Saturday, December 12, 2009

Cynical Ramblings of a near thirty-year old

"I hate people." A co-worker said this to me today. I hated them, too. Hated the jerks, hated the inconsiderate, hated them just for showing up.

Everywhere there is so much unnecessary negativity. I can't get over how mean people are to each other. The kids who never learned to share grow up and become bosses, politicians, parents. We shake our fists, maybe a middle finger, we cuss and fuss in traffic, but as soon as we get the chance, we'll cut in line and justify it, or slow down suddenly aware we're about to miss our exit, our turn, never mind the cars behind.

Earlier this fall I finished reading The Kite Runner, and it opened my eyes to how universally cruel people are to each other. In politics, in the world, in backyards, we disrespect the ones we could learn from.We hate the differences. We all do it. Not selectively, not based on anything more than egocentric perspectives, jealousy or stupid, baseless fears that somehow exist and accrue power. What can we do?

I guess we do the good deed when it occurs to us and then we move on and try not to carry with us all the bad thoughts and hates others might rub off on us. Any frustrating situation is fertile ground for growing some organic negativity. I try to remember that I do it to others. I might not do that exact thing that peeves me so, but I certainly don't live the whole of my days in full consideration of others. In fact I've tried this to a fault, and I'm certain it's impossible to never offend simply because you can never guess the things that piss people off. Not everything. This is one area where the vastness of unique human characteristics cannot be predicted. We're all a little crazy and you can't count on crazy.

To get along around other people, I think you just have to be willing to let some things slide. But not everything. No one should get away with everything and everyone should get away with some things. I suspect that many of us believe we get away with less than we let other people get away with. But then we have to remember that we can never know all the things that drive other people crazy and therefore, there is no way to keep record of who's ahead.

Monday, November 2, 2009

“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life...You give them a piece of you. They didn't ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like 'maybe we should be just friends' turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It's a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love.”

-Neil Gaiman

Friday, September 18, 2009

It's Coming

The temperature is in the eighties and that feels warm, but an autumn wind is blowing. What a great time of year. About two weeks ago, while running at dusk I felt it for the first time. For weeks I'd been anticipating its coming, even as the dog days of Texas summer dragged their feet. I took Wallace for a run and we found a field that was recently cleared, leaving stumps and the scent of cedar behind, to play in and watch the beautiful sun set. On the run back the wind met our sweaty bodies with a coolness not felt for months, a delicious foreshadowing that fall is on its way. This reminds me of a favorite poem by Bill Holm.

August in Waterton, Alberta

Above me, wind does its best
to blow leaves off
the aspen tree a month too soon.
No use wind. All you succeed
in doing is making music, the noise
of failure growing beautiful.

If you're not used to reading poetry, just remember to breathe. There are very few words so they are each one there by choice.

This is kept by my desk and computer, where I write; where I stare off into nowhere land; where I confront demons; where I face my own failure, or the teasing of it. This poem reminds me that failure in art will lead, if one endures, to success. The failure itself might even be beautiful, might even be art. I also keep a Pearls Before Swine Cartoon posted by my desk to remind me to laugh at it all.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sorry for the bad joke. You'll see.

It's been a minute since I've blogged. In the past 43 days I've been to the emergency room, seen a baby donkey, ridden 5 hours in a van with no A/C in the middle of the day and done lots of fun summery things, such as float the river with a good ol'buddy.

So pleurisy is when something gets caught between your lung lining and your rib cage and gets inflamed or infected. Eventually it hurts to breath, which can cause panic to set in. This is what happened to me. I called my man and he came to my rescue. We ended up at a fire station and then in an ambulance and then the ER. It wasn't as much of an emergency as it felt like, meaning it wasn't my heart and I wasn't in danger of dying. But it was scary for both parties.

Baby donkeys are furry and soft and pretty sweet. It's when they grow up that they can be a real ass. My relatives have some land up in North Texas where time melts into itself. Less than 24 hours there but I felt like I'd been injected with that fabulous vacation iv. It lasted at least 2 days.

My latest music review can be read here and there are more to come soon. Check it out for a link for a free download.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Words: In Conflict

When I communicate through email, the letter I send is usually so much shorter than the original draft. Editing removes the unnecessary comments, the words that are motivated by hurt or frustration and the final draft is usually just what I need to say, without all the chaff. So when I talk or especially when I argue guess what comes out? Unnecessary comments, words motivated by hurt or frustration and chaff.

I've believed for a long time that if two people could just talk rationally about something, they could resolve it. Turns out that to get to that place of calmly talking can take minutes or hours or days. I hate the waiting, but worse is what happens if you don't take that time.

Marianne Moore said, "The deepest feeling always shows itself in silence." I hate conflict. Instead of trying to avoid it, I try to control it with words. The catch is that the words that have the power to calm and reconcile, are usually not the first that come to mind. Silence of breath, quiet of mind, the rest between a calm heartbeat is crucial in conflict.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wart Off

I love natural remedies. Once I had a wart on my knee that I never thought much about. In the third grade I was a dodgeball STAR! Thanks to my four brothers I was really good at dodging and unlike many of the girls in my class, I could actually throw the ball. During an extraordinary competitive and thrilling game, I hit the ground rolling to escape a body ball and also made the winning throw for my team. I was the last one standing so it required full commitment.

I stood up and amidst the cheers from my teammates, I heard my P.E. teacher tell me to go to the nurse. Looking down I saw blood gushing from both my knees. So worth it. I marched proudly off the field and after the nurse dressed my battle wounds, I realized that my wart was no longer there. Sweet! Unfortunately, weeks later I noticed a garden of mini warts sprouting on both my knees. No, no, no, this would not do.

My mom starts bringing this up in conversation with various relatives and friends (yay), and everyone has heard of a home wart solution. Rub potato flesh on them. Duct tape them. Try wart cream. I ended up sleeping a couple nights with cottonballs soaked in vinegar bandaged to my knees. Stunk. Soggy wrinkled knee skin. But it worked, the vinegar actually burning and thus killing the root of the warts.

That's a beautiful story and all to say, I wish I had some lavender oil on me. It is an immediate relief and cure to a spider bite, but also helps mosquito bite itchings (such as the one on my ankle) subside.

I'd also love to hear about other natural remedies. Please.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

driving while dodging a flying stinger

Currently Listening: Joshua Radin "Brand New Day"

"You make your past your past." Amen.

There is a hornet infestation in my van, The Beast. I just found a chunk of black gunk in my hair. I dreamed another bear was trying to eat me and a child who was with me. I haven't been much around internet lately and I realize how much easier it is for me to write when I have internet access. I'm not really a multi-tasker, but I love to toggle between writing and other stuff. I use it as a stimilus of sorts. I guess it helps to quiet the distractions of my mind and awaken my imagination moreso than just looking around at my room, messy with clothes and undone tasks.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My City

We’re still getting to know each other, Austin and me. So much yet to experience, what with spring here and with summer coming soon. Part of making a city your home is finding your favorite hang outs. I still say I'm new here when people ask me directions. Last week while wining and dining at the southside Waterloo, I realized this: My absolute favorite drink in my favorite Texas town is a Mexican martini made with Sauza Conmemorativo tequila. That's quite a statement to make, but it’s that serious. Plus, the back patio overlooks a playground and a community area. It’s laid-back and family friendly. Last week Glen and I sat out there just before dusk and after a nice rain and it was the best kind of relaxing or if you don’t mind, chillaxin.

The only bad part about this area that is as south as south Austin can be is that this new development, while housing local Austin eateries as well as chain stores, looks like any other shopping center in oh say, north Austin or Dallas or Plano or Frisco. Such monotony is expected in north Dallas, but please no, not in south Austin. It’s a pretty place, nice and well landscaped, just disappointing.


In a blog from 2008 I listed what I’d do with lottery winnings or a sudden fortune. This is what I wrote:

What would I do if I suddenly became a billionaire?
1. This is an overwhelming "what if." I suppose I'd freak out in some way.
2. Pay off debt.
3. Buy a slave. I mean, a massage therapist.
4. Seek council.
5. Invest, put some away, blah, blah.
6. Help orphans.
8.Travel more. Greece, Spain, South America, Australia. Visit everyone I know living overseas.
9. Buy one of these.
10. Crap my pants. Not necessarily in this order.

I hold to this with a few addenda. I'd buy some gold and silver and make my own retirement plan. I would definitely maintain personal health and take preventative action by seeing a massage therapist weekly. I'd also commission a few of my artist friends to make me some art that would blow your mind. I'd quit my job, buy a house and write. Write and garden. So there. Did I mention I'd travel?

Deadliest Warrior

Tomorrow night on Deadliest Warrior is Spartan vs. Ninja. Best fight EVER. I’d also like to see a tyrannosaurus rex fight a killer bee; a jedi fight a ninja; Zach Morris vs. Slater, once and for all.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Don’t Hate

By my work there are many a beggar. If you smoke a cigarette, they need one. If you have a cell phone, they’d like to use it. Of course if you have spare change (bills preferred), then go ahead and contribute to their bus ticket cause. They might buy a $5 coffee drink, but alas, they are still $18 short for a bus ticket. They will ask for anything. Or not ask.

Last week one man tried to jack our tips that sit on the windowsill of the drive-thru. A co-worker saw and asked him to put it back. He dropped some change in the bucket. She asked for the rest of it.

“The dollar?”

Yeah, the dollar.

“Fine.” He replaced the dollar and as he walked away said, “Don’t hate.”

bed blog

I love mornings. Sometimes I wake up before the sun and despite all my love for mornings, I don't get up. I actually tell myself, "you don't get up this early," and then I try to fall back asleep. Or sometimes the persuasive voice wonders, "what are you even going to do if you get up? It's dark." I can't ever think of what I could do in these moments b/c all I can think of is how dark it is.

This is stupid. I'm going to start getting up if this happens.

Thai blog

Well so I haven't been around internet the past several days, but I have been writing some. So, the next several blogs will be me catching up and therefore, shortish.

On American holidays, why is it comforting to eat Asian food?

Our first eateries were actually closed on this sunny Easter Sunday before we found an open Chinese restaurant. Out of more than convenience, if I’m not partaking in any special lunch or dinners associated with my own holidays, then it’s nice to go somewhere you don’t seem to be missing out. Working on Christmas day or Thanksgiving Day makes me want to miss the cafeteria “E” for efforts imitation turkey dinners and just skip straight to sesame chicken and wonton soup.

This may not be comforting to some people, but it is sad to me when I can’t be with family when they are all together and so I’d rather be in an environment that assures me the world is going on even if my so-called holiday is a bust.

On a side note, I’ve recently decided that Thai food is one of my favorite kinds. Give me a spring roll and call me Happy.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Tummy Ache

There's this thing, this really beautiful thing that happens when a dust of cinnamon and sugar fall on a cup of whipped cream. This is my guilty pleasure. It's a fluffy, horchata cloud that dissolves on your tongue like, heaven? I'm really struggling with this simile and also, SURPRISE! my weight.

On a side note, babel fish translates horchata as "tiger nut milk." Not as appetizing.

Friday, April 10, 2009

new site

Wow. Yesterday I really needed a day off. I cleaned, laundered, I baked, I cooked, I listened to music and watched 2 movies. I didn't write anything, nor did I think much about it. So therapeutic. Another thing I did was watch the bon qui qui video again, and yes, i loled.

I am now a contributing writer to this sweet a all things music site called Rock & Review. I aim to write a post weekly (at minimum) for this site, so add it to your rss feed or bookmark it or something. Besides reading my stuff, the site offers reviews of a variety of music so I think you'll find it informative and entertaining.

P.S. Martha, you should write more for the site. Your music and book reviews are always interesting to me.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Vidoes not rated G

What are your top 3 favorite YouTube videos of all time? Here are mine.

#3 Bon Qui Qui

#2 The Count

#1 Drinking out of Cups

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Daddy of the Mack Daddies

Yeah, he knows he's cool. Ironic that today is the kickoff for ASPCA's no cruelty to animal's month and the day my fellow bloggers are paying homage to beloved pets. Why? Oh, because Wallace (the pimp in the shades) soggied up and chewed up my softball glove, my childhood softball glove that I let Glen borrow.

Sigh. He's not even a mass destroyer and at his size, he could be. (This pic is when he's about 7 or 8 months old.) Why do they never go for a plastic bag or old newspaper or something you could care less about? He got in trouble, of course. He knew what he was doing, of course. I still love the heck out of him, of course of course, he's the size of a horse.

Monday, April 6, 2009


you want a latte?
we closed ten minutes ago.

white key, black key
on and on and on
until they reach inside of me

Credit report dot com
If i hear that commercial
one more time...


If I had only four minutes to save the world, I'd strip, dance on cars and say tick tock tick tock.* (But I'd be wearing a nude leotard so my world saving would be appropriate for all ages.)

In other news I learned something about myself today and I'm not going to blogbore you with it. It's nothing original, just that it's okay to make someone uncomfortable if they aren't acting appropriately. Humans push boundaries, fact of life. If someone pushes me, I can be pushed or push back. Step back, fools.

*If you're not following the blog 30 Days of Write, this will sound random and senseless.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

LIfe not in Digital

Jesus told his disciples that they would always have with them the poor. Also, I add, will always be the nonconformists. In this age there are technological nonconformist: people who refuse to own cell phones; those who own mobiles, but refuse to answer or check them; those who don't want to learn how to use a computer or the internet. For all the hassles I am still glad I live in this age. If I woke up in the 1800's, life would be rough. Not because I mind peeing in an outhouse or bush or bathing once a week or growing my own food. It's the conveniences that contribute to life in a meaningful way that would be the hardest hit.

Except for a few (sad number) remote areas, it is possible and even convenient to communicate with family and friends across the globe. I love this. No email or letter or phone call replaces a hug, eye contact, or face to face time with another person. Still, our technology helps span the miles and I'm so grateful. I can't imagine waiting weeks just to get a reply to a letter. Go ask some people from the 1800's if they'd accept and learn a new mail system if it meant they could hear back from their lover, sister or son immediately instead of waiting weeks. Pretty sure there wouldn't be a bunch of griping about being too old to learn, or it being too complicated. It's the doing without that really gets us willing to work for what we could have. There is something to the idea that we 2009 Americans are impatient, selfishly entitled jerks. But there is waiting to be done no matter which age a person exists in. It's universal--Tom Petty says so.

I've always felt I would not marry until I was older and that I wouldn't have kids in my twenties. I'm pretty sure this wouldn't fly in the 1800's either. It barely flies in the 21st century in many families. However, if I have the choice of time travel, I know a few concerts I'd like to catch.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Dream House

Traveling I love. Vagabond living I like. Commitment I shy away from. Even so, the desire to get into a house where I can start my own garden is growing by the day. I imagine this is how other women feel when they get baby fever. I have baby squash fever. Or something.

My dream house borders a forest and is a 10 minute walk from the beach. I have a back yard with a garden. Next to the garden is my studio, which is a small, two room building with a half bath. One room for my desk and lots of bookshelves. The other room has a drawing table, an easel, a throwing wheel and lots of shelf space. Many windows included. Also, on the border of my land/forest I'll have a big tree house in which binoculars will be kept, along with some RTE foods, sleeping bag, and a radio.

When it comes to rooms, the most important to me is the kitchen. I want a large kitchen with a big island with a cutting board surface. Not overly large, just spacious enough to cook and spread out a little. It'll open into the dining and living rooms and the kitchen window will face the backyard. Visiting my parents in Abilene, espescially during the holiday seasons I stand in the kitchen, sometimes helping, sometimes just running my mouth and getting in the way because that is precious time of talking, laughing and getting silly with my mom. Kitchens offer the right amount of diversion in conversation for me.

Patios and porches are the other main necessities (luxuries) for my dream house. A front porch just big enough for a couple chairs and table with three steps leading down to the yard will do. The back patio should be bigger, covered and will house some chairs, a chimenea, and a grill, all bordered by citrenella plants. I want a natural fence made simply from live bamboo.

I will have at least one dog, probably a great dane since I am newly in love with this breed and I'll own a gun to protect against snakes, wild animals and commies.

What is the most important room to you?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

30 Days, 5 of them bloody

For my 30 days of writing project the group leader provides a topic everyday. Today's topic is physical pain. I've been sick, as so many have, from battling a sore throat to throwing up mucus. Lovely, I know. But it's not much to write about.

I mentioned that my cousin had a baby last week. When we were all admiring her new daughter, I told her she set a standard in the family in giving birth. With barely a shot of pain reliever she made it through labor and I say that's super admirable.

I don't think either sex has a higher pain tolerance than the other. It seems to be much more person specific to me. But I will say that women have expected pain. In fourth grade sex education class, I was horrified, petrified, furious to find out about menstrual cycles. Thanks, God. Thanks a lot. My life was worry free until then. I couldn't have cared less about sex, what goes where, Fallopian shmalopian, who gives a prostrate? A sweet, hunchbacked little lady just told me I'm going to bleed for one week every month. My life is screwed!

There are mile markers in every girl's period. Her first time to start, of course. The first time she wants to swim, but can't because she doesn't know how (or really want) to use a tampon. The first (and only, I hope) time she bleeds through her pants in public. Yikes. In the words of Uncle Jesse, have mercy. Worse than all that is the first time a cramp takes her to her adolescent knees, gasping and breathing like she's practicing lamaze.

I used to think that maybe our menstrual cycles prepare us for the pain of childbirth. But cramps don't get easier because you've had them before, and I suspect that childbirth doesn't feel easy because you've had cramps.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

30 Days

So, I'm doing this thing. This writing thing. I joined a writer's group committed to writing a post every day for the next 30 days. The meaning of this first post is only that you, precious reader, will be hearing from me daily. Expect randomness. Expect at least 100 words. I'm challenging myself to be less intentional and more followthroughional.

Today I finished reading The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffeenegger. I enjoyed it very much. The story and the characters were fresh and unique and inspired in me many ponderings (and I do love to ponder) about love between a man and woman, what brings them together and makes them last as husband and wife; also time, how long, how fleeting, insert an excerpt from a poem here. My man's grandfather passed away last week. How slowly the painful moments dragged by. In the same 24 hours my great Aunt passed, quickly, as though she stopped in to the hospital to get a cup of coffee and then she left. Maybe 12 hours later and after nine months of waiting and a short labor, my cousin birthed a healthy and a lovely baby girl.

A theme in the book is waiting. It's beautifully threaded through the book. People don't like to wait. I know this because I am often the reason people around me have to do this. I'm changing this about me, trying really hard to. I'm realizing that I also wait on myself. I wait until I'm ready, until I feel readiness. Then I move. I guess I've been okay with this, content to wait until the time feels right to me to begin something. There's a biblical parable about virgins waiting for the groom and when he comes, when he finally comes only a few of them have enough oil in their lamps to go and meet with him. (Sidenote: Not sure why a lamp is so urgently relevant to a virgin and her groom.)
I want to do everything I can to make sure when an opportunity arises for me that I have prepared. Preparation has everything to do with feeling ready and with actually having the resources or the freedom to act when the time is right.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hear Hear

To listen to these songs I had to embed. Found these from Anton.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hello. Hi. Hi.

It’s 2009.

Last year I resolved to

A) Not live in Dallas, Texas
B) Blog more

That being my first go at making resolutions, I didn't do too badly. I still live in Texas, but I live in Austin, which is WAY better. I’ve wanted to live here for several years and so far I love it. As for blogging, I doubled my blog entries in 2008. Yep, in 2007 I had 8 entries and last year I blogged 16 times. Booyah.

The following held special meaning/comfort for me in 2008:

There are years that ask questions and years that answer. -Zora Neale Hurston

The Lowering -The Avett Brothers
Colorshow -The Avett Brothers
Fire nor Ice -Ben Harper
I'm Yours -Jason Mraz
Arms of a Woman -Amos Lee
The Film Did Not Go Round -Nada Surf
So Young -Thriftstore Cowboys
Change is Hard -She & Him
Dreamer -Supertramp

-the dreams about animals eating me
-breakthru moments on the phone with my man
-Beck laser show
-random Loaded Questions w/roomies and friends
-meeting Glen that first weekend
-saying bye to Miata
- taking Mikayla and Mara for drives in Mia