Tuesday, June 8, 2004

Listen Every Day

I love music because music helps us experience life. Every day, people go to their jobs, go home, maybe spend time with friends or family, but mostly, all days run into the next with nothing exceptional that distinguishes one from another. Because people forget to feel. And music helps remind us to feel. Music helps remind us why we go to that job, why home is important, why we love our friends, why we love our families, and what all that is about. Music helps us live.

If I didn't listen to music every day, I wouldn't feel as much - I would become hard and numb and I would never notice beauty or love or life. If you soak up the tones, bathe in the words, and submerge yourself into a little piece of music every once in awhile, a small, special piece that reminds you of a feeling you once had or helps you see a person in a new light, then the music has done its job - it has helped you to experience life.

Listen to music every day - real music, good music, pure music - and you will be amazed at how colors are brighter, people are outlined in a bolder shape, and every moment seems a little bit louder as though you've tuned your senses to a perfect pitch, a perfect beat, to hear everything around you and experience it a little more.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004


I'm currently working on a final project for one of my classes. The project is on the television show "Sex and the City" and discusses the media images and messages that encapsulate the program. So many feminists criticize the show for reinforcing the idea that single women want men and desire marriage. They think that shows like that and movies like "Bridget Jones' Diary" are confirming the belief that women are nothing without men and spend their whole lives thinking about men and trying to figure out how to catch one.

I disagree with that analysis. I am a feminist and believe that women should be strong and independent, but at the same time, I am a single person who hopes to find love and get married one day. I think it is the most natural human urge. Whether you believe there is a religious purpose in seeking out a mate or if you believe that biologically species want to copulate and produce offspring in order to further the species, it is undeniable that human beings want to pair up.

The real issue at the heart of this controversy is the delicate balance of never letting this natural desire take control over your life or dictate the choices you make. Everyone likes the idea of "soulmates," but not everyone ends up married or stays married. The way that women can achieve this balance is by clinging to one another, and I believe that that is the message "Sex and the City" attempts to get across to its audience. Life is hard, but love from a man is not the only way you can survive. Hold onto one another, hold onto your close girlfriends, and you will never feel alone.

At this moment in my life I am recognizing the reality that I may never get married and that fairy tales do not exist. I will be 25 soon, which to me, feels like a milestone. I have survived for a quarter of a century. It is truly an accomplishment to look back at my experiences and the lessons I have learned. I think I'm doing allright so far. It's also getting a bit intimidating when I wonder about the next 25 years.

What will happen? Will I ever find someone? Will I get married and have a family of my own? These are not the only questions, mind you, I am certainly wondering about the career path I will take and what city I will choose as the backdrop for my life. I think, however, that the most important component in a happy, fulfilled life is friends. My birthday wish for my 25th year, and for all the years that have yet to come, is that my life will be full of soulmates. Full of close friends who love and support me and will always be there, no matter what. As Charlotte said to Carrie, Miranda, and Samantha, "Maybe we can all be each other's soulmates."

Thursday, April 8, 2004

Unify and attack!

So I feel like finally I can now understand the phrase "reaching the bottom of the barrel." Well, that one and also "all the good ones are taken." I mean, is it possible to have realistically reached this point at the age of 25? Isn't that a little too young to be confronted with these harsh realizations?

I'm being honest, though, I think they just get worse and worse as I get older. Even meeting new people and seeing the potential that I have to choose from is disheartening. One of my friends had a date with a guy who gave her a gift when he showed up to take her out. Sounds nice, right? It was a large metal tin filled with three kinds of popcorn. What is the world coming to?

Someone met me out for a drink wearing black sweatpants and a tee shirt with the sleeves ripped off. Another guy, a friend of one of my friend's, spent an evening flirting with me only to end it by asking, not for my phone number or if he could take me to dinner sometime, but by literally saying, "Wanna come home with me and fuck around?" A third guy met my friends and I out to watch a ballgame. He seemed so nice. So fun. So interested in getting to know my friends. Then he accompanied one of my guy friends to the bathroom where he promptly asked my friend for a Vicitin that my friend was taking for a broken arm.

What is the world coming to? And those are just the freaks I've encountered out in this dark dating world. Popcorn tins, sweatpants, and pill-poppers - is that all there is?

I mean, I know there are nice guys. I'm friends with some, I've dated some. But there are also boring guys, guys that are obsessed with work, guys who are commitment phobes, guys that have physical deformities...What? I'm just saying...

Ok, ladies, we talk and talk all day about sisterhood and solidarity, but now's the time to take action. When you happen upon one of these freaks, help us all out. Label him. Literally. We'll all stash some maximum strength sleeping pills in our purses which we can use to drug them. Or Rufies, why not, they use them on us? And then we'll take them into our bedrooms where we have secret tatoo tools hidden and we'll tatoo their heads with words like "Loser" or "Freak" or "Stay Away." What are the men gonna do? Lock us all up?

Do it in the name of sisterhood! Do it in the name of survival! And then once we have all the appropriate fools labelled systmatically......we'll fight tooth and nails for the good ones that are left. Sounds like a great plan to me.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Freein' My Soul

One of my favorite movies is "Almost Famous." I love that movie. It speaks to me, partly because I identify with the characters and see myself in them at times, but mostly because that movie is a tribute to the beauty and power of music. It shows how music can unite people and lift people. It shows that music can inspire people to inspire others and to better themselves. And isn't that what rock and roll tries to do? Change the world? Even if it is one person at a time.

Music is the only thing that never lets you down in life. There's a scene in that movie, the band has had a fight, possibly broken up, and they're all sulking on their bus. Thick with pride, heavy with anger, and then they start to sing along to one of their favorite songs. The whole spirit just lifts and all the negativity seems to break away into tiny pieces. Their love for music takes precedence over any personal issues, and they can be together again without having to apologize or explain anything. Love means never having to say you're sorry? No. Music means never having to say you're sorry.

That's what music does. It speaks for the dark places in our hearts that we can't articulate because we can't see them clear enough. And because we are too saturated in them to find words to describe what we don't understand we're feeling. Music finds the words for us. And when the words and the images of the music fall short of expressing emotions exactly, the sounds transcend and elevate any shortcomings.

Because music is the one thing that never lets you down and the only thing that can express your own thoughts better than you can, music is also your best friend. Sometimes it's your only friend because it's all that understands you. On a bad day, find that perfect CD and pop it in. Everything else fades away and seems so trivial in the distance. The endless musical choices just contribute to its ability to adapt to every situation. Sunny day, listen to some peppy punk like The Strokes. Frustrating day, listen to Janis Joplin and scream along at the top of your lungs. Sad day, listen to some mellow Damien Rice to calm you or some Norah Jones to numb the pain. Bad breakup? Numerous choices because, as a friend likes to say, it's easier to write songs about love gone wrong than anything because pain inspires creativity. Old angry Alanis, bummed out Matt Nathanson, reflective Indigo Girls, bluesy Will Hoge, broken hearted Ryan Adams or depressed Counting Crows...I could go on and on.

No matter what, music can meet you where you are. And can take you to better places. That's what they mean when they say music frees your soul.

Monday, March 29, 2004

Some people think that there is a personal Heaven for everyone. That when you die and go to Heaven, it's whatever would be Heaven for you. Like Disneyworld without any lines and free Mickey Mouse ice cream. Or that beach from the Corona commercials.

If that's true, then there has to be a personal Hell too. And I know what mine is. Dating. To be permanently dating and filtering through all the losers. This long, neverending process of game-playing and confusion. I feel sometimes like Sysyphyss. I'm sure I spelled that wrong.

But to me, dating is like pushing a boulder up a hill only to have it always come rolling back down again. You put in all this work, all this energy and effort, but you know it's going to roll back at you. You know you're cursed and that the process will always end up crushing you in the end. Whether your heart is broken or you're frustrated to the point of feeling defeated. You know that you're putting in all your blood, sweat and tears, but eventually, the damn thing is just going to roll over your big toe.

And because you are aware of your curse, you're constantly waiting for it to happen. You're anxious, analyzing every move of the boulder so that you can know when it's going to roll back and you can get out of the way.

That's what I think about dating. It's just hard.

So why do we do it? Because of the joy and pride we'll feel if we actually get the boulder up over the hill? We'll see if that ever happens. It's enough to make a girl want to go back to rolling Hot Wheels down the driveway.

Friday, March 26, 2004

What Goes Around Comes Around

Dear God. What is the world coming to? You say that there hasn't been any rain, so it starts to pour. You say that you've been rejected too much lately, suddenly they all come back kicking. Is it selfish to say that's just not enough?

Tonight, I went to a concert. A guy who recently dumped me for being a V-word used to be in the band and so, he happened to be there. Of course, because of the I'm-too-cool-for-that-loser thing I had perfected, I ignored him. Successfully. Until, all of a sudden, despite the fact that I had my friends surrounding me, he comes up. What does he say? "I'm so sorry we haven't talked, I've had so much on my mind lately, I think you are the most amazing person. No, really, you are a maginificient woman, you immediately struck me and captivated me." What in the world is a self-respecting woman to do? Besides introduce him to her "current" who happens to be standing beside her as he says this. Nice.

Well, if that wasn't enough, Mr. "1/2" who was so unclear up until the point that I stopped answering or returning his phone calls, calls out of the blue to beg me to go out with him. As I'm trying to politely turn him down, my friends gawk at the awkward sounding conversation, and my current gives me a confused gaze. You'd think that Mr. Out of the Picture would be gone by now, but no, he's staring at me from a distance as I suffer through this tortured ordeal.

My point is that boys are stupid. They do not know what they want or what to say or what to do. They don't have the guts, then they realize what they're missing. Do I even know if my current is keepable? Does he stick Saran Wrap safe? I have no clue. But I don't even have time to gasp while Mr. Almost Was and Mr. Half Ass compete for my attention. Not long after this did Mr. I Wanna Get to Know You ask for my number. Never in my life have I had four boys in one single night vie for my attentions. And can I just say? I think I'm better off alone in bed with my drooling Shih Tzu.

When I was little, my cousin Courtney taught me a valuable lesson. She used to drop kick her brother Eric in the chest whenever he got in her way. Do you think a single girl with a swift hitch can pull her own in a world of boys fighting for a leg to stand on? We'll soon find out because I'm not one to take anything lying down.

No, thanks. You know what? Sometimes the best choice is not to make a choice between what you have. Sometimes you know that you have to hold out for something better. And this time, better may just be me alone. I like myself. And I don't need some dude to come around and try to mess that up. I can hold my own.

Friday, March 5, 2004

Wvuuu to you too!

I am a twenty-five year old virgin. That's right. I'm a dinosaur, about to go extinct because there just aren't many of us left these days. Actually, I'd like to be extinct, but come on, after holding out this long, I'm not gonna give it up for just anyone.

I'm not gonna lie to you, it's tough out there. I keep getting dumped when guys find out my nasty little secret is I'm not so nasty. I guess it's because I'm meeting the wrong men. I don't meet the ones that are looking for a nice girl to take home to mom. I meet the ones that are looking to have sex next week. "Oh? So I'm not gonna get sex on Tuesday?" Wvuuuu! Out the door faster than you can say, "Trojan Maaan!"

And what exactly am I supposed to do about that anyway? When a guy introduces himself and asks if he can buy me a drink, should I respond with, "Hi. My name is ____. And I'm a virgin." Not really the conversation starter. And I doubt I would end up getting that drink. So what are my alternatives then? Wait a few weeks or a month until he says, "You are so hot, I can't wait to make love to you." And then say, "Aww, thanks, you're hot too...but you're not gonna. Na na na boo boo." Again...wvuuu! Out the door!

It's a tough, tough world out there for us dinosaur virgins. I mean, you've got "Sex and the City." What do I have? "Hugging in the City?" I don't think Manolo Blahnik would donate their shoes to that snooze fest.

And having bare feet isn't the only reason. Nobody wants to see a gal in bed by herself. I used to sleep with a teddy bear for comfort, you know, but after awhile that wasn't enough so I started sleeping with a bear the size of my torso. Again, after awhile, it was a poor substitute for a man so now I sleep with that big ass bear on my small ass couch where I pretend that the pillows along my back are Johnny Depp. It makes for sweet dreams, sure, until I wake up gazing serenely into my dog's eyes and get a stinky kiss on the mouth by a mangy shih tzu. Not so sweet after all.

My mother says to lighten up, I'll find a guy someday. Hmph. She was also the one was told me the farmer doesn't buy the cow if he can get the milk for free, and I see lots of freaking farmers selling the farm to get one hot hefer. My mom does give kind advice, though amusing at times.
The last time we were discussing my virginal issues, she offered up an interesting perspective.

Another guy had told me that he needed to find out if he was sexually compatible with a girl before he fully committed himself to her...after which he kissed me on the forehead and yelled, "I'll talk to you later," while sprinting down my front steps. Wvuuu!

She said, "Well, that's just ridiculous. You can tell if you're sexually compatible with someone from the way they kiss. And after all, putting those two organs together isn't such a big deal because they always fit. It's finding two hearts that fit that's the hard part."

Thanks, Mom. I guess she's right in a way. Maybe all sex does is complicate an already complicated process. Then again, maybe I should have given that milk up for free. But either way, I figure I got a nice little filter out of all this, a way to find out who's really worth keeping around. Why do you think they make that "Wvuuuu" sound out the door? It's my bare foot kicking them in the woo-hoo.

Thursday, March 4, 2004

George, mind if I borrow that ax?

I hate dating. It makes me freaking crazy, a total lunatic, irrational, nervous, and I probably twitch too. So many people say that the beginning is the best part, so exciting, full of butterflies and mystery. But those are the people who are looking back at the beginning of successful relationships because not all relationships progress past the beginning stage.

Sometimes you think you have a great beginning, but then poof! For no reason at all, with no offered explanation or suggestions for improvement, the person is gone without a trace. I know I’ve done this a time or two myself so I can’t be “playa hata.” I’ve definitely gone out on one or two dates with a guy and decided it’s not worth seeing him again. The grown-up mature way that I choose to deal with this is the ever so popular “No Call” approach. No call gets in and no call goes out. I hate doing that, I feel bad when I do, but I want to avoid what would be an unnecessary awkward situation for the both of us. “Well, Greg, the reason I don’t want to go out with you again is I think you’re too tall, too conservative, and you don’t make me laugh enough.” Who the hell wants to hear that?

Sure, we tell little kids all the time they should never lie. Look at George Washington cutting down that damn tree and lying about it. He felt bad. He knew it wasn’t right, but ya know what? He still did it. Oh sure, we tell the kids that he confessed and eventually told the truth, but I don’t think it happened like that. I think it went down like this. Little Georgie got a new ax and decided to test it out on his father’s favorite apple tree. Big, thick bark, he wondered how long it would take for his shiny new tool to chop it down. So, like any curious little kid, he tested it out.

I mean, I remember one time when my cousin set the carpet on fire because he was burning the edge of a pirate's treasure map for 'effect.' Little brat dropped the match and boom! Up in flames went the shag! Of course, he had to confess, it was obvious the black hole in the carpet didn’t happen all on its own. Anyways, back to our boy George. He realized what he did, tried to blame it on some Indians, and when his momma asked him if the new ax he probably had stashed cleverly behind his back had anything to do with the death of the tree, he collapsed. It was his momma, after all, and he was what? 8?

My point is – everyone lies. And that is why dating is so damn tricky and hard. Every time that a boy tells me, “I’ll talk to you later,” I wonder what that means. Does that mean: “I’ll call you in an hour,” “I’ll call you tomorrow,” or “I’ll call you when hell freezes over and Paris Hilton joins a convent?” I just don’t know. And the worst thing of it is not the guessing game or the waiting game. The worst is the ending. Because we know it won’t work out, it never does, it never has, so you know that it’s going to probably go up in flames like my aunt’s shag rug.

I truly have no idea why we still put ourselves through this torturous mess over and over again. I mean, it’s only the first of March and I’ve been rejected 3 ½ times already! Ok, ok, one of the guys I would’ve stopped calling only he did it first, but still, that’s a big freaking number for two short months. (By the way, the ½ is for the guy I’m currently dating who I am sure has called for the last time…despite the fact that I say that every time he calls…)

Dating is a necessary evil, I know, but I feel at the moment (after 3 ½ times in 2 months) that I want to fold. I feel like I’ve run out of chips, I have no more energy left to sit and put money down for a game I’ll most surely lose. I just want to go back to my quiet life where I can leave dirty dishes out and wear no make-up and not worry about anyone noticing or judging. I don't really need all this hassle anyway. I'm happy alone, and if something's gonna happen, it just will. God is in control, and clearly I need some more me-time. Maybe I can find old George’s old ax to build myself a cabin, and I can hibernate until dating season is over.

Tuesday, March 2, 2004

Let's Change the World

I am currently reading a women's studies book. It is a book on how women were reflected in the mass media during the 1940's and 50's. I was just reading this book at a coffee shop when I decided I needed a break so I stopped to call someone. I wanted to call this guy I've been seeing for a couple of weeks, but it's not serious and so I wasn't sure if it would be inappropriate or unallowed for me to call him just to chat. I sat and pondered this for about fifteen minutes when my mind felt a deja vu. Wasn't I just reading about the effect that images like Donna Reed and Kathy from "Father Knows Best" had on women?

We are not as progressive as we might like to think. Women certainly have more opportunities and are recognized as individuals of equal potential as men, but there are still some ways in which we can feel subjugated. Take this situation, for instance. Why is it that I feel as though he can call me, but I can't call him? Why am I so afraid that if I called him, he would feel as though his manhood had been threatened and would instantly lose all interest in me? What's the big deal anyway?

Sadly, I don't think I have any answers for these questions other than this - isn't that just the way things work? Boys call girls, boys ask out girls, boys don't like girls who are "too forward" or "too aggressive." I don't know why exactly, but I still believe that's the truth. I don't care how forward of a thinker a man might be, that doesn't necessarily mean that he'll like a girl who calls him. I hate that the world is this way. I hate that there are still so many men who are threatened by women who are more successful or more intelligent than them. I hate that there are so many men complaining about "crazy" women who call too much (which may just mean they call at all). But for some reason, no matter how much progress we have achieved at the political and social levels (though there is still much yet to be gained), we have not progressed at all levels.

And I do mean "we" collectively, as in both men and women. Because I fall into that ideology too. I almost never call a man and would never ask one out unless we were already seeing each other. I often will cook for a man if I am seriously pursuing him. I try to always look pretty when I see him and make sure there are no dirty dishes laying around when he comes over to visit because whatever would he think if my makeup was not on or he saw a dirty bowl left out? As much as I do consider myself a feminist, I still struggle with gender roles on a woman-to-man level.

I realize this, however, and that I want to be with a man who is not threatened by my success or intellect. I want a man who encourages and welcomes my expressions of interest. I want a man who will not judge me for any reason. I want a man who is a feminist. And so, even if this one is not, I called. If he never calls again, I will know he wasn't worth my time or energy to begin with. And if he is intrigued by my showing interest, I will know that he's worth showing a little mroe to. So we'll see what happens next. And whoever said you couldn't change the world one person at a time?

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Ode to Saint Valentine

Saint Valentine. I had often wondered who this person was and why we celebrated this day. What did he do for love that deserved a whole day of commemoration?

The story of Saint Valentine is a fairly simple story, more simple than I had ever imagined. It took place in Rome under the rule of the emperor Claudius. Claudius needed more men in his army, and he thought that the reason that the men were not volunteering was because they did not want to leave their wives and families. So he outlawed marriage. Saint Valentine was a minister, and he did not agree with this law so he continued to perform marriages. It was this that got him executed on February 14, 269 A.D.

The man for whom this day was named was never in love at all. He did not die for his love, he did not sacrifice greatly to express his love for another, he definitely did not buy candies and flowers for anyone. He died because he believed in love.

I do not celebrate Valentine's Day, whether I have someone to celebrate it with or not. I think it's ingenuine, insincere and forced. I feel that love should be spontaneous, and the essence of romance is found within that spontaneity. So how do I reconcile the fearless heroism of Saint Valentine with my feelings about his day?

I spent the night with girlfriends. Surrounded by laughter and support, chocolate and wine, giggles and hugs. The night was not without the discussion of loves - past, present, future and those that are undeniably somewhere in-between. So many people wallow on this day. They choose it as a day of mourning and of self-deprecation. A day to cry over their singleness and the reasons therein. There is nothing wrong with being single. There is something completely natural and comfortable about being independently on your own. I am proud to be single, and I am proud of my single friends. We are strong enough to be on our own. We find happiness in ourselves and in each other. We do not need to cling to something that is ingenuine, insincere or unromantic. I find something fearless and heroic about that.

It is not that I don't believe in love or marriage. It is that I believe in it so fiercely that I cannot tolerate anything less than true romance. Saint Valentine did not die so that teenagers could lose their virginities or so that Hallmark could make a few million dollars. Nor did he die so that those who are afraid to be alone could have an excuse to find someone to hold onto. He died for real, true, God-blessed love. And when that day comes, that truly will be something to celebrate. But until then, I'll celebrate myself. I'm having a lot of fun trying to figure me out.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Pretty Enough for Me

Am I not pretty enough?
Is my heart too broken?
Do I cry too much?
Am I too outspoken?
Don’t I make you laugh?
Should I try it harder
Why do you see right through me?

I live, I breathe, I let it rain on me
I sleep, I wake, I try hard not to break
I crave, I love, I’ve waited long enough
I try as hard as I can

I laugh, I feel, I make believe it’s real
I fall, I freeze, I pray down on my knees
I hope, I stand, I take it like a man
I try as hard as I can

Am I not pretty enough?
Is my heart too broken?
Do I cry too much?
Am I too outspoken?
Don’t I make you laugh
Should I try it harder
Why do you see right through me?

- Kasey Chambers

The first time I heard that song I felt the lyrics were already so familiar that I could almost sing along. I knew them instantly by heart as though they had been written on mine for years. And it's true. Sometimes we all go through periods of self-doubt, where insecurities reign and self-confidence has been chased away. Whether you're a man or a woman, you've definitely had an experience (usually a heartbreak) that left you wondering if you somehow just weren't enough.

I like that she says "I try as hard as I can" because that's all that you can say when your thoughts are cloudy with questioning. You know you tried as hard as you could, but you still wonder what you could have (or should have) done differently. You wonder if you were a little better or a little prettier, would things be different?

I find myself caught up in thoughts like those sometimes. They feel like cyclones, spinning you out of control until you feel far away from who you are.

The harsh thing is that it's true. Sometimes you aren't pretty enough or smart enough or strong enough. Sometimes being you isn't enough.

When you break up with someone, it's not always because of outside circumstances. Sometimes it's about the guy. Sometimes he's just not enough for you, just not what you're looking for or what you want. And that's okay. Sometimes someone doesn't want to be with you because they just don't want you. It might mean that you aren't enough for them, but it never means you aren't enough for someone else or that you aren't enough for yourself.

That's the important thing to remember. In the midst of the doubting, the questioning, the self-deprecation. You have to hold onto yourself and what you know of you. You have to hold onto who you are and what you want. And you have to hold it up. I may not be pretty enough for him right now, but I'm happy with me so it's ok if I'm not what he wants.

I listen to that song every now and then, and sometimes the words still sting. But I always know that no matter what, whether he wants me or not, I'm good enough for me and content with myself so that's all that matters and all I need.

Friday, February 6, 2004

Looking In

I feel sometimes so conflicted, not knowing whether I want to scream or cry or laugh or just sit and listen. There's a swarm of bumble bees inside of me, teasing me, taunting me, buzzing about, darting around with me not knowing what the next move will be.

I have felt the bees recently. I don't know what their buzzing says. I don't know what they're trying to tell me or what they want to do to me next. I only know that I need an escape. I need to get out somehow. Out of myself, out of my head, out of my life and I need to go somewhere new.

People sometimes use that expression, "I'm beside myself." I don't know what that means. To be beside oneself. I wish I could be beside myself every once in awhile if only to get an outside perspective on things.

I can't explain what's happening inside of me or what brings it about. Heartbreak? Loneliness? Just the stale feeling of living every day? Some thing, any thing, every thing. Maybe every little one of those pesky bees represents one of those. I don't know. I know he's a jerk to lie to me, but I don't even know how I feel about that - angry, sad, confused?

But today. Today I hushed all the noises, all the motion and the fury. I silenced it all for a moment and heard a voice from somewhere deep inside of me. Some small part of me that has been buried with all the burdens I've brought upon myself.

It said, "No matter what, someday, you will smile again." It had such a soothing voice, so comforting and soft, like an angel I had with me all along that I allowed to be bullied into a corner. I wanted to hear it again. I ignored the negativity, the nay-saying, the buzzing, I pushed it all aside and listened. "It's not about getting out. What you really need is to get in."

I always try to ignore my problems, escape whatever I don't want to be confronted with, by running. Running into someone's arms. Running into another city, another place to be the location of this chaos within.

Tonight, before the voice, I thought about escaping by myself this weekend to a private beach getaway. I thought, "What I need to cleanse myself from all of this mess is the sound of the ocean." I decided I would book myself into the Holiday Inn somewhere not far from here and somewhere on the ocean.

But running away to the beach for the weekend would do nothing when I just had to return to what I left behind, what I postponed, procrastinated dealing with. It's absurd. I need to look in and find my cleansing there. But I will start with a smile. : )

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Free to be Punk

Tonight I went to a punk rock concert. It was my first punk experience and not altogether an unpleasant one. In fact, it was surprisingly pleasant most of the time.

One thing that struck me about this new experience was how different I was than the people surrounding me. Most of the people there defined the "punk" stereotype with every hair on their head, every thread of their clothing and every puff of their clove cigarette.

I looked around at everyone and wondered what made us so different. We were all at the same concert, drinking the same beer, living in the same city. And yet to look at me and to look at them, you would think we were from totally different planets.

So what is it about that punk life that is so unusual that separates them from the rest of the mainstream? Sure, the hair, the clothing, the smoke habits. But what else? I'm sure that these people have ordinary, insignificant jobs like most of the people in the country. Software technicians, administrative assistants, teachers, even doctors and lawyers.

What I found myself contemplating is what these people looked like in their ordinary lives. Did they still wear their hair all messy and tangled looking? Did they still wear old vintage baggy clothes? Did they smoke cloves on their smoke breaks?

Probably not. Because our society is such that it demands a certain kind of uniformity. A certain conformity to the norms that are socially accepted and nonresistant to common conventions. These people may seem perfectly "normal" in their everyday lives, their "workday" lives, but on their own, at night, with the comfort of their friends and those like them, they express who they truly are. In a nonjudgemental environment, they are free to become themselves, however far from the mainstream that might be.

And in a sense, I think that we're all like that. We all have multiple personalities. We portray ourselves to be in one kind of light at a specific time around specific people. And at other times, when we feel more comfortable, we show our true selves. We let go of the social pressures and social responsibilities that dictate our public behavior, and we act freely. It is important to become aware of these personalities so that we can hear them when they are being unnecessarily muffled.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004


I was at the bookstore tonight, minding my own business, when I see before me about twenty copies of a TIME magazine special edition. "Love Keeps You Healthy." It was this in-depth report compiled with expert opinions and detailed research all about how being in love makes you live longer and stay healthier. I was appalled. As a single woman living in a society with constant pressures on getting married and having boyfriends, it becomes increasingly harder every day as every moment I'm getting older and moving closer to becoming an Old Maid.

This TIME special edition did not help. Telling me that I'm unhealthy and will have a short life because I don't have love. I mean, we've all heard of some reports saying that the more sex you have, the more energy you have and the more calories you burn. That one makes sense. Sex is exercise. I don't have sex right now, but I do the StairMaster a few days a week. Believe me, I realize it's not quite the same, but it does still give me more energy and burns calories.

There are also reports that say that having a pet will help keep your stress levels down and will help you to live longer. That one makes sense to me, and I do have a pet, so I'm in the clear there too. But not having a boyfriend is somehow making me unhealthy? We now have to work out, eat right, reduce stress and be in love? As though it isn't already hard enough to be single and alone without being reminded that not only might we die single and alone, but we also might die sooner. Great. Time is passing by and so is our opportunity to find love.

I was infuriated. But after thinking about it, I think I can see how some scientists might come to that conclusion. I think about the toll it takes on my body when I'm lonely. I think about the nights of not being able to sleep or the days of never really getting hungry. I think about the hours I've spent crying over lost love or opportunities that are now ruined. And I understand. I understand that it must be hard on my body if it's been so hard on my heart and my soul.

It makes me remember Split Aparts. Bear with me, this is a watered down version of one of Plato's theories. See there once was a time before evolution started happening when all humans were not humans, but were tiny little one celled organisms. And then we started dividing and getting bigger, developing into the people that we are today. We split in half. We split apart into two separate but equal halves. And after evolution and growth has taken place, we still feel incomplete and we spend our whole lives looking for our other half, our Split Apart.

If that theory is true, then TIME's theory that love makes us live longer could be true too. Maybe our bodies work better when they're whole.

And maybe we get weary of being alone. If we're searching for our other half, we could wear ourselves out with the waiting. My grandmother is alone. She was divorced about thirty years ago and has been alone ever since. I don't think she's a very happy person and while she has plenty of volunteer activities and numerous friends, I listen to her and I feel bad things turned out so different from what she hoped. Living alone, sleeping alone, having no one around for comfort and companionship.

But there's one thing that TIME forgot to mention in its special issue. Love comes in many different forms. Love can come from the comfort of an old friend's familiarity, the laughter amongst family, the tight grip of a friend's hand during troubled times, and the strength that you can draw from someone who loves and always supports can surely also lengthen our lives. The love I see in my friend's eyes and hear in their voices enrich my life in ways that I know a romance would fall short.

So yes, if you live without love, any love, your body may not be able to support the burdensome weight of your soul and your lungs may give out trying to fill up an empty heart. Before you start counting how much TIME you have left to find that special someone, try counting how much love you have in your life that keeps you going strong.

Monday, January 19, 2004

So Fresh and So Clean, Clean

I was taking a bath today when I realized I ran out of soap. Some girlfriends of mine had given me a "Naughty Girls Kit" for Christmas as a joke which contained a bar of "Wash My Sins Away" soap so I grabbed that and used it. I started thinking about the idea of being able to wash sins or mistakes away and start over again fresh, clean with new skin for a new future. Wouldn't it be great to have soap like that that could erase away any great regrets you have or any poor decisions you made in the past?

I don't know how many times I've wanted to go back in time to fix mistakes I've made. Sometimes a really bad mistake can change the course of your life forever. You think to yourself, "If I had only done this instead, things would be better now." Because we always think that different is always better. We are shaped by the choices we make. While sometimes we do something we may regret, in the end there's a chain reaction that helped to develop you into the individual that you are today. Still, all that optimism is comforting, but is it really true?

My mother says that I think I'm like a cat with nine lives. She says that I move around too much to different cities and switch jobs too much as though I think I can have a whole new life if I just change one thing around like geography. Perhaps it's my hope that there is some kind of magical soap that can give me a fresh start and make me a better person that keeps me changing my life around all the time.

I'm dissatisfied with my life right now at this moment so instead of working on whatever current problem may be troubling me, I think that if I change something, then I'll feel better about my life. I spend too much time thinking about how the mistakes I've made have affected my life in all these catastrophic ways and blame myself when things aren't going the way I think they should. And not enough time living in the present.

"Maybe the past is like an anchor that holds us back. Maybe you have to let go of who you were in order to become who you will be." Maybe that magical soap is a state of mind we have to reach to find peace with ourselves and our lives.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Psychic Stomach

I think I am psychic. I have always had that opinion, and now I am coming clean about it. Sometimes, right before something really bad happens, my stomach hurts. I know that sounds hokey and a little imaginary, but I am telling you, I know what the stomach ache feels like and it always prepares me for the worst. It's kind of a flip flop sideways feeling, like you get on a rollercoaster.

Once, sophomore year in high school, I got the creepy loopies in my tummy and what happened? Only a few short days after a magical evening at the Homecoming Dance which was concluded by an innocent little kiss, my date Nicolas...something or other dumped me high and dry. Said he just wanted to be friends. It was totally out of the blue, and I would have been unprepared to handle such a blow from Mr. Whatever-His-Name-Was had it not been for my psychic grumbly belly. And now I have progressed so far beyond that tragic moment that I have completely forgotten his last name.

My stomach woosies have proved themselves time and time again. An excellent example was a week or so before The Fire of 2002, or the day the living room died as some like to call it. That's a good 8 or so years of successful testing. Even the most scientific scientist would have to agree. It's just a fact now. My tummy can predict disaster.

Sometimes, though, I get that very same cosmic feeling in my gut, and I know (from all these tested and true experiences) that it's not predicting anything. It's only happened like that three, maybe four times.

I'm not quite sure how to explain it. It's telling me it's empty. No, not that I'm hungry because I can still feel it after eating four slices of pizza. It's telling me that I'm empty. That there's something missing. Something has made a hole in my insides, a cavern in my soul.

The worst thing about this kind of stomach knots is that they don't go away. They just sort of sit around festering and tormenting, reminding me that I've lost something important that I need to get back.

Ok, ok, sometimes it's a guy, but even when it is a guy, it's more than that. It's like a wake-up call, a call to arms, a call to action, my body is manifesting itself in order to get my attention.

Maybe the guy is gone forever and that aches on its own, but this other thing, this stomach thing, is telling me I have to change something about myself, I have to reevaluate myself and evolve. Pick up the pieces, put them back together again and move on. Guy or no guy, I gotta have me in place. I hope everyone has a wake-up call as unrelenting as mine.

Monday, January 12, 2004

Fast Food

So I was watching "Sex and the City," the one where Samantha dates the guy with the really small dick. She adores him, but has to ditch him because physically he can't please her. I'm not saying size matters because, well, let's face it, I wouldn't know...yet. But I do know physical compatibility matters.

I have a friend from high school who converted to Christianity in college, which is wonderful, but I don't exactly agree with everything about the church she joined. They don't believe in dating. They believe in "courting." Which means no kissing, no touching, and no fun. I can understand the respectability and the morality involved in saving all of that for your wedding night (or the janitor's closet at the reception hall), but it's not for me. Or for most people. Because physical compatibility matters.

The thing is that it's all a mystery for so long. Sure, plenty of people rush to the sack before the first dinner and a movie date, but some time still goes by before the inevitable first romp in the sack. So much goes undiscovered until that first twisted night under the covers. This person might be your ideal. They might do all the little Puritanistic pleasures that you love like petting your hair, scratching your back or holding the small of your back to lead you into a room.

But that same person could make all your worst nightmares come true once you get them in the bedroom. Maybe you want to take some Nair to his back. Maybe she doesn't shave - down there. Maybe his penis is so small you wonder if it's even hard. Maybe her breasts are surprisingly tiny after she takes off her Victoria's Secret water bra. Maybe he bites your nipples...too hard. Maybe she bites your shoulder...too hard. You just never know that your perfect person could cause a perfectly torturous experience.

Then there's all the sexual qualities they need to possess. I mean, fellas, if women can have multiple orgasms, why are you just giving us one? And ladies, guys enjoy a little oral every now and then too so try to be as generous as you expect them to be. Certain skills are involved. Some men are bad at some things...like really bad. But by the same token, some women are pretty awful too. Practice makes perfect.

Why can't it be like ordering a meal from McDonald's? Would you like fries with that? Yes, super sized. I'd like a quarter pounder, hold the lettuce. Life would be so much simpler if people had sexual menus you could choose from. You know, just put it all out in the open posted so everyone could see and could pick exactly what wanted.

"I like giving blow jobs." "I once gave a woman seven orgasms. In 45 minutes." And you could give sizes too, to avoid any misunderstandings. 34 B. 6 1/2 inches. It would make things go so much more smoothly if everyone was honest like that. You wouldn't have to try out so many bad pieces of meat to figure out which one on the menu was right for you.

Of course...mistakes can be fun. And they make for great stories. Ohhh...fuck it. Let's just all get out there and make some more funny stories. As my friend Walter says, "Don't be dumb, get you some."

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Good Evening...

Hello, readers. Welcome to my little world.

Have you ever noticed that when you’re lonely, life seems to slow down completely? You feel every breath as it comes in and as it goes out. You hear every tiny drop of rain fall. Every minute passes as you count each second going by. Maybe it’s not just when you’re lonely, but when you’re lonely because you can’t be with the person that you want to be with. Or because you’re weary of the search.

I don’t understand life. Or love. I don’t understand how people can miss each other like two trains running on opposite tracks. Just sliding past without a collision of minds or crash of hearts. How two people can feel two totally different things at the same time and feel the same exact feelings at two totally different times. Or feel nothing at all because they haven’t noticed each other.

When does it line up? When do we meet each other in the middle? When exactly is that supposed to happen? We live in a world of chaos, fast paces, quick meals, no breaks, no time to spare. The modern world is one of conveniences which challenge us and push us to keep up. We have more time now because of these conveniences but instead of enjoying life or taking things easy, we find more things to do. At some point, we lost something of ourselves. We’ve lost that which keeps us grounded in life. And the worst of it is that we’ve gotten used to it. And we’re terribly uncomfortable without it.

They say that people are getting married older these days than they have previously. If you take out all the girls in high school who get knocked up and married at sixteen, what would the average age be then? 30? And the reason is this is the world we live in. We live in a fast paced world that makes you hurry in order to stay afloat which causes you to lose sight of the small things that life has to slow down to enjoy. There’s no time for marriage because there’s no time for love.

So when is it that love happens? When do we slow down? When do we have that train crash into that someone? People miss each other every day. How do you really know that you haven’t met someone you could love?

Maybe you sat next to them on the subway and not even known it because you were too busy planning your schedule on your palm pilot. Or maybe you would’ve met someone at a coffee shop if you had taken the time to sit down and actually savor every last drop instead of running in and running out.

I just think that people should slow down every now and then and take a good look around them. Making the most of every opportunity may not be a motto encouraging new stock investments. Maybe it means that we should quiet down our world so that we can listen to the voice inside us tell us what to do. Shhhh.

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