Friday, February 13, 2009

In Bruges

Holy hell ...

I'm TRYING to watch the movie, to listen to the dialogue, to follow the story ...

But I can't.

All I can do is bite my lip, and imagine that Colin Farrell is doing the same (to me).

(Damn those accents!)

Saturday, February 7, 2009


I suffer from ADD/OCD/SAD/ED/BBD/attention span of a gnat/shiny-thing/or whatever-alphabet-soup-you’d-like-to-call-it brain, so here’s my mental dump of the night.

For the most part, I’ve treated this whole “25 things” the same way I do my alarm clock – I just keep hitting snooze. Maybe it’s the procrastinator coming out in me.

Apparently I’ve hit the “no, five more minutes” button too many times, and have too many people tagging me, so I guess it’s my turn. (Otherwise known as, “alright already! I get it! Here’s my list. Are you happy now? Sheesh.”)

Granted, I DO post a lot of "emo-me-me-me" shit, but someone asking me to actually pinpoint 25 things?

I choke. Then I procrastinate. Then I find something else shiny to take up my attention.

Always shocked when I log into one of the eleventythousand networking sites that I’ve signed up for and BLAM! “So-and-so has tagged you in their ’25 Things’ note.” 99.9% of the time I assume that they picked me because they were running out of friends to torture options.

(If you don’t want to read, that’s fine. But there are some links, so it won’t be a total time suck. Well, maybe it will be just a touch of a time suck.)

1) Some friends hide from me when I pop onto g-chat. Many are looking for the pithy conversation that can only come from the quick back-and-forth banter that you can only get from one line conversations. Sadly, I interject into most of these conversations (can you call them that?) random food cravings. Tanya says I have Food Tourette’s. To her I say, “bacon”.

2) I've found that when I listen to the Deb Talan station on Pandora I get all touchy-feely. I lay the onus of all of my more emotional writings (or vomit, you can choose whatever description you feel is most appropriate) on her.

3) There are some songs that make me close my eyes and live in the moment – and I don’t mean re-live a past moment, or live in a moment yet to come. (Wentworth Miller, I’m looking at you – our moment will come. And come. And come again.) Ahem, where was I? Oh yes, bacon. What I mean is that I close my eyes and live in that exact moment. There is nothing next, and nothing then – there is only the ever changing void (and voice) of now. There is no exhale, because I am living in and experiencing this inhale.

I need a moment after that song.

And maybe a towel.


Sorry, where were we? Oh, yes …


4) For the longest time, my “Live In The Now” song (now known as LINT – what? I had temporary dyslexia, and LINT comes much more trippingly off the tongue than LITN) was American Pie. Nothing else mattered when "American Pie" was on. Unfortunately, I can no longer listen to Mr. McLean in my car, not even to “Vincent”, because every time I do the only thing I have to show for my LINT unholy love of 70’s music is a speeding ticket, or more accurately, tickets. Every single ticket I’ve ever had the joy of receiving happened when I listened to “American Pie”. EVERY.DAMN.ONE. It was so bad that when I radio-whore through the stations to this day, and that song comes on, my Pavlovian response is to take the metal coffee cup and bash the radio. (Sadly, the cost of replacing the stereos is still less than my combined moving violation fines.)

5) Portobello Stroganoff. (Add more garlic. And substitute in portobello's.) It could also use some more cowbell. 

6) Procrastination I have mastered. (Which is why I’m finally doing this stupid list months after it was popular.)

7) I love ears. (Hmm. Maybe this is why I love Van Gogh?) There is just something about grabbing an earlobe between my index and middle fingers and then rubbing the meaty part with my thumb that I find comforting. As a young child, I would sneak into my parent’s bed and curl up between them, with each of my hands mauling one of their ears. It’s something I still do to this day. (I actually stopped dating someone because they hated having their ears touched.)

8) Speaking of ears, I loathe having wet ears. I can clean my body, my hair, my face, my EVERYTHING, but if I don’t q-tip my ears, I still feel … dirty …

9) I've had a love-affair with owls since before I can remember. Never did I have a blankie, but I did have this one particular stuffed owl. To tie in with the ear fetish … this owl had the PERFECT nose that I could rub. It was just the right amount of silky and firm. After I massaged the second owl’s nose into oblivion, my parents went out and stocked up on them. Somewhere out in the world, there are at least 5 poor, mauled, and noseless stuffed owls. There’s still one left, up in the attic somewhere.

10) Even though I hated living on the road, I truly do miss it more often than not. Odd, that.

11) Inwardly, I gave up Catholicism the day my mother died. Outwardly? I held onto it until my grandmother died. (Until she died, I wasn’t allowed to let go.)

12) Mmmm. Scampi. (Not as good as the family recipe, but close enough.)

13) The same grandmother, whom I had a love/hate relationship with, honestly (and unknowingly) taught me how to embrace and love “me”; all the while she was trying to recreate me as a sad clone of my dead mother her dead daughter.

14) Sleeping is my best friend, and my worst enemy. I adore sleeping, yet I hate actually going to sleep. For some reason I feel that I will miss out on something. This is brought home to me, more and more often, when I go to sleep as the sun rises, and I wake up completely rested and ready to take on my “day” after 8 hours of sleep. No alarm clock needed. However, when I go to bed at a “reasonable” time, and be it 5 hours or 10 hours later, I still wake up exhausted. (There is a reason I need 3 alarm clocks.) There’s something to be said about circadian rhythms, no?

15) All at once, jumbled up together, I love and hate smoking, and being a smoker. When people offer unsolicited advice about smoking, I really do want to smash them in the face. I wonder, would they offer that same advice to a junkie, alkie, or overeater? I do hear you, I DO, but please let me quit when I am ready. Intervention really only works for those who are ready for it.

16) Dancing is my sanity, my sanctuary, and my meditation. It’s the only time that my brain will actually shut up.

17) Friends call me “shiny girl”, because (even though the connection makes so much sense in my head) I always make unseemingly random statements out loud.

18) The best beer I ever had was found at an ABC store in Saugus, MA. It tasted like smoked sausage.

19) I just saw a commercial for "GUYS Gone Wild". My brain will go to the corner now, and quietly rock back and forth. Pass the bleach. Please.

20) The one and only time I went tubing was on the Medina in Texas. I got stuck in an eddy (are there eddy's in the river, or is that just the ocean?) Not only did I get smashed against a fallen tree, but three other people were smashed against me. The one who was smashed against my ass? My former father-in-law. I'm still traumatized.

21) You know those moments? The ones where you are terrified that you won't make it to the bathroom in time? But then you do? That moment, when the last drop hits the water, is one of the best feelings in the world. Ahhhh.

22) Once I was in a year long, monogamous relationship, and we never had sex. However, he did introduce me to the music of Tom Waits, so I guess it balances out.

23) One may be the loneliest number, but 23 has always been my favourite. Followed closely by 42.

24) Until I lived in San Francisco, I never knew how much power there was in the simple, and physical, act of human touch.

25) "The Name of the Rose" is a book I read over and over. The copy I have is now held together with a rubber band.

Good lord. That was full of ego and tripe.

Forget about me – here’s my current LINT song from Deb Talan.

(Ohhh, look! A shiny thing! Mmmmm. Avocado.)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

February ...

Every week I have to drive by the telephone pole where my mom said goodbye to this world, and hello to the next. To this day, I always choose the lane furthest away from that evil piece of that 20 foot tall piece of wood. If I am forced to be in that far right-hand lane (thanks CalTrans!), I have a mini panic attack. And on those nights, I wonder what my life would be like if Mom made it to my 6th birthday.

Would it be better? Worse? Or the same?

Would I have younger brothers or sisters?

Would I have tried to kill myself repeatedly at the ages of 11, 14, 16, and 18+? And did I try that because she was lacking, or because I accidentally felt my grandpa’s (her father’s) boner? Or was it because I was broken, through no fault of our own?

Would I, and my unknown sibling(s), have been a product (or products) of a broken (or unbroken) home?

Would Dad have died at the ripe young age of 57, if he didn’t mourn her (and Vietnam) everyday, by trying to find his salvation in a 7&7?

Would I have been more (or less) comfortable in my own skin?

Would I have allowed myself to enter into an unbalanced and unhealthy marriage?

Would I be better off, or worse off?

Would I know HER better, or worse? And what would our relationship be … now?

Would I (still) be jealous of my family who knew her longer, and (possibly) better, than I ever had a chance to?

(It seems that I’ve become a pseudo-anthropologist regarding her: recreating and dissecting what her life – and mine – might have been like, by piecing together her story from talking to her friends, rummaging through her old clothes and jewelry, reading her old college nursing notes, inhaling the scent of the “then”, and re-visiting photos of a past long, and sadly, gone.)

For so, so, so long Dad and I both lived life stuck in a groove, like a scratchy .45. A refrain, or refrains, stuck on repeat, never to reach that next chorus …

Dad: You Are the Woman

Me: Just Remember I Love You

- Dad: (It's how I feel each time you're close to me)

- Me: (When there's so much trouble that you wanna cry)

- Dad: (It's hard to tell you all the love I'm feeling, that's just not my style … )

- Me (The world has crumbled and you don't know why)

- Dad: (I saw your face and that’s the last I’ve seen of my heart … )

- Me: (When it feels like sorrow is your only friend … )

- Us: (Just remember I love you and it'll be all right. Just remember I love you more than I can say. It'll be all right.)

February marks the month, oh those many years ago, that my mom and my god, that his lover and his wife, left us. I know that the tears shed tonight are residual (and that those tears are actually, and truly, happy tears). No longer are they the tears of despair and loss.

Over the last few years I realized that being stuck in a rut wasn’t healthy for him, or for me, or for us. And that by refusing to live, on both our parts, and by refusing to move on – to live in the past – that we were actually dishonouring her memory.

Granted, the above are the questions of life that I will never know the answers to. And because I have read a shit-ton of Sci-Fi and Fantasy novels, I am no stranger to the concept of parallel universes.

Today, THIS day, I take comfort in the fact that somewhere, in some other place, I still have Mom. And Dad. And I have a potential sibling.

And (potentially) we all have each other.

I understand that death is a part of life. I do. Honestly, and down to the marrow of my bones and soul, I DO understand. I understand, and embrace, that for each death that I (and we) experience, I (and we) rejoice in that life – that life lost and that life lived.

And now? I am finally (finally) able to live that life. And I do it joyfully, and unabashedly.

These mental and physical scars that I carry with me remind me to do so. And whenever I’m in doubt, I look down at my wrists, and I reach down into my soul and I remind myself to live my own life … joyfully.

And unabashedly.

(This concept of breathing? Of feeling my heart beating through the generations? There are no words for it.)


I WILL steal the stars from the sky ... and no longer will I wonder "what if".

I will LIVE "what next?"

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