Friday, October 22, 2010

Marsi White: Stuck in a Box

Buildings and food. Food and buildings. Food in buildings. Food in front of buildings. Food on top of buildings. I feel like I am about to read Green Eggs and Ham, Sam I am. My perfectionist mind had a hard time NOT taking the assigned topic for Writing, Writer, Writest literally. I “googled” food and buildings and it came up with random blogs about food and buildings. It was not until I searched again that I came up with the Talking Heads album, More Songs about Building and Food, which I guessed might be the inspiration for this week’s topic.

I read the Wikipedia explanation of the album. While admittedly interested in why my music-lover husband nor I had ever heard about this album, its description had me craving a trip to the record store. A real record store. And I was particularly entertained by a quote offered concerning the title:

“When we were making this album I remembered this stupid discussion we had about titles for the last album," Tina (Weymouth) smirked. "At that time I said, 'What are we gonna call an album that's just about buildings and food?' And Chris (Frantz) said, 'You call it more songs about buildings and food.'"

But none of this helped me. My brain was still stuck.

What the heck was I going to write for this WWW entry? Tick, tock; tick, tock. No, I got nothing. I asked my family. Hounded my husband. I even asked my kids. Some incredibly talented people contribute to Writing, Writer, Writest. Fantastically creative people. I spent some time trying to channel some of those creative juices. I read past entries from fellow WWW contributors. I thought, what would I like to read about?

My tired mind again answered, “I got nothing”.

I enjoy the discipline and the challenge of writing my weekly submissions. The challenge wherein I not only have to find time to write but also find time to write well. Finally, in my stress of finding what exactly I might put together this week, I decided that what I needed to do was just start writing! One of the oldest tricks in the book. I thought something would come to me along the way. Not so much. Just a bunch of half-brained ideas floating in the white space where the brilliance should be.

Surely, I am missing something. I could have contacted the WWW community for advice, I supposed. But part of me did not want to do that either. I wanted an idea I could own. So far the only thing I owned was my perfectionist mind stuck in a box with four sides and a top, awaiting an idea to seep through the tiny cracks.

Buildings and Food. There is the obvious: one of my favorite things in the world to do is eat in a beautiful building, i.e. a restaurant. As opposed to eating out of a building, i.e. outside. You could eat a building if it was made out of cake or Rice Krispie Treats or chocolate, like the masterpieces from the show, Ace of Cakes. There are hundreds of recipes online describing how to make a castle cake, which is something that I never plan to do in my lifetime. Though, I am ecstatic that there are people out there with such ambition.

However, I have no desire to write about these things, either.

I should also say that I do not intend this piece to mock this topic. I am sure written genius will be plentiful on this topic, this week. More so, I began this piece out of desperation and the common sense knowledge that writing anything is better practice than writing nothing. This was the goal in creating this collaboration, correct? And, thus, this is my tribute to WWW. Hail to the chief.

Today is my husband’s birthday. He is turning 40. Shortly, I will be leaving my office to go to a warm, cozy, inviting building to celebrate his birthday with greasy, delicious food and libations. And we will eat a building, too. Or, maybe mud pie. The building will be full of people, young and old gathered together to celebrate a very special friend, dad, brother, son, colleague and partner. We will laugh. We will toast. We will laugh while we toast. And I will send this to Writing, Writer, Writest, though my creative brain is still trapped in the box. Better luck next week.


  1. I love this, Marsi! I drew a total blank on this topic myself and I love how you just ended up writing about. . . drawing a total blank on this topic! BRILLIANT! A true writer, you. Keep it up!

  2. Thanks, Marsi. Great essay. Very Charlie Kaufmanesque! Reading it made me want to return to the writing board and work up a little something about eating buildings. I prefer the buildings made out of pizza myself, though you must be careful not to lean against the walls or you'll end up with grease stains all over your shirt, pants, whatever. Bring lots of napkins.

  3. Great job, Marsi! This topic had me totally stumped -- but you not only rose to the occasion, you fucking nailed it!