Friday, January 20, 2012

It's Funny What You Find When You Look

     Browsing through the countless files in my storage, most of them useless and unprecedentedly extraneous, I stumbled upon some gems (not the least of which were some very entertaining short stories I had been preserving, but I digress).  Apparently, I once had either an acute sympathy or massive intolerance for the younger generation of my sex and in a mood of tenderness or a fit of frustration (not sure which), I had written a few brief lines explaining things I thought they ought to know.  Fairly certain it stands incomplete, I'll share it anyway.  For nostalgia's sake, of course.

Letter to the Average Young Girl

     I was just like you.  I didn’t think so at the time, but I was just as normal as the rest of us.  This is for you.  Some of my experiences don’t apply to you, but what I learned from them is universal.  We all eventually learn the same things, but we have different teachers.  Try to listen to my voice as the fruit of experience.  I’m not going to tell you anything I haven’t found out myself.  
     There are things you can’t be told; some things only experience can teach you.  But don’t ever let that hold you back from learning as much as you can before you have to experience it.  Even the most wildly pleasurable rebellion ends in a brokenhearted bitterness.  And none of us are above making drastic mistakes.  The strongest of us will stand up, accept responsibility and the consequences, and learn from that mistake.  Let it be every girl’s goal to be one of those strongest.  The “if at first you don’t succeed” proverb is not overrated.  Apply it.
     We are never as “safe” as we think and we are always wrong about something.  Not everything, but some things.  (By the way, that doesn’t just apply to us; it applies to all human beings, so don’t feel like I’m labeling you as ignorant.)  This is what the true meaning of “open-mindedness” is.  Open-mindedness doesn’t mean accepting everything; it means giving thought to new ideas.  Some new ideas are wrong and should be rejected, but you had better make sure you’re right if you’re going to own an opinion.    
     Honey, don’t worry about boys.  Don’t go through the rigmaroles of conjuring up wishful thinking.  We’re romantics; you’re not in love with him.  You’re in love with love.  Be careful about giving away your heart.  It only takes once to show us how badly heartbreak really hurts.  Be the picky one; the one who’s hard to get.  It’s not a cheap trick; it’s a wise move.  Face it.  Most of the guys you know don’t fit.  (These guys make fabulous friends, though.)   It’s not about how hot or how sweet or how athletic or talented they are or even how smart they are or the fact that they like Skittles just as much as you do.  If you act like you and sound like you and are like you, compatibility will show itself in plain sight when it comes around.  And rule number one: don’t worry about it.  You’re too smart and too valuable and too special to be desperate.  We all absolutely love being loved by somebody, but it is so much more worth it to wait for a reliable, constant devotion than to squander so much sentiment on hormones.  
~ Chingy

Saturday, October 29, 2011


     Oo-kayyy..... we see how that worked out.  Suffice to say that learning things makes you invest time elsewhere.  And by elsewhere, I mean places other than your own blog.  I can tell you, though, that many things were learned, even if I didn't make you sit there and read about them.  (You should probably thank me.)
     In the process of reacquainting myself with this whole blogspot territory thing, I found (ta-da!) my stats.  One hundred seventy-seven views.  Not bad.  That's 77 more than the last time I was even around.  I get almost as much activity on my blog when it's inactive as I do when it's active.  Interesting...
     I know what you're thinking.  Don't even say it.  Don't break my heart like that.

     So what've I got to say? Oh... lots.  That's something I was never short of.  I'm keeping this particular update fairly brief.  Warming you back up; you know.  These things just tend to be giant letters to no one, so I have no idea why anybody reads them.  Maybe because I threaten to hurt people if they don't.  No, wait, just kidding.  I promise.  I think.

     Last thing: I went to somebody with this the other day, being moody and melancholy and kind of enjoying myself the whole time, and they called me crazy.  I need a second opinion.  Well, I mean, I always knew I was crazy; that's a given.  Aren't we all?  But anyway.

This house is too small.
I feel claustrophobic.
Too crowded.
I want out.

I should blog. (Ha! You are here. Feel special?)
I should study.
I should do something useful.
I should do something somebody cares about.

I should be someone worthy.
I should be more honest.
I should be more prudent.
I shouldn't be harrassing you like this.
I should be less selfish.
I should stop talking about myself.
I should stop talking to someone who doesn't listen.

I wish I knew everything.
How to act.
What to say.
What to do.
Where to go.
Whom to go to.
When to stop.
And why.

I wish I knew how to love somebody
In such a way that they feel loved.
I wish people could love with abandon.
Not care how foolish it could be.
Or how stupid it would make us look.
Because we really don't care
If we're the ones being loved.
Do we?

I wish we could be honest.
And say what's really on our minds.
And listen to each other
As we pour out our souls.
Make ourselves vulnerable to the people we trust
And let that trust not be betrayed.

I wish we had a perfect world.
But since I know we can't have one
Can we improvise?

Can we act and speak with honour in honesty?
Can we listen and react with understanding and humility?
Can we resign ourselves to the reality that none of us has it all
But that together 
We might?

Yeah yeah, don't judge me.  Yes, I know it's pretty ridiculous.  Yes, I know I'm a pathetic drama queen.  But yes, I was enjoying myself and now I get to live with all the consequences of broadcasting my musings all over everywhere.  Oh well.  Haters gonna hate?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Embarkment on a New Quest

     I…. have a plan.  And when I get a plan, that’s when you brace yourselves for something so intensely anticlimactic your great-grandchildren will feel the disappointment.

     The saying goes that you learn something new every day.  I'm out to prove this theory.  Or test it, rather.  Let’s see how much I actually learn on a daily basis.  I don’t care what it is I learn, how long or abstract the concept is, how I came by the information, or anything along those lines.  If I didn’t know it before, I learned it.  If I had an inkling of the idea before, it doesn’t count.  Old news.  The rules state that the new knowledge has to be just that: brand new information.  I don’t care if I have to look up Google’s little-known Fact of the Day.  At least it’s something.  Ninety days work for everyone?  It's a moderate length; it's doable.  So let’s go.

     This is so going to be harder than you think it will be.  But still, how can learning one thing a day be a chore?  We’ll find out, I guess.  God help me if I miss a day.

     And yes, unfortunately for all of you, I plan to share all my new-found intelligence here.  Partly to hold me accountable and partly because it will keep me pinned to a blogging schedule of sorts.  (Routine = gold.  But.  Routine also = boring most of the time.  Eh, life is a balance.)  Oh! And as long as I write my discoveries, I won’t be the only one learning stuff.  I’ll be sharing with all of you wonderful people who absolutely want to know everything I do, right? I knew you’d agree.  You guys are great.

     Okie dokie.  Day one.  That’s today.  Or yesterday, since it’s past midnight. (Yay.)  Suffice to say I stomped trigonometry.  Finally.  That concept took forever.  But now I get it, so it’s all good.  Whew.  I feel stupid, taking this long to grasp the thing, but… I guess the important thing is that I understand it in the end?  Sure.  I never claimed to be a math whiz.  Words are my niche.  Numbers are…. not.  Antilogarithms are tomorrow.  At least I actually like logarithms.  Here goes nothing.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Long Time No See (Special Edition)

Dear Reader,
     Due to a long string of unavoidable detentions, this account has been rendered inactive for the past while.  I hope this absence has not negatively affected you in any way and if it has, I am not willing to negotiate any form of compensation.  I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.  The end.

     There.  Now that the formalities are dealt with, I may ask, how are you?  Writhing in agony on the floor because… I haven’t written in so long?  Staring blankly at the barrel of a halfcocked pistol and contemplating pulling the trigger because… you missed me so much?  Awh, that’s so sweet.  Now stop it.  There are three kinds of people reading this.  The first kind is doing exactly what I just described; painfully facing the tempting reality of suicide for my sake.  (These people are as crazy as I am; follow their example at your own risk.)  The second kind is reading this and smiling to themselves, either shaking their heads at the notion that anyone would miss me or finding pleasure in my extraordinary sense of humour.  (… Really, if there are any people in that latter category, I will be astonished. I just put it in for my peace of mind.)  The third kind of person? Smirking at the screen and mocking my ineffective endeavours of making this at least mildly entertaining.  Rock on, you nameless Third Person.; rock on.

     Once again, I am on a train; this time headed the other way, but it’s a completely different trip this time.  Let’s just say I helped my grandparents move again for the second time in a year and drop the subject.
     And yes, those of you who are wondering, I have mostly been too lazy to post.  Yes, yes, I know.  Industry and fidelity.  Fidelity and industry.  I have failed you.  There’s a line between laziness and relaxation, it’s just really really grey sometimes.  Especially when you excuse yourself and make it grey.  We humans do that.  Reason with ourselves and weasel our way into making what should seem wrong seem right.  It’s hard to remember that morals are non-negotiable.  Somebody once said that “if the truth is relative, no one can lie”.  If the definition of injustice is flexible, no one can be wrong.  Now we can argue for days about what exactly dictates the moralistic principle, but we’re not going to get into that yet.  As far as this blog is concerned, the buck stops here.  (Okay, truthfully, I was looking for a place to use that phrase and maybe it didn’t fit perfectly, but I squeezed it in, so stop complaining.  I’m not forcing you to read this blog.  And those of you I am forcing had better just suck it up and like it because I said so.  I’m dictatorial like that.)

     Apparently, Microsoft does not consider the word “blog” to be a part of its vocabulary.  It is rather a crisis for me; I’m not used to seeing the curvy red line underneath words and not being able to reasonably fix it.  My inner (and outer) perfectionist is dissatisfied with anything less than what is considered kosher.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

"It Appears My Hypocrisy Knows No Bounds"

     A very wise, very important friend (yah, he paid me to write that; I’m easily bribed) opened my eyes to the source of all practical wisdom: western flicks.  One flick in particular.  Okay, one flick, period.  1993; Tombstone, complete with Kurt Russell.  I didn’t actually … you know, see the movie; I just read parts of the dialogue.  And this dialogue is something else.  Who knew cowpokes could be deep? (Uh-oh. Look out, ladies; just another item to add to the cowboys’ extensive list of attributes.  We always knew those guys were trouble.)
     “There is no normal life, Wyatt. There's just life.”
     “I spent my whole life not knowing what I want out of it, just chasing my tail. Now for the first time I know exactly what I want... and who... and that's the damnable misery of it.”
     “My darling, you've cast your gaze upon the quintessential frontier type. Note the lean silhouette. Eyes closed by the sun, yet sharp as a hawk. He has the look of both predator and prey.”
     “Yes, but there's just something about him. Something around the eyes, I don't know, reminds me of... me. No. I'm sure of it, I hate him.”
     Reckon the first one could get preached in high schools everywhere.  Wait, forget high schools.  Preach it to the world!  We’ve forgotten that there is no normal.  You roll with the punches and get back on your feet.  There will never be a time when we’re completely on top of it.  Take them as they come and take advantage of the moment right in front of you.  It’s one of the secrets to life.  What if we found pleasure what we were doing, the moment we were doing it?  We’d be in a perpetual state of quiet joy.  That, ladies and gentlemen, is called contentment.  (That was an interesting rabbit trail off the topic, now wasn’t it?  Hope you like the scenic route.)
     Ooo.  Number four strikes me right in the heart.  I can’t begin to describe how true that statement is.  How many times have you come across your worst qualities in someone else?  I find it constantly; there’s no escaping it.  I must have some pretty general faults.  (Yeah.  That’s a nice excuse.  I’ll take it.)  I think I see my flaws in other people?  Ha!  Just wait until I have children.  Good Lord.  The little munchkins will be running around my feet, mimicking my best qualities (what qualities? where?) and magnifying my worst ones, rubbing them in my face ever so sweetly like only children can.  This is why there’s so much pressure on parents to be perfect.  The kiddos take whatever unruliness they can latch onto and multiply times six.  
     Onward to a totally unrelated subject!  I coined a phrase; all by myself.  Nothing to live by, probably.  Who’d live by my advice anyway?  I just happen to think it’s true.  “Happiness is a choice, not a result.” There it is.  I tried to lead up to it, build some anticipation; but you know me all too well.  That doesn’t happen. 
     What do you think?  True? Or is it an outlandishly fabricated ideal that doesn’t meet philosophical standard?  In my opinion, perception is everything.  Perception and attitude.  The two most dynamically effective and influential aspects of a person.  And they’re both inherently linked.  Your attitude affects your perception, but what you see (and how you see it) shapes your mindset.  Just like when we look outside, our moods are so easily affected by the weather.  Approach the window with a carefree attitude, the day is great, you’re ready for some sun, the dog is ready for a game of Frisbee; lo and behold, it’s raining.  (Never fails.)  Awh, snap.  The bright outlook has fled out the window and is now drooping sadly in a mud puddle.  BUT!  You know better than to think it will always be raining.  The end of the world hasn’t come yet.  Also, since you know that it will, in fact, not be raining forever, that it will eventually stop, a happy person might as well like the rainy weather while they have it.  (This also ties directly to “you don’t know what you got ‘til it’s gone”, but that’s for another day.)
     Well, that was fun.  We should catch up more often, you and me, blog.  I enjoy your company.
     P.S. This looked a lot longer when I first wrote it at two in the morning.

Friday, April 29, 2011


     In the interest of saving time and effort, I decided to copy and paste an update I emailed to a friend.  (*gasp* I do … other things online besides blogging.  Maybe that’s why the blog only gets updated once in a blue moon.) The entire thing is fairly self-explanatory, so just sit back and enjoy yourselves as much as you can in this hideous example of novelty writing.

     I’m taking a not-so-needed break from logarithms and graphing and algebraic statements to rattle off a handful of words at you.  I’ve been trying to be a good girl, you know?  Doing what needs to be done, even though I don’t feel like it and making my mama happy and growing up and being everything I always said I would be.  The stuff I’ve been working at for the past five months.  Tell me: as one who’s probably been in this spot before, does it ever get to be second nature? or is it just like everything else in that it’s always a constant battle?  Because I’d really like there to be a niche somewhere down the road in which it will be simpler to adhere to industry.  
     Why is everything always a fight?  Everything you get, you have to want, or else you never touch it.  That’s laziness talking, right there.  There is a built-in measure of laziness, correct? But that’s no excuse.  You have to overcome it to make anything of yourself.  Since when do we stop work just because we don’t want to do it?  Who in history has ever gotten into the books with no effort? Besides Henry VIII, but that’s irrelevant.  
     So I’m going to stop complaining and say something remotely pleasant. 
     My grandparents have stuff on demand; very useful thing.  Good Will Hunting was good; Eat Pray Love was a horrific waste of time.  Hockey games went the way I wanted them to; Easter celebrations did not.  My family is so… diverse.  (Keeping the adjectives polite.)  So many stupid people in my family.   It’s awkward at times.  And then there’s the argument that my parents’ opinions aren’t sovereign, so I might have a flawed bias.  (Where’s the line between wise acceptance of advice and sidestepping a mere opinion?)  But.  Despite all the swarming discomfort, the holiday had its moments.  Those moments are embarrassing.  My grandmother says no one can make so many fart jokes as our family can.  That enough of a hint for you?  Regardless of the subject content, though, everybody was smiling (laughing) and enjoying everybody else’s company.  Eh, it’s the thought that counts, right?  Although I have my doubts about the thoughts that swarm around in some of their heads.
     I tutored my cousin ; helped him with his writing assignment.  Turns out, he had an introduction to a book critique due today and hadn’t even started.  Good grief, he hadn’t even read the book yet and most of what he had read, he didn’t remember.  We got an outline together.  He knows where he’s going now.  I told him to keep me updated.  I did have to teach him what “devout” meant.  Oy.  (I failed to mention before that he’s older than I am.  That might enlighten you as to why the “oy” was put there.)
     There’s too much food around the holidays, too.  I swear, after 4 days straight of eating whatever the heck I wanted is coming back to bite me.  I hear the sit-ups calling me; and the road.  But I need my bike fixed first.  
     Last night would have been the most perfect night to sleep outside.  The temperature couldn’t have been sweeter; the moon wasn’t too bright; the stars… But I didn’t do it.  Should have, but didn’t.  Maybe tonight.  
     My father said I was a “grown girl” Sunday morning and it’s kind of a big deal, but it probably shouldn’t be.  I never got the vibe from him before that he found me self-reliant and/or discerning.  Now I don’t know what think he thinks.  My job now is to prove myself to be both.  
     Somewhere in there, I started thinking of this as my blog, so if it sounds different, that might be why.  Not sure what happened.
     I’ll stop now.
     Like I said.  Self-explanatory.  Don’t knock the abrupt ending.  That was put there on purpose.  Perhaps following suit here wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Don't Stop Believin'

     Cue the cheesy introduction, saying something like “Well, here I am on an eastbound train, headed for P___.” (totally just did the old old-fashioned thing of leaving a monstrous blank after the first letter of the destination name.  Nobody does that anymore.  Interesting.)  I did say a train.  A preferred mode of transportation, for me.  I love the train; I always recommend it and what the heck am I doing? I promised there would be no commercials in this blog thing.  I’m going to adamantly stick to that rule.  Maybe.  (And the train stop at Durand is by far the most picturesque, in case anyone wants to know.)
     There’s a banner at one of the stops.  “Blue Water something something something-remotely-related-to-the-local-train-station’s 35th Anniversary; 1974-2009”  What?  2009.  Two-thousand. Nine.  Good grief.  Stuck in the past, are we?  Can’t get past that year, I guess.  Too many good memories? or did the marketing executives retire and leave unfinished business?  Do train stations of this size even have marketing execs?
     I have a tradition I started for myself that’s almost as cheesy as that intro up there.  Every time I know I’m headed for a train trip, I purposely incorporate Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” into my life for a day.  I think about it; I play it on my iPod… thing; I dance to it; I get it stuck in my head.  It’s not all that random an idea.  You got the lyrics (I have no idea what kind of copyright allowances or whatever I need to use this in here, but I’m going for it):

Just a small-town girl
Livin’ in a lonely world. (That’s me.)
She took the midnight train goin’ anywhere… (The train I typically take arrives at destination around 12 a.m.  Huh.  That works out.)

     Then you have the really ironic part:

Just a city boy
Born and raised in south Detroit.

What?  How’d they know my locale? I tell you, they wrote this song for me before I was even born.  *gasp!* It’s a sign.  Now the question is, is it a sign of good fortune or impending doom?  ….Only time will tell….
     The most colourful stop so far was F___ (oh, see? I did it again; now it looks like I'm swearing. Great).  And I don’t just say that because it primarily involved black people. Oh, snap; sorry.  African-American people.  A whole bunch of them got off the train.  Which really means nothing at all; I just noticed it.  That was the biggest group of people to get off the train at one time, too.  Which is also needless information that I felt like pointing out.  You know something else, though; that’s not quite so idle a fact, is that this particular city has been crowned with the title of “fifth most dangerous city in the United States”.  Ooo.  In a moment of true sincerity and compassion, I’d like to say I hope that ginormous group of African Americans gets home safely.
     At this stop, a man boarded. (Oh, big whoop; “a man boarded”.  Apologies; I couldn’t readily conjur up a better way to say it.)  He’s obviously a homeless man; or at the very least, down to the bottom of the barrel.  Tattered cap; big puffy coat, torn at a few spots along different seams, tufts of cotton poking through.  He carries a guitar; the string ends weren’t trimmed when they last got replaced, and they’re curling all over the place on the guitar head.  (Kind of a snazzy guitar, otherwise, though. Props to the dude.)  He didn’t make the car smell any better, I’ll give you that, but I have nothing against this guy.  A cheerful sort, seems like; makes eye contact.  (Eye contact is a hard thing to accomplish in environments like this.  On the other hand, eye contact with certain kinds of people can be trouble; I have learned that much.)
     The one thing about train travel is that once you get within 10 minutes of your destination, everything crawls.  The pace over the course of the trip isn’t all that bad, but it never seems to be quite fast enough for those 10 minutes.  The feeling is like that sensation you get when the Fooseball is steadily headed into your goal; it’s not fast at all, or slow, either, but it grudgingly revolves at just the right pace to go slow-mo in your head and drive you crazy.  Is it just me, or does that happen to other people, too?
One hour later…
     Okay, scratch everything I said about the guy.  He creeps me out.  You know what I said about “certain kinds of people”? He was a certain kind of people.  I swear, I will never learn.
     The train, against all odds, arrived early, despite being half an hour late picking us up.  An impressive job done by the conductor, I must say.  Even with a gaping hole in the schedule from the hold-up in F____.
     My ride, who also happens to be my grandfather, was on time; which is late, for a girl who showed up early.  (You follow?)
     Five minutes into it, and I already fear for my life.  The driver (afore-mentioned grandpapa) commences to throw himself against the horn; there are no other cars on this interstate.  Nothing.  An ant.  “Thought I saw an ant on the road.  I was wrong; I think it was an uncle.  It’s all good.”  Seriously.  This is the same man who jostles the minivan on an inch of ice at seven in the morning to “get the heater fluid moving through”.  By all reasoning, I should probably be dead, considering all the car trips I’ve sustained with him.
     Get home, settle in, unpack my suitcase into the dresser drawers (first time I’ve ever done that; unpacked my suitcase into the dresser drawers in a non-permanent residence); wait for the little sister to conk out; and turn totally bonkers because … I can.  I’ve been hearing a lot about this movie “Good Will Hunting”.  So.  I jumped.  I’m not entirely positive, but this may well be the first rated-R movie I’ve watched in my life.  Yay me, growing up and stuff.  Guess what?  The movie rocks.  I’m floored.  Well, so far, at least.  Love this guy.  He’s basically perfect, except, you know, for all the mouthy junk that he throws around.

“Free-weights, huh?”
“Yeah, big time.”
“How much you bench?”
“Two eighty five; what d’you bench?”
“…You paint that?”

     The guy’s a genius.  I think I’m in love, yo.
     This movie’s going to get me talking all slang now, and that would murder my “reputation,” so I’d better either shut up or stop watching, and there’s no way I’m gonna stop watching this thing, so ya’ll are gonna get left in the dust.  I’m such a mean blogger.  I love it.