9/6/14

Meow Mix

I don't even think I'm going to apologize for blogging, for being away or for existing, for a change.  Obscurity= anonymity I always sometimes say.  I just need to write, need to write and little positive twitter quips of the awesome things my students are doing just won't cut it.  Neither will erudite objective-based, Bloom's-ly worded questions in documents no one ever sees.  Books aren't happening, neither are poetry, short stories or much masturbating, frankly.  Things have gotten way too serious around these parts for my liking.  Absurd still, yes.  Fun and playful, not so much. Back to working 7-days a week.  Ho hum.  The good news is that my weekend job will end in 1.5, 4.5 or 7.5 months.  The bad news is I don't know which it is, and I'm not really ready for that.

I went and didn't do the stupidest thing you're supposed to do, which is go to therapy and then get all attracted to your therapist.  No matter.  I'm not a psychopath.  It's attachment.  Oh yea.  I am not into ending careers for the profane.  If I were, would I be blogging and saying fuck, fuck, fuck again here?  Never.  In any event, it's a moot point.  Just a little nagging thing to carry around with me at all times.  A little piece of obsession mixed with feeling a little in love to just ignore and not celebrate.  Lucky me.  Lucky you. 

Is this all lathed in ambiguity enough for you, yeti?  Who cares.  I am just a little tired of feeling mentally stuck.  Mr. Bee got married.  Now he's somebody else's problem Mr.  He admits now that it was kinda a train wreck for the kids (my interpretation of his words), trying to blow through town, waiting to pick up all the pieces after a wedding, a honeymoon, a house with lots of sharing space with people who were just friends and acquaintances the week before.  Mostly, it's Snaggletooth, who needs lots of privacy, who is suffering.  But, now, over in mom town, we're emptying the nest, never completely, but by rotating who's in the pile.  Add a big dog and a dog park addiction for continuity-sake and there's plenty of quality mom-time to go around.  Except, where's the sex?  I should rename this blog, "Where's the Sex?" Isn't that always what everything is about with me.  I'll use extremes on my own blog when I damn well choose.  I think lack of sex is my writing muse.  Erotica must ensue.  Always.  Or, at lease, erotica gone awry. 

Wait for it....

6/29/14

I'm the Only One (A Stalker Title)



     “I think we owe it to ourselves to give this thing another go,” I said with surprising earnestness.  I meant it, though, and I believed it.  I can’t remember exactly how he replied; it was a vague, but certain rejection of my proposal.  He didn’t quite take responsibility for making the decision that for once and for all one of us needed to make.  For the record, in the end, I was committed and he wasn’t.  This is probably to his credit.
     A week later he told me he’d begun seeing someone else.  The part that stung the most was that I had seen it.  I had had the thought when she and I were working together the previous year, “Monte would really like her; she’s his type.”  Of all the things I was right about in our fifteen-year history, that one’s the least satisfying.  I never took credit for seeing it before he’d even met her though, because I was hoping it wouldn’t be true.  There’s a part of me still wishing it weren’t. 

     The first time I meant Monte, I may or may not have had a hand-rolled American Spirit in my hand at eight months pregnant, like I so often did, but I do recall that I was sitting on the steps to the outdoor kitchen in the house Sherry and I shared, scantily clad, as the heat demanded.  I wasn’t impressed or particularly interested in meeting this person Green was excited to introduce us to.  “This is Mountain,” she said in a way that for a long time made it seem awkward to say (though he wanted us to….) “These are the Cricket Farm Mamas, Carey and Sherry,” she didn’t precisely say—I’m kinda lousy at dialogue like that.  Anyway, Green speaks more with rhythm and gestures than with words, percussively, jazzily, like she’s scatting.
     No one could have a stronger reference than to be introduced by Green.  For some reason, this grown and bearded man wanted to volunteer at our meager home school collective.  I didn’t question his motive at the time, as we single moms needed all the help we could get.  Green’s motive may have included me, but Mountain’s did not.
     When we relocated to the “Yellow House,” Mountain was a once-a-week (and often pot-bearing) regular in our short-lived, but potent field-trip of a school.  Allie, a Ph.D. later, is now founding her own learning center.  That and Loi’s new Ph.D. in psychology seem to give street cred to our fleeting grassroots merger.  Em is in Belgium to live the free skool dream twenty-four seven.  Sherry is queerly straight-married, painting, writing children’s books and still entertaining the masses with her envious flamboyance.  Green, a healer always, is still with Molly, who is crafting beautiful suits in Portlandia.  I haven’t heard from Skye or Missy since, but Lori Ann, Chris, and Sarah also migrated northwest with many other former Austinites and their precious offspring.  Flint remained in Austin, as did Mountain and I.
     I will be ever grateful to the group for sending me to a Montessori math training back then. That and Making it up as We Go Along philosophically propelled me to return to school to become a teacher with four children under ten. 

     Emotionally, I went back to school for another reason.  When it came to be nearly every day I resented Mountain’s drinking, my not drinking, and the necessity of living in the “Marriage Cure,” my friend Peggy wisely asked me, “What is it you would do differently if you weren’t with him?”  “Go back to school,” I knew.  So, I finally did.
     The most painfully entertaining bits of our tale are all of the traumatic ways Mountain and I broke each other’s hearts day in and day out for a full ten years.  We tried it all: white trash fighting that can’t be rivaled, therapy, date nights, speaking from the “I”, calling the police, blogging, Getting the Love You Want, self-help groups, separation, rehab, cruelty, living with his parents, cheating.  Surprisingly, none of that worked to hold our breaking family together. 
     In 2009, with one more semester of college left, I bought a State Parks Pass that gave me the freedom to spend unbearable nights at home in a tent in the Bastrop State Park until I left our idyllic home with solar panels, five acres, a garden with all of my love invested in it, fields with rattle snakes the boys used to roam and the forts that they built there behind to move on to a better life for me and my kids. 
     I didn’t succeed.

6/14/14

A Regular Amish Insurrection

I'm pretty sure this might happen again.  Creating a facebook page for my new dog might not be enough ventilation during this mix of trying and untrying times.  School's out for the summer... once I finish one more week of half-days.  I've still got the soul-killing weekend job I've had for the past almost ten years now, though that facility is closing in October, so there is something new to vent about, $.

It's hard to believe it's been over four years since I left Mr. Bee's ass.  He's getting remarried soon, just starting the shacking up part of Brady Bunching it up with his new hottie.  That's been hard.  Really hard.  I haven't been dating at all, but the aforementioned doggy has been getting me out on hikes and to dog parks enough for me to have developed a most-likely unreciprocated crush of late. Vague blog fodder for sure, that is.

There's all the stuff we haven't talked about in forever, I know, but single-parenting four kids between the ages of eleven and twenty-one and working seven days a week, nine months of the year pretty much sums up Beeville.  Laundry, dishes, grading papers, paying bills, teen-age angst, all that sexy stuff that the world needs another blog about.  I am in survival mode most of the time, hoping to feel a little relief on the time crunch front of it all very soon.  Plus, this has been declared the "Summer of Fitness, Fitness, Fitness!"  Who doesn't want to read about the ferns I see next to rocks hiking along Barton Creek and all the sex I'm not having?  Who?!

Entertainingly, Rick Perry's been likening his battle with homosexuality to his battle with alcoholism in the most revealing way of late.  He's going to come out as the poster child for overcoming homosexuality any day now, I predict.  Once again, Texas is setting the standard of excellence: increasing standardized testing while decreasing education funding, restricting access to birth control and sex ed simultaneously these strategies help to prevent the belief in evolution in Texas.  It's a win win!  Conversion therapy will surely prevent the legalization of gay marriage in Texas.  Surely.

Maybe all this absurdity is God's way of talking to me, telling me me to resurrect FluffPo.  Don't get greedy now, God.  This post has about plum-tuckered me out as it is.  Fitness, fitness, fitness!

It's just like the olden days, ain't it?  God's plan for me to be half-gay and half fake-Amish is working out perfectly....  Muahaha, cough, cough, cough.

Photo heretically from here. 

9/8/13

As Luck Would Have It...

Dearest Interstitial Interwebbery,

It dost now seem as though in my presumptuous haste I did, in fact, reset Mozilla in some way that hast made me too succumb to the same company proxyfoolery my co-working breathren alone were dealt several fortnights ago.  Without The Book of Faces it might suffice to stream Netflixwise alone, especially in light of Portlandia Season 3's recent, if fleeting, parlayance in my queue, but yea, it too were smote.

And so, with all my former presumption in tact, I shall return hereto as though no time hath past, as though I did not abandon ye.  Look yonder, there! Darryl Hall doth, indeed say, "It isn't so." Perhaps it will allay that though I briefly did layest my words down upon others, never was it an act so satisfactory as to repeat, and so it is within all I deem apropos to lay my laissez a fair literary head upon your bosom and beseech ye to welcome me with open arms when I, on the Days of Saturn and the Sun, shall, after having been bored out of my utter skull, take a rest from the grading of eternal papers to bitch and moan and bitch and moan and pretend again in this I am not alone.

With a side of hasty pudding and the portent of much to sluttitudinally come, I shall again take leave for what I prayeth will be a shorter while than that for which we last were parted. 

Freida of the Bees

8/19/12

On the Fly

I'm pretty sure I'm too busy to write this, but it has really been too long and some of it just needs to land somewhere outside of my head.  If this were pre-bloggerdom, this would be one of those once every six months journal entries, which is where my journaling for many years landed.  The updates.  I used to write daily in my paper journals, but pretty much every time I returned to my journal to re-read its soulful contents, I would find that it was the same stuff with only slight variations on the 5 W's.  Not that the 5 W's aren't what a certain writing is all about, but for me it's about emotion.  Mostly, everything I've written about outside of obligation is about the emotion it evokes in me when reading it or writing it or the emotional effect the writing process has on me.  It's my anchor, a way for me to "ground" my emotions.  Of course, it's not always so purely intentioned and noble as all that may sound.  I'm pretty sure blowing off steam or putting what feels devastating to me into an absurd context to have a different relationship with it is what about half this blog is about.  The other two-thirds being pure and simple attention-seeking whoredom (not to knock whoredome, of course).  And, though I'm olde-fashionedly attached to my two spaces between sentences habit, I wouldn't dare make up words and write little tiny one-word sentences in writing.  Shameful.  Shameful.

As tempted as I am to go off on a tangent about the shameful effects of shame (written from a firsthand view), I really am here for the update, the processing of this summers events.  (Here ends the masturbatory meta-writing foreplay.)  This summer began with what felt like an abrupt ending to the 5 months of house sitting I'd done from Dec. 30- May 31.  Originally, the end date was to be June 30, and then sometime in April was changed to June 15.  Of course.  It wasn't my house.  Folks wanna be home.  Folks miss dogs.  Yada yada.  I missed having my own home, also.  But, I wasn't mentally prepared to make that return step into the utter tedium I was seeing it to be to be barely making it between the two 1/3 of what I need to survive paychecks I was bringing in, especially when my move-out day became THE DAY AFTER THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL.  Packing and cleaning and maintaining meals, etc. on top of working the hardest 7 days a week of the school year was not fun.  Not fun at all.

I was promised a raise in August, two weeks at Chez ex-ex Mr. Bee surfaced when he was to be away for work for two weeks beginning the exact day my house sitting was to end, and my boys would be out if town three (yet unknown) weeks of the summer, at least, with grandparents.  I started to think that maybe we should camp our days away and postpone getting a place of our own until mid-July, perhaps.

Fresh off my school's spring camp-out at Krause Springs, the Genius and I fantasized that we could summer in "The Wild" in some manner that would require him to use the survival knife he purchased with his most recent Christmas booty.  Well, that was his desire.  Mine was for us to feel to excited to be "living" outside.  For tv and the boredom of summer to be replaced instead with novelty and simplicity.  The "Grande Adventure" didn't exactly pan out as I'd expected, perhaps thankfully, and though I wouldn't exactly say that "adventurous" categorizes the summer for me, things they have been ashaken.  Fortunately, in all that, aside from being indoor-bound in the DFW area these past couple weeks to avoid ye ol' deadly West Nile Virus (so I can do teacher-training stuffs), the boys were able to spread their adventures out betwixt me, their dad, and their grandparents in a manner suitable for 10 and 13 year-old Baby Bees.

After hellishly moving out of the house sitting house THE DAY AFTER THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL, it took another three weeks for me to wrap up the school-related details: writing end-of-year assessments; assembling two (STUNNING) class quilts to deliver to their prospective raffle winners, finishing the beautiful hell on wheels some people call the (first annual) "School Yearbook."  By the time we were finally able to make our first camping expedition, we were so ready.  The only hindrance to my grand idealizations was my pesky weekend job (from which I write this, to whom, if under employer surveillance, I am eminently grateful).  The "flow" of the outdoors is hard to cram into 5-day spurts, but they are what we had.  Plus, the turn of events may well have been different if I hadn't had the weekend obligation keeping me near Austin.

Colorado Bend State Park is stunning.  It is as close to pristine wilderness as I've been to my three personal references in years:  backpack camping at Oauchita National Park (and drinking directly from the spring-fed creeks, in 1985), 5 weeks for seven years at a summer camp in East Texas, and our temporarily-had family tradition of staying in cabins in the winter at Devil's Den State Park .  I am most "myself" when I am outside as I was able to spend so much of my childhood, especially summers, in Arkansas.

I invited the ex-Mr. Bee to join the boys and me in our camping romp and did not at all regret that.  In fact, since Snaggletooth only began his truly independent swimming last summer, it was more like essential that he came, in hind site, as we swam in the Colorado River where it is hearty and clean where Gorman Falls feeds it.  We trekked long and hard in a manner that made us think we might die in the wild.  Good thing the Genius had that survival knife in case our bottled water supply dwindled to the point we would have to drink the blood of cacti.  Our cell phones didn't even work.  I think you can die from that. 

The day we got back from that trip, Friday, I got a call from a great public school to come interview on Monday.  I pulled together the sample lesson/ unit they requested.  Not my best, but including some of my best, but the main challenge was that I was broke until my Monday paycheck and had only a handful of camping-appropriate clothing that wasn't hidden who -knows-where in storage.  My interview wasn't my most fashion-forward moment, which only seemed emphasized by the fact that my interviewers (the core of the math department) were all in tank tops and flip flops (I had to wear a light three-quarter length sweatery thing to cover my tattoo).  Of course, they didn't care what I was wearing, but wearing the Lip Model's ballet flats that I had to "polish" with a sharpie marker didn't have me feeling too dapper/ confident.  I was sunburned and could have had dirt under my fingernails for all I know now.

They were nice, and it went well, and, as might be expected for such a "prestigious" school, I was kindly told that I seemed fun to work with and creative, but they really needed some one with more experience.  "Please, come back and apply with us in the future."  I was disappointed, but not surprised, and grateful for feedback that made me more determined than ever to make the personal improvements I needed to be more organized in my third year of teaching.  Pretty much, I've had complete and utter freedom to try out whatever I've wanted and do things however I've wanted.  While that is something many teachers envy, and it has helped to me grow in a very real "hands-on" way, there are ways I am now realizing I really needed to do more to continue "learning to teach."

I think I might be getting lazy, since I have a buttload of prep for school to do right now, so I might cut to some chases to say that there was a second, very fun, camping trip with the ex- Mr. Bee to the beach (is that what my last post was about?  Probably, but it's been so long since I read my blog) and that was all of our summer camping in the end.  Or, for now.  A second house sitting opportunity had been presented to me, though I wasn't very interested in it until I was right up on it and the first week of it was a week of uncharacteristically torrential rain in Austin in July.  The house was uber-lovely.  I was welcome to stay on when another mom and her daughters came there in their process of moving to the US from Israel (where my hosts were from).  Ends up, we hit it off really well.  My boys came to stay there with me until their Montana trip and things were chill until I started to try and find a place for August 1.  I don't recommend competing with the university crowd for housing.  Seriously.  I don't.  Finally finally, I found a place that was reasonably priced withing walking distance of my school, but it wasn't available until August 28.  THE SECOND DAY OF SCHOOL.  Yea.

I volunteered (to get paid) to work as an election judge at an election here (which deserves its own post) and was tutoring a young woman I(that I tutored in two previous math courses) in her Macroeconomics class (which I've never taken, but learned with her~~.  Thankfully, she passed the class, which was an improvement on her performance before our tutoring).

I was very busy it seemed.  Then, on a Monday, I got a call to come in and meet the principal at the school that told me it wasn't interested in June.  In a whirlwind, I was one of two, and then needing to tell my current job that they would be getting a reference call (even while I'm shopping for textbooks, etc., preparing for the job I had been planning on), until on Friday I'm made an offer and resigning the next Monday.  Arghhh.

Ever since has been craaazay and there are more things, I'm sure.  I left out being overly personal, I realize, but stuff happened in between when I started writing this and now that is shinier and I do feel better, thank you very much.  I am back to planning out my year and all of the majillion things to get my (really big and awesome, especially now that the ac is working) classroom ready.

I miss you, you know.
~Queasy.

Ps.  Though my prospective public teacher pay promises to be a big increase (or less a conglomeration of odds and ends, at least), I am pretty sure I'll be ready to start complaining about it before I next post.  I have a fabulous skill set like that. 

7/8/12

Filler

Well crap.  I waited to do this and now am in little mood do it thoughtfully.  There is thunder a rumbling and the things (not work related) I was supposed to get done at work are undone still.  Wait....  There was one thing I could go do quickly.  I'll have to finish that little part of that last thing later.  I am pretty sure this first paragraph couldn't get any vaguer unless I took that back and inserted gobbledy goop <= there.  There.

Week 6 of "intentional" homelessness is going the swimmingestly of all now that we have begun to stay in a luxury locale while my friend is out of the country.  Another lady will be staying there as well, and since she is moving to Austin from out of the country.  I will be her first intimate contact with Amurca, unless she's been here before, and I don't know the answer to that non-question, so pretend.  I will be speaking Spanglish with her children as I do not speak Hebrew and, well, you can imagine how much something this is going to be.  It's rather like being on a vacation, aside from this here work thing I am still doing on the weekends, which, incidentally, has me stewing.  Not because I don't appreciate or want my weekend job (spies), but because  I don't want to have to work it (in addition to the full time school-year position).  I really could bitch, but then you might peg me as a bitch, and fearing you are correct, let's just cut to the chase where I admit I am pretty much a bitch.  Yep.  A bitch who shall be getting her own place by August 1 and appreciating a 2 bedroom place with an adapted third bedroom dining room quite a bit.  We're moving on up, however, since I am committed to the 2nd bathroom option this time.  

Three things:  Portlandia (on Netflix), Garfunkle and Oates, and there is a list I submitted to McSweeney's today that I would share were it not that they might not publish it then.  In other words, when they send me the formal rejection, I'll post it.  We've played that game a number of times, McSweeney and me.  He's a prompt rejecter; I like that about him.  What he doesn't know is that I am collecting his rejections.  Maybe I could make a list out of them.  Shazam, but damn.  Some of my previous rejections were in my olde school email account that has since been deleted.  I'm sure you care about that.

There have been times I've lusted for the most recent former Mr. Bee's newishly sober ass of late, like when we're famming it up in a tent, sweating it out on a hiking trail, or lounging around the cheap beach as we have done in recent weeks.  No need to make me feel ashamed for that or to tell me to go back and read into the misery this blog details at length.  I've got it covered, though surely the saga will continue.  I'm not too keen on new people anymore, it seems.  I consider this maturity, but what I should be considering is a certain single for 40 years aunt of mine (the one I look like).  I wonder how valuable emotional safety is, and where the intersection of it and companionship merge.  Seeing as I've been tutoring macroeconomics this summer, I'll be sure to make a little graph for that.  Seriously, I will.

It's time to stop making donuts and go invent some wheels.  Before you know it, I'll be doing more than grunting and continue on witht he other writing I deem more valid.  But you, you're the one I really love, diary.

7/3/12

Understatements


After The Silver Camaro, here is another chapter in the overly-personal wishing they could be fictional shorts...

Throughout high school I babysat primarily for one family, recent transplants from Colorado.  In Arkansas, they were way cooler than anyone else around and made a financial killing in the freezer space storage industry, basically, by creating it.  With a name that screamed old money (more than this one I have made up), they had a horse at their house on a mountain that was both urban and rural, my ideal ever since.  After seven years of camp, moving from the babyest riding pace to placing third in the all-camp horse show my final year with a second half of a summer riding my neighbor's horse bareback unbeknownst to anyone slipped in there, it was the Murphy's horse that I first fell off, never to ride again.  

I have always thought that my father's approach to allowance was the cleverest I've ever seen, perhaps because it was ample, but beginning in my junior year my father began to give me money at the beginning of each month that was to last me throughout the month.  The money was for my school lunches, gas for the sky blue Buick Skylark that had been my great uncle's that my parents gave me when I turned 16, clothes (I was already a thrift store shopper in 1987) and anything else I might want in between.  

So, with the babysitting, the allowance scrimping, and the jobs I got the summers before my junior and senior years, I managed to save $1000, which was to be my spending money my first year of college.  Perhaps that monthly allowance was what was used to pace what I might need that first year, but it didn't really pan out as well as all that when it came down to it.  I blew through my money and that combined with the fact that I made appalling grades in 8AM Latin (D), Calculus II (D), Biology (D), and Psychology (C) motivated my father to personally drive down to get me and my things from my dorm to declare that my out-of-Arkansas dreams of college were over. 

The first independent decision I had made after my father had dropped me off four months prior was to not attend the sorority rush party I had come up a week early to attend.  My roommate in Dobie dorm was an older student who looked like Barbie.  I may or may not have lied about being a smoker on my roommate profile, but I maintained once I got there that I had claimed (in front of my parents) that I was a smoker.  That first roommate was so excited to be at UT.  She studied hard, socialized well and got the cutest (seemingly older too) guy in the dorm.  We weren't terribly compatible.

We were both moved from our super tiny bunk bed rooms to being the 4th in suites.  My roommate wanted nothing to do with me.  I watched soaps instead of going to class, never cracked a book, and though I knew some of the ways I was lacking socially, there was no way I could know what these girls from Dallas who felt their wealth knew.  My incessant study of Seventeen Magazine and The Preppy Handbook just hadn't prepared me adequately, apparently, because my roommate, with whom I don't recall ever having a real conversation, hated me with a passion.

One weekend found my roommate and two suite mates out of town, so, of course, I had a party.  After Flaming Dr. Peppers and shameful partial-blackout sex with a virgin, I awoke on the floor near the bathroom in a pool of blood.  My chin was numb, but when I looked in the bathroom mirror, I could see the bone beneath where I had cut it open.  My hungover detective work told me I'd gotten up to go to the bathroom, fallen and hit my chin on the open bathroom cabinet door and lain there for some time.  After walking over to the student health center on the other side of campus, alone, I was the proud wearer of a huge bandage over my chin for the next few weeks.  During those weeks my roommate complained that I wasn't Kosher and managed to get me moved back to a bunk bed room with Jennifer.  

I hadn't made many friends there in that dorm, mainly just Albert, with whom I played racquetball and Super Mario Brothers often.  John, who was the only other person from my high school, would tolerate my hanging out with his crowd occasionally despite the fact that his former-virgin friend wanted nothing to do with me after our undoubtedly stellar sexual exploits.  

But, I was a social butterfly compared to Jennifer.  She had taken to eating only fast food though we were privy to a meal plan with a salad bar I to this day envy myself for having had.  She had no friends and was downright phobic after having been raped the summer before.  It's hard for me to imagine what her isolating Freshman experience had been, but we clicked instantly; it was her who turned me onto The Cure and incorporating black into my wardrobe.  

I began to hang out with a beautiful Indian fellow some floors up in the dorm and when, the week before finals, I showed up at my room accompanied by two fellows who stood there asking for my textbooks, how could she know I didn't know them and that I was in some sort of alcohol-less black out when I was handing them my textbooks one after another, seemingly willingly?  My friend and I had gone, in the pursuit of pot, to their room where the last thing I remember was watching REM's Stand video.  When I awoke on my top bunk the next morning, I saw an ATM (they were brand new) receipt in my hand with a note saying my card was being held inside the bank after too many failed withdrawal attempts.  

Jennifer boldly stepped into the Dobie cafeteria to help me ID the textbook bandits, but the onus of responsibility was mine, I assumed.  "I was getting pot from these guys, officer...."  My shame was at lifetime highs those days, and honestly, I really couldn't blame having no textbooks for my poor showing at finals.  I didn't think I would see Jennifer again after my dad came down and had me pack my meager belongings to move out of the dorm room.  

Over the winter break I was invited to go skiing with the Murphys in New Mexico, on the condition I would watch their children in the evenings while they went out.  I was a pretty good skier after a couple church trips in high school and very much enjoyed an unfettered ability to ski to my hearts' content.  They had all the ski equipment I needed there in the family-owned cabin.  It really was a dream come true... until I spent the night I had off to myself drinking with a bunch of folks I didn't know at a lodge and brought a hot guy with an accent back to the cabin where the kids discovered us in the morning, together, naked, on the couch.  Though my mom and Mrs. Murphy are still friends and they never mentioned this to my parents, I haven't seen the Murphy's since.  Last I heard, the daughter works for Seventeen magazine.


Only because my dad couldn't get my dorm fees back was I allowed to begrudgingly return to Austin in January.  Because I'd spent all the spending money I'd saved, I had to get a job.  After helping my mother address envelopes for the Sebastian County Republican Committee and sell drink tickets to a fundraiser featuring Bob and Elizabeth Dole a few years before, an ad to work for The Republican Party of Texas seemed to make sense.  I was a terribly good phone solicitor it turned out, surprisingly not hinting at a future career in the phone sex industry.  My grades, however, were only barely improved.  

That semester I made my first A in a Poetry class, attended an Astronomy class the whole semester only to later find out I was never registered for the darn thing, and met my birth father.  


One of the days I was skipping class, Jennifer, who always skipped herself, was listening to the radio, something I really never did.  I heard a man announce he was "JM on B93."  This was surreal, I told her, because my birth father's name was JM and he was a disc jockey.  My head was reeling a bit, and before I'd even noticed, she had dialed the radio station, told this man she had someone who wanted to talk to him, and handed me the phone.  

"Is this JM?" I asked.  "Yes, it is," the swaggering voice commanded.  "I was born JMM."  "Well, this is Freida Bee and I was born Freida Discretion Bee."  "Is this some kind of joke?"  "No."  The only affection I ever really got from my father was in that moment, the way he said, "Oh, Freida."  

Being sufficiently surprised at my lack of a southern accent (I tried), we met in person, after not having seen each other for ten years, later that afternoon.  Within a week, I had done whip-its with him, he was dating my friend Maria, and I was on the radio, kinda.  One of the times when we hung out, he said he had to stop by the station really quickly to get something done before we proceded to do whatever it is we were going to do, invariably involving alcohol.  He had to record a little ad promo thing for some poolside coverage the station was going to be doing.  He recorded the line, "C'mon Austin, turn.  Don't burn."  I supplied the moan at the end.

Based on the moan (he said) the station would offer me an internship if I switched my major to RTF (radio/ television/ film).  Despite the unlikelihood I had such choices to make considering my then academic status, I thought the idea absurd.  This morning, however, twenty-five years later, I awoke with yet another "great" idea, wishing I could take screenwriting classes, knowing RTF is exactly what I would love to pursue.

(... to be continued.)

7/1/12

A Little Pep Talk is All You Need

Is there anything more pathetic than being nostalgic for shitty times?

Not Prone

I feel less flexible
Not bending over backwards,
Less myself than a person I do not know
In this inability to not see
The ways I begged you to take me for granted.

I thought this was my history,
This malingering,
What I abandoned with the blame,
Yet again you sit at the center,
In the spot meant for me, oblivious.

Where is the resolution
In touching myself for you,
In seeing myself as the surrogate
I thought you might have been,
While waiting for a change?

Instead, there is a swelling,
A need growing so large in me
That it and I are inseparable
And repulsive,
Ruined and unlovable.

I was certain I fared better,
Even pitying you
In what was not a competition,
But now a sad comparison
That leaves me feeling wronged.

It is there in the victimhood
That my former and current selves agree
That as shitty a person as I am,
You are worse to not see that I am not
Exactly the way I see myself.

(See, a little pep talk is all you needed.)

Pic from here.

6/30/12

Lacking Ambition with a Passion

Momentarily we're fucking the lame ass book start.  Seriously, I'm not feeling it.  It's that vector, a semi-biographical shorts one, or the strange sci-fi idea I had in a tent on a beach two mornings ago, which sounds like it might entail an awfully lot of work.  Plus, it totally steals the place where Narnia and Bridge Across Forever intersect, and there's something seriously wrong with that, so I guess I'm back to square -3, which today I am good with.

I am lacking ambition with a passion today, in fact.  This was week two of "intentional" homelessness State Park camping.  Last week it was Colorado Bend State Park.  One of the most gorgeous places I've been in a long time, which is saying a lot, since I'm from Arkansas.  This past week it was Mustang Island State Park, which is adjacent to Padre Island (somehow I didn't know that, though I'd been there before). 

It doesn't help (with the ambition thing) that someone just called me ma'am and I can't remember if I've been working at this weekend supplementary job for 7 or 8 years.  Plus, there were donuts.  Seriously, this job may and or may not be killing me.  These fluorescent lights and industrial ac really do a number on one's mojo.  Anyway, I have 20 minutes here, before I'm not here.  I looked up numbers for apartments near my school, even though apartments might be soul crushing too.  But, you can live in them more cheaply and seemingly easily from this vantage point.  Gulp/

18 minutes and counting.  I'm not a person who needs to pretend I'm ambitious and productive all the time.  Maybe.  I can be uncomfortable not working, but I can be very comfortable working too.  Seriously though, I'm lazy is the not built to be very funny part of this, at least on the inside.  But, more than that, I'm not feeling terribly fulfilled right this sec, or as every post on my blog might could be traced back to, I'm simply not getting laid enough, and "intentional" homelessness isn't helping the matter.  

Of course (15 minutes), I am so much more mature than when I was last posing here last week.  I have feelings and they are churning butter a mile a minute and did I mention Mr. Bee went on the last couple camp outs, and did I mention he's a few months sober now, though, of course, he's focusing on that (as he should) and the realities are painfully clear, and though I was the one who walked away, it was after years and years of not feeling wanted in the mix.  Oh, and maybe I'm gay, except, I've coined the new definition of bi which is "being both gay and straight."  And, it works quite well.  So, the Q in LGBTQ is obsolete in my life, even if the "now whats?" loom large and futilely.

With 10 minutes let before this phone booth explodes, and Kiefer Sutherland gives me the creeps again, or better yet, the crepes, lets get to the morsel.  The friends with benefits thing posed as me using Mr. Bee on a bi-yearly (in the two and a half years since we parted) did not come to fruition in the course of the family camping which involved one big tent, lots of bathing suits and alone time on the beach after the boys tuckered out.  I could have pushed for things to go there, but I did not feel as though there was an insistence in him to ravish me, even with my 10% more leathery skin... and that hurt.  It made me wonder if it has always been exactly that way, and I'm thinking yes. 

There is another situation that is feeling complex, and worthy of processing via cryptic blogging transmission, but now we're at 4 minutes and really this guy squirming around in my mouth is too good not to swallow.  Sigh. 


6/11/12

A Timebomb

I'm setting this thing to go off on Monday.

4) “Hi Mary,” says Glen, walking into the kitchen.  “How was your day?” she responds with a kiss.  The kiss was the suggestion of a therapist they saw a few years ago, the solution to the awkward and often resentful reunions they were having.  “The kiss” was a Band-Aid on their bruises that reminded them to be gentle with each other.  It worked in those moments, but they also could have used a pitcher of margaritas for whomever broke down and did the dishes first, expensive gifts for Glen who always took out the trash, and oral sex for Mary who cleaned toilets she never herself dirtied.  

“I was just about to fix dinner.  Have you eaten?”  Mary asks staring into the fridge.  “No.  I haven’t,” Glen replies, taking the plastic ware out of his lunch bag and placing it in the sink.  “We’ve got that pasta and salad meal, I know.  That’s easy.”  “That doesn’t sound very exciting, but I don’t really care too much,” Mary quips.  Glen puts on the water and sets the whole wheat spirals and colander on the counter.  “I’ll go get us some cherry tomatoes.”   Mary puts some pre-made salad mix on a couple plates and set out the olives, feta, and olive oil before going into their room to change.   

Micah isn’t home, so they break their “No Eating in Front of the TV” rule before Mary knits and Glen reads, both with the TV on.  Sunday is the only night with “TV worth watching,” as that fellow on NPR puts it, but neither of them welcomes what would fill the silence turning the TV off would create.  There is still another hour of sunlight, and Glen knows he should go weed his garden, but that thought doesn’t sound very appealing.  Still, he goes outside.  

Mary isn’t sure her plan to knit all the hats and scarves, maybe even an actual sweater, that she bought yarn for before last Christmas is really as good a way to spend her summer vacation as she thought even last week, but she isn’t anywhere near ready to be thinking about next year’s syllabus and she needs something to distract her from thinking of Christina.  

6/10/12

Getting Squishy

Picking up from yesterday.  It's morphed to book form rather than the switching back and forth between the book and screenplay. as it did for an annoying 20 seconds.  At least the screenplay idea is giving this a more full-bodied main character than I usually envision, and I'm pleased Glen got out of a chair and went to work.  That's more action than most of my writing has ever seen (aside from Flo Jo, of course), whatever the result.  (Is that a disclaimer for claiming to have anything important to write about?)  Of course, Glen is mostly me morphed with people I have known.   Hopefully, his poor self-esteem mixed with superiority-based distancing will shine through.  (Edits are occurring within the google doc rather in these posts.)

3) "Can you help me pick out some plants that will serve as a ground cover in a shady spot in my yard?"  a customer asks.  Caroline and Glen hesitate a moment.  Once the day gets rolling, they'll both be busy and a natural alternation of duties will to kick in, but it’s a little early for that yet.  Only because Glen likes to get unpleasant tasks out of the way so he can sit back and enjoy himself later, he volunteers to help the woman.

She seems older than Glen by a few years, but it may just be that she seems richer than him, hence more mature.  At some point in his life wealth was a generally accurate indicator of age, but not reliably so anymore he knows as he leads her to the shade perennials.  His guard is up.  He doesn’t like it when people feel entitled to free landscape design services.  Examining his feelings, he asks himself, “Is it for fun and for free?”  Sometimes he can get into a generous mood by acknowledging that he has a choice, but it isn’t his default setting.

Glen doesn’t think he’s seen this woman here before, which seems a little unusual.  The “regulars” tend to come in this early, and they generally help themselves.  Just as he’s about to mentally defend his right to wake up to such demanding social interactions a little more gently on a Monday, she spots what she’s looking for, “Ajuga.”  “Fine choice,” he lies.  It actually isn’t a bad choice.  In fact, many people are perfectly happy with ajuga.  He himself is fond of its compact, purple-green leaves.  He just doesn’t have a high regard for it as a ground cover.  He imagines squishing it juicily with his feet, and winces a bit.  

As he rings up her order, he informs her that buying the entire flat allows him to give her a fifteen percent discount.  He recommends some seaweed and is relieved that she doesn’t ask him how to plant plants.  Some people do.  This woman isn’t too obnoxious.  She doesn’t seem relatable (maybe it’s the ironed jeans), but she is not nearly as obnoxious as many of the women who come in here.  

When Glen is in an outgoing mood, the rich, middle-aged women find him quite charming.  When he’s not, they at least find him helpful and polite, if invisible.  This complements Glen’s strength as a salesman—he doesn’t try to sell anyone anything.  He lets organic gardening sell itself; he just helps people find what they came in to get. 

Because I can't stand the radio silence in writing (blog addiction tendencies), I am de-private-setting my blog.  It is clear that Lisa is the only one that really loves reads me anymore anyway (I think my cuntery even scared off Randal).  If this has been that writing for the sake of it and not for the other sticky hole-filling stuff, I hope this won't screw that up.  For instance, I might then be wont to tell of all of the ways it thrilled me to rediscover the movie Fargo last night so many years after first seeing it.  Distractions, distractions.  (Of course, I want those.)

6/9/12

Balancing Act


Another installment... 

2) Glen slips his notebook and pen into the side pocket of his Barcalounger.  He must go to work.  He pours himself a coffee refill (half and half, no sugar), grabs his lunch from the fridge, and gets into his Honda Accord station wagon, a '92.  He's uncomfortable with the way it shakes, so he avoids letting it idle too long.  New engine mounts will cost five hundred dollars or so, but the axle comes first.  For now, kid gloves.  Incidentally, this is exactly the way he views his dental issues, his intermittent aches and pains, and his likely, but imagined, credit state.  "Just don't let it get worse right now," is his mantra of sorts.

Glen arrives at work five minutes late.  He's used to it, which is not to say he feels good about it, but he figures if he hasn't been fired for being five minutes late these past seven years, he isn't likely to get fired for it now.  There's something in the idea of arriving early that makes him very uncomfortable.  He tries to arrive on the hour exactly, and hits his mark from time to time, but usually not.

Glen refills his coffee, puts on his smock and greets Caroline with a smile.  "Mornin’, Caroline."  "Hi Glen.  How are you?"  "Oh, you know.  Same ol' same 'ol.  How ‘bout you?"  "Oh, I'm amaazing this morning.  I'm doing this juice fast, and it just makes my body feel so good."  Caroline's lankiness and exaggerated arm movements really drive the point home: Glen is fat.

"Can you help me pick out some plants that will serve as a ground cover in a shady spot in my yard?"  a customer asks.  Caroline and Glen hesitate a moment.  Once the day gets rolling, they'll both be busy, and a natural alternation of duties will to kick in, but Glen likes to get unpleasant tasks out of the way, so he can sit back and enjoy himself later, so he volunteers to go first.

She seems older than Glen by a few years, but it might just be that she's richer than him, hence more mature.  At some point in his life, this was a generally accurate indicator of age, but not reliably so anymore.

Here is a link to both parts put together.  Oh, I am liking this character development thing.  It's time for me to leave work for now.  With assessments done, I still have a couple more school-related tasks that I just couldn't stomach doing at work today.  Perhaps, tomorrow, or perhaps, I'll pick this back up.  Live well and love bunnies.

6/3/12

Glen's Meta Memoir and The Silver Camaro

Note:  If you follow my blog, and it is in your reader, but you can't access my site, email me and I'll invite you on as a reader.  I'm keeping it private for now.

Ok, faux productivity.  That's what this blog needs.  chop.  chop.  An entry for a contest someone linked to on facebook? Boring-- which tells me, "With an attitude like that, maybe I should procrastinate that one a bit...."

Another idea was the start, the first scene again, again, again.  I keep going back and forth between a screenplay based on a dream I had, which I was thrilled to see I recorded in google docs, thank dog, and something more memoir-ish that yesterday's conversion might go with.  I have an idea for a children's book and know an illustrator I would like to ask, but the words aren't flushed out there yet.  Another project.

I feel a little ashamed to have written that dialogue yesterday, but not as shameful as I felt to cry while watching the trailer for chimpanzee™ after listening to the interview with its maker on Fresh Air.  Oh, Terry Gross, where are you when I need to you?

After walking around in my security guard uniform for a little while (inspiring), I had another glimpse of an idea (which is sure to change) to merge the screenplay structure with the memoir.  I think the main character, Glen, can have the childhood experience I keep imagining as the opening scene... instead of me.  It can give a "scarred for life feel to the whole thing," which is, of course, what I'm going for.  The dialogue yesterday is between Glen and Mary later, in their struggling marriage.  Mary is the one with the sexual identity issues.  And, the beauty of the dream is that there was a basic structure that made some sense, in addition to a feel for the characters.

This is how it starts...
 1)   Glen writes...  "The first thing I remember is seeing my father's silver Camaro round the corner of Meador's Lane while I stood at the other end waiting in Momo's circular driveway."   

"Momo had told me and Jeff to stay close, but I was in the neighbors' barn again when I heard her call.  By the time I got there, Jeff was in the house and the front door was locked.  So, I just stood there watching the car come my way.  In me there was a mix of fear and relief at the familiar site of my father's car.

"My father pulled around with a purpose and stepped out of his car.  'Get in the car,' he insisted, as though that was his 10th time to say it and he didn't want to have to say it again.  A mix of shame (for my apparent stupidity) and comfort (that he wanted me at all) implored me to obey.

"So, it was from the passenger side of my father's disproportionately nice car, through the closed car window, that I watched my father knock on Momo's front door.  She answered, but refused him entrance.  My father was there to retrieve my mother.  He'd had enough of her taking-us-out-of-school-in-the-middle-of-the-day-while-he-was-out-of-town-to-drive-his-Camaro-10- hours-to-her-mom's-house nonsense.  He got his car from the airport as they'd arranged, but ignored her "request" to be on his way after that.

"We were welcome to stay at Momo's after my grandfather died.  My mom says she'd never seen me as happy and talkative as I'd been on that drive down from Omaha.  I vaguely recall the drive.  I think I wanted to help my mother stay awake, but, like so much of what we left behind, my memories of the drive are only visceral and fleeting now.

My cousins and I, in the years that followed, would tease Pola, Momo's dog.  "Pola, there's a dog outside," spoken with the right inflection, prompted her to the big bay window, where she would look out expectantly.  Each and every time.  Sitting in the same seat I'd ridden in to help keep my mother awake, I watched my father bust through Momo's bay big window.

"Great Momo snapped me out of my trance.  "What in the world are you doing in there?"  she hissed as she opened the door, grabbed my wrist and dragged me down the lane to her house.  Surely, we passed Junk, the oldest cat that ever lived, as we entered her house where she called the police.  In what seemed no time, I watched two police cars round the same corner my father just had, drive down to Momo's, and then follow my dad back out of my life for the next eleven years."

Mashed potatoes willing, there will be more tomorrow.  Having to complete assessments, a quilt and a yearbook sure are making me inspired do anything but those things, which are all that remain for me to wrap up the school year.