Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Looking Up

My mom always told me to not stare into the sun, the brightest star in the solar system, or I'd go blind.

It's true- when you look into the blinding light of something that seems so epic, you lose sight of everything else.

I've focused so hard and heavy on finishing school that I've stopped enjoying life- I "got blind".

So- I quit smoking and I quit chemistry class. I'm doing the bare minimum this time- I'm taking three classes and working and spending some time doing shit I like.

Take today for example:

I cleaned up my house, did some laundry- nothing I hate doing. I went to school and did a speech on how to garden using garbage. Then- I went to Pier One. I bought four short handblown drinking glasses and four tall handblown drinking glasses on clearance- two bucks a piece. I'm going to give my mother back the ones that have been abscounded from her house. I decided that I'd try to find some really, really cheap white plates because I want to some art experiments with them- like decoupage and paint. Then, I went to Target and bought nothing- just wondered around and looked for two hours. I didn't go to chemistry class- I didn't study the night before- and I didn't go home and immediately start back to work. I thought about getting a haircut and what all I'd like to have and do- and for a few hours forgot what is necessary. I contemplated buying at least 20 pieces of furniture, 12 CDs, and 3 movies, a haircut, 5 kinds of soap, 3 kinds of shampoo, a set of tiki lights, a can opener that looks like a toucan's head, curtains, and "meltless" ice cubes- but I was content to just let it all go. It's nice to go look, it's nice to want, and it's nice to make the decision that I don't actually want them bad enough to spend the money on them. It was very therapeutic.

My next project is the plate art I talked about and a science project of some sort that's to be determined. Oh, and to figure out how to post pictures on this thing. That's a project too.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Time Marches On

Well, it's Day Six of Not Smoking at my house, and I think it may be safe to say that we're through the worst of it. Thoughts of homicide haven't passed through mine or Significant Other's heads for a few days now- and we haven't fought since Day Three. There are ocassions that I just can't keep myself from eating chocolate- I'll crave it so badly that it literally will drive me to distraction. I've also craved A LOT of salty foods. Within moderation, I've allowed myself all these things. Getting over an addiction isn't necessarily an easy thing, and I'm afraid if I tell myself "no" too much I'll relapse. I'm through with relapsing- it's such a bitch to try to quit again. Plus, I'm really diggin' seeing all these good things happen just because I quit smoking. I feel so much better, I can actually breathe, I look so much healthier, I'm learning to work through my stress without falling back on a crutch, my bank account isn't going down from buying cigarettes anymore (and I'm not wondering where my money is going anymore), and I'm doing yoga everyday again. I can smell better, which is a huge deal to me, and I can taste better as well- and I love food. My cravings are fewer now, but they're more intense. When Significant Other is around and I'm having that moment, he doesn't understand (probably because I haven't told him) that he annoys me badly- when I'm dealing with a craving, I don't want to talk to him or anyone else. I haven't told him this because I know it'll start a fight. Sometimes it's better to say nothing at all. I've learned this with him, that's for sure.
Just to have peace, I've learned it's best to just say nothing at all and go about my day and pretend it doesn't happen. I quite frankly don't have the time to deal with "our" problems, and lately I haven't had the patience to do it either. Heehee, it takes a lot of patience for me to deal with me every day- there's not much left over to deal with other people and their baggage.
Quitting smoking is just the first in many changes for the better that I want to make this year. This is the one that I chose to tackle first, as sometimes my greatest challenge comes from "the enemy within".

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Scratch It

Okay, well, Day Four did not end as easily as it started. It's 4 A.M. and I'm still up doing homework after working tonight and doing homework for hours before going to work. I'm stretched for time. I can't wait for school to be over with. I can't wait for their to be less dumb demands put on my time. I'm still "quitted", but it's exactly shit like this that makes people relapse.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day Four

Today is starting out much, much easier than the previous days. Noticeable positive physical changes: my skin is looking even better, my foot is better, my breathing is better, my eyes are very bright and shiny, and- added bonus!- I haven't woken up with a stuffed up nose. I also woke up better than I usually do, meaning that I wasn't irritable. It's really nice that I don't have to make up time or resources for old habits anymore.
Since I started quitting, I've been doing yogic breath exercises. I do them all the time- when I wake up in the morning, when I crave a cigarette, when I get restless, and before I go to bed. I think they're actually helping clean my lungs out quicker. It also helps me deal with cravings, as I have to completely focus on the inhale and exhale of my breath and counting (and added bonus is that I get to "compete" with myself to see how much air I can take in and how slowly I can release it, which helps with tension, too). I really want to see if my lungs will clear out faster than 10 years. I'd really like for that to happen- so, it's a new goal.
Even though I've smoked for 10 years, I grew up in a house with people smoking prolifically all around me. My mother smoked (very very lightly and with a water filter on her ultra light cigarettes) while she was pregnant with me too. I wonder, much damage had already been done before I even started smoking myself? I remember when I was a kid, I always had breathing problems, but I thought that was just because my allergies were so bad and we lived in such shitty places for people with allergies.
Oh well, no matter. What's done is done. Now is a time to move forward and clean up. I've made it this far and I'm refusing to go back.

Friday, June 25, 2010

New Horizons

I'm on the 3rd day of being smoke-free. Besides the ocassional pang of addiction and subsequent momentary loss of temper restraint, it's okay. I'm actually liking it. I can smell the outside better, and I really like that. My skin is clearing up, and my foot (which I've been having problems with for a long time) is better. I can tell my lungs are happier; today, Lilly and I ran around the yard this afternoon and I didn't get out of breath. She actually got tired before I did.
About a week ago, I bought some flowers- peacock phloxes, black eyed susans, rosemary. I went to my mother's house and rescued her aloe vera plants, my pineapple sage (which have gotten to be able three feet tall), and a plant my mother calls "blue Jew"- I'm 99% sure that this plant has to have another name. In short, my front porch is starting to look rather bohemian with it's flowers, herbs, wooden chairs that are obviously worn and weathered, and the Tibetan prayer flags. Someday, I'll have to post pictures. It looks pretty homey.
An added bonus to all this greenery is that it's brought the dragonflies (NOT damselflies, I do know the difference) and a myriad of butterflies. I think it's the phloxes. Either way, it's really lovely to watch them from my front porch swing.
I bought a candle with a pineapple-cilantro scent today; it was a present for my house to burn off what smoke smell may have lingered. It smells delightful, and the price was pretty delightful, too, as it was a Yankee candle on clearance. I also cooked, which was a really lovely experience since my olifactory sense is in good form- dinner was fried squash chips, corn, macaroni and cheese, and broccoli. Good stuff- smelled delightful.
Now, I've moved on to doing homework, which is something I can honestly say I have been ignoring. It's been really hard to actually sit down and focus for the past few days. I'm making an effort today to get it together.
I think I want to go to Hawaii someday...maybe after I get done with this semester or something. I may just give away everything and me and the dogs move there. Who knows...maybe I could make it happen.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The 24th Hour

..has come and gone. It's been almost 36 hours since my last cigarette. Here's what I've noticed:

It makes my body kinda angry
Anything can be irritating
I can smell better
I'm not sure that I want to smell better
I have an almost uncontrollable desire to brush my teeth all the time
I want to do situps (not sure why, the notion just keeps hitting)
One of the worst things for me to do right now is nothing at all
My skin looks better
My breathing has improved slightly

It's worth it- I don't want to be that person that has a million health complications due to smoking. One of my biggest motivators: they put flame retardants in cigarettes. I don't want to smoke flame retardants (not that I particularly wanted to smoke arsenic and urea either, but ,as f*&ked up as it sounds, they were preferable to flame retardants). Another big motivator besides my health is my dogs' health: I've noticed since there's been no smoking in my house, none of my dogs have coughed, sneezed, or acted like they couldn't breathe. An added bonus to quitting: extra money. If I put away all the money that I'd spend on cigarettes...I could take a vacation of epic proportions.

The only real problem with quitting smoking is that- for now- I can't hang out with anyone that does smoke (which is most everyone I know), or I'll tempt a relapse. It's an addiction, to be sure, and one that I want to be rid of. If I get rid of cigarettes, the only addiction I'll have left is chocolate- and I'm working on that one too. I just don't want to have anymore of these so-called crutches that really do nothing for me but make shit better for about fifteen minutes but much, much worse in the long run.

I don't constantly want a cigarette- it's just an ocassional, monumental urge. And I have to find something to DO- I can't sit and read or anything like that. Last night, I built boxes to curb my desire to smoke. I'm as addicted to the action as I am the cigarettes. It'll be okay, though. I'm quitting. I'm on day two of the rest of my life. I'll do it.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Today started the beginning of (yet another) attempt to quit smoking. It's a terribly nasty habit, and it's going to end up costing so much more than 5 bucks a pack. I've been trying to quit now for the past two years- I made it to two weeks once. I made it through bill paying this morning without a cigarette- let's see if I can't deal with the copious amounts of ineptitude at Wallace Community College without one.
In other attempts, I think I've bitten off more than I can chew this semester. This chemistry class is killing me, or rather the teacher is. To give you an idea of what I'm dealing with here: on a lab assignment, I got every single answer correct and received a "C" because I didn't put the answer exactly where my professor wanted me to put it. Yep, that happened. And I'm not actually getting to do any labs- I get to watch as other people do them, since my lab partner decided to quit and not tell me and there aren't any "spare" lab partners. For whatever reason, I'm not allowed to go it alone. I'm basically getting nothing out of this class besides a lot of math homework. I'm probably going to drop it today and make my life easier.
I also am attempting to let the Significant Other have the opportunity to act like an adult around the house. To explain how that's going...well....the blinds still aren't put up (it's been a week), the grass still isn't cut (it's been two weeks), none of the bills & receipts are filed (two weeks), and I didn't get the wood I asked for until I threw a fit about it (also asked to do two weeks ago), as this wood is for a class project. But, he did cook dinner and clean up the kitchen. I guess it's all about making tiny steps these days.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Daddy Comes Around

Yesterday was Father's Day, as I'm sure everyone in America knows. An interesting fact about Father's Day: it's the day when the most collect calls are made. No joke...and it's kinda sad.

As I've mentioned before, my dad and I have a tumultuous relationship. We have some really bad times under our belt- and some really good ones. I've also mentioned that my father is a great storyteller-in fact, one of the first peaceful moments my dad and I had was over him telling a I'll tell you that story to honor him.

It was summertime in Michigan, and I was seventeen years old. My dad had come home for a visit, and he was due to go back (to where ever it was that he was working at the time) the next day. He was sitting in my bandroom (which was a living room at the furthest end of the house from the bedrooms, and given to me so that my friends and I had a place to hang out and play music), playing solitaire on the computer. I came in and put a Simon and Garfunkel album into my stereo, and started playing "America"- one of my all time favorites. I sat down on the floor and picked up my guitar, intending to pick out the song. Out of nowhere, my dad said "you know, this song reminds me of a story."
I kinda smiled, continued to pick, and said "oh yeah?"
"Yeah, turn it down a little. I wanna tell you about it."
I sighed, moved my hair out of my face, and turned down the volume. I sat down on the couch, looking at Daddy. He didn't turn around, just kept playing solitaire.
"When I worked out at the geothermal plant in Nevada, me and some boys used to go hunting when we'd get some time off. Well, we decided one time that we'd go deer huntin' in Colorado, so when we got a long weekend, we set off. We were in Old Faithful (my dad's 1974 GMC Sierra that still runs), with that camper on the back, and it was colder 'n hell. We made a stop once we got into Colorado to get some whiskey at this little general store, and got some provisions, cigarettes, stuff like that. While we were in there, it started to snow, and by the time we left, you couldn't see five feet in front of you."
I interrupted: "And you kept on driving? Are you crazy? In the mountains of Colorado, in a snow storm, you kept driving?"
This is about the time he turned around to look at me. "Yeah, I kept on going. I was the one driving, and I didn't see no need in stopping. Just mixed me a little whiskey in my Coke and kept on truckin. Well, about thirty miles outside of town, headin' north, I saw this hitchhiker. One of my buddies, Brown, said "Lord, what's that fool doin hitchhiking in this weather?" And I said 'I reckon doin' what we're doin'- tryin' to get somewhere." So, I start slowing down, and lord did those boys have a fit. Asked me if I'd lost my mind, cause this hitchhiker could kill 'em all, and all that. And I said "well, if I don't stop, this man's liable to die. Shut up, we'll be alright." So, I stopped, and the hitchhiker got in and took off the hood of his coat, and lo and behold it was an Indian girl with the longest, blackest hair I've ever seen. Then the boys really got loud, and Green said Lord, my wife's gonna kill me! We can't take a woman with us! Our wives will kill us!" and I said "My wife would kill me if I didn't. Shut up, Green." And I asked her where she was going, and why she was out in this weather. She told me she was a college student, and she was going to her sister's in Redwood, Colorado, which is by the mountains. So, I changed course, and that's where we went, 'cause I wasn't gonna let that girl walk all the way to her sister's house in a snow storm. We got to this pretty little old town called Redwood, and then she directed me to her sister's house, which was in the foothills. It was just this little log cabin, all by itself in the middle of nowhere. The girl asked us to stay so that she and her sister could make us some food, as a payment of kindness, so I agreed, and we went in, Brown and Green all atwitter about how their wives were going to kill them."
"Lord, you'd think their wives would have more sense."
"You'd be surprised at how little sense people have, darlin. Anyway- so, we get in the house, and there's nothing but a table and some chairs in there, and this huge fireplace- it must've been six feet long. And her sister was sitting on a rug in front of this roaring fire- naked as a jay bird, with her guitar, and she was playing that song you were just playing." So, I sat down at the table and the boys did the same, and Green asked "you think she's trying to seduce us?" You know, he whispered it, but that girl heard him, and without even breaking up the song she said "there will be no fucking here tonight"- really, she sang it. And I just about died laughing. And when she was done, they cooked us breakfast, and asked why we were coming to Colorado, and when theylearned we were there to hunt, they offered to guide us through the mountains. Those girls knew every inch of those woods, and where the deer and the bear were, and how to survive and butcher meat. So, they went hunting with us too, as our guides. When we left, I left them a deer, and we gave them about four hundred dollars apiece for guiding us up there. I bet if we hadn't had them with us, we'd 've been in sorry shape."
"Did you ever see them again?"
"I went back up there, once. I went back to hunt and was gonna check on 'em, see if maybe they'd want to be my guides again, make some money. Their mama and daddy were drunks, so they were basically on their own. But they weren't there anymore. I wish I remembered those girls' names so that maybe I could find out how they're doin' now, all these years later. They were so cool. And every time I hear that song, I think of them and wonder if they're okay."

That's my dad.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hurry Up and Wait

This seems to be the game I'm playing these days. It's a very frustrating game, as every time I get a little ahead, I fall a little further behind. It's got to stop- I mean, really, this can't go on forever.
I'm used to being the's difficult for me to watch everyone go ahead and me stay behind. It scares me, honestly. I'm normally the one to announce that I'm moving, that I'm going to go do something no one I know has done- and now, everyone's moving, getting married, having kids, and all that. Now, I don't want to be married, and I don't have a particular desire to have children...but I would like to move. I would like to be able to afford my own home somewher far, far away from Alabama. I'm nowhere near any of that.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Calm Afterwards

I love a busy day.

I especially love it when I get to look back and see how much I actually accomplished.

As a side note, Space Bags are amazing inventions. I intend to buy more. It will totally take care of the majority of my storage problems. I cleaned out my living room tonight.....the next room to be dealt with is the kitchen...then the laundry room....then my bedroom...then the dreaded spare room. I absolutely loathe I clean out my house every few months. The thing is...I don't buy anything new (except books), so I'm just slowly getting rid of everything I own. It's an exciting prospect. I'm in love with the idea of not having much of anything.
After I conquer the clutter, I may think about thrift store shopping for a new couch. The one that I dumpster dived is falling all to pieces at this point. It may also be time to invest in an actual tv stand instead of a rolling cart that I rescued (once again) from the dumpster. If the furniture is not an heirloom or made by my father....then it came from a dumpster and got cleaned really well.
Or, maybe I'll go all out and buy something new. It'll be the first time ever in my life that I'll have a new piece of furniture....but I'm cheap. It'll probably come from a thrift store or a yard sale.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Week Three of Ten

I'm slowly closing in on this semester- thank God. It'll be over before I know it. I keep telling myself that as I wait for videos to download for my chemistry class- since I have a test tomorrow. I've done all the book work, I've done a lot of one video already, and I just need to go through and tie up loose ends.
Then...there's speech class. My nemesis. One wouldn't think I have a problem with speech- I talk to much as it is- but when I get up in front of a (quite frankly) hostile crowd, I get nervous. My last speech required me to tell about myself- and I don't want anyone in that class to know anything about me. To quote one bitch in my class: "I'm not here to make friends." While I agree with the sentiment, I'm still cordial to everyone there. She isn't- believe me.
I have two more chapters in history to do, and I have to read the Old Testament by (gasp!) Wednesday for- get this- literature class. You know you're in the South when....

I've written countless letters to Washington D.C. I'm pretty sure eventually the Secret Service will call on me to tell me to shut the hell up. Lately, I've been on their asses about the Gulf Oil Crisis. This bullshit hmmming-and-hawing has to stop. There's entirely too much talking going on, quite frankly, and no enough doing, so I'm not going to say more- there's plenty of diatribe out there. As soon as I finish my 10th week of school, I'm going down there to help the clean up in the wetlands. If I could, I'd go right now....but alas, there's far too much riding on this semester to drop it.
My father informed me last night that, as soon as I'm done with college, he's quitting work. I kinda giggled when he said that- my father tried to retire last year, and it lasted for 3 months because he can't stand not working. dad's getting old. He's nearly 70. He can't possibly pull wrenches on helicopters forever. I'm pretty sure, though, he could never be a greeter at Wal-Mart- he'd get into a lot of trouble telling people to pull their damn pants up, to not talk to their children that way, to get their hands off their girlfriend's ass, etc. My father has a word-puke problem that rivals none- he's King of Word Puke. And he can't whisper, either. It's terribly embarrassing when he comments on someone's clothes or the fact that they're horribly obese or smells bad, etc, because I know they can hear him...even if they're across the room. On the bright side of that, at least he's honest...brutally honest.
My mom still isn't home. The nursing home has put my grandmother on my mother has to stay. I can't go up there this semester AT ALL- I wouldn't even have time to drive up there, spend a few hours, and come back before I'd have something major to do (work, school). I try to alleviate her bad days by calling her everyday with a good story to tell her, preferably one that'll make her laugh. It's not much, but it's something. I miss my mom terribly, even though she's just a phone call and/or five hours away. I have a hard time remembering how I made it so well without her when she was 1200 miles/18 hours away.
Things will always be better, though. I keep telling myself that. If there's hope, then there's something to hold onto.

Everytime Someone Tells Me They're Getting Married...

I have the distinct feeling that I want to throw up.
I also get terribly sad about it, but fake my way through it so that I look like a supportive friend. I know that when my friends tell me they're getting married, I'm losing my friends. Slowly, one by one (or, more correctly, two by two), they're going away. I understand that they don't do it intentionally, but a marriage is a lot of work. And between working a real job and working a marriage, most people have very little time left over. Then, they have children, and they really don't have time anymore.
The single friends are lucky to receive a phone call once a month.
This is the price of "growing up", I guess. I hate this part. Actually, I pretty much hate adulthood.
I will be the last girl standing. That doesn't really make me sad. I've got better and more meaningful relationships with my dogs than most people can ever have with other people. My dogs and I are honest, at least.
But, going back to other people getting married, I am happy that they've found someone they love so much that they believe they can stay with them forever. It's a good thing for them. It's selfish that I don't want them to get married, kinda, but I also know that the majority of them will barely make it out the gate before it's over and they're in divorce court. I hate holding my friends' hands as they go through a divorce worse than I hate holding their hands when they're going to get married. At least when they're getting married, they're happy. Divorce doesn't really make anyone happy...well, except me. I was ecstatic to get divorced (yes, I was married once...for a very short period of time). I got my freedom back.
My love of freedom, I guess, is why I don't really understand why people get married- I tried to be married and still retain some of my freedom....that didn't work AT ALL. I don't get how someone can sacrifice complete personal freedom. It's just not in my nature.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Feminism Part Two

Now, for the present.

A Feminist doesn't have to stop shaving her legs, wearing a bra, or quit applying lipstick. She doesn't have to have a job- she can stay at home. She can have children, or ,if she chooses, she may not. She may be "white", "black", Native American, Asian, Mexican, Irish, Australian, Thai, Korean, Siberian, or from any other nation. She may be Jewish, Protestant, Catholic, Muslim, Buddhist, or a practitioner of Sufism- or any other doctrine of her choice. She may be homosexual, heterosexual, pansexual, bisexual, asexual- it is her choice. She doesn't even have to be a "she"- a feminist can be a man. Why? Because feminism is about freedom of choices.
As the Indian saying goes "women hold up half the sky". Therefore, women are at least the equals of men.
Forced female subordination happens everyday, even in America. It happens when employers pay a woman less than her male counterpart for the same work, it happens when the government challenges Roe v. Wade, it happens when someone says that a woman was "asking for it" because of the way she dressed. It happens when a girl's softball team is given a smaller amount of budget than the boy's baseball team.

Little Known Facts:
1. The long standing tradition of a woman taking her husband's last name was actually a practice for legalizing property rights, as the woman no longer belonged to her father, but her husband.
2. Muhammad the Prophet was first married to a woman who asked him to marry her. She was a businesswoman who took care of everything and gave him four daughters. She was never forced to wear a veil or be submissive to him, and there was no other wife besides her.
3. Girl's sport teams in school, beyond cheerleading, weren't legalized until the 1970s.
4. Harvard denied a woman her doctorate in Psychology because she was female- that woman later became the president of the APA.
5. Eistein's first wife actually came up with the Theory of Relativity. A Russian journal was the only one interested in publishing it, but they wouldn't allow it to be published under a woman's name, and therefore her husband was credited with it.
6. Societies were originally matrilineal. You can't be absolutely sure who your father is, but you can bet your mother will know exactly who belongs to whom.
7. Native American women were largely silent during the Feminist Movement of the 60s because they already held equality and prestige within their own communities.
8. The Greek term "hysterical" stems from the Greek word for "madness" and was supposed to be a chiefly female ailment caused by a uterus wondering around the body looking for children.


My Significant Other today told me about a man who came into his store. Whilst browsing and talking with a fellow employee, the subject of feminists came up- and apparently the man hates them.
Why? Because apparently, feminists are full-of-shit lesbians who don't shave and just wanna be a man.

Who knew? I certainly didn't.

I've got a close tie to feminism (and not just because I'm female). I have a story, in fact.
My great-grandmother, Ora (feminine Spanish for "gold"), was put to work when she was six-years-old in a cotton mill in Tennessee. Her father collected her wages every week, and she never saw a dime, nor an improvement in her life. When she was fifteen, she told her father to go to hell, she walked out of the cotton mill and into a new life. She picked her own husband, left him, and then picked another man....and she made him leave when he wasn't good to her children. She kept working, as she was a single mother. She wore pants, and she never allowed anyone to make any decisions for her. When she heard about the Sufferage Movement, she joined. She saved her money, left her children with her aunt, and traveled to Birmingham, Alabama, to march for the right to vote. Of course, she came back to Tennessee when the march was over, but she remained active in the movement from where she was.
My mother never openly protested, per se. She did smaller, subtler moves with a great deal of impact. My mother quit wearing a bra in 1962- in her words "anybody who's ever worn one can tell a damn man made 'em- they're the most uncomfortable things in the world". She wears them now only to funerals, graduations, and weddings. Everything else- you can forget it. She directed other women on getting birth control, and indeed advised it. She saw some of the same things Margaret Sanger saw, and believed wholeheartedly in it. A neighbor down the street (who, by chance was Catholic) was advised, after having a baby a year for 11 years, to not have anymore children, as it would kill her. Her husband threatened to divorce her for not doing her "wifely" duties, and, in an effort to keep her dignity, she ended up pregnant again- and it did indeed come at the price of her life. My mother also saw girls "just disappear in the night. They'd stay gone for months 'visiting relatives up North'". These girls had gotten pregnant and the families shipped them off to have their kids, force them into giving them up for adoption, and then returning them, with their supposed honor still intact among the community. My mother also secretly taught sex education to the women her age- she obtained (horror of horrors in the 50s) the Kinsey reports, and she shared them. It was generally an accepted practice that "good people" didn't read such "trash"- and she defied them. She also never accepted a wage lower than a male counterpart when she worked- "hell, why should I? Nine times out of ten I worked harder than they'd ever dreamed of. I deserve at least the same pay." She also boycotts horror movies because of the frequency of the show of violence against women. She avidly believes that it desynsitizes people to it, and thus makes it seem like less of a crime.
Then, her crowning blow to patriarchy: she raised me.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Poem of An Encounter
by Anonymous A

I remember when I first met you-
My mama called, beckoned me
Finger a-waggin, lips stretched wide
in a Smile
"Come see this lady...."
My mama came to get me
Sleeping in my bed
so that I may meet you
and let you dance through my head.

I sat in my mama's lap, and watched you-
My mama surged, her excitement
Ran through her body, into mine
like a River
I listened and smiled
and your voice lifted me
even though I was just a child.

Years later, grown and cynical
My mama came, beckoned me
Finger a-waggin, mouth stretched wide
in a Smile
She handed me your book
Slipped words into my heart
so that when I read your words
(Long ago recited)
My soul grew and love got its start.

Dedicated to Dr. Maya Angelou. I can never do you the justice you deserve.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Today did NOT start out good- it started out sick. Literally. Very not good. I have a love-hate relationship with "throwing up"- and I know that sounds weird, so let me expound a little. I hatebeing sick, and I hate feeling like I'm going to throw up- but I feel so much better afterwards.
So, I've spent most of my day doing that and then going back to bed. I just recently (like in the last twenty minutes) felt well enough to get out of bed. My faithful dogs have been with me the whole time (i.e. they're lazy and they loved that Mama was laying in the bed all day because they had someone to cuddle with). They were, though, genuinely concerned for me and knew I was sick- they've been extra gentle and patient with me. When I got up, though, they all jumped up, tails wagging, and followed me into the living room.
Now, you must understand, my dogs are spoiled. They get treated better than most kids do. But today, I haven't loved on them much. But, when I came into the living room and sat down, Lilly (the pitbull) came up to me...and gently began to lick my foot. Then she looked at me....and licked again. This is the Universal Sign of Lilly that she wants love...and if she's not getting it, she'll give it first...and keep giving it to you until you love her back with a head rub or a belly rub, or (even better!) a hug.
Now, wouldn't it be lovely if humans operated on the same principle?

Wouldn't it be even better if people got to experience a pitbull like Lilly and understood that they're not all ferocious fighters, intent on killing other dogs and three-year-olds?

Just in case someone cares, pit bulls are NOT the number one dog in the nation to attack people- golden retrievers are.

Monday, June 7, 2010


I am once again swamped in homework. It's summer term, my last term, and I'm taking FOUR accelerated courses- chemistry, speech, world history, and world literature. I've been steadily working on all of it since the term began last week. I've been reading Gilgamesh tonight...

My first encounter with Gilgamesh was in the sixth grade- I had to read it for history class. I wonder why it is that I'm having to read a story that I read twelve years ago yet again. The story hasn't changed, and I still remember it. But, dutifully, I trudge on, and do my work as I'm told.
What I realized however, is that the story has now taken on a new meaning for me. A particular quote stuck out for me, and one I intend to ponder further:

"He who leaves the fight unfinished is not at peace."

Gilgamesh says this to his friend Enkidu when he experiences fear at fighting the giant Humbaba. It's a lovely allegorical look at the trials of life: if you don't meet this fearful thing head on, you'll live to regret it. Running isn't an option, really, because whatever your giant is, it'll run after you. Eventually, it'll catch up with you. And then, the possibilities of your defeat are exponentially higher, as you are tired from trying to run away.
What happens when you're tired of fighting?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Can't Sleep

Funny enough, isn't it, that the blog right before this was named "So Tired"? I think it's a moment of irony. But indeed, I find myself unable to sleep at one in them morning- so I'm sitting here, writing a blog and listening to Dave Matthews Bands' "Warehouse". It's one of my favorite songs by them- it's so fun.
One of my favorite things to do is peruse news stories- I just read about a man quitting his job in Mexico so that he could watch his son play the World Cup, how a reporter named her kid after Bill Clinton, how BP is being taken to task.....I like to know what's going on. Sometimes.
I have tomorrow off, and funny enough, what's actually keeping me up is trying to decide what all to do. There's a lot of options. I could stay in and study all day (which is probably what I should do), I could bake, I could go to my dad's and clean his house and fix him dinner (another good idea), I could go visit my friend's mother, or I could go out with Iman. I really want to do all these things, honestly, and picking one is proving to be a task. I'll probably try to fit them all in- why lie?
I want to find a salsa class around this area. That's what I really want to do. I've always wanted to receive real instructions- my friend Abla and I used to go to this place where there were lovely looking Latin men that would totally spin you onto the floor and teach you. I'm pretty sure what I know what to do wouldn't be classified as proper salsa. :)
It seems like life is just a long, long trip in acquiring skills- and for what, really? I have no idea...but I'll have fun learning all the same.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


My mother swears that, since I'm "so young" I shouldn't even require sleep on a daily basis. She doesn't understand how my body can hurt so much all the time, or why I sleep until I can't sleep anymore when I finally get to fall into the bed. I get phone calls everyday:
"You awake?"
"Well why not?"
"Because I'm sleepy"
"Sleepy?! You can't be sleepy. Why, when I was your age..." and off she goes.

This happens a fair amount. My mother doesn't work (because she doesn't have to), and she does minimal amounts of domestic activities (because she hates them)- so she's always got energy to burn. She said when she retired, she was retiring completely. She wasn't gonna do anything she didn't want to do. Well, now she's the one primarily taking care of my dying grandmother, and she's finally seeing why I'm always so tired. Mental exhaustion is a bitch. I feel so bad for my mother, though. I think ,someday, she and I need a vacation. I'm going to see what I can do to make that happen. I don't know that my mother would think I need a vacation- but sometimes, Mama doesn't always know what's best.
Mamas and Doctors seem to have something of a God complex. They get so used to the idea that they know "more", and they know "what's best", etc. They forget they're just people it seems. And they forget that their children deserve respect- and that kids will mimic their parents. I hear it's hard to let them go- well, it's equally hard to let go of Mama, and it's scary, too. But it's gotta happen. And we've all got to learn- sometimes we don't know best.
And sometimes, we need sleep.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I Love Love

There's probably been ten million college students that have "hooked up" to this song, and maybe two million babies conceived to it. It's almost par for course that someone would "crash into someone" to this song at least once in their lives. I was listening to old mixes I made on my way home from north Alabama, and this song came on, and immediately I was transported back to Michigan, some years ago. I giggled at the thought of how many boys (well, men now) probably think of me when they hear Dave Matthews, maybe a few of them especially when this song plays.

So, here's the exercise. I want you to click on the video, then scroll down and start reading so that maybe I can actually help you see the magic created when you fall in love to this song.

We'd had a great night out- Mexican food (as only someone from Oaxaca (sp?) can make it), and then on to see a cheap show of our favorite band. While we were watching the band, a snow storm had begun, so that by the time we left, the car was under about six inches of fluffy, downy snow. We were stopped by some friends, who wanted to talk (despite the weather), and he pulled me close to him so that I wouldn't freeze. The wetness of the snow had begun to creep through my really think pants that I had on underneath a dark pink gypsy skirt. On the way to the car, I fell a little behind, so I could make a snowball. When he turned around, I hit him square in the chest, and it exploded all over him- he laughed, a clear, deep, mellow sound. In trying to run from him, I ended up slipping on the sidewalk, falling into a snowbank, and he fell in his mad dash to save me. He ended up almost landing on me, and we had that brief moment....there was a feeling of "ah...nice" in the space between.

When we got to his house, we were covered in snow. Snow hung in my long, curly hair and his long, dark, straight hair. We sat down on the couch, still cold because the heat didn't work very well, and pulled a blanket around us. He gently took my hand, and we sat like that for a while, til I poked him, discovered he was ticklish, then proceeded to run my fingers all over his ribs, causing him to laugh more and buck, until I had him where I wanted him, and I leaned in and kissed his beautifully shaped, firm lips. And suddenly, everything melted away, and there was just a big Indian boy with his hands on my shoulders, and my arms around him, and lips locked together, wet hair, wet skirt, wet boots, and I whispered to him "sweet like candy to my soul" as I kissed him, and he whispered back "sweetly you rock and sweetly you roll"....and on we went like that....and it was there, on an old second hand couch in a house that had bad heat, that I felt my soul open up more than it had since I was a probably looked like this: