a last look at fall

December 12, 2011

number twenty-six

December 3, 2011

number twenty-six: attend the thanksgiving aggies vs. longhorns game at kyle field.

a letter to me at fifteen

November 22, 2011

you will want to quit swimming at the conclusion of your junior year. i'm okay with you doing this, because you will have been coached by a lardass geek rather than your current guru. but when the guru coach from mccullough high school comes to you after having heard of your retirement and asks that you join his masters team, say yes. without hesitation. and thank him for thinking so much of your abilities.

your knees will give out on you. it will hurt. you will not know physical pain as great as this. but you won't remember the extent of that pain a decade after they've cut. just that it was godawful. so take advantage of the fact that your knees work well enough right now. run. run lots. because there will come a time you won't be able to do this.

your mother is going to insist that you go look at stephen f. austin and cottey college. she is going to do this because she believes that you will get lost at a&m, that you only want to go there because your brother is there. i don't know about the lost bit ... i can't tell you what will happen should you go there. but i damned well know your wanting to go has nothing to do with his presence there and everything to do with the fact that you love that university more than life itself.

i know you're tired. i know you're angry. and ashamed. and disgusted with yourself. you've a right to be. you're entitled to it. but you're entitled to be happy, too. i need you to not rely so much on attaining goals that are the norm, like marriage and family. if you continue on this current path of yours, this trajectory, if you choose this adventure, it will not end the way you'd like. you will be single and childless. because that exhaustion and anger and revulsion will slowly, slowly erode all that which makes you good.

you are not normal. stop trying to be.

your brother, by the way, is not perfect. stop treating him as though he is a god, an ideal. he is flawed, just like you. there will come a time where you will feel inclined to tell him not to call you. you will regret doing this. let him know how much you appreciate him. every day, if possible. he will piss you off, moreso than anyone else. don't give up on him. you will regret doing this, too.

contrary to what your peers have told you, there will come a time in which men will find you attractive. it will not be soon. you will have to wait a long, long time for this. but someday, a man's gonna want to get his hands on you. i know. it's hard to imagine. when that time comes, don't be so hasty. yes, i know. patience is not your strong suit. at all. wait. just wait. you're gonna be so excited that it's happening that you'll rush things. and nobody likes to be rushed. least of all you ... so ... just ... wait.



money is not your friend.

you don't have a lot of friends, by the way. people don't necessarily outgrow their adolescent selves. stop expecting them to do so. it won't happen. you have such a high moral ground, most of the time. i know you doubt that right now. i know you've made some choices lately that have inspired you to question just how good a person you are. don't let these experiences cause you to think differently.

stop praying for death. it's not gonna happen any time soon. you're mostly depressed lately. it will be significantly worse in your twenties. significantly. it will be terrifying at times. but you will get through it. every time.

it doesn't mean you're weak. you're not. stop letting others opinions of you cause you to feel this way.

focus on your gifts.

draw. write. sing.

you're gonna be curious about smoking, too. don't be. it'll take you a really long to time to kick the habit. and quitting sucks. also, quit drinking all that goddamned coke. your teeth are gonna turn out like dad's. you're welsh and english, idiot! what do you think's gonna happen when you guzzle as much of that crap as you do. crowns? and root canals? they're not cheap. imagine what you could buy with seven hundred bucks! brush. and floss. every freaking day.

oh! and that cabin in basalt? they're gonna build a fucking apartment complex or some such crap across the river, right in front of yall's cabins, and screw up that lovely view. (it's been a while since i've seen it, but it looks a helluva lot like the hideous thing in the photo above), and they're gonna start developing a significant number of commercial properties in the area. so it won't be supremely-small-town, colorado anymore. it'll be an annex of aspen, sort of. and it's gonna lose all its charm. so take tons of pictures. there'll come a point you won't even be able to go there anymore. fight like hell to see that doesn't happen.

your aunt marge and mema jo have set aside a nice chunk of change for you to edumacate yourself. you can do a helluva lot better than a two point three grade point average. and every time i utter those words, i feel like i'm spitting on their graves. it's a damned fine gift they've given you. cherish it.

it doesn't matter what you do. it only matters that you do it well.

there are stories inside you. don't be afraid to share them.

you are brilliant. you are.

hang in there.

. . .

and in other news, i found this neato-bandito christmas project today.

the twenty-eighth question

November 17, 2011

a few months ago, my blogging friend lacie over at creative attempts was kind enough to pose a question for me for the griffin inquisition, a creative memoir project that began in college.

the thing lacie most wanted to know about me is thus:

are you inspired by anyone that you would be embarrassed to admit? 

for my answer, click here.

instead of my showing you samples of old posts from her site, like i usually do, i've invited her to post on picky. here she will tell you about oula, a nifty new way to shed some of those dreaded pounds.

so, welcome, lacie, and thanks for guest posting.  

If you really knew me you would know ...

Hello to my friends that have followed me here and my new friends via picky. I am so excited to be guest posting here today!!

So I have been wanting to blog about this for a really long time, but I think it’s the hardest to write about something personal that you love because you expose a part of yourself, but here it goes ...

Let me preface this by saying loud and clear that I have never done anything like this, and I am quite possibly one of the most uncoordinated people on the planet. That being said, if you really knew me you would know that I have become absolutely obsessed with something called Oula. If you haven’t heard about this, it is a cardio dance class that is literally one of the most fun things (especially exercise-related) that I have ever done. It is filled with top 40s music, and I feel like it is somewhere that I can let everything else go and rock out and let the music move me. I leave the classes feeling energized, happy and excited. How many times can you say that after you have been sweating like crazy at the gym for an hour?

Yes, this is me. Ugh. I am so not photogenic, but I was part of a project where we were photographed doing some of the Oula movements, and it was actually a blast.

In my head when I am dancing I look like this ... (p.s. this is not me. it is the founder and creative director of the program, and she is AMAZING)

But I am pretty sure I look more like Elaine from Seinfeld (if you saw that episode you will know what I mean) ...

The fact of the matter is that you don’t have to be a great dancer to go to this class and have it change something inside of you. It is amazing stress relief and great cardio, obviously, but more than that I feel like it is just plain good for my energy. How cheesy, I know, and I sound like an infomercial, but there it is, friends. I couldn’t imagine my week without this as part of my routine.

something wicked this way comes

November 6, 2011

one of my blogging friends posted on her page the other day that she basically kept the dark and twisty stuff to herself. that her blog was not a place for that. she wanted her page to be fun and friendly.

there are days where i wish like hell i could be one of those girls.

but unfortunately, i am not. i have been battling a pretty nasty bout of depression the past month or so. it isn't letting up. or i'm not strong enough to combat it. or both.

i don't have a social life to distract me. i don't have that luxury because i am pathetically socially inept. i am not like her. or any other woman, for that matter, who can contain the ugly under a lovely mask of sunny.

so the world would assume, anyway.

there are things i see in my head that i've never seen in person. horrifying things. tormenting things. things i don't want to know so well. i don't want to know if what i've imagined is better or worse. i don't want the visions to become realities. when that happens, the images stay with me forever. they don't become so clouded by and, therefore, insignificant with time. they are as vibrant in memory as they are at the time of their occurrence.

the trouble with having a mind that is affected by mental instability is that you're constantly battling those visions. doing your damnedest to see that they remain things imagined. and the more you struggle, the harder it is to protect yourself, your world.

i see horrible, horrible things.

it is for this reason that being home alone very nearly paralyzes me with fear. it is for this reason that i am so cognizant of suffering. i am incredibly, acutely aware of trauma and its effects.

most people believe me to be too nice. i lent a friend who had just delivered twins some movies while she was cooped up in a hospital bed.

i've lain on those beds six times, four that i can recall. the first two happened before my second birthday. and every time it was to correct a flaw. and every time my only visitors were my immediate family and my doctor(s). it sucks to be stuck in a sterile, white room with monitors and wires and that stench of hospital with so few distractions.

i had a majority of my movies stored in a portable case. i'd meant to give her that. it should've been a quick thing. run home, run upstairs, snatch it from the floor at the foot of my bed, and run back. but no. my room was trashed, like always. and i'd moved it, but couldn't remember where i'd put it, like always.

so a twenty minute trip became an hour as i filled a large, brown paper bag with dvds.

when i got there with my bag full of plastic cases, she called me crazy and said i was too nice.

there are times when i feel as though niceness is an insult.

but it's important to me that i be nice. because there is such violence in me. i am capable of doing some godawful things. in my mind, i've hurt people i love. and the more i love them, the more pain i've imagined causing them.

so i cling to kindness like a lifeline, a fragile tether tying me to a dingy rocked by a hurricane.

there are things in this world i no longer want to understand. i used to wonder how someone could abuse a child. how a man or woman could harm a toddler for being a toddler, especially one who idolizes that adult.

i wondered and wondered and wondered. and then, one day, as i was caring for my niece and nephew, i got one of those terrifying visions.

and thanks to the demons in me, i no longer need to wonder. i've a very good idea of what would compel an adult to hurl a helpless three-month-old against a far wall.

not that i've done it. i would never. i would commit myself if such a thing ever came so close to becoming a reality.

and i'm careful not to be in a room alone with those babies. and i'm not going to teach, because i'm confident that i am not strong enough to handle a roomful of children by myself. i don't trust me in there. so all that waffling i'd been doing? i shouldn't have wasted my time with it.

still, when i see someone drag a child across a floor so fast and with such force that his head is whacked harshly against a wall ... when that person laughs at his cries and assigns the blame for his injury to him, it's damned near impossible for me to sit silently.

but sit i must. because god forbid a childless woman comment on the care another does or does not provide for a child.

and i've yet another painful memory crowding my all-too-troubled noggin.

someone asked me once what i was most proud of accomplishing.

masking the violence in my soul.

i've been told my smile is amazing. i've been told i am too kind. so i can't shove the sadness down far enough. but the other ... no one will know just how bad that shit is. this is the best glimpse of that you'll ever get.

so this is my prayer today:

this week's wisdom

November 4, 2011

psalm twenty-seven
1 the lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall i fear? the lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall i be afraid?

2 when the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.

3 though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will i be confident.

4 one thing have i desired of the lord, that will i seek after; that i may dwell in the house of the lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the lord, and to enquire in his temple.

5 for in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

6 and now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will i offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; i will sing, yea, i will sing praises unto the Lord.

7 hear, o lord, when i cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.

8 When thou saidst, seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, thy face, lord, will i seek.

9 hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, o god of my salvation.

10 when my father and my mother forsake me, then the lord will take me up.

11 teach me thy way, o lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.

12 deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.

13 i had fainted, unless i had believed to see the goodness of the lord in the land of the living.

14 wait on the lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, i say, on the lord.

raise me up

October 23, 2011

(whoever titled it is stupid and the visual quality sucks. i'm sorry for that ... but the sound is good.)

so, on the rare occasion that i felt compelled to turn on the radio this past week, i have heard josh groban's you raise me up three times. now i don't listen to the the radio all that often, so maybe this isn't such a freak thing, but ... it's not a new song. it's been around for years. years. like, i was living in san antonio. and that's been at least six. so for the radio (and i'm pretty sure it was the same station) to play that same song three times in seven days, that's not a typical thing, i'm thinking. a coincidence, sure. and i shouldn't think too much of it. but, for some reason, every time i hear this song, i think you should maybe talk to god. or something. or remember that he's there at least. one of those times had been just before i'd gone to see a friend who is constantly talking to me about prayer and how strong a woman's relationship with god could be, and about how good he is, and that she gets everything she asks for ...

seriously. the woman runs a furniture store. one of her delivery guys quit. that day, she prayed to st. anthony to send her someone to help. and the next day (or maybe it was that afternoon ... it was crazy quick), this handsome, strong, nice young man walks in the door in need of work. his name? anthony.

i'm just saying.

so i, i'm either not asking for the right things, or i am getting them and am obtuse.

but i tell ya, i think it'd be kind of hard to miss godsends like the ones she gets.


so three times in one week.

and every time i hear this song, i stop what i'm doing (unless i'm driving ... and if i'm driving, my attention is more focused on this man's voice and the lyrics) and some small bit of peace enters my soul ... briefly.

i wish it would stick around for a bit longer, but sadly, by the end of the thing, my cynical self has reclaimed the brain power.

so i put it up here on my blog, in hopes that maybe if i listen to it more regularly, it might help. or something.

the opposite of success

October 22, 2011

yesterday was not a good day.

a coworker and i had a disagreement about who got to work the rack versus who got to work the boxes. but really what it was about was her treatment of me. the fact that she'd been angry with me for weeks, but unable to address the issue that had caused her upset. she'd barely spoken to me in that period, and if she had something to say, the manner with which she said it was unfriendly at best. i'd tried a number of times to discern the cause for her demeanor toward me, but she was reluctant to discuss it. so i'd assumed that it was that she was unhappy with her work or not feeling well, and that i was being, typically, paranoid. that it hadn't been about me at all.

until yesterday.

this is one of those times when my instincts were right, and i should've trusted them and gone to my superior to seek a remedy of some sort. but no. it escalated.

so much so that we had a miniature team huddle with our direct supervisor, in which everyone was given the opportunity to express their concerns.

apparently, the whole team has a problem with me. my moving on to the next task because the current one was nearly completed and i didn't see an advantage for eight women to tackle putting up five hanging garments when one or two could get it done and there were other, fuller racks to tackle ... apparently that was perceived by them as my disinterest in working with a team. and my choosing to put up product that was more manageable for my hands, as opposed to shelving things that i could not put up as quickly as other team members could ... this was perceived by them as my always choosing the easy tasks.

and when my direct supervisor and the soflines flow team trainer (the woman who'd harbored ill-will toward me for a month or so) had a discussion after this huddle, it wasn't to resolve conflict, it was to heap on more blame on my shoulders.

both of these meetings took place on the sales floor while the store was open. and customers were staring and talking amongst themselves.

so again. i am the problem.

i am the weakest link.

i am the least valuable player.

i left work crying. i went to pottery barn kids because i needed to be reminded that not everybody hates working with me.

i. i. i. i sound so selfish right now.

then i went home and tried to take a nap, but there was so much angst in me that when i closed my eyes, it felt like the room was spinning. i couldn't relax. couldn't rest. couldn't put it down.

i showered. dressed. went to p.b.k. for my afternoon shift. almost sprained my ankle. spent five minutes on the floor in the bathroom crying.

then, when i got off work, i went to the memorial service for the mother of one of my oldest friends.

then i went to pappadeaux's to try to write. because usually when i'm this unhappy, i write some truly awesome shit. but i only wrote half a page.

and drank two glasses of vodka mixed with peach schnapps and cranberry juice.

this paired with the cup of ice cream i had on my lunch break yesterday ... that was probably not a good idea. because now my throat hurts. and i'm still anxious and unhappy. and i don't want to go to work and pretend to be happy when i'm not.

i want to write this stupid, stupid novel, so i can quit my stupid, stupid jobs and pay off my stupid, stupid debt so i don't feel quite so much like the stupid, stupid failure i've become.

two proposals

September 30, 2011

from time to time during games at kyle field, the cameras hone in on members of the twelfth man, usually the cute -- babies, toddlers and the physically blessed -- or enthusiastic fans, like those who have forgone shirts for body paint. just long enough that the individuals involved are aware their mugs grace the big screen in the south endzone.

last saturday, one of those individuals was a man holding up a twelfth man towel, upon which he'd written in black, block letters she said yes.

now, normally i'm not a fan of the proposals that call attention to themselves. i've seen'm advertised on big screens in ball parks, dropped in glasses of wine or buried in a dessert, or ...

written in the sky. like the one i saw today as i was walking from work to my car. there's a plane overhead. a banner with red block letters boasting a woman's name, the question and the man's name.

my first reaction was to smile and think how sweet. but that only last a millisecond. because, really? it's not sweet. that one's not about the joy of the thing. it's not even about the thing, really. or the woman. it's about the man. about the story the woman can tell her friends about the man.

there's no creativity there. there's no romance in that. he had someone fly a plane over a mall. so everybody could see. so everybody could, for that split second, think how sweet. it's horribly cliched and impersonal.

i'd much rather be the girl standing next to the guy with the towel. sure he asked her in a football stadium, surrounded by nearly ninety-thousand people. and sure, it got attention.

but the two of them were doing something they loved doing. together. and when he asked her, i doubt the people standing next to him were listening to his conversation. so the world, for them, for just a second, amidst all that chaos that is kyle field, was just theirs despite that cacophony. it was, for her, just about the boy standing next to her asking that question girls love and long to hear. and it was, for him, just about the girl standing next to him.

and when she said yes, they got to share in their excitement. afterward. in a way that made the people in that stadium smile and think how sweet, a sentiment that stuck with them for much longer than a millisecond.

do you know how i know this? because when i saw that stupid plane with its silly banner, i thought of that other proposal, of the sheer happiness on those young faces, and smiled again. and thought how sweet again.

that other one? i'll have forgotten it by next saturday. at the latest.

speaking of friends

September 20, 2011

there's this website called pinterest. and yes, i am on it.

what is it? (in case you're one of those ... i just typed one like won, by the way ... few folks out there who hasn't joined that bandwagon yet.) it's a website that lets you collect images of things you like.

it is a GIANT TIMESUCK. and i'm not on there very often, because i prefer to have my time sucked up in other ways. like trying to shoot the moon in hearts. or sitting at a bar at pappadeaux's picking the brains of its barstaff and servers, in hopes that some gem of an idea for the novel i've been writing in stupid stops and starts for more than a decade (i'm two pages away from completing eight chapters. go me.) ... some gem will reveal itself and let me write some.

so. pinterest. you surf the net for things you like, and when you find one, you pin it to the boards on your pinterest page so your friends can see. and your friends can repin things from your boards onto theirs if they like them.

today, i found this:

i love it. it's awesome. the stuff in the grey, that is.

random quarter: the how-would-you-blow-a-shitload-of-dough edition

September 15, 2011

one. pay off my college loans.

two. get current with all my bills.

three. personal training on a much more regular and frequent basis, so my ass could once again fit into a size-six pair of gap boot cut jeans.

four. phineas restored to his supremely awesome self. i've scraped up his belly and his right side quite a bit.  also, i've not detailed the leather since i bought him six years ago. shame on me.

five. that apartment i was telling you about? i'd snag that sucker up and keep it forever and ever and ever. 

i know what you're thinking. why an apartment? why not a house or a ...

because there is no yard to maintain. there is no maintenance for which i must set aside funds or headaches caused by that maintenance that i must medicate. you call the front office. you say my so-and-so is busted. and you wait while they get right on that. that's about as much of a headache as i've had to suffer when it comes to that stuff. 

and i am one person. one person does not need more than the space one apartment would provide. this right here? this is plenty.

six. a graduate degree at texas a&m university.

seven. lifetime season tickets to kyle field, preferably in section one-forty-three, row one, on the aisle. 

eight. restoration hardware's lancaster leather sofa

nine. restoration hardware's churchill reading chair. once upon a time they called it buster. i like the old name a whole lot better.

ten. pottery barn kids comfort chair, slip-covered in walnut washed linen. 

eleven. modifications to the pad to make it more me.

twelve. pay my parents back.

thirteen. give some to my brother.

fourteen. give some to my niece and nephew.

fifteen. vacation in england, ireland, scotland, austria and greece.

sixteen. wardrobe shopping sprees at anthropologie, banana republic and the gap.

seventeen. new boots. because mine are literally coming apart. and this makes me sad because i loved them so. but alas, i will have to learn to love another pair.

eighteen. every album on rolling stones' five hundred best list. i never liked the who, for example, but then i made myself listen to one of their greatest hits compilations until i could at least appreciate them. and it's actually kind of easy to do that with some of their songs. so maybe if i immersed myself in some of the other selections, i might could acquire a taste for a few of those as well. because god knows the music scene right now sucks ass. i keep turning on the radio thinking that i might hear something that will speak volumes to me. and it rarely ever happens. (and every time i think about this, i realize this must be how my parents felt when their music went out of style ... it's not sitting well.)

nineteen. donations to aids and cancer charities and research and to the march of dimes.

twenty. new television.

twenty-one. pottery barn's printer's media hutch.

twenty-two. williams sonoma. i would spend hours in there. hours. and it would most likely be a total waste of that money because i can't even make cinnamon toast. but, oh, i have such a huge fetish for kitchen shit. shoes? handbags? not really my thing. not that i won't go on the hunt for the quintessential accessory, but really? that sense of near-orgasmic glee most girls get over a pair of manolo blahniks or whoever is the it-shoemaker for the moment? i don't get that. ever. i'm happy with a pair of forty dollar flats (although i would be ecstatic if i could find a near exact replica of the pair of boots i'm going to have to replace). a finely made cutting board, on the other hand ...

twenty-three. every film that's ever won any oscar in any category.

twenty-four. barnes & noble. i would spend days in there. DAYS.

twenty-five. get my teeth fixed.

the world is on fire

September 6, 2011

i step outside and breathe in smoke. my sky is not quite so bright a blue anymore. and those slight chances of rain that i was so happy to see last week, they're gone now. gone because lee went a little too far east.

oh, but the wind. we got some of that. and those fires have blown higher and wider because of it.

i think i might have jinxed us when i prayed earlier this year that the hurricanes would stay far, far away. i'm kind of wishing i hadn't done that now.

and according to the ten-day forecast, there is no rain on the horizon. none.

god? you can stop now. really.

the following fires originated yesterday alone, as reported by the texas forest service:

RILEY ROAD, Grimes County. 3,000 acres, unknown containment. The fire is exhibiting extreme fire behavior as it burns rapidly west of Magnolia (neighboring city). At least 20 homes have been destroyed, with 150 immediately threatened and hundred more in its path. The fire is actively moving to the south.

TAMINA ROAD, Montgomery County (my county). 150 acres, unknown containment. Two hundred homes have been evacuated in and near the Woodlands and an additional 400 are within a one-fourth of a mile of the fire.

UNION CHAPEL, Bastrop County. 750 acres, 10 percent contained. Twenty-five homes were destroyed on this fire just west of Bastrop. Aircraft responded immediately after the fire was reported but were ineffective in the windy conditions.

MOONGLOW, Williamson County. 300 acres, no containment. This fire is burning in Leander where 150 homes were threatened. Thirteen homes are reported lost.

PETERS CHAPEL, Harrison County. 600 acres, unknown containment. The fire is burning actively in pine plantation. Numerous homes have been evacuated. There are no reports of losses.

#552, Upshur County. 200 acres, unknown containment. The fire is burning in timber. Three homes were lost and dozens remain threatened.

#854, Walker County. 200 acres, unknown containment. Thirty homes have been evacuated, five homes were destroyed.

#507, Anderson County. 1,200 acres, unknown containment.

#505 Rusk County. 400 acres, unknown containment.

#504, Anderson County. 800 acres, unknown containment.

and these are from the days before:

BASTROP COUNTY COMPLEX, Bastrop County. 30,000 acres, no containment. Heavy airtankers and single-engine airtankers assisted on this fire that started in the Lost Pines area just northeast of Bastrop. The fire continues to move rapidly to the south, with some eastward movement. Numerous subdivisions have been evacuated. Reports indicate nearly 600 homes have been destroyed.

PEDERNALES BEND, Travis County. 6,500 acres, 40 percent contained. The fire is burning 4 miles southeast of Spicewood. Sixty-seven homes were destroyed. The fire has jumped the Pedernales River and is burning actively towards the south.

BEAR CREEK (#536), Cass County. 7,000 acres, no containment. The fire is burning in heavy timber and is threatened a gas facility and chicken houses.

STEINER RANCH, Travis County. 125 acres, 40 percent contained. The fire started just north of the Steiner Ranch subdivision. More than 1,000 homes were evacuated. Thirty-five homes were destroyed. A Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System strike team responded.

HENDERSON #495, Anderson County. 3,700 acres, unknown containment. Three homes were saved.

#491, Limestone County. 3,000 acres, unknown containment. Six homes were saved and one was lost on this fire 20 miles east of Waco.

DELHI, Caldwell County. 8,000 acres, 40 percent contained. Twenty homes were saved and six were lost on this fire east of Lockhart.

BAILEY, Colorado County. 1,500 acres, 50 percent contained. This fast-moving fire threatened 40 homes near Columbus.

MOORE, Smith County. 1,300 acres, 90 percent contained. Ten homes were evacuated and five were lost on this fire burning on the Smith/Gregg County line. Two civilian fatalities were reported.

DIANA (#545), Upshur County. 750 acres, unknown containment. The fire is burning in grass and timber. Twenty homes are threatened.

LUTHERHILL, Fayette County. 2,000 acres, 50 percent contained. The community of Ruttersville was evacuated. Seven homes are reported lost.

BONBIEW RANCH, Van Zandt County. 350 acres, 80 percent contained. Twenty homes were saved southeast of Canton.

CLEMANIS, Upshur County. 500 acres, 90 percent contained. Twenty homes were saved on this timber fire.

#543, Gregg County. 300 acres, unknown containment. The fire is burning in pine and hardwood. Numerous homes were saved, none lost.

#538, Harrison County. 200 acres, contained. One hundred fifty homes were evacuated in a trailer park east of Longview.

#502, Nacogdoches County. 2,900 acres, unknown containment. More than a dozen homes have been evacuated, but none lost.

ARBOR, Houston County. 150 acres, unknown containment. The fire is burning in timber. Up to 15 homes reported lost.

KENNEDY ROAD, Rusk County. 150 acres, unknown containment. Numerous homes threatened, one lost.

PETTYTOWN, Caldwell County. 200 acres, 90 percent contained. Twenty homes were saved east of Lockhart.

OLD MAGNOLIA, Gregg County. 500 acres, unknown containment. Several structures and a gas plant are threatened. Two fuel tanks exploded.

SOUTH SULPHER, Hunt County. 100 acres, 70 percent contained. Five homes were threatened and two were destroyed.

#839, Leon County (Concord Robbins). 600 acres, unknown containment. At least 15 homes are reported lost and more than 300 were evacuated.

101 RANCH, Palo Pinto County. 6,555 acres, 85 percent contained. The fire is burning on the south side of Possum Kingdom Lake near the town of Brad. Thirty-nine homes and nine RVs have been reported destroyed.

the bastrop county complex fire? nasa took this photo from space:

the way is shut

August 21, 2011

my mother used to worry that she would lose me to alcohol or drugs. i'd get little comments here and there whenever we talked about my aunt or uncle or grandfather. mostly about my aunt. about how i am just like her.

twenty years ago, when she made these comments, i would be irritated by them because i knew myself well enough to know that drinking and smoking and injecting all that crap didn't do a damned bit of good. it made things worse, actually. i watched for years as it took its toll on my brother. i have to ask my family and friends about him now because he's not here to ask. to get to know. and the man i knew ... i got to know more of the things that made him detestable and less of the good.

the things i turned to in times of trouble were stories and swimming. i'd ride my bicycle around my neighborhood for hours sometimes. not because i wanted the exercise but because i was working through a plot i'd concocted. and if those didn't work, i took out my frustration on the water. and then i got tired of swimming. so it's just stories now. usually those told on the screen.

the two movies i'd most looked forward to seeing this summer were crazy, stupid love and one day. the first one made me happy. so much so that i felt compelled to see it again. will probably see it still again. the second made me cry. it made me lonely and miserable.

and i had nowhere to go with that when i left the theater. my friends? they're married. or have children. or both. and you don't call up a married parent at midnight on a saturday complaining about being the hopeless romantic. they wouldn't be able to comprehend that anyway.

so what did i do? i drove to pappadeaux seafood house with the intention of downing a shot or two of vodka and writing. i don't do this often. but the fact that i consider it from time to time ... it worries me a little. fortunately for me, my older brother was looking out for me. the doors were locked. i couldn't get in. and for some reason, the walk back to my car took most of the interest in partaking of adult beverages away.

i don't like how some love stories mess with me this way. i don't like how empty i feel after watching them. and yet, i would watch it again. it's a good story.

i was a better person twenty years ago. i don't like how life is chipping away at that. how the doors almost always seemed to be locked tight. and i was so much stronger two decades ago. i would've found a different way in then. now i seem to spend more time walking away.

show you mine, show me yours

August 10, 2011

lindsey over at running down a dream is doing a linky party of a sort, in honor of football season's arrival (almost! ALMOST! holy hell, i'm excited!)

i learned of this little shindig through my lovely, but unfortunately sooner-fanatical friend tyler. if you were to read her post, you would see some pretty impressive statistics about her favorite team. and i can concede that, generally, as a rule, the sooners are fairly impressive. statistically speaking. and i can also concede that they are my favorite football team OUTSIDE of texas.

INSIDE of texas, though is a totally different story.

because texas gives us the wonderful world of aggieland.

you've seen the movie a few good men, right? in the beginning scenes, that group of boys tossing around their rifles? those are boys from a&m's fish drill team.

and what they do is pretty tricky. i've seen them in action. in person. like, standing ten feet or so away, watching my brother shift a rifle around like it was weightless. it's not. especially in august and september.

the aggies took a professional football team to court because that team insisted upon calling their fans the twelfth man.

the twelfth man or twelfth player is a term used to describe the fans within a stadium during association football or american football games... since most football leagues allow a maximum of eleven players per team on the playing field at a time, the term denotes the attempt of a team's fans to help their team. in american football, the term is trademarked by and originated with texas a&m university in nineteen-twenty-two (wikipedia).

the aggies won. the seahawks can still refer to their fanbase this way. but they have to bow to a&m every time that they do. 

in the game against the sooners last season, a sophomore ran a kickoff return one hundred yards. touchdown. and on the first play of the game? the aggies forced the sooners into a safety. the sooners were ranked eighth in the nation at the start of the game. the aggies weren't ranked at all. weren't even close to being ranked, i imagine. the end changed things up quite a bit. and at the end of the season, the aggies tied the sooners for the big-twelve south title. WHOOP! that hasn't happened in a LONG time.

in the following game, the ags kept the cornhuskers from scoring a single touchdown. all nebraska could do was kick two pansy field goals. in sixty minutes of play.

we weren't supposed to win that one. we weren't supposed to beat the sooners, either. we weren't supposed to be good at all, given that we lost to teams like missouri. that was not a good game. but those boys got out of their own way and did some pretty phenomenal things in those last few games.

did you know that the aggies set a national collegiate football record for student attendance at that game against nebraska? kyle field's capacity is eighty-three thousand two. ninety-thousand, seventy-nine folks were at that game. that's like cramming the populus of a small city into a significantly smaller space, one that's already full.  pick up nevada, missouri--where i spent my first two years in college--and drop it in a maxed-capacity kyle field, and there you go.

thirty-one thousand five attendees were students.

it was CROWDED.

there was a whole lot of yelling going on. it was awesome.

they may not be the best team in the country... they've only won one national title, they've lost more than four hundred games in their history, and only one of their players has been awarded the heisman.

but they have the best games.

because they have the best band. hands down. there's this thing called a four-way cross-through that is supposedly impossible. can't be done. men have said so. computers have said so. and yet, i've seen it done. numerous times. and it is beautiful. and the half-time show they presented in norman, oklahoma two seasons ago is one of the best i've seen.

the best traditions -- the march-in, the twelfth man, the war hymn ... oh, i love that song.

and bonfire. that one was the best of all.

the best spirit. even when we're down. but especially when we're up.

september fourth cannot get here fast enough.

there are words i long to hear:

and that's a fightin' texas aggie first down.

touchdown ... a&m.

and now... formed at the north end of kyle field... the nationally famous fightin' texas aggie band.

two stories

July 22, 2011

tonight, i sat down with my nephew after dinner in one of the swivel glider rockers i love so well with one of the books, small saul, that i'd given mom for mother's day. usually when bambam is sitting with someone with a book, he wants to do the so-called reading of it. what this means is that he turns the pages back and forth and points out one of many objects on one page, then goes back to turning the pages again. and he is babbling all the while. babbling because he is so animated, so happy inside the realm of his imagination which has been stirred by that one object on that one page that he is content there. your turning the pages and reading to him the words printed on that paper? this disrupts that contentedness. a lot. and he will swat at your hands and yank the book from your grasp and snap at you.
i read it! i do it!

it's rare when he actually appreciates having someone read to him. so rare that i cannot recall more than a handful of times during which i've actually been able to read more than five consecutive pages to him in any one sitting.

tonight's reading began like it always does.

but eventually, maybe a third of the way through the book, he ceased with his fidgeting and his babbling and his attempts to yank the book from my hands and listened. he was totally absorbed.


maybe because he hadn't had a nap today. maybe because he was working on a number two.

maybe because we were reading about pirates. who knows.

but at the end of it, when we got to the last page, and i'd read the last word, he said two things:

the end.


i like that story.

and that's the first time i've ever heard him say that about a book. ever.

we started to read dirtball pete, which is also a pretty cute book.

but my father had to pull out his newly acquired ipad. and my nephew associates this thing with angry birds. and pete and i lost him.

different, not less

July 12, 2011

this morning, i found a book at barnes & noble booksellers called please stop laughing at me. 

my mother's talked upon occasion about writing a book with me about my experiences. we'd take turns, each writing a chapter of our perspectives of a certain period or event.

the trouble is, i don't remember my childhood well enough to write about it.

i remember feelings. i remember them better when i see people from my past. i know that i had little interest in life. but if you were to ask me to describe a day to you in detail, i couldn't do it. i've blocked a lot of it, i think.

i get flashes. solitary walks. playing games by myself. torment. flashes. and that's enough for me. i don't want to remember much else.

the author of this book, though, she'd remembered her childhood well enough to write about it. when i'd first started skimming it, i'd thought, thank god my life wasn't this bad. thank god i'd never been invited to parties so i'd never had to call my mother to come get me because it was so horrible.

but of course, then i remembered one from fifth grade. i didn't call my mother. i just left. walked home.

i was never physically attacked. thank god. my peers never thought enough of me to beat on me.

not with their hands. they used words instead. and my subconscious has a great book filled with them.

i was never in the position where i had to choose between two friends because one couldn't handle my  liking the other.

oh, but my friends, the few i had ... they were. and they chose the others over me.

i put the book away. didn't want to read it. couldn't.

i don't want to remember anymore than i do.

and i went on about my day.

at dinner, my father found a story about a woman named temple grandin.

this would be one of those few instances where he succeeded in choosing good cinema.

temple is autistic. and she is treated horribly by her peers because of it. treated by her peers as though she is less because of it. she is moved from one school to another to another until her mother meets a teacher who is marveled by temple's mind. the teacher encourages ms. grandin to enroll her daughter. she finds an ally. she finds a future.

there is so much about this movie, about this story that astounds. claire danes is incredible. julia ormond, catherine o'hara and david strathairn are amazing. it's a really, really good story. it won emmys and golden globes and a whole bunch of other things.

this woman, she's pretty nifty.

and i wish i'd had a tenth of her courage and tenacity.

this is the pad i would like to have

July 7, 2011

a VERY big deal

June 21, 2011

maybe you've read my rants on the bitch of a drought we're having here ... and i know i've probably sounded pretty insensitive given the state of things elsewhere in our country, but ...

the grand state of texas is on fire, folks. and not just in the west where it's mostly flat and barren and dry, but in the southeast, too, which is usually pretty and green and forested.

not so very far from where i live. and it's making me sad.

and just a little scared. and i'd really, really like for it to rain now, please.

the one reason why i wish i weren't

June 14, 2011

so i gave yall my list of reasons why i like being single.

but being held is glorious.

and i could've used a bit of that today.

instead, i ended my day watching conan's commencement speech at dartmouth:

there are few things more liberating in this life than having your worst fear realized ... if you accept your misfortune and handle it right your perceived failure can become a catalyst for profound reinvention.

work hard. be kind. and amazing things will happen.

i could work harder. and be kinder.

embrace the suck.

by the way, aren't those words -- catalyst, profound, reinvention -- aren't they fantastic? when you put them together, they're almost magical.

ten advantages to being single

because right this very second, i am SO glad i don't have in-laws of my own.


(which, by the way, is the total opposite of YEE!)

one. i can sleep in the middle of the bed if i want to. and so often, i want to.

two. i don't have to cook. nor do my culinary skills matter all that much to anyone else but me. (so nagging from mom-in-law about how i'm not properly feeding her son ... i don't have to listen to that.)

three. i only have to wash MY clothes. and i've got a crapload of'm. so this is really a good thing.

four. if i want to get up and go ANYWHERE i can.

five. the number of birthday/christmas presents i have to buy each year is still reasonable. i imagine if i were married, there'd be presents for his mom, his dad, his brother(s), his sister(s), his aunt(s) and uncle(s), his niece(s) and nephew(s), and possibly his cousin(s), too, that i'd have to at least help in purchasing. most likely, i'd be doing the shopping for them, as well. it'd be on my honey-do list. and my me-do list is already pretty long.

six. i wouldn't have a honey-do list.

seven. i have me time. occasionally. i imagine if i were married i wouldn't have me time at all.

eight. i don't have to be neat.

nine. i don't have to divide my holidays between my family and his.

ten. solitude can be a lovely, lovely thing.

and if my older brother were here, i'd have an ally of sorts, in dealing with the more challenging members of my family. where i am afraid to tell someone off, unless, of course, my temper is riled to boiling, he was not. and he could do it with tact and a tone that could quell any malcontent in anyone else. i don't have that gift. i just spew vitriole. or cork it. and that is never a good thing.

hello hurricane season

June 2, 2011

stay away. stay far, far away.

the high today, folks, for my little spot in the world is one hundred two. the air is feverish here. the ground is scorched in places because of it.

and, of course, hurricanes are turned on by the heat. that giant red spot on the right? that thing, or some other beast just like it, is probably gonna come straight for us. suckage. one ginormous tornado packed with a gazillion gallons of water.

right this very second, alaska looks pretty nice.

random quarter

June 1, 2011

one. that adele song that they keep playing on the radio? the one i hear every time i change the radio to ninety-six point five? i am tired of hearing it. i was annoyed that it was playing in my noggin as i began typing this.

two. i was generally annoyed yesterday.

three. this getting up at three a.m. is really getting old. this going to bed at eight p.m. in hopes that i will fall asleep by nine is getting older.

four. i don't feel as though i deserve better work. more respectable work. more enjoyable work. better-paying work. i don't feel like i deserve it, and this is what keeps me from obtaining it.

five. but if i don't get out of my parents' house soon ...

six. while my father enjoys his hours of relaxing in his recliner, flipping the channels mercilessly, talking incessantly and then getting onto us for talking whenever the dialogue of the show is more interesting to him than ours is, while my mother caters to his every need (my parents are old-fashioned. most of the time, i'm alright with this. i'm a pretty old-fashioned girl myself. and i'm alright with that, too.) ... while my father has hours of relaxation time, i do not. yesterday, for example, i was seated on one of the glider rockers in the den, next to my father's recliner, playing on my laptop, reveling in the light of the evening sun that flooded the rooms of the first floor of our temporarily, blissfully silent house. i had about ten minutes of this before my parents came home. and then my father wanted my input on what we should watch. wanted to know why my day wasn't great. i could not have more than two minutes to myself to collect my thoughts and unwind. because there was his need for conversation. my mother's need for me to eat dinner when she was ready for me to eat it. my need to do laundry and shower.

seven. i do not understand why, when i attempt to do good and selfless work, when i attempt to volunteer my time and energy, when i feel compelled to drive ten hours out of my way to do this, the good lord says hell no. you must work retail instead, and beat people senseless with pressure to create registries and obtain store charge cards and solicit their email addresses so that your company may barrage them from a distance as well as at close range ... persistently.

eight. i do not understand why i cannot be content with my life.

nine. i'm excited to have gotten new followers in the past few days. and grateful and flattered that yall felt compelled to follow picky. now to just keep you here. :]

ten. the right corner of my mouth is so chapped that it's cracked. toothpaste causes this. i should know better than to try others, seeing as how my skin is so particular about the products with which it comes in contact.

eleven. i've had way too much caffeine lately. perhaps this is why i have felt so agitated. it could also be the reason i can't get to sleep by nine p.m.

twelve. back in the day, i got my kicks from music, movies, romance novels, writing, swimming (god, i loved being in the water, especially at a meet during a medley relay) and walks/rides around my neighborhood. come to think of it, i still get my kicks that way.

thirteen. best relay ever. the americans had a body-length lead going into the last leg, and ian thorpe reduces it to a head just by his dive. i'd been sitting on my coffee table, right in front of the tube when the relay began, and by the end i was jumping up and down on my fine piece of furniture. we weren't supposed to win this one. the australians were supposed to own it.

fourteen. sometimes, i am sorely, sorely tempted to start smoking again. yesterday was one of those days. but, thankfully, i managed to get through it.

fifteen. my mom made angel food cupcakes topped with strawberry icing. i think i've polished off about half of them already. oops.

sixteen. the question i am tired of hearing is something similar to are you working tonight? because four a.m. to my father is night to him. but really, i'm more tired of anyone asking me if i'm working on a certain day. i have three jobs. the chances that i am working at least one of them on any given day is quite good.

seventeen. the last thing i broke was one of the pushers the planogram team uses to divide product on a shelf. it's called a pusher because it functions sort of like a pez dispenser in that it keeps merchandise close to the edge of the shelf.

eighteen. i'm sick to death of hearing that there's someone out there for everyone. horse shit.

nineteen. my first frivolous purchase if i won a million dollars would be a plane ticket to ireland.

twenty. if i was given a choice between great wisdom and great wealth, right this very second i'd have to go with wealth. because with great brain power comes great depression. and with great wealth comes debt-freeness. (of course, i know that's not how it really works ... at least with the great wealth bit ... i'm well aware of the number of lottery winners who have blown their wads within a year or two).

twenty-one. the hardest luxury for me to give up would either be my laptop or my bed. the laptop because that is my time to chill ... to attempt to relax, anyway (i've such a difficult time doing this ... blame it on the brain power) and the bed for obvious reasons.

twenty-two. if i were stranded on a desert island for a hundred days, the five items i would bring are dickens our mutual friend, a carton of mead fivestar five subject notebooks, a carton of papermate comfortmate clicky pens,  a carton of off bug spray and a bic lighter (for which to set trees on fire when i've become bored with being stranded).

twenty-three. my favorite piece of jewelry is the aquamarine ring my younger brother gave me.

twenty-four. i don't make friends easily.

twenty-five. when i go to burger king in the morning, it's usually for breakfast, and i usually get the double croissanwich with sausage and bacon. if i go for lunch or dinner, i either get a whopper (the regular or the junior, depending upon how hungry i am) with cheese, lettuce and mayonnaise or the chicken fries. with a coke. always with a coke.

what i most love about writing

May 22, 2011

the dialogue. i LOVE this stuff. i love how you can pack a whole boatload of comedy or drama in a handful of lines. i love how if it's crafted well and delivered well it can create such an impact that it makes a story memorable for a lifetime. i love that it can provide a great deal of insight into a character's psyche and situation in a matter of seconds.

pretty much every scene i've ever written originated as dialogue. it's so much easier to write that than describing every blasted detail. so much more enjoyable, too.

take these lines from playing by heart, a film that tells the stories of four couples by showing snippets of conversations. as the film progresses, the amount of time the camera stays on one couple is lengthened and the way one couple's tale entwines with another's becomes more and more evident. two of the couples are fairly newly formed -- one couple is in their twenties, and the other in their late thirties/early forties (if i remember correctly. it's been a while since i've seen it). one couple has been married for fifteen years. and one is preparing to celebrate their fortieth wedding anniversary.

there's the tale of joan and keenan, played by angelina jolie (i know) and ryan phillippe.

keenan: you're terrific -- sensational, really -- but i'm not right for you.

joan: wow. you should write these kiss-offs down. they'd be perfect for a chapter called piercing the heart in exactly ten words. that was ten words, wasn't it? you're terrific -- sensational, really -- but i'm not right for you. yep.

and ... much later ...

keenan: when we're together, whether or not i show it, i just can't wait to hear the next words out of your mouth. but right now i need to ask you to do something for me.

joan: anything.

shut up. just for a moment. i've been-- i've been thinking about what you said last night. i have no idea why you're so relentless, particularly, given the arsenal of defense i've thrown at you. but, no matter how hard i've tried to block out everything that you've said, the message has been received.

then there is gracie, played by madeleine stowe:

on the first date my husband asked me: gracie? do you dream? and i said, yes. from the time i get up in the morning until i go to bed at night. you know how they say the first time is never any good? well, with us, it was wonderful. i never felt so awake. i had to reassure him that crying was just my standard reaction to tremendous pleasure. he held me, and he said that he wanted to make me cry for the rest of our lives. flash forward fifteen years. and somehow the two of us became one ... and one. and now i find myself living with a roommate instead of a husband. and i have dogs instead of children because i can have dogs, but i can't have children. and-- oh, i've forgotten who blames who for that. and i haven't cried in a very long time.

and then paul and hannah, played by sean connery and gena rowlands. god, i love these two in this. they are amazing.

paul: what are we making?

hannah: some hemlock.

oh, please, don't deprive the kids of their mother.

oh, i'm not making it for me.

ah, that's the hannah that i know.

well, you seem to know me a lot better than i know you.

you know that's not true. do you remember what you told the kids about falling in love?


well, i do. you said that the wonderful thing about falling in love is that you learn everything about that person and so quickly. and if it's true love then you start to see yourself through their eyes, and it brings out the best in you, and it's almost as if you're falling in love with yourself.

this post brought to you by iphone

May 17, 2011

the other day (a particularly miserable day, of course) i rounded the backside of a full-sized van to get to my car to find the hood and windshield covered in bird shit. just my car. huge splotches and long streaks of white. it looked more like someone had tried to play jackson pollock, and phineas was the canvas.

so i ended work feeling shat upon literally as well as figuratively.

and yes, i know. it's funny. i am almost to the point where i can laugh about it.

i would show you a picture, but i'm not allowed to touch my mac for another five days because i have no willpower.

pray that i can get to sunday. pray for good.

mother nature is a heinous wench

May 7, 2011

so southeast texas hasn't had more than half-an-inch of rain in more than one hundred days.

it's like ninety-nine point nine percent parched.

or scorched in some cases.

my front yard looks like a mangy cat.

the park across the street already looks like it's been through summer.

and the living ain't easy
fish are dying
and the cotton is fried

so maybe, mother, you could send a little bit of that rain from the east back over here? because they sure as shit don't need anymore. and we sure as shit could use some.

not a lot, mind you.

we don't need to go from drought to drowned.

can you hear me now?

April 20, 2011

oh, how i loathe verizon.



i waited. patiently. for the provider to acquire permission to sell the iphone. months. years, practically.

i hate waiting.

almost as much as i hate verizon.

so i heard they'd be getting it in the fall.


then i heard they'd be getting it in the spring.


then i heard they wouldn't be getting the iphone ever.

and then i debated.

should i go through the hassle of changing service providers (because i did that years ago when i switched from sprint -- UGH -- to verizon)? or should i scrap it all and get the damned iphone already.

christmas was weeks away. i needed to find some resolve fast.

i'd bought the blackberry storm about three years ago, sometime around christmas the first year it'd come out.

i NEVER liked it. it is so NOT user friendly.

but i figured since i'd bought it, i should stick with it (are you reading this, mel? because this would apply to you, sort of, too.)

i'd watch my brother, his wife and their children happily tinker with their iphones with only a small amount of envy circling in my gut.

so finally, i decided to cut the cord and make the switch.

which i do, right after christmas.

my phone number was supposed to be ported from my verizon account to my at&t one. it wasn't.

when i tried to rectify this, the folks at at&t said they would need certain information from verizon which i didn't have on me and was too lazy to drive back to my house, dig through the hell that is my closet for a piece of paper, then drive back to the mall and find a place to park. again. so instead i went to the verizon kiosk not so very far away.

i tell one of the boys behind the counter that i am in need of some information. but i can't remember my password (still can't. not sure why i changed it, actually. the old one was quite memorable), and he's too reluctant to do anything for me without it.

oh, but he's quick to tell me verizon's phones are better. several times.

which is bullshit, really. and i'm not in the mood to hear it. i'm also not in the mood to mess with the whole porting thing any longer.

so i decide to keep the number at&t has assigned me.

you do realize what this means, right?

i now have two cellular telephones.

both with voice and data plans. which means i get two bills each month, each for about ninety bucks.

and i, i am not the most responsible chick.

which means i've been paying for two phones for four months.

in march, i finally got around to going to a verizon store to have my service disconnected. i waited and waited for a particular associate to finish conducting business with his current customer. i waited a really long time. i was asked by several other verizon associates if they could provide assistance. i was adamant that they could not. i waited. patiently. sort of. i spent much of my time spinning circles on my chair. i'm sure the store's employees were thrilled.

the guy finally wraps it up and gets my service disconnected.

so everything should be peachy keen, now, right?


i get that annoying, haggling phone call from verizon a week or so later. you know. the break-up call. like the ones you get from your ex because you've not clued in yet to either (a) how miserable he or she thinks you are, or (b) how miserable a person you should be thinking he or she is.

this guy wants to know what he can do to get me to come back.

i tell him something about how i use at&t and am quite content with their service and hang up.

today, i go in to pay what i think is my final bill, and i'm expecting it to be smallish, really.

no. it's like two hundred bucks.


because somehow my service was reconnected.

on a happier note, i found two nifty pairs of shoes today at dsw. to go with the two nifty dresses i bought earlier at target.

one is a chambray shirt dress. what i love the most about it is the wide skirt. the other is a sleeveless, cotton dress in rose with a grey trim around the neck. what i love about it is the color. it's a really good color on me.

i bought a pair of maroon patent leather flats with pewter buckles at the toes for when i wear the dresses at work. and a pair of red patent leather wedges for when i wear them elsewhere.

and yeah, i could've paid off my verizon bill with the money i spent on the shoes, but i was a little steamed, okay? and possession of those shoes is a more permanent thing, after all.

unhappy endings

April 18, 2011

here's two people who should not have been allowed to procreate:

tina louise madrid was charged with neglect. jeffrey singer was charged with injury to a child by omission.

the child? ten-year old jonathan singer, whose body had been decomposing in a box in the back of his father's vehicle.

apparently child protective services had been called in twice last year after reports of potential abuse, but they couldn't find enough evidence to remove the child from his parents' so-called care.

jonathan had cerebral palsy. reports have stated that he was blind and weighed approximately forty pounds.

the medical examiner's conducting an autopsy to determine how long the body had been decomposing.

as if it's not bad enough the boy was living with a disability, but he was forced to live with two people so incredibly inadequate.

today's fodder

i should be honest and say that right now i am just way to busy to start something here, life is a strange thing sometimes.

you gotta love lines like this.

uh. hello? writer. my business is fiction. don't bullshit a bullshitter.

you're on a dating website, which one would assume would mean you have time to meet people. a site which you've visited daily for the past week. the reason i know this is because i see your mug in my search results, moron.

so not too busy, then, eh?

just dishonest and discourteous.

which is good to know, really. i would've thought a forty-two year-old would've done some growing up.

by the way, your grammar could use some work.

random quarter

April 2, 2011

one. i've noticed that i keep the fingers of my left hand curled up when i'm not using it. i walk around with it fisted. i wish i could relax. i wish i could be laidback or carefree or capable of saying to hell with this shit with some sort of conviction ... i wish i could be cool.

two. today, i sold approximately thirty-five hundred dollars in pottery barn kids' merchandise, suckered three customers into registering for a pbk charge card, set up two registries and an estimate and created three client profiles so that an associate or i could call a customer up at a future date and haggle them until they've felt the inclination to either spend more money or say to hell with this shit.

three. that i had such a good day at work (i sold more stuff than any of my coworkers ... this has never happened before) came as a shock to me, because i was horribly unhappy this morning, so much so that i was certain i was going to have a lousy day. but my first customer? she was my first credit card sale. so i guess i should've known it would be alright.

four. i do not like that i am now thirty-eight. i do not like it at all. it's actually incredibly depressing.

five. i love bloodstone, also known as jasper. sometimes i wish that were my month's major birthstone rather than its minor one. not that i don't like aquamarine. i do. but you can't confuse bloodstone with any other stone, really. and the aquamarine is so similar to blue topaz. and if i've not cleaned my ring in a while, it starts to look more like a dingy bluish gray, which has been confused for a diamond before (although i marvel at the stupidity of those who have thought it such).

six. i am closer to one-forty than one-fifty, which of course has deceived me into thinking, since my pants size is smaller, that my waist is smaller and therefore, my dress size should be smaller. i actually stepped foot in forever twenty-one today with the intent of buying a dress i'd seen a week or so ago that i'd learned was fairly new, so i thought maybe i might be able to snag one for myself.

seven. i tend to avoid shops like forever twenty-one on principle, by the way. too much product, too big a store, too much in the now. and when the line to try on clothes is as long as this store's was today, i feel a little bit repulsed.

eight. anyway, the dress was already sold out. i was not thrilled to learn of this.

nine. while i might have lost a bit of weight, i still look like a fat cow in a dressing room mirror under its bad lighting. i'm not sure why dressing rooms have to present such unflattering angles and whatnot. i would think the idea was to get people to buy the attire rather than leave a store empty-handed.

ten. i'm so not the girly girl. one of my bloggy friends commented on twitter a while back that she'd like it if the undergrad students would dress better. i'd remarked that she'd hate the way i dressed. and she would. some days, i don't much care for the way i dress. i've never had a figure i've felt inclined to show off. i'm all arms and legs (and hips ... good god, the hips ... thanks, mom. thanks mema). anyway. you would think being leggy would be a good thing. when i was younger, i was mocked because my pants were too short. those jeans that are long enough that you can roll'm at the ankles so that the cuffs are resting on your shoes? i've never been able to do that with a pair of jeans. ever. i like the way it looks. i like the bagginess of it. the ease it implies. the best i can do is turn a pair of jeans into capris by rolling them up twice. and i don't like it when the sleeves of a shirt don't reach my wrists. anyway, i'll see an outfit, a haircut ... a sense of style i admire, and i'll want that for myself. i'll be inspired to go shopping and dress better ...

eleven. but then i get into that fitting room, and the things i've chosen, the things that are girlier ... they just don't feel right on me. they don't look right. i don't look right.

twelve. i've never really thought i was anything like my maternal grandmother. but as i get older, i'm starting to see significant similarities. i'm not sure what she'd say to that. i don't imagine it would be good, though. in fact, i can see her scoffing at that and laughing at me. i never really felt as though she thought too much of me. i'm not sure she ever really understood me.

thirteen. but then, i don't think anybody understands me.

fourteen. i've been stuck on the script's for the first time. i am unthrilled by this. very much so. somebody please, please put some good music in my noggin.

fifteen. i want a dog. i know. i've mentioned this before. i want seven of'm. but right this second i feel a keen desire to have a big, red french mastiff. those are the best dogs ever.

sixteen. i wish i could create a story as easily as i could create a character. and then yall could be reading about isa and gus and piper and cate in a book rather than in snippets off this here bloggy. but i can't see their stories. i can only see them. and it's only for a second or two at a time. it's really irritating me.

seventeen. i've become addicted to that game angry birds. so happy my niece and nephew introduced me to it. i spent a significant period of time in baltimore's airport monday afternoon slinging cardinals, blue birds and canaries at green piggies. missing mostly. i'm sure the wonder twins would've gotten a lot more hits than i did.

eighteen. the medicine i've been prescribed for the headaches and whatnot? i'm not sure my ankles like it very much. they're a little swollen. joy.

nineteen. the hut makes a pretty good vegetarian pizza. so from now on, i might be ordering half pepperoni/half veggie lovers on a thin crust. that's some good stuff.

twenty. now i've you are my sunshine in my head. there are worse things.

twenty-one. i can't comprehend why steven seagal was ever popular.

twenty-two. a couple of weeks ago, i lent out my star wars trilogy to a coworker. he has yet to watch it. the thing had been sitting on my bookcase untouched for months and months and months. in fact, i don't think i'd watched it since i'd bought them (or received them ... i think they might've been a christmas present from two years ago or so -- because i'd hocked all my dvds and was rebuilding my collection). anyway. i hadn't felt compelled to watch it, so i figured it'd be alright to lend the thing out. and the longer he keeps it, the more interested i am in watching that series again. of course, the fact that i've been watching morning glory over and over again probably hasn't helped, either.

twenty-three. the top five movies at the box office from last weekend were the diary of a wimpy kid: rodrick rules, sucker punch, limitless, the lincoln lawyer and rango. crap. crap. crap. crap. crap. my god, whatever happened to good cinema?

twenty-four. bradley cooper seriously, seriously irritates me. i can't comprehend why he's popular, either.

twenty-five. or why the world needs the hangover: part ii? really?