Tag Archives: childhood

On Books And Their Covers

The other day a friend of mine sent me a text saying she had been reading my blog and enjoying it. She mentioned, in particular, the post I did recently which featured my passport photo taken in highschool. Since she attended the same trip the photo was taken for she remarked that it reminded her of when we first became good friends, which made me smile.

Then she said that before we were friends she always thought that I thought I was “too cool for school”. This also made me smile, just not for the same reason.

I told her that I was pretty sure she was right about that. The more I thought about it the more I started to understand the purpose behind my chilly exterior of long ago. Then I realized that I probably still carried around that same demeanor depending on the situation which meant I couldn’t really blame it on the foolishness of youth.

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When I started my freshman year of highschool I had absolutely no friends. ZERO. I went from a public junior high where I had my safe little group of like-minded comrades to a Catholic prep school where 90% of the kids got a brand new car on their 17th birthday and where I had to muster up all the strength within me not to self-destruct when my mom would pick me up in her white ’89 Ford Bronco ala O.J. Simpson.

I was going through a very rebellious stage of my life. Within the year I had gone from being an only child, to a full-time sister/babysitter. My close-knit circle of friends and extracurricular activities became distant memories of a life that I once knew but had a hard time grasping onto now. I went from being a comfortable and somewhat well-adjusted youth to a melancholy shadow of my former self, thrust into a world of the torturous unknown.

I spent the first few months of school avoiding people, which meant steering clear of the cafeteria altogether. Instead I opted to spend lunch and any and all free periods I had in the library. Alone. In a corner. Reading something, ANYthing so as not to die of embarrassment for being the lamest of all the lame loser’s in all the land. I was embarrassed at how badly my life had spun out of control and there was very little in the way of safety or familiarity in anything to give me comfort.

I ended up becoming friends with a girl who I had spent most of junior high despising. I’m pretty sure the feeling was mutual though neither of us ever had the nerve to bring that up. We found solace in our outsider status and chose instead of being miserable alone to do it as a team. Together we smoked & drank and convinced ourselves that it was everyone ELSE who had the problem. That THEY were missing out for not knowing how cool WE were.

At the end of my freshman year, I was really no better off than I had been at the beginning. The one friend I made, moved away at the end of the school year when her dad got transferred. In retrospect it was the best thing that could have happened. Ours was the Paris Hilton/Nicole Richie (circa 2003) of friendships; less about being good friends than not wanting to admit how alone and desperate we would appear without the other.

The summer before sophomore year I turned over a new leaf.  I decided it was much less important to be aloof and unreachable and decided to make these changes on both the inside and out. I bleached my hair as blonde as it would let me and chose not to concern myself with the prospect of having or NOT having friends. This new attitude suited me very well and it didn’t take long before those who barely acknowledged my existence prior, started to actually pay me mind.

Although my outlook on life (and hair) had brightened a bit I really wasn’t any different from the person I had been before. I still refused to buy into the typical highschool bullshit; kissing the asses of some and snubbing others just because. It didn’t feel right and I knew my new-found “popularity” (in quotes because I was really by no means popular, just less wildly unpopular than I had been before) had little to do with anything but outward appearances so I continued to tread warily around those I hadn’t fully sussed out.

There is no doubt, due to this type of behavior, that I might have come across as a little rough around the edges initially. In fact, another friend of mine confided that before we became friends how she thought I looked as though I had “throwing knives for eyes” when we would pass each other in the hallway. Not entirely sure I know what that means but I’m thinking it’s not good. My personae became my bullet proof glass and the only way I knew to protect myself from the firing range of viciousness and cruelty that was a highschool hallway. Or gymnasium. Or cafeteria. Or parking lot.

Nowhere was safe.

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I still feel like that.

A lot.

Not as much as I did as an angst-ridden teen but most days I still find it hard to locate a place where I “fit”. I’m a homebody for good reason: it’s safe there. Home offers me comfort and solitude and it’s filled to the brim with the things that I love. Nothing at home makes baseless judgements about me or ridicules me behind my back for the way I talk or dress or think. My home welcomes me back inside everyday even when I leave it behind for hours or days at a time.

Home is the one place where I can put away the pretense, the mask, the look of indifference and just be me and whole again.

Whoever that is.

It’s not anyone’s fault but my own that I’ve been categorized as a bitch or mean or a loner at one time or another. There is a time and a place where all those monikers ring true. I’d like to think of myself as multi-faceted but if I do that probably means some of those facets are going to be less than desirable. Those who had the nerve to tell me how they perceived me are my friends for a reason. They saw a glimmering crack in my exterior and instead of kicking me aside they chipped away to find something unexpected, something they liked.

To those who did, I thank  you. I’d REALLY be a friendless loser if you hadn’t.

And to those who still read this blog despite the questionable content and lapses in comedic judgement, I thank you too.

Y’all are awesome and A-OK

in my book.

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Look What *I* Found! Friday: Passport (a.k.a. the embarrassing face of youth) Edition

We are embarking on yet another mini-trip this weekend. This time to Montreal! ‘sup *simultaneous headnod/eyebrow arch* Canada? 

It will be a first for me to cross over the US/Canadian border so I’m really psyched. In order to get our butts there legally I had to dig up my passport which hasn’t been used since I last left the country, some 10+ years ago when I visited Italy while a Junior in highschool.

I’m not even going to go into ALL the reasons why I dislike this photo other than the fact that the first thing that jumps out at me when I look at it is: that HAIR.

proof there is such a thing as being TOO blonde

I’m so excited I honestly cannot promise we’ll ever come back. Universal healthcare? Hockey? BEAVERS? Homeland to both Michael’s Cera and J. Fox?

See… Canada knows what’s up.

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Filed under (me), projects

The Quest for Perfection Only Leads to Despair

Growing up I longed to have green eyes like my grandmother. I thought by having green eyes I’d be just that much better: prettier, confident, more likeable. It’s not like I had a PROBLEM with brown eyes in general, just the fact that I had to have them. I wanted to be different and unordinary and in my immediate family filled with eyes of brown, their presence became my oppressor.  

In the 8th grade I wore a pair of disposable purple contacts for almost the entire school year. I wore them long after their life-span until they were yellowed and itchy. (There’s a really good reason they’re labeled as disposable.) I didn’t care though. I suffered through it because I wanted to be just that much closer to my idea of personal perfection.  

It was also around this time that I bought my first straightening iron. With that discovery I was taking great strides toward finding my “best” self. One without kinky-frizzy hair overtaking my head and face. Now I had the sleek and smooth strands that it seemed all the rest of the world had without struggle.  

i was making "sexy-face" in this picture which is WAY more embarrassment than i'm ready to deal with just yet...

I soon learned that all these methods of “improvement” were really just a means of trickery to hide my own self-loathing. For the moment I would feel better about myself because it was like I had duped mother nature: “Haha, bitch. Look at me now! I’m AWESOME! No thanks to you… ”  

living the lie

But contacts must come out at night (unless you want to peel them off your eyeballs the next morning) and at the slightest hint of humidity, even the most fastidiously flattened hair will curl when confronted with moisture. It’s physics. Or something…  

After years of fighting my ocular pigmentation and follicular genetics I decided to toss the lenses once and for all and chop off my hair. I no longer had to worry about spending hours on my tresses or what might happen to it if exposed to certain elements. Extra hold hairspray and Bed Head wax were my good friends and little, if anything, could permeate my super coif…  

giving the camera my best "jerk-face" and Ronald McDonald a run for his money

It wasn’t too long before I began to miss my long hair and all the hassle it had once caused me. Talk about indecisiveness. I just couldn’t figure out what it was that would make me happy with the way I looked. If it wasn’t my hair bothering me then it was my jiggly thighs, chunky arms, convex belly, excessive body hair, et al.  

I began to realize that something had to give. Since I was kind of stuck with my physical attributes no matter how much it des-troyed me to accept, it became clear that something had to be me. I had to start being happy with what I did have and not focus so much on the flaws.   

Isn’t it less plausible that “perfect” people are not without flaw themselves but rather that they refuse to let it ruin them? Food for thought…  

I know I’m not covering ground-breaking content by saying all this. I think most sane/living people have this revelation at one point or another otherwise they end up insane/dead. Since I’m not all that keen on joining the latter just yet, it became clear that I had to start thinking highly of myself* otherwise I couldn’t expect anyone else to.  

I mention all this because for most of my adulthood my “career” has existed in complete opposition with this theory.  

Instead of looking for change inside of myself I kept expecting each of my jobs to hold the answers to my professional pursuits. I never had a good idea of what it was I wanted to do when I “grew up”. I figured with enough time and effort put forth I could shape my job(s) into something that would last the test of time, make me happy and secure. Clearly, this never happened.  

I have never had a job that I wanted. I have only had work that I needed. For the last 5 years I have had 3 jobs all of which I have taken on out of sheer desperation. The need for money has always been the determining factor in seeking employment; my personal needs from a job have always taken a back burner because of this.  

It’s not that I think my story is all that different or all that much worse than anybody elses out there. We have all hated our jobs at one point or another. We have all faced workplace injustices and convinced ourselves that we deserve better than (because in my experience we usually do) what our jobs can offer us.  

The difference is this: I’m not playing second fiddle in my life anymore.  

When I started at my current job, 3 years ago, I was definitely bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I was eager to please and willing to take on ANYTHING that was up for grabs. It was never a means to be a show-off or better than anyone but to prove, mainly to myself, that I was a hard-working, fast-learner who would rather be busy at work than twiddling my thumbs, clockwatching and praying for day’s end.  

I won’t bore you with the specifics now since I’ve gone into quite elaborate detail about both my rise and fall from grace at work before. I will, however, say this: There was a time when I thought I could make my current job work for me. I envisioned an almost perfect future for myself and my family given the opportunities this job could afford me. I considered myself lucky for having a job that some people work towards and look forward to having their whole life.  

It didn’t take long for me to realize that my quest for “perfection” in a career path I hadn’t really wanted was only leading me to despair. I needed to be happy and if I couldn’t feel that way with what I was doing then I had to be the one to make the change because lord knows the job wasn’t going to just start getting better. I had to learn to accept imperfection from both life AND myself.  

It certainly hasn’t been easy but I’m not about to give up.  

It’s been incredibly hard for the über practical person I am to commit to taking such a risk. To embark upon a chapter full of the unknown has left me riddled with questions in search of answers:  

Q: What if I quit my job and then CAN’T just CANNOT find another job and I have to shuffle back with my tail between my legs begging for employment?  

A: That’s not going to happen because the fact of the matter is that job is NOT right for me. I’ve done my time there, worked my butt off and if it comes down to absolutely needing money I WILL find another job; full-time/part-time/whatever it takes. Even if it means I must take a considerable pay cut, as long as I am happily living in the moment and satisfied by my way of life then that’s all that matters.  

Q: What if I find myself completely unable to handle the prospects of self-employment/entrepreneurship and all the hardships/inconsistencies that are involved?  

A: Then I get myself another crappy corporate job somewhere else and hope it’s not as bad as the place I left behind except I can’t imagine ever being that desperate because I’d rather have sold off all my personal property and/or sell oranges by the freeway than go back to cube-hell. (15 internet points if you can correctly identify the origins of the probably imprecise, definitely pilfered orange quotes!!!)  

Q: What if I realize I’ve made a terrible mistake and the 9-5 corporate life really is for me?  

A: Not gonna happen. Not now, not never. Just, NO.  

I will never be perfect and, moreover, do not wish that for myself anymore. Perfection is boring, stagnant, tepid, flat and EASY. That’s right, the quest for perfection is a pursuit for the easy way out. It always has been for me, anyway. Looking perfect makes it easier to get by, you don’t have to use your intelligence or personality as much and that’s just sad. Working the perfect job is also easy because you will likely never feel the rush of a real challenge, the thrill of seeking out something new and unfamiliar.  

I’m not looking for that anymore. I’m looking to live the shit out of my life.  

Starting… NOW.  

So, if you’re looking for a hard-working, smart-mouthed, wannabe writer/blogger extraordinaire, cat obsessed, manic-depressive misanthrope… I’m totes your gal. 

*My definition of thinking highly of myself fluctuates often. One day thom could mean: I am the effin’ cat’s pajamas! I totally rock at life and I’m going to conquer the pants off of the UNIVERSE!!! Give it another day and thom sounds more like: At least I’m not the biggest heinous-faced loser on the planet. Probably…

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Who, (me)me?

I’m new to this whole meme thing but it really couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve been feeling highly uninspired and generally exhausted these past few weeks which, needless to say, has taken a major toll on my mind grapes…

Maybe you’re wondering:

What the hell IS a meme?

Don’t feel bad. I read this and I’m still not entirely sure.

No matter!

We are DOING this people.

Ok, so here’s the jizz on this one:

I was tagged in this meme by Jules over at Mean Girl Garage. She is sarcastic and snarky which, clearly? = AWESOME. She’s damn good at this whole blogging thing; she posts regularly (WHAT now?!), is highly entertaining AND entrepreneurial. She is a co-founder of Studio 30+ which is a home for 30-something (plus!) bloggers to come together, share ideas, bitch, moan, rant, rave and find other like-minded comrades in blog-land.

Basically Jules is the 3o+ age bloggers networking messiah.

A moment of silence in honor of Her Holy Presence, please…

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Memes have rules and here they are:

  • Thank the person who gave you the award.  My gratitude knows no bounds, mi’ lady…
  • Share 7 things about yourself.  ONLY seven?!   *sigh*   FINE.
  • Pass along the award to 15 bloggers who you think are fantastic.  Hmmm… This makes me feel funny. I could EASILY think of 15 worthy bloggers but since I’m more of a “doer” than a “delegater”, imma leave this one up to y’all. do you want to do this meme? AWE-SOME! you totally should…

Now, let’s get on with it…

1.  I can be very stubborn. Being this way can often be misconstrued as plain ol’ ignorance but I assure you it’s not the case. For instance: I know that technically, the proper name for the colorful fruity ice-creamy substance you might find in your grocer’s freezer is actually sherbet or sorbet, however I have never called it anything but sherBERT and I don’t plan on changing my ways anytime soon. Also, both (me) and the bee verbalize the abbreviation “vs.” so that it sounds like the word “verse” as opposed to the correct pronunciation of “versUS“. Is this a common thing? I’m not really sure, I just know that we both grew up in different areas and managed to carry-on with this incorrectitude into our adult lives. No plans on changing there either…

2.  I rarely wash my hair. At most my head hits water only twice a week, but usually just once. There are a couple of reasons for this:

  • I am lazy.
  • I have very thick curly/wavy hair that not only requires a LOT of maintenance to look decent but actually looks better with some head grease to weigh it down and keep that bitch in check.
  • I am lazy.

3.  As a kid, I was convinced that I was black. Well, at least somewhat. This idea was put in my head because of some of my physical dissimilarities with my family members. I was the only one in my immediate family with coarse/curly hair and DARK brown eyes. Also, I once saw a picture of Harry Belafonte in a magazine and mistook him for my paternal Grandfather. Now that I’ve shared this I think the only thing this proves is that I was a childhood racist.

4.  I used to think that I was  “selectively” ambidextrous but now I know there really is no such thing. What does exist is something called cross-dominance which Wikipedia explains as “a motor skill manifestation where a person favors one hand for some tasks and the other hand for others.” For me, this means that although I generally write with my right hand, I eat with my left. I also have much more control over the left side of my body when it comes to physical activities. Not that I’m much of a partaker in sports (UNDERSTATEMENT ALERT!) but I hold a bat/tennis racket in my left and swing a golf club from my left side exclusively. In any of those activities, my right side is kind of useless. I can only wink with my left eye and curl the left side of my lip (think Elvis). The two times I’ve ever gone snowboarding I was goofy-footed all the way. I actually can write with my left hand, just not as well:

 

5.  On a similar note: I also have extremely dexterous feet. Sort of like monkey feet. Beyond being able to pick up items with my toes, the bee is often astounded at my ability to splay them out and move and wiggle them with such range. I attribute this to my past as a dancer and, no, I do not mean “dancer” as in another word for “stripper”. That being said, I have no issues with exotic dancers or those who get naked for money (more power to ya) but anytime I mention my past as a “dancer” I usually get the ol’ arched eyebrow look followed by a “REALLY?!“. No. I have a hard enough time getting naked in front of a mirror so doing so in  front of strangers is not high on my list of priorities.

WARNING!!!

Pictures of feet to follow:

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got nuttin' but love for ya...

 

'cept this one's got a mean left hook...

ps - the littlest piggy has a FREAKISHLY small toenail. seriously, it's like practically invisible...

6.  Ok, I’m going to get pretty serious for a moment:

Like many people out there, I suffer from depression. I currently treat my disease with medication but for a long time I didn’t. There was a time, not too long ago, where I used self-harm to cope with my fractured mental state. I would cut and burn my skin to transfer the pain in my head to my body. I don’t say this to garner sympathy, I say it because it is a part of who I am and I truly wear my scars on my sleeves. I can’t hide most of them and I don’t really care to anymore anyway.

I actually wrote a whole blog post on this subject once but never published it. It’s not that I’m embarrassed or ashamed but I just know there is a stigma with these types of things, plus people I know who don’t know about all this read this blog and I didn’t want to freak anyone out. (there goes that) Anyway, it’s not a huge thing. It’s something I deal with on a day-to-day basis much like any other form of addiction. I’ll probably never NOT have thoughts of self-harm floating around in my head, it’s just that I deal with those urges differently now. Maybe I’ll finally publish that post one day. Maybe.

Now, back to it…

7.  I have pooped myself as an adult and it was not the result of being intoxicated. It was actually the result of needing to fart after eating baked beans. Without going into TOO much detail, I’ll just say that I ended up with what looked baked beans in my underwear after that incident. This was about a year ago.

Did you really think I was gonna do one of these things without mentioning a poop story?

PUH-LEEEEEESE…

I could have gone on and on and ON with this list but thank god there was a limit of 7 because I have a chronic case of verbal diarrhea most days and you folks have better things to do. I’m sure of it.

So, there you have it!

7 (mostly embarrassing) things about myself I’ve never shared in blog form before. Hopefully I haven’t alienated anyone with these admissions but in case I have you should know that I still love you…

and you can suck it.

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Don’t Put Marbles In Your Nose/Put Them In There/DO NOT PUT THEM IN THERE (or anything else for that matter)

I’ve always been a “different” kind of person. Words that have been used to describe me since as far back as I can remember include: weird, strange, eccentric, alternative, unique, quirky, DIFFERENT. And those are just the nicer ones.

I mention this because when I was much younger I decided that shoving fuzzy willows* up my nose would be a great idea because I liked how they felt.

There is no doubt that fuzzy willows are perhaps some of the most decadently soft and luxurious little suckers in all of existence. In fact, if someone was entrepreneurial enough, I’d bet that harvested willows could be turned into some seriously excellent fabric, potentially putting the fur industry out of business.

Think about it…

Now, picture this:

I am 3 years old.

At the time, we lived with my grandmother, and my Gramm, being my Gramm (and likely my direct link to eccentricities abound) had less of a house and more of a museum filled to the brim with various tchotchkes, antiques and oddities. One of those oddities was an old spittoon that held branches of fuzzy willows.

My mother is busy at the sink, finishing up the last few dishes before she has to jet off to work. I am all of 5 feet away curiously picking at the fuzzy roundness of the willow branch emerging from the brim of the spittoon when one after another after another AFTER ANOTHER find their way into my pint-sized self’s nostril. No sooner than the last of ’em have been shoved into my nose, my mom turns to find her 3-year-old looking something like this:

My mom has now entered into full panic-mode.

So here I am, 5 or more (nobody is really sure) fuzzy willows unceremoniously shoved into one nostril, my breathing is struggled and my complexion is spotty.

~momentary aside~

I was very inquisitive and somewhat independent as a child, frequently looking to push the boundaries of what was the norm or acceptable into something that what was straight up bizarre-nified. I went through a brief phase where I would only wear different shoes together. I can remember being in kindergarten and wearing 1 pink cowboy boot and 1 rubber soled canvas slip-on to school. Rubber soled so I could still participate in that day’s poor excuse for physical activity: jump roping. So while I perfected the one-legged double jump, I’m sure my biggest success was establishing myself forever more as a closeted extrovert.

I’m not entirely sure something like that even exists but I’m totally claiming its discovery as my own.

(except i can’t because i just googled “closeted extrovert” and found someone’s blog! check. it. out.)

So!

The closeted extrovert (according to my own definition) is someone who just lives to push the envelope but doesn’t want to be seen as overly “show-off-y” or “obnoxious”. Just sort of outer circle and mysterious/weird, strange, eccentric, alternative, unique, quirky, DIFFERENT. Apparently there is also something called a “clos-et extrovert” and that’s basically the exact opposite of what I’m talking about so let’s forget I even mentioned it…

~resuming~

My mom runs next door to get my uncle (because what the hell ELSE do you do in a situation like this?) and he looks at me and then looks at her and suggests I be seen by some medical professionals.

The next few hours are a blur of lab coats and arms holding down my tiny body to an exam table so I don’t squirm away while a GINORMOUS pair of tweezers infiltrates my nostril in the hopes of removing the fuzzy perpetrators before they lodge themselves too much farther inside my nasal cavity.

Thankfully, I was left physically unscathed by the whole incident and (probably) all willows were successfully removed from my head.

It was a highly traumatic event to say the least but I learned my lesson. If you’re going to put things up your nose make sure they are BIGGER than your nostril.

Like a tiny marshmallow.

Duh.

*i had to ammend the name of said item due to a large number of kiddie p()rn perverts finding my blog.

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On Uncertainty, Dark Revelations and Giving Thanks

I changed my mind.

The obscenely long post that I had in the works has been put on hold indefinitely. Mainly for the reason that it deals with my struggles with mental illness and the effects of having such a life. I think it’s a good story and one that needs to be told, it’s just not a pretty one. I’m also about to become neighbors with my in-laws and I don’t want word getting back to them about how whacked-out in the skull I really am. Let them find that out for themselves. I think they must have a clue since 2 years ago I had a full on anxiety attack while in church with the family on Christmas Eve and had to sneak out during Communion. THAT, my friends, is the best example I have to prove, not only the existence of, but the overwhelming power of Catholic guilt. It’s just that mine works backwards, instead of guilting me into church it guilts me right the fuck out of there. I know when I’ve overstayed my welcome.

Not writing and silently mourning our move was just the recipe needed to finally finish reading The Road. How’s that for an unintentional religious segue? If you’ve read The Road you know that it takes place in an end of days scenario, not all that farfetched considering our penchant for warring and eco-destruction . It’s a book that openly questions the existence of a god and depicts what remains of humanity when proven that there is none. Perpetually sick and starving nomads traverse the road in constant fear for their safety and ultimately their lives. Food is so scarce that I imagine every gulp of not-so-fresh water they drink must taste like a delicacy. The relationship between man and child in this story is so tender and heartbreaking and like a true southern gothic, the ending leaves you with tragic epiphany.

I finished the book with perfect timing, 1. because the movie comes out today, not that I’ll have a chance to see it for all of the current mania at hand in my life but DAY-um if Viggo Mortensen isn’t all sorts of badass and sexy no matter what he does especially when portraying a filthy vagabond and 2. because the story makes you thankful just for having clean air to breathe and a place to rest your head at night that isn’t a pile of dead leaves. Because this is a time of year where we reflect on all things we are thankful for, it just seemed fitting. So I’m making a list of my own including but not limited to the following people:

My exquisitely beautiful, kind-hearted and eccentric, Grandmother.

my gramm and her sister petitioning for peace while in their teens. wish youda known them when, dontcha?

She did more than her fair share of raising me in my younger days and without her influence I don’t know if I would have been exposed to a fraction of the diverse art, culture and music that I have been fortunate enough to experience thus far. Together we have travelled from Maine to Florida and every state in between. She took me on my first and only cruise to Mexico where I was seasick for 2 days (not her fault) and subsequently learned that Dramamine only works if you take it prior to puking. She accompanied me to New Orleans when I was 17, allowing me to seek out all things esoteric and taboo, feeling “grown up” for the first time. She funded my trip to Italy with my high school class so I could experience New Years 2000 in Rome. Musicals? Theatre? She’ll gladly buy the ticket so that you have a chance to experience a piece of magic unfold upon the stage. She taught me how to appreciate architecture and nature as well as finding beauty in the mundane. For her, I am so unbelievably thankful.

My always supportive, ever-loving, driven and fabulous, Mother.

I blame my mom for all my music obsessive-ness. If it hadn’t been for the power struggle between my mom’s choice of MTV and my desire for all Nickelodeon all the time during my formative years I would likely have never learned about Run DMC, Chrissie Hynde, Tom Petty and her all time favorite group, U2. I can remember waiting in a line for an entire day just to get tickets to see them play Philadelphia and I couldn’t have been more than 3 years old at the time. In the summer of ’88 we took a road trip to visit my mother’s sister who was living in Anaheim, CA to visit Disneyland and, oh yeah, to see U2 and Sting play the Amnesty International concert in LA. I can still remember my mom asking the woman at the ticket counter for earplugs for me. She gave us cotton balls. I didn’t need them, I fell asleep in my seat within moments. I was the best dressed kid thanks to my mom’s always original and innovative stylings. I rocked Betsey Johnson & Norma Kamali, leopard print sneakers and a denim duster littered with pin backs before it was en vogue. I thank you, mom, for opening my eyes and ears to all that is good in taste.

My brilliant, one of a kind, sweet natured and wildly talented, Sister.

Oh, how I love this girl. She is one of the coolest people I know, never ceasing to amaze me with her keen eye for detail and amazing ability to absorb everything that goes on around her. I only wish we weren’t so far apart in age. Nola is the sister I always wish I had while I was growing up. I  imagine us getting into all sorts of trouble together, crushing on the same boys, stealing each other’s clothes, spilling secrets late night from our shared bedroom, covering each other’s ass when we know we’re headed for trouble, going from overwhelming anger to  an outpouring of love for the other all within the span of a few hours. Nola is the artist I wish I was. She can sketch something in moments with such a special flare that it can be mistaken for no other. She has taught herself pieces for the piano just from hearing a few notes of a song. She also writes some of the most intricate and astounding fan fiction I have witnessed from the mind of a pre-teen. In short, she is truly amazing. I would not be the same without her in my life and for that I cannot be thankful enough.

And finally:

My handsome, hazel-eyed, best friend. The thoughtful and generous (to a fault), Mr. Bee.

To be brief, The Bee has been my saving grace on more occasions than I can count. He never fails to mention just how he feels for me and even if he’s not saying it, his actions always speak loud and clear. Through good times and bad, we have held onto the other knowing that there will always be light ahead if we have each other to lean on. Thanks be, for my Bee. I’m still not sure how I got this lucky so I’ll just leave it at that. I’m not in the business of questioning fate. At least not today.

Happy Turkey Day, y’all.

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I Got Nothin’

I’m working on this super huge post right now. I never intended it to be such a major deal but it’s been something I’ve been needing to write about sooooooooooooooooooo, this could take a while. While I’m working on this far-from-masterpiece I figured I couldn’t neglect all of the devoted (me) and the bee fans. 

Right.

In all seriousness, this blog has been more popular than ever as the last week has produced copious hits with searches for “james franco” and a “shirtless andy samberg”. I feel lucky to reap any of the benefits of this new and inexplicable trend which, btw, initially made me ask “Oh my god! Did they die?” Thankfully, no. So I thank all the “shirtless andy samberg” seeking fans. I am now a fan of YOU. For those who have stumbled here looking for beefcake and found a blogs-worth of pointless drivel I say to you 

“‘Why, hellooooo!” and

“I’m sorry…”

This past week of increased traffic did get me thinking a lot about this blog. I’ve also been doing a lot of reading of other people’s blogs, more so than usual, which may have something to do with the NaBloPoMo that I am sa-HOO not participating in because it will cause me to completely lose my shit at a time when I desperately need all my shit to be together. I figure I’ll push that off until next year, that and NaNoWriMo which, by the looks of this epic post I’ve got in the works, might be just the thing for a novel once I’m finished.

Back to the blogs I’ve been reading…

It has become CRYSTAL clear to me that there are people out there in blogland who write like, really really well. They are smart and witty, with perfectly appropriate funny bits thrown in the sauce, concise, thoughtful and above all interesting. Yeah. So this has been making me question my content and myself and my life and all sorts of things that shouldn’t be questioned when you are as emotionally unstable as I am and yes, probably always will be. Yes, it makes me want to be a better blogger and writer but the truth of the matter is that more than anything else, it makes me question if I even have what it takes to write more than the self-indulgent. Aaaaaaaaand, *sigh*.

But, enough with the sads, let’s share something, ja?

This is a piece from MTV past, a time when music videos were played in their entirety and where a video’s content served as inspiration to viewers, setting a standard for the art form. Or, maybe that’s just how I remember it… 

This video blew. my. mind. as a child of the 80’s. Since then, Tom Petty has forever been stationed as the first of many a musical crush and as the man who made Alice In Wonderland even creepier than Walt Disney ever could and that says a lot.

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Confessions of a Bad Friend

Yep, that’s me. Maybe “absentee” or “lame ass” friend would be more fitting since I don’t really think I’m a shitty friend per say, just not around very much to be much of a friend at all. I wasn’t always like this though. Let me start by discussing my first and oldest of friends. As only children, raised by single parents, we were born exactly 9 months apart and even lived together with our moms for a few years when we were about 5 or 6. We shared many a life experience together, one of the most significant being the earth-shattering news that we were about to be first time siblings to two little girls, born just 4 days apart. Earth-shattering being SUCH the appropriate term with reference to 13 year olds who are used to ruling the roost and going through just the teensy-est bit of the terrible teens. Together we waved goodbye to our only-child status and oh did many a bitter tear flow. We also learned the joys of having younger siblings together and now, 12+ years later, I have an amazing friend where I thought I would just have a little sister. This is the good news. The not so good news is that my oldest friend and I have not actually seen each other in about 7 years. The bad news is this is not the only instance I have of not seeing/talking to a friend for years at a clip.

I told you I was trouble.

steff-strumm

In a previous post I discussed my issues with the ol’ “Ring! Ring! Hello?” device. I’m not good with it. I rarely (if ever) pick it up to call people and when people call me I usually stare at the phone in terror like the voice at the other end is there to deliver a death sentence. All this is normal, right? Yeah, I thought so. That being said, add the fact I live about 50 miles away from the majority of my friends, socialization isn’t something I’m used to doing anymore. So when the opportunity arises to commiserate, I usually fall deep into an anxiety ridden despair, unsure of what to do, what to wear, how to behave. The last time I made the effort to drive the hour and a half to visit with some friends I was stuck on the NJ Turnpike for 4 HOURS, sitting in traffic because GUESS WHAT? there was an accident right before the exit I needed to get off at and SURPRISE! I was now trapped on the turnpike until I could make it to the next exit just 7 miles down the road. That’s right, 4 hours = 7 miles and after all that I was really no closer to seeing my friends who would likely be wrapping things up right about the time I would be arriving. That may have been more of a sign that I need to check the traffic report before leaving the house for long trips than a sign that I am not supposed to have friends, but nonetheless I have not seen that group of friends since.

eustace girls

So here I am, back to explain why I’ve written this post in the first place. Over the years I have seen many a friend come and go. There have been lots of reasons for the loss of connection. Growing apart, moving away, and my personal favorite: learning you never really liked the person very much to begin with. Ouch. Sometimes the truth, it hurts. How can you know if you really like someone unless you get to know them, right? More than anything I attribute it to basic growing up. Maybe you find a significant other or a passion through a meaningful career or hobby and well, we all have to be a little selfish from time to time. I just fear I may have become too much so, and more than a little self involved, forgetting to do the simplest things like checking in with a friend, just because. I will admit I am much MUCH better with communication via, email or letter, but unless I’m looking to have a bunch of pen pals, it’s really no way to conduct a friendship. It’s not that I don’t think of my friends often, I think about them all the time, which is actually a part of the reason why I shy away from making the phone call. When I think of a friend, and then I think about the last time I saw or spoke to them and I have to count the months, or worse, YEARS since contact, I begin to feel more than a little ashamed. What if this person wants nothing to do with me anymore? Have they written me off like a bad day at the racetrack? Maybe they have already moved on and I will just humiliate myself by attempting to reach out to them again after all this time? REMINDER: My mind is a vast abyss of self criticism.

Now I know I’m not the worst friend in the world. Not by a lot really, but that still does not help me shake the thought that I could have, should have been, so many times, much much more of one. I’m trying to start a new chapter on my life. The pieces are slowly falling into place in all the different areas, but this is a major rift that has needed some serious repair for quite some time. Ima get there.

 

This one goes out to my friends. You know who you are…

 

I’m sorry I wasn’t there more

Just know it doesn’t mean I didn’t care

I know things have changed for me and for you

 

When I didn’t call, or write, or show

It was nothing you did, the fault was my own

I guess I couldn’t face anything at all

 

I’d like to make amends and become a better friend

I’d like to hope that I’m not too late

But maybe I am

 

There’s no changing what’s happened

Or the time we’ve spent apart

The absence hasn’t made me forget

 

I can only speak for myself here

I can’t live with regret

Just know, that to me, we will always be friends

shann-steff

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