Category Archives: life

Writing as writing. Writing as rioting. Writing as righting. On the best days, all three.

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Welcome to the Winter of Our Discontent

winter

I think I went a little crazy when I turned 30. I did the typical “Woooo, let’s get drunk and try to take home anything with a pulse and a penis (even that fugly bartender with a nose like a dorsal fin) because I’m sad and lonely and single and things are going to start sagging in the next two years and I still don’t have kids (but do I even want them?) and I’m 30 – did you hear, y’all? I’m 30?!?! LOOK AT MEEE WHILE I TWERK ON THIS TABLE!!! WOOOO YAHHH…Fuck, I think I threw my hip out. Where’s ma drink??”

But other than getting white girl wasted, I really think I lost my mind. I lost my mind in the same way people fall asleep or in love; slowly at first, and then all at once.

This winter has been a hard one. Not because I suddenly realized I’m old, but because things are changing and staying the same simultaneously. People are getting married and having kids and moving to the ‘burbs. Some are making drastic life decisions regarding love and education and career. Still others are in the same exact spot they were at when they were 23, 24, 25. They’re combing the bar for chicks, shopping alone in the frozen food aisle at 3am because they’re stoned and too lazy to cook. And their refrain has become, “I’ll change. I’ll change. I’ll change.” even though I know they won’t.

Do you understand what I’m saying?

My dog died so I bought a puppy. It thinks “No” means “Yes, good boy! Continue eating my Jeffrey Campbells! Atta dog! Shit on the floor! Good dog!”

I’ve been vigilantly stalking a girl who is an uglier version of Courtney Love circa the heroin years. A guy I like who used to like me now likes her and it drives me nuts. I’ll sit for hours browsing through her pictures and each bug eyed, bleach blonde, pouty lipped, baby doll dress, ripped stockings, the 90’s are screaming at you to wake the eff up and realize grunge is dead photo makes me hate myself even more.

I can’t stop buying shit from Free People. Every girl needs a $600 crocheted rose print ruffle frock in her closet!

I got a second gym membership because I hated my first gym. I found a fourth shrink because the first one didn’t “get” me, the second one was too handsome and the third one was too paternal.

I apply for five copywriting jobs in different states every day.

Do you fucking get what I’m talking about?

I am 30 and my refrain is “I’ll change. I’ll change. I’ll change.” But I don’t. You can dress it up any way you want, play semantics and call it “stuck” or “lost.”  But the fact of the matter is I’m 30 and nothing has changed.

Advice for Difficult Women

difficultwoman1.) You’ll feel like you want him more than anything in the world that night. More than winning the Pulitzer. More than babies. He’ll have this face that just devastates. And it’ll be December and you’ll be lonely, thinking that nothing will ever grow again. You’re wrong.

The city will look like it’s on its last legs and then spring will come like an explosion.

Don’t use him as a scratching post for your own loneliness. He may be gorgeous, but he won’t understand when you say you disagree with Rilke’s whole essay about love meaning to deny the self and to be consumed by flames. He will teach you that men desire the satisfaction of desire; a woman desires the condition of desiring. Let him go and go home to your dog.

2.) Fairy tales end after 15 pages, our lives do not. We are multi-volume sets, stories on top of stories on top of stories. Just because that guy left you standing outside the bar in the rain in your best dress or that friend decided you were not worth her time, it goes on. It gets better. There’s is always another chapter waiting for you, and then another, and another…

3.) You may be waiting on a train that’s late or suffering from money problems and believe that your whole life is going to fall apart. These are welcomed respites from the heartbreaks and breakdowns. Don’t lose your mind if the dog shits on the floor or you get a run in your stockings. Life is a series of intense beauty and mundane problems. Save the worry and tears for the big stuff.

4.) In every assumption there is contained the possibility for its opposite. If he doesn’t text you for a day, don’t automatically assume he’s not interested. He may be working late or have been hit by a bus.

If he kisses you sweetly, don’t think he’s promising you the world. He may have a wife and kids or a secret collection of decapitated heads in his closet.

Never jump to conclusions right away. Allow the person to show you who they really are, and then judge.

5.) Be less hard on people. They’re not always out to hurt you. This applies especially true to men. Just because you’re thirty and still single and have dated every guy who lives in the Tri-state area doesn’t mean they’re all fuckwits. Have hope and be soft.

6.) Fear of failure, pride, those last 15 pounds you want to lose, all of these things fall away in the face of death. You will die someday. You are already naked. There is no reason to not follow your heart.

7.) Breath slow, eat slow, take the time to take things in. Don’t always be in such as hurry for the next big thing. Enjoy now. Rejoice in what you have NOW. Your  job, your new puppy, your friends, family, that new guy. These are all blessings. But remember the impermanence of your situation. These things will all be gone eventually, so bask in them now.

The Broke Girl’s Guide to Foodshopping

GarlicGrilledCheese1As an almost 30-year-old single woman with a laughable checking account balance and no culinary skill what-so-ever, my cooking abilities are sorely limited. Usually, my main food groups consist of Lean Cuisine, Diet Coke and cereal. If you’re broke and starving, here’s the perfect grocery list for you. I’ve also included no-hassle recipes for those who are also guilty of poisoning 10 of their closest friends at a dinner party.

Your List:

4 cans of soup

Grapes

1 lb. ground beef

Butter

Milk

4 apples

4 bananas

3 boxes of generic cereal

Sliced whole wheat bread

Taco kit (w/ shells)

Orange Juice

Coffee

Block of cheese of your choosing

Chocolate

1 jar of peanut butter the size of a Rottweiler

Meals for One:

Tacos with slices of cheese (minus hot sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, and any other fancy garnish that’d drain your meager bank account)

Cheese sandwich

Cheese and bacon sandwich

Cheese and taco sandwich

Bowl of cereal with one kind of cereal

Bowl of cereal with THREE kinds of cereal

Cereal in handfuls

Soup with bread and butter

Soup without bread

Soup with grilled cheese

Coffee

Coffee w/ milk

PB sandwich

PB and Banana sandwich

PB & Apple sandwich

PB & Grape sandwich

Grapes and cheese fruit platter

Apple and cheese fruit platter

Grilled cheese

Grilled cheese w/ bacon

Chocolate, alone, just like you are

10 People I Need to Delete From My Phone Right Now

zac morris phoneCute Tall Guy Drunk” – I honestly have no idea who this is. I probably nabbed it during a night out with the girls after one too many vodka and cranberries. And no, I’m not going to text him and ask him his name and what his face looks like.

“Do Not Answer” – We all have one of these in our phones. Mine’s a British guy I met at an after-hours bar one night called the Republican who lit cats on fire as a hobby.

Some girl I knew in college who I hung out with once – I kinda remember her not being fun and tentative plans for brunch. That was six years ago.

This girl my guy friend was hitting on at a bar and I felt sorry for her – Yah, never gonna call her either.

Courtney – I honestly have no idea who this is.

Friend’s Ex Boyfriend – I really have no idea how I ended up with this number. My friend probably didn’t have her phone one night and asked that I contact her BF if I needed to get a hold of her. Regardless, I’m never going to call this person except to say, “YOU PIECE OF !@#$!!! YOU KNOW WHAT YOUUUU DIIIDDDD $%^$#@$^ *&^^!!!”

“Girl in Duck Costume” – Yes, it honestly says “Girl in Duck Costume.” IDK.

My Ex from 2007 – That was a good relationship, but I’m pretty sure he’s married w/ children now and we haven’t spoken since MySpace was still a thing.

Domino’s – Because honestly, this is just pathetic.

“Dean OkCupid” – We went on one date and I wanted to put a fork through my face. There’s obviously not going to be a second date, so why do I still have his number?

2012: A Wrap-Up

rip-2012

So 2012 came and went without a hitch. The world didn’t blow up, aliens didn’t come down from the skies to abduct anyone, and we’re still all food shopping, procreating and being lonely.

This past year was pretty good to me. Here’s a brief rundown of my 2012 highlights:

– After almost two years of working for myself, I finally got a full time job which I love and that allows me to telecommute and travel.

– I walked away from something that I’ve loved since I was 22 but no longer served a purpose in my life anymore, and I’m okay with that.

– I learned the difference between being alone and lonely. I learned how to enjoy being single for the first time in my life.

– Disaster can strike anywhere, even on a once-in-a-lifetime European vacation. After being robbed on the first day of my month long journey, I learned how to roll with the punches and enjoy myself even in the face of conflict.

I hope 2013 will be my biggest year yet. I actually have high hopes for this coming year. I wanna write my novel, visit Thailand for a month and play with elephants there, be brave enough to ask for (and receive) a raise, and buy a scooter. I’ll also be turning 30 this year and want to start taking better care of my body.

And I hope to make more mistakes this year. Huge, wonderful, gorgeous mistakes. Because, as Neil Gaiman so eloquently puts it:

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something. So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life. Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it. Make your mistakes, next year and forever.

Happy 2013, dear readers.

My Phobia of Children or Why I Will Never Breed Ever Ever Ever

I think it all goes back to me being ten years old and watching The Omen by myself in my parent’s basement. Or it might have been the “Miracle of Life” video they made us watch in 6th grade. It could even be attributed to the time I had to help a sheep give birth at 3am on a farm in Vermont. The fact of the matter is, I am afraid of babies.

It’s not really a full blown phobia. I won’t start sobbing if I pass a newborn in a supermarket or if I see a diaper commercial on television. It’s more about me not having a clue what to do with a baby.

 For health class one year in high school we had to take care of an electronic baby for a week. The doll had a built in computer that monitored how long it cried for, how many times it was held and if you changed and fed it regularly. I ended up putting the thing in my locker over the weekend and failed the assignment because I was charged with “neglect.” I remember how disappointed my health teacher looked when she explained that stuffing an infant in a locker for two days wasn’t very nice.

Ten years later, I am still at a loss when it comes to babies. When I walk past Baby Gap, my heart doesn’t flutter with longing to have kids. In fact, my stomach turns over and I feel sick and I think back to that poor sheep lying on her side moaning with pain as she brought new life into the world.

A 2007 Pew Research Center survey found that 41% of adults said that having kids was very important for a successful marriage, down from 61% in 1990.

More and more women today are concentrating on their careers instead of having children. In fact, nearly one in five American women now end their reproductive years without children.

I plan on entering my menopausal years without having children, thankyouverymuch.

So why don’t I want to have kids? For one thing, I am very, very selfish about my freedom. I can’t see myself putting aside my own needs for another’s 24/7. Now, this doesn’t make me an awful person. It simply makes me an awful mother.

So yah, no kids. Ever. I’ll stick with puppies.

How to Coexist with a Cat that Hates You

When you sleep, I walk on your boobs

That picture to the right is one of my cat, Zsa Zsa. And that look of utter disdain and contempt has been her daily expression for the past three years.

When I first got Zsa Zsa, she was homeless, half starved and in heat, so of course she acted sweetly towards anyone that would feed or impregnate her. After two weeks of gorging herself on premium catfood and getting spayed, the tables turned. There was no more cuddling with me in the afternoon sun or joyful mewing when I returned home from work. Oh no. It was either acts of calculated violence or sheer apathy. There would be nights I’d be walking around barefoot in my apartment and the stupid cat would launch herself from underneath a couch or bed and attack my feet with the velocity of a feral Tasmanian Devil. When I would plead to her about how my feelings were hurt and give her peace offerings of catnip, my efforts would be ignored entirely.
In the coming years, Zsa Zsa would make up new ways to destroy my life. She would crap in my brand new $150 leather pumps or attack boyfriends while they were sleeping, drawing blood from their faces and arms. I ended up alone and shoe-less because of my evil, evil cat.
By nature, cats do not show their masters the kind of intense devotion and love that their canine counterparts do. They’re much more self-sufficient, and that’s why I like them. But owning a creature that outright loathes you is different. It turns your apartment into a constant warzone where you have to wear shoes all of the time in case a mad furball of tooth and claw bull rushes you.
So what do you do? Do you raise a little white flag and surrender? No. No you don’t. You fight. You arm yourself with all of the catnip and little gray fake mice and cat treats money can buy. You purchase a second kitty-litter box and clean both of them daily so she has a pristine place to crap every day. You sleep huddled on your side of the bed, practically falling off of the edge, and allow her to have the entire rest of your queen size mattress. You no longer invite boys over. You buy the high end expensive catfood that contains real duck meat. You wear boots around the house.
I will own this cat until I’m at least 40. That’s only 13 more years. 13…
 

Earthquakes, Bukowski, and What it all Means

So there was a 5.8 magnitude quake that rocked the east coast today. I was sitting on my couch working on an article when it hit. At first, I thought I was experiencing something out of Paranormal Activity or Poltergeist and that at any second my television would turn on and start telling me to do awful things to political leaders. I went outside and noticed that my entire block was in an uproar and that apparently, an earthquake had struck the DC area and tremors were felt as far north as New England. Needless to say, I didn’t really feel like working for the rest of the day.

It’s weird to think that this big ol’ planet that we live on can turn on us at any second. Even though we invented the wheel and the Internet and concepts such as religion and philosophy, human beings are really quite delicate creatures. If the sky started falling, all of our phone lines would be busy with people pleading their love for one another. In the end, that’s all any of us really ever want.

Before the whole earthquake pandemic, I had actually been in a great mood. I discovered this stupid Levi’s commercial which is oddly beautifully done. A narrator is reading Charles Bukowski’s “The Laughing Heart,” which is one of my favorite poems of all times. It’s a very inspiring poem, telling you to seek light  and self acceptance in your own life. My favorite part reads:

your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.”

I found inspiration in this poem when I first started out as a fulltime freelance writer. I had some people disapprove of my lifestyle choice, telling me I shouldjust suck it up and get a real job. But I realized, that it’s my life, not theirs. Regardless if I succeed or fail, it’s mine. Mine mine mine. All mine. And I wasn’t willing to ever compromise or settle ever again.

Face Eating Tumors, Heat Waves, and Baby Pools

So you’re probably heard about that awful, awful heat wave that has gripped the east coast for the last week or so. It’s kind of what I’d imagine Afghanistan to feel like this time of year.

And through it all, I’ve been too poor to afford air conditioning. Actually, let me rephrase that. I have a window a/c unit, but unfortunately I only have two windows in my apartment and they’re both calked shut. I’ve been so desperate for cool air that I actually filled my bathtub up with ice and sat in it. Sad, I know…

On top of the suppressive heat, I’ve been scared that I have some kind of tumor growing inside of my cheek. I made the mistake of watching a marathon about bizarre medical conditions on TLC last week and now I’m paranoid that I’m suffering from every last one of them.

There really isn’t any reason I’m posting this info. The bottom line is I need health insurance. I also really miss air conditioning. I do have a baby pool that I plan on inflating tomorrow. But I need an air pump. Or a large man with a lung capacity the size of Texas.