Wednesday, June 30, 2010

It's Wednesday!

So, nothing too new is happening in my little corner of the world. I'm petsitting, though, and I'm pretending that these puppies are mine! I love LZ and Queenie, of course, and I also really miss having dogs around.

I read a little article this morning in Psychology Today that remarked that there is a positive correlation between happiness and meaningful conversation (conversation that goes beyond small talk, that is). I was so excited to read this . . . and I even learned that meaningful conversation does not have to revolve around emotions (what?!).

In other news: I broke my first sewing machine needle today. I almost cried because I thought I did something wrong. But Mom confirmed that broken needles happen. I still felt fragile, though . . . and I think it's related to the fact that it's another end of the month and I still don't have a job! I'm so employable! It's ridiculous how many jobs I think I can do and how many jobs others don't think I can do!

[I was going to try to make a Venn diagram of this, but I think it would just look like five concentric circles. The largest: Jobs I Think I Can Do; the next-to-largest: Jobs Others Think I Can Do; the middle: Jobs That Are Open; the next-to-smallest: Open Jobs That Are Awesome; the smallest: My Job.]

Anyway. Complaining about a lack of job never got no one nowhere--unless it did! I don't know!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mareah's: Laugh Until You Pee!

Vic has created the best idea for underwear ever--underwear with sewn in padding (made from cloth diapers). Now you really can laugh and pee at the same time! Or, use the panties during your period--what an earth-friendly way to menstruate.

These undies are good for women with minor incontinence (like new mothers, I hear), for menstruating women, and/or women with medical complications. Hell, feel free to combine the issues at will--pee and bleed at the same time!

There are two sets for sale here:
1. Size 9 bikinis, set of 4.
Cost: $18.70 + shipping




2. Size 5 low-rise briefs, set of 3.
Cost: $18.70 + shipping

Mareah's: Baby Sling

For sale: one summery patterned, cotton baby sling! Designed and made by my littlest sister!

This baby sling is padded on the front and all four straps are padded for the first 18".

Dimensions: 16" x 21". Straps are 3" x 43" (top) and 3" x 57" (bottom)

NOTE: Cats hate being put in these things.

Price: $27.50 + shipping






To purchase, please email me at dandelionseed@hotmail.com

New Business: Mareah's!

I am excited to announce the launch of my homemade clothing and craft store, Mareah’s!

Mareah’s is named after my grandmothers, both of whom have passed away, Mary and Leah. Both of my grandmothers (whether by choice and/or social customs) were always creating something to give to another member of my family. My maternal grandmother, Mary, was an avid sewer—she made two of my favorite dresses, including my confirmation dress. She would also embroider our initials and, for me, unicorns on the clothes she made for us. Her talents also extended to the plastic canvas genre (which is probably due for an earth-friendly revival). While it’s funny to poke fun at now, where would we be without multiple brown tissue box covers?! Or sunglass cases?! Or cross bookmarkers?! (We would be in boring ol’ hell, that’s where.)

My paternal grandmother, Leah, would knit afghans for every member of the family. (I had a purple one that I received when I was around 10 years old.) She would claim to not be very crafty and would minimize her talents with the knitting needles by saying she only used the giant ones because they were quicker. Well, sure, Grandma, but still . . . your work still stands today!

I am very proud of my crafty heritage, one in which my mom and aunts have passed along to me and my sisters, who are very crafty in their own rights.

And me? I am talented enough to get by, but mostly I am tired of all these talented women minimizing all their skill!

As a result, I am starting this business, a type of mini-Etsy, if you will, as a vehicle for modest people that I love to sell their stuff.

I want this stuff to go to buyers who care about what they are buying.

I want everyone to share in the pride and excitement that comes from taking everyday materials and shaping them into something new. And I want to help create a community that values our maternal (often hidden, but less so, these days) heritage; appreciates the exchange between money and time, raw materials, work, and vision; loves the materiality of the world around us; promotes literacy and education; and fosters a sense of joy and peace.

For Buyers:
Peruse items up for sale by clicking or searching for the tag “Mareah’s.” If you see something you would like to buy or have questions about, then email me at: dandelionseed@hotmail.com.

It is important to me to establish business with each potential customer on a one-on-one basis. When you email me, please send me a mailing address. I will then send you a payment address; payments can be made in cash or check. I know they say it’s risky to send cash in the mail, but I really wonder about that in this day and age. (If anyone is trying to rip of Mareah’s one quality-made item at a time, then we probably have stranger problems than a failure to trust paper being sent from one house to another.)

Important note: please know that items for sale have been marked up by 10%, which will then go directly to the local public library. You know how when you buy things at Target, for example, 5% of your purchase goes to the community? Well, Mareah’s is like that, only I chose 10% and I want it to go to literacy projects. I think everyone involved will feel good about this because I’ll be charging it on purpose and buyers will be paying this on purpose.

For Sellers:
If you are a) talented, b) loveable, and c) have made things you’d like to sell then consider selling them through Mareah’s. I don’t really know why you’d do it here as opposed to Etsy or through your own avenues . . . but still. I don’t charge anything to post an item (like Etsy does) and I don’t take a percentage of the sales (like Etsy does). I do, however, expect that you are into your craft and that you wholeheartedly support the mission of Mareah’s.

Email me (dandelionseed@hotmail.com) if you are interested in selling items. So far I have asked for items to be sent to me so that I can work directly with buyers.

Regarding Economics:
I guess I’m a practicing, willing capitalist now; I hope to see what this is about as time goes on. Like I mentioned in the “For Buyers” section, all Mareah’s items have been marked up 10% so that extra money can be given to my local public library system. It’s a lot like tithing—in fact it is tithing, only to the church that I went to as a kid, the one I always believed in and still do today: the public library. (And Ray Bradbury is on my side—er, I’m on his side—"I don’t believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries because most students don’t have any money." You heard it on my blog first—after you read it in the New York Times, that is: June 25, 2009).

The more I think about money the more I think it is a shorthand for people who don’t know what they actually want in life and how badly they want it; it’s difficult to say, for example, that I want a loaf of bread and I’m willing to sew three seams for it. And when so much of my debt—and others around me—is from education . . . well how did we put a price on that? We sold our future, and schools and banks bought that. So of course the economy is failing, I suppose—we are exchanging goods for a potential future. This keeps people miserable—people stay in dumb jobs they hate and even bankers are miserable. I’ve talked to some, and they tend to be automatons. Money was supposed to help create a standard between things, wasn’t it? And this standard gets played with and changed all the time. It’s very bizarre, really.

I’ve never felt comfortable when money becomes the focus of anything and when it doesn’t even value all labor equally. People learn how to cheat the system—from all sides—and we live, I propose, not as Marx argues under a false-consciousness, but under a no-consciousness. The middle class in America is diminishing—it’s like there’s no basis to argue for false-consiousness because people around us are either super-rich or impoverished. We’re disconnected, is what I’m saying, disconnected from even a half-assed excuse as to how we got here. It’s not right, man. And it is the system, man. But it’s also us, and right now we are in a capitalist phase, and I say let’s stay with it—use it and change it for the better. All our work is for the better, that’s just the goal at Mareah’s.

"Take the best and leave the rest"

My Other Mother is fond of giving this titular advice, and dense ol' me is finally understanding it a little better. I've been dragging my alternately mopey and alternately joyful self through my daily activities . . . and I'm trying to work with my brain in rewiring itself so that I can stop obsessing about all of my previous relationships! I mean, seriously, is there one man that I couldn't think about for hours on end?!

Other Mother says, "Take the best and leave the rest," and I realized yesterday that I've been mired in defining "the rest" and trying to prove to myself just how not "the best" it was. This helps me feel justified, and provides aid when I tell Littlest Sis to remind me that I am awesome and that "he"--whoever I choose to obsess about that night--was totally unworthy. (And remains unworthy by not currently demonstrating his worth.)

Not that I've been unkind in my break-ups; I like to believe I possess a glowing sort of grace. But in truth, I'm not helping the psychic matters any. So whenever someone comes to mind, lately I've been thinking about the best--what were the best times we had together? What are his best qualities? I think of the best, and it starts to not feel like a loss because there are so many bests that I've had with others.

Leaving the rest becomes easier, then--probably just because I'm been so heartbroken that I'm wearing myself out.

I'm applying leaving the rest to other aspects of my life. I can't just focus on how great I may or may not think I am because I feel easily overwhelmed by my own "rest." This seems easy these days . . . for a variety of reasons. I've started jogging again, which I am so excited about! And as I was jogging I realized that I do want to lose weight--it's a goal of mine. In the past I always just wanted to be healthy. Well I do know that I am a healthy person, but I have extra body fat that I just don't need. In order to leave it, I'm going to have to first realize that I don't want it. It's not a moral failure or a character flaw--it's just not the best.

It's like when I was cleaning at Mom and Dad's--there's a lot of stuff there and just because it's there doesn't mean it needs to stay. Priorities shift over time. My fat shifts over time! And now I want it, just like I want my mopey obsessive thinking, to shift right off of me. It's time for a cleaning and clearing out--leaving only the best, you know?!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Doing Time

Time in jail went so well yesterday! There were five women who came to the class on domestic violence. It was a wrap-up day, and some women had been through the four week?/five week? course multiple times, and some were showing up for the first time. It felt good observing and being around these women; many of them mentioned being away from their kids, some discussed why they were in jail, and there were stories on how correction officers and members of DHS had treated them--and the stories were usually disconcerting.

I was surprised as to how easily I made it into the jail. I was given a tag as an escorted visitor. At one point I went to the library by myself to get some supplies. You know, I don't even think I had to go through a metal detector. I signed in and gave the front desk my license. Other than that, it was easy-peasy.

I first started doing domestic violence classes while in high school, and it felt a little uncomfortable to be passing the same information along as I was all those years ago. Uncomfortable in the sense that of course dv is still a problem, but I just wonder since the violence shows no signs of stopping, if there's another way to relate this information to women, men, and children.

For example, one thing that I was taught and that was being taught yesterday was that sexual assault is not about sex, but is instead an act linked to power and control. I agree that sexual assault is about power and control, but, as my undergraduate advisor once mentioned to me, rape differs from, say, a slap across the face. In this regard, sexual assault is about sex.

I understand the spirit of a statement like that, yet I think there's also room to revise and be a little clearer on what is meant regarding violence, healthy touching, sex, and sexual assault. I think there's room for me to do some more research on the topic.

While in the class, it was easy to see how a whole mess of issues have converged and become problematic--where does one start?! What should one do?! What is the point?! All of these huge questions! And I don't have any answers--I only know that I do think it's our responsibility to teach others what we know and to stay open to what others know, too.

So, in speaking of teaching, I had my first job interview yesterday! I interviewed for an English teacher at a private K-12 school for Islamic students. I had a nice time in the interview, and I had the opportunity (yet again!) to discuss religion and how it fits into my life and in the mission of the school.

The school is religiously open for its faculty, while all students are encouraged to be the best Muslim he/she can be. Faculty members support this mission, of course.

I really like the feel of the school, and so I found the interview to be energizing.

Since I have started going to a Methodist church (which is how I started volunteering in the jail), it's been really interesting to talk to people about religion. Usually I avoid it because most people who openly talk about religion--at least in my experience as a listener--want to convince you that their way of doing religion is the only way. I just don't think that's the case, and I'm discovering that many religious people are more than happy to grant freedom of religion to other people.

I feel completely hesitant talking about religion with others, and so when I do, I'm finding myself learning a lot. I know I'm stretching myself and it feels both good and a little scary! Yesterday I had these two new experiences, and I realized how happy I am trying new things and allowing myself to do what feels right to me. As scared as I am that I don't have any money right now, I take heart in thinking about these things that I get to do, now that I haven't tethered myself to school as the thing that will save me.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Like Always, So Much To Say . . .

. . . but I am starving, and so I will not take the time to say too much! I am reading Pema Chodron's When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times, and it is amazing. She's helping me realize, as things in my life fall apart, that I am doing things correctly.

I've never felt more alone before or more upset about the way I act and the way others act . . . but I'm starting to see that I have always felt this, it's just that I have covered it up by doing other things instead of paying attention to my feelings. It's very strange, human life! Chodron also has another book called The Wisdom of No Escape. Essentially her titles alone are buzzkills--you can't run away while your shit is collapsing!--but she's so wise. I was hoping to be further along the spiritual path by now (because, dear God, I have other things I want to be doing, you know!), but it turns out that I'm barely on step one.

I'll have to be sure to bring my book with me the next time I blog so that I can share some good quotes . . .

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I'm going to jail!

Guess what, kids?! I get to volunteer teaching domestic violence classes at the Tulsa County jail! I start Friday, after meeting a group of women who are involved with this project. We gathered last night to support women recently released from jail, and one woman showed up last night. It was such a nice time being able to meet a handful of new people--many of them involved with church (and me feeling comfortable associating with Christians again!).

I am just very excited to do something new and to learn more about my community. Did you know (the following facts taken from a TU campus presentation in April):

*The state of Oklahoma has the highest rate of incarceration of women in the United States, with almost twice the national average (Oklahoma Department of Corrections, 2009).

*Studies with incarcerated women have shown that as many as 59% have experienced some type of sexual molestation as a child, and over 70% have experienced physical victimization, either as a child or as an adult (Browne, Miller, & Maguin, 1999). These rates are well above findings in community samples of women, which estimate the prevalence of child molestation just under 20% in a recent study (Casey & Nurius, 2006), child physical abuse at 23% (Brooker, Cawson, Kelly, & Wattam, 2001), and physical assault as an adult between 5 and 12% (Acierno et al., 2001).

*Across the nation, 65% of women in prison have either child under the age of 18, most of which were living with the mother before she was incarcerated (U. S. Department of Justice, 2000). Furthermore, over half of the women in State prison (54%) reported that they had not been able to visit with their children since becoming incarcerated.

*Oklahoma is #1 in the nation in per capita incarceration of women (134/100,000 compared to a national average of 69/100,000).

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer Solstice!

I read Arvol Looking Horse's request that we should spend today with our electricity off and in prayer. (I read this over at Menopausal Stoners, and you should, too! [I can't get the link button to work: http://menopausalstoners.blogspot.com/2010/06/for-solstice-turn-off-your-lights-turn.html])

What a great idea! A great idea that I am already not doing. I'm keeping the AC on today, and I used the stove and coffee maker and a light in the bathroom. And I haven't really been praying. But, it's the longest day of the year, so there's still time for me (and all of us) to celebrate!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Pity-Party: Interrupted

I interrupt South Tulsa Day of Self-Pity to announce Happy Father's Day to all those dads out there--most especially to my dad, who happens to be the best (sorry Other Dads, but it's true)!

South Tulsa Day of Self-Pity!

Poor Littlest Sis just got a big, huge whiney email from me! It turns out today is South Tulsa Day of Self-Pity . . . and I am celebrating it with gusto! Holy shit, am I ever full of sadness and pity for myself. Well, humph. That's just the way it's going today, I suppose.

Well, when it's a holiday, it's time to do something special. I may spend this one by the pool, getting drunk. Anyone care to join?!

Fiona Apple

I've been listening to Fiona Apple's When the Pawn--I've never heard the whole album straight through before. It's amazing.

Sassy had put this song, "Paper Bag," on a mix cd for the knitting circle we were in (a long, long time ago now!). It's still one of my favorite songs!



I love the chorus, in particular: "Hunger hurts, and I want him so bad, oh it kills / 'Cause I know I'm a mess he don't wanna clean up / I got to fold 'cause these hands are too shaky to hold / Hunger hurts, but starving works, when it costs too much to love"

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Economics

Yesterday a completely kind man changed the oil in my car, and performed additional car maintenance, like flushing the radiator and adding other fluids to my car. He had advertised his services at a local church, and when I contacted him, I just expected him to tell me what all I needed to do to my car. I didn't expect him to then do it, and to then buy all the parts and perform all the work!

I am overwhelmed by the generosity of this stranger! From the looks of his neighborhood and house, it certainly seemed like he could afford to be so nice; this confirmed my hunch that as soon as I become rich, I am going to use my money to help people.

Until then, I am going to use some money--in fact I am trying to donate 10% of my income to whatever cause I am closest to at the time (like church or meditation, for example). Right now this means I have 10 cents in the tithing envelope; soon, though, I hope it means I have a lot more!

I have been thinking a lot about money lately, mostly because I am broke and am angry with Bank of America. And I'm angry at other large banks and I'm angry at my school debt. In taking responsibility for my anger, though, I realize that I just need to handle economics my way. I have always been interested in investing and in someday having a retirement fund and all of that kind of security. Yet I disagree with investing in a lot of what America has to offer. So I've decided to donate 10% of all my income (which, as I mentioned before, is pretty easy when you got nothin'!) first, and then take care of my bills. And then save towards things that I want.

When I'm really really rich, I'll be able to help send kids that I like to college, and I'll be able to give money where it can be used for the most good, like in non-profit organizations. I really like, for example, that Bill and Melinda Gates have their own foundation. I'm starting up my own, only with less start-up capital and less publicity. And I never want to hire people to have to disseminate my money--that doesn't really make sense in an age where there are struggling non-profits in every town. Maybe it would be helpful to have someone research them, first, but still.

Money is so fascinating, and it's prompting me to put into practice what I believe--it's pulling together all the threads I've been working on through the years: Marxist theory, developmental theory/practice, politics, self-help, spirituality, capitalism, US economic development.

People in monasteries and convents make a vow of poverty; personally, I would like to do this, too. Only I would like to earn money and then give away what I don't need. And I certainly trust the fact that I can live without a lot of stuff. I can be down with a vow of poverty; it makes me more convinced to follow what I believe. To me poverty* creates a type of freedom to pursue what actually matters because you aren't beholden to anyone. Certainly I have debt that I plan to pay off, but if someone can't trust my intentions to pay it, then that isn't my problem. Especially if those people are faceless banks that didn't seem to mind giving me money in the first place.

Anyway, that previous point probably just sounds like a rant instead of a thought-out treatise on economics and betting against the future (which is a grand fiction!).

*I'm not really sure what I mean by poverty, though. I think it's up to individuals to make the life they want to lead (there are no guarantees, of course, that we will actually get to lead that life!), and I do think it takes a strong community of individuals to help each other out, too. Both need to happen (which is, I suppose, the easy answer): we need to help ourselves and we need to help each other.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cleaning, God, Men, Mothers, Religion, Part II

I wanted to continue my thoughts from my trip home. I spent time writing about my dad's side of things, and I also wanted to write about my mom's.

During one of our good talks this weekend, Mom tentatively suggested to herself (aloud, in front of me) that maybe she never really wanted to be a mother.

I didn't want to come across as harsh, so my thought of, "I know! I've already known this, gotten over this, and have discussed this with my counselor!" stayed in my head.

(Tell me that ain't tact!)

Lately when I talk to my mom I feel really inspired and sometimes it's as though I can see herself allowing herself to believe that she is a better human being than what she has taken herself to be. We talked about goals and how to ask others for help. We talked about God being a woman and what it means to take, receive, and give to mothers/Mother.

It's really interesting to me to analyze my grandmothers' and mother's life situations. Now that I am dying to have a family, I am really curious about which women in my family had that as a choice and who didn't. And when, if ever, did mothering become a choice for them?

Frequently it seems to me that the definition of a good mother is being willing to let go of anything you ever wanted to have happen in a certain way all at the sake of someone else who doesn't know how things could be going. (That's just a tentative definition.)

This is different from most anyone else because when shit doesn't go the way the rest of us want, we don't have impressionable lives hanging in the balance. We are a little more under the radar and out scrutiny when our stuff falls apart.

And, it occurs to me now, perhaps this is why Mom tried to save us from some of the ugly things. While I was cleaning, she was trying her hardest to stay out of things (and she succeeded!). She would tell me that I didn't have to go through certain things, but I found it necessary to do so. While I was cleaning, I interpreted my mom as someone who knew some things were worse than they should be (for example, some boxes that could have remained untouched and out of sight), but just didn't want to deal with it.

To me this seems different from the mind poison of delusion because she wasn't pretending things were any certain way. (Or maybe some delusion's involved.) Rather it seems almost like a perverse form of the mind poison of greed--it's like she's wanted more things to worry about and feel burdened.

It's not like I know--I do kinda think this has been true for my mom, but it's not really fair to post it all here. While I do think it's true, I also know that I so very closely identify with my mother. So I relate to the sensibility (wrong term, probably!) that says, "No, let's just keep every family picture ever in a huge stack here so that I can go through them all properly, one time, and for the last time. In fact, I'll divide them up for my kids before I die. If they aren't in this stack, then I will forget about them."

As if a big pile of anything is going to be forgotten about! As if one needs to be reminded about something one isn't excited to do! And, as if we need to be thinking about death and managing our legacy! What about living? What about arranging photos and having access to what you want to have around (and disseminating what you don't)?

Help Make Queenie a Star!

This is my first step in helping my dearest girl cat, Queen Bee Nina Marie, become a model! The Tulsa Humane Society is looking for submissions for their 2011 calendar. Any pet that has been adopted from the Tulsa Humane Society is eligible . . . you just need to submit a photo.

So I will be sending in a picture of Queenie (see below, it's one of the only non-blurry pictures I have of that cat!). The thing is that with a donation of $500, your pet is guaranteed placement on the calendar!

My first thought upon learning that was, "Hey! This thing is rigged!" Rigged or not, I think it would be a great idea to try to raise $500 for the Humane Society.

So, who has money?! All contributions are tax deductible; more information on the donation policy can be found on their website: www.tulsapets.com/donation. You might be tempted to pay online right there and then--BUT DON'T! Email me at dandelionseed@hotmail.com to tell me how much you can pledge.

Oh god, this all of a sudden sounds like a hoax!

Anyway, let's try to raise $500 for Queenie (and the Tulsa Humane Society). Submissions are due June 30 (and her photo is being sent in regardless), and I need to state whether or not I can donate the money. All donations, then, need to be paid by October 1.




(Actually, I don't think I'm going to use either of this photos; there's a cute one of her with her tongue out, but I can't find it right now.)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Cleaning, God, Men, Mothers, Religion

As much as I have loved me some Billy Corgan over the years, this passage from "Zero" has always cracked me up:

"Emptiness is loneliness, and loneliness is cleanliness
And cleanliness is godliness, and God is empty just like me."*

And as much as I have loved John Lennon over the years, I just can't help but think he goes too far in "The Ballad of John and Yoko":

"Christ you know it ain't easy,
You know how hard it can be.
The way things are going
They're going to crucify me."**

These songs came to mind this weekend as I got to partake in cleaning at Mom and Dad's house. I tried to condense some boxes and throw out some things that had been accumulating over the years. This means I got to snoop through everything!

Dad, truth be told, is a bit of horder. Well, he probably got it because his mom saved every little thing her boy ever did--honestly! I was reading elementary report cards for my dad, and nosing through old Boy Scout uniforms. There are pictures everywhere, along with newspaper clippings.

There really has to be nothing like cleaning your parents' house to help you figure out how you got to be who you are. I'm starting to piece together a larger theory of my family, and it is making me wax religious, as well. And I am having a new adventure attending a Methodist church, and I am feeling more confident talking about my relationship to Christianity. So I have found myself lonely and cleaning and thinking about God and my family.

As for the loneliness bit, I think I want to say that I feel self-conscious saying that I feel lonely. Probably (I project) Billy Corgan felt self-conscious, too, so he took the easy way out and just equated himself with God. No one's gonna argue when you disparage God and yourself in the same breath, eh, Billy Corgan? It's just that I don't really think emptiness, loneliness, or cleanliness are anything to disparage (unless you still hold value, like I kinda do, in the early '90s fridge magnet saying, "Boring women have immaculate homes." I guess being boring would be something to take a shot at . . . ***). I've totally lost my thought here. Oh yeah, my point is: so I'm lonely? Who isn't? That's not a rhetorical question! As I've gotten older and a little less cynical, I can see people who are genuinely happy, but I still think loneliness comes around. Most of the cooler people I know can make art when they are lonely, yet when they do it unironically, they (to me) sound mopey. And if you don't make art, then I guess you are boring. In which case, I suppose I am lonely and boring . . . just like God!

Or, if not like God, then like my paternal grandmother. I actually never considered her boring, but I do wonder if she was lonely. She has a completely romantic story about meeting my grandfather. She started writing to him while he was in the Navy (at the request of one of her friends--I'm not sure who). When she saw him in person for the first time, she said, "That's the man I'm going to marry."

Well, that's a great story! It just so happens that the story continues and since Grandma's passing, we have come to find out that my grandpa appears to be, well, not the brightest bulb. It seems that Grandma, who (in my opinion) tended to come across as a little cold, probably spent a lot of time having to take care of things that Grandpa, even though it was a different era, could have taken care of himself.

I don't know, though, of course! I mean, really, I have no idea! This is just a theory. Looking through everything that Grandma saved from her son's childhood (and I hope beyond all hopes that my aunt has just such a collection, too, I fear that she probably doesn't (being the second-born and a girl in the '50s), I can't help but think that she poured her disappointment in Grandpa into hopes for her son.

And luckily for everyone involved, my Dad is a nice guy, so this attention didn't seem to go to his head. Instead of acting like God's gift, he's probably spent his time trying to earn his dad's approval. My dad, I just know this (I mean, I'm pretty sure I know this), has inherited a penchant (which is my nice way of saying "compulsion and obsession") for gathering, saving, and retaining things that hold some form of sentimental value.

This is a fine trait, of course. Yet . . . it goes too far, for example, when we (and by "we" I mean "Dad") becomes some form of indignant when I through out 20+ year old, unwrapped (thank God), edible underwear.

Additionally, now that I think about it, I have known my father to agree with me that something is not worth keeping, but yet be still unable to throw it out.**** That conversation (in it's polite form) goes something like this:
Me: Dad, do you need this?
Dad: Just leave it for now.

As I was going through boxes, I started throwing away matchboxes. And then as I continued, I wondered if I should have saved them because maybe he collects them. And then I wondered if I should have saved more of those folded scraps of paper with phone numbers written on them. Or more junk mail, and so on.

And then I couldn't help but think how cool it is to have all this stuff and how if my dad were famous, then some nerdy-ass researchers would love sifting through this, mostly, crap. Also, though, I got mad at my grandma for saving all this stuff and creating a legacy of guilt for my dad. That's how I interpreted it, anyway. How can one person get rid of something he barely remembers or may not care about when it has been saved so long, and by his own mother, no less?

I will have to pause here and write more on the topic later.

*When listening to the song, I have never been able to hear any irony when he sings (without any musical accompaniment) that "God is empty [(dramatic?) pause] just like me." And wouldn't some irony be nice here? Instead of a catchy dig at religion, poor Corgan just sounds mopey and/or narcissistic.

**This is just one part of my longer thinking on John Lennon. The shorter thinking goes something like this: "Was your life that hard, John Lennon?" And then I feel like a superasshole because he was assassinated. But he didn't know that at the time . . . so we can't really hold his future against his past, can we? Anyway, this song was kind of bothering me because I am making a stand and saying that it's a bit of a stretch for Lennon to compare himself to Jesus Christ. (Maybe that's not a nice thing to say.)

***Personally I would like to remake "Zero" and see the following:
"Boringness is loneliness, and loneliness is cleanliness
And cleanliness is godliness, and God is boring just like me."

****And I got so much shit for recycling as I grew up?! Fascinating, Dad!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

One Thing That I Love

I love when I'm done whining about shit!

I don't know what happens to me, but sometimes I just shut down and wear grumpy face all the time. I've been missing my family and I've been home this weekend. Today I cleaned my parents' garage (they are letting me work off some student loan payments, which is very kind of them!)--and I loved it! I got to hang out with Super G, who has to be the funniest person that I know. And I know some funny people! Super G has been helping his Grandpa with yard work these past couple weeks. Today, since it's been storming in Colorado, he wasn't able to do any yard work. Regardless, I went to breakfast with him, Mom, Dad, and my Grandpa. For breakfast, at the waitress' suggestion, he ordered the funny face pancakes with chocolate chips. When he realized he could do this, he got so excited; "This is my day! I am the luckiest person in the universe!" he exclaimed! Then when his pancakes came he said, "This is as good as you imagine!"

The list of quotes could continue: he told me he scared his mom the other day because "he's a ninja" and used his "sticky shoes to hide on the ceiling"; before a few bites of pancake he would say "primetime!"; when his Grandpa cussed he said to me, "did you hear that?"; when I asked him to describe how his loose tooth felt he said he couldn't because in order to do so he would have to use bad words.

That last one is alarming, but, you know, I was a regular cusser by the third grade. Personally, I believe the kid is advanced. We talked about Native Americans--he told me he read about them in a book (!)--and yoga.

And then, around his cousin, Emjaq, he's pretty cute. And that baby? That baby is simply the cutest. Not that cute level matters, but, well, it does. And not that she's just cute. She also eats and just looks at everyone like, "Who the hell are you people?" I got to feed and for a while of hanging out with her she wasn't crying! She loves her momma, and she's also starting to get used to the rest of the family. She has a special affinity for her grandpa, which makes the rest of us so jealous!

Such kids! I adore them!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wanted: A Job to Land in Lap

I'm on the anxious side of things right now, and I would love some material stability through the form of gainful employment! My sense of optimism just feels a little weary today. It's really fascinating how time elapses, and it's really fascinating where I choose to put my energy, and the saying, "Be careful what you wish for" is also really fascinating.

Anyway, I do know that I am ready to love what I do again! I was loving applying for jobs, and I suppose I need to draw on that enthusiasm again.

If anyone hears of a good* job lead, then please let me know! If not for me, then for a couple of friends who are also looking for jobs!

*Good as in you think, "Whoa! I would totally apply for this myself if I weren't already very satisfied with what I'm doing right now!" [Do I ask too much? Then I ask too much.]

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Wanted: A Boy as a Friend

I had started this post asking whether it's possible for men and women to be friends. As I progressed, I realized that I wanted a boy as a friend. And then I realized that I was probably too focused on finding an ideal partner, which made me wonder what the bare minimum requirements I had for a partner. This made me realize that I really do want to be with someone who is ready to be a father, which made me question how much time and energy I'm willing to spend with someone who does not want to be a father. This made me laugh because while I have been in communication with a handful of boys lately, no one is knocking down my door wanting to be considered for the position of Father to My Children (which might change next week, when I ovulate and become subtly more attractive to the males of the species). And then I got to thinking of how I told Vic earlier that I can beat all of these boys at All Talk and No Action, which just had me thinking how much fun action is. So I had to think that it doesn't really matter if I have a boy as a friend or girls as friends--basically I just want to do something with someone else. And maybe I'm being snooty, but it kinda seems like other people are a bit boring--is this the case, or is it just me? I read that most everyone believes he/she is different from others, but that we actually think alike. So does everyone think everyone else is boring? Because I'm discovering that I'm actually not a boring person--I just like to do things by myself a lot of the time. But now I'm bored when I hang out by myself even though I'm not bored by what I'm doing. I'm not even very curious about what other people are doing, like I used to be. I just want some meaningful interaction with some meaningful people who basically feel comfortable in their own skin.

Probably, if I want to take this to a theoretical level, this may be partly why this desire finds itself spoken out as a desire for a boy friend. Have I completely othered men as to make them the opposite of what I have believed myself to be (which is insecure and a woman)? Maybe what I want, if I am to be honest, is space to say that I am craving real human interaction.

And can a statement like this ever be said by me without me needing to qualify it or apologize?! And who do I think I am and what does it mean if I think others would judge me by such a statement? Hmmm . . . I just don't know anymore!

I Read Books

I just spent the past couple days reading some good psychology books: Poe's Heart and the Mountain Climber, by Richard Restak and The Art of Choosing, by Sheena Iyengar. I just started The Emotion Machine by Marvin Minsky.

It's been a lot of fun learning about the brain, even though, as I told Sassy, I can't really retain much of what I've read. And as I continue reading, I notice that these authors are all describing the same functions and processes, yet they each have different ways of expressing their ideas. This can be a little difficult for me to discern what is actually happening. The process can sound benign in the hands of one author and threatening in the hands of another.

Anyway, I really recommend (for whatever that's worth!) these books!

Friday, June 4, 2010

OWN Audition

If you read this blog, Dad, that means YOU, then just go vote for me to have my own OWN show. Like I'm doing anything meaningful with my life . . . I might as well be unmeaningful on tv, too!

Here's the link to the video, which you should just at least watch.

And here are the out-takes, which are, you know, just as great. Only you can't vote for them on Oprah.com.

I had a great script, but I couldn't follow it without feeling really really dumb. But my friend, V, helped me with the recording. Here I am at her house: video

Here's me, at the original shooting, discovering my tooth whistle:
video

Here's me with my trillion awkward starts. This one is painfully, horribly wonderful to watch!:
video

And here's me discovering why it's easier on the face to write:
video

Since I'm especially humiliated, any words of support/taunting/encouragement would be nice here! Thanks!

Lent II 2010

This second period of Lent is halfway there! Yes and Hooray!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sadness and Gratitude: Zippy

Littlest Sis and Accompanying Husband, two of my most favorite people, had to put down their sweet cat, Zippy yesterday. All through Littlest Sis' pregnancy and Emjaq's birth, she sent me cute pictures of Zippy. Zippy truly seemed to love human pregnancy and babies. What a hard time for my family; I wish them some peace. And some peace for Zippy, too, as she makes the transition from this life to that which lies ahead.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Today's Adventures

Some venting: I am finding myself getting angry at my credit card company, which had given me a line of credit that exceeds more than my previous year's annual income (which, we can imagine, is whopping because I am invested in the noble goal of higher education--both of educating myself and the youth of today). When I went to make a balance transfer onto this card, they upon hearing I was unemployed and "hanging by the seat of my pants" retracted their terms and reduced my credit limit.

Apparently Pat from the Management Team did not want to hear my passionate argument for how This Bank is a liar.

Nor did Pat from the Management Team seem to think that he or This Bank should be held accountable to the fact that they have been throwing credit at me--without me asking--for the past decade and now, now that it would come in handy, they decide to retract their offer.

I was just angry because it made me look like an asshole when trying to figure out my other credit card situation.

It's really making me learn that I guess I can't talk people or companies at their word. As a person in debt, I have been responsible, and so it's a bummer when I can't be trusted by one of the most corrupt entities in current history!

So I had to make a choice today: do I stay bitter, or do I try to remain fucking happy. Oh, I chose happiness! To wear out my anger, I hit the treadmill for a walk/jog for 20 minutes. After I was going to call the collection agency back, but I was still angry. Only this time I was angry with tired legs!

It made me wish I could throw some dishes around and/or do primal scream therapy. But then I remembered studies that proved indulging in anger only increased anger.

So I decided to walk around a couple of blocks and see if anyone was doing yardwork that I could help out with. I was craving raking, but I live in an apartment, where maintance people have to maintain the lawn, even on national holidays.

Luckily for me, Brian, a nearby homeowner with a police car outside his house, was able to let me saw up some branches for him. This only took fifteen minutes, and it was great. Brian, being a man (a white, homeowning man with a son, daughter, and wife, if that makes a difference. To me it does/has.), was not big on small talk. Or he just wasn't invested or whatever--in any regard it was great. I got to saw, share a few tidbits of my life, act awkward and somewhat charming, and then walk away from the suburban life with all of the good (yard work) and none of the bad (bitter resent towards your family and vocation).

Speaking of Love . . .

I listened to the Flaming Lips' Transmissions from the Satellite Heart this weekend. It was my first time to listen to the whole album . . . and I loved it! I loved everything about it. They had me from track one, "Turn It On." I'm not sure how good a video this is, but I want to share:

Local Fashion Designer!

A good friend brought this designer to my attention: Nikki Walker Warren. She is a local fashion designer with her own line, The M.O.C.H.A. Butterfly. You can find her website at: http://www.mymochabutterfly.com/about.html and can also find her on Facebook.

In the "About" section of her website, she reveals that she started with $100 and a sewing machine from a thrift store; think of it, a woman from Tulsa starting her own design company!

I'm in love!