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.

August 22, 2014

the month so far...

because i've not really written anything. i haven't wanted to. i've been feeling pretty bad, actually, and i don't like blogging when i feel that way. but... it must be done, i suppose.

i think i've only gone to deaux's once or twice this month. part of that's because i've been working more, and part of it's because i haven't wanted to write. i keep getting these rejection letters, and i know it's gonna happen. i know it. but i'm not always strong enough to handle it, and lately i've been thinking more and more often that i'm like those wannabes i'd meet at the writers' conferences and workshops i'd attended in my twenties--those people who write because they think they're good, and they know they don't have anything better to do. so i've been working more and job hunting, instead.

one night, i went to the school district's website and applied for all the intructional aide positions. usually i don't hear back. prior to this year, i'd only gotten one interview, and that was because i'd gone the superintendent; he'd started with this district as a teacher at the junior high i'd attended. i asked for a favor; so he got me that interview at an intermediate school, which ironically was the same building as that junior high (the district's grown considerably... they'd built a new junior high and repurposed the old one). and i botched it, of course, horribly. mostly because walking into that building, that place that had been a house of horrors for such a significant stretch of my adolescence... but also because there were like five faculty grilling me. it'd felt like i was sitting before a firing squad. and i, of course, spent much of my time there hugging myself and rocking side to side and mentally flailing about, in search of an ever-evasive eloquence.

this time, though, i applied with my revamped and oh-so-lovely resume. this time three schools called me in for interviews. i did better this time. i did my best to keep my posture still and somewhat relaxed. i did my best to answer their questions as articulately as possible.

but no joy.

two of the interviews had taken place on a day i was to fly out to colorado for a cousin's wedding. they were both at intermediate schools. i'd bought a new outfit, of course. i looked good. well, as good as i can, i guess. the third--a high school--was a week ago wednesday. of the jobs for which i'd applied, it held the most interest. of the three interviews, i'd felt the best about it. i had some really good answers to their questions.

but in the end, i could not make them like me. and part of me knows, that's fine. whatever. but the rest of me can't help but feel like that girl in junior high who'd gone up to the new kid to welcome her and offer a pathetically feeble attempt at friendship. i'd gotten mocked for it by my peers.

no one wants to publish my work. no one wants to give me a job. and why should they? i can't even do the one i have very well.

i haven't been adding to my good-in-my-day list.

it's not that i've not seen the good. my friend's in town from london; the folks have been away, so i've had the place to myself, which is so lovely in the day time; i've spent a couple of really nice days with bambam and shazam... there's good. i swear. there is. but sometimes it seems so small compared to the rest.

there's a quizzie floating around facebook: which actor would play you in the story of your life?

the first time i took it, i got jason statham. (a few days before this, i'd taken a test to determine which golden girl i was... and got stan. STAN. what. the. fuck.) seriously? i know i'm not the girliest of girls, but JASON STATHAM?? come. on.

i retook them both just now, the results being angelina jolie and dorothy. so... there is that, i suppose.

i can't shake the notion that i've wasted my life. and i know... all i have to do is change direction. but what's the point if attempting to do just makes me feel worse when the waters rock the boat?

in other news, the fall film challenge starts in TEN DAYS. broaden your cinematic horizons! compete in the film challenge to score a little swag!

August 11, 2014

the fall film challenge


begins one minute past twelve a.m. september first / concludes midnight november thirtieth. you may NOT use a film you have already seen, even in part (excluding trailers), for this challenge. all films MUST be new to you. each film chosen for the challenge may be used ONLY ONCE, i.e. a film used for the best cinematography category may not be used for the best picture one as well. all films selected for the challenge MUST have a page on the internet movie database. films can be viewed in the theater or at home, but all films must have (had) a theatrical release; made for t.v. movies are not eligible for the challenge.

the first five people to complete the challenge prior to nov. thirtieth will each receive a redbox gift card valued at ten dollars. the one person to accumulate the most points will receive an amazon gift card valued at fifty dollars. each film is valued at ten points, yielding a total points of two hundred fifty. details of a bonus round will be revealed october fifteenth. 

to participate, you must be a member of the fall film challenge facebook group. once you have joined and chosen your films to fit the below categories, post your list to the group's page or email it to criticalcrass at me dot com so that i may add your selections to a master list.


one. any action/adventure flick.
two. any shot in budapest, hungary.
three. any awarded an oscar for best cinematography.
four. any drama/biography/documentary.
five. any awarded an oscar for best film editing.
six. any science-fiction/fantasy flick.
eight. any set during any holiday.
nine. any from internet movie database's top flicks list.
twelve. any shot in london, england.
thirteen. any awarded an oscar for best original score.
fourteen. any adapted from any novel.
fifteen. any awarded an oscar for best original screenplay.
sixteen. any awarded an oscar for best picture.
seventeen. any featured on american movie classic's fifty great movie quote's list.
eighteen. any romance or comedy.
nineteen. any sports flick.
twenty. any thriller or mystery.
twenty-two. any shot in a country you've never visited.
twenty-three. any shot in wilmington, north carolina.
twenty-four. any western or war film.
twenty-five. any from american film institute's greatest american movies of all time.

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.

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.
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