Thursday, October 20, 2005

Biting the Marigold

I'm stealing Marigoldie's idea to list random things about myself. She actually wrote a fantastically honest and really well-written list of 100 things, but I'm afraid once I list 100 things about myself, I'll have to close up shop because I won't have anything left to write about.

But here are 10 mad things about me, oh lucky readers!

1. I have an urge to eat flowers when I smell them, at the very least crush them against my lips. Roses especially. I want to put them entirely in my mouth, maybe take a little nibble. I want to strip off the petals and use them like stridex pads on my face and then place them on my eyelids while I nap.

2. If I were born a boy, my mother would have named me D'Artagnan, a bitch to say in spanish. But I love the name and I had brought it up during my own pregnancies. HELL NO, was what Husband said, but would there have been a cooler name than Dart Rivera?

3. When I was eleven, my mother helped kiln and lay the tile for Judy Chicago's Dinner Party. This was an art exhibit in the form of a gorgeous, full-sized dinner setting paying tribute to over a thousand famous and important women in history. Because this is where I hung out that entire summer, in a Venice warehouse with about a hundred women artists, they were cool enough to let me embroider a caterpillar on the Mary Wollstonecraft runner that went under her plate. During that summer, I remember knocking over blueprints and getting yelled at by Judy Chicago herself (whoops) and I remember the fantastic smell of baking clay and glaze, and I remember plates beautifully shaped like huge vaginas, but mostly I remember staring at the embroidered image of Mary Wollstonecraft dying in child birth as I nervously tried hard not to fuck up my caterpillar. I also remember learning, at eleven, that women are brilliant creatures.

4. I like tea cups with saucers. And this is completely unfounded in any memory or inspiration. I don't know why I like them. I love them mismatched and lovely, fragile and chipped a little. I want to buy every one I see and I want to make pedestals for them and shine halogen lights on them. And name them things like Precious.

5. When I was eight years old, I found a .38 handgun in my grandfather's night stand. I picked it up and as my heart pounded I held the gun to my temple. That thought still makes my face flush, and I wonder why a child would do that. But, to be honest, when I was young my mother often held two fingers to her head and said, "Ppkkwww" telling me it would be so much easier that way.

6. A week before my grandmother died when I was fifteen, I had a dream that I rode a raccoon across a wheat field and then watched her till a dirt garden. She looked like she was pregnant in the dream. She died of pancreatic cancer that apparently bloated her disproportionately. Her death was a surprise to me because she had told no one about the cancer, but I appreciated that she let me know in the dream. We had that kind of relationship.

7. Once when I was nine, I lost my wallet at the bus stop that held my house key and my library card that stated my name and address. By the time I made it home, my house had been robbed of our TV, stereo, all other valuables including my grandmother's gold wedding band that I was to inherit. To this day, my mother doesn't know this robbery was because I lost my wallet. I felt having the ring stolen was punishment enough.

8. Sometimes I'm afraid my husband and daughters will die, and that's a private panic that I don't share usually. I heard a psychologist once say that this is about convincing ourselves that we deserve this much love and happiness. But what I fear more is that I'll die too soon and this is worse, I feel, because I don't want my girls to suffer that kind of grief.

9. I am obsessed with March Madness, the men’s college basketball playoffs. I am enamored by the level of heart with which these kids play. I am amazed by how many games are won at the buzzer. This sends my heart a soarin'. During March is when I wish I had attended college so I can be a raging lunatic fan for a particular alma mater, but then I'm glad I didn't go to college because as it stands I can band-wagon jump from team to team.

10. When I was a kid I loved the Guinness Book of World Records. I decided I would take on the Catch the Coins Off the Elbow Record which, in 1977, was thirty-six coins. I lined up pennies on my forearm and practiced and practiced. Most of my time I picked up pennies that had exploded off my arm when I didn't catch them in my ten year old hand, but one afternoon when channel 11 played The Planet of the Apes as the 3 o'clock movie, I caught all 36 mother fucking pennies. I was like, Holy Shit, I need a camera. I looked down at the Guinness Book of World Records to figure out how to record my record, and the words "silver dollar" caught my eye. The record was for 36 silver dollars not pennies. My window to be a record holder closed. Now the record is something crazy like 400 pennies or some shit.


HollyRhea said...

I think the evidence of good writing (or good art, for that matter), comes when the viewer/reader wants to be the author/artist. Even if it means hurting in their place.

Good job, lady.

madness rivera said...

That was a nice thing to say. Thanks HollyRhea.

Marigoldie said...

Hooray! More! More!

And I want you to know I just noticed your headline for the first time, after first diving into the entry like it was a big bowl of delicious flowers.

Keep 'em coming.

Anonymous said...

Best friends always know the 10 things. Reading them made me want to cry my eyes out.

madness rivera said...

oh Mandy - You know the 100+ things. And I almost just cried myself reading your comment.

andrea said...

I'll admit, I've been blurking around here for awhile... I love your blog, your writing kicks ass. this list was such a delicious read (and don't you know I've got to continue with the biting and do it on my own bloggedy-blog, hope you don't mind). yes, thanks for sharing.

oh and since I've been here a couple of times, there are a couple of posts I'd love to comment on but it's late and so I won't go fishing around for them. but I will say this: I liked your post on basquiat, thought you had some interesting things to say about that cat. I'm a long-time fan too and maybe it's wrong but I hate how trendy it has become to like his work. but whatever. great post on jean-michel.

irene said...

this list was both touching and emotional, making me squeal and all teary at the same time. thanks for sharing.

la vie en rose said...

I have to admit that when I first pulled up your blog was like, "Oh my god there's a vagina! What's she doing with a vagina on her blog...and should I look away or cheer!" really loved the list...thanks for sharing all that with us.

madness rivera said...

HA - that's exactly what my husband just said. "It that a vagina on your blog?" I said, "Did you read it or are you just mesmerized by the image?" He was like, "Uh . . ."

Anonymous said...

Doesn't "The Fonz" on Happy Days
have that record?

Nice title!

frida said...

Just read this post and I wanted to say that I appreciate the honesty of it...very moving.