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Posts Tagged ‘I know exactly what I’m doing here bucko’

About four weeks ago Scout decided to scare the piss out of me and her dad. Said fright was caused by her standing in front of us having a conversation one minute, then falling out and convulsing the next. When roused and sufficiently coherent, she described an electrical storm in her frontal lobe.  Tests thus far are inconclusive. Which, you know, I prefer to view as HALLELUJAH NO BRAIN TUMOR.

….but the image of an electrical storm right behind her pretty little brow has haunted me.

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About a week after that, I got a call from Sam informing me that he was coming home for four days over Easter so that he could marry this Very Cute Person,

randi
:: randi, university of alabama campus, valentine’s day 2011 ::

who we will henceforth call ‘Randi’ in all our future talkstory adventures, Muffinasses. Don’t bother asking if I like her, silly; just look at her Loverboy teeshirt and her pleasant countenance! Those things should give you all the four-one-one that you need. Okay, okay….I will tell you this little bit of confessional information: One time, when Sam and Randi were both fifteen or thereabouts, I told Maxim in the quiet privacy of our bedroom, “Now that kid? I would love to have as a daughter-in-law.” She is that flavor of awesome, see? That sort of awesome that had the two of us making plans for coffee and conversation even when she and my son were no longer a couple at one (or two? ahem) point(s).

So initially the wedding plans went like this: While Sam was last home on leave, the couple made the announcement that they would marry next July. Hasty, yes? Yes, hasty. But look! Over a year to plan a wedding! Just enough time to do all this. We wish Randi would finish school! But we love her! You guys are so young and maybe wait a little longer! But who am I to speak against passion?? I would never be found guilty of such! Let’s have a wedding, shall we?

Then they said “Hey! We want to do this in December.” Okay, ah, start the New Year together in 2012! We get it! Makes some sense! Whoa, deadline, but not an unobtainable goal if we get started right now!

Then this July and my head exploded because “SAMUEL YOUR SISTER WILL BE OUT OF THE COUNTRY AND HOW DARE YOU PROPOSE A WEDDING WITHOUT HER, SHE WOULD NEVER DO THAT TO YOU AND THAT LEAVES US NO TIME TO HELP YOU PLAN, NOT TO MENTION GIVE YOU ANY SORT OF FINANCIAL HELP YOU MIGHT NEED AND WHAT THE FUCK? WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK, SAM?? I HAVE A LOT TO BE CONCERNED WITH JUST NOW, PLEASE STOP WITH THIS WEDDING IN JULY NONSENSE RIGHT THIS MINUTE.”

“Mom?” Sometimes the connection is tinny when he calls, far-away sounding. This was one of those times. “Mother, I’ve  got a four-day pass over Easter weekend. I’m going to fly in Friday morning and that afternoon Randi’s dad (ed. note: Randi’s dad is a Babdiss preacherman, but we do not hold that against her in any way) is going to marry us in her parents’ back yard.” He wore a black shirt and ivory Vans and she wore an ivory dress and black Converse and now I’m a mother-in-law, so weird.

At least I am consistent, as always, in maintaining a whirlwind life.

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So. The week before Scout fell out and two weeks before Sam made the tinny phone call, the very week that Mathias announced that he was joining Civil Air Patrol, Maxim and I had a discussion that really entailed not much discussion at all and we decided to leave our church. Rat-tat-tat. We met with our Pastor and told him on the tenth of April, my mother’s birthday.

Individually, Maxim and I had both been feeling the nudge to ask the other what they thought about our relationship to our church and whether we were to continue it. When I finally brought my thoughts up to him and told him the timeline on them, he nodded sagely and cited the exact same thoughts along the exact same period of time. We were essentially completing one another’s sentences as we spoke, and ended the discussion with the promise to pray over the issue for two weeks and then go over our impressions together.

Then the not-discussion, then the leaving, then the strange feeling of being untethered from a church body but being very anchored spiritually. We –Maxim and I, and even Scout– have even gone so far as to acknowledge that it may be in the cards for us to remain unchurched altogether. None of us is opposed to this. Jesus did a lot of damage with two feet and an unafraid voice; He never kept to four walls, at least not for very long. We’re supposed to emulate that man, if we really believe what we say we do.

We will miss our church family bitterly. We will still see them socially, sure, but not several times a week. Hell, let’s be honest: We will probably not even get to see them several times a month. Life is a storm of unpredictability and a ruiner of plans. That’s part of what makes it so incredible, you know?

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On Monday, April the eighteenth around two-thirty or so, I started to feel it. I guess it was something akin to a fissure in my brain opening, something that had been a sort of hairline crack becoming a gaping maw. I white-knuckled my way through the afternoon and then went home to gobble some Lexapro, thinking that my PMDD was rearing its head and hadn’t given me as much lead time as usual. I quickly got worse, my insides a low-roiling boil, threatening to bubble over; it made me physically sick. I could feel the lactic acid building and then depositing in my shoulders, my traps, in the backs of my thighs. It was a continual release of adrenaline and I was extremely nauseous by hour four of the whole thing. The whole of the afternoon a voice in my head gibbered about just wanting my bed, ohhhh if I can make it to the end of the workday I can have my bed,  but that evening I fumbled onto the couch and couldn’t move from there, where I fell into a fitful sleep by seven 0′clock.

I woke and dragged myself to the bedroom, still feeling sick and indeterminably broken, at around ten-thirty. The next morning I was due to drive Scout to her neurologist an hour away, and I thought that the Lexapro would grab hold while I slept (like it always did! magic! jazz hands, bitches! airhorns and goofy relieved grintastic visages and confetti or something equally as rad!), making me feel whole and right again upon waking.

I woke up lethargic and very, VERY resistant to the idea of leaving our home. In fact, I was somewhat terrified to even get out of bed. The low-boil feeling was still there and now I had a sense of defeat layered on top of it. I wanted to die, but it occurred to me that if I shot myself in the head my daughter would a) be angry that I ‘forgot’ to check her out of school b) be the one to find me c) be doubly fucked up as a result of having been angry at me just before finding my messy-headed self scattered willy-nilly across the bed. I tried to eat some breakfast. I threw it up. I showered and put on eyeliner, then comfortable clothes, then sunglasses that would obscure most of my face. It was a sheer act of my Legendary Stupidly Defiant Will that put me behind the steering wheel and on the road.

I am going to make a mistake. I am going to make a mistake and wreck us. My inner voice meant this in a more literal sense, but in writing that now I realize that there is more meaning to it. Anxiety’s theme song is I Am Going To Make A Mistake. It has a really catchy hook and gets stuck in a loop on your insides if all the conditions are right and you give it half a footing, did you know?

“I’m not feeling well,” I told Scout, “do you think you could manage driving if it turns out that I can’t?” She said she could, and I told her that I’d navigate the more difficult part of the drive and put her on the straightaway twenty minutes or so down the road. When that twenty minutes had passed, I’d started feeling better, so I passed on Scout driving for me and continued on. Ten minutes past that I was pulling into the empty lot next to an abandoned auto shop, so suddenly overcome that it was all I could do to exit the car and go around to the passenger side.

I reclined the seat, Scout slid in the new Damnwells and within a few minutes we were flying down Highway Tw0-Seventy-Eight; I was curled up on my side with my face six inches from my knees, staring at them intently, afraid that my brain was doing something I and it could never recover from, when ‘Sophia‘ came on

with a wink everything’s falling apart
and we’re lost in Lebanon

and then somehow I found my eyes fixed on the beyond out there past the vinyl and the doorhandle and the window, it rushed by oh it fell away and was replaced so fluidly and I hope I can hold onto myself well enough to finish this day, finish this day, finish. Finish it, this day.

Abel started
but Cain had to finish the job
for the God of Jealousy

No fever dream had ever been so brutal.

By four o’ clock that afternoon I became something resembling myself, but still only a poorly-remembered version of that, a slightly-staticky approximation. “It’s stress,” said Maxim the next day, and then the day after that I caught myself kneading the shit out of my left forearm with my right hand, to the point of extreme pain that I hadn’t even noticed in my absent-mindedness. It was then that I took into account that my nails were more gnawed than they ever had been –they were bleeding and painful at times– and I’d had this crazy rash on my chest that had appeared suddenly about two weeks prior. “I told you, stress,” Maxim affirmed once I recounted my realizations to him. I pondered the crevasse that had opened up in my brain, how extremely near to the base of it that the crack had run.

I circled the internal wagons. It took a week to really shake that feeling that I was just a fuzzy copy of my actual self, that I was play-acting at being something I was really not. I faked it till I maked it and I managed not to disappear. Feel free to mutter it under your breath, but don’t you ever tell me that miracles are the stuff of myth.

::: :: ::: :: ::: :: :::

Wednesday, Twenty-Seven April:

The internet went out early in the day. Power was intermittent throughout the morning, but mostly there.  The mountain began to be battered. We came back from lunch, we left early for the day. Maxim happened to be off, so did Scout. My family was all snug in our home when I got there. I found out later that where others were hit once and hard, we were hit over and over hard. It was that evening before I found out that Tuscaloosa had lost one-seventh of itself and Cullman had fared poorly and the state park had played host to three twisters on the ground at once (a paramedic friend showed me a close shot he’d taken with his phone, holyHOLYfuck). A friend, upon finding out that we had no idea what was going on elsewhere, began to text snippets of information and news to me.

I called Randi, who was shaken but perfectly fine. A student at the University of Alabama, she had, she confessed, been terrified when the tornado set down a block from her apartment. She was coming home to the mountain as soon as she could. Her phone was messed up and she couldn’t make any calls or send any texts, but she could receive them. Sam, having just gone back to Texas less than twenty-four hours before, was on the other line, exceedingly not-okay with having left his bride.

Maxim showed me the snippet of radar he’d managed to pull up on his phone. “Unh, ah, there is this black area here right by us. I’ve never seen BLACK on any radar, have you?” No, no I had not, and it looked ugly, like a blotchy tumor on a rainbow landscape and wow, this is one of the rare times in life that merits one long, low whistle of disbelief punctuated with raised eyebrows. Things ramped up for us again. We stayed together, first in Mathias’ room reading and making LEGO magicks, then in the living room. When Maxim thought everything had passed, he went in search of ice and to check on his mother. He took Mathias with him.

He later professed the stupidity of leaving, because one of the events that occurred while he was out involved a massive oak falling across a pitch-black road a few feet ahead of him while he considered the merits of dropping a load in his pants. Another wave of storm had whipped itself at us and he’d been caught out in it. He crept back to his mom’s to wait it out. Back at home, Scout and I started hearing things hit the back side of the house.

“It’s still now,” I texted Maxim afterwards, “Come home, and hurry, but be safe.” My phone began dying. Maxim came home. “There is a tree in Dana’s house. It sliced clean through.” We didn’t get out to inspect, because I did not trust the dark and the clever way it might obscure dangling tree limbs with the potential to fall and crush or its ability to hide downed, soaked power lines an errant foot might find before a watchful eye could.

We made pallets for the children on our bedroom floor, set a lantern in the bathroom in case anyone had to get up later. It was dark, so dark, and I blessed this darkness, because it is a hardcore insomniac’s unspoken dream to have no glowing, buzzing streetlights slicing in from half a block away. There were no electronics humming, no tiny red lights becoming larger than life. “I AM GOING TO SLEEP LIKE A CHAMP TONIGHT!” I announced to no one in particular. We had laid our heads on our pillows and spoken a few words when one of us –I don’t even remember who, honestly– said, “Oh man, we got so lucky this time.” This was immediately punctuated with the explosive sound of a hundreds-of-years old tree a few yards away in the quick throes of giving over and going a fuck-all, messy horizontal.

I not only slept like a champ that night, I slept like a GOING-FOR-BROKE, FUNDAMENTALLY-DRIVEN, PIMP-ASS MOTHERHUMPIN’ CHAMP. But only for five and a half hours. I kept flopping around the bed after that, and then finally I got up and pulled on yoga pants and the notorious Pink Floyd shirt (that has made a-one-0r-a-two appearances within the voyeurnally tomes of yours truly) you might chance to remember. There were flip-flops involved, too. I slipped on a hoodie, leashed  up Banjo and set out. Only one other house on the whole block was occupied. Three of them had trees driven well into their innards. Others had broad, well-rooted oaks tipped over and leaving gigantic divots in the ground. Some of them had equally large trees snapped like toothpicks halfway up their trunks.

The three blocks surrounding our home were –and still are– a great mess. There are a bait of awful tales that I could run out in front of you, but I’ve already taxed your graces enough for tonight and I don’t think it’s in anyone’s interest for me to actively try and horrify you.  Let’s just say that I am very well aware that the most tragic thing that happened to me, basically, was having to endure an icy shower and hanging clothes on the line. Which, if you’ve been watching any of the news footage (which I have not even had time to go through in any real way) is the cosmic equivalent of stubbing my toe in the presence of legless people.

Translation: Don’t you !dare!! complain, dummy.

And so, I am not. In fact, I am going to post up, in the next little real soon day or two, things that have been so right about this place and its people since all the weathercarnage. I’ll include some ways you can help from where you are, too. Tonight my back is growing stiff and my eyelids are crackling.

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This week Scouty turns eighteen. Twenty days after that, she will graduate high school.

scout, is, well.....holy crow, she's grown
:: ’she looks like an album cover,’ somebody said ::

Then it will be June and she will be exploring another country.

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This summer we will be taking Mathias to our nation’s capital because he is old enough to absorb some of what this country is, what this country remembers, what it knows and also what it would like to forget. He’s inquisitive and perceptive, a fact magnet and discussion-haver.

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Next weekend my son is coming home to get his bride and take her back to the desert with him. They are so young and passionate, and life is too fragile for them to be apart one second longer than they have to be. The world won’t be any less brutish, but they will each have the comfort of a bedmate’s tangled limbs and steady breathing to reassure them as they slumber. Important, too, is someone to laugh with when everything is all ludicrous as fuck and humor is the only thing left.

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It almost never fails: The day after a brutal, tornado-laden storm is picture-perfect, bright and mild and colorfully soft. This always blows my mind. Still, I am thankful for it, for the respite and I am moved to make this urgent wish:

Sonno beato, world, and all the children in it; sleep beautifully for a time.

I’m here. I’m still here. Everyone I know is accounted for. Everything is possible and I brought my spoon because I’ve always been one to dig in and that’s one trait I will fight to drag up to the grave’s lip before I have to be put in there.

 
|| August 12, 2010 || 12:18 pm || Comments (7) ||

So Tess and I set off to go to the Million-Mile Yardsale this past weekend. It’s not really a million miles long (I don’t think? Wait. Is it?), but it’s just more fun to say ‘Million-Mile Yardsale’ than ‘World’s Longest Yardsale‘. Not only does it sound more adventurous, but the former just flows a little better than the latter.  There were some twists and turns and off-track moments –as there always are when the two of us head out adventuring together– before we finally hammered down onto the trail and Made Shit Happen. Once we reached that point, though, we found ourselves miles and miles from civilization, swooping around the winding turns of curvaceous and lovely Lookout Mountain. The sale stops on the mountain portion of the trail were few and far between, but we’d find large clusters of folk hunkered down in spacious yards. Think pig roast. Think family reunion. Think flea market. Now throw all these thoughts in a Mason Jar and shake the shit out of them, jumble them up real good. Serve them over a bed of hundred-and-five degree humidity. The result sort of touches on what was going on.

At one stop we found no menfolk, only a passel of women huddled under a metal carport. There were about five older women (early fifties, perhaps?) a couple of younger twentysomethings and a girl of about twelve. They greeted us warmly and immediately enveloped us in conversation. It was clear from their appearance that they were Holiness Church, which is not uncommon either on our mountain or the one on which we happened to be wandering. I’ve found an illustration for those of you not familiar with the why of how we were able to immediately peg these laydehs as those of the Holiness persuasion.

:: holiness laydehs, a representative example for educational purposes only ::

Except, this illustration isn’t exact. The Holiness Laydehs we encountered that day looked 42% more matronly, 18% less colorful and 23% more dowdy than these do, as is typical for our region. But, to the plus side, they were every bit as sweet and pleasant as these laydehs appear to be, only with poofier hair. That’s another thing: Where their hair is concerned, Holiness women in these parts tend to have eighties bangs, a poof factor of seven or a combination thereof. It’s a complex and exact science, this hair, but I’m hesitant to explore its nuances further for fear that I might find myself  in a tea length dress with a sailor collar, forsaking my collection of lipsticks.

I would also miss my collection of tequila.

We browsed around, engaged with the group, talking merrily. Tess started having a spastic reaction to the fact that she found a pair of purple platform stilettos in a bin. They were pristine, these heels, showing no signs whatsoever of having been worn.

“These are a dollar! They’re my size!” Dance-dance-dance, squee-squee-squee. The incongruity of finding a pair of bright purple stripper heels in the middle of a half-dozen extremely conservative old-school women was not lost on us, but it wasn’t a huge surprise, either. We specialize in the incongruous, in the inexplicable and unlikely.  The laydehs were tickled at her delight, clapping and encouraging her to purchase something that they’d never in a million years wear themselves. We continued conversing and turned to the subject of our earlier difficulty in finding the trail head out of Chattanooga;  they assured Tess and me that we weren’t the only people that had problems with the directions that were posted on the internet. In fact, about eighty percent of their customers had.

Now, at times I express frustration with physicality. This used to mean a good face- or wall-punching, but I’ve upgraded to the class of anger that just means I go all flaily sometimes when I’m peeved about something whose ridiculousness can’t be encapsulated in words. Having healthy dollops of Irish and Italian running around in my veins doesn’t help this, either. I’m predisposed to gestures, you see.  So I started being flaily and Tess started getting tickled at me and of course flailing sometimes unlocks my verbiage so before you know it I was saying, “Well, that website sure didn’t know what the hell it was talking about…..”

Then I heard the screech of brakes in my brain and saw Tess stiffen ever so slightly.

WELL, JUST GREAT. I’ve let a swear word slip, totally betraying my polite raising. I’m obnoxious, but pretty respectful overall, and  I know how cusses –especially from females– are like a slap in the face in the Holiness community. And also there is the issue that,  while  it was only ‘hell’, my tongue is a  wily dipped-in-cusses thing and something like ‘Jesus, FUCK!’ is likely to come down the chute at any second and with no notice whatsoever. One can only imagine how such a monumental swear, said in the presence of  seven genteel, buttery-sweet Holiness Laydehs (and one twelve-year-old Holiness Laydeh in training)  might be received and/or dealt with.

(reader: please put on your swirly hat of vivid imagination; fire it up and let it go to work for the duration of this conversation)

“Dear, it is not nice to say ‘Jesus, FUCK!’ in polite company. Or in crass company, for that matter. Please accompany us to the backyard, where we will serve you warm cookies. Then we will shove you into the Specially Anointed Hole that we’ve dug for all Heatherns. Mkay?”

“What kind of cookies, ma’am?”

“Chocolate chip. With walnuts.”

“Well then: Mkay.” I’m not getting lured into any heathen-hole by something with raisins in it, der.

(you may now remove swirly hat of vivid imagination)

Two days later, it occurred to me how such incongruous shoes came to be in such self-consciously conservative hands. We were at the office when I shared my theory with Tess.

“Hey Tessa Rae, I reckon I know how those ladies came by those shoes.”

“Oh yeah?”

“What happened, see, is that some sixteen-year-old girl went shoe shopping without her momma in tow. Truckin’ down the mountain into the biggish city and all that.” Here Tess nodded and half-grinned, getting the gist of where I was heading with this.

“She wags home purple stripper heels, her doe eyes all starry, imagining how damn fancy and fine she looks in them. She dances them out for her momma, who inhales in the sharp, jangly way one does when their sensibilities have been backhanded with a fair deal of force. Momma’s face turns a shade that is complimentary to the offending shoes; she promptly forbids them.”

Tessa swept right in. “And those dang shoes go straight into the yardsale pile, to be snapped up by a Lesser Being at a later date.”

“Exactly right. Because if those shoes go back to the store? And the money goes back into pocketbook like nothing ever happened? Then what lesson will’ve been learned?”

We nodded sagely, agreeing with one another and with what must surely be the only scenario to a pair of brand-new, pristine-soled purple stripper pumps being procured for a buck from seven Holiness ladies high atop Mount Middle Of Nowhere.

There are a couple of morals to this story. One is that we may often get lost, but in the process of doing so we make great finds. Another is that Tess might just be a Lesser Being, but she’s the Lesser Being with amazing legs that end in fabulous, bargain-priced purple shoes.

 
|| July 25, 2010 || 12:18 am || Comments (2) ||

Confessions about this video:

! I would like, in the case of my demise,  this played on a loop somewhere in the funeral home. Yes, you read me right….fuck that typical gooey, sentimental photo montage of things like the Bad Shmullet Phase and The First Oreo To Have Obliterated Itself Against My Facemeat. Oh, and the visit to that unfortunate town where someone took those unfortunate photos in that unfortunate hotel. Whoops!

It’d be like I was Rickrolling everyone who showed up, but with the Sesame Street cast.

!! Bonus on the above if my demise (most probably untimely) was somehow alcohol-related, me being sent home to Jesus with tequila on my breath and this song on my lips. This has to be a winner as a drunksong. I mean, COME ON!

When I find I can’t remember
What comes after
“A” and before “C,”

Doesn’t that scream, ‘Welcome to my big drunk-drunkety drunkation of drunktacity. Please be seated and witness the gol-danged show, bitches!’ to you too?

!!! In the second verse, I always sing ‘big’ and ‘bad’ instead of ‘big’ and ‘bird’ because I maybe believe you have to speak your place into this world and then step into it. I gotta get back to you on this one.

!!!! I should be more careful about looking too hard at these lyrics. Some of them are somewhat creepy if you take even a moment to consider them:

Letter B, letter B, letter B, letter B.
My mother whispers “B” words,
Letter B.

Letter B, letter B, letter B, letter B.
My mother whispers “B” words,
Letter B.

In fact, upon further review, the third line to the second verse (‘Ball’ and ‘bat’ and ‘battery’)  looks like a masochist’s wet dream.

!!!!! Big Bird really gives me the heebs, sweet Muffinasses. Maybe that’s a wee part of the reason that I won’t sing ‘big’ and ‘bird’ . Well, that and just the act of singing ‘big’ and ‘bad’ (but not like that….when you sing it, you have to be all ‘big and bad’, one solid phrase) makes you feel a little more big and bad than you did before. Lord knows I’m all about empowerment.

 
|| December 15, 2000 || 10:57 pm || Comments (0) ||

Uhhh, hi.

Reading chum’s journal-thingy made me sad tonight. Made me really sad. I can’t really put my finger on why. If he reads this, I’m sure he’ll get it. He’s special like that—has the whole insight thing pretty down for someone so young. Mayhap that is why he is bored with his courtiers.*chumster, any thoughts on this??*

I really hope that I wasn’t one of the parties that he was referring to. I hope that he still likes my dance. Isn’t that sick and sad? It sounds that way on the surface, I suppose. You’ve got to look deeper, though. There are few people that I respect in a wholesome way/look up to. This cat has a great intellect and wit and seemingly possesses an affection for people that I could never muster. He tries to bury that light under the bushel of sarcasm, but it’s there and I for one can see it.

I haven’t been blogging as much lately. And certainly the content mostly blows now. Someone e-mailed me yesterday and said I seem ’subdued’. You know what, Will? You’re right. I do. Please allow me to explain in this very public of forums; and Jesus-please-us please let me put to rest the suggestion you had as to why. Good assumption, but one that is way off the mark.

I started this thing for me. You see, I hadn’t been devoting the time to any organized creative output beyond business-related stuff, and creativity for creativity’s sake is the most cathartic and rewarding kind. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad that I can get paid for something I enjoy, but sometimes it turns into a washout and you cut corners to get over just a tad bit more. Then it sort of taints your output and things aren’t so shiny and terrific anymore. ANYONE CATCHING THIS TRAIN OF THOUGHT, HUH???

So as I said/say/am saying, I started this for me and did it for me and was pleasantly surprised to find a had a small readership with a decent intellectual capacity. And don’t get me started on the fact that I discovered that I was not alone in some of my most out-there obloquies, opinions and thoughts.

I tend not even to scratch the surface out here. Some of you who know me and correspond with me know that. There are parts to all of us that remain only our own knowledge, even in the presence of those nearest and dearest to us. This is what defines one’s self. Obviously, as this is a public forum, (even though only barely public…) I don’t completely flay myself open or really even point to my exposed jugular. I have said it before and I shall say it again. PEOPLE WILL SUCK YOU MOTHERFUCKING DRY AND THEN WHINE AT YOU TEN YEARS’ WORTH OF SUNDAYS WHEN YOU CANNOT POSSIBLY GIVE THEM ANY FUCKING MORE. It’s true. You heard it here first. I write to amuse myself first and foremost, but I would be a lying-ass bitch to say it didn’t amuse me to amuse you. And you, and you. And you, over there in the corner…yes, YOU, ya little cutie.

I have so much to share. Or maybe reword that to say ’so much I could share’….but I dunno. I just don’t know.

I could swear up and down all day that “Oh, ya know, holidays….so effing busy and time-crazed…wah-WAH-wah, wuh, WUH-wuh, wuh. Not to mention blahblahdyblah-blah and such.” Bullshit, and I won’t pour it on you. I like most of you far too much to fake it.

When I wrote the piece regarding my cousin, I tapped into the most real me that there is. You all seemed to catch that. I got TONS of e-mail, even from people that I never had a clue existed: “….and you don’t know me, but I have been reading you for a while. I finally had to break down and let you know that you really get to me sometimes…”. Whaaaaaa? I have readers in motherfucking BELGIUM???

Scary.

So I back off. I shut down. Whoaaaaa, some distance, fellow commuters, please! I am contagious, okay???

Please don’t take this as I sign that I never want to hear from you people. Humanity just makes me nervous. Lots of people out there are unpredictable (don’t get me wrong, unpredictable is good at times) and atrociously, unforgivably stupid. I am quite pleased to know that people who come here, no matter how few, are intelligent and thoughtful and sincere and comically self-effacing. I like their input, be it commentary, suggestion or hapless sexual innuendo (just kidding about that last one, the air was just getting sorta heavy in here).

The long and the short of it is that I am growing, and I feel a time coming that I may just lay it all out there. It’s all been itching in the back of my brain for a few moons now and I am growing dissatisfied with all else.

SO, if you dare, if you care, hang around and sooner or later we’ll play scratch and sniff with my brain. Consider your dumbass self warned.

And oh yeah, fuck every last one of you. >:oD

 
|| December 8, 2000 || 4:59 pm || Comments (0) ||

It appears that I am just a hokey freak. I actually like Christmas. Granted, all the frenzy that surrounds it surpassed moronic and deviant long ago, but I still relish the holiday.

Just like everyone else, I am taxed by the forced festivity and comraderie it sometimes entails. It peeves me to no end that those heretics at Wal-Mart put up the Christmas aisles just shortly after the Halloween crap got set out (I could be wrong here, but I believe last year they DID wait until the first part of November). But I still get all blissed out at the very thought of this time of year.

Maybe it’s just the way that I approach it. Or maybe it’s the way that it was handled at my house as a child. It could be any number of things.

In this age of “everything, everywhere, rightfuckingNOW” I feel like it’s important, ESPECIALLY at Christmastime, to strip things down a bit. Take a breath. Simple ‘em up. It IS supposed to be about peace and goodwill and love and light, after all. How can you foster any of those if you start out the season with those day-after-Thanksgiving readysetgoscramble sales where everyone is out for blood and will mortgage the rights on their comfort and happiness just to find the perfect decoupage pin for Aunt Trudy? I mean really, come on now….

Ther were times when I was a kid that we had one another, a tree, some family-baked goods (done together, I might add) and a stocking filled with meager geegaws and trinkets for Christmas. These were some of the best of my LIFE. Are you with me, people?

Today’s kids seem so greedy and unhappy because we make them that way collectively with our run-around-like-wild-baboons mentality and overkill in the whole gift arena. My little family is not immune. My children have no less than six sets of grandparents, not including greats, and I have been gnashing my teeth and trying to rein in the older set from minute one the first of my brood popped out. “Today’s kids have TOO MUCH”, I tell them, “I want my kids to have something to look forward to every once in a while. I want to instill in them responsibility and drive.” This has been my battle cry for 8 years now and will continue to be. It’s not perfect yet, but they have all gotten better. They look around and see all the little shiteaters that the world is producing and they get my message, especially in light of the fact that a couple of those aforementioned shiteaters belong to my siblings.

In our home, we approach the holidays with equal mixtures of science and sentiment. We always go as a family to select a tree from the Christmas tree farm. ALWAYS. My husband gets it in the stand, I string the lights, we all decorate it together. We bake. We decorate what we bake. We do it TOGETHER. It’s not easy, we all have intense schedules that require shuffling around, but we do it. It’s simply important to us.

Each year, no matter how fat or meager our own pickings are, we stuff a box for someone not as fortunate as ourselves. Food, toys, clothes. Some years the box is more extravagant than others. I want my kids to be givers. I want them to know the satisfaction of sharing what they have. It’s funny, even as young as they are, they have the innate wisdom to select things for others that they themselves would like to receive.

On Christmas Eve, we exchange ornaments. There is only one rule…the ornament has to be a reflection of the person you give it to…regarding something they like, something they are or something that reminds you of them. When my children are ready to go out and make a place of their own in the world, they will have a full set of ornaments to hang on their Christmas tree if they desire to have one. More importantly, though, they will have symbols of family unity and affection and a tangible reminder of memorable times.

Also on Christmas Eve, we like to drive around looking at the lights that various people have put up. It’s quite interesting to see the way that a person is reflected in how they choose to display. On a baser level, there are yards and yards of pretty sparkly things suspended in the night air that aren’t there any other time of the year. It’s got a magical feel, and kids simply dig magic. Our bedtime story the night before Christmas comes from the new testament. My grandfather read of the birth of Christ to us each Christmas Eve when I was small. I do the same for my children; they need to know that hope exists and faith is important. It comforts and sustains when your ass is chewed and your belly is growling and your heart is heavy and your head is panicking. How you come by or practice or profess your faith is only the minor end of the spectrum–the process is not so important as the result. What better story for Christmas could there be? There was a gift given to the WHOLE WIDE WORLD, and it wasn’t wrapped all fancy or extravagant. It was quietly and hopefully given in the face of personal adversity on the players’ parts. Mock me as simplistic and foolish if you will, but that shit bowls me the fuck over. Thus, on Christmas Eve, we bake Jesus a birthday cake. So they don’t forget. So they know that this is a party that everyone-but-EVERYONE is invited to and allowed to share in. Yeah, my kids are kids and come Christmas Day they groove on the presents, but they also know what the whole gig is about.

On Christmas Day, they get three presents apiece from us. Brainwashing through symbolism. But it works…they know. Hell, if I could afford to rent three camels and three guys dressed in kingly finery to ride up in the front yard, don’t think I wouldn’t do it.

It may be a tad early, but I would like to wish each and every one of you a happy holiday, no matter how you choose to observe it. My wish for you is that the magic is not lost upon you and the sappiness washes you away, for this year and all to come.

Merry Christmas.

 
|| November 12, 2000 || 1:01 am || Comments (0) ||

I have decided to lob off my hair. ESPECIALLY in light of the fact that the going trend (as observed with regard to all the really “it” popsicle sticks in high fashion) is super-long, full locks.

After literally HOURS of perusal, I have decided to lob off my head instead. I mean, who in god’s name knew there was so much hair art hovering about out there, ESPECIALLY in the short genre??

And oh yeah, a really great big FUCK YOU to this place and their “Hey-you-ain’t-gonna-right-click-us-baby” bullshit. Hairstyle #1137 has been successfully transferred to my hard drive and Miss Judy will be using it as a template for my new ‘do on WEDNESDAY. Take THAT, bee-otch!

 
|| November 8, 2000 || 6:10 pm || Comments (0) ||

And the horrorscrape for today sayeth:

The Moon has entered your solar first house, making this an ideal day to get in touch with your feelings. If there are emotional issues you have been avoiding, confront them now. This will help you get over your fears and formulate exciting plans for the future. Otherwise, you will be doomed to continual re-enact the same old dramas.

I have no issues. I don’t even have a subscription. Fear?? What the hell is THAT? Light some more incense, oh kooky astrologer-person, you are a bit off-center today.