Monday, May 21, 2012

... baby, climbing the walls gets me nowhere ...

My weekend was wonderful.

Dance weekends are so much more for me then just a chance to go dancing. They really are times when I get to feel the most at ease, the most at home, the most in-my-skin that I get. KF, an astute non-dancer friend, mentioned that it would be neat to see me in my 'dance' state - because it's where I am confident I can do something and I'm with people who know I can do it. In essence, it's where I have nothing to 'prove'. 

Travel gets me in a mindset that frames my weekend with awesomeness - music, audio books, the adventure of driving yourself, the slippery passage of time, maps, street names, new corners of old cities. This particular trip involved a midway stop at an old stomping ground with one of my favorite people ever, loud music from random radio stations, NPR, my windows down, and making my throat scratchy with singing.

Cool Beans! took me back to undergrad in an intense way - they've opened the downstairs up, aired out the cigarette smell, gotten a new espresso machine, and haven't changed the menu a bit. It was home away-from-dorm/home for the few years I was at USC - providing me the space I needed for coffee dates with gal friends, actual dates, cutting classes, bible studies, book reviews, arguments over group projects, finishing assignments, pretending to work and preparing for exams. It was one of the two main centers of my education - Cool Beans! and one particular table in the library. Stepping in there, being there, relaxing - it was an odd bit of nostalgia. It was a place that was truly ... mine, in a way. The affection I have for Cool Beans! is very similar to the feelings I have for Nick's and The Handlebar. Nick's, because who can't feel at home inside? Well, at least those 'of age'. And the Handlebar is where I started getting my two left feet to become lindy-hoppin', swing dancin', blues-followin', skip-down-the-sidewalk feet. Isn't it weird the places we declare to be ours over time? That resonate with special meaning?

Anyway, one perfect cappuccino-filled hour later - I was back on my favorite stretch of highway down to the coast. I really love the ride on I-26, down through the twisty old trees and Spanish moss down to the Holy City. I was at CB's and changed and on to the dances in record time - surrounded by people who love at least one thing that I love with a similar level of passion. It's a great thing. The feeling you get when you fully inhabit your body, and you're wholly present - the one that's so hard for people like me with wondering minds and worry and plotting and dreaming and the NOISE NOISE NOISE of everyday life ... the feeling that makes your body just SING with untold possibilities and exuberance and joy ... that is one of the best things I have ever felt. I'm just lucky I get the opportunity to came to events to experience it with some frequency. And late night is just wonderful - everyone warm and cozy and relaxed and sleepy and the bluesy music keeping you moving just enough. The Folly day on Saturday was nice - I got some sun and got to play a little in the sand and in the water, as well as have some singular dance-nerd moments. I also got Liz-headspace time, which is something I've noticed I've needed more of as I've gotten older. I also got to see my grandparents and hang out with CB a wee bit before heading back home on Sunday. I rocked out to 'Fat-Bottomed Girls', 'Superstition' and way too much country music (guilty pleasures, all) between snippets of NPR. With all that and seeing BC, QUALITY time with K&JF (who always make me a better person, one coffee date at a time), and the three J's ...

What a weekend.

I have a homework assignment, and I will be posting the results when I actually get my act together and do it. Today was not a good day as I've been at my desk very little, dealing with behavioral issues and barely meeting deadlines. My coffee sat untouched until 1:20, I was that busy.

I keep reminding myself it is a four day work week.
That I have a job contract to sign and return.
That I have a cat to cuddle and a house to relax in.
That I have a birthday bash to attend tonight.
I can imagine that my coffee is what it tastes like, not actually just flavored coffee.
That I will be flying to DC.
And, I will be enjoying what my cousin swears is the best milkshake ever from this dive.


I'll allow myself the ranty moment of the day ... really, now? Another reason I've been distancing myself from the church lately. 

And as for what I love in this world -
this anonymous poem is just so beautiful ...

"I want to know how many scars you have
and memorize the shape of your tongue.
I want to climb the curve of your lower back
and count your vertebrae,
your ribs,
your fingers,
your goose bumps.
I want to chart the topography of your anatomy
and be fluent in your body language.
I want you, entire."

And this cheerleader says what I need to say more often ...

Friday, May 18, 2012

... the space between ...

And now I'm mad at Mississippi. They have found a way to make their state impossible to get abortions in.

This means I have fairly recent reasons for rage with Georgia (testing scandal), North Carolina (Amendment 1), and Mississippi. Maybe I need to move West. Great job there, Bubba.

Bubba Carpenter Lauds Potential Return Of 'Coat Hanger' Abortions
News One on Bubba's Decision

I guess this ad from with Lisa Edelstien from 'House' was closer to the truth then people might have imagined at the time -

... man is a giddy thing ...

This is a pointless lunch-break post, and a very vent-y one. Feel free to ignore.

Wednesday night I slept ... well ... none. It was a no sleep night. I tried everything and it was just a journal-y, reflective, too-much-thinking-thinky-thoughts, scowling at the ceiling sort of time. Even with Hendrick's. So Thursday was a grumpy, emotional, weird day, with more journaling and being short with kiddos then I would've liked. And whoa, what appeared in my journal needed burning. And Thursday was a 12 hour workday.

We had a parent night and I was told John Cessarich and the news crew were going to be there and I was to be around them most of the evening manning sound for things. But the 'weather acted up' bringing all the events inside and keeping John in his crazy weathermobile and away from my hair which was having a hissy fit due to the humidity. It looked like this -

If John had been there, the forecast could've been done with my hair alone! And while I was wearing, according to most of the staff, a comely outfit - a mother came up to me and asked me a string of questions about my legs. Her face was full of pity and horror and, perhaps, fear. Her words come out in a rush - "OH MY WORD DO YOU HAVE A CONDITION?!?! What is wrong with your legs?" And after, you know, a reasonable explanation of my Footloose knee-slide and my biking experience of doom ... her face was full of incredulity and sadness and she asked me if I need help. I went from a cancer patient to a battered woman in a matter of seconds! I also had to get people to sign in and out of the lobby, threaten a teenager with a world of pain if he left his younger brother unattended, read parents questionnaires, look for strays, and answer occasional impertinent questions about my life from many different individuals. Including a parent. Who wanted to know my relationship status. This parent has just recently gotten a divorce, apparently. And deal with a blue million texts about things in Clemson I couldn't control because hey, I'm at work IN EASLEY. I'd forgotten all meals, so hanger threw good sense to the winds and I noshed on what was available (not tasty, not filling, so not much was consumed). I finished up, tidied my office and put a smile on my face, thinking about CHEX, in GLORIOUS Charleston! Then I remembered that I would look even more like a fluffy bunny there, and that I was supposed to pack when I got home. I ordered a pizza, thinking Y would deliver it (haven't seen him in ages, have to order pizza to see him these days), so my healthy eating for the day was totally shot. I got home about the same time the pizza got there, and even though it wasn't what I ordered I took it anyhow. I cooked, packed up the food I'd cooked, and got most of the clothes together, and then proceeded to not finish packing and watched Roku instead. I've gotten interested in 'Last Airbender' of late, so I had some episodes to watch. I had some company over to watch it with me, which was nice, even though I over-shared, grumbled about writing style, and J said that maybe I should think about seeing why I bruise so much. WebMd did list cancer (and lupus), but also more reasonable things, like taking vitamins I may lack. I cleaned some, took out the trash. And then I tried to sleep, and actually got maybe four hours between grumbling at the fan and thinking too much. And then ... overslept my alarm this morning. Solution - bring ALL THE CLOTHES! And run run run to the car. I now have almost my entire wardrobe in the car, way too much to drink, food so I won't have to eat out, and leftover pizza and cinnapie to eat today. Because I wasn't going to waste it. And I can't leave early today, even with lots of comp time.

At least I get recess.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

... down on my knees, begging you, please, give me some more of that stuff ...

I should be ashamed of myself.
I am reading Fifty Shades of Grey.
I read some at work. And by some, lets say about 150 pages. In an hour. One glorious hour.
I can't put it down.
I'm glad I have an actual office, with a door. This means I can hide it if I see people coming. I've been shoving it under papers.
I have gotten next to nothing done this morning - mostly due to meetings, testing, feeling illish, and THAT BOOK.

My book 'diet' is varied. I've read Push, Bearing an Hourglass, The Kite Runner, some Sherlock Holmes, A Witch of Blackbird Pond (was stranded in the GT room, needed something to do), and ever so many news articles in the past month. But THIS. Reminds me (non-ironically) of my obsessed teenage days reading Cassandra Claire's Draco Trilogy (if anyone is interested, I have .PDF files of the fan-fiction, which has been pretty much scoured from the internet, due to some scandal).

And it makes it hard for me to, you know, work. Or really, concentrate on anything much. Except that hunk of book on my desk.

I blame EJ. She came into my office all aglow and atwitter and she is just so nice and sweet and lovely and she kept talking about THIS BOOK and she had that aura of awesome post-reading joy surrounding her and she was going on and on about how it wasn't her 'thing' but it was just so ... and could I get her the sequel? Because I had to buy myself a copy. That night. Immediately.

Yes, ma'am.

So, one lovely trip to Barnes and Noble later I have the first and second books in my possession, as well as a banned book (Cat's Cradle, Vonnegut) because I am, of course, a reasonable person and don't only read 'trash' novels.

Poor Mr. Vonnegut may have to wait until I finish a book or three.

Speaking of Banned Books - I owe some words of response to my two latest endeavors, so let me attempt to be more rational and analytical.

Song of Solomon - I felt almost NOTHING about this book. The level of MEH was quite astounding. Really, sincerely, I tried. I didn't like any of the characters. I wanted to shake all of them, except maybe Pilate. It was violent and unfocused, and I really couldn't bring myself to feel much for the people in the story. Milkman was on a search for identity and meaning in a newer, bigger world. But none of the searching made me empathize with him, or want him to find the answers he sought. The only strong point I can take from this novel is that as milkman realizes his 'showboating' and self-glorification get him nowhere, he is able to release it bit by bit. That is a good point. I suppose. Maybe I'm reading too many of the same type of novel back-to-back. It was violent, abuse was mentioned, and there was some sexuality, but I don't see why it was banned. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone below 10th grade, but that point is rendered moot by the fact that I would never recommend it at all. I just have very little emotional energy to care about it, honestly. Momma Martin would be saddened by my lack of depth here, but I couldn't love or loathe this book enough to have a wordier response.

The Color Purple -
Now this book I loved. I understand the ban. I understand the reason that people are shocked about the sexuality, violence, and darkness in the book. Abuse is rampant. Women are constantly being put underfoot. A lesbian relationship blossoms. Sexual relationships are fluid. Everyone is in flux, growing, changing, finding new ways of being. This book made me feel like I'd just opened a new bag of freshly ground, excellent coffee - the earthy, dark, rich feeling of forward motion and discovery. Infinite possibility blossomed in the characters, and they went unexpected and far-off places. I felt like I went with them and felt change uncurling in my bones. Haven't we all written letters to God? Haven't we all groaned and longed under a weighty yoke and then wondered how to step out from under it? Haven't we all had our own small miracles? Don't we all want our own little happy ending? The most powerful moment in the book was the last letter - one of forgiveness and strength. Celie even forgives God. She's found her strength and abandoned her question of 'why me?' that's followed through the previous letters.
So much love for this book.

And from loving to loathing in a single breath - I am upset about Amendment 1. I am hacked off at the South and Bible Belt in general, as well as with people with a 'armchair' view of rights for people they can't relate to. More specifically, the state of North Carolina and a lot of people of my acquaintance. And I'm sure that this post will NOT change anything. I can't convince people to see things the way I do by RANT RANT RANTing on the internet, or by raging that they simply don't care. But this is my corner of the internet, after all.

When mentioned, I have gotten the following responses -
  1. It's not even your state, CTFO.
  2. It doesn't matter to you, really. You aren't gay.
  3. Gay people shouldn't be married. God says so. In fact, the very fact that they are gay means they are abominations on the earth.
  4. Marriage is just so special, and we need to keep it that way.
  5. Wait, are you gay? I thought you went out with that guy last week?
  6. So, bisexuals should be able to marry one of each?
  7. Really, it's all about tax breaks.
  8. Gay people don't have those kinds of commitments anyway, you know?
  9. Well, I don't care what they do as long as it doesn't change how my life is going. 
A poll was given to see if people in North Carolina even knew WHAT they were voting about.
27% of people thought it was only a gay marriage ban, and 7% of people thought that the bill would legalize gay marriage. 26% of people weren't sure about what the legislation was about. So, only about 40% of the people polled knew what the vote was about.

I am overwhelmingly struck by how many people equate this issue only to 'Adam and Steve'. Well, here's what I've been assigning as homework for them ... Far reaching consequences and  Trifecta of intolerance and Straight Man for Gay Marriage

And to the people who think it has NOTHING to do with 'Adam and Steve' - One Old Queer


Feel free to comment. I love a good debate.

More Randomness

This is an image I found that I've chosen to reflect back on as many times a day as I need to - which is (un)surprisingly often -

Why is it so easy to get in/stay in that state? Anyone?

Additionally, this is something that's been running around in my head all week - unrelated to Amendment 1, because all the WRONG people are overly verbose about it (at least at my job) ...
And a final thought, from a book I've been reading piecemeal online - "Perhaps the reason we are unable to love is that we yearn to be loved, that is, we demand something (love) from our partner instead of delivering ourselves up to him demand-free and asking for nothing but his company."

Bonus points if you name the novel.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

"... my lonely eyes deceive me - oh, you can't know how I'm feeling - don't make it easy..."

Not having a working laptop (at least 90% of the time) makes posting on this little blog a bit difficult. I have carved out some time to update, because some of you have mentioned that you have missed my blog posts!

(Read - Flattery gets you blog posts)

Major and minor things that have taken place of late –
  1. Crossed off some goals! I read two books on my list (and lots of others - you know, the easy fun books) and I will do a review on them soon. I also gave up caffeine for a month, went to a movie alone, and tried yoga. And I LIKED yoga. So I may be doing more of it. I cross the items off my list in the original post as they are completed, if anyone is keeping track at home.
  2. I’ve decided I like biking. Enough to commit to a 20 some-odd mile ride on Sunday. Enough to reexamine my budget and consider getting a bike. This is saying something, seeing as I don’t have a working laptop!
  3. My funding got cut and I am applying to jobs like a crazy fiend (maybe that phrase is a bit redundant). I've already applied to 5 today. I will be unemployed as of the 1st of June unless something changes. I am a ball of nerves about it and it makes me want to crawl in a hole. Just in case you were wondering, the process is demoralizing in the extreme. Which may be why I am turning to my old friend C8H10N4O2  so often.
  4. I have scheduled and booked a real grown up vacation to DC for Red Hot Blues and BBQ. Normal family plans on that weekend be damned. I am going. I will dance. I will demonstrate that I posses dancing techniques that resemble those usually implemented by Mick Jagger. I will also explore DC in a very haphazard and boisterous manner. With a map. And a phone. And not much else. You will receive far too many details on the blog. Red Hot Blues and BBQ
  5. I will be going to CHEX, as I have registered and have housing. Excitement level is similar to that of the DC trip. It will be WONDERFUL. And in Charleston. Maybe fewer blog details, but HOLY LORD IT’S CHARLESTON! Have I mentioned that the Holy City is my favorite? CHEX - Lindy in the Lowcountry
  6. I have been eating whole foods, cooking a ton, and loving it. Although it’s not super cheap to do so, I’ve been happier with how I feel, etc.
  7. I discovered ModCloth and Etsy. As well as WOOT, TeeFury, and Qwertees. This is complicating my plans to buy a bike, laptop, or eliminate debt. And ruining my productivity! What have a purchased, you ask? A print, a robe, some fisherman pants, and some sundresses. And shirts with nerdiness on them. I have avoided the shiny things. For now.
  8. I have called my HOA like a MFing ADULT in an attempt to remove an unsavory shall-not-be-named squatter.
  9. Come to think of it, various other things have been dealt with in a rather adult-like manner, which pleases me somewhat. Ask if you'd like details.
  10. I had to give away some clothes because they were TOO BIG. This NEVER HAPPENS TO ME EVER. I’ll take it!
  11. Found a new band I love. They wrote the song containing the lyrics I stole for my title. Who can figure out the band? 
    I know that this is sort of cheating and a bit of a laundry-list post … but … more later. I PROMISE!

    Obligatory videos and music -  

    Rediscovered this old favorite. You WILL sing it at work mentally after a listen or two. Truth.

    One day I will be this good at blues - DID YOU SEE THOSE HIP ISOLATIONS?