Thursday, December 08, 2011


Stuck in a rut
Stuck in the wall
Stuck in a hole

Stuck in my weight
Stuck in my health

Sounds like suck 
and other bad words
which I say in frustration

And don't I know how to change
or get unstuck


Sunday, June 19, 2011

To my father, with love

Debora and DadMy parents have a dear friend, Hakon, whom they adore. Hakon is from Norway and is a combination of Paul Bunyan and MacGyver. They’ve told me so many stories of this man, the time when as a boy, Norwegian royalty was about to visit his home and he saw all the food laid out for the visitors and ate it. All. I’ve heard tales of him scaling a mountain that was also a tourist site. After days of climbing, he and a date reach the top. The date, Jean, angrily realizes that this spot could’ve been reached by car in about twenty minutes. This same woman later marries him. My parents went camping with Jean and Hakon and came across a detour. They could’ve driven some ungodly distance around it, but Hakon thought it would be faster to build a bridge and drive over a river or stream to save time. And it worked.

My dad was always a big fan of the TV show, MacGyver. If you don’t know “MacGyver is a resourceful agent able to solve complex problems with everyday materials he finds at hand, along with his ever-present duct tape and Swiss Army knife.” My dad is very MacGyveresque and carries a Swiss Army knife. I was with my parents and they were about to get on a plane. My dad realized at the last second, he had the knife on him and it would get confiscated at the airport. He gave it to me and told me to mail it back to him. It was so comforting to have my dad’s knife on me - I had a hard time getting to post office to mail it back. I'd either arrive at the post office too early or too late.

While my dad hasn’t scaled mountains, or built bridges he has patents. I remember finding out my dad has his name on multiple patents. He was very humble about it. My dad has supported me when I choose the ungodly place of Menomonie WI to go to college. He faithfully drove the 300 some odd miles twice a year to deliver me and my car full of goods. We’d nearly always stop for lunch at Grandma Smrekars in Millston, WI. It was rare for him to eat at a place that would also butcher game. Maybe that was reason. He’s a woodworker and my parent’s house has many pieces of furniture that he’s built. Instead of going to IKEA to buy my sister a fold up bed, he decided to make one. At one point in my childhood, he constructed a geodesic dome in the backyard. Once he let us buy one of those cool mylar balloons so he could dissect it and study the seal on.

This Father’s day, my parents are having dinner with Hakon and will hopefully get more tall tales. While it would be cool to have a dad like Hakon and his crazy adventures, my dad is hero enough to me. I love you dad, Happy Fathers's Day.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Motel dreaming

Pelican Motel (Front) by jugger-naut
Pelican Motel (Front), a photo by jugger-naut on Flickr.

I was at the chiropractor this morning. He left me on the table with the TENS device going to warm up my muscles. I’m wrenched up and couldn’t read the People magazine I brought into the room.

I was in room that faces a busy street in St Paul. It was dark, and the traffic sounds were muted. It sounded like I was in an old retro motel. Like in a postcard. It would be a slightly moldy smelling motel with a dirty carpet, a TV with bad color on the screen, un ugly thin bedspread and a coffee shop nearby with an adequate but not terrible breakfast. But not too good, I just want a few bites of the pancakes, sunny side up eggs and white toast. Please let the coffee be good.

I can’t decide what kind of day I’d want it to be. Is the sun just coming up and it’s kinda misty. Or is raining or a bright blue sunny sky day?

I want good neon signs to be up the road so I can stop and photograph them. A nice diner would be grand to stop and have lunch at. Then up the road to another retro motel.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

8 days a week

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sick people and chicken

Do you remember this commercial from long ago?

I'm not sure why my Jewish mom never made me chicken soup when I was sick. I did eat chicken soup once at my elementary school got the hives and puked it up. Nice.
At least we had an actual nurse's office. And I got out of class. We got toast and honey. And root beer barrel candies for our sore throats.

In the town I grew up in we had Walker's Pancake House. I only recently found out it was a chain. We had KFC and IHOP. We grew up just moments away from the Pancake House and when mom didn't want to cook. This is where we went. The exterior hasn't ever changed which makes me so happy.

Pancake House, Wilmette, IL

When my mom showed her work at art fairs, we usually had KFC for dinner. KFC was on the way home when we took the highway. I remember the day they accidentally put in a piece of Original Recipe chicken. Never again did I want the Extra Crispy. And the coleslaw. God, I love their coleslaw My mom wonders why I became an artist myself.

I decided to move to Minneapolis to go to MCAD, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design to study photography and graphic design. The first time I got really sick living in my apartment, I had this sudden urge for chicken. Sick people need chicken. Not soup, no. Blech. I was in art school. Sick people need KFC. It made me so happy. It was the best justification of being sick and being in art school.

Getting KFC when I don't feel well is kinda my trademark. I can remember feeling sick but yet my boyfriend was going to be coming over. I told him I was getting KFC for dinner (yes Original Recipe - thank you) he mentioned it to a friend and they thought I was the coolest girlfriend ever.

I do feel like chicken tonight. Cough cough.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dessert Travel

Amy and Todd at DQ, Lake Nebagamon, WI, 1994

When friend Amy would tell you about a trip you could be drooling by the end of it. From boredom, no from hunger. She was a voracious eater of sweets. When she'd drive to her parent's home in Nicollet, MN - she'd pass a million Dairy Queens. And she stopped at ALL of them. I remember when I made the trip with her and realized that they were maybe a half hour apart and I was aghast. She seriously would keep stopping to get frozen cokes or shakes or whatever. She was lucky that she had a high metabolism. She was mildly narcoleptic and she thought the sugar would keep her awake. The picture above is her and Todd Rogers taken by me in Lake Nebagamon, WI.

In the Twin Cities, she claimed a Porky's (see last post) milk shake could cure any ills. I've dragged many a friend to Porky's to test the "cure anything" claim. A friend with chest pains (who had been recently released from the ER) was taken there for the cure. His recent visit to his cardiologist revealed he's doing the best he's ever been.

Amy was married at the Little Log House Pioneer Village in Hastings. Here's a little note about the place:

The Bauer’s began their journey in collecting and restoring buildings and artifacts that would have been destroyed, burned down or demolished had they not preserved them as a part of the village.

Just the other day I found out (thanks Pioneer Pamphlet) that Porky's will be moved an will be living at the Little Log House. I was so happy that it would get to run around and play in the pasture with the other old buildings.

I don't know if Amy, in the great beyond, had a hand at arranging this but it feels like she did. Plus there's plenty of Dairy Queen stores on the way if you get hungry on your travels.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Sleep well my sweet pig

This Sunday, Porky's will be gone. Closed. Destroyed. No more Cruiser Combos or magical shakes that can cure anything. Gone. It will be absorbed into the property next door. Plus, there's going to be hideous construction for the next million years on University and I don't blame the owners for wanting to get out now.

Everyday, I've waved at my Winky McPig (my name). I've made sure his neon eyes were winking in the dark. There will be no first warm summer day that I eat a Porky's meal outside with Pat. All my friends are daring me to buy the sign. There's an auction on Monday. I'll bring my checkbook.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Birthday Presents and Miss Sass

Birthday Presents by Debora Drower
Birthday Presents a photo by Debora Drower on Flickr.

I miss you, my sweet girl. Wish you were here to help me open my birthday presents. When I wear that doggy necklace, I think of you.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Foamy Ham

Excerpt from "A Winter's Tale" by Mark Helprin

1. Endless Sea #2 - Marin Headlands, California, 2. Bean Hollow Surf #1 - San Mateo County, California, 3. Sun and Storm - Greywhale Cove, California, 4. Garrapata Surf #4 - Big Sur, California, 5. Swift's - 19501218 Life, 6. Mmmm, canned pressed ham!, 7. Swifts Party Recipe Ideas, 8. Wilson Ham

The excerpt is from the book, "A Winter's Tale," by Mark Helprin. This is my favorite book in the whole wide world. Love it. I remember the very moment my sister put it down, I grabbed it and it was love at first read. I love the descriptions Mark Helprin writes.

The foamy ham. That's the best description I can find to explain my brain fog. Thanks to my monthly hormone warfare, I am in a fog. It's a loud foamy ham in my head. It sizzles and it crashes over me. It's the waves and the foam and sand. I cannot focus, I can't reason, I cannot think. There will be no learning anything new today.

I've lost jobs because of how foggy I was. I tried explaining but it was of no avail. That's just how I get at this time. Sound the fog horns, because this ship will be lost for a while. I accidentally typed "lost" and "toast" and got loast. Yes, I am a lost, foggy, soggy, piece of toast. With a slice of ham.

But being inside all this foam and noise is nice. I'm in a cocoon. It's a small vacation from life. Sadly, It won't last and out of the fog the crabs will come out of hiding.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Dear Oscar...

"Dear Oscar, I was not able to sleep because of you last night and I was up all night long."

That's from the 1996 foreign film winner of the movie, "Kolya." The speech was by Jan Sverák who had a thick accent and made the word,"Oscar" sound like Oss Kar.

Dear Oskcar, every year, it's gotten worse. I feel I am unable to sleep because of you. I must see every movie nominated. In a movie theater.

I used to only watch the Oscar nominated best pictures. Then I added the actors, then the supporting actors. In 2008, I dragged a friend on Valentine's Day to the very bloody, "Apocalypto" I dubbed it my bloody valentine. It was up for three Oscars (Make up and two sound awards) but won none of them. That was a year I crossed nearly every movie off my Oscar check list. Dear Debora, that seems kinda obsessive.

This year has been different. I have had very little interest in seeing most of the movies. I only ended up seeing only these three Best Picture nominated movies:

"The King's Speech”
“Toy Story 3”
“True Grit”

I saw, The King's Speech,” only just last night and it was the best picture winner. Today, I watched online trailers of all the nominated movies. I loved the trailer of the animation short, "The Lost Thing" so I downloaded it. It was so sweet and wonderfully done. And it won!. While I didn't download the short live action film, "God of Love," it looked adorable and it won.

My intuition was really spot on telling what would be the best movies to watch. My movie ennui actually worked in my favor. I didn't spend an inordinate amount of time watching movies that didn't win anything. And much like the little known, "Kolya", I love it when a sweet little movie wins and there's a memorable speech.

Dear Oscar, thanks for giving the awards to movies I really thought should win, for some big wins, and some small ones. Now it's late and time to go to sleep.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Ground Hog Day

Deb, you already know this. You know it by heart. You love the movie, "Groundhog Day." You quote it all the time. You mention it to friends, you understand the parables it teaches.

How many times do you mention this scene:

You've been to Punxsutawney PA and bought the above cookbook for fun and laughs and to see it every day on your shelf.

Debora. It's Groundhog Day again. Will you walk through the puddle, walk around it or find a new street? Or are you doomed to wake up again to the haunting sounds of Sonny and Cher singing, "I got you, babe." Really. You know how it will go, how it will end up. Yeah, it's got you. It makes you sick.

When are you gonna cook that Groundhog?