you need a radio, takes the pressure off everyone feeling they have to talk so much

April 27, 2017

in the past twenty-four hours, i've seen in my twitter and facebook feeds people posting pictures of heavyset women wearing unflattering clothing and videos poking fun of others having difficulty at atm machines. this morning i read an article about pepsi's failed attempt to create an advertisement encouraging cultural diversity and how heineken created one that succeeded.

stop telling others how they should live, goddammit. YOU DO YOU.

of course, saying this puts me in the same category, and i know how incendiary that is, but please, yall. that woman put that clothing on because she liked it. she LIKED IT. who gives a shit if it doesn't make her look good? she felt good wearing it. but you're gonna post the picture to your twitter account with your snark so you can feel good? how does that make you feel good? how? it didn't make me feel good seeing that in my feed. and a friend of mine did that. i was ashamed to see it, ashamed that she'd done it. and what the fuck does it matter what she's wearing? WHAT? do you know how many times i've looked back on pictures and wondered what made me think that was okay? (there's some really good examples in this post.) but AT THE TIME, i liked that clothing. plus, my mama picked it out for me.

if someone's having trouble with something, don't fucking record a video and post it to your facebook wall so others can laugh at that person's ineptitude. get out of your car, walk over and ask, can i help you? if the person's rude to you then, so be it. but maybe they'd appreciate the kindness? if you can't be kind enough to ask, then at least be considerate enough to shut up and keep your camera in your bag.

all this does is make someone's day uglier. and maybe their day was already ugly to begin with. no, they can't see your twitter and your facebook, but if you think they don't know that people are mocking them, you're STUPID.

put some music on. think on different things. SHUT UP.

(by the way... because it's no longer sitting well with me... that mismatch post on monday is the last of the batch.)

tuesday topics: six. poems

April 25, 2017

so april is national poetry month, don't you know. april seventeenth was national haiku day. i'm supposed to write one of those for this month's scavenger hunt. that's not happened yet.

one of the things i liked about that book everything everything that i was reluctant to include in the post because i didn't want to include spoilers there (but i'm going to do so here because it's my bloggy and i can if i want to) is that when maddy chooses to shut herself off from the world, olly knows her well enough to attempt to sway her back in it by using poetry. he likes limericks. she likes haiku. so the first poems he sends are limericks, but his last effort, his final attempt is a haiku, a very simple one:

five syllables here
and now here are seven more
i love you maddy
(page 260).

my parents have books all over the house. my father made a wall-length, floor-to-ceiling bookcase of cedar and glass. there must be thousands of books on it. there are books in every room of this house. this is what happens when you're raised by english teachers and choose to major in the subject yourself. our house is like a library.

so for this particular edition of tuesday topics, i made a quick study of those cedar shelves and the trunk of children's books in the den and will choose poems from my findings.

from brian wildsmith's mother goose: a collection of nursery rhymes. i want to say this is one of the books we had in my childhood, but my mother's the sort of woman to give things away once we'd outgrown them, so i can't be sure. it looks old, the pages have separated from the spine, and memory recognizes it, though, so maybe.

ride a cock-horse to banbury cross,
to see a fine lady upon a white horse;
with rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,
she shall have music wherever she goes
(page 8).

from the random house book of poetry for children: a treasury of 572 poems for today's child selected by jack prelutsky and illustrated by arnold lobel. i want to say this is one i bought -- er, had mom buy for me -- in a book fair during fifth or sixth grade, maybe. yep. just i just opened the page, and there on the cover is my notations for my "library".

mountain brook
because of the steepness,
the streamlet runs white,
narrow and broken
as lightning by night.

because of the rocks,
it leaps this way and that,
fresh as a flower,
quick as a cat
(elizabeth coatsworth, page 28).

from whitman's leaves of grass. my mother's, i'm sure. those cedar and glass shelves my father built? there's another set that rises on either side of their bed and meets high near the ceiling over it. bookcase and nightstands combined. i pulled this one off the shelves on her side. she's marked a couple of pages. i'll share one of those. there are two on this particular page. one is called to a pupil. i was inclined to share that one, but i'm liking this other one better...

unfolded out of the folds
unfolded out of the folds of the woman man comes unfolded,
and is always to come unfolded,
unfolded only out of the superbest woman of the earth
is to come the superbest man of the earth,
unfolded out of the friendliest woman is to come the friendliest man,
unfolded only out of the perfect body of a woman
can a man be form'd of perfect body,
unfolded only out of the inimitable poems of woman can come
the poems of man, (only thence have my poems come;)
unfolded out of the strong and arrogant woman i love,
only thence can appear the strong and arrogant man i love,
unfolded by brawny embraces from the well-muscled woman i love,
only thence comes the brawny embraces of the man,
unfolded out of the folds of the woman's brain come all the folds
of the man's brain, duly obedient,
unfolded out of the justice of the woman all justice is unfolded,
unfolded out of the sympathy of the woman is all sympathy;
a man is a great thing upon the earth and through eternity,
but every jot of the greatness of man is unfolded out of woman;
first the man is shaped in the woman, he can then be shaped in himself
(page 307).

from an anthology of old english poetry translated by charles w. kennedy. also from my mother's side of the shelves.

the voyage of life
now is it most like as if on an ocean
across cold water we sail in our keels,
over the wide sea in our ocean-steeds,
faring on in our flood-wood. fearful the stream,
the tumult of waters, whereon we toss
in this feeble world. fierce are the surges
on the ocean-lanes. hard was our life
before we mad harbor over the foaming seas.
then help was vouchsafed when god's spirit-son
guided us to the harbor of salvation and granted us grace
that we may understand over the ship's side
where to moor our sea-steeds, our ocean-stallions,
fast at anchor. let us fix our hope
upon that haven which the lord of heaven,
in holiness on high, has opened his ascension
(page 35).

from cleaning the well: poems old and new by paul ruffin. from my bookcase, by my professor at sam houston.

old woman in winter
it is because she does not
see me watching that she stops
and lifts some curious object
and holds it before her face,
this old woman on the street.
whatever worth she was does not show,
covered by a heavy coat
like some ancient deadly sin.
even the sun seems to refuse
to shine for her, lost in clouds
and cold wind. she pockets her prize,
turns her beaked face toward me,
then scuttles off to where she
doubtless was not going,
the coat snagging on a claw-like shrub
at the edge of the park,
where she disappears,
her humped form blending
in the cold woods and coming dark
(page 7).

what are some of your favorites? share them with me!

mismatch monday

April 24, 2017

things found while perusing the profiles on match this week:

i have no children of my own but have been a father and love it... if i like your pic or fav ya or something it means cv i'm interested. .. i'm more likely to do that and if you don't like mine back what's the point in writing ya?

the word laidback (or its alterego easy-going) is in EVERY other profile, by the way. the last guy i dated described himself as thus, and i can guarandamntee you, that's the LAST word i'd use to describe him. so when i see things like:

i'm very laidback but very driven...

i'm all of COURSE you are. and then i click next...

to round this out i'm looking for my partner in crime. someone kind, compassionate, intelligent, witty, wonderful, giving, generous, self-assured, modest, humble, outgoing.

raise your hands if you can see the synonyms.

also, there's a guy who's lied about his age, claiming he's forty-four so he can show up in certain search results, but really he's forty-six. it's two years, yall. it's not that i give a shit about two years. it's that seriously? you're gonna lie about that? what other stories can you tell?

what's bugging me the most, though, is that i'm looking at the profiles of dudes in their fifties and trying to talk myself into the notion that fifty's not so bad.

the fuck it is. i don't give a shit if it's only six years away. THE FUCK IT IS.

i don't use plenty of fish, by the way. that site's the WORST. 

book challenge by erin: bonus round

April 23, 2017

i might've made a bonus round list for erin's book challenge before -- more for kicks, though, than anything else because i've never finished the regular round, but that happened today, so i'm going to post my bonus list here. it was one of my new year's resolutions... heh (i made a couple of amendments to that list of resolve, by the way... so much for sticktoitiveness). anyway... bonus round: same categories.

five points: freebie – read a book that is at least 200 pages. the sun is also a star by nicola yoon.
ten points: read a book that starts with the letter w. wait for me by caroline leech.
ten points: read a book with six words in the title. the storied life of a.j. fikry by gabriella zevin.
fifteen points: read a book that has a (mostly) green cover. the bookshop on the corner by jenny colgan.
twenty points: read a book with a homonym in the title. little beach street bakery by jenny colgan.
twenty points: read a book by your favorite author. the obsession by nora roberts.
twenty-five points: read a book set in the city/town/state where you live. let's pretend this never happened by jenny lawson.
thirty points: read a rory gilmore book. the secret life of bees by sue monk kidd.
thirty points: read a book from a genre you’ve never or rarely read. yes please by amy poehler.
thirty-five points: read a book with time travel. time between us by tamar ireland stone.

the divine secrets of the ya-ya sisterhood

why i wanted to read it: because i love the movie and it was on buzzfeed's list of books read by rory on the gilmore girls, one of the categories for erin's book challenge (i just typed categorie's... so all you people who think i write well, please know my typing is shit). i did the audio on this one, too, so i can't mark specific pages, but...

what i liked: the author reads this one, which i love, and she reads it well. having seen the movie first and because the actors accents and tone are similar to the way wells reads it, i could picture the performers, which i loved. it's a VERY well-cast film, by the way; i'd always thought so, but listening to wells read it really drives that idea home. it's been so long since i've seen the movie that i couldn't recall whether a particular scene was included in the screenplay; i don't it was, and i felt it was crucial to the plot: not long after her sixteenth birthday, vivi is enrolled in a catholic school, which results in some traumatic experiences for her (i won't say what). i loved knowing this part of her history, and my heart, which broke for her in the film, cracked even more because of this bit of plot. there's also a spot that includes letters sidda wrote vivi in her childhood. i loved knowing of them, and i don't remember them being in the film.

what sucked: there's a sex scene that i didn't think was necessary. and, having seen the film first, there are parts that differ, and the difference makes the film much better than the book. it doesn't pack quite the punch in the more dire moments that the film does, and i really wanted those conflicts to be as crucial in the book as they were in the film.

having said that: watch the movie, yall. it's really, really good. the book's alright.

by the way...

this has NEVER happened,
and i'm SO, SO stoked that i knocked this fucker out. YEE!!

on to the bonus round, which i WON'T finish come month's end, but i AM going to read all the books i picked for it.

everything everything

April 21, 2017

why i wanted to read it: because i'd just finished reading crap like life after life and the shack. i wanted something easy. also i've friends who refuse to read it, which only made me curiouser and curiouser.

what i liked: i keep thinking about the summer i turned eight. i spent so many days with my forehead pressed against my glass window, bruising myself with my futile wanting. at first i just wanted to look out the window. but then i wanted to go outside. and then i wanted to play with the neighborhood kids, to play with all the kids everywhere, to be normal for just an afternoon, a day, a lifetime...

wanting just leads to more wanting (page 83).

"so you told him not to write to you and then he didn't write to you. is that what you're telling me?"

"well, i didn't say don't write in big, bold letters or anything. i just said i was busy." i think she's going to make fun of me, but she doesn't.

"why didn't you write to him?"

"because of what we talked about. i like him, carla. a lot. too much."

the look on her face says is that all? "do you really want to lose the only friend you've ever had over a little bit of heartache?"

i've read many, many books involving heartache. not one has ever described it as little. soul-shattering and world-destroying, yes. little, no (page 86).

i want to say something, not just something but the perfect thing to comfort him, to make him forget his family for a few minutes, but i can't think of it. this is why people touch. sometimes words are just not enough (page 105).

if my life were a book and you read it backward, nothing would change. today is the same as yesterday. in the book of maddy, all the chapters would be the same (page 162).

ever since olly came into my life there've been two maddys: the one who lives through books and doesn't want to die, and the one who lives and suspects that death will be a small price to pay for it. the second maddy... she's like a god -- impervious to cold, famine, disease, natural and man-made disasters. she's impervious to heartbreak. 

the second maddy knows that this pale half life is not really living (page 167).

you're not living if you're not regretting (page 186).

hope spreads through me like a virus (page 186).

what sucked: the writing's not remarkable. it's not. there are a number of instances where the conflict, the characters' reactions and emotions could've been really heightened but aren't.

having said all that: the writing's not awful, either. it's another fast read, which i love, and the ending's unexpected, which really impressed me. i like maddy and olly. they're pretty cool kids.

we are okay

why i read it: i was surveying the teen fiction section looking for a title that began with the letter w for erin's book challenge. this was after i'd gone through and properly merchandised one of walls of bays because the staff at that particular store have no idea how to nor interest in selling books, apparently... and the obsessive-compulsive gal who once worked as the merchandising supervisor in a bookstore can't stand to see a poorly-shelved section. seriously. it irks the bejesus out of me. anyway. after i'd gone through and fixed the books, i picked out half a dozen or so that started with w and settled on this one, and i am so glad i did.

what i liked: i wonder if there's a secret current that connects people who have lost something. not in the way that everyone loses something, but in the way that undoes your life, undoes your self, so that when you look at your face it isn't yours anymore (page 68).

she leans over our table and turns the sign in the window so that it says closed on the outside. but on our side, perfectly positioned between mabel's place and mine, it says open. if this were a short story it would mean something (page 71).

next door to me, a woman started howling and didn't stop... i heard something break. it's possible that some of the rooms were occupied by regular people, down on their luck, but my wing was full of the broken, and i was at home among them (page 182). 

i wish her everything good. a friendly cab driver and short lines through security. a flight with no turbulence and an empty seat next to her. a beautiful christmas. i wish her more happiness than can fit in a person. i wish her the kind of happiness that spills over (page 192).

what sucked: not a damned thing.

having said all that: this was one of those books i read in a couple of hours. the writing is gorgeous. the way lacour tells the story is pretty near masterful, at least to me. it's complex. it's tragic. but there's goodness and love, and it ends well. i thought it was beautiful. and i don't say that about many books.

life after life

why i wanted to read it: because for erin's book challenge, i had to read something that dealt with time travel, and i didn't want to reread the time traveler's wife (even though i love that book). i remembered this one got rave reviews and thought i'd give it a shot. i listened to the audio book on cd. was cramming because the challenge is almost over and i'm determined to finish the fucker.

what i liked: since i listened to the thing rather than reading it i didn't get to mark pages. i figured if something really struck me or if enough things piqued my interest, i'd buy the book for my library and find the things.

i liked the premise of the story... of all the ways a life could play out. how one small thing -- walking on a road at a certain time, for example -- can cause huge ripples of change.

i was most interested in the story at the last of the fifth disc and the beginning of the sixth. that part of the plot (and i don't want to mention specifics because it's the ONLY part of the plot that i can recommend, the only time the author succeeds in engaging me, the only time she establishes great conflict and makes me feel for the character) is REALLY good. the rest of it...

what sucked: overall, the book is boring as hell. like seriously boring. like i found myself screaming at my stereo good god, just die already. the main character never knows happiness for too long any ANY of the lives she's given. and the end... UGH. pissed me off. a friend suggested that she's not really the main character, that a sibling is, and that pissed me off even more.

having said that: bollocks! don't read it. just don't.

the shack

why i wanted to read it: i used to work as a merchandising supervisor at a bookstore. this thing was on the bestseller bays FOREVER. i remember people talking about it and thinking it sounded stupid. so i'd never wanted to read it, but then they made that movie of it with sam worthington (LOVE him) and octavia spencer (LOVE her) which tempted me to check it out. and then at a friend's birthday party a few weeks ago, a friend of the friend encouraged me to read it. since reading the death and life of zebulon finch before april thirtieth was becoming less and less likely and since i don't typically read religious books, i figured i could switch titles for my genre of book you never/rarely read category in erin's book challenge.


what sucked: this is the worst-written, most absurd story i've ever read. in. my. life. how this thing became so successful is MIRACULOUS, terrifyingly so.

having said that: you wanna know god? join a bible study. dig into the scriptures. don't read stupid, STUPID stories like this one. i was googling to get the image for this post and saw that, i guess on google, some thirty-four hundred folks have given this book five stars. what. the. fuck. WHY? won't see the movie, by the way, no matter how much i might love sam worthington and octavia spencer.

ten things at which i suck

April 19, 2017

one. driving. i knew this was going to be the case, which is why i put off getting my driver's license until after i graduated from high school. i rode the bus all four years of high school, yall. i was not ashamed. do you know why? because it made sense to ride it. someone escorted me to and fro, someone with what i'm sure is a much better driving record than mine turned out to be. someone who didn't charge me for the service. someone employed, ultimately, by my father. and if his people thought that driver was good enough, then by golly, i did, too. i didn't have to spend money on gas. i didn't have to spend money (or more to the point, my parents' money) on wheels and all the costs that went with ensuring they rolled smoothly.

so i got my license and since then, i've wrecked six cars, most of them on multiple occasions...

the first car i drove was the chevrolet corsica my parents bought from a relative. that one is the only one to which i did not cause bodily injury. my younger brother totaled that one.

my parents replaced it with a dodge shadow. i know i'd wrecked it more than once, but the only time i can recall was a summer day during the first year of ownership. in the back of the neighborhood in which i reside, there's a dip, and one of the gals i knew from school showed me that if you travel fast enough, you can jump it. i did so a few times. the last time, on this particular summer day, there was a nail in one of my tires. it popped the tire upon impact, and i did a number of three-sixties before smashing the car into some trees.

i kept that one alive for about four years and put nearly two hundred thousand miles on it before the transmission bought it, followed by a mechanic's announcement that the car had a cracked head gasket.

we won't talk about the number of speeding tickets i got in that thing. it was raspberry red, and i have a lead foot.

the next car was a green ford mustang. it was the first car i picked out for myself. my parents bought it for me. i wrecked it a bunch. the instances that come to mind are the time an old man in a white pickup cut across a parking lot, hit the front left bumper and then fucked up the entire driver's side of the car and, since both airbags deployed, the entirety of the dash, too. the second accident i can recall happened within weeks, it seemed, of getting it out of the shop from that accident. the exchange of loop six ten and interstate ten, near memorial and the galleria in houston, sucks ASS. i rear-ended someone... because people like to change lanes at the last possible second, which makes people slam on their brakes because they're following too closely, and i made the mistake of not paying attention. i make that mistake a lot. third one... i was driving one of the back roads late at night after the rain... too quickly. hydroplaned a bunch, landed in a ditch. i had the windows rolled down and got mud all inside the car. fourth... and this one put him down for the count... i was driving home from houston; it'd been raining and since hydroplaning scares the shit out me, i avoided the freeways whenever possible, which means i drove through the woodlands and took magnolia parkway (which was, at the time, a quiet little two-lane road with walls of pine trees on either side of it) to the frontage road of interstate forty-five. i'd passed my parents' neighborhood (the one in which i'd wrecked the shadow... the one in which i now reside... but at the time i'd been living in an apartment not far from them). i crossed crighton road (my light was green). the driver of a white oldsmobile ran his red light, broadsided me and sent my car careening into a telephone pole. split the engine in half. i've a six-inch scar on my right arm from the airbag... from putting my hands up so as not to see the wreckage occur.

i got even more speeding tickets in that one.

next... a pontiac firebird. i was blinded the setting sun as i left work, and turned left into someone's sport utility vehicle. that car died. i don't even think i had it for a year. i don't think i wrecked it any other times. but apparently, once is enough.

i replaced that one with a ford explorer sport track. i only remember one accident. i was asleep. a drunk driver hit it and four other cars. he knocked the bumpers off the others. i'd had that truck for six months. he knocked the bed off the frame, damaged every inch of the thing from the driver's side passenger door all the way around to where the bed met the rear passenger's door. it was in the shop for three months.

and then there's the acura rsx. my favorite. i managed to keep that one alive for almost a decade. miraculously. i'd managed to not get into an accident for eighteen months before the first one. i was turning left from a right lane, which i could do. the woman in the left lane went straight. it took several months to get him fixed because she'd been drinking, my phone was dead and she wouldn't call the cops to report the accident, so i had to wait for her insurance company to assign fault, and that took a VERY long time. within a few months of getting it back, i failed to yield the right of way at a stop sign late at night and drove into someone's sedan. i'd hydroplaned in it a couple of times, once on the interstate and amazingly enough i didn't hit anyone. i did hit the guardrail, which sent me back out onto the highway. it bought it on a sunny day in october three years ago. the southbound freeway was closed, so everyone was having to use magnolia parkway (which is now a four-lane, congested piece of shit). the guy in front of me slammed on his brakes, i slammed on mine, and the bitch in the toyota minivan shoved me into his car.

then there's the nissan altima, which as of about three p.m. today, has been parked in the recently-constructed median on a major highway not far from my home. i forgot it was there and was turning left (do you see a pattern here?). drove right over the curb separating the concrete from the tall, swampy, newly-planted grass. i'm pretty sure that car's dead. i can tell you with certainty the rear bumper's no longer attached.

interestingly enough, i've not gotten a speeding ticket since october of two thousand four. that last one... i was traveling sixty-five miles per hour in a forty-five. i've since discovered cruise control.

also i've become much more careful about keeping safe following distances. yall should, too. now if i could just get the hang of turning left.

two. dating. speaking to attractive men, in general. those horror stories are generally not nearly as entertaining. i'll spare you their details. well except for one:

there was this guy who was studying for his mcat. he'd spend hours in the cafe at the bookstore where i worked. after he took it we didn't see him as much. he came in during the christmas season; he'd not been wearing his usual attire of a baseball cap and polo. i'd been talking with a customer as we rode the escalator to the second floor. he got on after us and said hi to me. i didn't recognize him at first, but then just before we reached the top, it clicked. i managed to say hi back. i'd forgotten the name of the book the customer wanted. she was an older woman. i grinned at her and apologized, saying how cute boys distract me. she laughed.

if you wanna read about the kind of guys with whom i have tangled, there's this.

three. taking care of my things

four. taking care of myself

five. karaoke. it sounds like a good idea in theory because i've a really good voice, but...

six. cooking. something that takes my mother twenty minutes to make takes me two hours.

seven. sounding like a texan. i don't have a twang. i'm not even sure i could fake a good one. i'd be interviewing people for work, and they'd ask me where i'm from. here, i'd say. born in texas city. can't get much more texan than that... unless it was lukenbach, maybe.

eight. dieting. yall'd say this goes with taking care of myself, probably. but... i'm sitting here munching on string cheese and sipping my third soda of the day (it's canada dry ginger ale, though... so at least it's not caffeinated).

nine. email correspondence. have you left a comment on a pickypost? i love you for it. i read it. i will respond to it... eventually. (of the things, this is the one that makes me feel most like a despicable person.)

ten. following through with things. like finishing the fucking novel i started two decades ago. (this is the one that should make me feel like a despicable person, but oddly enough doesn't. i'll get around to it... eventually.)

check out michael's list and kristen's.

tuesday topics: seven. budget tips

April 18, 2017

i've to preclude this one with the confession that i am not debt free, nor am i any good at denying myself. but...

one. fuck credit cards. kill those bitches dead as quick as you can, and NEVER, NEVER, NEVER succumb to the sweet spiel sales associates lay on you. trust me on this one. i know the sweet spiel. i suckered hordes of mommies into opening new veins of credit. i was VERY, VERY good at it. there was glee in my heart every time someone was approved. be strong. DENY, DENY, DENY. i don't care what they try to sell you. fuck'm.

two. dave ramsey is your best friend. seriously. he would be mine for sure if i weren't born under the sign of the ram and had any kind of willpower whatsoever. alas i get bored easily; sticktoitiveness ain't my thing. but yall... that financial peace shit's pretty amazing.

three. the library is your friend. i say this, but please understand that i understand how difficult it is to maintain that relationship because bookstores with their tidy shelves and their NEW books that have hardly been pawed at have a song similar to a siren's. also, if you've got a friend who's got an audible account, get better acquainted.

four. wanna watch a movie? early bird matinees and half-priced tuesdays are the thing. this i can tell you... i don't go to movies at night any more. okay, well hardly ever. if by some freak of nature it is at night, it's generally on a tuesday, when time doesn't matter.

five. the other day i discovered you could watch an astros game for eighteen bucks: ticket, twenty-ounce coca-cola, popcorn and a hot dog. and the seats, they ain't so bad. they're not near the dugout, but fuck paying seventy-eight bucks for admission only to watch the stros play the angels. eighteen bucks with food? take me out the ball game. 

six. some of the best days i've had with friends haven't required spending any money whatsoever. get out your board games, get round a table and play. chances are you'll find that's better than any night on the town.

seven. this one's by far the most difficult for me: quit giving your money to places like pappadeaux's.

that said, yall... i never budget. mostly, i picked this topic because this week's tax week, and i need you people to help me out with being better on my wallet. how do you keep your cash stashed? share your ideas with me!

mismatch monday

April 17, 2017

i got bored with the cupid. the folks who sign up on that site aren't quite as amusing... so i subscribed to match again the other day. and today... this is the profile text of one of the twelve "matches" the site found for me:

i am a good person  who else treat ugly very good, i enjoy movies, nature, traveling to dffernt countries and music, i am very sincere and loyal and i know how to treat so lady.

that one's currently separated, and his profile pic's a scan of a photo that looks as though it's got some kind of glue streaked across the dude's forehead. i almost felt sorry for the poor bastard. except i got this eerie feeling looking at the photo that was somehow made more prevalent when i noticed that he's photoshopped the thing.

tuesday topics: eight. quotes from scripture

April 10, 2017

thirteen reasons why

April 9, 2017

why i wanted to read it: a friend encouraged me to read it.

what i liked: "it's nothing. a school project."

my go-to answer for anything. staying out late? school project. need extra money? school project. and now, the tapes of a girl. a girl who, two weeks ago, swallowed a handful of pills.

school project (clay, page 8).

why not just pop the tape out of the stereo and throw the entire box of them in the trash?

i swallow hard. tears sting the corner of my eyes.

because it's hannah's voice. a voice i thought i'd never hear again. i can't throw that away (clay, page 16).

so tell me, jessica, which did you mean to do? punch me or scratch me? because it felt like a little bit of both. like you couldn't really decide... that tiny scar you've all seen above my eyebrow, that's the shape of jessica's fingernail... which i plucked out myself.

i noticed that scar a few weeks ago. at the party. a tiny flaw on a pretty face. and i told her how cute it was (hannah then clay, page 67).

the next day at school i asked so many people the exact same question, where were you last night? some said they were at home or at a friend's house. or at the movies. none of your business. but you, tyler, you had the most defensive -- and interesting -- response of all.

"what, me? nowhere."

and for some reason, telling me you were nowhere made your eyes twitch and your forehead break into a sweat... hey, at least you're original. but your presence, tyler, that never left. 

after your visits, i twisted my blinds shut every night. i locked out the stars and i never saw lightning again...

why didn't you leave me alone, tyler? my house. my bedroom. they were supposed to be safe for me (hannah, pages 88-89).

this time, for the first time, i saw the possibilities in giving up. i even found hope in it (hannah, page 126).

i'm listening to someone give up. someone i knew. someone i liked (clay, page 146).

after feeling more and more like an outcast, peer communications was my safe haven at school. whenever i walked into that room, i felt like throwing open my arms and shouting, "olly-olly-oxen-free!"

... for one period each day, you were not allowed to touch me or snicker behind my back no matter what the latest rumor (hannah, pages 153-154).

let me guess. you told your friends to watch while you put the moves on me... and then i hardly responded... when i broke out of my daze, and before i left, i listened in on you and your friends. they were teasing you for not getting that date you assured them was in the bag... you must have a slow boil... taking it more and more personally... and you chose to get back at me in the most childish of ways.

you stole my paper bag notes of encouragement... what tipped me off? it's simple really. everyone else was getting notes. everyone! and for the most insignificant of things... after my haircut, i waited a week.

then two weeks.

then three weeks.

nothing... it was time to find out what was going on. so i wrote myself a note... to avoid the major embarrassment of getting caught leaving myself a note, i also wrote a note for the bag next to mine... and the next day? nothing in my bag. the note was gone. 

maybe it didn't seem like a big deal to you... my world was collapsing. i needed those notes. i needed any hope those notes might have offered.

and you? you took that hope away. you decided i didn't deserve to have it (hannah, pages 162-165).

everything they said -- everything! -- came tinged with annoyance.

then one of the girls... said what everyone else was thinking. "it's like whoever wrote this note just wants attention. if they were serious, they would have told us who they were."

... in the past, mrs. bradley had notes dropped in her bag suggesting group discussion on abortion, family violence, cheating -- on boyfriends, girlfriends, on tests. no one insisted on knowing who wrote those topics. but for some reason, they refused to have a discussion on suicide without specifics (hannah, pages 171-172).

and that's why, right at this moment, i feel so much hate. toward myself. i deserve to be on this list. because if i hadn't been so afraid of everyone else, i might have told hannah that someone cared. and hannah might still be alive (clay, page 181).

i'm not even sure how much of the real clay jensen i got to know over the years. most of what i knew was second-hand information. and that's why i wanted to know him better. because everything i heard -- and i mean everything! -- was good.

it was one of those things where, once i noticed it, it couldn't stop noticing it...

my ears perked up whenever i heard his name. i guess i wanted to hear something -- anything -- juicy. not because i wanted to spread gossip. i just couldn't believe someone could be that good.. it became a personal game of mine. how long could i go on hearing nothing but good things about clay jensen? 

... clay, honey, your name does not belong on this list... but you need to be here if i'm going to tell my story. to tell it more completely (hannah, pages 198-200).

the air was warm for that type of night, too. my absolute favorite type of weather... pure magic... walking by the houses on my way to the party, it felt like life held so many possibilities. limitless possibilities. and for the first time in a long time, i felt hope (hannah, page 204).

when she first arrived, when she walked through the front door, she caught me off guard. and like a freak, i turned around, ran through the kitchen, and straight out the back.

it was too soon, i told myself. i went to the party telling myself that if hannah baker showed up, i was going to talk to her. it was time. i didn't care who was there, i was going to keep my eyes focused on her and we were going to talk. 

but then she walked in and i freaked out (clay, page 208).

i couldn't believe it. out of the blue, there you were (hannah, page 208).

no, not out of the blue. first i paced around the backyard, cursing myself for being such a scared little boy. then i let myself out through the gate, fully intent on walking home.

but on the sidewalk, i beat myself up some more. then i walked back to the front door. the drunk people greeted me again, and i went straight for you.

it was anything but out of the blue (clay, page 208).

"i don't know you why," you said, "but i think we need to talk."

... and i agreed, with probably the dumbest smile plastered on my face (hannah, page 208).

no. the most beautiful (clay, page 209).

what sucked: not a damned thing.

having said that: it's good. every adolescent in america, every parent of every adolescent needs to read this book.

what's up, weekend

April 8, 2017

i can't tell you what i did this week. i can tell you that right now, my head is killing me and my face hurts. that i've lost my patience with political parties and the media who seem more concerned with crucifying our current president and immortalizing the previous one. i think they both suck. but i'm not inside that great white house, sitting at that glorious resolute desk. i'm not in the eye of that storm, and so i can't see all the debris swirling within it. i don't presume to think i know better than government officials, and what i'm seeing on the news is journalists who think they are smarter. it's driving me nuts, but then i'm just a small-town girl from southeast texas. this isn't to say i've no concern for the well-being of this country as well as that of our allies. i do. but i'm reminded of scripture... get your own house in order... cast not the first stone. anyway, this post is supposed to be about gratitude.

i'm grateful for air conditioning. hot water. dove pink soap. pureology volumizing shampoo. colgate total. oral b toothbrushes and those floss picks that dentists detest (you want me to floss... this is really the only way that's going to happen). my twelfth man cup featuring mike evans, von miller and dat nguyen. ice water. cotton nightshirts. flannel star wars sheets. ceiling fans. the roses and goldenrod painting by julia gilmore on the wall opposite the foot of my bed... the first thing i see when i awake and the last thing before i turn off the light before sleep.

for my uncles who served in the army and navy, my older brother's best friend who served in the air force, my cousins who served in the army and marines, for the one who continues to serve in the department of homeland security.

for the mute and off buttons on the remote, for the unfollow button on facebook for those times i can no longer stomach the political vitriol friends spew. one of them is a devout democrat who likes to compare this president to the previous one at every available opportunity. i scroll past those status updates fast as i can. i resist the urge to engage. when her mother died a year or so ago, i drove to livingston on valentine's day for the memorial. we will never see eye to eye when it comes to politics, but i've known her for thirty years. i'm not gonna shuck a friendship because her beliefs clash with mine.

i'm grateful that twitter has so many folks on it, so when i'm on someone's page and the tweets are more vitriol, i can simply click over to someone else's page. it's twitter, for crying out loud. TWITTER, people.

for spell check because apparently i spelled vitriol incorrectly. twice.

clonazepam... i really like that stuff. i've probably taken it more than i should lately, but my mom broke both her feet the day before my birthday so for about a week, i've been a lot more anxious than normal.

i'm grateful for this is us and hawaii five-o and blue bloods. for the films patriots day and rogue one: a star wars story. 

for rebecca and ann and margaret and bill.

for the floral department at heb. for collin at wal-mart who helped me nab that front row parking place.

but mostly, mostly i'm grateful that the day is done.

check out lindsay's, chrissy's and charlotte's posts.

what's new

April 6, 2017

What's New With You

march tenth. spring of 'fifteen i was involved with a douchebag from whom i contracted hpv, only i didn't learn that's what it was until september of 'sixteen. i spent two years thinking i'd fucked up my life for no good reason. april: gynecologist said i had zits (i've never had zits. in. my. life), failed to provide results from well woman exam; may: general practitioner said it was herpes, prescribed meds but failed to test; july: clinic tested me for hiv and two other sti's, the results of which were negative, and suggested additional testing at another clinic for two other sti's, one being herpes... both of which were negative; january: the second clinic said i had contact dermatitis; october: well woman at first clinic, hpv diagnosis; march: second well woman exam on the sixth; ALL FUCKING CLEAR given march tenth. i'd never been so scared in my life, yall. it wasn't all the clinics... it was that during all of this, i was livid with myself for letting that asshat matter this much and feeling powerless to stop it. i'm positive that's more than yall want to read on a what's new post, but that all clear... yall, that's better than ANY orgasm. sorry, but it is.

march fifteenth. i got a note in the mail from a GORGEOUS woman i'd interviewed for an article i'd written last july. what she wrote is as beautiful to me as she is.

march sixteenth through twenty-third. fairly uneventful in the grand scheme of things but a fine, fine week in my life nonetheless.

and then this happened...

march twenty-fourth. i learned the monastery at which my great uncle has resided for sixty some odd years is closing. i am heartbroken.

march twenty-eighth. the first of tuesday topics posts, a series i began hosting solo. it was once hosted by lauren and another blogger, and then lauren and i did a batch. and then she gave me the blessing to run with it on my own. i'm a little nervous. yall can still sign on for that topic, if you'd like. or if you'd rather, this week's topic is stories about baseball.

march twenty-ninth. my birthday. forty-fucking-four. ugh. (all the crap from the first of this post... i felt like a damned teenager writing it, which is another reason why i was so mad at myself... my parents raised me to be smarter than that.) i wrote this letter to myself. i wish i'd thought of the idea, but i stole it from lecy.

march thirtieth. this month's book club meeting doubled as a birthday party for me. we read and discussed the language of flowers, a book i'd suggested. i reread it so i could refresh my memory, and i'm so glad i did. i liked it a lot the first time i'd read it. i LOVE it now.

march thirty-first. i almost completed the entirety of the month's scavenger hunt... i put it off to the last minute, like i've done with basically everything in my life. i'm bummed that i didn't get it all done, but that's what i get for procrastinating. i've already got one of the tasks done for this month's hunt.

check out what's new with kristen and gretchen.

random quarter

April 5, 2017

some of yall might know some of this already, but...

one. my name is jennifer kristin. jennifer: the cornish derivation of the welsh gwenhyfar (guinevere) (means white wave, by the way... which suits because the waters of my internal landscape are NEVER calm). kristin: after my uncle, frank christian. so guinevere, a queen with weak morals and weaker knees... and christ. which really kind of suits because i'm hugely contradictory. also, counting my last name, there are five i's in my name (even the e's sound like i's), which i've never liked...

two. because i'm an aries, the infant of the zodiac. the sign that's all about me... me... me. and my parents like to point out how everything's always about me at every available opportunity. you're the ones who put all the i's in my name, folks, and decided to have a baby in late, late march.

three. plus, i'm the middle child... and the only girl.

four. i've spent the majority of my forty-four years as a resident of the great state of texas. save for: six months in natchitoches, louisiana (second half of third grade); nine months in roswell, new mexico (fourth grade); eighteen months in nevada, missouri (freshman and sophomore years of college). it is a great state, but i am itching to get the hell out of dodge. my small town ain't so small anymore, which i hate. the world is too big. i wanna go go go...

five. but you have to have money to go go go... which means you have to have a job, and i'm having a really hard time finding one of those. i used to write for a newspaper. i don't want to do that anymore. i'm actually sick to death of the media, and my father's got it on. all. the. time. one lady said i could use her as a reference and then told the manager not to hire me. the manager told me this... so one of'm's not being honest. i'd really wanted that job, but now that i'm privy to this information, maybe it's good that i don't have it. it wasn't anything grand, just clerking in a store, but i liked how casual the place was, the friendly atmosphere, that it closed at six p.m. weekdays and all day sunday, so i could have my nights and half my weekend. it was the kind of job you could clock out and walk out of without responsibility following you...

six. so i could spend my nights writing... not the great american novel. i don't have such grand expectations for myself. i just want to write a good love story. it was written. i've completed the first half of the revision process, which means cutting out the crap. now i have to replace the words i erased with better ones... only i'm so stressed out about the fact that i can't find work that i can't find the words.

seven. i live with my parents. i'm trying not to be ashamed of saying that. it's so much more practical that i do. i'm not involved with anyone; i have no children; i have no job; they're in their seventies, and they travel every few months for a period of several weeks each time to colorado to see my mother's relatives, that uncle after whom i'm named and her other brother and the nephews and their wives and children...

eight. i'm in a critique group with three other writers. one of them calls me her rainbow rowell girl, which warms my heart and intimidates my brain. another told me yesterday she sees me as a more literary writer while she and the others are more commercial fiction... like she thinks i'm the best of us. most of the time, i feel like i'm the weakest one in the bunch, so it makes me really happy that they say these things.

nine. that i think that way surely has something to do with the bipolar disorder (a diagnosis i received from a shrink in my twenties) or the major depressive disorder (a diagnosis i received from a therapist last year) from which i suffer. i'm on meds now. for most of my adult life i had not been. i don't like needing them, but... if i skip a day, i can definitely tell that i've done so.

ten. hell, there are days that i take them, and i'm still not on my best behavior. i bitched at a postal clerk because she was being a cow... telling me she didn't have an attitude when clearly she did. i bitched at the customers in aldi because they were all are you in line? no. no i'm not. i'm not standing near the registers with my fucking basket full of bottled water (which i probably should've been drinking instead of snacking on snickers). i didn't say that, though. instead i snapped i am, but you go ahead. i did that FOUR fucking times.

eleven. i am NOT a nice person. really, i'm not. it bothers me that i'm not. so much so that i go out of my way to do nice things for others to make up for the fact that the thoughts in my head are hideous. and when i can't keep those thoughts from rushing out of my mouth... i always feel guilty afterward because i wasn't strong enough to stop them.

twelve. i cuss. a lot. it drives my parents nuts. one of my mother's friends told her she was friends with me on facebook. your daughter's funny, and she swears a lot.

thirteen. my mother says i've got the go to hell look patented. it probably doesn't help that my eyes are like slits (weak muscles due to a mild case of cerebral palsy and a trio of surgeries made'm that way) and, thanks to her mother and my father, have a tendency to appear to be black (they're dark brown with a bit of amber, but when i'm pissed, the amber disappears). it also doesn't help that i've got resting bitch face, and mine's better than most.

fourteen. this is because i've no patience. none. NONE. when i'm watching my younger brother's twins (they are now nine... holy fuck. that can't be right. EIGHT. they're eight. not that that's much better.), i don't do the waterworks. the moment tears roll's the moment time out starts. most of the time, it works; they rein it in pretty quick.

fifteen.  that mild case of cerebral palsy has resulted in six surgeries, thirty-some-odd scars, the mental imbalance and vision issues that can't be corrected. the last two contribute to sometimes severe social anxieties... which sometimes contributes to my not being as nice as i should. i'm like a cross between sheldon and bernadette on big bang theory... unless there's a hot man in the vicinity... then i'm one hundred percent raj. actually... i've been told i'm intimidating, so maybe i'm ninety-five percent raj and five percent sheldon. you know, like when he's looking at someone like that person's the most idiotic person in the world... that. it really, really sucks.

sixteen. i've an english degree. not so much because i wanted that degree but because i wanted to get the hell out of school (it took me five and a half years to graduate because i was indecisive as shit... and because i let others influence my choices too much as an adolescent and young adult) and english was the quickest way to get out. i really wish i had some focus, some interest in learning. i REALLY wish i'd taken a year off and worked six months as a server and six months as a retail whore. had i done that, you can bet your ass i would've done better in school.

seventeen. i graduated without ever having read dickens, dostoevsky, nabokov, either of the brontes or austen. amazing, ain't it? and then about fifteen years ago, i decided i'd take some undergrad english classes to see how i felt about going to graduate school so i could get my mfa and teach freshmen how to write, and one of my professors assigned dickens -- our mutual friend. i fell in love with it on the first day of class (victorian literature, which ended up being my favorite subject).

eighteen. least favorite subject was principles of accounting.

nineteen. favorite color is green.

twenty. favorite candy is smarties.

twenty-one. favorite food is chicken spaghetti.

twenty-two. coke. NEVER pepsi. that shit's N A S T Y.

twenty-three. i'd live in london if i could... in the summertime. in the winter, i'd be in fucking fiji or some place like it.

twenty-four. that said, my favorite place to be is here.

twenty-five. it's two minutes past ten p.m. texas time, and i'm yawning and wanting to hit the sack. LAME. where the hell did my youth go?

tuesday topics: nine. sports stories - baseball

April 3, 2017

what are your favorites? share them with me!

the gift that keeps on giving

so i spent saturday afternoon with a friend from high school -- lunch at a burger joint that's been around for decades then flying kites out on the lake. she was gracious and generous enough to give me a birthday present: the blue journal on the left, which i love.

and then today brought me a box all the way from australia, from another gal with whom i'd gone to high school, with all kinds of goodies inside. that little silver thing next to the card? that's a millenium falcon keyring and next to that is a han solo one that also functions as a flashlight. she sent me snacks, too. but best of all, she colored me a picture, one of the tasks from last month's scavenger hunt, and she sent it to ME! yay! i feel so special.

i got good friends, yall.

i don't have a job, and that's really starting to freak me out. but i just keep telling myself... i've got REALLY GOOD friends. i keep marveling over it, keep telling myself there is good in your life, an abundance of it right now. i keep feeling immensely blessed because of it. every day. because for SO MUCH of my life, i couldn't say that. i knew i had a good friend or two, that gal from 'stralia being one of them. but friends? plural? as in SEVERAL? hell, i've not been able to say it with any sense of conviction until this past year. so for those of you who have no trouble making friends, please, please don't take them for granted. let them know how much you love them and why, because THAT'S the gift. make sure they know it. make sure they know you'll love them through thick and thin, god's honest truth. because i know what thin can do to a friendship. the fun stuff's EASY. i've not had too many hang with me in those rough moments. it sure does make life more bearable when you do.

mismatch monday

April 2, 2017

this week on the cupid... fourteen guys viewed my profile. the youngest was thirty-five. the oldest was s e v e n t y. they're all from texas. this is one guy's main profile photo:

and this is the seventy-year-old's profile text:

BULLETIN: Given this latest information in a blog entry from OK Cupid: in which they admit to reading messages sent between members here, and intended to be private, I will no longer send nor respond to messages on this site...Anyone wishing to contact me should use the email address near the bottom of this page...Please reference OK Cupid in some way so I will know to reply...Thank you...

To the ladies who were kind enough to rate my profile: I have no way of knowing who you are because I'm too cheap to put myself on the "A" List...If you'll send me a message instead, I'll be happy to respond...

On the subject of messages, why are so few ladies not courteous enough to reply to a message?...If I take the time to write to you, it means I have some interest on some level...If you don't like me just say so...I'm a big boy and know how to handle rejection...

I'm mostly interested in ladies who are local-ish or thinking about a move to this area...But I'm always willing to talk to anyone...

Times are tough, and pickin's are slim...But I still want what's difficult to find...I'm attracted to women who are younger, caucasoid and slender or athletic...I see many profiles listed as "average" which are nowhere close, and some list "a few extra pounds" that I can't seem to find...I define "average" as "having a discernible waist"...

A few details about me that may help you form an opinion...I sold my business and retired after I was divorced...I'm a recovering alcoholic who hasn't had or wanted a drink in over 35 years...I own my own home, have my own money and pay my own bills...

My practical side tells me the glass is neither half full, nor half empty...The glass is simply twice as big as it needs to be...

And when I mention a preference for slender, caucasian women, please don't jump to the conclusion that I've excluded you because you don't fit what you believe to be my definition...I consider the total package when looking for attraction...Your idea of "slim" or "HWP" may not be the same as mine...If the attraction is there, I'll let you know and I expect you'll extend the same courtesy to me...

But here's one important thing to remember...If your "first date" scenario includes drinking; if wine-tasting events are on your list of interests; if you drink every day, I may not be the man for you...I can understand and accept someone wanting to have an occasional glass of wine on a special occasion, but this ex-lush is staying dry and if you have a need to drink, that makes us incompatible...

OKCupid asked for my sign, but it wasn't listed...It's "Anything Helps...God Bless"...

Ladies, if you have any interest or questions, feel free to send an email...My personal motto is "Cogito, ergo boom!" which, roughly translated from the Latin, means, "I think, therefore I carry a .45..."

add it to my list

i was waiting all month, really for this post because i really like the idea of this linkup. lauren and bre posted their lists on tuesday and so many others have joined in... and i've been racking. my. brain. trying to think of things so i could play, too.

and so far, all i've got is the game splendor, but i feel like i keep going on about this game, so i was hesitant to mention it here. but yall.. it's awesome. it really, really is. i took it over to a friend's house the other day... we were going to work on our resumes, but i suckered her into playing before we got started... she's not one to normally like games, but halfway through playing it, she was saying how she was going to order it. and by the time i'd left, she was telling her husband they had to get it. it's a LOT of fun. a good cross between a board game and cards.

the next thing i'd list is bodycology pure white gardenia shower gel and lotion. i know i've mentioned these products before, but yall... i don't use them every day. that's not because they're expensive or hard to find. each one's like four bucks, and you can get them at the grocery store. it's that i'm not the girly girl. i use dove pink soap every day, spritz on some of polo's romance, and i'm good. but every time i make more of an effort -- the days i'm incredibly down or i'm going somewhere other than pappadeaux's or the bookstore, like dinner with family and friends or the supremely sporadic job interview or date, i'll use the shower gel and the lotion, too. and people always wonder what products i use when i bother to use them.

the romance, i know... i don't think it's been a trend for quite some time. that candle? that's the one we used for my older brother's memorial service fourteen years ago. the christmas before he died, my brother gave me a box set of that perfume for christmas. i still have the box it came in. i stupidly threw the bottle out when i'd finished it off. it's one of two perfumes i like. the other, abercrombie and fitch's eight, is one i rarely buy. nine times out of ten. i'm wearing romance. i love the way it smells. i love that my brother picked it out for me.

but i've gushed about those things. like i'd gushed about tul pens and tops docket gold paper before. i wanted to talk about things i rarely talk about. only... i can't think of any. i'm such a creature of habit, yall.

because i am, i'll resort to talking about the things i love most: books, movies and music.

five books you should read (in case you'd missed those times i've gushed about them): landline and eleanor and park by rainbow rowell; the language of flowers by vanessa diffenbaugh; the fault in our stars by john green; wonder by r.j. palacio. rowell's writing a screenplay for eleanor and park, but it's been in development for quite. some. time. part of me wants this thing made already. but another part wants it to be perfect, so... i'm striving for patience. supposedly the film the language of flowers is in development, too, but details are beyond scarce. stephen chbosky's directing wonder. it's got a release date of november seventeenth; julia roberts and owen wilson are playing the parents. i hope they don't screw this story up. the book is beautiful. as for the film version of the fault in our stars... meh. it's okay. the book's better.

five films you should watch: last night i saw an advertisement on nbc for the upcoming kentucky derby. watching that made me want to watch seabiscuit again. i love that movie. it's one i watch every year at least once. i can't stand tobey maguire, but he's really good in this. about time. it's amazing. i love bill nighy in everything he does, but he's the best in this. fried green tomatoes. mary stuart masterson at her best. incendies. this one's ROUGH. a foreign film with a frighteningly and surprisingly horrific story line, but the manner in which that story unfolds, as hideous as it is... it's beautifully made. people like us. chris pine and elizabeth banks. they do good work here.

five songs that should be in your library: sometime around midnight by the airborne toxic event; hope for the hopeless by a fine frenzy; stay by lisa loeb; wild by poe; all i want is you by u2.

check out lauren's list and bre's list.