January 8, 2015

idears

Where do ideas come from? I've been struggling with that lately. Being forced to take a hiatus from school spring semester because the one class I need to graduate is either full or during my work hours, I plan to do a lot of reading and... well... hopefully some kind of writing.

That IS what I'm going back to school for, right?

I've read all the articles on the quirky habits of nonesuch writers, their superstitions and rituals and all that. I've read On Writing like a good little noob. I've read autobiographies stacked higher than I am tall. I've taken literature and writing classes out the ass.

It just seems like, of late, the ideas just aren't reaching the worm who lives in my ear. He's wriggling and wriggling, listening ever so intently to the business of being human, munching on my thoughts, playing on my fears like a cherub's harp, tricking me into believing I just might be on the cusp of someth----- and then nothing.

It's all very frustrating. I am supposed to be writing. I have myriad unfinished books (the 50,000 to 70,000 word kind), all of which need a massive overhaul. I have a trove of starts, endings, characters, paragraphs, and whispers of ideas, but I haven't yet alighted on The One. The Story. The tale I want to spin and how I want it spun.

A creative slump maybe?
Too much thinking and talking.... not enough listening and analyzing.
Not enough internalization.
As though I'm missing a couple of corner pieces in my brain puzzle.

I think I might need a quirk. A superstition. A ritual.
Well, shit. I have plenty of quirks. The entirety of star dust that makes up the me inside the me is one big, fat quirk.

The worm who lives in my ear is a quirk. Everyone needs someone to throw under the bus when shit hits the fan, right? And someone needs to absorb the credit for a job well done when you'd rather remain uncredited. I just happen to  have a worm who lives in my ear who is willing to shoulder those responsibilities.

Shall I write a story about TWHOLIME? He's been with me since day one, back when I was just wee, scratching out my first strokes of brilliance with a crayon or a fat kindergarten pencil. It was all usually mean stuff. You know, kind of like I am now. No different. I didn't like most people back then, either. So, I'd write little quips about this teacher or that teacher, this dumb kid I didn't like or whatever parental inconvenience pulled my string on any given day. After receiving some especially disturbing feedback from a teacher or two, I finally learned the art of subtle satire, black humor, underhanded insults, and became quite adept at the art of bullshitting the bullshitter.

So, clearly I've got a lot going for me. The ball's in my court and at the end of the day, if I use one more idiom I'm going to shoot myself in the face.

Fine. I'm just going to put on some music, close my eyes, and meditate until my fingers start to move. You know, go all De I'intelligence style and shit.

I'll let you know how it goes :) 

November 18, 2014

Oh, Kirk!

Two posts in two days, huh? I guess I found my words again.....

I was hangin' out on Fandango the other day buying tickets for Chris and me to see Interstellar (which was fucking fantastic by the way) when I came across this little gem of movie magic:



I actually had to blink twice to make sure I was really seeing what I was really seeing. Then came the intemperate laughter mixed with tears. Then came the questions. So many questions! Where do I start?

1. The title- It's quite ambiguous, isn't it? What I want to know is whether it is a conjunction or a possessive noun. No, really. It makes a difference. A HUGE difference. If it's a possessive noun, that simply means the movie belongs to Kirk Cameron. If it's a conjunction, that ramps up the hilarity to dizzying heights. That means that Kirk Cameron IS saving Christmas. If he wanted us to all know that he is the star of the movie, he could have said Kirk Cameron IN Saving Christmas.... OR.... Saving Christmas STARRING Kirk Cameron. Clearly,with the world in the crook of his arm while threatening to bash our skulls in with a candy cane, Kirk Cameron is going to be the one doing the saving. And he by god wants us to know it!

2. By whose authority is he going about this feat? Has the Pope beatified him in the name of the lord Jesus christ to save his birthday from corporate heathens or the evil Happy Holidayers? Does he think starring in a second-rate 80s sit-com gives him heavenly blessings with which to overpower all those who've not purchased his Way of the Master books and CDs? I'd like to know.

3. Has he bothered asking anyone, anyone at all, whether or not we even WANT Christmas to be saved? Is he just taking it upon himself to speak for all us? Or even worse, is this going to involve him coming to my house? Or your house? I mean, how else will he accomplish this feat without the Santa Claus powers of worldwide speed-of-light travel to ensure we're all doing Christmas right?

4. Or WORSE! Is he going to MURDER SANTA?  When it comes down to it, that really is the only way to "save Christmas." Kirk Cameron must murder Santa Claus, proselytize the Way of the Master upon every mall Santa throne, and launch an all-out jihad against the global economy.

It is now my professional opinion that our government MUST include Kirk Cameron in the FBI's most wanted list of domestic terrorists.  For the sake of our children. For the sake of Christmas tree farms everywhere. For the sake of capitalism, Christmas parades, Black Friday, campy lawn decor, neon pink fake Christmas trees, and the visions of sugar-plums dancing in the heads of our precious babes, we MUST take a stand against this atrocity!

I just really hope that no bananas are involved. Please, let's just leave the innocent bananas out of this, can we?

November 17, 2014

Long Awaited

A little over 20 years ago, someone told me that the only reason a soldier would want to get married so young was for the free sex and maid service.

I was "better" than him, I was told. 

I should marry someone more successful (A husband's success also belongs to the wife, apparently.), I was told.

Why do you think you love him? I was asked.

Why do you have to get married right now? I was interrogated.

At the time, I was just a kid. I didn't have the answers to those questions. I just sat quietly and listened to the ranting, and then promptly slammed the phone down.

And then I married that soldier. And lemme tell ya, the free sex is FANTASTIC. I fail to see a problem here.

The maid service? Well, considering he's the only one in the house who knows how to use the steam cleaner, let's just say I fail miserably in that duty. My poor Andrew was relegated to dish duty as soon as he was tall enough to reach the sink. I've not washed a single article of teenage clothing in over a year. Chris neatly folds and separates his UNDERWEAR and socks and rolls his t-shirts so that you can see perfectly which shirt you are choosing. My chest of drawers? It's like reaching into a magical box and getting a surprise every day!

I don't cook. Instead, I sent my other kid to culinary school.

Without question, my loser of a husband has been carrying me since the day we met. And looking back on it now, my 17-year-old self can answer those questions that I frankly thought were none of this person's fucking business to begin with.

1) I did marry someone successful. No, he was not a first sergeant with 20 years in the Army and a chest full of fruit salad bling to go with it when I married him. He was an 18-year-old little green Joe straight out of boot camp with nothing on his class As but single sad little chevron. But he was a success long before that. He succeeded in keeping me safe in situations where my own well-being was not my concern. He succeeded in never EVER raising his voice or his fist toward me. He succeeded in raising two boys to adulthood who still actually love, respect him, and want to be around him. He succeeded in being in love with me, and keeping his wife in love with him, for the past 20 years.

2) My choice of the date of our wedding was out of convenience. No more and no less. He had a short amount of time between basic training and his first duty station. Your fucking grieving process meant, and continues to mean, nothing to me. That is your business. The world will not stop for you.

3) Yes, love can wait. But WHY? If we'd let love wait, I wouldn't have the amazing children I have now. I wouldn't have the amazing experiences of living overseas, the heartache and elation of watching my husband go to war and return home safely, the benefit of all the mistakes and lessons I've learned along the way, retirement at 37, a house at the beach, and 20 years to build a life where I have had so many free choices and advantages at an age when a lot of families are just beginning. I've had the opportunity to spend the past 20 years with my best friend. In the superficial realm, had I waited, I would have been in juvenile detention. I would have been in jail. I would have overdosed. Because of, among other things, YOU.

4) The one thing I can thank you for is showing me exactly the kind of human being I never wanted to become. Overcoming the demon that was you gave me the strength to take a path you were too cowardly to travel. You taught me to stand up for myself regardless of the size, incompetence, and frenzy of my berserker.

For the record:
1) I never feared you. I laughed at you. I played you. You're goddamned right. I was a master manipulator. I learned from the best, who obviously wasn't sharp enough to realize he was losing at his own game.
2) Our mother tried with every ounce of her resolve to protect us from every foul thought she had of you, even to the point of forcing me, against my raging, screaming will, to go anywhere with you. She did not instill fear. You did. The opinions my sisters and I had were our own, opinions you created with your own pathetic existence.

You once said, "the worst thing you can do to someone is not hate them, but ignore them." So, after reading this, don't say I never gave you anything.

Now go fuck yourself.  

September 7, 2014

Onion

Super early for one as me to be up on a Sunday morning. Accounting for the fact that I wake up every morning at 3 or so on the weekdays, I usually sleep in a little more on the weekends.

But now I'm up.

And I had this dream. It was a couple days ago. I've been remembering my dreams a lot lately, which is bizarre, because I never do. EVER. Except when I was a kid and had sleep paralysis. Hell, I remember those dreams to this very day. And sleep paralysis ain't the half of it. I still get it when I'm super stressed, but I also sleepwalk, sleep-eat (haven't in a while), and talk in my sleep. Which is what brings me here this morning. I just woke myself up talking in my sleep. But it's not tonight's dream I'm talking about. This dream was 3 days ago.

My parents, the boys, Sarge, and I took a vacation to Seoul.

The boys wanted to go exploring out on their own, so we told them that was fine and that we could meet up at the corner of such-and-much where the silkworm street vendor was in about 3 hours or so.

"Just be mindful of the street signs of have a metro map with you, okay?"

"Yes ma'am."

"And stick together, okay?'

"Yes moooooooom!"

And off they went.

Well, went it came time to meet up at the silkworm vendor and the boys aren't there. So, I start getting a little worried and decided to call them. But I forgot my phone. So I asked to use my mother's. Sure.

And she hands me an onion.

"What's the sam hell is this?"

"Oh, it's a phone. Just reg'lar. Look, all you do is take your fingernail and peel a little bit of the skin off it til you see the shiny part, then you talk into it. Ya know, tell it who to call.

Skeptical, I began peeling the onion with my fingernail, and once I got to the shiny part, I said,

"Call Jake."

And dagnabit, if that som'a'bitch didn't start ringing.

Soon enough, I hear "Mom, mom! Is that you? I just got hit by car. Andrew's okay, but the driver, he ran away and now I'm laying in the street! What do I do Mom?"

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And then I woke up.

Pretty fucked up, yeah?



August 11, 2014

Dead Poet, Fisher King

You never know the demons one battles
by the face they show
or the light they glow.
The sad ones.
The panicked ones.
The lost and hopeless and darkest ones-
The ones hardest to find.
The twists and caves,
the trickster’s waves,
the labyrinth of the slyest mind.
Evolved to think and feel and learn.
to build and let the passion burn.
Evolved to hide and smile away
the toll of funk they cannot pay.
Each day you step outside your door
Feel the suchness of the ground
of wind or rain
of scent and sound
of sweetness in clothed pain.
Yet trusting in the bodhi when you look in human eyes
shall be the death of all
if you cannot disrobe the man
and see his pain before the fall.