susan jennings

Mean people suck, have a nice day!

I came home from the airport last night after five days in Los Angeles. It rained all the way home, as I dozed in the back of the cab all the way from Oakland. When we pulled onto my street, it was clear there was a power outage; my entire block was completely dark including the interior of my flat, which always has the twenty bulbed tips of an industrial-looking retro-sixties Sputnik chandelier burning twenty quiet amber glows in the center of the living room. I paid my fifty bucks and dragged my bags through drizzled darkness to my unwelcoming doorstep. Just twelve hours before, I had the windows down in my rental minivan, cruising in the sunshine up Fairfax to Melrose Avenue. The sun was

Ferris Bueller's Day Off, essentially

God, life is way too short. I find myself going through cycles, regarding how much I "get done" versus how much I "play", and I'm constantly analyzing the use of my time. I used to think procrastination was my enemy; and thinking like that made me feel like I let a lot of time slip through my fingers, not doing the things I thought I should be doing. I'm starting to think more like: What I think is procrastination isn't that at all - I'm doing plenty of stuff, it's just not the stuff I *thought* I'd be doing. Turns out if I rearrange my priorities to include whatever it is I am doing, then I'm right on track. It's all good. The single-minded aim I left college with was that I wanted to Be an

Chianti & Temples

So you may have detected my love for architecture, antiquity in particular. Why ancient things, foreign places? It's not the surprise of the unknown which elicits awe; it's the discovery of a jewel just as it was left: ancient, perfect, immesurably perfect. In the darkness split with laughter we stumble, holding hands, down narrow passages and unexpectedly spill into an open piazza. Dizzy, drunk on excellent chianti, struggling to comprehend the ancient structure hulking above floodlights I hear only: there it is, that's the Pantheon. Less of its outer detail remains than I expected, its bricks' texture worn down, showing obvious spots of occasional restoration since its first century a.d. b

Born to bitch

Boy, do I love fast things. I have a big love affair with those monstrous, powerful American cars of the late '60's and early '70's -- the Barracuda, the GTO, the Camaro and Corvette, the Nova and Malibu; the Mustang Mach I and Shelby. Similarly, I adore a good rollercoaster and also pounding at a full gallop on whatever horse I can get my hands on. I really want to learn to fly a helicopter, maybe airplanes too, though they seem little scarier. I understand helicopters are actually quite a bit more dangerous, but what the hell; it's all in my perception, right? I'm the one who's gonna be flying the thing. If I think airplanes are more dangerous, do you really want me up there flying one? No


Here's a question: Is there any danger that keeping my magnetic, magic door-opening Schwab card in my pocket might render me sterile? That would be *cool*. It's like being in school again: gotta have a hall pass. So, the woman who asked about my lower-back tattoo, whom I described as a "TV mom", turned out to be the president of the agency... funny huh? It's so nice not knowing who anyone is; you don't act funny around them as a result. Actually I got called into my boss's office once for complaints that I was being acidic and edgy, which my boss wanted me to know was pretty much ok with him but I should probably manage my pH such that it wasn't aimed at any of my superiors. He's a wise man

You're soaking in it

It's kind of surprising that I took so readily to scuba diving. You know, given my historical fear of water-filled things. Not like bathtubs or fishtanks; in fact, when we were kids, my brother and I used to take fishtanks into the shower with us as toys. Anyway - I was afraid of open toilet tanks, pools and jacuzzis with no water in them, and particularly the drain at the deep end. I recall diving under the deep end to retrieve a sunken plaything, the pressure of more than one atmosphere of chlorinated water crushing my ears. As I approached the drain, I could imagine the monstrous underground machinery which would swing into motion, whirring gears and belts that would create a vaccuum whic

Breakin' up is hard to do

A good friend of mine has had her heart broken now about three times too many. It pains me to see her hurt, reeling from feelings of injustice and deception and a pendulous sense of failure. I can't help remembering my own heartbreaks, and how I dealt with them. My friend tends to reach out to her pals for support, honest discussion, and distraction. My tendency is to recoil from everything and everyone, and spiral into some strange schedule of physical or psychological ritual. I always start doing something odd, to find the path through my own disjointed mind to renewal. To protect the innocent, I'll devise an icon for each offending subject. (Innocent, my ass.) So, the first person to real

Sparkly barfy subliminable

O joyous reunion! Finally I've spent ten days with Ash after nearly six desperate weeks without him. I felt such despair when I thought of him, missed him so acutely that I began to substitute anger for the sadness. It was getting ugly. So I went to England. Spent most of the days wandering around Cambridge, where Ash is working, as I did last time. I didn't think Cambridge could possibly have more than two weeks' worth of activities to offer the visitor, and I spent that much time there already last July. Yet Cambridge continues to charm me, as I revisited some of the colleges, with their exquisite buildings dating everywhere between 1250 and 1860. Of course there are more modern ones too,

How far can *you* open your legs?

This girl Ashley knew in England was a gymnast. He and his friends call her "Bendy Wendy". Very cute. I can only imagine the sexual implications of a gymnast's flexibility. Does any of that stuff come in handy during sex, or is it all a myth? I've been able to do the splits since I was 7 or 8, and I excel at cartwheels; I can still do a pretty good backbend. But I can't put my feet behind my head or anything. I wouldn't call myself "bendy". Guys like that sort of thing, don't they? The whole 12-year-old Chinese acrobat girl-standing-on-her-hands-kissing-her-own-butt thing. One time, Ashley and my brother David and I were out at a local bar, Noc Noc. As we chatted and laughed and drank, I not

Shovelheaded alien

Going diving in Monterey this Saturday with a few friends. I hear Monterey is Great White territory. Cool. I've been down there, in a number of countries, with sharks of many varieties: black tips, white tips, whale sharks, dogfish, rays... but my very, very favorite was a creepy, unforgettable encounter in Mexico with... a hammerhead. It's dark and cold and alien as you descend beyond 70 feet into the bottomless watery midnight. When the bottom is too far down to be seen, it feels like there _isn't_ one, as if you could fall and fall and fall into the darkness and never be found. Slivers of light, like millions of cerulean moons, twinkle down dimly from above, where the darkness gradates up

Dude, be casual

Everything I do, I do enthusiastically. And when I do find myself engaged in something half-heartedly, distaste for myself curdles in my throat like past-date dairy product. So for example, when I decide what I *really* want is to just languish on the couch watching "Wild Discovery" or "The Real World" or some such horrifying product, I really throw myself into it. Lichen will grow on my shady side. I am not "vegging". I am passionately relaxing. For years I had a problem with being too emphatic. I'd be excitedly describing something to a person, and find myself grinding to a halt because they were starting to look like they were going to cry or something. I've found the trick is to be casua

Susan costume

I've changed my hair color now three times this year. This is unusual, really... most of the colors I've had lasted for an average of 1.625 years: bleached white, fuchsia pink, deep purple, black, light blue, lavender, pinkish purple. Even the shifts from one color to another used to be gradual, or at least related, usually. Except for one time when I went from black back to white. But once you get to black, what else are you gonna do? Now I've gone from pinkish-purple to turquoise to blood red within a 4-month period, just for the fun of it. What's the big deal, you ask? Well, the ability to-- no, the *willingness* to change my appearance constantly, you know, like Madonna does, just has no


Ashley's in England again. While he's gone, I make messes that I don't clean up and I sleep in the middle of the bed. Because it is my habit to clean for arriving guests, I always make the house spotless for his return. Surely he assumes it's been that way the whole time he was gone, and he burdens himself with the guilt that his big suitcase in the kitchen and his piles of mail and newspapers in the hall darken the joy of his return. While he's gone, our lives become extraordinarily precarious and fragile. I ponder the danger of two transatlantic flights: ok, so he survived the *last* two, and the ones before that, and I survived a number as well. So our luck has to run out, right? And did

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© 2018 Susan Jennings

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