Monday, December 14, 2009

Autobiographies: Part Dos.

This is going to be a short blurb, because I have a paper to write, and a test to study for.
So what I was thinking today is how do you end an autobiography? It isn't the end of your life, so what do you say? This is where I am now? This is what I learned so far? What if you haven't learned anything? Though, if you haven't learned anything, what's the point of even writing an autobiography.

On the Good News side, all my Christmas shopping is done. AAAAAnd it's "Making a Difference Monday," inspired by the blog [carrotspeak]. My good deed for "Making a Difference Monday" was donating blood this afternoon. YAY! Oh, and for next post, remind me to talk about Salem streets. This is more for me than you, but if you talk to me.. yeah. Bye now!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Morbid Post: Don't Read If You're Squeamish

So, I don't know what inspired this, but I was thinking about death this morning, and how it IS in fact possible to die from a broken heart (not necessarily because of a break up, but maybe because Gram died early one morning). And it isn't just if you kill yourself, out of depression and despair. I was thinking, as my tear ducts decided to activate as I rode down the derby track this morning, that it is possible to die of a broken heart but only if you are outside in beyond freezing cold weather. This also has a lot to do with the images above (which, define where I am, one of the VERY FEW times I post things like that), how the Chicken Fountain froze each little drop that fell upon the rocks implanted in the fountain, slowly building on each frozen bit, amalgamating five or six inches of straight ice. Now, imagine your orifices are the fountain openings. You start to cry when you get the undefined terrible news. The tears trail down your face as far as they can go before they freeze to your face, and they keep coming, building one on top of the other, making your face a formation of ice, and eventually freezing your eyeballs. And of course, your nose is running, so the liquid snot would freeze on your face, possibly over the opening that is your mouth, and the rest would freeze in your nose, making it impossible to breathe through your nose. Finally, if your snot didn't freeze over your mouth, you will try to breathe through your mouth, and it just wont happen, because all of the saliva has frozen over. Now, if someone finds you, you would be rushed to the hospital, but it only takes so long to suffocate.

This post is really morbid. I'm going to end it now..

Monday, December 07, 2009

Fractured Fairy Tales

What a klutz, that Fairy Tale.

She tripped one day,

Her feet got in her way when she was mountain climbing.

She tumbled,

Rolling down the hill,

Destroying all the progress she had made;

Twisting her plot,

Breaking both her characters,

Fracturing her ending.

Essentially shattering everything,

Things that had grown in her since she was born from her author.

Fairy Tale's bones are broken,

She lays there

Fractured, fragmented Fairy Tale.

She's in a wheel chair now,

Never fully recovered after her fall,

Looking up to her growing baby sister,

Expecting so much,

But knowing her sister's identical destiny,

Knowing she will amount to so little,

Yet encouraging the small girl's big dreams.



Insights from my Theatre History class.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

H.M.’s Brain and Soapbox Races

Today is historical. The brain of H. M. is being cut into slices. For those of you who don't know who H. M. is, he is a famous psychological case study. He had epilepsy to start out with, and in the 1950's, they didn't exactly have the best idea about how to treat disorders like epilepsy, or depression for that matter (for instance, lobotomies). Anyway, because H. M. was an epilepsy patient, doctors and psychologists decided the best treatment would be to remove his amygdala. However, in the process of removing H. M.'s amygdala, the surgeons also took out parts of H. M.'s hippocampus and parahippocampal gyrus. Now, the hippocampus and amygdala are the main parts of memory. So, you can guess what happened. Ever since his "treatment," H. M.'s epilepsy was controlled, but he had problems with his long-term memory. He still had access to his working memory (short term, could remember lists of words, up to six or seven words long), and access to his procedural memory (long-term memory of skills, according to Wikipedia). But his long-term memory and encoding of events into his long term memory was impaired severely. Think 50 First Dates, but a guy, and not dating.

Anyway, the neuroscientists at UCSD (University of California, San Diego) are in the process of cutting H. M.'s brain into paper thin slices and putting the slices between glass to preserve them. It's pretty disgusting to watch, actually.

Anyway, onto another random thought: I was riding down the soapbox derby, thinking about physics. Yes, physics. I was riding down the derby thinking that soapbox racing was so very corrupt. The kid whose soapbox weighs the most, or the kid who weighs the most, or the parent who cheats and puts bricks in the child's soapbox always wins, because the way you know if something is going to go fast down the hill is not how big the wheels are, but how much wait is on them, because, as I learned in my physics class, the weight is what propels the car down the hill. I just looked at the rules online, and the rules say that there is a weight restriction for the child, and a weight restriction for the car with the child in it. But it didn't say anything about weighting the car down to the maximum weight possible. K. S. says that's cheating, but I think it's just a means of finding a loophole, and making the system work for you.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


So, I actually got the idea for this blog post the other day while I was watching scenes in my acting class. In one of them, there are two people who are on a date on Valentine's Day, and the problem is that one person, who is an origami expert, and knows everything about the other person, an origami expert to a lesser degree, who has detailed his life in the written word and made it available to the public. Anyway the first origami expert knows all these personal things about the other origami expert because she read his book, so it is made increasingly clear that the man cannot hide anything from the person he's on a date with, and cannot swing anything bad that has happened to him in his own favor. This situation made me realize that by doing this, by writing an autobiography, you can't hide anything. People read your book. They know all about you. The only time this would do more good than harm would be in the case that you're a celebrity, be it a social or political celebrity, where your life is speculated about all the time anyway. Like Hillary Clinton, or Taylor Swift.

Writing an autobiography puts the author at a disadvantage to the rest of the world because in writing an autobiography, the author is bearing his or her soul to the rest of the world. After writing an autobiography, you have no secrets.

Aside from this blog, I don't think I would write and autobiography. A.) I don't think anyone would read it, and B.) if someone did read it, well, if it was a best seller (this is a blog, I can dream big), I would have to be dating someone that I really trusted and have friends that I really trusted (because people would judge me for the things I have to say), or publish under a pseudonym because the world would know all my secrets, and it would be impossible to spin anything the way I wanted it to be seen. Besides, if I wrote an autobiography, I would want it to be about something that mattered in my life, like Summit, but to a larger extent. I would want it to inspire people to do something bigger with their lives, even if they didn't believe in God the same way I do, even if they were Satanists, or Buddhists, or Hindi. The world needs more of selfless acts of kindness. I use selfless because random implies that the acts are done only every so often, and does not exclude that the acts could be done for one's own personal gain. There are so many people out there who give to charities to make themselves feel good, or so they can tell other people that they give to This Charity, and That Charity.

Obama says in his book,

"An autobiography promises feats worthy of record, conversations with famous people, a central role in important events. There is none of that here. At the very least, an autobiography implies a summing up, a certain closure, that hardly suits someone of my years, still busy charting his way through the world."

When Obama's autobiography was published, he was 34 years old. I am 20, starting my 22nd year in May. Not nearly old enough or having enough experience to write an autobiography. Besides, with all the shit that's happened to me (which is not nearly as much as could have happened, and not nearly nothing to complain about (meaning "a lot" is a relative phrase)), I think I would send my audience the wrong idea about myself. With all the things that have happened to me, it would make sense for me to be a very negative person, but I'm not. So I sit with Obama's quote: Nothing extraordinary has happened to me to merit an autobiography. I have not had a conversation with a famous person, I haven't held a central role in an important event, I have no feats worth recording. Just thoughts.

Some People Sing, I Think About Weird Stuff

So, I met a Satanist the other day. Haha, what a weird way to start out a conversation with myself. "Hey Self, I met a Satanist the other day!" Anyway, I met a Satanist the other day. Weird beliefs, those ones have, or different ones, anyway. Different than my own. I looked Satanism up on Wikipedia and got a general idea. Basically, there's theistic Satanism, and atheistic Satanism. In theistic Satanism, they believe that Satan is a "supernatural deity" and they actively worship him. In atheistic Satanism, the people believe that they themselves are God of their own universe.

I was actually thinking about this while I was in the shower the other morning, which is a weird thing to do in the shower, but hey, some people sing, I think about odd things. And I was thinking mainly about atheistic Satanism. I was thinking, if we were all the God's of our own universe, and as this person that I met, let's call him Z, as Z says, "I allow you to exist." So, how does that religion work? You get a lot of people in one room who are all Satanists, let's say a Satanist's Convention, and they all believe that they are the God's of their universe, but their universes are overlapping, who is allowing whom to exist? And how do Satanist's account for all the other people in the world? If they are the deity, how did they create someone they don't even know, their name and everything, across the world? Why would you keep the bad people in the world? Why would you allow someone you don't like to continue existing? How would you explain learning?

Secrets: Everyone Has Them

So, today I have many things that fill my head, but there will be one post for each of them eventually. Right now, and only because I have time, I want to focus on this video that I was sent from the PostSecret community. Everyone has a secret, and I think that is something that makes us human. The ability to feel emotions, and let our emotions judge who we're going to share our hearts and minds with. I have a secret... I was raped. I only say this now, because before, when it happened, I was silenced by someone telling me that I was just being overly promiscuous. And I believed that person. I know now (after taking a women and gender class) that just because I convinced him to wear a condom, the fact that I was unwilling still made it rape. I'm still confused about a lot of it, so please don't ask questions. I'll work through it. Wow, I definitely did not mean for this to be a "mysecret" day.
What I meant to say originally, was that the girl who speaks starting at 3:29 reminds me a lot of my old self. The self that MZ and AK knew. She says, "I'm a lot better before you really know me." That was true for me. MZ and AK knew me deeply, they knew my soul, my being. And others, outsiders, knew my shell. Others thought I was so great. MZ and AK knew better. And now, after them, I've grown. Naomi Nye puts it so well in one of her poems: "I grew another head/with better ideas/inside my old head." This is what happened to me, and I hope something similar happens to the girl in the video. Now, I find that her secret is the exact opposite of mine: I am a lot better after you really know me.
Secrets. Some of them are funny. Some are deep. Some are scary, and some are so very private. But we all have them. And it's a beautiful thing. And PostSecret is so necessary because of the way so many people relate to the secrets that are posted. Sometimes, I wish Frank would post more than twenty. Sometimes, I wish he would post them all. And all the time, I wish I had his email so I could communicate to the people who send their secrets in that they are not alone, that I wish so much that they could know that I have the same secrets, and that I feel the same way. Maybe that will be my next postcard.
Also, quick shout out to my first (official) follower. Thanks for reading.

P.S. Sorry about the width of the video. I tried to make it fit, but it wouldn't.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I am really NOT religioust

Meaning, I do not discriminate because of religion. But this is my second post about Jehovah's witnesses. And I happened upon this thought last night when I was reading the Christmas issue of Women's Day magazine. I know, I know, it's too early to be thinking about Christmas, but I can't help it because I work retail and because all the magazines send out their Christmas issue in November! So, I was reading the section of Woman's Day where women were discussing their best Christmas ever, and one of the women was talking about how the best Christmas she ever had was when she and her husband had nothing but a small tree because they had just moved to Beijing. I thought back to my most memorable Christmas, and what came to mind was when I was living with my mom in second grade, the year that we house-sat for a rich family who was off in some hot city like Palm Springs, for the winter. I remember how she took scraps of wood and a few nails to make me a very simple box with a shelf inside, and a cross-piece to hold the shelf up. This simple box was a dollhouse. Nothing fancy, in fact, it was painted plain white, with no other markings, "left for [me] to decorate". I got a few dollar store accessories, but in truth, it wasn't really that much, and yet I was happy with it, as this American couple in China was. I started thinking about Christmas now, and how I ask for and get basic stuff, like socks, underwear, and snack foods (for study breaks), and I rely on getting that stuff at Christmas, because I am a poor college student, but those are the essentials, and I feel bad asking my parents for it because they are already contributing so much to my education, or as much as they can anyway.

So how this relates is that I had some friends when I was growing up that were practicing Jehovah's witnesses, which means, for those of you who don't know, they don't celebrate holidays. This was hard for me to understand because I was so accustomed to giving gifts for Christmas and birthdays. We were kind of on the same plane of socio-economic status so the daughter and I had a lot in common. But she had two brothers, and therefore they had less money. Thinking about it now, I depend on my parents to give me the essentials that I need for school, like paper, socks, underwear, ect. And now, I think about how neglected children in Jehovah's Witnesses families might feel. I think about how they get their essentials if their parents don't give them essentials that much..

Just a thought.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tribute to Strings Tributes

This isn’t really deep or interesting, like I try to be when I write here, but today, something I am excited about are the strings tributes that I just got. I first heard a strings tribute in my friend’s car on the way to Lucky’s Chinese Restaurant, where we were to get orange chicken, the best in my small town, and quite possibly the world (that last statement is very typical of everyone who has ever had orange chicken, but goodness, it is true for me. Best orange chicken on the face of this earth). Who even came up with the idea for orange chicken, anyway? Who thought, hmmm… oranges and chicken. This is what I have in my refrigerator. I know, I will put them together and they will taste fantastic! PRESTO (or the Chinese word for “presto”)!
Anyway, this post is not about orange chicken and its lovely deliciousness, but about string tributes, so back to the subject. Anyway, I was riding in my friend H’s car, and this song on a mixed CD (yeah, CD. Remember those?) comes on, and it’s just violins. But after a moment of listening, I hear the faint tune of Girls Not Grey by A.F.I. so I was like, “H, A.F.I. doesn’t play stringed instruments (besides guitars and basses) do they? And she said “No, this is a string quartet tribute. Badass, huh?” “Yeah, completely,” I replied, and I just listened to it, and imagined the words there. I don’t know if any of you have ever heard the Pickin’ On series that does bluegrass covers of country songs, sans mots, but it’s kinda like that in the sense that they take rock songs, and do covers of them with a string quartet, and again, without words.
Just to give you an idea of the awesomeness that is the string tribute, I will tell you what I found: Sweet Child of Mine (Guns N Roses (if you don’t know this song, I am ashamed of you)), Money (Pink Floyd), In the End and Numb(Linkin Park), Hands Down (Dashboard Confessional (okay, I guess they do non-rock songs too)), How You Remind Me and Someday (Nickelback, and I love it. Full of badassery and amazingness), Here Without You (Three Doors Down), Dream On (Aerosmith), Clocks and Yellow (Coldplay), Wonderwall (Oasis), Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen, and you had DAMN well better know this one), Be My Escape (Relient K), Dare You to Move and This is Your Life (Switchfoot), ect. I cant go on listing them because I know you’re important and have lots of better things to do than listen to me go on about random pointless shit. So, for your pure enjoyment, I have posted a link to Bohemian Rhapsody, the string tribute to Queen, and for those poor souls who don't know the awesomeness of Queen, may God have mercy on your soul. Listen to it. Seriously.

Monday, November 16, 2009

My Experience with a Psychic.

Let's just say that it was interesting, to say the least. This evening, Alan Cable, a radio personality on a station I listen to (from far away… I listen on the internet) hosted a psychic, and apparently he does this every night and I just don't listen enough. Anyway, the point is, I was sitting here thinking, I don't have anything to ask a psychic, I don't believe in them anyway and then I thought of something. God has been calling me to India (I think) and I have been thinking a lot about it. Anyway, I decided to call in and ask this psychic if I was going to go to India within the next two years (because the next time that I would be able to go would be between now and after I graduate from college with my degree in a year and a half. Now, let me tell you, calling in is no easy feat. I had to hang up and call again SIXTY-NINE TIMES before I got through. We're talking mass busy signals. Anyway, Alan picked up and asked what I wanted to ask, and I told him my question and he puts me on hold, and before you know it, he's back on the phone with me, asking my name and my question. Here's how the conversation went:

Alan: Hi, what's your name?

Me: J.

Alan: And what is your question for Sylvia the psychic?

(is it just me, or are all psychics seemingly named Sylvia?)

Me: I was wondering if I will be going to India within the next two years.

Sylvia the Psychic: Yes. Yes, you will be going to India, and you will be meditating a lot there.

Me: Oh really? Will I be doing anything else?

Sylvia the Psychic: Yes, yes, you will be meditating a lot, and you will have a large spiritual awakening.

Alan: What are you going to India for?

Me: Oh, it's just a career choice.

Alan: Well, what do you want to do?

Me: I want to open a shelter for the homeless, using art as catharsis.

Alan: Well, you are just a great person. Have a great night!

Me: Thanks, you too. Bye.


This, if you have been following my blog, kind of follows what I want to do in India, but isn't quite the focus of what I want to do there. I won't be meditating in the most used sense of the word, and if I am meditating, I will be meditating on what God is telling me, and what I read in His word. But she didn't say anything about "bind[ing] up the brokenhearted, proclaim[ing] freedom for the captives, [or] release[ing] from darkness the prisoners." (Isaiah 61:1) She didn't say anything about the work that I would be doing there, taking children out of the brothels and slums, working creatively with them, ect. This makes me think that all it takes to be a psychic is a little general knowledge of the world and some really good guesswork that can be backed up with logic. In fact, several of the calls that I, as a listener heard her take, the person asking the question answered it his/herself. Anyway, my guess is that Sylvia the Psychic knew that India had the Taj Mahal in it, and that there are two dominate religions there, both very strong. Therefore, my situation is so specific that all she had to go on was guesstimates. So, I said thank you and hung up. But I started wondering… why do people believe and depend on psychics so much? Psychics make their money by creating self-fulfilling prophesies, meaning, they put an idea of what the person wants in person's head (because the person often asks a leading question with a yes or no answer). Because what the psychic said was what the person wanted to hear anyway, the person works harder to make what the psychic said happen, or if what the psychic said was vague, it is easy to interpret the psychic's answers the way you want to, molding them to the outcome you got or you wanted, like I did with Sylvia the Psychic's answers, therefore fulfilling the prophesy that was made, and further reinforcing your belief in the psychic. For example, a woman who wants another baby is going to try harder to have another baby if the psychic tells her she will, and she will give up, or not try as hard if the psychic tells her that she won't.

And I got to thinking, maybe people believe in psychics because they need something to believe in to be secure with themselves in the world. Maybe it just makes them feel better, knowing what is coming. But while I was thinking this, I was also thinking that atheists say the same thing about people of religion. We're just two different groups of people. Psychics and their followers have psychic books as their Bible, and they have self-fulfilling prophesies as their miracles, and they depend on what will happen in this world instead of what is promised for the next world, where as Christians follow a God that is not of this world, we have a sacred text, miracles like the one I witnessed (a girl's knees were healed by God through a group of people), and we depend on what is promised for us in the next world and live by a code. I've often wondered if we're all worshipping bastardized versions of the same God, imposing our own prejudices on our religion, making the differences between religions. Maybe this is sacrilege, but it's a theory.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I am very much a socialist.

I had a big long rant about this all typed out, then my computer restarted itself, and it was therefore deleted before I could post it. I can't bring myself to type another one, because I know that it wont be nearly as good as the last one. So, I am going to post a website explaining why I am a socialist and just suffice to say my most important point. Being homeless induces a cycle: Homeless = no access to showers on a daily basis = not clean and dirty clothes = bad first impression when applying for jobs = no interview = no job, and the cycle repeats. These people also have to worry about finding food on a daily basis, and I know when I spent the night homeless and had to find food the next day, it took me the majority of the day just walking from the yard I slept in to the hospitality kitchen and back to the house I was staying in for this service project. Anyway, here's the website.
Thanks for reading, yo.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Back into the Shell

I am a turtle.

I can feel myself being pulled back into the shell that is my body.

To steal another's words,

I'm not in a good place right now.

I don't care about class.

I'm not hungry,

But I eat because my headache doesn't go away if I don't.

All I want to do is sleep.

I am a turtle,

With no control over my withdrawal,

And my shell is so uncomfortable when all my limbs are inside.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


It feels like your life's crashing down all around you
Let me ask if it's really so bad
Look at the world in it's suffering
Can you honestly tell me that know one else could understand
All of the hurting inside

Why can't you see that freedom is sometimes just simply another perspective away
Who could you be if your lens was changed for a moment,
Would you still be the same

A young child looks through a great stained glass window
Watching the people go by
Everyone seems to be wearing a red coat
His mother sees jackets in white
Now he can't understand why does she see it this way

Why can't you see that freedom is sometimes just simply another perspective away
Who could you be if your lens was changed for a moment,
Would you still be the same

Yesterday, you really couldn't see
By changing your angle a new world would be
Revealed to your once blinded eyes by moving a few degrees

Why can't you see that freedom is sometimes just simply another perspective away
Who could you be if your lens was changed for a moment,
Would you still be the same



This is how I feel right now..
"Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life!...How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!"

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Random Thoughts of the Day

The thought of India is filling my head. I cant seem to think of anything else. I'm in my history class, and I cant concentrate. I keep thinking about what God is doing in my life, and gaining hope, and then going through the depression pattern and slipping back into doubt that I can do what needs to be done, and doubt that I am talented enough to do art with these women in India. I'm having all sorts of problems with M.S, and they're problems that I have tried to solve, but fail at solving, and I don't really understand what I'm doing wrong to make her unhappy. I get really upset when I cant solve my problems with her, and I know that she senses it too. It's frustrating for both of us, so I don't know what to do. This frustration carries over to the prospect of going to India, and I keep thinking, how the hell am I going to manage and work with people in India when I cant even solve my problems and help, and make someone feel better about herself here? I've just been getting really insecure about it recently, and I've prayed about it. I was finally sent over the edge with M.S. last night, and I am resolved to quit and move out by the end of December. I've already started looking for a place and a new job. A.S. is coming to my house for Christmas because I have to work the whole break at EB. It's really frustrating because I wanted to go to his house, and I wanted my ring, but I don't know what is going to happen. All these things are clouding my vision of India, and what I could do there. I'm just worried that I'm not strong enough in my faith, and that I wont have the words to resolve situations, and that I wont have the artistic ability to influence these ladies.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Good Direction

I just had coffee with a professor of mine from the theatre department. "Follow your heart," he says. Boy, that statement has never been more wrong. I want to major in theatre. I want a career in theatre. I want to open my own theatre company and give the artistic positions to the homeless to solve social stigmas. But all those plans have been mislaid. What's that saying? "The best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry." It's not fair. It's not fair, I tell you! Yes, I like psychology, but it isn't what I want to do with my life. I planned this out, so far. I had big ideas of what I was going to do with my life, how I was going to live out God's word. Not going to happen anymore, apparently. He said, "You seem more at peace with yourself." He said, "I'm excited for you. Changes in life are fun." No. Sorry C.H. You're wrong for once. I feel so out of control, and this change is scary! I have no idea what I'm doing, or what direction I'm going in. I've already decided that I'm done blaming M. and A. for this, so I'm not going to say that it's their fault, but I am going to say that the events that are happening are loosely connected to events that have happened regarding them in the past.

Here's the thing about me: I hate when I'm not in control, especially when I'm not in control of my own life. And right now, I have no idea what I want to do after college in the track that I'm studying in. I have to do an internship over the summer if I want to study abroad next year, and I have no idea where to start with that. I just don't know what I'm doing, or where I want to go after this, and I am so not at peace with myself right now. I don't understand how this is all supposed to piece together in the end, and not knowing where I'm headed after this is so difficult. I can't make plans if I don't know where I'm going. At least I have a plan through December. Falloutàold lady jobàinability to complete theatre production assignmentsàinability to complete my theatre majoràchange of life plans. Whoo! Yay for surprise plans! I'm so lost right now, and I just need someone to lead me out of this forest, out of this darkness. I can't see a damn thing in the dim light that barely makes it through the tree growth, and I need a flashlight to continue on the path. Life lesson: plans are fluid. Nothing is ever set in stone. People say that children are more mentally stable if their environment is stable, but how can that be, if plans are never stable? Maybe that's the reason I'm so messed up, because I didn't have a stable upbringing.

I remember going to the grocery store with my mother and bringing my calculator along to make sure that we could buy all the food we needed for the week. My mom had a basic list that we called "staple foods": the foods that you could do anything with if you had them. They were milk, sugar, flour, bread… and something else, but I can't remember what the last one was right now. I think it was meat. But we always got those things first, and mom would tell me how to do the calculations, and add up what we had to see how much our total would be. I remember moving from place to place after my parents divorced. I remember hating my mom for so long, until I had a taste of living with my father.

So, while I'm trying to stabilize my life, I'm listening to John Mayer, relaxing, trying to breathe deep. And while I feel all this anxiousness, and worry that I'm making all the wrong decisions, I feel a small amount of relief at the idea of a decision having been made.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Keeper of the Peace

In observing the parentals over the weekend, I have discovered a few things. The first, my step-mother is as dumb as I made her out to be. The second, Husband and Wife don't communicate well. The third, my father is as nosy as a starving anteater, and the final factoid I learned about my family is that my step-mother has become a brilliant keeper of the peace.

For the sake of sanity, I'm going to stick with the keeper of the peace bit. My step-mother has a six-year-old girl who we will call Sister, for the sake of anonymity and simplicity, and a seven-year-old that we will call Brother for the same reasons. Sister woke up on the wrong side of the generic hotel queen-sized bed this morning, and has had a horrible attitude all morning. She didn't want to eat someplace with the word "onion" in the name, she didn't think they had coloring, she was making all kinds of a fuss, and not cooperating, and when I couldn't hear what she was whining about (me), the step-mother looks at me and says "she's having a 'moment'". This is no excuse. The phrase is "terrible two's", not "terrible two through six's". Whatever. She's in a bad mood. But it took several hours before they even began to discipline her for her behavior.

The example that I'm thinking of though, is a moment that occurred between my father and her. My father, to contrast him to everyone else in this world, is one of those people who are set off on a dime. Guess he passed that onto me. But when we forgot Brother's pillow in the hotel room, the step-mother mentioned it, and he threw the bag down like he was mad. He also asked her earlier this morning why she didn't pack Brother's earplugs, like she was the one responsible for all the packing. This is a completely unfair assumption. Last I checked, everyone was supposed to be responsible for their own items. This doesn't work for Brother and Sister because they are too young to remember everything, but when that kind of thing occurs, generally it helps if your spouse packs one kid's things, and you pack the other kid's things. He just got so worked up, like it was all Step-mother's fault, and she just responded really glibly, like she's used to dealing with shit like this now. Even though she is kind of stupid, I still feel bad for her.

Anyway, we were sitting in this restaurant, and Father hands her the glass that a milkshake for Brother and Sister came in, with only a little left in the bottom. Without thinking, Step-mother hands Sister the glass, and Father says "What are you doing?" with the underlying question of Are you thinking? It made me feel stupid for her, but instead of reacting the way I would have, she sputters for a minute, and then says "What would you like me to do?" I can just hear the eggshells, typical of an abusive relationship, cracking as she walks around him on them. Five or six minutes later, Father is back to talking about the restaurant manager with the white spot of paint on the back of his head (if that's even what it was), and Step-mother is telling me a stupid little anecdote about a woman she works with who was really rude on a test which she somehow meant to relate to Father talking about everything and everyone because he's "a curious person". I swear the man keeps tabs on the whole town so he can gossip with his family and friends about everyone else in his spare time. He's on the damn phone enough. I hate to admit this, but I kind of admire her for deflecting as well as she does. Although, I guess you're trained to be a keeper of the peace the longer you stay in a position like that, and she's had almost ten years' experience.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Parent/Family Weekend! YAY!

So, my father and his wife have decided that they want to show up at Parent/Family weekend. At first, I nixed the idea; told them a lie, promised them Thanksgiving weekend. However, with the prospect of unpaid tuition for next semester looming over my head, I'm worried that I won't have the money that I need to pay for it. On top of that, I'm headed to California for Christmas break, and I need to pay for my third of the gas. So, when my employer from back home called me up to tell me that they wanted me for the holidaze, I told her I would check into what I could do with my employer down here. I found out that the old woman's daughter is planning on coming the two weeks after the old woman's son leaves, so I committed to going home and working for a week and a half after Christmas before school starts up again. I found out that the time frame I gave them wasn't what they were looking/hoping for from me. I basically did the unthinkable. I called my father up, told another lie to get out of my first lie, and invited him to Parent/Family weekend, hoping he would say yes and dreading it at the same time. Well, he called me up yesterday, saying yes we are coming. When I found out he's coming on the day I told him I had plans, I reminded him that I have plans set for that night. My plans consist of Opening Night of the show that is being performed at my school, the gala that follows, and the fucking awesome cast party that follows the gala. Every Opening Night is a welcome break from the hectic aspects of showbiz. Anyway, when I reminded him of my plans, he asked what they were and I, of course, told the edited version of just the Opening Night performance and the gala that follows (the UN-boozy part of the evening, since I'm sure my fake parentals don't endorse underage drinking (I use the term fake applied to my father to establish the fact that my step-dad has been more of a father to me than my biological father, but somehow my biological father seems to crave being rejected and abused in retribution for all the shit he gave me in my late elementary years and teens)). Well, after we hung up, he called back. He called back to ask if I could get him tickets to this performance. Without even knowing what the performance was. Without understanding the content. Let me back up and give you some of my history with this man, his wife, and his spawn. I designed for the show The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, and it was my first design job EVER, so I invited them for a night so they could see the work I had done. Let me just say right now that the experience was not only patronizing, but also very embarrassing. We get there and sit down, and my step-mother calls her uncle to come watch with us because 1.) it's a comedy, 2.) it's being performed by a Catholic high school (this earned major props from my father, the devout Catholic who says "God bless you," not only when someone sneezes, but also every single fucking day for a number of reasons), and 3.) J.A. (that's me) "helped with the design". Okay. MAJOR ISSUE. I pointed out that I did not "help" with the design, I did the designing. What they saw onstage was the product of ideas that came out of MY head. They were MY ideas. I did not HELP. I did the designing and someone helped me. So she corrected her speech. This is one of the many reasons that my "parents" don't get me. They don't understand why I'm a theatre major, they don't understand why I do this, or why I want to do this for a living. I want to do this for a living because I believe that I could be damn good at it. And they don't get it. Not one bit. While she was being all kinds of patronizing, my father was schmoozing on every parent in the audience that he could get his claws into, making connections, and asking about the school. The production finally started so it could shut both of them up, and they watched, but half the times that they were supposed to laugh, I felt like there should have been a flashing "Laugh" sign, like they have in the studios for sitcoms, or when a sitcom implements a laugh track to get people to understand that what people are saying are jokes. Or even a fucking claque from Shakespeare's time, the people who sat in the audience and laughed when they were supposed to, or cried when they were supposed to, or cheered when they were supposed to, ect. So, I acted as a miniature claque, laughing when the parts were funny, and they kind of blindly stumbled their laughs along behind me, all the while, not controlling their little hellions, whom we might refer to as children, who they seem to keep quiet and still in church, but can't teach proper theatre etiquette. Their spawn ran around in the back of the auditorium making all sorts of noise and drawing the attention of the other parents there. It was disastrous, and I asked them to please control their children and make them behave, but they wouldn't and kept saying that it was fine, even when I pointed out that little B.A. was sitting right in the middle of one of the actors' entrances. This whole event was very embarrassing, and needless to say, I learned a lesson about where I could and could not take my family. Theatre events fall under the "could not" section. To top it all off, the end of the Victorian era satire takes a funny turn when they find out that Jack's real name is Ernest, like he was saying all along, and now he could marry his love, Gwendolyn, who would only marry a man named Ernest, who also happened to be his cousin when all was found out about his adoption. And through all the hilarity of confusion, my stepmother, who is about as bright as a 4-watt light bulb, could only focus on the fact that Ernest, even though he was raised in a different family, was going to marry his cousin. A fail worthy of a *facepalm*.

Needless to say, when my father asked for tickets, I told him that I can't get free tickets, and that if he wants them, he's going to have to look up on the internet where to reserve them because I don't have a clue, I'm just going to rush house and stand in the back. It's outside so there's really no way of controlling who watches and who doesn't. Anyway, I then explained that he didn't even know what it was about, and then told him the basic plot that Antigone buries her dead brother against a degree that declares death to anyone who does, and is therefore prosecuted when she's caught, and sentenced to death, and then on top of all that, when she is sentenced to death, her betrothed commits suicide, and when the betrothed commits suicide, his mother commits suicide because her son was driven to commit suicide, and it all ends in the despair of the father and king of Thebes, Creon. The fact that they didn't know the plotline for either of these plays just illustrates that they aren't cultured in the slightest, and that they're ignorant. I can't even imagine what my stepmother would say about the all female cast, and the idea of females playing males, and the implications of lesbianism, even though that isn't at all the concept the director had in mind. After I explained this and he still wasn't dissuaded, I explained the real reason I didn't want them to come: they embarrass me. I blamed it on the kids, and not their ignorance, but those brats are seven and eight. They should know better. They've been to the movies. I told him that I didn't want him to come unless he could control them, because it was outside with plenty of room to run around, but that wasn't acceptable behavior for a theatre production. And not only that, but I can guarantee that those kids would end up running around because they would get bored with the long winded speeches and the non-existent movement. He asked what that meant, and I told him that the actors stood around and spoke in translated ancient Greek. He was very obviously pissed off, but I couldn't say anything but what I had already said because he wouldn't have let it go, and I need him to not fight me when it comes to the court order of him paying my tuition. So he said "we'll see" and then we wished each other good bye. But yes, he's coming, and after he comes and goes, I'm going to explain to him that I saw him recently and that I have the opportunity to make money for school over Thanksgiving. I already know it won't go over well, so I plan to be ready for the fight that will ensue, because by then, he will see straight through my two lies for dissuading them and then inviting them, just to get out of the Thanksgiving that I already promised for several reasons. The first being that I can't stand them for more than a day at a time, and if I went for Thanksgiving, I would be subjecting myself to five days of torture, as opposed to two and a half, if that. Genius plan for getting my dad to hate me that I came up with several years ago isn't working so far, so I have to keep coming up with new ideas, and I suppose this is just the latest.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Revelation

I was sitting in acting class this morning, thinking about life, namely my monologue, and I came across a small thought in my head that said I'm done. I'm done thinking about this betrayal. I'm done talking about it, I'm done bitching about it. I will finish the series of letters, but honestly, they all say the same thing. I'm running out of things to say, and that, to me, is an indication of how far I've come, and how far I am going. I'm moving past this toxic thing that has taken up so much of my time and energy. This thing that I thought I would never get past. I'm moving forward!

M. Z. and A.K.,

You can't ruin my life. I spent the past six months thinking that you could, that you were. Yeah, I live in a nice house that I don't pay rent for, doing a crappy job that I hate, but you know what? How many people in this world actually like their jobs? So, what I have to say to you is, have a nice fucking life. I hope you stay friends forever, and I really do wish you the best. I hope you marry well, and have lots of fat babies, and that you do something you love in life. And I forgive you for all the pain you've caused me, and all the suicidal thoughts I've had since our falling out, for everything, essentially. Thank you for teaching me a great life lesson: You can't always trust your best friends to stick with you, but then again, if you wouldn't stick with me during my worst times, what made me think you were good friends? Yeah, I miss you. Yeah, I had better self-esteem when we were friends. But the fact remains that we aren't now, and that I will have to find new friends. Better friends. Friends who will stick around through thick and thin. And you know, you don't believe in any sort of God, and I get that. It's your belief. But I also happen to see the pattern, the chain reaction that has led me to where I am right now, and I know that it can't just be a coincidence. You were supposed to stab me in the back as sort of a slap in the face, with God asking me "Where is your faith, Jessica?" and when I wasn't sure where I was going to live, He provided a place that gives me free room and board. And because of our fallout, I went and served Him in Tacoma for a couple of weeks, and realized what He was calling me to do in my life. I witnessed a miracle because you abandoned me. And I thank you for that. I wouldn't be the person I am now if it weren't for you.

That's all I wanted to say. So, thank you.

J. M. A.

P.S. Without pain, there is no growth. Thank you for helping me grow.


On another note, I got a call from J.R. after six months of not hearing from him! He's headed to Phoenix from Seattle, and on the way back up, he said he's going to stop in Salem for the day, and we can go to lunch or something. I'm so excited! This is the day I've been waiting for so long now!

Oh, and Mom sent me a care package. It had everything that I've needed for awhile now: Zyrtec, toothpaste, a new toothbrush, vitamins and some stuff that I really don't need: Kudos bars, fresh-baked cookies, and forty bucks that I'm supposed to spend on whatever I want, not including school. Well, I've been buying little things here and there already, so I think that I will just put it toward my credit card bill.

Theatre history was cancelled today! YAY! Good thing, because I didn't do the reading, and I hate the teacher. Although he still expects a list of things from the reading, so after my next class, I'm going to haul ass home and read read read until I get it done enough to make the list. I also have to finish WEB Du Bois's book tonight for history tomorrow. Talk about DRY. It takes fifteen minutes to read ten pages, and I didn't finish the assignment from yesterday as it is. I'm so stressed because my final designs are due today, actually, and they aren't done, but C.H. says that I have a little wiggle time with them, and that he can stall a little for me, but not much. Weekend, here I come with a LOT of stuff to do. All I need to do is get through the weekend, and I will be okay. Just have to get it done, and then I still won't be able to relax because I have three term papers and two group projects that I am supposed to be working on! I thought this part of the semester wasn't supposed to come until the end when finals were here! Yikes! Anyway, I'm going to sign off for now. Wish me luck, dear readers.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

It’s About Closure, Bitch

Okay, so this is just an idea that I had that will turn into kind of a closure series. I want to move on with my life, and people say that you can't move on if you dwell. C.H. told me yesterday to not let tomorrow be affected by yesterday. So. Short series of letters, then I will hopefully be done.

Dear Friend,

Omigod, omigod, omigod! GUESS WHAT! I hate you bitch! Isn't it great?!? Don't fucking stand there and ask me what's wrong, why I've been so down for the past three days, you know damn well about the conversation you participated in behind my back, the conversation that was about me, the conversation that is about to end our friendship. The really good friendship, the friendship that I treasured as my best one. You know full well what kind of lie-to-your-face "friend" you are, and you know that you don't deserve my friendship. Thanks so much for stabbing me in the back. I was sick and needed to get some blood-letting done anyway. That's why you abandoned me, right? Because I was sick. And what better timing? Right as I was placing the knife against my wrist, you abandoned me. Do you realize that our friendship's demise is all your's and A.K.'s fault? You guys made me the butt of all your jokes, and I HATED it. And I took it, and took it, and took it until I just couldn't take it anymore, and somehow that translated into me being bipolar? Hmm, funny. YOU did this to me. YOU. Because of you, I slipped farther down the slope of depression, and here I sit at the bottom of the hole, looking up. I can barely see my old life from this view. It looks like a car when you see it from the window of an airplane. That slope has nothing but loose dirt on it, and nothing to stop my fall. I was stuck for so long, but I've started climbing again, and I slip so much on the way out, and sometimes it just seems hopeless. Do you realize that because of what you did to me, I had no other choice but to take a job that I hate with an old woman that I want to strangle in order to pay for my room and board? It was either that or whore myself out. And as a direct result of that choice, I no longer have the option of being a theatre major, unless, somehow, I can find a roommate for next year, a roommate that would be willing to share a studio apartment. The only good that has come out of your betrayal is I have gotten closer to Alex. He's supported me through my tears, the tears I thought would never dry. Remember how I never used to cry? I cry a lot more now. After I broke off from you, I hated eating, I hated everything that had to do with you, and I still can't forgive you, you stupid slut. After I hit rock bottom, I couldn't find any motivation to go to work, to go to my independent study class. I didn't get a shop supervisor position this year because of you assholes, and I will never forgive you. I trusted you, and you almost killed me with your neglect. It was funny. After I found out, all the things you didn't want to do with me made sense. Didn't want to see Beauty Queen alone with me? Go figure. Didn't invite me to go to the 'Tag with you when you went with A.K. and J.B.? I wonder why. Everything just started to fall into place, and you know what? That hurt even more. The fact that you were pulling this shit and I couldn't see it. It was so obvious! I guess I didn't see it because I thought you were my best friends. I tell myself I'm better off without you, that you destroy my self esteem and crush my faith, but I actually believe that my self-esteem was better when we were friends. I'm disappointed because I lost the illusion of great friends, but I would rather know that I have no friends than let you go on pretending. Bitch. I hope you have a shitty life.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I can't let it go. I can't let go of the fact that my "friends" screwed me over. I just keep thinking about that day that I found out what they really thought of me, and then everything that has caused me misery right now comes rushing back to me, and I remember why I hate them so much, and why I got so upset. This was made very apparent in the meeting that I had with C.H. today. He asked me how things were going, and I told him that I was doing fine, that I was moving on, and that I was trying not to think about it. I have everything that I need to do to cope perfectly balanced on my mind, and I'm setting aside the scales, so that I can't think about it. I don't want to think about how my major is in jeopardy because I'm not living with them, and I don't want to think about what I'm going to do after college without the degree that I was going to get. I had my life all planned out, and then, as C.H. said today, realities hit. They affected me. You know, he always asks me to have coffee with him at the most inopportune times. I had things all compartmentalized, and I was avoiding dealing with shit, and then he kicks the balances in my head and I break down crying and have to explain myself. He says not to blame myself for choosing the wrong friends. He says if I do that, I will learn to not trust people, and that that isn't healthy. But I feel so irresponsible blaming them for how sucky my life is turning out to be. Boyfriend has been telling me that I need to read the book of Job again, and understand that God is doing this to test me, and that he's still a good guy. I just find it hard to listen to. And maybe part of this is coming from the stress that I'm feeling from having being in the middle of a busy week. Light hang all day Saturday, light focus from seven to eleven on Sunday, acting journals due today, Pseudolus was supposed to be read by today for my theatre history class, but I didn't get to it in time, so I skipped. Tomorrow, I have my first exam in psychology, and I have a ton of reading (like usual) for my African-American history class, and then on Wednesday, my temporary grade coursework is due. Unfortunately, the T-Grade coursework is really time-consuming, and I was too lazy to do it over the summer, so I'm only 2/3 of the way done with it (which is WAY behind). On top of all that, I still have to log six hours per week for my production assignment, and I'm skipping work so that I can get the other stuff done, and when I'm responsible for feeding someone else, and helping someone else get ready for bed, that cuts a huge hunk of time out of my schedule. I'm just trying to chill, and trying to cope, and in so doing, I'm trying not to think about everything that is going wrong in my life, and trying to focus on the good.

Here's my monologue for you to peruse:

It's your fault, you know, if I don't design next year. You stand there, asking what I will accomplish like we're still friends. Like the kindness you show me isn't purely fake. "Purely fake"? Isn't that what you said? Well, no need to fake anymore. You led my best friend to stab me in the back. You were my closest friends on campus, and I trusted you. Only to be left eating in crowded G. isolated and alone. Only to be left changing my life plans because I can't get the experience I need to make a life for myself after college. Because of you, I'm living in a house with a crabby old woman, responding to a call button right in the middle of homework, only breathing the way she dictates, and not having much of a nightlife. I tell myself that I'm better off without you, that you destroy my self-esteem and crush my faith. But really? I hate you, because you have the life I want, the life I was supposed to have, the life that I would have had, if you hadn't been an asshole.

What do you think?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Thought This Was Appropriate, Given Previous Moods

"The so-called 'psychotically depressed' person who tries to kill herself doesn't do so out of quote 'hopelessness' or any abstract conviction that life's assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire's flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It's not desiring the fall; it's terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling 'Don't!' and 'Hang on!', can understand the jump. Not really. You'd have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling."

David Foster Wallace

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

If Life Were Simple

If life was simple, maybe I would still have close friends. If life was simple, I might be living with said close friends. If life was simple. If life was simple, maybe I would still be a theatre major. Not to say that I'm no longer a theatre major, because honestly? I don't fucking know what I'm doing right now. What I do know is that I am living in a house with a bitchy old woman who I hate so much that the devil himself could come to claim her evil soul and I wouldn't care, wouldn't bat an eye. If life was simple, I wouldn't be living my life in a constant "go go go" frame of mind. If life was simple, I wouldn't be going to class and work from 8:30 every damn day to 4:00 or 5:00 every damn night, and then coming home to cook the evil old woman dinner. If life was simple, I wouldn't be spending every waking moment hating myself, hating my life, not being okay with where I am in relation to the world.

Today, I met with the leader of Intervarsity. He wants to keep me involved with the community. I didn't tell him what happened with my pseudo-friends, but I told him enough about my living situation that I had to explain about the theatre major. When he asked me to have lunch, and when Chris asked me to have coffee with him on last week, it was all I could do to keep from crying. People care too much about my personal life, they care too much, and are WAY too invested in it for their own good. I hate crying in front of people, and I only cry in front of people who know me really well. I don't know Chris well enough to cry in front of him. I don't want them to care so much, because I am trying desperately to let go, to focus on getting through with my self still intact. And it's hard. It's so hard. It's hard trying to regain my boss's trust from when I slacked off so much last year, on top of all the other work that I have to do. I am taking 2 credits more than the average student at my school (the average is 4 credits, so you can see how this is a big deal), and I feel so stupid in 3 out of the 6 classes I'm taking, especially theatre history, where the professor doesn't like me anyway, and therefore purposely makes me feel stupid.

I just hate my life. I hate my life.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Family: Near and Dear.

I am continually fascinated with my family's determination to hunt me down wherever I may go, and whoever I may be with, and however hard I am trying to avoid each and every one of them. It seems as if their need to find me increases exponentially with relation to how badly I want to be rid of them for the rest of my life. And then on top of all that, no matter how long it's been since I last talked to the family member who dares to find me, they seem to ask so much about my personal life.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I now present evidence piece A. It all started with my uncle. I friended him on facebook because he's a pretty cool guy. He shares my interests, agrees with me politically, what more could I ask for? He's actually really great, but being without the rest of them means being without him, so I continue to the second piece of evidence.
Evidence B: My aunt SAT. SAT used to be really awesome. Then she got married and has kids and now relates less to me and more to my father (who I despise because he acts stupid whenever I'm trying to get him to do something, or say something is okay. For example, asking if my boyfriend can come to the family reunion, or even to our house! "Where's he going to sleep? Do you want him to stay with us?" DUH! If he had other sleeping arrangements, I wouldn't be asking you, now would I? "Dad, have you sent in my college tuition that you are required BY LAW to pay?" "No, I don't have the address. Or the amount. Even though I have the court papers. I didn't even know it was due last week. Even though I have the court papers. Can you call and give me the address where I have been sending my check for the past two years? We never wrote it down on BJ's numerous address books, or in her Blackberry. We also don't know how much the check should be for, even though you fought me and nearly took me to court over the small deficit that I didn't pay on purpose."). WE HAVE NOTHING IN COMMON! But she still talks to me. And my other uncle (AA) has been pestering me for the past five months about going to the reunion, even though I've made it perfectly clear that I'm not going because I have a guest during that time period. A very important guest who I happen to be planning to marry after I graduate from college. This woman, SAT, takes pictures of all the family at the reunion, and then posts them on facebook, saying this is ALMOST all the family, and tags me in every picture. FUCK. YOU.
Evidence C: Tonight. My house. New friend request. MAS. Great. Another family member with whom I have nothing in common. No "Hi! How are you doing! It's been so long!" No. What I got, was this:
"funny that you have not shown up before today...I hear you are getting married our first niece to get married...what is going on --- I want to hear details. How exciting...."
She pried for info, just like that. Didn't even let me tell her! Yeah. I'm fucking getting married. Thanks for asking. Thanks for asking about the rest of my life too. UGH! I haven't seen or talked to MAS in at least three years. I've been in and out of several relationships, been in school, and had friends turn their backs after stabbing me, and all she cares about is the boyfriend. I checked out her profile, found the most sickening sight. All her siblings and their spawn (minus me, of course. Thank God, I would have murdered someone if they had handed me a WSU sweatshirt and forced me to put it on for ten minutes of chaos and forced merriment, in which I was told to smile ten times until all the children around me get it right, then having to play babysitter for the rest of the day for at least one parent at a time) dressed in nothing but WSU attire. I swear, if they're wearing it, it's either maroon or grey. EVERY OTHER COLOR IS BANNED. If I showed up wearing WU colors, they would probably disown me! And dressing their kids up??? BRAINWASHING! The oldest in the picture is in fifth grade! Too young to even be thinking about college, and stamping the originality and artistic side right out of them.
*Sigh* okay. Rant over. Thanks for tuning in.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Sleeping on the Streets and Other Problems in the World (or at least my world)

The time was 8:00 on a recent Tuesday morning. I had just recently met with a man for coffee about getting a free massage on the weekends. I hadn't had breakfast that day, and I was hungry, so I ordered a muffin. Chocolate. It was the only kind the coffee shop had left, one of those Costco-sized muffins. I'm on the Weight Watchers program, so I used a technique that I had learned a couple weeks back, and I only ate half of the muffin. After the meeting, I was biking back to campus for my first class of the day, when I saw the most depressing and yet touching sight. In front of a Methodist church, I saw a lump. As I got closer, I realized that the lump was made of collapsed cardboard, a tarp, some backpacks, a dog, and two people. The people had dreadlocks, and were covered with the tarp. They were facing the church, so I couldn't see there faces, and as I passed, I felt horrible for the couple. You see, I know what it's like to sleep on the streets. I did it one night as part of an empathy-instilling exercise at a service project centered around helping the homeless. I know what it's like to wake up to dew all over your blanket, and to be cold and sore because you used your shirt for a pillow in an attempt to get more comfortable. I know what it's like to walk around town looking for food and maybe some cans that you can trade in for money, and I know what it's like to serve people who live like this for months or years. I was actually one of those people when I was younger. My mother and I stayed in a homeless shelter, and oftentimes lived with friends from church while I went to school and my mother went to work to try and make enough to get back on her feet. I was young, so I didn't see a lot of the struggles we had, but I do remember the cold showers in the morning before school while we were staying in the shelter, and the Pop Tarts that we ate because there was no place to store food or cook in the shelter. Luckily, we were only there for two weeks.
Remembering how hard it was to complete the simple task on the scavenger hunt (part of the simulation) of asking for a quarter, I stopped a little ways away. I was planning on eating the rest of that muffin a little later. I was still hungry! Then I thought about how hungry the two sleeping on the church stoop probably were, and realized I didn't need it as much as they did. I had lunch to look forward to, and lunch was guaranteed for me. It wasn't for them. Maybe they didn't even know when their next meal would be. I got off my bike, pulled out a piece of paper, and wrote a little encouraging note, then tip-toed over to the couple and their dog, setting the muffin on a corner of their makeshift bed.
I feel like I could do so much more for them and others in the same situation. I feel like I have the money to do it, but I'm being stingy and putting myself through school first. I suppose one can only do so much.

On another, more self-centered note, I'm trying to decide what to do about the clash between my job, and my theatre major requirements. I get paid in free room and board, I'm taking six credits, technically speaking (I'm auditing 1.5 credits), I have to work at least ten hours a week at my work study job to be able to afford to go to school here next year, and that leaves the evenings for homework (this means that I'm multi-tasking because when I am at home in the evenings, I am at the beck and call of the woman I work for. I jump when she says jump. And it's rough. We don't see eye-to-eye on a lot of things, and it's extremely stressful and hard. For instance, M.S. is pissed off because we run out of the short forks easily, and she has to use another, different kind of short fork, and it interrupts the continuity that she's had all her life, so she gets upset. Like throwing a fit will get you what you want. "Why do we keep having this kind of fork every night? I want one of the regular forks! Why don't we have any of the regular forks?" and on and on. Now add this to the stress of being in trouble with the theatre department because I forgot to look at my production calender, and therefore JUST found out that I have to miss a mandatory meeting for all majors, minors, and scholarship-holders because I'm scheduled to work, and you have a basketcase, ladies and gentlemen. A real life, walking and talking basketcase. So, needless to say, I'm rethinking my job and my theatre major and trying to find the best of both worlds, and unfortunately, I'm not superwoman, because if I was, I would do it all. I offered a proposal to the faculty to see what they think, and hopefully, they'll buy it. I'm praying that they buy it, because if they don't, my life plans will need to be altered. Again.

Monday, August 31, 2009


Let me make this very VERY clear. I am a theatre and psychology double major. The theatre requires all of their majors, minors, and scholarship holders to audition for all of their shows. THEATRE IS NOT ALL ABOUT ACTING! Is that clear? IT ISN'T ALL ABOUT DANCE! Theatre is about making art, not matter how you do it. Yes, acting is an aspect of theatre. So is dance. But behind the scenes, there are designers. What is an actor without his stage? What is an actor without the lights to support his emotions? Powerful things can be conveyed through these things. And what about the director? He or she plays a key role in the production of a play.
I am what they call a technical student. I am a designer in training. I have REALLY bad stage fright, which is kind of funny since I was in several MCT plays as a child. That said, I cannot possibly begin to convey how much I hate auditions. I get there, nervous that I won't be able to remember the words of one of my monologues, and the more I practice, the more my hands shake. The more my hands shake, the more I forget. And then the production managers call my name and I'm sure that I'm going to pass out after I forget the beginning of my piece. The production manager would lead me upstairs, and I would stand outside the door briefly trying to calm myself, and take deep breaths, both attempts failing miserably. Resigning myself to fate, I would let myself into the acting lab, letting the door swing shut behind me, overly conscious of the clank of wood against metal, and thinking maybe I should have stood by the door and closed it slowly. Taking a deep breath, I would greet the panel of professors/directors for this season's shows, and they would ask me a few questions about myself, and I would give the answers awkwardly, maybe stuttering some. Then they would ask if I was ready, and I would shakily say yes, even though I am SO not ready, and I would turn around, take a couple deep breaths, and launch into my monologue after I remembered the starting words. Not three words in, I would forget the next phrase, turn to the panel, announce that I was starting over, and re-begin, even more shaky and nervous than last time. After making it through the two standard pieces, they might ask me a couple more questions, and I would finally escape, glad to be done and hoping against all hope not to be cast. And I would nervously check the call-backs list over the next few days and find that I wasn't called back, and be relieved that I never have to public speak again.
Now, since last night, I have been trying to get out of this hell that they call auditions. I've emailed the panel, and the production managers, and finally resorted to a made-up excuse that I had to fill in for someone who got sick at work until an hour before auditions ended. The excuse wasn't necessary. I got out of auditions through an email saying that I was excused an hour before auditions started. Thank God.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Fire Her Up!

I know, I know... this is something like the millionth time I've said I'm going to start this blog up again, and I just never get around to it after the fact, but this year is proving to be very difficult, and I suspect it will continue to be very difficult, and in the past, this has been a good steam blower for me, so it's here to stay for the next year at least.
Allow me to enlighten you on my life for the past five months (and some things from about a year ago). I started dating the love of my life a year ago on Sept. 10th, which makes this the longest relationship I have ever had. The poem that was entered here on Oct. 6th is about him. There's a few catches though. Even though I'm Truly Madly Deeply in love with him, he lives in California, exactly 632 miles (that's ten hours and twelve minutes of driving time) away from my house, with chronic bloodclots, and that makes him a little hard to see, because his parents (the other catch) are so controlling that they wont let him take anything but a plane to come and see me, and because I go to a private college where they take bits of my skin and muscle to pay for my tuition when I don't have the money (which is quite often, you would be surprised). And the logical thing would be for him to move here and go to school (he goes to a community college) his parents wont let him do that either. "Why do you stay with him? Distance is a big issue!" you say. Yeah, you're right. It is. But I stay with him because I love him, because he treats me right, because he's the first guy my mother has actually liked, because my father doesn't like him (because he's half-black, half-Iranian), because he knows more about me than my girlfriends, because he is my best friend, and because he got me through a deep bout of depression last spring.
Intro: my ex-best friends. Meet A.K. He's from LA. Sweet, smart, funny, I can always count on him for advice or for him to make me laugh. He was my first co-host for the radio show that I started and the rest of them commandeered. This isn't chronologically how I met these friends, but A.K. is a key player in the depression story. I worked with him in the theatre, and we always had fun making fun of each other, until it got to be too much for me. That's how it was with the whole group. We loved each other because we could joke with each other and make fun of everyone else's attributes. Before I get too far ahead of myself, there are some more names you need to know. I met M.Z. through my first calculus class in college. Multi-variable. I had passed the AP test with flying colors, so I was advanced, and I can't really tell you why she was there. All I know is that she proceeded to sit next to me on the first day, and then every day after that, and talk my ear off, day after day. I thought she was really weird at first, but then I warmed up to her because I didn't have anyone else to hang out with yet. I guess you could call her my first close friend. We went to a concert at Riverfront Park together, and then after that, I guess you could say we were attached at the hip. I invited her to eat dinner with me and A.H. once, and that's how our group was unofficially formed. A.H. I met in Opening Days. He was the only person in my group I felt somewhat connected with. He actually talked to me without looking at me like I was weird. We had things in common, we made each other laugh. He's extremely smart, and studies hard. I met A.K. through him. They were roommates during first year (lucky that they got along so well) and have been for every subsequent year after. In fact, they're going to be roommates in the apartment that they all just rented together (without me, I might add, but that part comes later). L.B. was in A.K.'s OD group, and they are really good friends. I don't see how though because in my opinion, she has a worse character than I do. She complains ALL THE TIME, whines and lies to get her way, she's somewhat of a hypochondriac, and she only talks about herself and her sisters. You guessed it, folks! She joined a sorority during freshmen year! So we don't see much of her anymore. It's ironic with a capital I that she's the first person I turned to after The Incedent. And finally J.B.: J.B. lived across the hall from A.K. and A.H. who we politely nicknamed the A's because they have the same first name, and do practically everything else the same way. The parts that aren't alike about them compliment the attributes in the other. Anyways, J.B. is really sweet. She's never mean, unless she's joking, she MAKES (hand draws, sketches, cuts out, glues, ect, ect) her own cards for every birthday she has in her datebook, and personalizes every gift. She agrees with everything you say, and if she disagrees, she disagrees passively. If anyone could kill you with kindness, it's this blonde-haired, blue-eyed, innocent who couldn't kill a fly, and had to catch and release all the spiders in our room (second year) instead of just squash them with a shoe (I would have done it, but I'm terrified of spiders). We all lived in different halls during our freshmen year (except the A's and J.B.) and all hung out in each other's halls depending on the night. In sophomore year, we had this brilliant plan to all live in the same hall. That worked out well. Stress + PMS = J (that's me) becomes a bear, and my "friends" couldn't take it. I found out about all this through a phone conversation that J.B. was having just before I walked into the room. I stopped and listened and what I heard did not please me. Apparently, they had been talking about me behind my back. They didn't want me to live with them because of "the way [I am]". "All the kindness that [A.K.] had shown to me was purely fake at this point". They didn't like me anymore. My best friends were kicking me out of our group. Well, maybe that's a little dramatic because when I found out, I was so hurt that I chose to leave. J.B. felt sorry for me because she knew that they were the only friends I had at school, and the only reason she sided with them is because there were more of them, but she didn't want to tell me what was going on because she didn't want it to be awkward. I cried myself to sleep on the phone with A.S., the long distance lover, for three nights in a row before J.B. said anything. When I told her I knew everything, she denied that she knew what I was talking about, and that it wasn't true, and how could I think that, ect, ect. I stopped going to dinner at the usual time, and when I got hungry, I would go out. I couldn't stand eating by myself in the crowded cafeteria, so I found alternatives. When asked why I wasn't eating, and why I seemed so down by M.Z. I confronted her. I told her everything I knew, but not how I got the information. The look on her face confirmed it, and needless to say, I'm no longer with them. As a result of having no friends, I had so much time on my hands, but I spent so much of it sleeping, and very little of it doing actual work. I started skipping my independant study class, and I rarely went into the theatre building at all, unless I had J.C.'s class, in which my grade dropped because I wouldn't talk. I was ashamed, because I had stopped going to work and I didn't want my boss to confront me about it. In retrospect, she should have fired me. A.S. got me through that time. When he came for Spring Break, she thought that the reason I had been slacking was because I was so happy. Then I confessed what had happened to my advisor, and I think he told her. They're pretty close, you see. I think everyone in the theatre department is close, except for me because now that Anya has graduated, I'm the only design student left.
Anyway, this fall out has led me to the place where I am now. When I found out that my "friends" perjurers of everything good and wonderful in this world, the most of these friendship, I started looking for a new place to live on the campus ad boards, and on craigslist, where I had previously found many apartments that would have worked for the five of us (Lily was living in her sorority house). It took a few weeks of searching, but I finally found an ad that applied to me. "Wanted: a single woman to receive free room and board in exchange for taking care of an elderly woman during the evenings. You get the loft, and share the kitchen and bathrooms. Schedules are flexible." This sounded like a REALLY sweet deal, so I emailed the woman who had posted the ad, and set up an interview. When I met with the two women, they seemed pretty down-to-earth, laid back kind of people. The elder is 86 and the younger is her daughter. Nice people, really nice people. The problem was that K.S. couldn't live with/take care of her mother because it was interfering with her work and her home life, and the last person quit, I was told, because her brother had some sort of cancer. So they checked my references and offered me a job. I made the decision to go home and stay with my parents over the summer, but that turned sour really fast because my mom and I only get along when we aren't living together, and it took the numerous fights for me to see that. I decided to move back to Salem and take the job earlier than expected, and moved back on July sixth. So much better than living with my mom, right? Wrong! Out of everything that has happened so far (the "adjustment" period, my mother calls it), this old woman has made me cry four times since I've been here, and I've only been here for a month and a half. The latest happening? Well, first of all, everything MUST be done her way. If it isn't done her way? It's wrong, of course. I challenged this this morning when I served her breakfast. I accidentally set the polished spoon on the right side of the plate instead of the left, and put the fork where the spoon was supposed to go. I was in a rush to get it done. When she reminded me (like she ALWAYS does) that I did it wrong, and that I better get used to the way that she does things because the world does it like that, I said (nicely, jokingly, like an observation) "The world is kind of silly then because most people eat with their right hand." But no. Once again my employer is right because she went to high school with Jesus and I'm not quite that old. You want to know what her great comeback was? "Some people eat with their left hands." Very true, you're highness, I'll keep doing it your way because it's your house, and I will just disregard the fact that left-handedness is a recessive gene. That means that only 13% of the world population is left-handed, according to
Before this next anecdote, please understand that I do not cope well with being yelled at. M.S. (the old woman) and I have some communication problems. Many times, I don't understand exactly what she wants, and when I don't understand what she wants, she treats me like I'm stupid and raises her voice to me. Not. Cool. I was making her lunch today, and it wasn't done the way she wanted it, so she raised her voice. "No no no, I don't want it done that way, I want it just like this!" Commence ten minutes of unclear instructions.
What I hear: "I want one piece of bread with cheese on it, put into the microwave until it melts, with another piece of bread on top."
What she said (allegedly): "I want one piece of bread with cheese on top, put into the microwave until the cheese melts, and that's it."
It's really hard to believe her when she repeats what she said when I heard something different, because she says thank you for the fork that I put next to her plate, and then ten minutes later asks for a fork and then says that I snuck it in when she wasn't watching. Hmmm... something wrong with this picture? So she proceeds to yell at me, making me more flustered, so I cut the single piece of bread in half and make it into a sandwich. That still isn't what she wants, so she yells at me more exasperated and louder than before. When I finally get the "sandwich" in front of her, I'm on the verge of tears.
I can't do this job. I can't. But I have to stay until next year at least. I have no place else to live, and tuition is higher than I thought it would be. Not only that, but I would have had the money for a place of my own and for tuition if I had just stayed home and worked my butt off, as was my original plan. This is the part where I curse my ability to make the wrong kind of friends, but I suppose I'll spare you, and keep that bit to myself. If you're still awake, or even made it to the end, thanks for paying attention.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Excuse me, Asshole.

Oh, I'm sorry, did I bump into you with my fat ass? I didn't mean to.. Oh, right, yes I did~ I forgot, Fuckers like you always get their comeupance. Look, asshole, I know I might not be as pretty as the other theatre girls, I know you think I'm the stereotypical blonde girl with no brains, but I am a human being, and I deserve respect, whether or not you think I'm drop-dead gorgeous. The way you have treated me since I entered the department has been has been unacceptable, and your behavior needs to change. You treat me like I'm not a member of society, like I'm lower than a dog. Let me inform you of something: I am human. I have feelings. And though you think I'm incapable of a lot of things, and I don't always do what you think I should, or what you would do in that situation, I need you, as light shop manager, to teach me what you know, because I will be in your place next year as supervisor and the shit you think I'm too stupid for I will be teaching next year. SO FUCKING TEACH ME WHAT I NEED TO KNOW, AND TREAT ME WITH THE RESPECT I DESERVE. Asshole.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

If I Had The Guts: facebook statuses I can't bring myself to publish.

J can see through you. You're a bitch. Get away, stay away.
J is smirking. Smirking loudly. Oh, and she just might have a knife at your back.
J thinks you're really stupid.
J says, "Back the fuck off, he's mine."
J is laughing. She's going to get back at you...
J hates certain people, and the shit they say.

This list will probably get longer.. I just cant think of any more bitter ones at the moment.