Wednesday, December 7, 2016

When I think of the name Donald

When I think of the name Donald I think of my Uncle.
Man I wish I had a picture of him. Uncle Donnie.
All I can remember is that he had thick black glasses
And he gave us art supplies for Christmas one year.

Being around him made me nervous, but that was only because
I was barely ever around him. Like a lot of extended families
He lived far enough away that I only saw him for reunions -
Weddings, funerals, things like that.

Like the other Donald, the one I hate to name, Uncle Donnie was born in Queens in the 40's.
But unlike the other Donald, Donnie wasn't born with a silver spoon in his mouth.
Instead he was born with his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck,
Chocking off his oxygen at birth, leaving him handicapped.

Dad said Donnie's retarded even though he doesn't look it.
"Retarded like slow, not like Downs syndrome."
He slept on a cot in the living room. "Why the living room?" I asked.
"8 kids in a 2-bedroom apartment. Someone had to be a second class citizen."

Donnie functioned at a level all his own, achieving greatness in his own way.
He got a job. He moved from Queens to Statin Island.
He met a woman who was similarly handicapped. Her name was Carol.
He married her. Her name became Carol Carroll, a fact that delights me always.

Dad said, "Donnie's wedding was a hell of a party. No one expected anything.
Everyone showed up, nobody fussed over any shit details,
We all figured, to hell with it, let 'em get married
And we drank all night and prayed they wouldn't have any kids."

They didn't. They had a good long life - Donnie and Carol.
"And the only thing that rivaled his wedding was his funeral.
THere was a blizzard," he smiled remembering. "3 months after mom died,
Eh, figured Donnie went up to meet with her," he shrugged.

"The ground was frozen and we couldn't bury the bastard.
So we went to the pub and drank all night. Hell of a party."
When Donnie's name comes up, the room smiles; a sign of a well-lived life.
Cheers to the boy on the cot who got himself a job, a home, and wife.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

At 0 we’re a blanket.
At 1 we wet our pants.
At 2 I notice I’m a me.
At 3 I’m a canvas.
At 4 I’m a mess.
At 5 I break all that’s breakable.
At 6 I hone my fear.
At 7 I’m rock solid.
At 8 I crumble into shards.
At 9 I am down river.
At 10 I peak behind curtains.
At 11 I write meticulously.
At 12 I go back and change the grammar.
At 13 I notice the thing has just begun.
At 14 I’m in agony.
At 15 I want to get off.
At 16 I get a wink from a 51-year-old
At 17 I notice the poem.
At 27 I notice the thing is a poem.
At 32 I’m a block of ice
At 33 I start to melt
At 34 I start to notice how I melt
At 35 I start to fear the melting
At 36 I start to notice the fear
At 37 I start to accept the fear
At 38 I start to ascend
At 39 I have ascended
At 40 I’ve been mercifully robbed of my cynicism.
At 41 I’m here.
At 42 I’m notice the poem is a song.
At 43 I reject bitterness from entering my heart. I push on.
At 44 I push, I push
At 45 I hold joy.
At 46 I start to notice life is long
At 47 I start to see how short it is indeed.
At 48 I write.
At 49 I’m a star.
At 50 I’m a hundred.
At 51 I think about 16 and my eyes twitch
At 52 I’m shocked to see such prices.
At 53 I go back and change the ages.
At 54 I notice the song is a dance.
At 55 I dance.
At 56 I do a hand stand every day.
At 57 I hold hands with you.
At 58 I march with the wind in my face.
At 59 I wonder where the time has gone.
At 60 I say wow.
At 61 I get a puppy again.
At 62 I say thank you.
At 63 I stop being afraid of death
At 64 I relearn the whole
At 65 I sing Amazing Grace with a choir.
At 66 I am the captain of a large army.
At 67 I notice we never stop dancing.
At 68 I becomes we.
At 69 we become decades
At 70 we dare to dream
At 80 we love with All Hearts Open
At 90 I hear the song coming to an end.
At 100 I blanket

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Boy Bye

Hello. Elaine here. I'm back. I've come back.

Forgive me for my long silence. I've been away; learning, growing, healing.

I was learning; how to be away and how to come back. How to have a job and how not to have a job. How to ask for help and how to receive it.
I was growing; in strength, in determination, in focus, in faith.
I was healing; my mind, my body, my heart. There's more. There's so much more. But let's begin there.

For too long I've used the excuse that I'm no good at blogging/sharing/social media and all that. The truth is, and always is, that I was afraid. I was afraid to be vulnerable, to be too exposed, and I would be destroyed. This is an irrational fear that my ego downloaded into my brain ages ago. I'm happy to report I've upgraded the software. That fear glitch is gone. Boy bye.

I want to write about my dog.

I got a dog. He's an 8-week-old mutt. The rescue named him Finnegan. We call him Finn. He's perfect and knows absolutely nothing. He's a blank slate. Pure wild instinct. He's a hoot and, at 3 pounds, a big fucking hand full. He's in his crate with a chew toy filled with frozen applesauce and he's whimpering. He whimpers a lot. Even in his sleep. Clara, our dog trainer, says he's dreaming. I asked her what puppies dream about. She said, "Being ferocious tigers." Clara is good.

We're crate training Finn. This helps with potty training and separation anxiety. Even though it's unnatural for a dog to be alone, we're teaching him now, in his youth, that being alone is not a bad thing. We want him to believe that solitude, while unnatural to pack animals, is not fatal. It's just par for the course. The reality of being a dog today is that his pack is his people, and he can't be with his people 24/7.

So Finn is learning; how to be okay with just an applesauce-stuffed chew toy, how to hold his bladder and not soil his bed, how to surrender to the will of his master, and how whimpering about it doesn't help.

And I am learning; how to be present for someone else's whimpering, how not to rush in with the easy fix, how to respect his doghood and love him in a way that is constructive and not destructive. Finn is learning how to feel safe in solitude. I'm learning to feel safe in public. He's learning to work through his separation anxiety. I'm learning to work through my stage fright.

Monday, March 10, 2014

#tbt #1776

Oh my god, I look SO much like my great great great great great grandma in this picture, it's like we're twins.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Baguette me not


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Saturday, January 26, 2013

merch schmerch

I said I was taking a break from VMK to focus creating merchandise. I wanted to try and sell t-shirts and mugs and DVDs and crazy straws and hoodies and all of that noise. I hired designers and created logos and came up with an iPhone app that allowed you to care for your own little MK tamagotchi. I had big dreams for all of it. And it was going very well until we reached out to the Olsen camp and they said stop or we'll sue. So we stopped and that was that. No crazy straws.

This was disappointing for me. I felt like I let people down. I walked around my apartment for a while feeling like an ass.

I thought about why I wanted to sell merch in the first place. One of the main reasons was because I felt like the success of the series just wasn't enough. You see I have this teensy leettle habit of equating my net worth with my self worth, and with that kind of thinking nothing is ever enough, not even a buh'jillion facebook likes. Then I remembered why I started working on the series in the first place. The answer is because I genuinely enjoy the work. So I got back to work.

We made season 4 and we started releasing episodes 2 weeks ago and I am very proud of it. This season is hilarious and weird and bigger and great and different and we're trying new things because why not try new things, right?

And even though I will never be a buh'jillionaire from selling VMK crazy straws, I still think I cashed in, big-time, because I get to work on something that I love with people that I love. If that's not cashing in, I don't know what is.

This blog post has been an exercise in vulnerability and honesty from resident non-perfect human person, Elaine Carroll. Okay, back to cat pics...