’ll be smiling
Eyes beguilding
And the song on the breeze
Calls my name out in your dream

Take a walk when autumn comes to town

here's to straight deposits

I got to spend my evening with my ladies from First National Bank. I loved each of them for different things. They all made me laugh and enjoy my job, which was (and still is) very important to me. There were times when we could have killed each other and shoved the body in the vault. But what else is family for?

Nicky, Whit and I. I trained with Nicky - and last night she said how she loved sitting next to me in training because I never balanced my drawer, and neither did she. I hated training. The only time I balanced was the very last test. I'm suprised they still wanted me to work. We also chatted about the night when we were last out. The night everyone got too drunk, and the night Whit got a little on the crazy side. The crazyness resulted in a broken bone in her hand. It was quite entertaining watching her help customers with a huge arm cast. I say, we all have our days.

Me, Nammone, Anthony, and Erin. I don't know Nammone all that well, she she is a fun girl to have a chat with. I can only imagine how much trouble her and Jen get into. Anthony bakes the best desserts. I told him next time he makes something I will come and eat it. On my 'going away food-day party' he made a pineapple upside down cake. I think I ate half of it. And Erin, I do love her. And I love how she told me she actually reads this. She also bought me a beer last night, it was $1 for the 'Ladies Night' at a horrible bar Shag. Thank you for the good times.

Natalie and Jen were also there. I didn't get pictures with them though. Well I did with Natalie, but I chose to leave that one out.

I hope to see them all soon. My crazy side comes out with them, especially if it involves dancing and alcohol.


see you, my love

To my girl, who will always be my favorite. Mary, you've been everywhere with me. making trips back and forth to Iowa City. You've heard all my secrets, and have never judged. You have met all my friends - and boys. Oh, the boys, if they only knew your sway.

With your sway comes your dance. Mary, my girl with red hair and big hips.

We've had some moments where I wanted to pull you over and say not nice things to you. Such as the time I was heading to class in Iowa City and you broke down in the middle of a four-way intersection, while on a bridge. Or when it was 1,000 degrees and broke down in the Target parking lot, and we had to wait three hours for the tow. You even made me angry when your A/C didn't work, in the hottest of Omaha days.

But I still love you, and always will. Antenna or not. You can thank a car wash for that one.

You've made others jealous, with your seats. The most comfortable lap you could sit in. You treated me like a king.

Mary, don't be jealous of Alice, please. You will always hold a special place with me, and I will think of you often.

I was never ashamed of you. When asked what vehicle I drove, I proudly acclaimed, 'I drive Mary. A '91 Buick Regal LIMITED. She has red hair and big hips.'

See you around town. Joe, my cousin, will treat you kind. I told him he couldn't change your name. For you would always be Mary.


shake your cottontail

Doorknob: "Sorry. You're much too big. Simply impassable."

Alice: "You mean 'impossible'."

Doorknob: "No, impassable. Nothing's impossible!"


Meet Alice. She's my new white Rabbit. She's sexy, fast and can even hop.

Jefferson Airplane - White Rabbit

One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you
Don't do anything at all
Go ask Alice
When she's ten feet tall

And if you go chasing rabbits
And you know you're going to fall
Tell'em a hookah smoking caterpillar
Has given you the call
Call Alice
When she was just small

When men on the chessboard
get up and tell you where to go
And you've just had some kind of mushroom
And your mind is moving low
Go ask Alice
I think she'll know

When logic and proportion
Have fallen softly dead
And the White Knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen's 'Off with her head!'
Remember what the Doormouse said.
'Feed your Head, feed your Head!'

so windy

I went to visit one of my favorite cities last weekend - Chicago. I get such great vibes from it and never want to come back home when I go to visit.

I love everything about it - the neighborhoods, public transportation, shopping, restaurants, drinking establishments, the people. The only thing I could live without is all the honking.

I stayed with my friend Matt, from Iowa City. One of his roomates has a cat and I'm very allergic, so every morning it felt like the cat slept on my face. It was sick.

On Saturday evening I stayed with Ann and Franz at the W. I've always wanted to stay at one and now I don't think I'll stay at anything else. They're amazing - like nothing else I've stayed in. You walk in and the lights are dimmed low, candles lit everywhere. It's sort of like a swank jazz night club.

That same evening they took us (Ann's sister and cousin were along) to Pane Caldo. It was delicious and quite the experience.

A group of us men were playing a dice game, which involved a lot of drinking. So much drinking that I only remember the walk to the bars and the walk back home from them - nothing in between.

This is Ryan and I. I look like I should go hunting or something.

Hollie's fierce shoes.

She came to Matt's - I was so happy to see her. She always makes me smile and have great times. She, as always, was looking like a stunning starlet.

I'm not sure who this is. But I did have a long conversation with her. I hear she is a lawyer. And I remember eating a lot of salty popcorn. I think we talked about boys. Because really, who doesn't?

Brian told me the next morning that they had cut me off from drinking, and gave me Shirley Temples.

Hollie and I doing the robot...I think.

Brian likes to pop his collar. I like to pop it back down. (For some strange reason that doesn't look like it would be my hand, but it is.)

One morning I met up with my friends Megan and Kevin at the Bongo Room in Wicker Park. You know me - I love breakfast food and chocolate. So what could be better than putting the two together. I had Chocolate Tower French Toast (Bittersweet chocolate chunk bread stuffed with maple mascarpone, banana creme brulee sauce, bananas and shaved chocolate). I could only eat half of it.


they say it's your birthday

Tori turns 43 today.

Happy Birthday good-lookin'.


Sister Named Desire

Got a sister named Desire
They don't let you
Like those little boys
By their house
On the backyard swing
I know of it 'cause
I thought we told
Some little sweet stories
In the parking lot

They say that girl lost her sway
The say that girl lost her sway
That day

God I'd like to drag him
For a long way 'cause maybe I
Then I'd just cry a little tear
Near him to that sleepy safe place
And I'm gonna take him by myself
If I've got to go
Don't let you know
Let you know
Where she goes to with those
Me as I interfere

That girl lost her sway
They say that girl lost her sway
That day

Teach me about them old worlds big brother
And in an elevator
Where somebody can get out
With the sound

They say that girl lost her sway
Just watch it
Just watch it slip through my hands, boy
Watch it go
Oh, what you know
I guess
I see
Just see
'Cause she still can sway


when jimmy met nancy


After months of commenting back and forth through blogs, I met Nancy.

I've always known of her through Michael and Jamie, and always asked to meet her, but the chance never happened.

Last Wednesday we decided to have dinner at Old Chicago. She said she was nervous and had butterflies in her stomach to meet me. I assured her that there was no need to be nervous because I am one of the biggest dorks you could meet.

She also called me for the first time that Wednesday morning. She said I didn't sound like what she had imagined me as. I asked how. She replied with, 'I thought your voice would sound deeper.'

'Do I sound like a girl?' She said no, that she expected me to sound like Ben Affleck.

I loved her right away. She came in the door and we started rambling back and forth non-stop. We chatted about everything under the sun.

During the conversation, she would ask random questions - which I love. But one threw me for a loop.

'Do you ever wear capes?'

'Capes? Like...a cape?

'Yes, you know, like a superhero.'

'Well, not yet. I could though!'

Laughs were exchanged all through the night. And of course, as always, I ate my pizza, until there was nothing left.


peel out the watchword

Tori Amos performs Cornflake Girl on Soundstage

History has recorded some pretty nasty things that have happened to people. I think we remember, I think it’s in our cells and I think it can still hurt sometimes.

Under the Pink songbook


September 13, 1998

so good, so good
so good, girl
that thing she should
be around when I’m
going down
she says, to catch me
to push me, more like it
she would
kind of girl
that kills her husband
and she swears she won’t
and you bet your life it is
you bet your life she is
and you’re sure
she’s gonna change
you swear to Christ she will
swear on your life she will
but she shits you
again and again...



my vision was blurred
for i was behind my mask
i couldn't see you
wearing your mask

see, everyone has masks
some they wear more than others
a mask to look sexy
a mask to hide behind
a mask to make people
crawl through glass
cutting up their knees

one mask
one that fools
the friend mask
comes in many colors

---the shape of hugs
letting your guard down
that mask is tricky at times---

the word 'friend' is tricky, too
who is a friend?
is there a list of sorts?
do they have to apply inside?
or it is written in the earth
in the sky

why couldn't i read the sky
when i found out
what happened behind your mask
something a friend would never do

i'm not one to make you bleed dry
for the crimes you've done
it's not my style, i have better things to do

so things change
we change masks
one you will never understand

it used to be friends
but then again, maybe that too
was a mask


she died?

Last night on a humid, after-dinner walk, Ellerie wouldn’t stop singing ‘twinkle twinkle little star.’ I asked her to sing another. She said she didn’t know any others.

‘How could you forget other songs? I know you know more.’

‘I did forget Uncle Jimmy. Sing me a new one.’

She always has me sing songs to her. I usually make them up. But I was hot and sweaty, and my mind had stopped working. So I sang Mr. Zebra…

hello Mr Zebra
can I have your sweater
cause it’s cold cold cold
in my hole hole hole
Ratatouille Strychnine
sometimes she’s a friend of mine
with a gigantic whirlpool
that will blow your mind

hello Mr Zebra
ran into some confusion with a Mrs Crocodile
furry mussels marching on
she thinks she’s Kaiser Wilhelm
or a civilised syllabub
to blow your mind

figure it out
she’s a goodtime fella
she got a little fund to fight for Moneypenny’s rights
figure it out
she’s a goodtime fella
too bad the burial was premature she said
and smiled

…I forgot the last line and sang ‘she said and then she died.’ It sounded weird in my head, I knew it came out wrong.

‘Why did she die Uncle Jimmy?’

‘Well, she didn’t exactly die. She’s hiding.’


‘I don’t know, she never told me, she didn’t tell anyone. Maybe under a rock, or in a tree, or under your shoe.’

‘You’re so silly Uncle Jimmy.’


and i learn

Jackie’s Strength is really... I was asked to get married, right? And um I was quite nervous because I never thought I’d get married before. It just wasn’t something that I was gonna do. Even though I believe in monogamy, just having the church and state condone my union wasn’t important to me. And in fact, I really didn’t want that. So, when he asked me, it brought up, obviously, a lot of things. And I started going back in my little movie in my head, different moments of my life. And I remember my mother telling me that the day Kennedy died, John F. Kennedy, that she put me down, she had to lay me down because her heart started to slow down and she couldn’t breathe. And um, all she thought of was Jackie and the strength that it would take Jackie to lead the nation.. which she did. And I really knew that I was gonna need some kind of strength because I’m made up of like two personalities. There’s one side of me that could very easily have ended up at the 7-Eleven sitting outside drinking a Slurpee in my wedding dress and just missing the whole thing. And then there’s the other one that did make it to the church. So, this song is about the one that drank the Slurpee. She’s still out there somewhere.

Tori Amos
VH1 Storytellers - October 24, 1998


Yesterday a friend got married. She was beautiful. Her dress, her hair, her crown - everything. It was also the first time Mollie and I had met Paul, her new husband. We usually like to drill the guy to see if he's worthy, and as far as I can see, he is.

Becky Fisher is a wonderful friend. I've known her for about five years and loved her every minute. The things I've loved most about her was her faith, confidence and one-liners.

Becky and I often talked about faith and Jesus. She loves him - so do I. Back then I was trying to find my way through faith and I would always admire how strong hers was. I loved the fact she didn't care what others thought of her, or at least she didn't show it. And I also loved the things she would say to me, such as - 'James, I miss you like the ocean misses the shore' or 'I'm as angry as the fiery of a thousand suns.'

We were also married. I'm not sure when it happened. But somewhere along the lines we had a short engagement and a loving marriage. I also had a mistress and a girlfriend which she knew of. While we were leaving her wedding (the real one), she said, 'I'm sorry I'm not your wife anymore.' I replied that I was a little heart-broken, but I would be fine. Because, I think we both knew, in the end, it wouldn't have worked out.


doin' in

Back in the day when I was in junior high and the early part of high school, I had a strange love for hip hop. One of the first artists I grew fond of was LL Cool J. This was around the time his album Mr. Smith was released.

I rememember it like it was yesterday - Christmas Eve, 1995 - Dawn, my sister, and I were in Target shopping for our parent's presents. She asked what I wanted for Christmas. I knew exactly what I wanted. I said, 'I'll be back with it,' and ran to the music section.

Moments later I held it up. She looked at me with crazy eyes and said, 'If you ever tell mom and dad I bought this for you, you're dead!'

Don't worry Dawn, they never found out (but if you would like to know, she did buy me my first parental advisory cd). Until one day, my mom moved cars around before school. She comes back in with the rage of a thousand suns in her eyes. 'What the hell is the cd in your car?!'


'I would hope not. Tonight, I want you to bring it in the house and I want to watch you break it in half.'

Nervous and freaked out, I get into my car to find Nas' song 'Big Girl' playing.

Big Girl

CD skip when your head board hit the wall
Call for the law
Right when you cum, I'm biting your tongue
Make your legs cramp up, you can't stand up
You can hit a blunt if you want

I never came home that night and broke the cd in two. And she never asked about it again.

Today, my love for hip hop still exists. I still love the dirty rap and thanks to artists like Lil' Kim and Foxy Brown, I can sing/rap along. Mollie always makes me rap Lil' Kim. She laughs and so do I. And then I wonder, 'how the hell did I remember that?'



Two years ago I stumbled upon an amazing woman. Most of you know, I was in SPO at the time and I decided to bring her to campus to tell her story.

Her story...
In the documentary Searching for Angela Shelton, filmmaker Angela Shelton journeys across the United States meeting other Angela Sheltons in an effort to survey women in America. She discovers that 24 out of the 40 Angela Sheltons she spoke to had been raped, beaten or molested. (now 28 out of 40) Then the filmmaker meets an Angela Shelton who tracks sexual predators and lives in the same town as the filmmaker's father who molested her and her step siblings for years.

She came, had a wonderful and emotional show. I even got to spend the rest of the afternoon with her - which was exciting for me. She on the other hand was probably thinking 'get me home!'

Then, I did some searching for myself...on myspace. I searched for Angela and found her. Lovely as ever, she appears happy and in a very good space. A movie is in progress about the documentary, which she is pumped about.

Consider watching her documentary. It's quite the eye-opener. Words cannot even begin to describe the journey that was captured.


until then

do you ever feel in the wrong place at the wrong time?
or could it be the right place at the wrong time?
or so on
why do you meet the people you do?
i believe it's in our maps we meet them
but the lingering question is
why can't you be with that person
when you feel the time is right?
distance plays a key
so do a number of other things
these people might be lovers
in this time
or in anaother
is it unfair?
they both can think so
locked doors
blocked passage ways
circumstances prevent things to continue
to march forward
maybe, if everything falls into place
things can work out for the lovers
if that is what they are meant to be


'you drive me crazy
but in a good way'

'fuck the ocean between us -
why can't we get a pint and be together?'

'because the ocean says so -
or until we have wings'


hey you
gender nectar
crystalline from the vine
you know you’ll drink her

rolling and unrolling
coiling, emerging
running free
running through
the afterworld
into your room

so she prays for a prankster
and lust in the marriage bed
and he waits till she can give
and he waits
and he waits



first london rain, with katie

no weather could be better. i love waking up to rain. having it rain all day. going to bed while it rains. it cleanses. it contributes to growing. it's sexual. the smell. the feel. the green.


It would always happen, near Eppley. I would turn to Danelle and say, 'I love this weather.'
She would smile, and say, 'I know, you said that yesterday when it was raining.'


he don't show much these days
it gets so fucking cold
i loved his secret places
but i don't go anymore
"you change like sygar cane"
says my northern lad
i guess you go too far
when pianos try to be guitars

i feel the west in you
but i feel it falling apart too
don't say that you don't

and if you could see me now
said if you could see me now
girls you've got to know
when it's time to turn the page
when you're only wet because of the rain
because of the rain
because of the rain


thank you

I recieved a letter in the mail tonight from Gap Inc. Even though I had left the company over a year ago, they still feel the need to send me things.

But something was different about this letter. I actually read it for once, and it brought good news. For some unknown reason ("I don't get half the things you do," says Mollie), I didn't cash a check that was issued back in July 2004. I can't remember what I did last week, so trying to remember where I was at in July in 2004 was tricky. But I was at Banana and First Data (I think). I was crazy and worked two jobs. Thank God I don't do that anymore...but we should say 'never say never.'

I would just like to thank you Gap Inc, for reminding me you still owed me money. It was a nice gift after paying me crap wages and splitting me and Mollie up (hide-in-the-corner-and-hide-from-greg-dance) when we would socialize a bit too much. Although, if they found out some of the things that happened (in the fitting room), I'm sure they could have fired me. Nope, I'm pretty sure they would have fired me.


crazy legs

happy birthday to the most fabulous woman i know. my mother, jan, or miss carter lake as she is known by some is turning an age we won't mention (because it is not important).

on sunday we celebrated with a small group of family at my sisters. we gave her a tiffanys butterfly necklace, which she loved.

tonight we went to dinner and ate entirely too much. i may have put myself into a food coma. after dinner we had drinks at the compound. i had to come inside because i sat there sweating - i do enough of that in my car to and from wherever it is that i am traveling.

i do love her and think she is an amazing mom. she does have to put up with me and all, that could drive a sane person crazy. i wish her the best of birthday wishes.
but i believe in peace, bitch

I want to kill this waitress
there’re too many stars and not enough sky
I can’t believe this violence in my mind