My (former) life as the crab

Musings about life after Crabby Office Lady

This is just to say… July 29, 2011

Filed under: Bian's writing,Uncategorized,Writing — Annik @ 3:00 pm
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I was a Creative writing/poetry/Theater major in college; it prepared me for a life of waiting tables so I went back to grad school and now look at me (no; please don’t).

But that is not the point.

The point is, one of my favorite poems of all time was written by a poet/physician named William Carlos Williams. Here is it, and underneath it, Bian’s take on it.



This is just to say, by William Carlos Williams

PlumsI have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

This is just to say, by Bian Stahl

I have just eaten
All the Jolly Ranchers
In the cupboard

and which you were probably
for movie night

forgive me
there so sweet
so nice
and a good treat.


(Now I love Bian’s version for a couple of reasons: 1) because the kid as a sense of humor like her mamma; 2) Everyone knows I adore my cherry Jolly Ranchers and that B and I have movie night every Friday night, come hell or high water.


Now here is Kenneth Koch’s version (one of them; he had many. Mr. Koch died in 2002. I wish I could have met him and riffed with him on this theme):

 Variations on a theme by William Carlos Williams (by Kenneth Koch)

I chopped down the house that you had been saving to live in next summer.
I am sorry, but it was morning, and I had nothing to do
and its wooden beams were so inviting.

The Beatles in the hollyhocksWe laughed at the hollyhocks together
and then I sprayed them with lye.
Forgive me. I simply do not know what I am doing.

I gave away the money that you had been saving to live on for the next ten years.
The man who asked for it was shabby
and the firm March wind on the porch was so juicy and cold.

Last evening we went dancing and I broke your leg.
Forgive me. I was clumsy and
I wanted you here in the wards, where I am the doctor!




Space Mountain

Filed under: Uncategorized — Annik @ 1:47 pm
Post Space Mountain reaction - 2009

Post Space Mountain reaction - 2009

A poem by Bian Stahl

Space Mountain

In a rocket-like place…waiting
Oh there! I get in.
Almost upside down, dark by lights up ahead.
Head get jerks back;


A land of all black then planets appear.
You get faster and faster
planets glowing.

Twists and turns all around.
Two stop
Body jerks.

Is it over?

Smile a picture of you on the ride with a face so pale and open you can see your tonsils;
pay if you want to.

You are in the stops now and it is over.

Please get back on the ride!

(written by Bian, age eight)


Toddlers and Tiaras are Terrible things July 27, 2011

Filed under: General musings,Uncategorized — Annik @ 8:43 pm

That show? Toddler’s and Tiaras? Beauty contest for the 5 and under crowd? Bian and I sometimes come upon it right before bed (during the brushing of the teeth time), and watch it for 15 minutes as if we can’t turn away from a bloody crime scene. If this were west of the Mississippi, it would be considered all-balls-out child abuse (though sometimes it’s the kiddies who are ab4-year-old beauty pageant contestantusive to their parents–see MAKENZIE to your right; her photo is up on the Internet for everyone and anyone to take; I’m sure her parents are psyched for the mention).

Why do shows, people, children, outfits, tiaras, fake teeth for 5-year-olds losing their baby teeth, spray tan accessories and false eyelashes, wigs from Texas (“the higher the hair, the closer to God”) all made for girls under 6  like this exist? And why are the mommies always so FAT and say “AIN’T” and want to make their 4-year-olds look like hookers? (Bian says she “looks like an American Girl doll gone terrible wrong…like something in the factory was broken and changed.”)

Does ANYONE remember JonBenet Ramsey???? I was a “stringer” for U.S. News and World Report when I was in grad school and got to go to JonBenet’s house and poke around. Yeah. She dead now. Murder still unsolved. After being a journalist on the case. I’m convinced her parents had nothing to do with it.

Nice kid before; total HEATHER after


Want to see a beautiful child who’d knock all these girls out of the water? Take a look at my kid. (Oh right: I don’t PIMP her.)


The Schoolhouse

Filed under: Bian's musings,Bian's perspectives — Annik @ 5:28 pm

Pearl and Bian - Seattle 2011

By: Bian Stahl
My mom and I are going to the schoolhouse on Saturday. I get to see some VERY good friends of mine there. We get to sleep in tents, roast marshmallows around a fire pit and do all kinds of things. The friends names are Cosmos, Pearl, Tata and Will. There is a lake there and trees. Last year I got to drive a tractor with someone’s help; it was fun but hard. Playing games with Pearl and running free is so exciting. I wish I could go up there more often.

Dart Schoolhouse pond 2005


Ry: May 16, 1996 – July 26, 2010 July 26, 2011

Filed under: Annik,Daily dramas — Annik @ 6:58 pm

Ry at 12Can’t believe it’s been a year since that deep part of my heart, the place where only dogs can find—turn their circles then settle into—was taken away by a kind woman in the back of a Subaru and a day later, turned to ash. I think about Ry every single day, and as we prepare to make our (nearly) yearly trek to the Schoolhouse Rendezvous near Old Snowmass, it seems more than strange to go without him; it feels terrible wrong. So wrong I do not want to go. It it weren’t for Bian and one of the only ways to get 3 days in a row of at least seeing our closest friends, I wouldn’t go. I despise the camping part of it anyway for these reasons (exactly).





I’m just anxious about this weekend’s trip, & not just because of the camping/claustrophobia part—that I’ve never EVER spoken to anyone of—but because of this anniversary of Ry’s death. Last year I drove Bian the 3-and-some hours up there and left her in the care of the Darts and drove back home, weeping all the way, because it was 3 days after Ry died and Bamboo was a WRECK and I didn’t want to leave her alone. (She isn’t Rendezvous material but the story of Bamboo is another blog post for another day.) So 2 or 3 days later, I drove back up, and Cath & I took a walk with the kids. I’d brought some of Ry’s ashes and we took a walk and spread some of them on the mountain. And then Bian & I drove home to a house with one dog and two dog beds.

Bamboo ate just enough to survive for a month. She has a love/hate relationship with her species; reminds me of someone…

And in a few days, the people who remember that Ry died will offer their condolences and I’ll wish they hadn’t because I can’t hear his name without welling up.

But a story for a bit of a lift (I think—not sure): While walking Bamboo today, I was listening to a shuffled playlist on my iPhone, when a lone cranky goose waddled across the path in front of us. Just as I was trying to hold Bamboo back, I was thinking of how Ry chased—AND caught AND ran for his life when she hissed at him—a goose at a Seattle lake. Just at that very moment today,

Ry Cooder’s mournful “Paris, Texas” started murmuring in my ears and I knew Mister Ry “Poodleman” Bread was with me.

Two Aussies, gone too soon
One Aussie cleaning the ears of another

I like to imagine him with Bella, Lalo, MacDuff, Juno, Solie, Tongo, Elmo— all the dogs I’ve known and loved—playing on the Rainbow Bridge and running through the fields. Bella will be cleaning Ry’s ears; she was the only one he let do that. She was the first dog I ever really loved and I think he knew it.

Ry was my first dog. My forever dog. I’ll miss him forever.

Ry- 3 months old


Adult Otterpops have me hooked

Filed under: General musings,Uncategorized — Annik @ 10:40 am

Anyone who knows me knows I love anything frozen (to eat/drink; not to be on or wear or feel from a fellow human): crushed ice, shaved ice, sno-cones, Slurpees, Ice-ees. Not sure why exactly; maybe they temporarily quench the unrequited fire in me…

As a child I loved Otterpops. I have recently discovered The adult version: Shark Attack Margarita pops. And I’m not talking margarita-flavored frozen sticks; I mean a 7% alcohol Otterpop.

I’m bringing them camping (well, it’s part camping, part Jewish camping, part let-the-Dart-family-lead-us-to-our-food-and-freezer).

If you see me with a case of these…go get your own at Logan Liquors. Talk to Lori; tell her Annik sent you.


Debt ceiling debt schmeiling

Filed under: Uncategorized — Annik @ 10:01 am

I said out loud, coming out of the shower today that I wish the f-in DEBT CEILING (???WHAT???) would just finally cave in on everyone in the House, the Senate, and even On our handsome, jug-eared, smartypants, orator, “yes-we-can” President.

Jaysus, May-ree, and JOE-sef I am tired of hearing about these twerps and their ridiculous posturing. It’s like the worst ballet you’ve ever seen.

And the story about the young Hispanic girl with 2 kids and no HS education (& yes, she is still a GIRL) who got pregnant with her first child at 14 and with her second a year later, I’m torn between wanting to hold her and care for her and provide for her (like apparently, her drug-addled and abusive parents never did)and shaking her until her neck is wobbly and scream in her face about BIRTH CONTROL. My NINE-YEAR-OLD knows about it (though not specifically—the word “penis” makes her gag—no comment). I imagine “Lauren” watches plenty of TV where there are many ads for condoms and Planned Parenthood.

And speaking of those condom ads, have you noticed that they’re not about preventing pregnancy AT ALL anymore?? That isn’t even mentioned. They’re about spicing up you and your partner’s sex life. Nice. Great messaging white men and women on Madison Ave.

Gotta run—my own debt ceiling is going to crash in on us if I don’t go do my job (which is…good question).