Sunday, December 19, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
My car is leaking antifreeze.
I learned this sad fact on Wednesday when Puddin approached my desk about ten minutes after he should've left for the day. He had his serious face on and he informed me that there was a puddle of antifreeze the size of Delaware under my car.
I guess that I knew that my car had antifreeze. And I know that antifreeze shouldn't be ingested. I live in a place where nothing freezes EVER, so I always sort of thought that maybe antifreeze was... unnecessary. You know, like those things people in Alaska have in their garages to make their cars work in the snow. I could tell from his tone that it was actually fairly serious, so I did what any person with no practical automobile knowledge would do.
I looked at him very blankly and said, "I have no idea what that means."
So he explained to me (without being condescending) that it is never good when something is leaking from a car, and that mine was in danger of overheating. He said that I must buy antifreeze at the gas station and drive directly to his house without any detours, and wait for him to get home from class to help me. Then he texted me to remind me to watch the temperature gauge and call if my car overheated. Twice.
In my head this translated to something along like "Your car is a DEATH TRAP that leaks TOXIC CHEMICALS and is about to SELF DESTRUCT".
I found myself purchasing antifreeze (pre-diluted) from a man with one front tooth, and white-knuckling it fifteen minutes down the highway to Puddin's. I don't think that I took my eyes off of the temperature gauge the whole way down PCH. I was convinced that my car was going to blow up ANY MINUTE. When I arrived, I had a cramp in my wrist and my hair had frizzed out. Awful.
I went to the movies with Skinny and Manonna while I waited for him to get out of class. (Life As We Know It, cute but predictable.)
When he got home, Puddin pointed out the things under the hood by the light of the LED light on my Droid. I learned to identify the radiator and the fan belt and lots of other things that I previously considered "the stuff around where the oil goes". This my friends, is progress.
Next week Puddin and Pumpkin are going to try to fix the leak. They have used various pieces of man-knowledge to determine that it is totally something that they can probably fix. Probably a hose. I'm cooking dinner in exchange for their somewhat dubious mechanical skills. I'm hoping that they can fix it. Otherwise it will be just like the time that I went over to help them paint. Except reversed... The next day I had a hangover. And I was scrubbing Gobi Desert paint from under my fingernails and between my toes for like two days (that stuff does NOT come out!).
The walls look great though.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Saturday, July 10, 2010
My Gramma crashed her car into her house last week.
Don't worry. She's totally fine. But now she's moving to Nevada to live with my aunt and uncle. They've been trying to convince her to move for awhile, but the crash has become the latest selling point. Gramma is no longer able to live alone.
On Thursday Mommo I went to Gramma's to help her sort through her things and start packing. Let me tell you, the woman is a pack-rat. It must be a Depression Era thing, I mean who needs a dictionary that was printed in 1966?
Gramma also told us that we should take anything that we want now, because she isn't taking most of her things with her. She says that once she moves to Nevada we've lost our chance. Totally morbid.
I've lived within twenty minutes of my Gramma's house nearly my entire life. Its bizarre to think that she'll be so far away. It was sort of creepy to go through my grandmother's things. It felt like she was already gone, even though she was in the next room. I felt like I was intruding on her life.
I felt guilty for growing older; becoming busy; scarcely visiting. What kind of granddaughter am I?
I didn't really want any of the things Gramma offered. Our relationship isn't really about things for me. I call dibs on the horrifically heinous floral glass lamp in Gramma's living room. She's had it longer than I've been alive. I've always loved it... probably because of its ugliness rather than in spite of it.
The only other things I did take on Thursday were small; mostly relics from my childhood. Amongst them were the tiny dishes that my brother and I used to eat out of when we were kids. There are two small plates and two small bowls. One red and one blue. The reds were mine and the blues were his. The blue bowl is nowhere to be found, so I was only able to take three dishes. When I realized that the blue bowl was missing, it became the most important thing to me. I know that its only a bowl. But it was Justin's bowl. How could she lose it? How could she not realize that I would want it? What is wrong with her?
I had to keep my cool though. Mommo was there, and she recently suggested with a tearfully accusing tone that I may not be coping with the loss of my brother very well.
After I calmed down about the bowl, I started to think that she may not be wrong.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
When I helped my mother clean out her garage months ago, I found the three baskets that she wove when I was very young. They were faded from age and the bottoms were broken through from years of "tough love". Some of the reeds had begun to rot. I was so sad to these beautiful creations woven with my mother's love and hope destroyed. So I sat down on the floor of the dirty garage and I told my sister, TheFish, the story of the three baskets...When I was young, my mom was the FunMom. She was a lot younger than most of my friend's moms. You see, I was the first child. Not the third or fourth like my friends. My mom baked cookies and made pine cones into bird feeders using peanut butter and birdseed. She packed yummy snacks with extras for my friends. She was never too tired to paint my toenails or read another story at bedtime. My mom was the youngest child. Her mom had to work, so she was always too tired to play with mom. My mom had to walk home alone from school. When she was almost a big girl (about 11) my mom was allowed to spend the summers with Aunt Reba and her boyfriend. They lived together in Tennessee with a lot of other people. They had lots of animals, grew their own vegetables and made their own clothes. It was there that my mom learned to weave.When my mother was pregnant with me, the first child, she wove a baby cradle. (I like to think that while she wove she thought of all of the FunMom stuff we were going to do. She was probably also scared and hopeful and maybe a little sad... I, of course, don't remember her weaving the cradle, so that part is all conjecture.) It was in this cradle that she laid me when I was carried home from the hospital. I remember that when she was pregnant with my sister, the third child, she wove again. I was fascinated as she unpacked her weaving supplies. I was proud and scared when she let me drop the stiffly coiled reeds into the hot water to soften them up. I can still hear her saying "Careful, careful, careful". She lifted me up, so that I could see the colored reeds undulate in the boiling water.I remember my mom sitting Indian Style on her bed, her belly protruding under her dress. She guided my pudgy, clumsy baby fingers with her long, slim pale ones. How I wished for long nimble fingers like hers! Her patience with me was endless. Slowly, slowly our efforts began to take shape.It wasn't the shape of the cradle, which had once sheltered me and then my brother, the second child. The cradle which was now home to McKenzie, the Cabbage Patch Doll from whom I had gotten my name. Instead, it took the shape of a medium sized basket with pink reeds interspersed and a sturdy handle thin enough for tiny hands to grip. This was followed by a blue basket for my brother and a green one for the new baby in her stomach. Those quiet afternoons spent weaving with my mother were the calm before the storm. The storm of course being TheFish who came roaring into my life one evening in late November. Nothing has been the same since that day, but I have never forgotten the peace I felt watching my mother create something lovely with her hands.
I still watch my mom's hands sometimes: when she pours wine or gestures as she speaks. Her hands have aged a little, but the fingers are still slim and nimble. Not too long ago, I leaned over to help my mother with something on her computer. As I looked down I noticed that my hands are now her hands. Long, slim, pale. I only hope that mine can be as gentle, patient and creative as hers.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Tomorrow you turn twenty two. Or you would anyway.
We're going out to the dunes where we scattered your ashes. Mom and Sarah have planned a whole thing that involves releasing balloons and other ridiculous things. Mom is making all of your favorites for dinner. She baked a cake.
I don't want to go. I'm not into it.I don't think its what you would have wanted. You weren't into big displays. They're stupid. And I don't have the heart to watch Mom and Sarah cry anymore.
I just want to get completely blind drunk. I want to have a lot of whiskey and miss you in my own way.
Why did you leave us, Baby Bro?
I don't know how to do this without you.
I love you.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
I love this room.
When I moved in it was a small gray-lavender cave.
Its amazing what a little bit of paint can do. TheBean and I painted it a sunny yellow color in the space of an afternoon. We discovered that I'm a terrible painter, but TheBean kept accidentally painting the ceiling, so she didn't have much room to criticize.
Anyway, I'm in my bed, on my laptop.
I love my laptop.
I named it. I only name the things that I truly love.
And I'm eating. Some people (my mother in particular) will tell you that eating in bed is bad. Well I am here to tell you that just isn't so.
She says that a bedroom should be a sanctuary, away from the stress of the day. No food, no animals, no street clothes in the bed, etc.
I get that.
But this bed is my sanctuary, and tonight there are Girl Scout Cookies in my sanctuary.
Mommo has always been funny about little rules like No Eating In The Car! and Absolutely No Shoes On The Carpet! It was the big things like the curfew I never had, and the alcohol I drank in high school that seemed to just... slip past her. We were like two strangers living closely intersecting lives.
Its bizarre to watch her helicopter TheFish. TheFish and I talked about it recently; we have completely different parents, yet they're the same two people. My mother was vague and disconnected, hers is neurotic and overprotective.
I don't really know which is worse.
Don't get me wrong. Mommo is lovely and intelligent and stronger than she knows. We're just incredibly different people.
Over the past two years, Mommo and I have stumbled into a strange sort of relationship. Its not quite mother-daughter, but its not just a friendship. Maybe its because I'm already an adult? Or because we emotionally abandoned each other during my formative years?
I guess it doesn't really matter.
Either way, I'm going to eat cookies in my bed.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
I went to high school here, my family broke here, my heart broke here.
Almost nothing that I associate with this place is good.I didn't really want to go out last night. It is, I suppose, technically the holiday of my people. My mother's family, anyway. They're all loud and Irish and love their whiskey. If you were to refer to us as a herd of willful gingers, well, you wouldn't be wrong. I volunteered to drive. The idea of being drunk in a group that had indulged in too much Guinness and not enough corned beef and potatoes felt like the wrong kind of dangerous. TheBean and I party hopped a little, and eventually ended up at a co-worker's house. I was genuinely glad to see the people that I found there. I laughed all night. Not at anyone or because I felt obligated, but because I found something funny. I wasn't bored or irritated, even though I was one of the few sober people in the whole house. I danced. I cooked. I was hugged with such enthusiasm that I was propelled out of my chair and swung into the air. It was a truly excellent night.At some point, I looked around and made a startling discovery.I've made a life here. Against my will.
And I like it.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Our tales of memorial tattoos, fatal car accidents, emotional scars intertwined with the smoke from our cigarettes. We shared the memorial services, grief, shock and numbness as if they were war stories. There is a weariness to such talk- survival without triumph. I wanted to cry, but he managed to make me laugh. Really laugh for the first time in too long.Before I knew it, I was crushing out my fourth cigarette and my lunch break was over.
I hadn't eaten, but I felt more full than any food could have made me. Maybe, just maybe, it will be okay.
I can hope anyway, huh?
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
I was offended.
I don't think that choosing to filter the information that I share with others makes me a prude.
I lay my life open on the internet. I share my private thoughts and feelings here for people to read, analyze and occasionally criticize. But you, my online friends, my anonymous support group, know far more about my personal life than many of my friends.
I tell you about my guilt and my grief and my father. I tell you about my boy drama and my ExpirationDating. You know about the nights I cry, the nights I smoke too much, and when I become twitter-pated. I don't share a lot of this with my "real" life friends. Sure, most of them know that I blog, that I record all of the silly little detail of my life here, but none of them has ever been invited to read my blog. This is my place to be me, without judgment or fear. This is where I don't apologize for being selfish or shallow or ridiculous. My sanctuary, if you will.
If keeping my feelings and my naked business sheltered from the prying eyes of coworkers and friends makes me a prude, then fine. Maybe I am a prude. Fine. But that is my choice. And you know what? Anyone who doesn't like it can just fuck off.
The fact is, I am uncomfortable talking about sex. Actually, that isn't quite accurate. I am not uncomfortable with the subject of sex. I am uncomfortable talking about my own sex life. I read Cosmo, I watch Sex and the City, I see my gynecologist regularly. I've had a Brazilian wax. I've watched porn. I've seen babies be born and held a friend's hand through the toughest choice of her life.
Am I a virgin? No.
Am I ashamed of that? No.
Am I going to share my sex life with the group? Absolutely not.
When it comes to discussing my own personal sex life, forget it. I get squeamish and awkward. Maybe its leftover Catholic guilt, orr maybe its from living in a house with 80 girls and craving privacy of any kind for extended periods of time. I'm not sure. But its likely that I won't ever
In fact, I wish more people had filters.
It may titillate others to hear and share dirty stories, fine. But please leave me out of it.
I don't care if you had sex with your girlfriend in the bathroom at a classy restaurant or what you used for lube when you ran out of KY. I do not need to know that your girlfriend now refuses to pick you up at closing time because by then you've had too many drinks to maintain an erection.
I am just not interested in hearing your naked business.
And I am certainly not interested in sharing mine.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
This time its Pumpkin. I'm incredibly irritated at him for the events of the past weekend. He's being immature, and isn't apologetic in the least, so I expect the irritation to linger for some time. I've never really been angry with him before, which is frustrating in and of itself.
Yesterday was gorgeous, so I escaped to the beach beneath The Cliffs with SkinnyBitch and AirborneRanger and a friend of theirs. I'd only ever been to that beach after dark, the last time involved scary mutant sand crabs. I loved it. The sun was shinning and the ocean was so very blue. I always go to the beach when I'm feeling troubled. Something about the waves and the enormity of the Pacific speak to me in the most intimated, elemental way. Nothing ever relaxes me like the ocean. Skinny and I were incredibly cliche and lay on our towels drinking Cheladas and reading Cosmo most of the day. Eventually, we were coaxed (thrown) into the water by the boys and a splashing war ensued. I hadn't played and been silly like that in such a long time.
Something about SkinnyBitch is comforting. She's shallow and silly, but that is part of why I enjoy her so much. Her gossip and petty judgments distract me from the painful things that others unwittingly remind me of. Ok, she's not the brightest bulb in the tanning bed and she has the emotional depth of a wading pool, but she's a genuinely nice person. She's harmless, really. I think, in a way, she takes me back to simpler times when my biggest worries were what color toga to buy or whether my shoes clashed with my party top. You know, before it all fell apart. She may not be a lifelong friend, but she is so refreshing.
AirborneRanger is much of the same. We bonded over our his-and-hers Sperrys and our mutual love of tequila. He's leaving for some sort of Army training soon, so he's wrapped up in a whirl of good times and good-byes. Its easy to allow myself to get wrapped up in the Mardi-Gras atmosphere that his company brings.
So, for now, "Laisses les bons temps rouler!".
Thursday, February 11, 2010
I come home and go to bed early, exhausted. I don't have the energy to write or go to yoga class or do any of the other things that I enjoy.
I tell people that I'm fine over and over until I want to scream from the monotony of it all.
I've been forcing myself to be active, social, engaged. Its so hard. I catch myself staring into space or losing focus in the middle of a sentence.
I trail off and trail behind so often.
I went to four Super Bowl parties last Sunday. I wanted to be busy. I wanted to be happy. Just for one day. I saw all of my friends, old co-workers, new co-workers. They're all people that I have loved or do love. People that I wanted to see.
The best part of the day was watching TV with Puddin after the game.
It was quiet and vaguely... soothing. There was no pressure to share or to be ok.
For the first time in awhile, I could just... be. No one stared at me. I didn't have to suppress tears or muster fake enthusiasm.
I started grief counseling yesterday. I don't know if I'm ready to go down that road. I've come so far from the rest of my... everything, that I don't think I can go back there. I might not be ready to talk about Justin. Its all too closely linked to my father and all of the other things that make it hard for me to function.
On Sunday, I just want to stay in that quiet simple moment. I want to freeze myself right there on the sofa- just for a little while. Just long enough for me to get a grip on my world. Its all spinning so fast and so out of control.
I can't seem to catch my breath.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
"You do?" Hope very rarely loves anyone immediately. In fact, one of the things we have in common is that we usually dislike people in general and girls like J in particular.
"I really do... This may sound stupid, but she gets it. You know?" I do know. I often categorize people that way in my head: the people who "Get It" - get me- and those who "Don't Get It".
Its something I got from a Judy Blume book years ago (how cliche is that?). I have plenty of friends who don't get it- I would venture to say that most of them don't. And that's okay. I enjoy those people. I work with them, attend their parties, go to bars, try new restaurants and watch college football with them. We live pleasantly intersecting lives. But are these the people that will be in my life forever? Probably not. Occasionally, a soul will cross my path who really and truly "Gets It". A person who will play an important role in my life, a person who will change me. J is lovely. She's funny and intelligent and soothing.
Maybe soothing is a strange way to describe someone, but there is a serious lack of stability in my day-to-day.
She's been a breath of fresh air in my emotionally stuffy, smothered world. I'm aware that it sounds like I have a weird crush on her. I swear that I don't.
Its just that the J is short for Justine.
And she's made such a fortuitous entrance into my life that I can't help but think she was sent to help me. Is that hoodoo? Or just plain foolishness?
Maybe. Is it too much pressure for a new friendship?
Maybe. Probably.But she gets it. So maybe not.