Olympics Fever

photo 5

M had Olympics fever something fierce. One “morning” I woke at 2:40 a.m. and found him on the couch catching up on earlier recorded material with the sound muted.

He was nearly crippled when the gold medal slipped through the US women’s hockey team’s fingers.

In the midst of one of the figure skating competitions, he blurted out: “I just want them to do the Iron Lotus.”

I knew he was only half kidding.

Lost Dog

photo 1

On Friday I had five more essays to grade, but I decided to head to the local coffee shop to get a latte before I finished the task. As I walked in, I noticed a small chihuahua-like dog skipping around inside the cafe. She zoomed out the door, into the parking lot, and back in the door again.

A woman at a table commented: “My Friday’s gonna’ be ruined if someone runs over that dog.” I asked the person in line of front of me: “So this is a stray dog?” She said she was. I asked if anyone had considered taking her to a shelter. It was a novel concept.

So, skipping my coffee, I scooped her up and took her to the Front Street Animal Shelter.

She sat on my lap the whole ride there, licking my hand, looking into my face, and smiling into the Facetime call I initiated with M to show him how cute she was
As I was driving and talking, she licked my face and I moved my head in the opposite direction so she licked the other side and I twisted the other way. It was officially a game! A dangerous game. (I was still driving.)

When I arrived at the shelter, the man at the counter asked me if I was sure if I didn’t want to keep her. I agreed that she was adorable. He said she’d be on the website within two hours and would likely be adopted by the end of the day. If not, he was taking her.

I went home and made a poster for the bulletin board at the coffee shop, and I returned to get the latte I had originally set out for.

As i was in line, Lucy Liu’s “owner” saw the flyer in my hand and asked me why I had a picture of his baby.

He pulled out his phone to show me a photo of her tucked safely in bed.



Metaliterature is writing about writing. I spend a lot (too much) of my time doing this. In fact, I have eighteen more first essays left to grade before daylight.

It feels as if I have been writing about writing nearly non-stop since Valentine’s Day, providing detailed feedback about content, structure, and word choices in essays written in response to political cartoons, to found poems, and memoir chapters.

And, as I am writing these responses, my three sections of Advanced Composition and one of Creative Writing are generating more to read and write about.

In fact, you can read some of the poets and short story writers’ pieces as they have launched this term’s blogs:

Please follow them, like them, and offer them your own metaliterature.

Kegs to Go and More Redundancy


Due to the fact that she has a very unique and interesting past history, she summarizes briefly her personal opinions for all to hear. She is usually a person who values new innovations, completely unanimous end results, and consensus of opinion.

Whether you know it or not, the above passage refers back to the one and the same issue of exactly the same redundancy we see in this Bud Light sign and also which was in close proximity to the entrance of a Lake Tahoe grocery store.

close proximity = proximity
completely unanimous = unanimous
consensus of opinion = consensus
each and every = each or every
end result = result
exactly the same = the same
he/she is a person who = he/she
basic essentials = essentials
due to the fact that = because
new innovation = innovation
one and the same = the same
personal opinion = opinion
refer back = refer
summarize briefly = summarize
whether or not = whether
surrounding circumstances = circumstances
past history = history
very unique = unique
and also = and or also

I Must Be on a Princess Cruise


There’s a commercial that has been running too much lately.  It’s an ad for Princess Cruises that seems to promise that you can make a relationship new by experiencing new things on a cruise.  This commercial makes my eyes roll and my imagination run.  I am always thinking up ridiculous new things about a relationship that could be discovered as a result of a cruise.  

And so, as M was singing “The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers in between bites of bar-b-cue last weekend,  I was really surprised that he, a city boy, knew any country song word-for-word.  

As he boasted that he knew the whole album, I muttered:  I must be on a Princess Cruise.      




Last night, as I was talking with mom on the phone, a squad car sped down our street, and M, shirtless, futilely ran out the door to see what the commotion was about.

On the other end of the line, mom was excited, too. She was already hypothesizing who the perps were, what was stolen or ruined.

M quickly searched out a police scanner streaming on the web. Apparently, there were three Asian teens running from backyard to backyard within the perimeter the officers were rapidly establishing.

Mom wanted to know more, but we only had a handful of details: some street names, what they were wearing.

When I called mom this afternoon to report that my frittata recipe — just take whatever you have in the fridge: mushrooms, turkey lunch meat, spinach, hash browns, and then cook it all in a puddle of eight eggs and five scoops of small curd cottage cheese and pesto — was a success, she still wanted to know about the bad children hopping fences in the dark.

Oh, You Can’t Scare Me…


Saturday night was the Second Saturday Art Walk in Sacramento; it was also a rainy night. Instead of walking about, we headed to the Poetry Center’s artists who are writers exhibition, reading, and book release. The gallery was packed, and an hour into the reading, an intoxicated woman entered. She had a whole bottle of wine in a paper bag, wore sunglasses — sometimes on her face, sometimes in her hair, had a way of greeting people coming and going, and also couldn’t control herself from fidgeting, singing, commenting in odd places at a high volume.

I was pretty sure she was a regular at the reading series as the Poetry Center can be counted on to welcome almost anyone.

Several attendees were slightly bothered by her outbursts, would look in her direction with a hot glare.

In the middle of the band’s rendition of “Clair de Lune,” the woman in sunglasses knocked over an anthology perched on a stand and tried three or four times to re-position it. Her fingers were too twitchy and she kept snapping the stand onto the table.

A man, ignited by the sound, grabbed her by the arm and headed to the door, but most of the rest of her did not come, so he grabbed her hair, too. Still, she did not fly out the door with the ease that he expected. Instead, she toppled; her head crashed into a pillar.

It was at this moment that the band realized that something else was happening in a corner of the room, and everyone stopped in time to see the woman pop back up.

Yelling, “That’s assault; I’ll show you assault,” she charged the man, and they both thudded against the door.

The man next to me called 9-1-1. The woman went out the door with a fire extinguisher. Someone quickly locked her outside.

The rest of us were locked in, locked in a state of mild shock at what had gone down in such a short amount of time. The band’s time was up, but they played on, serenading us with Woody Guthrie lyrics that promised, “oh, you can’t scare me…”

In the pouring rain, the woman struck the door, the window, and the wall with the fire extinguisher.

The band ran out of songs. A bored man unlocked the door, letting the woman in and a stream of us out the door before the police finally arrived.

We left wondering how this story would be told. Who would be the heroes? Who would be the villains?