Tag Archives: life

What I Did While You Were Busy Breeding

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When you turn 30, an odd thing starts to happen. You start noticing the things others chose that you did not. Sometime in our mid 20’s, the ponies start to separate and some folks travel the tried and true path while others seek to forge their own way, riding the coat tails of their passions to the very end.

As Frank Zappa so eloquently puts it:

If you end up with a boring miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest, or some guy on television telling you how to do your shit, then you deserve it.

Whether you decide to climb the corporate ladder, have babies, travel or launch your own business, do it because you want to. It’s your life. Here’s what I did with mine.

  1. I traveled. I wandered through castle ruins in Wales, rode a horse after one too many beers in Tennessee. I missed trains, got stranded at bus stops, got lost in Rome. I fell in love in London, got stoned at a commune in Copenhagen, looked for witches in Salem, camped with elks in Colorado and experienced the stench of death in New Orleans.
  2. I played roller derby in three different states. Learned to ride a horse, a motorcycle, a plane by myself. I raised a dog.
  3. I had chickens living in my apartment kitchen. Got tattoos. Shaved my head. Traded shoes with drag queens. Wrote a sex advice column.
  4. I moved to Vermont. I moved to Philly. I lived in a sergeants mess in England.  I slept in the back of a car in Brooklyn. I owned a horse, a Ford, a Honda. I helped a sheep give birth on a cold night in New England.
  5. A boy made a movie about me. I worked at a bar where “lingerie lunch” was a thing, a book store, a dry cleaners. I was a hostess.
  6. I wrote a lot. I lost my job and so I launched my own business. I paid my way through Europe with my words.
  7. I dated. I dated a lot. I meditated. I ran. I lost God. I wondered if little girls could be raised by wolves.
  8. I suffered. I witnessed a friend get raped, another take his own life with a rope. I was a bridesmaid. I was a bartender. I was in a burlesque performance – once.
  9. I wanted to publish a book. I practiced yoga. I ate fire.
  10. I found God. Stroked a pet wolf in Portsmouth. Napped in a castle in Cardiff.
  11. Thought about grad school. Thought about marriage. Contemplated babies. Dismissed them all.
  12. Dedicated my hours to my art. Locked myself away for months at a time and honed my skill. I wrote. I wrote. I wrote.
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Why We Ride

1462840_10151685737181910_101161043_nThis is part of an article I wrote that will be featured in Topwick this fall.

At precisely this moment someone, somewhere, is getting ready to ride. The motorcycle waits expectantly in the cool, dark garage. The leather-clad rider approaches, the helmet obscuring the world as it is pulled on, the chin strap buckled. The key slipped into the ignition, a leg swung over the seat, the rider thrusts the bike forward with his thighs. Now the 550 pounds of chrome, fuel and plastic rests in a fragile balance between the rider’s legs.

The starter button, pressed with the right thumb, makes the engine begin to trill. A twist of the throttle makes the bike bleat, then gulp, then roar. A fire is now contained inches away from fragile flesh. A pull of the left-hand clutch, then a neat press down with the left foot sends the bike into first gear. And thus begins the dance of man and machine.

The first motorcycle ever made resembles a torturing device. The German device, built in 1885 by Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach, was a wood-frame set upon two iron-tired wooden wheels. A single-cylinder gas engine acted as the power-plant.

Since then, motorcycles have been a staple in the American cultural landscape. In Europe, they have always been seen as a sensible mode of transportation. Here in the U.S., bikes have been a symbol of rebellion, freedom and anarchy. During the 1960’s and 70’s, motorcycle sales ballooned, in part due to the ethos of the time and a new era of experimentation. Then, between 1982 and 1991, annual sales freefell from 525,000 to 178,000.

Now, men from all walks of life are gobbling up motorcycles. From Harleys and Hondas to Suzuki’s and Triumphs, bike sales are at an all-time high. Partly spurred on by popular shows such as Sons of Anarchy and movies like The Motorcycle Diaries, documenting the cross-country trip of a prodigal son in South America, motorcycles are a trendy toy to have in your garage.

But why do we ride? What is the appeal of being exposed to the elements, of being inches away from death? Riding is a pastime defined by duplicities. Take the numbers, for instance: seven million riders against 225 million who don’t ride. Or the peculiar paradox of the faster you go the more control over the motorcycle you have. And the intricate tightrope you walk between fear and exhilaration; between life and death.

The road is constantly throwing tragedy toward the rider: oil spills, gravel, snow, water, daydreaming drivers, chasing dogs. Remember, riders are mortal. Beneath the leathers is tender skin. But it’s the deep affection for riding another mile, and then another, and then one more, that keeps a rider going.

Welcome to the Winter of Our Discontent

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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.

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.