Tag Archives: life/death

It’s My Party…

Today marks the 2 year anniversary of this blog.

Yay!

It also happens to be the day that my most favorite of favorites, my stylized songbird and muse, Ms. Amy Winehouse has died.*

*sigh*

Amy was my Elvis. She was my Madonna. She was my living Jeff Buckley because upon first hearing them both I can remember thinking things would never be the same for me and music. Now I can only hope that she and Jeff are somewhere making some other world happy with their sounds because this one has officially been deprived.

I was a little too young to have felt the direct impact when Kurt Cobain died but I liken the feeling I have is similar to the one all his fans felt when they knew he was gone for good. No more music, no more stories, no more knowing that even if they never performed or made an album ever again, that at least they were out there having a life and being their own unique artist and individual just by being alive.

I tried to explain to the bee how I felt, but mainly I just felt stupid. A 28 year old girl, woman, person whatever, feeling shaken and dispossessed by the loss of someone I had a connection to only in my mind.

I half-jokingly referred to my sadness over her abrupt loss as a state of “EverMourn”. As though I would forever be mourning the loss of her. He laughed and said maybe a better name for my situation was to refer to it as “MournHouse”.

Funny, appropriate, and yet just… *deep breath and… SIGH*

So that’s it. It’s my party and I could cry if I wanted but instead I think I’d rather just remember her as she was meant to be and never, ever, ever forget how amazing it was for the short time we had.

artwork by Reece Ward

*If you’re seeing this in your RSS reader or email or whatever thingy or device you use to view infrequently updated websites and you’re thinking “Hmmmm, this news is old…” Congratulations! You would be right. No, I haven’t been living under a rock for the past month, I’m just really really inconsistent when it comes to blogging anymore and generally lazy and wayward. I felt like publishing this now, so I did. My apologies. That is all.

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Allie is Awesome

If you read the post before this one you know about my recent unravelling due to our weekend power outage, etc. I am not even going to pretend that losing electricity was the only thing that caused my mind to rapidly degenerate, because truth be told, most days it takes a LOT less than that to stir my crazy. 

For instance! 

This past friday, I had what I would consider, a fairly extreme melt down after I couldn’t get in touch with the bee during his lunch hour. 

Let me preface this with saying that the bee and I talk EVERY SINGLE DAY during his lunch, without fail, even if it’s just for 2 seconds so I can scream into the mouthpiece “CAN’T TALK NOW! BUSY! PS – YOU SMELL! BYE!”. 

So on this particular day, his lunch hour approached and when 15 minutes into it, I still hadn’t gotten the call, I started to get nervous. 

At this point, I am still fairly rational, so I decide to call him and see what the hold up is. 

No answer. 

Ok, no problem. I’ll just get back to work and keep occupied as best I can so as not to allow my brain to start thinking the worst like it automatically does no matter what other reasonable explanations may exist for his absence. 

At around half past the hour, I am really starting to lose it. 

I have now convinced myself that the bee has perished in a violent car crash due to the rain that started mid-day and his now lifeless body is partially submerged in a ditch just inches from his useless cell phone that won’t stop playing the theme song to The Office because I’ve gone fully mental and all I can seem to do is hit the redial button. HALP! I is going KA-RAAAAAAAAAAZY!

After sending numerous frantic text messages pleading with him to just “please call me because I’m really starting to get worried” and “if you’re alive, respond already DAMMIT!” and finally “you don’t have my permission to die!” 

I went from looking like this: 

hmmm, that's strange...

to this: 

fully losing it

About 10 minutes later this happened: 

slack jawed & rocking

It was the bee. He left his phone at work! Not deads!!! 

HAPPY DAY!!! 

Except the damage had already been done and I was still pretty worked up from envisioning horrible death-type scenarios. 

Next, I started pouring over older posts on Hyperbole and a Half because Allie is riDONKulously funny and I figured this might snap me back to normal. It was starting to work but like any truly desperate soul who needs the immediacy of her sanity returned like YESTERDAY I decided I should just write Allie because she’s super cool and totally non-phobic of emails from deranged strangers. 

Also, I really wanted my own MS Paint monster. 

And guess what?! 

Allie emailed me back because she’s made of awesome/felt bad that I was a crazy lady. 

And guess what else?!!! 

I GOTS ONE!!! 

my cheer-up monster made by Allie

So the moral of this story is: 

If you’re feeling less than “all there” and even the voice of your very much not-dead fiance’ does not curb your crazy, then you should really go read this blog because it’s great and Allie is awesome and she might make you an MS Paint drawing of a monster if you prove via email that you are emotionally unstable. 

Or just because she’s awesome. 

The End.

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Boy OH Boy

Well, we did it. Mostly. The majority of our things are still sitting in a truck which is itself under about a foot of snow but for now we are making due with considerably less than we are accustomed to. I can’t say the transition has been the easiest but at least we are out of our apartment once and for all. In the spirit of giving I have decided, once we can dig the remainder of our belongings out of the snow, that I am going to donate a TON of stuff to Goodwill; i.e. kitchen table/chairs, dining ware, CLOTHES CLOTHES CLOTHES, shoes, etc. If anybody wants/needs anything speak now or forever hold your peace because I have more than I know what to do with and my New Year’s Resolution is to SIM-PLI-FY. I always thought I had been such a minimalist but this move has taught me something else about myself, which is: I am more like my pack-rat family than I had ever wanted to admit or thought possible.

Though I’m sure my presence missing from the blog world last week didn’t hit many (or any) radars, my reasons were pretty solid. I was in the process of moving AND losing my mind. I have since found most of it but I’ll have to ask you to excuse the mess for just awhile more because this week is Christmas and it couldn’t be coming at a worse time. Ok, maybe we picked the worst time possible to move and it’s not the fault of Christmas but you know what? I’m pushing the blame here.

Oh and SERIOUSLY, Brittany Murphy died?! WHAT. THEE. EFF? I am in fucking shock, even though I’m pretty sure she was all kinds of a mess and being fed all sorts of pills by her wack-job skeezer husband but SERIOUSLY? I’ve been waiting for her comeback from obscurity for a few years now. This brings major sads. Now I’m reading that Amy Winehouse is supposedly re-engaged to her douche nugget ex-husband. What a fool. I pray she hasn’t really sealed her fate this time.

It was a regular day-before-the-official-start-of-winter wonderland around here yesterday and we took a bunch of really cool snow shots but, of course, our computer is one of those many items which we have yet to retrieve so I have limited access to all my tech gadgets and gizmos.

That being said:

Pictures to follow.

Some day.

Hopefully soon.

No promises.

I’ll be lucky if I can find clothes enough to dress myself for this week.

So there…

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A Post-Apocalyptic Ponderance

Last week officially ended my Infinite Summer. Since June 21st I have been on a journey through the most epic novel I have ever read and the definitive work of one David Foster Wallace. I say with much chagrin that DFW was not on my literate radar until after his untimely passing on 12 September 2008. I remember reading an article in Rolling Stone a few weeks after his death, providing insight to the man and his misery. I couldn’t put it down. I wanted to read everything he had ever written right then and there. The attraction to his work likely stems from my ability to empathize with a man who seemed so tortured by himself and the inner workings of his mind.  I’ve always been attracted to the dark and tragic, not as a means to be overtly morose, but as a way to make peace with the inevitability of death and hold onto those I’ve lost. Those I wished I could have saved, maybe because I’m always trying to save myself, from myself.

I read Infinite Jest for the better part of 3 months and it really got me thinking about the man who wrote this tome. This is a book that took DFW literally YEARS to write. It’s really not all that surprising considering the finished product is 1,075 pages, including almost 100 pages of end notes. The book is heavy. Literally – yes, but the true implication is in the figurative weight of this meaty monster. I have been toting it around with me to and from work, vacation, and anywhere else I think I may be able to sneak in a few precious minutes of often the most verbose, and borderline unreadable, text I have ever grappled with. I wish I could say my journey through this massive thing and all its foreign terminology and references has made me smarter. Maybe it has without my fully realizing it but beyond that I know it’s made me want to be smarter if only to understand the man behind the words a little better. I would love to re-read this book 10 years from now, using the knowledge I’ve managed to collect between now and then to see how, and if, the text has changed for me. It’s extremely intimidating to try to live up to the sheer genius that was the mind of DFW. There is no doubt he was an exceptionally special individual with an intelligence most would work their whole lives to achieve and yet still never compare.

Perhaps these praises lie on the fanatical edge and they may be just that. Who hasn’t found themselves in complete and total awe of those who are truly brilliant, changing the way you think and feel about things sometimes just with their mere existence? DFW is one of those people. Reading Infinite Jest was like picking up a book for the very first time. He challenged almost everything I had understood to be “standard” in the way of a narrative story. He challenged it, kicked its ass and then left this bloody mess on the doorstep of the world. The real agenda behind writing about my quest, “my relationship” with this novel as I have often referred to it as, was the need to understand how such brilliance, such dynamic uniqueness and beauty in written form could decide to end their own quest with life. I understand the want to simply disappear, to cease to be, to just stop, but as evidenced by these words currently transferring from my keyboard to screen, I’ve never been driven to the moment of no return. Once I had a better idea of the person that DFW was, I couldn’t help but envision that he, like many other “tortured” artists, began to lose sense of who he was along the way. Maybe the difficultly lies in finding  a steady bridge to cross, connecting the artist as a person who requires privacy and a “normal life” to the artist as a creator of entertainment and joy for others?

DFW’s all too soon departure brought to mind similar stories of self destruction which led to the untimely demise of two other pop culture figureheads. Kurt Cobain and Elliott Smith were both highly influential musicians, stylistically different but undeniably linked by their melancholic message and fanatical following. Kurt Cobain’s death has been all but lambasted into the brains of anyone interested in music history of the last 15 years, better yet anyone who has been ALIVE during the last 15 years. The controversy over his suicide/possible murder will likely continue for years to come, the myths becoming unverified legend before long. Regardless of one’s particular take on Cobain’s death, there is no denying the man was deeply unsettled by his fame, the tremendous weight of celebrity and power that came along with it were ultimately nothing that he desired. The passion for the music, and life for that matter, were now outweighed by the sinking need to just be left alone. Elliott Smith battled his own demons in drugs, alcohol and depression throughout most of his life. A proficient & prolific musician, Smith projected his angst in whispers where others screamed. His death, too, was shrouded in much speculation and mystery. Self inflicted stabbing, an almost unheard of circumstance for a suicide, seemed morbidly fitting for someone who had fought with internal pain on a consistent basis.

So what actually drove these people to their death? It’s not to say that they all lived through the same experiences but it’s hard to deny a connection when each of these men were so radically talented, in the focus of the public eye and, moreover, highly revered for their craft. Why, then, leave it all behind? My theory is that these particular people, so self aware, intelligent and emotive in their work, were haunted by a ghost of their future they thought they could not live up to. Death was less of a option than a necessity. Each of these artists left behind a body of work regarded in parts as masterful. That seems like it would be a lot to live up to, more so after the masterpiece has been created. As a member of the audience, it is in our nature to desire more, new material, the next amazing project, from our idols. “What’s next? When’s it coming out? Is it going to sound like/read like such and such?” What happens when an idol no longer feels they can live up to their reputation? Maybe their choices really had nothing to do with fame after all. Maybe these people, famous or not, would have at some point or another ended up this way. Regardless, they are mourned and those who care regard what they’ve left behind as valuable treasure. It makes me wonder if such genius can be driven to the end at their own hand, then maybe ignorance truly is bliss?

david_foster_wallace

1962 - 2008

KurtCobain

1967 - 1994

elliott_smith_5049

1969 - 2003

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A Smoking Gun

no smoking

I recently came across a picture of myself smoking a cigarette and my first reaction, after looking over each shoulder twice, checking to make sure that no children, coworkers or McGruff the Crime Dog were looking, was to DESTROY ALL EVIDENCE!!! I will admit that I have been a smoker during parts of both my adolescent and adult life, quitting periodically for various reasons. I made my final decision about quitting a few weeks before my 26th birthday, telling myself that to effectively prevent smoking related health issues in the future, not to mention for reasons of pure vanity, (premature wrinkles and yellow teeth? I’ll pass on that, thank you) I would cease smoking after that point. And that sort of worked. I most certainly had cut back DRAMATICALLY and had been doing so for some time by placing total restrictions for smoking in both my car and in the house even prior to my final declaration to quit once and for all. However, I was finding major difficulty in my quest for a better life especially when it came to the social element of smoking.

When I first started smoking it was because my friends did and I wanted to rebel against all that was decent pure and drive my parents crazy all at the same time. Shocking, right? I’m sure my story will ring true with many people who started smoking in early adolescence and just kept on keepin’ on well after the peer pressure melted away. I would chain smoke on my drive to school and/or work all through my teens & early 20’s, lighting up in between every class even if the class was less than a stone’s throw away or WORSE, in the same building. And I convinced myself I wasn’t addicted? The funny thing is I still DON’T believe I was fully addicted in the sense of nicotine having a sticky hold around my lungs. I was, however, completely addicted in the social sense. I needed a cigarette to talk to someone, to order a drink at a bar, to hang out at a show, to walk from point A to B. In a way, a cigarette was like a can of mace or a Pit Bull at my side. Smoking was a barrier that I was able to keep secured around myself when I didn’t want to be approached and used as an alluring gauze that would attract fellow comrades in cigs when I wanted to socialize. A cigarette could act as another member in a conversation when there was a lull. There was no fear of feeling weak or inadequate when I had a “friend” with me, you know? I could conquer anything with my trusty sidekick and I used to rank cigarettes as #1 in my tri-fecta of importance, #2 being gas and #3 being food. A pretty screwy system in retrospect but I thought I had it allllll figured out.

There were also two major outside factors which caused me to rethink my habits. The first was when cigarettes went from being an unheard of $5+ a pack to its current range of outrageousness, $7-$9 depending where you go. (FYI – cigarettes are still comparatively cheap down south. Another good reason we left North Carolina when we did. But I digress…) The second was when the bars and restaurants around here started putting the ban on smoking. Even the most dedicated smoker will contemplate whether leaving their seat at the bar is worth standing outside in the rain/snow/freezing cold/whatever to suck a fag (and if your mind went there, then shame on you, because in my vocabulary a fag is a smoking implement ONLY and yes my mind DID go there only after I wrote it out and it made me laugh and I’m leaving it so shame on me too, thank you, this has been a public service announcement, moving on…).  

I am, what some would call, practical in the money sense. That’s the nicest way to put it though frugal would work as well. I’m not a cheapskate, I just do not like wasting money and to me, $6.50 for a pack of smokes that would end up being $20 or more each week was $20 more than I could afford to waste.  So, like any person truly dedicated to the craft of remaining cool and “with it” while sticking to their guns (somewhat), I just started bumming smokes from people when the occasion came to be and it was a kosher smoking environment. I’m sure that made me outrageously popular and wickedly in demand for social functions but it was my way of still being a part of the group without completely breaking my vows. You see for the past 2 years or so I haven’t actually purchased a pack of cigarettes for myself. That’s not to say I haven’t smoked more than a few packs in that time but I know it’s a vast improvement from where I was just 5 years ago.

Are you starting to wonder where I’m actually going with this? Ha! Me too. Ok, so my point is that quitting smoking is no easy feat but you just need to put it in your mind that this is what you want and what you are going to do. Set restrictions for your smoking habits and after awhile just the smell of smoke will sicken you, trust me. Beside the reasons I mentioned earlier, one of the bigger factors in keeping me away from the ol’ smoke sticks is the ecological impact. That’s right, all those butts thrown out windows and in storm drains? Yeah, they’re probably still there people, filters DO NOT biodegrade. So unless every time I, or you for that matter, smoke a cigarette and put the remaining offender in some sort of trash receptacle for proper disposal, we are a part of the problem and just another litterbug. For shame! Also, as a smoker in recovery, I have noticed how it has become less and less acceptable to smoke publicly or in common areas, even outside. Have you ever seen people smoke at Disney World? Probably not, because if you do choose to smoke there you are confined to 1 of 5 designated smoking areas located around some corner of some building that is used infrequently or under construction and placed at the ass end of the park, usually near a bathroom (gag!), and so basically you are a park pariah. If you know a reluctant quitter, send them to Disney, that place can shame you into kicking the habit. But the HUGE HUGE HUGE reason for not smoking anymore is I have an amazing 12 year old sister who looks up to me quite a bit and I would be just devastated if she decided to smoke because I do.

I do still crave cigarettes from time to time and I do not know when or if I will ever completely and totally be done with them. Lately, when I have one I can’t even stand the smell of my hand after I put it out so much so that I have to run to a bathroom and wash my hands profusely. I hate the smell of it on my clothes and hair and find myself pissed when I walk into an area where there is smoking and I’m not and I am now left with the side-effect of stink on my person. G.R.O.S.S. I know I have a lot of work to do until I am totally smoke-free but the intent is there and no one said it was going to be easy…

I also cannot live with the thought of letting down C3-PO. Can you?

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