September 1, 2014

the good in my day: august

lunch with maria. dinner with dianne. i sold a lot of stuff at work. seabiscuit. swimming. hearing my older brother's name called over the p.a. in the airport just before my younger brother and i caught a flight to colorado to attend my cousin's wedding. going to the aquarium with another cousin, his wife, child and father. lunch with my aunt and uncle and cousins. the beautiful evening outdoors for the ceremony. playing cards with my mother and aunt. dinner and skip-bo with a neighbor's family. the red, patent leather shoes i bought at macy's. the third interview i had at a high school for an instructional aide spot--maybe i could've done better, overall, but i was pleased with many of answers i gave, and that hardly ever happens. the email erin sent, just checking in. the two days i spent caring for the wonder twins. feeding the ducks. not losing them at the mall or chuck e. cheese's. the lego store. the letter and surprise i got in the mail from a former employer. playing tennis with the neighbors. actually hitting the ball with the racket... quite a few times and well enough that it soared over the net to the back of the court. harry potter and the sorcerer's stone. my friend victoria. the trailer for the theory of everything. the costume i got bambam came in today; it wasn't supposed to get here until october. houston's skyline. surprising karen with a gift after her back surgery. joe perry on guitar. that i got another saturday off without having to ask for it. the staff at optimum emergency room on research forest drive; i loathe all things related to hospitals and emergency care, but i also loathe infections, and (for you local peeps in need of a good twenty-four hour clinic) this place was pretty phenomenal. mike myers on david letterman.

the fall film challenge: my list

one. any action/adventure flick. x-men: days of future past.
three. any awarded an oscar for best cinematography. who's afraid of virginia woolf?
four. any drama/biography/documentary. goodfellas.
five. any awarded an oscar for best film editing. argo.
six. any science-fiction/fantasy flick. hereafter.
seven. any starring an actress whose last name begins with the letter g.
dallas buyer's club (jennifer garner).
eight. any set during any holiday. meet me in st. louis.
nine. any from internet movie database's top flicks list. american history x.
eleven. any starring an actress whose last name begins with the letter k.
unhook the stars (moira kelly).
thirteen. any awarded an oscar for best original score. the way we were.
fourteen. any adapted from any novel. this is where i leave you.
fifteen. any awarded an oscar for best original screenplay.
butch cassidy and the sundance kid.
sixteen. any awarded an oscar for best picture. driving miss daisy.
seventeen. any featured on american movie classic's fifty great movie quote's list.
national lampoon's animal house.
eighteen. any romance or comedy. airplane!
nineteen. any sports flick. when the game stands tall.
twenty. any thriller or mystery. lincoln lawyer.
twenty-one. any starring an actor whose last name begins with the letter u.
the newton boys (skeet ulrich).
twenty-two. any shot in a country you've never visited. rush (austria).
twenty-three. any shot in wilmington, north carolina. twenty-eight days.
twenty-four. any western or war film. fury.
twenty-five. any from american film institute's greatest american movies of all time.
a streetcar named desire.

the challenge starts today! wanna play along? click here for details.

the woman and the boy

so the air conditioning's out in my car. i've been driving around with the windows down and the roof open, of course, until i can get it fixed (which'll hopefully be tomorrow). thankfully i did not have to cruise the parking lot for half an hour before work today. i lucked out and got a good spot pretty quickly.

and as i crossed the lot, i overheard a woman screaming at her son. i watched as she hefted her son up and shoved him in a stroller, with so much more force than was necessary. she barely treated him better than a rag doll. and as she strapped him in, she continued screaming at him. so i stopped and suggested that maybe that was a bit too harsh.

to which she replied that she would parent her child anyway she saw fit, and that if i had a problem with it, i could call the law. and then she added that she was the law. that she was a cop.

which had me reeling. shocked and horrified, i managed to say that she should know better, then.

and this... this is what really gets me. she said something to the effect that so long as he wasn't gushing blood and no bones were broken... 

the rest was either forgettable or unintelligible. either because my brain was hung up on that bit or because she was so angry at being called out that the words became jumbled.

i thought of a clip from the film dedication. i crossed the street, watching as the woman pushed the stroller out into the street, as she trudged down the center of it toward panera bread. she had a boot brace on one foot. i think she had parked in a handicapped spot. i hadn't said anything else to her. i couldn't. i mean what do you say? i was shaking with fear for that little boy. i prayed as i marched into work. i prayed that that little boy would grow up happy and healthy. that he would live. that what i saw was an anomaly. that his life wasn't like that every day, all day long. that it wouldn't be. and when i got to work, i pulled a manager aside and asked her how do i quash that helplessness and worry. how do i set that aside so i can do my job. how do i not worry that i just made that little boy's life worse because i addressed his mother's hostility?

i don't have children. even if i could have them... and i'm not saying it's a biological impossibility, though at my age, it most likely is one... but i wouldn't bring a child into this world by myself on my salary--i can't take care of myself. and even if i had the money... even if i could afford to have a child, i wouldn't be a single parent. there's no way. i'm old school like that. i grew up with two people loving me. it's one of those things that i'm sure i've taken for granted. 

even if i could have them... even if i'd met and married a good man and found employment that could afford me a lifestyle that would allow for me to care for children comfortably, i wouldn't have them. there're too many times, way too many times i've lost my grip on reality. there're too many times i've let rage and despair manipulate my thoughts and actions, my days. and i'm not confident, not in the slightest, that i could keep those emotions in check while caring for a child.

it's such a gift. such a glorious gift. but so very fragile. and if you can't honor that, then please, dear god, don't... DON'T put yourself in a situation where you could break a child. because the damage you could do... it's not just broken bones and bloodiness. the heart and soul... they don't bleed that way. they don't break that way. and it's so much harder to mend the wounds that can't be seen. 

August 30, 2014

so the thing with an addictive personality...

at the moment, i am stuck on joe perry. and since i am obsessed with that dude, his bad ass is sort of the subject of this here picky post. if you're not interested in reading about that (but why wouldn't you be? the man's a damned musical genius!), come back in a few days. my brain'll've lost interest and moved onto some other fascinating thing by then...

all i've done since catching his act at the pavilion monday is reacquaint myself with his work.

aerosmith released dream on in seventy-three. i was born that year, and so i did not know of that song--or any other song of theirs, for that matter--until the mid eighties. probably right around the time run d.m.c. revitalized walk this way. i was not a fan of the original version of that tune or the rappers' take. but i've loved dream on, sweet emotion, and back in the saddle. and i've liked angel, janie's got a gun, eat the rich, and livin' on the edge (it's NOT because of the lyrics--especially in angel--so much as the music's nice).

i've been watching these videos just because i want to watch joe perry play--and i know a video made for mtv (back when they used to play music videos) isn't the same thing, but i watch'm anyway. of course, it annoys me that i have to look at steven tyler so much. i really just wanna see that one dude. and that guitar.

and this could be because i, like most gals, can appreciate a talented bad boy with some very agile and skilled hands and a passion for something so beautiful as music--more so when the dude's dark-haired and brown-eyed (the first idiot i really, really liked was a damned guitarist who fit that description quite well. i know. i KNOW. what a stupid cliche. maybe i liked him because i had fascinations for guys like perry in my adolescence. whatever). it could be because i am sick to death of the shit i hear on the radio; i MISS rock'n'roll SO, SO much (my evil plan is to inspire my nephew to appreciate bands like van halen, aerosmith, pearl jam and s.t.p. so that he might grow up to want to play that kind of music--my family's rather musically inclined, so it could happen... the process has already begun. we've discussed the suckiness of led zeppelin and the beatles. YES. i am one of THOSE people who's had quite enough of that fanfare. he is to say, you're silly, to anyone who insists that either of those bands is the best ever). it could be because i'm distracting myself from things that really matter with music as a means of coping with my current ambivalence about life.

but i don't care about the why. last week sucked, yall. it was awful. and if it takes obsessing about a man and his band to help me get back up, so be it.

so i've gone to google. and i've found some neat things.

like this interview. and the sixty minutes interview plus the extra minutes about walk this waylike an article in men's health called live like a rockstar. or an article on gibson's website about perry's favored fifty-nine les paul--how he lost it and how he got it back. there's this video: outtakes for some boston radio station or something, and steven's hamming it up, and joe's trying to be a sport. when i first watched it, i laughed a lot. but the more i think about it, the more i wonder if this is exemplary of the kind of relationship they have.

still, there's something to be said that two guys known as the toxic twins can maintain a friendship and business partnership, as tumultuous as it may be, for as long as they have. there's something to be said for the band's endurance and resiliency. i admire that quite a bit. to me, that's a thing that merits a bit of an obsession.

August 26, 2014

we all bleed the same

i've been debating writing this post for a while now. it's ultimately going to sound preachy, and i doubt it'd make a dent, but...

i'm really tired, and it's probably not going to make much sense, but i decided to give it a shot anyway, all because of one sentence, one callous remark spoken by a stranger seated next to me on the hill at the cynthia woods mitchell pavilion last night.

i was waiting for aerosmith to come on stage. i forget i don't enjoy concerts at the pavilion. i'd been at my spot at pappadeaux's bar when the service bartender reminded me that the band had a show that night. so i collected my things and hurried over to see if i could snag a ticket without thinking of the discomfort i'd feel while there. my brain was fixated on the thought that i wanna watch joe perry play live once in my life. 

at some point, the couple to my left scooted toward me so that the space between the gentleman and i was a mere inches. i looked to the man, who'd had at least two large beers to my knowledge, and asked that he not sit so close to me, that i had huge personal space issues. 

instead of scooting back over, he chose instead to mock me and argue that the distance between us was plenty and blah blah blah. his girlfriend looked over at me, and i tried again to explain my need. i'd said i know it doesn't look like i have a disability, but i do.

she came back with some sort of retort about how it does look like i have one. i can't remember. but the words she used, the tone with which she delivered them, her facial expression... all these things reeked of superiority.

the last time i'd attended a concert at the pavilion was depeche mode's show nearly a year before. i sat on the hill then, too. both times i've had good spots. on this night, i'd gotten up to use the restroom. when i came back the ladies to my left had moved my things over so that they could have my spot because a bar kept them from getting a good look at the stage.

last night, when aerosmith came on, another couple--friends of the folks to my left--came and stood right in front of me. the man was quite heavy and had been drinking. he practically stood on top of me. his ass was very much in my face. i put my hand up twice to get his attention, and when i finally got it, his attitude was that i shouldn't be sitting right there.

and then there's the stories i hear... and people's reactions to them...

when robin williams died, my mother's response was to think him a coward because he couldn't, wouldn't face his challenges. in her mind, he should've used his humor to prevail, to endure for as long as possible.

the week before i'd sat in my father's office willing myself to do just that. my mind was plummeting to hell, and, yet again, i had to talk myself through it. so when a person chooses to act in such a way, i know exactly how he feels. i know how hard it is to resist the temptation to end it. i know how easy death appears. how peaceful. i know. and i did what i could to convince her that williams' choice wasn't an act of cowardice. but i couldn't change her mind.

when michael brown was shot, people in that community used the word execution in reference to the shooting, to his death. that word implies that the shooting had been an intentional, lethal punishment for some crime. people insisted that if the boy had been white and the cop had been black, the world would be in more of an uproar.

i'm so tired of reading crap like that. i wanna throttle the people who say these things.

because it IS crap. a man died. period. death should be the story--the grief, the tragedy, the loss. we could reach for the best examples of our humanity. instead we turn to riots and bigotry.

i don't care about the color of that boy's skin. i don't care about the color of the cop's. i care that a man died. i care that another man now carries the label of killer. i care that another man who'd given us decades of laughter, that the contributions he'd made in his lifetime will be erased by apathetic people who can't respect a man's choice... who can't respect a man. i care that we can't appreciate each other's differences, each other's needs. i care that we have become so obsessed with political correctness in an effort to appear courteous, but when the time comes to walk the walk, to actually behave courteously, we choose to be callous instead.

the pain i feel is no different from the pain you feel. a word can cut me just as easily as it can cut you. a bruise forms in just the same way. a wound heals in just the same way. my hopes and dreams are just as fragile as yours. my loves as beautiful.

the good in my day

i read in a magazine or on a website or something... somewhere... about how one should write down the most beautiful thing about the day. and that looking at this list will help a person see her life differently, more positively.

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