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.