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Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
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Thoughts Meander Like A Restless Wind Inside A Letterbox

I've recently developed a fear of watching someone get hit by a car. I suppose it comes from witnessing so many close calls. I bare witness to near death by vehicle or even bicycle at least once a day. I am certain I will be standing there stupidly when some Ipod wearing idiot stumbles into the path of an oncoming taxi or crazed bicyclist. I'll freeze, rooted to the spot, horrified as the pedestrian flips into the air, arms akimbo, Ipod launches in one direction, shoes in the other and I'll have to rush to their aid when all I really want to do is run in the other direction.


Lately I've also fallen victim to visions of me tripping on the sidewalk and landing on my teeth. Yes, I said teeth. Somehow, I am terrified I'll trip going down the subway steps (it's happened before), walking down the sidewalk (mmhmm.. this too) or just standing there (yup). I am clumsy. For some reason, when I envision this little scenario my arms don't absorb the fall and I land on my teeth, shattering them like a dropped lightbulb.

Perhaps this fear comes from the uncomfortable knowledge that I have no insurance. No medical, no dental.. nothin'. I'm afraid I'll shatter my teeth and be forced to walk around smiling all close-lipped, gumming things down or risk looking like a Ferangi from Star Trek. Perhaps I'll begin wearing a surgical mask a la Michael Jackson and claim it's a chic, New York bohemian fashion statement. Soon you will see Kate Moss, Nicole Richie and all the It Girls sporting surgical masks in the Stars: They're Just Like Us sections of the tabloid rags. Here's Jessica Simpson going tanning in her trendy blue surgical mask! And there's Mischa Barton buying produce in her pink mask! And you can say you knew me back when.

The No Insurance Fear is so powerful that last week I had a toothache that I willed away. Seriously. I just said Tooth, you cannot ache. I cannot afford to get you looked at and God forbid you need a root canal or there will be hell to pay. Because, Tooth, if in fact you do need a root canal it will have to be done homestyle by The Surge with a pair of pliers and a bottle of Jack Daniels. Trust me, Tooth, that is not something you want to be a part of. The Surge is not known for his handy capabilities. If you need a VCR hooked up, he is NOT your guy. However, if you want to chew on a killer stir fry, Tooth, you can feel safe in the knowledge that he's the man for you.

I'll be goddamned if the little molar fucker quit making a racket immediately - or "ee-mee-jut-lee" as Grandma would pronounce. Go on, say it. I know you want to. "EE-MEE-JUT-LEE" That's how Grandma says it. As in, "Take me to a bathroom EE-MEE-JUT-LEE! I have to go at the toilet!" Grandma is prone to saying things like "are ya comin' over home today? I'd love to see ya. I'll heat up the soup I made last week and then we can go at the fabric shop and pick some colors fur yer quilt."
Awww Grandma. Now I'm homesick for popcorn balls (pronounced pop-CARN ballz), cuckoo clocks, grandfather clocks, fetching Grandma a "big onion" from the "Fruit Room" (Fruit Room - Grandma's euphemism for pantry), and clinging to the dashboard of Grandma's car as she grinds the clutch into powder.. all in our search for the right bolt of fabric.


Yes, the search for a job continues. Have some good leads. Last week I applied for The Greatest Job Ever that has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with news. Yay! I have yet to hear back. Fingers crossed.

On God And Country

I drove a vehicle for the first time in nearly two years this weekend. Proud to say I was one-handing it within seconds. Within minutes I joined the majority of my fellow Americans in driving with my knees as I attempted to fill my snoot with a Reeses Peanut Buter Cup Blizzard whilst negotiating winding back country roads.


1. America is fat.

2. Most of us shop at Wal*Mart, frequent country festivals trolling for ham soup, home-made french fries, funnel cake and pie. We spend obscene amounts of money on creepy doll-like items made McGuyver-style from raffia, dish towels, buttons and other household goods - all combined to create a terrifying creature that sits atop a kitchen counter next to an artfully arranged basket of plastic fruit.

3. It's contagious. In the span of three days I consumed most of a Dairy Queen ice cream cake, the aforementioned Blizzard, a Whoopee Pie, a pumpkin pie, peanut butter fudge, two Apple Dumpings, home-made french fries, a sausage sandwich and much, much more.

4. TGIF has seen the light and is now offering deep fried string beans and Mac and Cheese. Dominos is seeing their deep fried and raising them free brownies with every pizza order. In case that brownie just isn't enough chocolate for you - the good folks at Dominos HQ are throwing in chocolate dipping sauce. I, for one, am relieved. Like, did they think I was just going to snarf down a plain brownie? Additionally, Dunkin Donuts is still in the game offering SIX free donuts with every purchase of six. Buy six, get six free. Man, I am proud to be an American.

5. Back to the Apple Festival. Country folk shore do love God and America. I ate my home-fries to the accompaniment of a mulleted, chest thumping good ol' country boy singing about the important things.
"Glad y'all made it out here today ladies and gentleman. I want you to know that Jesus is my best friend and brother. I'd like to send this next one out to the troops stationed all around the world. We here in America - we've got a lot to be thankful for!"

Damn right, I thought. Donuts, brownies, fried foods, Dairy Queen and, of course, Wal*Mart. The Mulleted One fiddled with his karaoke machine/amplifier then launched into his next song about Jesus. Some lyrical number, as far as I could tell, based on that slushy 'Footprints' poem that most God fearing folks have framed and hanging on the wall next to the needlepoint that says; God Bless This Home. An old lady with a dried peach of a face and pink rollers still in her hair forked into a mound of various food items and mouthed Isn't he marvelous? to the pink sweatpant clad woman nodding vigorously next to her. Across the way a wizened, old man in overalls happily shelled walnuts, keeping rhythm to The Mulleted One by tapping his dirty work boot on a pile of walnut shells scattered across the grass. On the whole I enjoyed myself immensely and plans are in the works for my retirement there. It's much nicer to hang around happy overweight people who couldn't be sarcastic if they tried as opposed to the cynical, bones and angles breed that roams the streets of New York City looking pissed and hungry.

As we drove back to Sugar Valley - which is the delicious name given to the valley in which Mom-In-Law resides, we passed a bright red barn of a building with the word "Heartbreakers" painted across the side.

"Heartbreakers. What's that?" Brother-In-Law Dave wanted to know.
"Oh. That's a strip club." My sweet Mom-In-Law stage whispered the words strip club.. as if to keep God himself from overhearing.
"A titty bar?" The Surge bellowed.
"Let's go!" I shouted.
"I'd like to get a look at countrified strippers." Dave's better half Kate agreed.

Countrified strippers. Heartbreakers. Just whose hearts are they breaking anyway, I wondered. I imagined ravaged farm women with black hole eyes, thousand mile stares, swinging listlessly around a gummy brass pole, hands rough from yard work, jack-o-lantern smiles.. or no teeth at all... all the better to blow you with Farmer Joe. Unfortunately we were in a bit of a time crunch.. had to get home and eat more pie and such.. and so we didn't get a chance to see if the gals are, in fact, Heartbreakers. Next time, there's always next time.

On the road back to the city today a woman driving a gray Oldsmobile swooped in from nowhere and cut us off, nearly causing us to roll our van.
"GODDAMN MOTHER----!!!" The Surge instantly segued from singing along with the radio into his signature litany of On The Road phrases.
"Pull up next to her so I can give her the bird." Kate said.
"It's okay. I've got this." I said calmly. As we passed the woman I reached down, yanked out my tampon and threw it right at that bitch's windshield. That'll learn her to fuck with white trash like me.

730 Days

Today marks two years since this day. Two years or 24 months or 730 days. Not that I'm counting. But that's a lotta hours, yo! Hours spent cursing your name, sticking pins in my roughly constructed voodoo doll of you, hours spent holding your hand as we explore New York City together, laying in bed dreaming or rubbing our feet together like two demented crickets. Did you know a lovesick male cricket will sing mournful cricket ballads for hours at a time? Did you know the female cricket sometimes feeds on the male cricket? And he lets her! Sound familiar?

Whew! It's been a wild ride. From rolling through the Rocky Mountains, across the plains of Nebraska and finally pulling into New York City as the sun set on the magnificent skyline. We thought that was the end of our trip, but the journey was just beginning.

So, after careful evaluation I've decided I wanna re-up for another year. Just one year, mind you. Negotiations begin again next October so you had better be on your best behavior.

Anyway, happy anniversary baby! It's been the best two years of my life. I love you cricket.

First Photos Of Us Ever Taken:
August 25, 2004, Austin, TX

Poor bastard. You look a little shell shocked, even then.

An Open Letter To Mark Foley

Thanks for resigning but I'm afraid it just isn't enough. I implore you, kill yourself on pay-per-view and give the proceeds to a childrens charity. It's the least you can do. Really. You went out of your way to point your gnarled, smells-like-teen-butthole finger at Bill Clinton for having sex with a consenting adult then you and your self-righteous Republican cronies spend millions trying to impeach him. You've changed your tune faster than The Streisand during a farewell show now that you've been busted desperately trying to fuck a male teenager. I know, I know.. your attorney says you were drunk. You're an alcoholic... it's SO not your fault. My friend that smacked into a teenager and killed her with his Honda was totally wasted, man, so it's not really his fault either. My other friend cheated on his wife with her best friend. Fucked her right in their bedroom! He was drunk too! She should totally take him back though, right? It's not his fault. He didn't know what he was doing. In all seriousness Mr. Foley, you're giving alcoholics a bad name. Like comedienne Wanda Sykes says "alcohol might make you pee in your neighbor's yard but it don't make you turn into a pedophile. I've been really drunk but I've never bought Girl Scout cookies sayin' come 'ere baby, mama want a thin mint."

So were you drunk in 2002 when you were one of the foremost opponents of child pornography and introduced a bill to outlaw websites featuring sexually suggestive images of preteen children? "These websites are nothing more than a fix for pedophiles," you thundered gloriously! Was that the whiskey talking? Your legislation to change federal sex offender laws was signed by President Bush just this year. Bravo my good man! Changing the world one pervert at a time. Tell me though... what did you think when you were shaving your flapping jowels, forced to look yourself in your beady eyes in the bathroom mirror? Did you think you were above the law or was what was going on below the belt more important?
"These websites are nothing more than a fix for pedophiles!" you said. Fast forward to the release of steamy emails you were sending to teenage boys at the same time you were issuing the rally cry to "save the kids".
"I would drive a few miles for a hot stud like you? You said to the teen in one of your online chats. ('Hot stud' snicker snicker... you've been watching the gay porn, haven't you?)
You: I want to see you
Teen: Like I said not til feb…then we will go to dinner
You: and then what happens
Teen: we eat…we drink…who knows…hang out…late into the night
You: and...
Teen: I dunno
You: dunno what?
Teen: hmmm I have the feeling that you are fishing here…im not sure what I would be comfortable with…well see.

You and your Republican pals including the devil's mistress Ann Coulter are on board the bus to hell and "God" is jauntily shifting gears in the driver's seat.. His sandals give him a bit of trouble when he tries to work the clutch but, by God, he'll get you there. You and your pious political pals, so desperate to hold a seat at any cost (or worried their own skeletons might be exhumed) covered up your trail of tears for months and months.. AND, as icing on their shit cake - now they spin, spin, spin instead of simply saying "Holy fuck! what a hypocritical pervert our pal Foley turned out to be. Our bad!"

This is why I don't pay attention to anything you or any other politician says. Aside from the fact that you're all loudmouth, pompous, windbag power whores who only give the public the time of day come election time, you are all morally corrupt. I am well aware that corruption among the powerful is not limited to a particular political party but your extreme hypocrisy and the fact that you are still entitled to retirement benefits from the government spurred me to action (if sitting on my couch drinking wine and typing into my computer can be considered action... but listen, I'm unemployed and it's the most action I've seen all day) And if I have to pick sides I'd rather be on the team that fucks consenting female interns than the one that tries to fuck teenage boys whilst simultaneously crowing over legislation to crack down on internet perverts.

Now, if you'll excuse me - I have more important things to type, including hilarious missives about nipple hair, my dog, getting stoned and/or drunk (but not trying to fuck teens) fights with my husband and the various horrors of getting my vagina waxed. But you wouldn't be interested in vagina talk, would you?


Monica Bielanko
New York City

P.S. You can have The Streisand. We don't want her.

Then It Hit Me

These posters are popping up everywhere in Brooklyn. The make-up applied to Marilyn's mug is my own little addition. An improvement, no?

"Sucess went fizzily to Bernard's head, and in the process completely reconciled him (as any good intoxicant should do) to a world which, up to then, he had found very unsatisfactory. In so far as it recognized him as important, the order of things was good. But, reconciled by his sucess, he yet refused to forego the privilege of criticizing this order. For the act of criticizing heightened his sense of importance, made him feel larger. Moreover, he did genuinely believe there were things to criticize. (At the same time, he genuintely liked being a success and having all the girls he wanted.)

-Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

A few weeks ago I wrote this in which I labor to make a point that, unfortunately, I don't think I nailed. The Surge and I have recently been engaging in spirited conversations about the nature of fame, pop culture etc.. This past weekend he plucked this book from its obscure position on the local bookstore shelf and handed it to me.
"This looks like something you'd dig."
I am staggered by its contents and moreover, I would like to engage in a lesbian love affair with one Ms. Cintra Wilson. In her book A Massive Swelling she outlines exactly what I was sweating and grimacing to impart with an ease that makes me cringe in shame at my own clumsy attempt. Because she so accurately represents my feelings on pop culture I'm going to throw down a few excerpts for y'all to mull over.

"Around 1918 ther was an influenza that killed nearly everyone. Before that there were locusts and frogs. There was an assortment of plagues. Once, a comet wiped out all the dinosaurs. There was a disease in Africa where people exploded.

Then there was this thing that happened to everyone in the twentieth century, where their insides grew small and weak and sad, and they all strove and suffered, and they sold each other down the river and fucked each other into pulp in order to obtain this thing they were all desperate for: Fame.

Some wanted it more than others; they were willing to push much harder, and were more ruthless and even more zealous than the others, and they were rewarded with everything the world had to offer: Constant slobbering attention. Obscene wealth. Armies of anonymous worshipers so hypnotized that they would saw off their own fingers just to be smiled at.

With the Fame came power and prestige. Those who had it were able to visually eradicate any evidence that they were ever slovenly, drug-addled, morally askew, or fat.

If a person in this day and age has two cents' worth of talent, it is considered his sacred obligation to Go for the Gold, to try and grab the big brass monkey ring, and otherwise make six to ten demoralizing career-and-connection-oriented phone calls a day, perform painful Top 40 Hits at all the high-school graduations and bar mitzvahs, pay hundreds of dollars for eight-by-ten photographs of themselves looking like sexually available newscasters and audition with seething positive energy for every Ex-Lax commercial that comes down the pike until the day that the opportunity for Fame reveals itself...

When the fame begins to look graspable, when the hem of the glittering Elvis robe is visible through the thick red haze, the righteously downtrodden Fame seeker is suddenly licensed by history and common consent to achieve Fame by Any Means Necessary, and furiously lie, cheat, fuck, and steal his/her way into various cocktail parties and hermetic inner sanctums until photographers come and the magazines call and the beauties in restaurants swivel and wink and shimmer."

If you have any potential at all and you don't persue Fame, you are considered by yourself and others, to be unambitious, self-sabotaging, or otherwise too fucked-up to do what the good Lord built you to do; you are pissing away your natural gifts if you don't consider your POTENTIAL, which, translated into American, means vast, unrelenting MEDIA COVERAGE.

There is a little bit of talent in most famous people, even if they're only good looking - something for all the attention to stick to. Talent is not, however, the reason for fame anymore, nor is it the thing one really becomes famous for - one earns fame by notoriety, or one gets fame by having fame. The good old way of getting famous was to be very good at something artistic, and have everybody fall in love with you for it. That doesn't really work now, because as many critics have pointed out, nobody is very interested in art for its own sake anymore; now one only does "art" as a necessary part of the equation, the means to the end of getting famous, so one can get plastic surgery and go to parties in order to lick and be licked upon by other famous people like puppies in a basket. Nobody wants to be a real artist nowadays, i.e., a reclusive, self-contained workaholic, because it's no fun-you don't get enough attention.

I was raised in an era when people believed that they should get instant gratification for any small blot of effort spat out into the world. Young "artists" today seem to expect they should be able to drool out a batch of sophomoric short stores or a notebook full of crude cartoon heads an insert them into a Versateller machine and get a tidy wad of laurels; and the problem is, many of them do. This creates false expectations, detrimental to the process of Creation. Our greatest artists through history have always had to wade through years of being broke, misunderstood, and unpopular, spearheading the collective consciousness and having to wait in financial agony while the rest of the world caught up to their fast and advanced way of thinking. Nobody raised with MTV has any interest in this process at all. They want to skip the difficult athletic parts and go straight to having their heads on the Wheaties box.

Fame is a perverse deformity, an ego swelling as ludicrous as an extra sex organ, and the people that have it, for a huge part, are willfully and deliberately fucked-up past the point of ever having anything sweet or human or normal about themselves ever again. It isn't necessarily personal; it is generally not the icons themselves that I jolly and assail, it's the huge tumescent aura of Otherness, the grandiose Largitude and supermagnified glamour of these deranged old musicians and dumb pretty kids and Sacred Cow Ornamental Personages that I attack. These people lead lives of fantastic abundance, a parade of constant fluffing and stroking and free stuff, and beautiful portraits and rare bouquets and plush red carpet and the adoration of brilliant, comely people they've never met at all the best parties. This isn't anybod's Real Life. Life is everybody's personal untrained hammerhead shark, full of thwacking emotional whiplash and spinal emergency, full of weighty grace and random threat."

Apologies for quoting someone else at such length and so unashamedly... but GODDAMN I wish I wrote that. Sadly for me, although I'd like to think I could, I could not have said it better.