Confession Tuesday: Bad Decisions plus One Good Thing

Last Week- this was my motto unfortunately...

Dear Reader,

It's been a week of poetry festivals or small breakdowns and the science of liquid and electricity.  It's been a pheasant that squawks at 6 am and 6 pm, the wild turkeys have been removed from a small town, I shouldn't touch other people's phones, and even though coffee hurt me, I still love it.

Yes, as you can see a lot has been going on.

So here's the last week of confessions.  Hold on to your wig, folks, it was a someone windy ride.  To the confessional--

The Problem with Bad Decisions--

I confess I made an $1800 mistake.  While the rest of you made good decisions last week, I decided that I would bring my metal pot of coffee to my friend Annette's house while we finished up the edits of Crab Creek Review.

For a brief moment, as I grabbed my laptop (a MacBook pro) I thought--I shouldn't put my laptop so close to the coffee in case it spills.  Can you see where this is going?

But I had done it before. I had done it a few times, loaded up the sturdy metal pot of coffee, my laptop, books, and papers, and all has been well in my part of the world.  But not last Wednesday.  Last Wednesday there was a tip in the earth and the coffee pot began to spill all over my laptop unbeknownst to me.  Unbeknownst to me, when I arrived at Annette's house and took my bag with my laptop out it was quite wet as was my laptop.

If you have ever seen a laptop dripping with coffee, it is not artistic or pretty or fascinating.  It is sad sad sad.

One bad decision = a dead laptop.  $1200 to fix it.  $1800 for a new one.  (Insert tears and curse words here.)

I chose the new one.

At Annette's we tried to fix the damage, at one point we had a bag of rice and a little screwdriver, we had my laptop upside down watching the dripping the coffee leave its electronic body.  I kept saying, "I think I'm going to cry."  Annette said, "Well, at least you didn't pour scolding coffee on a baby..."  And it was true.  No one died from this mistake.  No one lost an arm or was scarred for life.  No animals were hurt in my poor choices, no people, I will not have to say to the anyone in the waiting room: I'm sorry, but he didn't make it.

In the end, the only thing hurt from my mistake was my pocketbook and my pride.  Two things that will refill again.

But it was a reminder to me, when you get those little thoughts in your head that *maybe* what you're doing isn't the best idea and you could do something similar that might take a bit more time -- don't half-ass it.  Do it right.  When you hear that little voice saying, "You know, this probably isn't the best idea" - Listen.


Why You Shouldn't Be Texting During a Poetry Reading--

I confess I need to learn to keep my hands to myself...

So, I'm sitting next to Jeannine Hall Gailey on Friday night at the Skagit Valley Poetry Reading and she is texting her husband Glenn, who is texting back, "Should u b texting right now?"

I am tired and getting bored of Poet X who is reading poems about his childhood.  I look over at Jeannine's new Microsoft phone and see the texting in process.  As she responds to Glenn's "Should u be texting now?"  She writes "i did" and I reach over and add "sexy stuff." Then I press send.  Ha!  I've amused myself and Glenn will be amused with this funny text.

As I look at Jeannine and smile, I see her Facebook newsfeed come up.  Well, that's weird.

As it turns out, I did not text "i did sexy stuff" to Glenn, but posted it on Facebook as her status.  Holy Inappropriate Status, Batman!

Because Jeannine is just as unfamiliar with her phone as I am, it took a few minutes to figure this out and to realize this was not a private text to her husband and in the meantime, Jeannine's status is beginning to get "Likes."

I think Jeannine's exact words were "Get it off!" and "My grandmother is on Facebook!"

Poet X began to read poems about an abusive father while I was trying to hold in my nervous laughter while sitting in the audience trying to delete "i did sexy stuff" from Jeannine's status.  2 more "Likes."  At this point, I pretend to be crying over his poems because I'm acting like such an arse.

Finally after not being able to delete it from her phone, I have Jeannine sign into my Facebook app on my iPhone where I know where the delete button is.  By the time we got it off, Jeannine had about 5 Likes, a few from people she didn't know (and people I think she should defriend immediately for liking that bizarre status).

She was also very concerned that despite her status said "i did sexy stuff" - it was also lacking capitalization and punctuation.  This is what I like about my writer friends, they are more embarrassed by lack of punctuation and capitalization, then content--though I know in a million years that would *never* be Jeannine's status...well, unless I was the one who was holding her phone.

Oh and "i did sexy stuff" became our motto for the weekend.  And I am still laughing about it. (Sorry, J9!)


Tony Hoagland's Wine

I confess that is not a metaphor.

On Sunday morning, I took a 3 hour workshop with Tony Hoagland.  He introduced me to a new poet, Judith Taylor who wrote the book Curios.  All morning we wrote sentences in similar styles to poetsL Frank O'Hara, Louise Gluck, Spencer Reese.

I had told myself I was not going to share anything because I hate sharing at random workshops, but the way the workshop was set up was we had to go around and each say a sentence we wrote based on the directions we gave us.  When no one before me said "Pass" - I knew this was part of the deal.

Lana Hechtman Ayers had the best sentence I've ever heard, but I won't put it here in case she wants to use it in a poem.  Mine got some laughter, which made me pleased.

After the workshop, Tony walks up to Lana with an opened bottle of wine (I'm guessing he started it but couldn't bring it on the plane) and says it was for having the best line of the day.  Lana said she doesn't drink wine, so as runner-up for best line, the wine was given to me.  Awesome.

My line?  Actually a couplet:

I come from a town with too many trampolines.
Women are always jumping from husband to husband to wife.

I have never won wine at a poetry workshop.  I hope this is a good sign of what's to come and may it never come anywhere near my laptop.




  1. Well, the fact that you are most dangerous friend to hang out with is testament to the fact that my friends are actually very wholesome people! I laughed until I cried again reading the whole story. Oh, my...

    And maybe that old laptop was holding you back. The new one will be the one to hold your third book!

  2. I've crushed a jump drive, which is not pretty.

    As much as I go to Starbucks with my laptop, I'm an accident waiting to happen. Glad it all worked out in the end. Maybe you were meant to have a new laptop.

    And the FB update story made me spit out my tea!



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