26 February 2009


Bumper sticker outside Fallbrook Street School Shut your mouth, open your mind At Café des Artistes

Bob: The owner of the company I worked for in New York kept 24-hour security guards. K-B: The owner of a company I worked for kept women. Samuel Beckett not quite accurately quoted in a Fallbrook High classroom

Every word is an unnecessary stain on the silence and nothingness. The actual quote: Writing becomes not easier, but more difficult for me. Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness.   Read more…

Prop. 8: Protecting Marriage and Children? My Ass!

By Kit-Bacon Gressitt


What the hell is going on in California? The land of fruits and nuts. The other coast. Home to air-kissing takers of lunch, serenely sinuous yogis stretching their legs behind their heads, tube-happy surfers hanging ten, industrial sized and televised churches filled with tanned folks cheerfully loving Jesus, Nike-shod Buddhists with rocking MySpace pages. The state too content with navel contemplation to heed the worn-out one-liners condemning its denizens to diminishing numbers of brain cells commensurate with our intake of bean sprouts. You’d think our plethora of warm and fuzzy auras would fill the state with warm and fuzzy attitudes, but apparently we haven’t all been eating our tofu. Turns out, there are some folks in California who want...


19 February 2009

  Another Fallbrook joke (perhaps funny only in Fallbrook)

Q: What’s the only thing that scares the Jolly Green Giant? A: Avocado pickers. In the produce aisle at Major Market

He: Where’ve you been? I haven’t seen you in a while. She: I’ve been writing my ass off. Oh rats (she looks over her shoulder), it’s still there. He: (Remains in perplexed silence.) Palomar College Spanish class at Fallbrook High

Student 1: Some students can’t do the online work because they don’t have computers at home. Student 2: Sure they do. Everyone has a computer. Those kids are just slackers. (She gestures to the corner where a group of Latino students sit.) Student 1: How do you know which students I’m talking about? Read more...

Only a Mother Could Love

Only a Mother Could Love
By Kit-Bacon Gressitt Recently deluged with the contrivances of marketed romance — faux velvet cards blaring fuzzy renditions of maudlin love songs, sugar and flower hearts with machine-pressed demands for intimacy — my persnickety reaction was to hate everyone. Or, at least, consider that option for a delicious moment or two — until I was dutifully grounded in guilt with the thought of my dear, darling Mother of Pearl’s oft-repeated words, “Love the unlovely.” I used to think she was referring to physically unattractive people, which meant hatred of my younger-but-cuter sister was not a violation of Mother’s nurturing-but-lofty rule. This worked until I encountered acne. Its superficial devastation caused me to reconsider Mother’s guidance: Perhaps she intended greater depth in its applications....


12 February 2009

Bumper sticker at First Baptist Church Global warming is a hoax Bumper sticker at Fallbrook Post Office An image of Buddha seated in the vitarka mudrā position, decorating the bumper of a BMW X5 luxury SUV, 2009 model starting at $46,000-plus At Café des Artistes

Michael: Looks like the New York Times is going after Obama. Bob: The New York Times is going bankrupt. Advertisers won’t use it. It’s a commie, socialist, lefty, pinko, spineless, delirious, diarrhetic verbosity.

And for a change of topic

J: I’m taking a drawing class. K: Drawing what? B: Conclusions.

Stimulating the Arts, the Province of All

By Kit-Bacon Gressitt   A Santa Ana breeze sweeps across my hill, stirring up dust and a sense of changing seasons. Palm fronds rub songs like crickets' legs and the dog lies at my feet, her licking noises distracting me from the pursuit of Percy Shelley's essays. I need no excuse, but it is a satisfying one, for in her rhythmic canine actions there is a certain natural poetry that requires no defense from Shelley, eager though he was to offer one up for the unappreciated poets of his day. Neither does the dog need defense for the artful pleasure of licking herself clean. For the twitch-inducing imagery of her dog dreams, for the pure joy of exposing her soul and rolling in...


05 February 2009 Bumper sticker at the Fallbrook Post Office God is just pretend Overheard at Trupiano’s There’s a massage parlor right across from the Vista courthouse. I see the gals hanging outside, smoking. I think they do massages with a happy ending. It’s a plot

Editor: Sentimentality and cowardice are the only things keeping me at this publishing house. Writer: Sounds like my marriage. Read more...

Southern Gothic Fortune Cookies

Southern Gothic Fortune Cookies
By Kit-Bacon Gressitt  

Whenever we have Chinese food, I wait for the last fortune cookie, my passive destiny. Fellow diners have encouraged me to go first, thrusting the dish of Cellophane-wrapped futures in my direction, but I’ve always politely deferred to those bold enough to claim their fates, accepting whatever’s leftover. It’s a throwback to my Southern rearing — good things come to good girls who wait for everyone else to go first. Yet I yearn to spurn that demure thing, that what-may-I-do-for-you accommodation. Of course, I also have a Scarlett temper, so I vacillate between scolding myself for being volatile and for being putridly nice. I am a secret feminist failure, and I’m reminded of it regularly. I recently received a...


29 January 2009   From the January Fallbrook's Writers Read You can’t learn to write from reading Moby Dick; you can just learn that you're not Herman Melville.                                                                                           – Author Jincy Willett If you are rejected, the only thing that matters is that they rejected you. If they give you a reason, don’t listen to it.                                                                         – Author Jincy Willett   Writer’s lament Before...

Obama’s Executive Orders and Oops

By Kit-Bacon Gressitt   Media around the world reported for several days last week an anticipated executive order by President Barack Obama, expected on Thursday, to lift what’s commonly known as the Global Gag Rule, more formally, as the Mexico City Policy. First imposed by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, the policy bans the use of U.S. international aid funds by organizations that even let the word “abortion” pass their workers’ lips. The policy was rescinded by President Bill Clinton on January 22, 1993, in honor of the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, and reinstated by President George W. Bush on January 22, 2001, presumably to dishonor the decision. So, it is understandable that media — and feminists — around...


22 January 2009  

Upon seeing 20 people at a Fallbrook inauguration party

Guest: Wow, are all these people Democrats?! (Ed. note: To put this issue to rest, more than 46% of Fallbrook voters are Democrats.)

From the Country Farmhouse regarding the Obama inauguration

Patron 1: I'm feeling very hopeful. Patron 2: Just get ready, he's ignorant and has never achieved anything. Patron 1: Wow. You don't really mean that, right? Patron 3: I think he's evil and won't make it through the day.

Overheard at Café des Artistes

How did I end up in social solitary confinement? I moved to Fallbrook.


Inauguration Day


Mother: Welp, we have a new president.

Daughter: Isn't he beautiful!

Love, K-B


14 January 2009 From a mid-1980s demographic study People come to Fallbrook to hide. It’s a party! Every Democrat I meet in Fallbrook claims to be the only one.  – Anon. Dem. Does love limit liberty?

Man: If you sleep with a woman three times in a row, she thinks she owns you.  – FF Woman: If you let a man sleep with you once, he feels you belong to him.  – CB From an old colleague Nice to hear from you K-B! … Hope you aren't puckering too often... More...

U.S. Afghanistan Doctrine to Secure and Serve the People: What Do Afghans Want?

Part 3 of 3

By Kit-Bacon Gressitt   Ibrahim directs literacy programs for girls and women in the Ghazni Province of Afghanistan (supported by San Diego-based Rescue Task Force, RFT), despite violent opposition by the Taliban and Al Qaeda insurgents (see Parts 1 and 2 of this series). The following paragraphs are a continuation of Ibrahim’s email (edited for clarity) describing the international intervention and aid he believes is necessary to bring stability to Afghanistan, including protection and support of schools. He is particularly concerned about what he believes is too passive an international military force and calls for a more aggressive U.S.-NATO strategy. From Ibrahim: Illiterates are as fuel in the machines of Muslim fundamentalists. Educated people are rarely deceived by wild Taliban to...

U.S. Afghanistan Doctrine to Secure and Serve the People: What Do Afghans Want?

Part 2 of 3

By Kit-Bacon Gressitt Some years before Al Qaeda’s September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, my attention was drawn to the country by the 1996 revelation of the Taliban regime’s practice of stoning for adultery. A subsequent flow of disturbing news from the Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) led to a faulty attempt to convince the newspaper editorial board on which I served at the time to condemn the Taliban’s treatment of women and girls and begin a campaign to encourage U.S. intervention. I failed, along with human rights organizations around the world. The Taliban atrocities and denial of women’s human and civil rights — even their right to an education — continued freely and...

U.S. Afghanistan Doctrine to Secure and Serve the People: What Do Afghans Want?

U.S. Afghanistan Doctrine to Secure and Serve the People: What Do Afghans Want?
Part 1 of 3

By Kit-Bacon Gressitt   Most folks in the United States know about Afghanistan only what they have read in “The Kite Runner” and “A Thousand Splendid Suns,” Khaled Hosseini’s beautiful, brutal novels set in the country’s tumultuous years of Soviet invasion, Taliban rule and the aftermath. Our minimal understanding of the distant land seems matched by our disinterest. Prior to the books’ publications, not even our October 2001 invasion of the country in pursuit of the terrorists behind the September 11 attacks and subsequent efforts to achieve stability could hold the public’s interest when enticed by President George W. Bush’s push into Iraq in pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and paternal approval. With the Iraq War winding down to...

Bush’s Bad Orders, Bad Habits, and Obama

Bush’s Bad Orders, Bad Habits, and Obama
By Kit-Bacon Gressitt   The human race abounds with bad habits. It’s human nature, right? We consume things that initially feel good and then haunt us with health-threatening pounds, high cholesterol, cancerously prolific cells. We do things that that give us a momentary sense of exhilaration, power, fulfilled lust or relief and then, if we have any conscience, dash us to the cold, hard ground of guilt, sorrow, remorse and pain we’ve imposed on others.

Oh, yeah, we certainly have some redeeming virtues, but we also suck — and we know it, which is, perhaps, the reason for New Year’s resolutions. We seek self-improvement, atonement or reconciliation via an annual declaration of good intent. And then, more often than not, we repeat the...

Christmas: Whose Tradition Is it?

Christmas: Whose Tradition Is it?
By Kit-Bacon Gressitt   “This is not what Christmas is all about,” a faithful man lamented over a cup of spiked eggnog, surrounded by holiday-inspired revelers. “It’s not about Santa Claus and gaudy trees and Ultimate Wall-Es. It’s about God’s son, his precious baby boy and the joy he brought into the world.” And the man absolutely knows this to be true.

Interesting, though, there is nowhere in the Bible — certainly nothing attributed to the Christ child, nothing offered up secondhand or even thirdhand — that indicates Jesus said, “Yo, folks, in years to come I think it appropriate that you celebrate my birthday. December of the forthcoming Gregorian calendar feels like a good month; 25 was always one of my favorite numbers....

O.J. Simpson, Domestic Violence and Justice?

By Kit-Bacon Gressitt   For several years after erstwhile football favorite O.J. Simpson was acquitted of the murders of his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her beau, Ronald Goldman, I wrote anniversary pieces on domestic violence. The writing was a reminder of the poignant irony of Simpson’s October 3, 1995 not-guilty verdict coinciding with Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It was also an ineffectual effort to demand recognition that even nice guys like Simpson abuse their mates, beat them, sometimes kill them. I eventually gave up the ritual, resolved to put the bitter disappointment behind me — until Simpson’s October 3, 2008 conviction on 12 counts, including kidnapping and armed robbery. Another sort of irony?

I took some deep breaths, an adult beverage...

Lying, Cheating and Stealing: Everybody’s Doing It

By Kit-Bacon Gressitt  

The Josephson Institute recently released its 2008 biennial report on youth ethics, based on a survey of 29,760 students in U.S. public and private high schools. The resulting data are dismaying, revealing, enigmatic:

     •  Eighty-two percent of students copied someone else's homework once or more in the past year.      •  Sixty-four percent cheated on a school test once or more.      •  Sixty-five percent lied to a teacher about something significant.      •  Eighty-two percent lied to a parent about something significant.      •  Thirty percent...