Friday, May 28, 2010

*Raised Eyebrow

When I got up from my afternoon nap today, I went to check my email. To my happiness and surprise, I had one from the NRDC that Obama has decided Shell Oil can't drill in the Artic- or anywhere else- this summer. I'm excited! I know it's very old-school of me, but I've been writing that man letters concerning his precarious environmental policies. Apparently a lot of other people have been saying the same things I have, because he listened. Thank God.
I get really tired of listening to people bitch about things to each other and then not do anything about the problem. It's a waste of time, first of all, and second, I'm tired of seeing people act like a bunch of whiny three-year-olds that just expects that things will be how they want them to be- just because. DO SOMETHING! I mean, sure, letter-writing is kinda boring and all, but it's something. I can't very well get out in the streets here in Alabama and have a full-blown protest. They'd just put me in jail and nothing good would be accomplished- remember, this is the state where they turned firehoses on the Civil Rights protesters AND unleashed attacking German shepards.
I bought a book about homeopathic and natural diet dog care, and as my significant other thumbed through it last night, he came upon a great deal of disturbing facts about meat and dairy products- and he loves both. But, after reading that, he's decided it's time to be a vegetarian. Yesterday he started looking at vegetarian cookbooks- because his new goal is to learn how to cook. He's also decided it's time to stop smoking. I smile and encourage...but I wonder if it'll actually happen. That would be a nice turn of events. Honestly, though, I'm just happy to see him try to learn how to cook. He's 26- it's waaaaaaaaaaaaay past time that he learned. Plus, it's takes the burden of having sole responsibility of feeding off of me and turns it into a shared responsibility. He's pretty good- he can make a pot of field peas just as good as I can. It scares me a little that he's in my kitchen doing things- he nearly set us on fire by putting water in hot oil once- but I'm just letting it go. It'll be okay. I have renter's insurance.
Back to the book, though, it's pretty awesome, and it's one that I think I'll definitely use. There's recipes for making good quality dog food, and it lists ailments and what to give them to fix them- even how much to give them, based on what they weigh. It was a steal for $1.60. You can't beat that, really.
My cousin also announced today that she's pregnant again- and last night, my friend Iman told me that she thinks she's going to try to have a baby next year. Will the baby onslaught ever stop? Every time someone tells me they're going to have babies, I think "what about the ones we've got now?" Twenty eight THOUSAND orphaned or uncared for children are estimated to die EVERY day in the world. Why are we so comfortable with letting them suffer from starvation and typhus and dysentery- and then make more? How about all the kids in America that need a mother? Children are children, no matter whose bellies they come from. I have thankfully been able to miss this "baby train" over and over- knock on wood that I keep doing so. I'd rather be a part of the solution than become part of the problem. If I had the financial stability, I would already have adopted children or become a foster mother- but as it stands, there's no way the social worker people would let that happen.
I don't actually have a problem with people having kids- but adopt one, too. If everyone would adopt one kid, the problems would basically disappear over time (the so-called third world countries are finally starting to having birth control programs). And what child is not worthy of being loved and cared for?
People should start trying to think globally.


Dreams are not something I waste a lot of time on- usually, they come in my head, and I dismiss them. I've found quite often that dreams just set me up for huge failures- mostly because Life happens and it's impossible for me to achieve these "dreams". As a result, I just live one day at a time and hope for something better tomorrow. I work hard for it...maybe it'll happen.

I'm not destined for a "normal" life. I always said I wanted something different....because a white picket fence just looks like the bars of a prison. I'm getting what I asked for, I guess. I should've been more specific.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Happiness is Banana Bread

I have an awesome cookbook called The Starving Student's Vegetarian Cookbook. It was pretty cheap as cookbooks go- I got it for 8 bucks at a Meijers when I lived in Michigan. It's got fabulous recipes in it (and veg is the way to go when you're a starving student, since meat is so damn expensive). One of the recipes in there is banana bread, and I whipped it out one day about a month ago and decided I was gonna make some- mostly because I never had before.
I only have mini loaf pans, so when I make what should be one loaf, I make two. But, as I was pouring in the first of my batter (this is the batch that exploded and set the oven on fire), I thought "wow, these would be great to give people".
And I've been doing it ever since. I've tweaked the recipe to make it more my style, and every week on my day off, I make about ten loaves of banana bread and then go out through this area delivering them to people that I think could find some joy in fresh bread. I take them to my dad (who always eats it so quickly my mother barely gets a bite), and my friend Charlie, and Sue Ellen (my friend's mom), and various other folks. Sometimes, the roster changes....depends on what's happened to who that week. It's not much, I know, but it's my own little way to bring a little bit of comfort and happiness. Plus, I love to bake and cook- it's a good way to create. So I get some satisfaction, too- it's not like I stand there and hate every minute of what I'm doing. I put a lot of love into that bread- I just hope a little of it comes out.

Exclamation Points in a Deep Well

There are always moments when we surprise ourselves- and a few a-ha moments that make us giggle. Here's a few of them for today:

After Cynthia and I talk about animal cruelty, and she explains to me that she gets worked up because she feels so overwhelmed and helpless by it, I tell her if she wants to do something about it, volunteer at an animal shelter once a week. Then: "Sometimes the best donation in the world is love." Yeah, me, I said that. Surprised the hell out of me, too. I don't know that anyone would call me sage- but then, I don't know anyone who actually listens to me either, besides maybe Cynthia, who pronounced me wise, and asked how I got so wise at such a young age. Like I said, I don't really think I'm all that wise.

Once again at work, I was vacuuming, and I noticed that the dirtiest aisles are the ones Christian books are on- and I giggled. Dirty Christians. Seems so appropriate. They seem to be the ones with the most mud on their shoes lately. I'm not sure what that says about them.

I've been dragging my feet about getting on with my life. It's time to stop. I mean, shit, I may be 24, and hopefully I've got a long life ahead of me, but having a lot of time doesn't mean it's something to be squandered. Time is a hot commodity, and one we're always going to find ourselves short of.
But really, I do sometimes find myself holding onto edifices that are crumbling...just because I'm afraid of what will happen after I let go.'s better to let go. I'm good about this most of the time...I just seem to be a little hung up this time.
I watched Zack and Miri Make a Porno today...and it was awesome as always. I heart me some Seth Rogen! And for whatever reason, I find it a very comforting story, porn making and all. It's nice to believe that maybe there are indeed friends out there like that, and I can't deny that there's a lovely sense of comraderie when their power and water get turned off in the middle of winter. Been there. I'm glad someone else has too- makes me feel like less of a loser. It sucks to work your ass off and have nothing to show for it- not even clean hair. But, no, I never bought hockey skates instead of paying my bills.
I know I pour desperation into this thing so often. It's the secret feeling I have- I put on airs of being together and handling everything with a cool hand. But I still haven't shaken the feeling that I'm just one week away from being screwed.
My dad told me today about a guy he worked with that rented a condo in Panama City for a weekend (1200 dollars for two nights) and then blew lots of money on stuff, and bought a 250 dollar tattoo. He had to borrow 1.25 from my dad to get a drink to go with his lunch. I can't imagine ever doing that- I think mostly because when I hear 1200 dollar, I think "I could pay rent for four months on that". And to think that I felt guilty earlier today for a 25 dollar bar tab and 2.16 for pens!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Moments of Freedom

It's funny how much flying into a rage can really change your life. After my boyfriend called me an asshole because I got mad that he borrowed hundreds of dollars from my parents just to avoid going to fill out the paperwork so he could go to school for free...I unloaded all over him. In fact, it would not be terribly exaggerated to say that I lit his ass up. It's unfortunate to say, but for just about everything he had to say, all I had to say to him was "f$%k you!"- with gusto. I told him to get all his shit out of my house on Sunday, when he came back in to town....I'd had enough.
Quite frankly, he's been a totally self-involved asshole, and totally unsupportive, uncooperative, and lazy. All of these are "qualities" that any woman would balk at- and finally, after six months, I'd had ENOUGH. I'd made enough excuses for his shitty behavior, dealt with it long enough. It was time he dealt with himself.
So, in celebration, I bought myself some pens- and the liberation of wasting $2.16 was just phenomenal. Then, I went to Friday's with Twinkle and Iman, and boy did we do it up. I ended up with a 25 dollar bar tab- drinking $3 long islands. More money put to use in a non-survival kind of way. It felt great...hell, I felt great. I was pretty happy, needless to say.
I wish I could do this kind of thing all the time. Not that I want to drink all the time, necessarily... I just like the idea of being able to afford a $25 dollar tab and still pay all my bills.
I'm thinking it's time to sell some stuff...the beauty of being completely broke most of the time is that you find ways to make shit work. I wish that there was a bottle return program in Alabama...there was one in Michigan, and every can was worth 10 cents. I can't tell you how many times beer bottles and pop cans put gas in my car or bought my friends and I a cup of coffee and a small salad- and sometimes it was both, if I happened to have had a party recently.
When I got up on Sunday, I had a slight hangover, mostly, I think because I didn't sleep the two nights before my drink night. Went to work, came home. It's the same thing over and over again.
I think it's time that I took an adventure somewhere. I read about these people backpacking from Miami, Florida, to Argentina, going to Blue Mountain Beach, going to Spain, India, here there and everywhere, and I want to do that too. Maybe someday soon....I'll start saving money again, specifically for that. I tell myself that the adage "if it's not worth working for, it's not worth having" is a key tenet of life.....but it'd be nice if every once in a while, I could catch a break.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Gives You Hell

"When you see my face hope it gives you hell....when you walk my way hope it gives you hell...."

I'm not usually a pop rock fan, but this song is soooooo appropriate. I first heard it when a coworker played it constantly after he caught his fiance cheating on him...and now that I'm in a similar boat, I find that it's a comfort. It can make you smile when the world is kinda going to shit.

I'll be okay. I'm not sweating all this shit. It's life, and quite honestly, I seem to inspire the worst in men. So, ya know....shit happens.
I haven't decided what I'm going to do yet, exactly. It'll be a good story when it's all done, though, I can promise that. :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

We're Off to Discover!

I've been floundering- it's one of those moments in life when all the plans fell through and you're left going "okay....what now?"
Being the person I am, I felt the stab of rejection pretty bad- but my attitude bounced back by the end of the day and I said "F#$k you, Tulane. You'll be sorry one day when you can't claim me as alumni."
But, even though my attitude and perseverance came back, my well-laid plan was blown to bits, and so it was time to formulate a new one....Tulane was a dream, and I formulated around that. So, how to formulate differently? The hypothesis to test: what college is best for an environmental science degree and how do I get there?
I pondered this for a while- and then I went back to my roots: books. I've been reading all the literature I can find on the "green" industry, and "green jobs"- because my heart, my passion, lies in saving the world- and us- from ourselves. Then, armed with new information, I started doing what I knew best to do: testing. I took the OCEAN personality test, the motivation test, the stress test, all the career tests I could find (these were in a book I already owned but had rarely even attempted to crack), etc. Then, it was on to to put it to the test: find the colleges that can serve all my desires and needs.
I said earlier today that I'd taken time off work and had nothing to show for it. My feeling of accomplishment tonight says otherwise. I feel like I figured out a bit more about myself, I'm armed with new knowledge, and my compass is finally pointing in a direction again. It's just time for discovery.
If you look at my system, it's clear that I'm supposed to be a scientist- I used the scientific method, for heaven's sake, to redefine myself and figure out what to do.
There's a lady, Miss Cynthia, that comes into the store all the time. She's been working on her doctorate degree while I've been in school also. I've occassionally helped her out with menial details, and I'm thrilled that she finished- she's too amazing not to finish. She came in the other night, and per usual, we talked about school. She said "don't ever let anything get in your way of finishing school. You're too brilliant, too gifted, too valuable to the world to not finish. You can do so much. We need you. Don't let anything stand in your way." Hearing this really helped me- I believe all of it anyway, but hearing that someone else believes it helps so much. There's few people around that I truly respect, and fewer still that I consider to be my intellectual superiors: she's one of the few that fit that bill. And if she believes it, if she says it, it's probably true. Thank you, Miss Cynthia for your vote of confidence and faith. It was much needed and very much appreciated.
I'm back on the road to discovery and waiting with eager anticipation to see how things unfold. I've been working towards a dream for a very, very, very long time- it's logical that there will be setbacks. But, dammit, I will get there. There is nothing on this earth that will ever shut me down. I jokingly say often "if I die, it'll be my own fault, 'cause men have been trying to kill me for years, and not one has even come close to succeeding yet." I believe this. I will leave when I'm finished and when I'm through fighting. I'm not through yet. I will get what I want.

In the words of Scarlett: "So help me God, they're not gonna lick me. I'll get through this, and when it's all over, I'll never go hungry again."
While I'm thanking God for influences, I gotta thank Scarlett. She's been with me for so long. :)

I know I pay homage to so many people on this blog, but you know, it takes the whole global village to make us who we are and what we'll become. I thank God for all the good people I've known, that have strengthened my backbone. Maybe it's time that we all acknowledged the people that got us here. Somebody made the shoes you walk in, after all.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I realized on my way home this evening, I've said very little about my father- very, very little. Nine times out of ten, if I'm talking about a parent, I'm talking about my mother and how awesome she is.
I suppose it's time that my dad got some floor time, too.

It's diplomatic to say that my father and I have had a stormy or non-existent relationship- but diplomacy in this case (as with so many) barely scratches the surface of the reality of things. Honestly, I've spent most of my life in an out-and-out brawl with my dad, or he's been far away on a job. It wasn't until I got older that I finally forgave my dad so many things I held against him and decided it was time that I try to build some sort of relationship-type thing with him.

See, my father and I have never agreed- on anything. We can't agree on people, directions, or even what color something is. And it'll sound something like this:

"Wow, that's a really pretty purple." (Me)
"That's not purple, it's deep blue." (Dad)

And then it's off to the races. And most of the time, as in the case with the color of something, it's a matter of perspective. My dad refuses to take his "eyes" out of the 1950s, while I live in a different universe all together. My father is also hard-headed about nearly everything, and loud and agressive about a great deal. Even at nearly 70, he'll still kick someone's ass.
What I figured out a long time ago is that I have a great deal of my father in me, and that he's just going to be what he's going to be without apology and without exception. With that in mind, I've learned the value of the phrase "agree to disagree". I ,also, refuse to back down from something that I believe is valid- I will also kick your ass.

Since learning to control myself better than he can control himself, I've learned a great deal about my dad- and heard so many interesting stories that I could fill a book.
My mother has gone back North to take care of my grandmother, which leaves me to take care of my father (because he's not very good at it by himself), and he's been sick. I've been dropping in on him, and coming to clean the house and all that good stuff, but today he called me- or in his words to my mother "he summoned me".
"Baby, I want you to come over in a little bit and make me some of that good Italian chicken. I've got a hankerin' for it, and I don't know how to make it."
Who can refuse that? So, I loaded up the tiller that I borrowed and some fresh banana bread I'd made, and went over to my father's house, where I learned that cooking Italian chicken was going to require much more than normal. For one, Dad didn't have spaghetti noodles or any tomato base. Secondly, he handed me a whole chicken to use. I went to the store and did some grocery shopping, then came back to face my nemesis: the whole chicken.
I cut a great many bones out just to get what I needed and left the rest in the fridge for him to de-bone (or to show me how to de-bone when he feels better). He kinda giggled at this, but I quickly corrected him: "I'm not trying to be a pansy-ass, I just don't know what the hell I'm doing. I'd rather you show me and save the chicken than me mangle it to pieces. Can you draw me a diagram? Mom's always bought boneless, skinless breasts." He couldn't draw me a diagram- so the chicken went in the fridge.
After all of that, and cooking for a few hours, I sat down with him in the living room. We started talking about a great many things- and Dad brought up the dumbasses that live around here, and the things they do. He said there was a guy that brought a video to work, and on this video, it showed this poor wild hog being held down by six men with razor wire around it's snout while a girl stabbed it to death. It took fourteen stabs to kill the hog- and it struggled and squealed and screamed until finally it bled out. The rest of the boys at work were laughing, and when Dad saw it, he told them they should be ashamed of themselves. "If you're gonna hunt, then hunt- this is torture and murder," he said. And when the boys asked if he hunted, he responded (per usual) with a story:

"I don't hunt anymore, but I used to. Last time I went huntin', I was sittin' in the woods with a clear view of a ridge in the middle of the Rockies, and it was beautiful....there were two bucks out there, and they were playing like children. When they came off that ridge, they passed right by me, like they knew I was there and wasn't gonna hurt 'em. And it was then that I realized it was so much better to watch them live than to watch them die."

There were a great many other things he and I talked about tonight, but that's the one that stands out so greatly in my mind. It's probably one that I'll never forget. It's so bone-chilling and savage what those people did- and so brilliant the way my father responded. It silenced them, made them think probably and give pause to what they had done. For me, it was a brilliant show of how deep my father's soul goes- that for all his bluster and pomp, my father truly has a good heart. I remember things like that more than anything when I think of my dad.
He's a gifted storyteller, to be sure. He's like the Forrest Gump (sans mental and physical challenges)- he's seen it all, been involved in all the major things of history. He flew for NASA in the 60s, for example, during the Space Race. He was in Cuba for the Cuban Missile Crisis. He went to Woodstock, and a Fourth of July celebration at Willie Nelson's place. He's lived all over the world, and he's seen what seems to be everything.
He's also a man of mind-blowing contradictions, many of which we've had fights over. There's been many times when he's said things to which I responded "how can you be so smart and so well-rounded and say something so ignorant?" My father thinks my political, social, and environmental ideals are absurd, and has no problem telling me so. Since becoming an adult, this has been where the majority of our fights have stemmed. Tonight, he conceded (finally) that he does indeed start all those fights- to which I replied "yes, you start all of them. But I end every one of them when I walk out the door." And we both laughed.
Despite all our differences (and likenesses, which sometimes cause more problems than the differences ever could), I love my father and he loves me. If ever I were in a war, I'd want him by my side because, even if he didn't agree with me, he'd always have me covered. Our loyalty and love far outweighs our differences.
My father is a good man.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Simple Woman

I had a lovely day off today- there was no school work, barely any housework to do (mostly because I did it last night). I baked bread for three hours or so, and my friend Iman came over for dinner (which was field peas, cornbread, brocolli, and sweet corn- a starving student's delight) and for a game of monopoly (which I got terribly bored with- it always sucks when a game starts to look like real life). After dinner, we all went for a walk with the dogs.

All in all a good day spent.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


I started using my new nibs and ink last night- I made a rose. Now, I don't particularly like roses- like at all- but it was a picture I had that a very dear customer gave to me. So, I drew from it. I'll post a picture of it later- mind you, there's lots of scribbling on the paper itself because I was experimenting- I haven't done pen-and-ink art in at least eight years. But it sure did feel good.
This morning/afternoon before work, I spent time restringing all the bracelets that I broke about five years ago. I got the carnelian, citrine, and adventurine strands done before I had to leave. They're so pretty- I love rocks. I used to have a H U G E piece of rose quartz (about the only kind of roses I like), but it was thrown out of my car when I had the accident last summer.
Currently, I'm resisting the urge to go buy dye for tie-dye. I've got new white sheets- a perfect canvas. Plus, boyfriend has white undershirts that could very well become tie-dyed undershirts.

Tie-dye and I have this relationship, you see. It began in the first grade when my mother was inspired by Lynette Jennings (if you remember her, she was on the Discovery Channel and did home crafts) to start tie-dying things again (she'd lived through the 60s....she was an adept at tie-dye by like, 1964). It became a favorite pasttime for us. Then, as I grew older, I kinda grew out of it for a while- meaning that I still loved it, but was afraid of what people would say about it (at the time, I lived in north Alabama, where anything unusual is frowned heavily upon). Then, as a teenager and adult-child, I rediscovered it as a way to meet everyone at the music festivals I would go to in the summertime. I would set up my tent, outdoor kitchen/living area, and then spread out this huge sheet with lots of buckets of dye. I'd hang a clothesline out between two trees, and then make a big batch of ash water in a Rubbermaid container, and wait for people to walk by. They almost inevitably took interest in it, and would ask "hey, man, can I tie-dye my (insert fabric item) with you?" To which I would respond "sure, bring it on over." We'd talk, introduce ourselves, do the get-to-know-each other thing- and by the end of the festival, everyone in the camp ground knew me.

Now, though, I'm not at a festival, and it would still be a means to have people "look" at me, but I really don't care. I just want to go through the ritual of tie-dye. Doesn't it sound like fun? I could even throw a dye festival of my own at my house. I love doing stuff like that.
Tomorrow, in fact, I'm having a banana bread baking shin dig. It'll be fun, and hopefully nothing will catch on fire this time. I'll post pictures of that too.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I had a very pleasant day. I took library books back and had my final exam in psychology. Then I headed to get insurance forms filled out at my doctor's office- only to find to my surprise that they were totally on the ball and had already gotten them, filled them out, and sent them back in. (!) Such a lovely surprise. Then, I went to see my mother before she goes to north Alabama to get my grandmother. We ended up going to Target- the plan was for sheets. And, we did get sheets- amazing organic cotton ones that are the bee's knees. They're so soft, so ungenetically modified, so un-pesticided that it seems a shame to ever buy anything else. We originally went for bamboo sheets, but they were out (probably because they're actually more amazing than organic cotton). But, we got other things too- I got a wallet shaped like a record, a dress, a few shirts, and some underwear too (which is always in need, since my pit bull LOVES to eat underwear and knows how to open the drawers of the chest to get to them). The end total was $200- 2/3 of what rent costs me a month. God, I can't wait to drop that kind of money on "stuff" and not worry about it 'cause I'm definitely worried about it now.

Then, we went to Ruby Tuesday for salads and mini burgers. We were seated...we waited. The server finally came by, and she was lovely- brought us our drinks in a hurry, and we ordered. We went for salads. We finished the salads......40 minutes later, we were still waiting for our mini burgers. Then, here comes the manager- she's buying our dinner because the kitchen messed up our order. That was awfully nice. We never asked where our food was, mind you- my mom and I just sat and talked and once she asked me "how long does it take to get two tiny hamburgers cooked do you think?"- while no one was in earshot. But, we got our food, it was delicious, and it was free- so, super amazing. THEN- it was off to Michael's Crafts. I have to say, it was slightly disappointing. I miss Hobby Lobby- they have lower prices and better selection, but Michael's is the only game in town. Mom bought me a calligraphy pen set and a new ink well so that I can do pen-and-ink artwork again, and she bought me the string needed to re-make all the semi-precious stone bracelets I've broken in the past five years. I'm excited for that- there's two chakra bracelets, tourmaline, two turqoise, smoky quartz, carnelian, citrine, and a jade bracelet to be made. Like I said earlier, it's time to get back to my crafty ways. :)

Mom and I went a little crazy on the crochet patterns, too. She and I both picked up four or five each- and as we left the store, we wondered why. We live in the Deep South where the most you'll ever need is some good galoshes and a hoodie. Heavy blankets, hats, and sweaters are not needed at all, but old Michigan habits die hard, I guess. We love to make stuff like's just now, we have no reason to use it. Mom told me that she'd rather I didn't give her a reason to make crocheting a necessity again, even though she liked it- she doesn't want me to go back to Michigan unless I have a good job there. She was always afraid for me after she moved here, and I'm not sure why. She'd lived there as long as I had, but I think the difference was that she had been there with me. There are people that would tell me I'd never understand because I'm not technically a mother but-

I think that's a crock of shit, and it annoys me to no end when people tell me that. It's basically the same as saying that I've never loved someone or something so much that I want to protect it or them at all costs, that I'd die for it or them, that I've never experienced the joyous sorrow of knowing that they're all grown up, etc. Guess what, all you moms out there- there are people out there capable of having motherly love without having our vaginas go through holy hell or our bellies cut open. I've been playing "Mama" for years to people who's mothers didn't want them, didn't want to spend the time on them, never cared about them, or would never care more about their kids than themselves. Stop telling the surrogate mothers like me out there that we don't know what it's like- because we do. We cared when they didn't, we potty-trained and taught reading when "Mama" was too drunk, we fed and clothed them when "Mama" wanted to spend the money for such things on heroin and cocaine. We were there when "Mama" got so messed up that she shot herself, we were there for graduation, baseball games, ballet recitals, drivers tests, "the Talk", all those things. Mama is the best friend you'll ever have in your life- and I've done that. I've had that. I learned from the best though- I may be biased, but I've got the best mother I could ever hope for.

Rant aside, I spent the day with my mother. I couldn't spend the day with her Sunday- but I brought her a dictionary, thesaurus, and special crossword puzzle pen because my mother LOVES crosswords, and I'm all about her doing something she loves. Plus, it exercises her brain, and she's nearing 70. Brain exercise is important, no matter how old you are, but it's especially important when you start to really age.

I wonder if we get to choose our mothers- my experience says we do, because I can't think of anyone who could adequately have always handled me so well as my own dear mother. I can't think of anyone that could look at me for everything I am and say "that's good"- there's so much of "me" that the average parental unit would try to sequester. And my mother chose to cultivate those things and make them useful instead of trying to force me into someone I couldn't be. My mother is my very best friend- she's never let me down, she's not always agreed with me but still supported me and believed I had a right to think as I wanted and be who I am, and she's taught me more than any book I ever read. There are no words for the magnitude of the amazingness that my mother is. Sure, my mom is human- and that's fine with me. She forgives me for being human, and I forgive her for it too. But my Mama sure is the closest thing to God I've ever found on Earth.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I thought of this a few hours ago after asking a man what inspires men to get married:

If I wanted an equal, I'd be with a woman.

True story.

Will men ever catch up?

Don't get me wrong, I like mankind- they're fabulous at so many things. Nine times out of ten, I'd rather have a male friend, I'd rather call a man to change the oil or mow the grass, I'd rather watch a blow-em-up-kill-em-all movie with a man, I'd rather be surrounded by men than women because- let's be frank, here- most women are not out to be another woman's friend.

But, when you do find a woman who does want to be good to you, too, she's a rare and beautiful thing to cherish. The few women that I know to be my friend are loyal beyond anything- they'd take a bullet or empty a chamber for me, they'd help me through anything. If I want real empathy, I go to a woman. If I want that deep down, warm-the-belly-of-your-soul comfort, I go to a woman to get it. I love womankind for so many things, and being one is just as awesome, even with having to deal with boobs.
But it's rare to see a man that can keep up with any woman. It's even rarer still to find the man smart enough to know that if you'll just let her go, she'll always fly back home. They seem so scared of our "mysterious" power that they want just to devour it and never share- but women are something to share with the world. As the Indian saying goes "women hold up half the sky"- and what will happen when we're put into cages with or without bars? Let us do our thing- the world will be much better for it.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

The free bird leaps
on the back of the win
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and is tune is heard
on the distant hillfor the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
an the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

Who among us- male or female- can't relate to that? We either live it or live to avoid it.

But, there's no man who will understand this the way a woman would. There is no congruency in the minds to allow it. And we'll never really be equal because of it.

By the way, the man I asked "why do men want to get married" never could answer me. He had no idea, really, why he wanted to get married beyond "all the TV I watched as a kid made me want that life". He couldn't tell me what about it made it appealing, he couldn't even tell me why he married the woman that he did marry.

I've never heard a woman say that she had no idea why marriage seemed like such a good idea.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


I got a letter from Tulane today.

I didn't get in.

I'm not sure what to do. I've worked my ass off. And it's not enough.

I'm not usually a defeatist, but I feel completely fucked.

So many bad things have happened in the past few weeks. Is shit ever gonna get better?

Seriously, grandmother dying+ nephew car accident+ f4 tornado that wipes out everyone's shit+ 19-year old friend dying+ inability to pay electric bill resulting in living like the Amish (sans electricity)+denial into the college I wanted to go to so bad I could taste it= shittiest year ever. It's only May! How the hell does this much bad shit happen in five months? 2010 can go suck a cock and die.

Friday, May 7, 2010

A Need to Be Creative

When I was young, I used to paint. When I say young, I mean that I started painting when I was two years old- with real, honest-to-god paint. There are mothers out there that I'm pretty sure can feel their uterus turn over and their pocketbook quiver at this idea. But I was good- I never painted on anything that wasn't paper. Not even once.
When I was a little younger than two, I discovered the Magna-Doodle in a Wal-Mart in Las Vegas. I started drawing clowns- big floppy shoes, big curly hair, pom-poms down their suits. It was a good picture in that an art professor from UNLV told my mother that she should get me into art lessons as soon as possible because I had a natural talent.

Fast forward 20-odd years. I don't paint anymore. I don't work with pastels, chalks, pens, or pencils. I don't make jewelry, clothes, pottery, crochet, make sand art, or refurbish furniture anymore. Sometimes I think it's a shame, because I was good. Mom enrolled me in every school she could find that had an excellent art department, paid for me to have extra lessons. I feel bad because I feel like I wasted her money. She always wanted me to go to art school. I chose to be a scientist. Is it the plight of all daughters to become what their mothers never anticipated?

I've decided that from now on I do a piece of art each week. I'll start small and work my way up. I remember I quit doing art when I was burned out. Maybe this will get me back into it. Sometimes it's good to revisit who you once were. In one year, I was entered into 23 art shows- and I placed in all of them. I remember my soul felt better then. I was happier, I was more peaceful. It's time to be there again.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Final of the Finals

This is a week of finals. It's too bad it's not just tests.

In ten hours, I will be saying my last goodbye to Brennan and watching as people she knew do tributes in her honor. It just hit me yesterday that she's really truly gone. I'm not gonna get anymore text messages from her. I'm never going to go to Friday's with her again and have to watch the wind blow because she's eating a super rare steak that I can't even look at.

It's my final goodbye moment tomorrow. And I have no idea what to do besides sit. Her life was unfortunately short, but man, this girl.....she brought it all together. Nobody can ever say she lived in vain- she was everyone's best friend, the girl everyone called to go have fun, the girl you could talk to about anything and she wasn't going to judge you. She was hilariously funny and as deep as a spring-fed well. Amazing girl. I figure God took her back because she's too good to just have one of her- s/he needed a mold, a model, to bring more people like that here to Earth. Or at least that's what I hope- I hate hearing people basically say that God's jealous and he takes away the good people because he wants them for himself. That's such a four-year-old move, and I'm hoping God isn't like that. More Brennans is a good thing- and God is good. So, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. I refuse to believe God's an asshole. And that's my final say on that.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Day Down

Final paper on Edgar Allan Poe- check.
Final laboratory test- check.

Math Final- still to be done.
Piano Final- still to be done.
One last paper for English- still to be done.

Am I ready to be done? Check.

This is how I feel about school right now:

This may be my newest guilty pleasure- and I couldn't give a shit less if everyone knows it. Gaga could easily be the best of all possible worlds when it comes to pop music. Listen to her- Cher and Madonna are clearly influences. Look at her- you can see where she was inspired by Bob Mackie and those creepy haute dolls. The best part- she actually is a musician. Granted, most of this particular song is all done digitally, but she plays the piano and writes music.

However, Eric Cartman probably trumps her in the delivery of "Poker Face":

Enjoy. I soooo did.

Something Good

I'm the kind that, in a strenuous situation, I keep my head on straight and my feelings under wraps (at least when I'm dealing with other people that I care about). It all passes, right?
But in the meantime, I grasp for the small things to serve as beacons of good. My friend Travis once told me: we all live in the dark, with a great big window in front of us that doesn't let light it. Only when the window is broken will light shine through the cracks."
So, I decided to make a list of good things:

1. I successfully made four loaves of banana bread.
2. The fire in the oven caused by the first attempt at banana bread making wasn't so bad, and in a week or so, it'll be a hilarious story.
3. There is consistency in my life- I always end up setting something on fire when I bake because the thing that I'm baking wants to rise up and eat the stove above it.
4. I've never had a cake of any sort or bread go flat.
5. Finals week will be over before I know it.
6. I can sleep all I want as soon as finals are over.
7. I've met new people through a tragedy.
8. I'm becoming more and more patient each day, as each day becomes more irritating and I refuse to lose my cool over it.
9. My grandmother is being moved down here. I won't have to travel so far to see her.
10. My puppies still love me.
11. Little Boy is getting better on a leash.
12. My poinsetta is somehow still alive.
12. My peace lillies bloomed.
13. The rain is washing away all the pollen outside.
14. My mama bought me groceries, so I have food for the next month!
15. I'm becoming better friends with my old biology instructor, and it's always nice to talk to someone "in the know" about science
16. I help the learning disabled with their classes and preparing for tests. When they get a good grade on their finals, they'll be super happy and I will have accomplished something good.
17. I made my recently deceased friend's mother laugh today. I've been terribly worried about her- if she can laugh, she'll be okay.
18. I vacuumed out my car.
19. There's new grass growing in my backyard.
20. I may be overworked now, but in two months, it'll all be worth it when I get two diplomas of graduation.

There are moments when it's hard to make these kinds of lists. It is in those moments that remembering what is good is of the most importance.