Is Gary Dop God?

15 11 2009

The Michigan lottery was just hanging out on the corner of Butternut and 144th with their trailer of lotto cash. The bills were part of a large sheet of perforated cardboard. Each rectangle was worth $1000. It was on a first come first serve basis. Magically, I was the first to arrive and emptied the trailer except for a few bills. I took the sheets rather than trying to separate the bills. It seemed the only logical thing to do.  Before I could count my $1000 pieces of cardboard, I woke up.  

But if you look up dreams about money, it’s never about money. Freudian thought views money as a symbol for excrement. Isn’t it obvious that a pile of cash is really just a pile of shit? I most certainly wouldn’t want to spend it or pay my bills. It’s really that I have a problem with anal fixation, and I’m mentally damaged from strict toilet training as a child. What the fuck? Everything is about sex or shit with Freud.

I played the lotto on Friday the 13th. I didn’t win. This isn’t some happy fairy story. But Jacks won $20 on a scratch off. Maybe her luck was my luck by proximity. Really, I have been more fortunate lately. In September, I was offered and accepted a new job in ICU/TU when the odds of finding a new job in this economy are 5%. I’m not sure who came up with that number, but it makes a good story. The 1st day that I worked  in ICU on my own, I had a seriously critically ill patient on a ventilator with an ART line, CVP line and about 7 IV solutions all working to keep this patient alive. I would not have been surprised if this patient had died, but the patient lived that night and the next night. My new boss sent an e-mail congratulating me on my good work! Me, who was scared shitless to work in ICU.

Last week I received an acceptance letter from Vagabondage Press. They accepted “The Key Collector” for The Battered Suitcase for the Spring 2010 issue.  <INSERT COMMERCIAL HERE.>

It’s not just me either. Some of my MFA buddies have reported prize nominations and acceptances for their writings. My MFA buddies say that this new fortune should be attributed to Gary Dop. Gary Dop is God, they say. He is also a University of Nebraska MFA graduate. It’s rumored that his poetry gets published every month. In fact, he might even get paid to write.  So they follow the Commandments of Dop, hoping that they too can receive publishing blessings. #1 Send out multiple submissions. #2 Snail mail has a better chance of being accepted than e-mail. #3 Keep sending out multiple submissions. Okay, so I don’t really know the commandments, because I don’t believe in Gary Dop. I believe that he exists. I just don’t believe in his supernatural powers. And then I took his name in vain. Gary Dop Damn it! My MFA buddies chastised me. Maybe if I believed in Gary Dop, I’d win the lotto. Maybe I could make a Gary Dop shrine and pray to his mother. Maybe I could hang a painting of him over my bed, so he could look down upon me while I sleep peacefully in my bed and dream about winning the lotto and getting published.




You suck.

29 08 2009

I don’t think I have ever received so many rejections in my life. And they are so passive. I would feel better if they just punched me in the face or kicked me in the ass. Glimmer Train rejected “The Key Collector.” Only they don’t even use the term rejection. It just states “complete.” Meaning they have looked at my shit, and they don’t want it, but thank you anyway.  No letter about how much I suck or why I suck or how I could suck less. Or maybe I need to suck more or suck at something else. 


I have never been rejected by any colleges/universities that I applied to–graduate or undergraduate. Until 2004, I had never been denied a job that I applied for. Now that job applications are mostly on-line, you get these pre-canned messages. “Better qualified candidates were selected”. Or you just don’t hear back at all. And you’re damn lucky to get an interview. I even signed up as a volunteer at the literacy center. You think I’ve heard back from them? I can’t even give my services away.

Shameless Prostitution

9 08 2009

Maureen suggested that I start a Blog to create a web presence. She suggested I do that rather than mope on the couch and eat brownies for breakfast and be depressed about being graduated and mostly unpublished with nothing to look forward to except for $40,000 in student loans. This is where I insert a commercial for That is where you will find my dystopic short story “People Factory.”  Someone asked me if I felt differently now that I had my MFA. It’s not any different than turning 33. But that was silly of me to expect that I would feel something else. That’s like an alcoholic trying to find happiness at the bottom of the Popov—when there’s nothing but a cheap head ache.

This is my shameless attempt to get myself out there. My family is waiting for me to create the next Harry Potter so that I can put them in a luxurious retirement community rather than a stinky nursing home. I keep telling them that I write short stories and that nobody pays. It’s like playing the lottery. I submit a short story with a $10 to $25 fee for contests with higher odds of being rejected than accepted. So in actuality I have a gambling problem. I’ll be lucky if I can give my stories away. I’ll be prostituting myself on Division Street. Instead of wearing short skirts and fishnet stockings, I’ll be standing there in Birkenstocks and a bathrobe with an extension cord running to my laptop from the independent coffee shop (because they feel sorry for vagrant writers). I’ll scream of cheapness. I’ll give you my story for free. Just pick me up and we can drive around the block. I’ll tell you that it costs more to print it out than it does just to lick the screen. After a while, I’ll start to worry that I have some sort of disease for pedaling my stories to strangers. I’ll wonder if I have brain cancer from sitting in front of the computer screen too long or maybe the electromagnetic waves have effected my girl parts from too many late night lap dances.

Every writer is a narcissist. Even when we’re not writing about ourselves, we’re still writing about ourselves. We project ourselves onto real characters and into the fictional ones—they’re all versions of ourselves. But this blog isn’t going to be all about writing. Writers writing about writing—Jesus, isn’t that what they always do?

So it’s a good thing I have a real job, so I can bitch about nursing. In my real life, I’m a Registered Nurse. RN also stands for Registered Narcotics Pusher and Registered Nag. Or maybe Registed Narcissist? Due to the unfortunate circumstances with the Michigan economy, my place of employment has felt it necessary to restructure. My hours were cut. Instead of working 60 hours every 2 weeks, I’ll be working 40 hours every 2 weeks. This brings me back to prostitution and homelessness. All that bullshit about a nursing shortage—not true.

So I hope to blog about injustice, politics, health care, LGBTQ issues, various current events, food, death, tattoos, mental illness and myself. Not in any particular order. Names may or may not be changed to protect guilty or innocent parties. And some seemingly non-fiction parts may or may not be fictionalized.