Tuesday, October 28, 2008

In a Big, Crazy World

my complaints are trifling.

But it's my blog. I don't feel well... I ended up calling in sick to my tiny part time job and laid in bed till noon, feeling progressively worse. I think it was more my sleepless nights catching up to me than anything else. But the day was wasted.

Not feeling well made me feel really lonely, too. I suppose if I had someone I'd probably be annoyed at them not taking care of me but not having one I can pretend someone could care.

I miss what almost was. What wasn't. Which is a complete waste of time, but it's my blog and I started it so I could let go of things like this. So I still miss certain people, but I'm aware that it's probably more my inability to let people go than anything else... and I'm resigned that it's something that will never be.

I took the Sun to get his hair done; his father is coming in and I wanted the Beast tamed before hand so SD won't feel compelled to "wash it".

Maria is in the DR, Yomari was swamped. So someone else worked on the beast, and it beat her, poor thing. It took 3 and a half hours for her to achieve what Yomari and Maria can do in two. But the Sun... he sat through the whole ordeal patiently, barely wincing. Cuz he loves the Beast.

Oddly enough, I had a dream early this morning that the Sun decided to cut his hair, and without me went and got a mohawk. In truth, we've actually discussed him getting one... but he wants not the "new" pseudo mohawks that are buzzed on the sides and mainly moussed up, like this kid. OH NO, mon frere... we're talking 80's punk mohawk, and if he could have spikes he'd be even happier. Like this guy. In the dream he had more of the current brand of mohawk, and he wasn't that happy about it. And his ears stuck out... which is the one thing he remembers most about when his hair got cut. That his school friends teased him about his ears. He was four. I told him about the dream but I didn't tell him about the ears.

On the way home, we saw a Mexican punkrocker, with a buzzed mohawk, black spikes in his brow, dressed all in black. Oh, and fingerless gloves. The Sun thought he was just the coolest.

I seriously fear for my future.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Life Isn't Fair

wah wah wah.

It isn't, though. It's just life.

What happened to Jennifer Hudson's family, at the height of her career is not fair. I cannot imagine the pain and grief she feels. And it's a story that happens in many households... sometimes not that tragically, but certainly along those lines. My sister says she "saw" what happened... because in many respects it has mirrored similar aspects of her own life. The lives of people she services.

When they captured the estranged husband, and not the boy, I knew the boy was gone. It isn't fair... a 7 year old's life cut short because the adults in his life are assholes. I feel awful for Jennifer... but I cry for that boy.

There are other things I could complain about today... a myriad, multitude of things. And I'm sitting here, waiting breathlessly for an election (can you believe it?) because I'm hoping it will correct some of the unfairness of life. For a multitude of reasons. But it wouldn't be fair to lump those things in with the death of a 7 year old boy.

Jennifer, you won't ever see this, but I'm so sorry for the events in your family. It isn't fair it happened to you, to your nephew. It could easily have happened to anyone, to me, my niece, my friends in Harlem or in the Bronx... but it happened to you and I'm sorry.

It's just not fair.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

It's Good to Go Out On Top...

Last week, Amy Poehler did one of the funniest skits I'd ever seen on SNL. And she made white rappers look good. And she made heavily pregnant women look good. This Saturday, she gave birth. So in honor of her birthing day, a post of her skit...



Saturday, October 25, 2008

Random Ish

Blah.

I had an online chat with Fluffernutter the other night. We are very much alike in certain ways; we have all these things we like to do and are pretty good at them, but we get easily sidetracked and lost, and consequently feel like we're not achieving anything. We're also not good at casual hookups.

Backtrack... I got annoyed with men again and decided that I was resigned to a life of celibacy. I've done it before. It sucks; but I have amazing willpower when I need it, and I can shut shit down. All I have to do is think of the drama involved, and it usually works. I'm not happy about it, being celibate, I mean. Not fucking happy about it at all... but what can I do. I'm too old for the younger ones who at least have some potential, and no offense but I'm not into guys my age cuz if they're single it's for a reason. They're packing issues. And I know I'm packing issues and don't much feel like dealing with folk who have as many issues as I do. Plus... I'm only 25 in my head, and guys my age well... they're about 35 in their head but that's still too old.

So I was in the process of turning off all the burners and hadn't really spoken to any of my acquaintances in a while... I've given up even hoping for certain people, and other people I just stopped pursuing, and some people I have to run into but I can keep my mental distance once I've made up my mind to.

But then I got a phone call... from Nene who hasn't called me in a while, and really has no reason to. "Hey!" I said surprised. It was the middle of the day and I know he works. "What are you doing?" "Holding my cock."

Babymama must be withholding, the bitch. I tried to tell him she was gonna jerk him around if he let her back in. I busted out laughing. I always did like his nerve. Later on he asked me again if I was going to Sacramento with him. I told him I was seriously considering it... but I told him "No soup for you!" But he says he just wants company.

He doesn't travel much. He's been to Puerto Rico, but a few years ago when he flew to Buffalo for SuperGrands, it was only his second trip outside outside of NYC. Ever. And as I said, I have to take the Sun to Cali, so I'll be on the West Coast. But I really didn't want to spend Christmas there. I don't keep Christmas, per se... but Christmas is lonely if you don't celebrate it, and I'm really friggin tired of NOT celebrating it by myself. But I can't afford to be out there. I thought it might be interesting to get on a Greyhound and take a 6-8 hour ride up there from LA... but who wants to do that shit by themselves??? At Christmas? After I've turned over my child for two weeks? And then, despite what Nene says I had visions of him chasing me around the hotel room and I'm not dealing with him while Babymama's in the picture. It's just not worth the drama. She's crazy. And I really don't like going after other people's men.

Besides, well... I'm tired of being everybody's fucking ComfortDoll. The one people go to for the interim. I want my own shit. And... well, there's other reasons. Stupid ones, but whatever.

So there was that conversation. About the same day, I had occasion to run into certain other nameless people and while I didn't break down or anything it kinda sucks I still feel the same way. People were looking a little undernourished and uncared for, but I guess they're OK living that way so what can you do. But it made me remember stuff I'm better off forgetting. And there was mild flirtation the next day which simply doesn't help the situation so I have to remember to keep my timing right to avoid these things. Life is just better for me that way cuz I spend too much time resetting myself.

Within the 24-48 hours of the above, I also got a text from Fluffernutter. "Hey! Where you been?" and that he was just checking in. And about the following night or so, I got an IM from him. He again asked me what I'd been up to ("Trying not to be a stalker!" I wanted to say, but I didn't) and then he told me he'd just been working and trying to stay out of trouble. I told him I was looking for trouble, cuz I'm getting bored. He said, "well, it would be nice to get some lovin" and lamented again the fact he can't really do hook-ups. I told him I couldn't either, though life would be so much better for the both of us if we could. It seems to work so well for everyone else. I told him though, that he gave me hope that there are nice guys out there, since most of the ones I run into apparently are the "hit it and quit it type". I said not-for-nothing, but things work so much better the more you know someone, figure out how they work.

Then it occurred to to me... if he's like most guys he was just using the best pick-up line ever, but I want to believe him. Makes me feel better.

We started talking then, about all the possibilities that exist for us, the art we can do, how we can keep each other going, and he gave me some really nice compliments on my pow wow pictures. Which touched me deeply... the fact that he really looked at them, that he saw some of what I saw and that he could give me really useful ideas to pursue and to focus on. Talking to him about art is a little like talking to BigBear... he always looks at the huge, giant picture and says things like "We could turn into a whole line! Take it to clothing!" and other things which really make me smile. Then we suddenly realized we'd been IMing each other over an hour and it was now 2 in the morning. He had to go...

I wondered again how two people can be very much alike and compatible and just won't end up together. It's frustrating. But like I've said before... with him, I appreciate his insight and to try to pursue anything would totally gunk up what we DO have. And that sucks. Besides... there are other reasons but whatever. Some people you totally enjoy and other people make your heart skip a beat for no reason at all.

I think I'll always be alone cuz I can't seem to figure out how to get all that shit to work.

In the meantime, Crazy Nicaraguan Chick dumped the kid I watch grow up, the day after his surprise party. Well... she told him she couldn't just be "casual" and she said he didn't respond fast enough so she left and went to work. At first, I thought she was crazy... the guy is hot... all the old ladies out on the Rock have watched this guy grow up and share the same consensus. The only reason he's never been pursued by me (yeah, so what) is cuz I'm really good freinds with his dad. It just wouldn't be cool.

The next day though, she had major second thoughts and tried to backtrack, but the guy wasn't having it. She was devastated. The thing is... because I wasn't involved I could see both sides and sort of feel bad for the both of them, cuz I liked them together. I could see where what she did freaked him out... but I understand where she's coming from cuz like me, she's walking with major baggage. She's been through a lot of similar things, only at a much younger age than me, and she's very protective of her inner self. And I admired her ability to sidestep what she saw as the invertible crash-and-burn... but it didn't hurt any less. For the next few days I kept tabs on her, calling her, texting her, keeping her afloat and it made me remember to say a special shout-out to the FatLady who kept me afloat in August. It sucks feeling like that.

The end result of all this is that I'm back to feeling like it'll just be me and the kid. Life is just simpler that way... but I'm not happy about it at all... I realized during the past two weeks or so I had only been sleeping on one side of the bed, and so I throw myself into the middle so as to fill up the empty space.

Whatever.

* * * * * * * *
In other news, I've been printing out photos from the various pow wows I've been too... getting ready for this show that BigBear asked me to be in with her. At first I wasn't confident that any of my pictures met my standards viewing at actual pixel size, but it turns out some of them are pretty damn good and I've been enjoying printing them at 13x19. And I've been mulling over some of the ideas Fluffernutter gave me.

It's just too bad I think I have to go back to work. And cuz nobody's answering any of my applications in my own field, I'm gonna have to take what I can find. I'm too in the hole. I need to take my 3 piddlyshit factory checks to Food Stamps and reopen my case, and that might buy me enough time to find something. It sucks... if I go back full time all the karate stops. And I won't be able to pursue a lot of the things I like to do. But SallieMae has taken to calling random muthaf*ckas out of the local phone book looking for me. They are worse than the mob... and there is nothing you can do but either pay what they want or watch the interest morph your loans into something you'll never pay off. And I got a letter from the landlord today that I refuse to open because I know it's a rent increase... and I just can't face that right now.

Which again leads me back to the fact that I have to stay alone, cuz I couldn't even bear to bring anyone into my mess. I wouldn't do it to them.

* * * * * * * *
My sister is struggling with her daughters. Both of them have lost their mind. Personally I think it's cuz she gives them way too many chances. She draws lines in the sand, and when they cross it, rather than busting their ass she renegotiates the terms and so they are constantly taking ground from her cuz she says she doesn't have the time or energy to enforce things. But I'm a boy mom. And I learned from her mistake... I give my kid no quarter. No matter how much energy it takes. Taking away his DS for seven weeks--and sticking to it no matter how good he's been, has been the best thing I ever did. He has been able to earn "time off for good behaviour" and I've been faithfully marking off a day for every day he did what I asked--not what he's supposed to do, like homework and stuff--without drama. And on the days he had outbursts and stomping, I didn't take the day off. No matter if he "made good". He still lost the day. Yeah I know he's only nine and that's why it's working... but I wanted to put the fear in him before he's old enough not to have any fear, like my nieces. They have no fear of their mother at all. I told her she needs to stop talking and just do. Enforce her deadlines, stop feeling guilty, and rain down vengeance. Cuz the older one in particular... from where I sit, I think she thinks her mother is all talk. And the little one has learned from her sister. And before Sis gets all out of shape... "There but for the Grace of God, go I" so I'm not judging, merely making an opinionated observation. And you know what they say about opinions.

But I've been thanking God for my boy and not a girl, because boys are much more compartmentalized and don't try to look for obscure angles the way girls do. Girls are way too spaghetti-like in their thinking and it takes energy to think one step ahead. I'da lost my mind...

* * * * * * * *
I really dislike Sarah Palin, I hate the mudslinging that's going on, I'm disturbed that as Obama inches ahead the Gollums are hissing and sneering and crawling out from under their rocks. I'm amazed... truly, deeply amazed that there is no sympathy for the poor, no tolerance for diversity, places like New York City are apparently not "pro-America", and people seem to think it's OK to call people Communist and go on witch hunts. And the minute you bring up the disparity between certain ethnic groups, you get called a race-baiter.

* * * * * * * *
And much as I think Bloomberg's done a decent job as mayor of New York overall (though I don't agree with many of the things he's done in the school system here).... money will buy you anything, huh? Even a third term. I guess we should thank God George Bush wasn't as rich as him, or we'd all be fucked.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Late To The Party

On the General's endorsement of Obama... and who really cares what I think anyway.

But it's my blog.

I'd almost forgotten about it... General Powell's appearance on "Meet the Press", and in fact I was supposed to be out the door already, going to Union Square with Bigbear to pick up printing paper for my photographs. But I overslept in a BIG way, and was just getting the coffee together (instant, blech cuz I ran out of Bustelo) when I remembered he was on.

I've always admired Colin Powell. For one thing, he's of Jamaican descent. But for another, he's always struck me as being an honorable man... one who did the job he was supposed to, and did it wholeheartedly and to the best of his ability. But when he found himself disagreeing, he resigned--honorably. Nobody could find fault with that.

For him to endorse Obama is big. And despite what some Caucasians were saying--that it was based on race, General Powell is not the kind of man who would do that. He reminds me of the mental image I have of my Grandpa Will... my father's father, who was a Garveyite and said to "do right, because it is right to do right".

I thought his reasons were well thought out. I thought he was earnest and cool, calm, methodical in his outline. Until he spoke of his concerns that the Republican party was insinuating that Obama is a Muslim. At that point, he leaned forward on the table, clasped his hands, and his tone changed...



This topic is something that has been troubling me for awhile, and I even mentioned it here already. I suppose the rest of the country may not get to see Muslims of any kind on a regular basis, but growing up in Harlem I knew many followers of Elijah Muhammad. And then recently with the influx of African and Arabic immigrants to Harlem, I see more and more of traditional Muslims. I watched as they built the HUGE mosque on the corner of 96th and third Avenue. And I have been asking myself, ever since the picture of Obama in traditional Kenyan garb was "leaked" to the press, insinuating that he's really Muslim... "so what????? So what if he IS Muslim? What does that say about our country? How can we even pretend to be democratic?"

Monday, October 20, 2008

Speaking Of "What Ifs"

I was just about to name this post "Part II" of my earlier post. When I wrote earlier I was on lunch from the factory and had to run back cuz I knew I'd overstayed the dratted bell...

And just as I was about to start writing, Roadgrl mentioned the "What If's".... and that I can't go back to being shiny.

OK, maybe not shiny. Maybe burnished. But certainly not covered over in mud and blood and gun powder residue.

And I wouldn't want to go all the way back, cuz the Sun is the best thing of all. And I've no regrets, really. But I do have to get used to not being at war.

The thing is, part of what happened to bring on the previous post was exploring that "What If" from the other day, the kid from the bus. For one brief second it seemed cute. But we started emailing each other and I realized he had a whooooooole other perception of me. That wasn't me at all. I had found myself interested initially... to see what was there. But, my Spideysense started tingling and I'm not ignoring it this time. This time I didn't even entertain the thought of "benefit of the doubt" and lets just say I'm glad I didn't, and it's an avenue I don't' think I'll be exploring. But it was interesting.

Things I Learn While Sewing #2

The FatLady posted the other day (and I'm reposting the quote cuz I was thinking about what she said while sewing this morning... and yes I had misunderstood. But...)

"You misunderstood me when I said you were stuck. I think you were stuck BEFORE the summer - not since then. "

No, I wasn't stuck then either, I realized... I was coming off of BattleMode. And what I realized was that no one in "Internet World" , or in the Sun's world has known me before BattleMode... before The War with SD.

And The War went on so long I think that people who did know me got used to me being this way, and only the ones that don't see me regularly are aware of the difference, unless I point it out. Cuz 10 years is a long-ass time.

I realized this, because in addition to mulling over the Fat Lady's thought, a friend posted a picture of me from a Halloween costume party from 10 0r 11 years ago. I've been looking at the picture because I was so... I dunno. Shiny. The flash was "hot" and I was a little tipsy... but I've been looking at the picture all weekend and then it suddenly hit me: I hadn't yet met SD/TF/BD/IFKALP. I met him probably the following year, and our relationship--the good part--lasted all of two weeks. After that it was an up and down whirlwind of a ride and I allowed myself to take the trip. Why? I really had nothing better to do at the time. I had no anchor. I still wasn't really in a career I enjoyed. I had just relocated from Jersey and a whole other life.

I got battered around by the storm that was SD for about two years, and right about the time I was ready to get out for good, I got knocked up.

Now for all the drama, that little baby was the best thing to ever to happen to the two of us, and I've no regrets. None at all... but I could have done without the fighting.

And when the War started in earnest I was determined to win, and my whole entire being was focused on that goal.

And now the war has ended... and I can go back to my shiny self.

But I would have preferred my life take another track.... and I should have started my "Ride or Die" mission a lot earlier in life, because I don't believe it "just happens". I think you already have to really know it's what you want, in order for it to find you. And I hadn't really thought about it until the Sun came along. And now I think it's just too late... whatever is out there now is still out there for a reason. It, like me, are damaged goods.

But it's alright. I can entertain myself a hundred thousand ways...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Coming Back Together

I am, slowly....

the FatLady wrote the other day that she felt I had been stuck and was now moving... but I wasn't stuck.

I had been mowed over, plowed down, blown to bits. Body parts from here to Katmandu. But I am ultimately invincible, unbreakable... my spirit will never surrender, never back down. I will always come back... even if it takes awhile. Like Claire, from Heroes, or like the Terminator (which I bought the other day and haven't had a chance to watch it), the pieces of myself will always find each other and put themselves back together.

I have no choice.

Quitting is never an option for me... no matter how badly I want to.

I finally got the mountain of laundry done today. It had gotten so bad... piles of clean laundry spilling out of the basket, dirty piles mounting on the floor... all in my room. It felt so overwhelming, along with the bags of stuff discarded from my closet. I got all the laundry done and mostly put away, and switched out all the summer shoes with my winter ones in boxes up at the top of the closet. I got rid of a few more things... I got the dishes mostly done.

I've been feeling better, more like me. There is still that awful sadness, there are still patches that haven't healed. But I've been realizing, as the days go on that I cannot save anyone but me, particularly if they don't want to be saved. I am unashamed of loving... and I will love freely and once it's given I won't ever take it back... because that is who I am. Sometimes I have to see the distress in others and do what I can, but accept the fact that not everyone will heal like I can.

It's hard to see people fall away... you know I don't like letting go of people. But sometimes they are dead weight and must be let go. And sometimes they simply must continue on their journey alone... and I cannot be part of that. My job is in the seeing and the informing, but I can't control the outcome.

Upstairs Neighbor had asked me to print out some pictures for her from her trip to South Africa... and I had fallen down on the job, printing out only some of them. Truthfully, she must have had 200 or so, maybe more--and it wasn't hard to do but required babysitting. It also required some tweaking of the printer profile which I hadn't gotten right the first time and so the prints came out a little red. Perfectionist me wasn't too happy about that. Today she came and asked for the CD of pictures back... she was going to take them to Staples. I felt so bad.... I handed over the CD but I broke down and cried, right in front of her. I hate falling down on people and I told her truthfully I have a hard enough time these days keeping up with things I need to do for me. I feel so overwhelmed. I told her how sorry I was.

For the past year I've been trying to give her cheer as she struggled with missing Mr. Kip, and sometimes all I could do was tell her just keep moving. So it was odd today for her to turn around and tell it to me... just keep moving. I looked at her and saw the strength in her... and I was happy that she was able to give some of that back to me... it meant that she herself was coming back, realizing the power in herself.

She went shopping but when she came back she brought back the CD... Staples was going to charge her too much to print the pictures. Or so she said. But I took the CD back... found a good paper profile from the Kodak paper website, got the color perfect and printed out 118 pictures for her. It felt good.

It's the little things that bring me back together.

Today was also the 30th birthday of a kid I've watched grow up. When I first got to the Rock he was about 17... had dreadlocks (except that his father is GermanJewish and his mother is from India... that kind of hair can only be but so dreadlocked) and skateboarded up and down the main drag of the Rock for hours at a time. People said he was a punk. Didn't like his hair. One day he shaved it all off. Eventually he got into the carpenters union. Today he turned 30...

He's dating the Crazy Nicaraguan chick I'm friends with. She threw together a surprise party for him at his father's gallery, gathering his close friends, having another friend cook all the food. She doesn't really know most of his friends and asked me to come be there for her, so I did. Even though it was mighty strange to be standing there with all these kids who used to stand outside the bar I hung out in because they were too young to get in. Strange to see them calmer, older, cleaner, starting lives with girlfriends and wives... but wonderful, too.

Last Thursday evening, my Sun performed with his violin ensemble at the small recital hall at Carnegie Hall... but I want to post about that separately with pictures... but it was awesome. I was so proud of him... and he was so proud of himself. But I want to give him his own "air".

I don't know what my future holds. I can never see my own future, and when I think I do it turns out to be something else entirely. For the time being, I think I've given up on the Ride or Die mission. I don't think it will happen for me. I don't think it's my fate anymore. I wish things were different... had I had a say in my destiny my life would not be this way. I would have had another child. People always seem so surprised when I say that... but from the minute the Sun was born I wanted another.

But when I was a kid, and played the Eric and Johnny game with the Professor (in which we had a company/organization that was essentially out to save the world) I never had more than one child. The Professor always had several... but I only ever had one. And I wonder about that sometimes... if my child's heart knew what my future would be. Although I was married in the game so I don't know. But lately I'm resigning myself to the fact that there may not be a Ride or Die for me, or another baby so I need to move to plan B... clean up my life enough to become a foster mom. Maybe that's what it's all about...

There's another odd thing brewing in my life but that also deserves a separate post. But I need to go lay down for a few hours.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Debate III

...to me, was a slightly more interesting than the last two, but unlike most people, I think Obama won.

Why? Cuz he's cool like that. Unflappable. Why should he care that he's been accused of "palling around with terrorists"? Particularly if it's not true? He has a country to clean up.

If I had been on the fence about him before, he won me over completely last night because:
  1. His position on abortion was clean, clear-cut, understanding and non-judgemental. He spoke like a man with two daughters and a strong woman for a wife. It's pretty obvious they have a sex life and could be faced with a pregnancy. It's something he has to think about. And he's thought about it. I agree with his position on late-term abortions... but as he said, there has to be a provision put in about the mother's life. McCain's stance came across to me like a man who has made up his mind about something that is a rhetorical position... he can afford to be judgemental because it's not something that will come up and slap him in the face one day. And I LOVED that Obama stressed the need for sex education and programs to help young mothers.
  2. He refused to take swipes on Palin, even when they offered him the opportunity on a silver platter. Right there, he showed respect for women... but he also "dissed" her lovely (as they say in the hood) by not even dignifying her by using her name. Brilliant. You can "diss" without cursing or attacking.
  3. His healthcare plan makes sense to me. All I keep thinking with McCains is... Ok, a tax break at the end of the year. But um, suppose you owe taxes? Suppose you owed student loans or alimony or child support and the government eats your return? What then? Will they separate out your healthcare? I highly doubt it. Plus, what health insurance costs $5K???? Especially if you have a large family? And who the hell has the time to shop for health insurance? I had to, a little bit ago, and it sucked.
  4. Most importantly, Obama came across as a man who does not easily lose his cool. And when he gets ticked off, he smiles. Which gives him time to think. He doesn't rush in and stammer over words and get all flustered... he puts his head down and he smiles quietly cuz he's thinking. And I think that will get a better response with the crazy dictators of the world, than sputtering and flashing and leveling accusations.
And so, in closing, I leave you with this... which you may or may not have seen floating around the Internet, but it amuses the piss out of me and I think it quite appropriate:


I can't wait for this man to be President... it's funny. I need this change. I need Obama to be president. I need to see something majorly different happen in my life. I feel like I'm holding my breath, crossing my fingers, waiting for this change to come. And it needs to happen. My life depends on it. I know Joe the Plumber has some concerns... and not for nothing, I think Obama addressed them. But I got major issues. I won't be buying businesses any time soon. Not everyone needs a graphic designer or an artist. I highly doubt I'll be rich. And besides, my kid needs to know that a brown man can be president. So sorry, Joe... You'll be a a little uncomfortable for 4-8 years, but you'll be alright. Me? I don't have that kind of time...

The Path Not Taken

I've been hanging around on Facebook, which I like better than MySpace. The anonymity on MySpace made for some weirdness... it's as if people feel compelled to show their freaky side cuz they know they can hide. Which is cool... but you see enough freaky pictures after awhile. At least I do.

I mean, I know we all have our degenerate side. I do, too. But I keep mine under wraps for the most part cuz if not it tends to bite you in the ass when you're not looking. Or, like Jekyll and Hyde, you let Mr. Hyde out too often he may decide he's not coming back in.

And that's alright, I guess... but then it only shows one side of a person. Personally, I get bored. I like seeing the whole picture--who they've become, their families, who knows them. And for my own self, I'd much rather show Miss Kondor to people I really trust. It's more fun to get into trouble with another person than to get in trouble by yourself.

Anyway.

The problem with Facebook is that because it's not anonymous, for the most part, all kinds of interesting people find you. Or you find them. (Then you kind of get an appreciation for MySpace cuz you realize.... "Oh wait a minute--maybe I don't want to be found...")

But so far, I've come across a lot of folks from my High School. It's interesting that a lot of them have done well. Kids I knew personally and laughed with or cut class with or threw food at or teased or was teased by them have become professors, doctors, singers, professional musicians, artists. Some are like me and have done a buncha nothing, which makes me feel better cuz it's a little intimidating to see pain-in-the-ass teasable L (who really could play the shit out of a piano) on tour with Vanessa Williams. Or know that another friend is know a renowned OB/GYN.

However, I got an email from someone yesterday, and it made me smile. I'm going to post part of it... cuz for one thing I've learned my lesson and I'm not really telling folks over there about here... if they stalk me I'm easy to find, but I'm not inviting those folk to read. And I'm not telling any man I'm interested in about this blog either, since well... I don't think it worked out so well for me the last time. It was too easy to chip their way into my heart cuz they knew too much about me. But anyway... here's part of the email:

"...By the way, I was a shy dude back then. I couldn't go near you without wetting myself you were too beautiful. I was just a poor kid in harlem who wouldn't have been able to take you out anywhere and ironically enough, we never had a class together. You'd get off on 125th near MLK and I would stare at you every time. You had teeth so white and perfect, I swear your smile would have pierced glass. The last reunioun, I was married and you gave me your card and I "lost it" somehow. I really think my ex hid it or lost it for me. We spoke for a while and I was so entranced with you. You were talking about how you thought the place you worked (the E channel I think) was racist and they would promote minorities. (Pretty good memory huh?) I hung on every word and I wanted to stay with you the entire night but I couldn't. I wanted to keep in touch, but I couldn't. I think about that day so much and now here I have the opportunity to keep in touch again!"

So that email made me smile, and blush a little... and wonder again at people's perceptions of me. Really, of how we perceive each other and how wrong those perceptions can be. I wrote him back that I was probably as poor, if not poorer than he was... and had he asked me to hang out or go somewhere his lack of funds wouldn't have made much of a difference to me. I was a really geeky kid who wasn't that popular though my friends were. And NOBODY from high school ever asked me out. Ever. For the most part that didn't bother me--and truthfully I didn't notice because for three years I went out with the same guy outside of high school.

But what would have happened if someone from school HAD asked me out? Would it have altered the course of my life? Would I have--instead of going with Capone until I was 20, then dated one guy who dumped me so I dated his freind for revenge/married him/found out he had issues/divorced him--gone out with someone from High School and maybe married them instead? Or be led to a different path of people? Who knows. I suppose I'm on the path I'm meant to be (though at the moment I think it pretty much sucks) and I rarely wonder "what if...." But, "what if?"

I laugh at myself too, cuz for the most part me and my narcissistic tendencies keep each other company, and I can rattle around in my own head for years not really noticing anything. And while I have a pretty big ego, at the same time the Voices (who have really quiet for the last few months but came screaming back with a vengeance the other day) do a pretty good job of keeping ego in check. So to think that someone was too shy to talk to me was a little startling. Cuz I wish he had...

He lives in Florida now and that's a ways away. But it was definitely sweet to get a little boost like that, cuz even though I'm still on the Ride or Die mission I'm fairly certain at this point that my destiny is already set and my life will pretty much continue on this way... just me and the kid.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I Love My Mommy

because she makes me feel good.

Today I woke up feeling crazy. As in, I wrote the Raindrops On a Pond post yesterday, trying to put some shit in perspective and it made sense yesterday. Today I woke up late... hiding under the covers not wanting to face the day, not wanting to face the lack of funds, not wanting to answer the landlord's phone call (I didn't)... and thinking, "...either that, or I'm just nucking futs".

But then my mommy called and told me she read my post and thought it "profound".

But see, she may just be nucking futs, too. The thing is... when I was younger I thought she was. I thought my father was, too. Because they lived life like no one else I'd ever seen. And some 46 years later, they're still living life like no one I've ever seen... but
  1. they're still together
  2. they're still happy
  3. their kids never ever leave them
  4. their grandkids adore them
  5. their greatgrand kid adores them
  6. financially they are doing OK.... cleaning up debt/living well below their means/helping out the financially irresponsible children and grandchild
  7. they're still nucking futs.
So who's right?

Logically, it would seem they are... but I follow the example they have shown me--more and more as I get older--and I just feel crazy.

Except my mommy called me and told me she thought my post "profound".

Yesterday the women in the clan (and TinyOne) came up to have a family meeting, in which Bigbear basically told us all off in a very reasonable and productive way. We all sat there and accepted it, cuz we all knew she was right.

My portion of being told off included I have to find my faith again... I have to pass it on to my Sun. I believe in God but the Sun doesn't know much about Him, and that is NOT GOOD. He needs to at least learn the 10 Commandments, which he doesn't.

Afterwards, we ordered art supplies for our upcoming exhibit (to be posted later) and I made a huge pot of spaghetti and pretty much enjoyed each other's company.

The Sun and Moon went with the Moon's grown cousin to see "Walking with Dinosaurs" at the Izod Center, for which I had to shell out $60... but I figured he'd enjoy it. He did.

Other random things....
  • We went to the dojo Saturday. I had to go... I was so sore from Friday night that if I hadn't gone I'd never be able to walk again. Or lift my arms. While I was there, I was checking for a text from the FatLady, and BigSensei was chiding me to get into the room and stop playing with my phone. He said "Get in there. No one is texting you... all the men who love you are already here". Which kinda stopped me... cuz except for my Poppy he was essentially right. On the one hand I felt incredibly warm and fuzzy... on the other hand I felt well... sad. There are still people I miss and worry about but I guess they are on another plane right now. Maybe our circles will intersect at another time. Maybe not.

  • Nene asked me if I wanted to go to SuperGrands with him in December. My first thought was "no" cuz I'm kinda over him in one way... but as I said yesterday on another level I'm closer to him than ever before. And as it turns out, I'll be on the West Coast 3 days earlier, since I have to fly with the Sun to Cali. Which I am decidedly unhappy about for a bunch of reasons. I haven't booked my ticket back (SD paid my way out already). I had half a mind to go reclaim Vegas for myself... but I'm not entirely sure I can face that just yet, even though my cool Aunt is out there. And I'd LOVE to see her cuz she rocks. But Vegas... I think it's one of those things I just want to forget, the way I've forgotten about driving up US1 from SanFran to Washington State with JerseyBoy. I'm just not sure...

    And of course there's money, of which I have less than ever before but when has that ever stopped me (or any other family member, for that matter) of doing or going where I want to go or do??? So I'm still thinking. Though I will tell Nene that for as long as he's living with Babymama I will consider him married and therefore untouchable. And the thing is... he'll accept that.

  • Over to the left on my bloglist, I've added "Margaret and Helen" who claim to be two old ladies, though one of them isn't posting. But the one who is, Helen, is funny as hell. There is some doubt as to whether or not they are "real", but I hope they are. And I think they could be... since Margaret has that "voice" of being a much older woman who doesn't care what you think about what she said, much like Bigbear who, when telling off the Diva yesterday said "... and this is from someone who is 67 [ed note... 67! sheesh!] years old!"

  • I am wasting time and need to get moving... so I will...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Raindrops On A Pond

Once upon a time, a pretty long time ago before I married the person who briefly was my husband, he and I had been sitting around talking, smoking a spliff. We were pretty good friends back then, and in hindsight he was someone I shouldn't have married and probably could have stayed friends with. But I was younger...

We used to talk about a lot of things... but somehow this particular conversation sparked a visual thought and while I can't remember the conversation, I've always remembered the vision. It was me, looking at myself, but looking at the basic of me, with larger and larger versions of myself superimposed over it. Kind of like looking at a picture printed on glass, with the same printed picture slightly larger on another piece of glass which was on top of the first one, and so on and so on. What it represented, that visual, was me being able to see me (or others) at various stages of life--larger, wiser (hopefully) but at the same time, always me.

At another point in time, long after the husband and I had ceased to be, I used to post to a few user groups (aah, remember bbs'?) and on one of them, someone had suggested I start a blog. It took me years to get around to that but in the meantime I had the thought that I would start a website that would have been essentially the same thing--an exploration of the crap that floats around in my head. I'd spent some time working on a logo for it, and the logo was circular because by then, I had realized that my interactions with people tend to circle outward, like ripples on a pond. And like looking at raindrops on a pond, sometimes the ripples from the individual drops overlap, sometimes they intersect; sometimes they have nothing at all whatever to do with each other.

Yesterday, both of those pretty different visual thoughts sort of coalesced into something...

I've said I have a sensor for people in mental distress... and often I get sucked into their circle because of it. Maybe "distress" isn't quite the right word, since it’s sort of a sense of "flux" or movement... maybe they're "seeking", but there is a sense of movement in them that I pick up on. The outright distress can be weird... sometimes I run into people and the hairs on the back of my neck go up. Once I had friend who was suffering from PPD --she subsequently committed herself a hospital for 6 weeks, and I ran into her one day on the street and she looked like a completely different person, even though everything else about her was the same as it's always been. Her whole being was different from what I knew of her. Another time I ran into an acquaintance and could feel myself being sucked in, but I didn't know or like her well enough to allow it. But her distress was great. Most of the time, though, the flux is very subtle and I often don't recognize it right away. I'm trying to train myself... it would save me a lot of heartache.

And I've gotten slightly better at recognizing the distress or flux or whatever and not mistaking it for something else, but I'm still working on that. Although I wonder if sometimes it only works because I DO mistake it for something else.

Because often, particularly if I care for someone, I can "see" the end result of their journey... the power that they will be, and often I can see the points at which they will change in order to get to a certain plane--those planes of glass superimposed on each other. When I was younger, and didn't at all understand how this whole thing worked, the points they needed to get to were so obvious to me it would frustrate the hell out of me that they themselves couldn't see it. It made me seem judgmental. It made me um, a tad bossy. OK, a lot bossy, because I would be adamant that they should do things a certain way. When people would take what seemed to me like major detours--going off in angles from where they needed to end up, I would be dismissive cuz to me, it just seemed like ignorance.

And since often, I'm looking at the topmost plane of the person; it's what I react to and how I treat them. I think that because that top plane is what they will be at some point--it already exists in them--they often respond in kind for a time, but because they aren't really "there" yet, at some point they will need to go off and continue the journey. When this happens, I always feel "left behind". It always hurts. And it has bewildered me, too, because I would watch them from afar, watch them grow, and wonder why I wasn't a part of it anymore. My own "ism" is that it's hard for me to let people go... especially ones I love... and long after they've moved on to the next plane of their lives I still hold on... still follow them in my heart, watching them make progress. There are quite a few people who's names are still etched in my heart, people who I still think of if not every day, certainly frequently enough so that they are never forgotten but who I haven't spoken to in years. And sometimes I know that I'll never speak to them again. I know it's not worth if for me to "go after" them because I'm not really part of their lives. And whether the person is male or female doesn't matter--letting go of them hurts tremendously. With some people I can see the separation coming, and with others I have no idea until it happens, but it still hurts, letting go of them.

Somewhere in the past few years I came to understand the "mental distress" thing. And in the past year I came to terms with being able to "see" the complete person. Ironically enough, watching "Heroes" the last three seasons has helped because of characters like Hiro and Peter, who can time travel and who regularly confront different versions of themselves and the people they know. It reminds me of the exhibit about Einstein at the Museum of Natural History I saw a few years back, and how Einstein had theories of how time bends relative to where you are standing. It was fascinating... and as abstract a concept as it is and how "scientific" it is (and I am decidedly NOT scientific about most things) I could feel an understanding of it.

What I haven't realized until fairly recently... OK, maybe even today, was the fact that what I'm seeing sometimes isn't really there. Yet. And, that people have to take their own journeys to get to those certain planes I can see... and that the journey itself is just as important as the planes they will touch as they make that journey. And like Hiro and Peter, sometimes "meddling" isn't a good thing and you end up disturbing the natural ripple. Sometimes, I can't tell someone what I see... sometimes I need to keep my big mouth shut because telling them something they aren't ready to accept only makes them determined to follow another path. But sometimes that's sooooo hard for me to do....

Yeah I know. Maybe I should have figured this out earlier. Particularly since my own journey has been erratic. It's like looking a series of pictures about some one's trip somewhere... there they are standing somewhere in Venice. In the next picture they are in front of Big Ben in London. They have the memory and the knowledge of the trip to Venice to London, and all that they saw or did in between those two points, the things they bought or collected, but you only know for certain the pictures you are seeing. If it were your own trip, it would be in reverse. Only with me, it may be a future picture and not just a past one.

I can't "see" myself (or close family either). And I can only look back at my own stages and planes from the top of each point to which I've ascended... and I don't see future pictures of me. At least I don't think I can... maybe I don't recognize them immediately as being "not now".

I look at the people I know and love, look at the raindrops on a pond... each drop causing a ripple that works its way outward, touching things along the way, gathering or decreasing in speed and power depending on its journey. But I can't see the actual movements, only the end results.

So "duh" on me. Maybe I should have realized this sooner... but like a kid who needs glasses, to me, I've always seen the world in a particular way, not realizing that this was only MY reality and not the reality of a kid with 20/20 vision. Then someone noticed maybe I squinted too much and took me to get glasses and then I realize "Oh!" It can be joyous, but a little strange.

So part of all this, the important part to me, is "letting go". Realizing that people have to be free to make their own journeys and their own quests. That I can't spare them the pain or the hardships they will endure, that in order to get to the points in which I see them, they have to do it themselves. It will tear me apart sometimes. Even when I want to scream "NO, NO, don't DO that!!! Can't you see!?" I have to remember that they can't see... or sometimes they can but they must complete the quest in order to get to a particular plane of existence. I have to have faith, too, that for people I love so deeply, that our circles will overlap at some point in the future, or that they will intersect again. And for others, maybe I won't. But it's part of life.

Because I know that on my own journey, I have to follow the path I see... though I try to be strong enough sometimes to take the leap of faith, to change direction because someone outside of me can see my path more clearly than I can. But that takes a LOT of faith...

I suppose that part of it is my own struggle with God. I know He's there. I know I can't "see" what He sees and I certainly don't have even a tiny percentage of His ability to see. Where I only see my own pond, He sees the entire ocean. I remind myself that He's the one who sees my path and that I need to trust Him and recognize when it's time to change direction. But it's so murky sometimes... that leap of faith is so hard, probably because I confuse it with what I can see. But it makes me remember that if it's hard for me to listen to God, it's gotta be doubly hard for someone to listen to me... I am NOT God, afterall. Who am I to tell anybody what they should do?

Part of what brought me to this point was Nene, ironically enough.

The other night he was insistent that I wait for him, because he wanted to ride the bus with me and the Sun. I'm not involved with him any more, and he's not in as much mental flux as he was before so there's been "air" between us but I still see him all the time. It's gotten pretty comfortable, actually. But it also means that I've been able to see him more objectively, the way he is now at this moment, and not how he'll be at some point from now. Friday night, I was watching him and it suddenly occurred to me that there was a difference between his now and his future... a huge difference. Maybe even years. The part that I was so very attracted to was definitely his future self. But he is moving toward that point, and he will get there, even if I probably won't be there with him when he gets there. I realized how very certain I was of him just a few months ago... and that I wasn't wrong... but I was looking at things from the topmost plane and not at the plane he is now.

On the way home on the bus, he started talking to me about what was going on in his life... and everything I had told him would happen was happening, but unlike before he wasn't stressed. He was in control of himself. He had to make the journey in order to get where he is now. I listened to all that he was saying never once saying "I TOLD you so", cuz I had promised him I never would...

So I came home and thought about all this. And realized that by letting go of people to go off and explore themselves, sometimes they come back... sometimes the circles intersect again even if it's at a different point. And this is pretty comforting to me, cuz I do hate letting go of people. It's nice to know that sometimes they aren't actually leaving my life, just moving onto a different plane.

Duh.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Things I Learn While Sewing....

It took me a minute to get into the flow of the factory. But I'm fairly adaptable, when I have to be, and I accept learning. I like learning, actually. It makes life interesting. It keeps my brain young.

There are things I'm coming to like, maybe even enjoy about the factory. Certainly there are things I don't like. I don't like the 15-minute break bell at 10AM. I don't like the lunch bell. I find myself purposely lagging a little on both ends, just so I don't jump when the bell rings. It's the recalcitrant part of me... my little rebellion. The Trinidadian woman asked me "You nuh 'ear de bell?" when I came back 5 minutes late. "No" I told her truthfully. I had stepped outside to talk on the phone. "Be careful" she said and I shrugged. They can fire me. I need the money but that I don't care about. I hate the bell.

But the supervisor doesn't bother me too much. They said, when they hired me, they needed consistency. So when I say I'm going to be there, I'm there, and I do my best. I made it clear I won't be there on days the Sun is home from school, like today.

But... there are things I do like. I can listen to my iPod while I work. And I'm getting a better handle on the machine. It's the only one I use and I'm getting used to it's rhythm. I like the need for precision... exact measurements. The details of how the batten pocket is constructed appeal to me. It is ordered. There is a reason for the way the thing is constructed and the order in which you must construct it. It is part of a larger piece, and if it is not constructed right, it will not work and the sail could tear.

It's a small factory. Four regular workers; a Dominican lady who wears a lot of purple, the Trinidadian lady, and another small slightly slow Hispanic male. He wears kneepads so that he can crawl as he works, and sometimes he skates on his knees across the smooth factory floor. He's a sometime friend of Thumblina. There is a very young, extremely good looking white kid from Long Island, towheaded and square-jawed. He looks like he comes from wealth and I wonder what breakdown led him to this place. He goes to school part time at Hostos Community College in the Bronx. He had previously gone to some very academic college. He is completely out of place but yet he fits right in. There is an older gentleman who works part time, and like me keeps to himself.

There is my supervisor, who said he has a master's in engineering, and then there is the person who I spoke to about the job. I think his father-in-law is the owner of the business. These two work alongside the rest of us, but also work in the office. There are a few other people in the office but they rarely come into the workroom. And there is the receptionist... one of those maddeningly unenlightened older Caucasian women who wears too red of a lipstick and tends to be a busybody.

The factory is, I'm pretty sure, about the last sailmaking place on the Rock. At one time there were several boatbuilders out here but times have changed. There are still a few marinas and sailing schools, but I guess like everything else, boats are for the most part luxury items and very few can afford them.

The UPS guy comes around 10:30, after the break bell. Yesterday one of the boxes he brought in contained a ripped sail, sent in for repairs. My supervisor pulled the sail out of the box and said "This is what happens when there is a mistake... it tears. This is a $1500 repair job".

I looked around me, at each person quietly doing their own part; someone cutting, someone sewing together already sewn pieces. Later on I watched SquareJawKid and Kneepads work together to fold a giant sail. And I realized that this is what we sometimes forget as we go about our daily lives....

we are all part of what makes life. We are each responsible for our small part, and it is our responsibility to do it to the best of our ability. We owe it to ourselves to do whatever it is we do wholeheartedly, but we also owe it to each other.

The world is full of shortcuts. And people who will take those shortcuts. And I look around me sometimes and wonder why I can't be like the thousands of people I see who only do the bare minimum. They don't give 100% to their work, to their lives, to their relationships, to themselves. They think they are protecting themselves, or saving their energy.

And sometimes I agree with them... sometimes I slack off. Sometimes I want to do the bare minimum, or only do for me... but invariably something happens and I realize that I feel better when I give my all. Yes, it opens me up to a great amount of pain, and I don't like pain. August sucked... in July I had given 100% of myself and August sucked so bad.... but at the same time, the feeling you get from giving your all, the completeness of being yourself 100% somehow makes up for it. I'd certainly rather not be hurt... but I'd rather love completely. I'd rather do my absolute best... sew the straightest line I can, make the best logo I can, cook the best meal I can... than not. When I do, the feeling--however fleeting--is a good one, compared to being haunted by all those things you could have done better.

And it matters, believe it or not. Sometimes it doesn't seem to. We go to work, care for our families, live our everyday and it seems like what we do doesn't matter. We get trampled on sometimes because of it. But it matters. To some one, somewhere... the fact that you offered out your best or didn't give your best can matter a lot to some random person on some random day.

So I'm back to accepting what I am... all-or-nothing. I can't be anything else, even if it means that sometimes I have to deal with nothing. I will wait for my "all". I will do my best, whatever it is that I'm doing. I feel better when I do, and I know it matters... to someone some where... but sometimes it matters only to me.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Wondering Again

...what the point is... reminds me of a psalm, 90 to be exact. Where Moses lists all the frailties of life.

Mine is... as I've wondered before, what is the point of even wanting to be in a relationship? Maybe the skaters and the dabblers have it right. It will end anyway.

A couple of friends of mine are all wondering at the status of their relationships today. One is even thinking it's over, though I can't say I see that yet. You never know how the human heart turns.

But what makes me sad is... if they can't get it right, if no one gets it right these days, then what hope is there for me? What makes me so special, that I could end up with something no one else has?

Blech.

A million lonely souls.

Just makes me so unhopeful.

Shout Out To My Peeps

A freind from high school (Gotta love Facebook):



Go visit him at Mr. Shy.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Pullin...

I'm Pullin' On (Yeah)
I'm Movin' On (Oh Yes I Am)
Movin' On
I'm Pullin On
I'm Movin On In
- Aretha Franklin

Quiet weekend. I think I only left the house to take the garbage out.

I'm kind of at the point where, to use a favorite quote from David Letterman "it's finally happened. I'm finally beginning to annoy myself". I have to get going... things are falling apart and nobody cares for me but me. It's been like that always (God and family and friends aside, I mean) and maybe that's just my lot in life. Unlike before, during the War with SD where my heart was closed... I will venture to leave it open because it's better for the universe if I do. If I shut it all down again, then I succumb to the darkness, to the non-believers. The shit-talkers. Fuck them. All. I know that to love freely is better than withholding. I know that to be open to love is better than being closed. I don't like being hurt... and it's NOT a risk I'm willing to take. And so I have no qualms about being pickier about who I give chances to. People like Nene deserved it cuz they respected it. A lesson I should have carried with me... a standard I should uphold.

I talked to Poppy the other morning, and while I HATE that at 43 he's got to bail me out, he assured me he doesn't mind. Because he says he understands what I'm wrestling with... and essentially, it's wrestling with living an artist's life. Which is something I've been wrestling with a long time. Cuz I know there's stuff you've got to give up. And I don't mind giving it up, mostly. There's stuff I sorely miss, like shopping. (Like there's this pair of red stilletto boots... *sigh.*) But then on the other hand I had a closet full of crap I rarely wore. And I still have plenty of clothes left though I usually end up in jeans and sneakers. I would like to be able to go out more, or travel more places... but all of that I can do without so long as I can stay home with my kid for now. Not forever... but for now.

And I shouldn't have to feel guilty about that.

So I'll continue sewing batten pockets till I figure something else out. The student loan thing stresses the hell out of me, as does rent. But I'll figure something out.

Yesterday I had a conversation with SD who had texted me that he wanted me to call him. He wanted to talk about what happened between the Sun and I the other day, when I reached out and tapped him in the face. He wasn't questioning my judgement, he said, but he wasn't too crazy about the Sun getting hit in the face. He thought I should kick him in the ass instead.

Uh, no.

The thing is, I told him, I RARELY, if ever, hit my kid, though I am not at all opposed to spanking. I DO think that other methods should always be tried before you resort to hitting, and I also think that by a certain age hitting gets to be a dangerous thing... and the Sun is ALMOST at that point. But the kid had been a pain for some weeks, and I had been warning him that he was crossing into dangerous water. And it was a bad day, AND the Moon was there and I didn't appreciate being mouthed off to in front of his friend. So I went to hit him, but he saw me coming and dodged so that by the time I actually reached him, most of the power had gone out of the slap. He was more incensed that I had actually done it; he didn't even complain about pain. And I told SD that the next day, when he started up again I had enough composure to just take away the Nintendo DS... and this time, he's not going to get it back quite so easily.

SD said he mainly didn't want the Sun to grow up flinching from a blow. Said his father had kicked him in the head "a few times" as a kid... and that he had unpleasant memories of his childhood. I knew, from several sources, that SD's father was a really abusive man, mostly to his daughters. But SD never talked much about what he did to him, other than one incident he told me about where his father kicked him in the head because he was too shy to speak up in Sunday School. And I realized again how very damaged SD is. My heart... the one that never gives up on love... realized again how much he struggles with his childhood and even though he can never overcome it, he loves his kid to distraction and doesn't WANT to harm him. And that's a good thing. It's his redeeming quality. It doesn't let him off the hook for any of the shit he put me through... but I don't mind being understanding. It's how I'm wired.

The Sun and I had a productive day today, even though we slept late. When I finally got up, he still hadn't eaten, saying he didn't want to eat cold cereal. So I showed him how to make cheesy scrambled eggs. I noticed he holds the spoon funny. I'll have to figure out how to show him an easier way... but in any event he protested at first, but got into it, and was proud of himself.

Then he got in the shower and we washed hair. His hair, when he tilts his head back, reaches the top of his butt. I think it's the longest it's ever been. And boy is it water-resistant, like a Labrador Retriever's coat.

After the hair, we did homework. His math... it's hard for me to correct him. I have to be careful cuz he's usually right. Then he had to go upstairs and interview UN for his school social studies project on immigration. He did a good job; got good answers from her.

I did some laundry and found a powerstrip so that I can plug in a lamp in my room. My room sucks light out of the atmosphere; no matter how many lights I have on in there it's always dark. Weirdest thing. I'm debating putting a TV in there... maybe I'd go to bed.

Finally about 3P, Bigbear and the Professor and MMB (who has pink streaks in her hair) came up. Bigbear (mostly) and I and some friends of Bigbear's from the Dine (Navajo) Nation will be exhibiting some of our work in a few weeks. Bigbear needed to cost out matting and framing, and I had to cost out and pick photos to show.

After they left, and after dinner, I sat down and did the little piece above. We do this fundraiser at the kids' school, Square One Art, where the kids do art and then the company scans it, sends back a magnet, and the kid takes orders from friends and family for other items with their work on it. This year, some of the teachers and parents wanted to do one... so I did one, too. I did it in about an hour and a half, and I can hear all of my illustration professors at Pratt yelling at me for technique and lighting and all that... but I think this is the first thing I've painted since I left Pratt. And I just needed to do it... and I did it... and the next one will be better.

But it was nice to paint how I was feeling today...

Saturday, October 4, 2008

I Don't Think Letterman Likes Sarah Palin

He spent practically his whole show (10/3) ragging on her.

I found it highly amusing.

You can watch DaveTV here.

I loved his Top Ten Messages Left On Sarah Palin's Answering Machine:

10. "Hi, it's John McCain; I had to go to bed. How did it go?"

9. "Katie Couric here. Have you thought of a Supreme Court case yet?"

8. "Hi, it's Bill Clinton. Let me know when Todd's out of town."

7. "My name is Joseph Six-Pack - Knock it off"

6. "Hi, Katie Couric again - Think of any newspapers yet?"

5. "Buy the Late Show Fun Facts. It's a bridge to hilarity"

4. "John McCain again; Could you pick up my prescriptions?"

3. "Senator Larry Craig here - Do you have Joe Biden's phone number?"

2. "McCain again; Do you remember where I parked the Straight Talk Express?"

1. "It's President Bush. If you're at the debate, who's watching Russia?"

And just by the by, speaking of Joe Sixpack. Palin kept invoking him, along with the Hockey Moms, the other night during the debate. My issue with that should be obvious (although Dave remarked that her answers to things only make sense after 6 beers)... that leaves out a whole lot of people.... a WHOLE lot. Me, in particular.

YouTube has the whole Brian Williams segment up in two sections. It was worth seeing. But then I'm a ObamaMama and I'm biased.






Feel Like Crap

mostly due to a cold. The mental stuff is swirling, but I'm alright.

The Professor said the "I hate you's" are an age thing and will pass... and she's right. And I don't take it personal, I don't. It's just I'm tired and don't feel like fighting.

The Sun has been pretty OK since the other day; he gave me a hard time about going to karate but I reminded him of where he was in his punishment and he chilled out. I told him he could cut down his sentence with good community behavior; for every day that he's cooperative and helpful and doesn't have outbursts, I'll strike a day off the back-end. And yesterday didn't count. Today has been OK so far.

I took him to karate last night cuz it was Sparring Night. And we both needed to go... I had a feeling I wasn't going to be up to going today and I was right. And there was LittleSensei... I told him that the Sun had been giving me a hard time and he said he'd take care of it. In sparring he gave him a good couple of whacks and told the Sun he better not hear that he'd been mouthing off to me.

It made the Sun mad, getting whacked like that, but the result was that he actually fired himself up and did pretty well. He's got great kicks, and he's fast when he's focused. And it goes to show how lackadaisical he is most of the time.

Then it was my turn. I think LittleSensei takes a special pleasure in being able to whack at me, but whatever. He got me good a few times but I didnt' stop, didn't cry (I wanted to) and tried to get a few in. It's also good to know I can take a whack. Or a kick in the boob. Hurts though. But I lasted two minutes which was also good to know. And afterwards I looked up and saw that the rest of the adult students had come in to watch me, and cheer for me, and the kids were cheering for me, and LittleSensei even said I did well.

I might just be able to get into a ring one day...

Yesterday, before karate I spent the day being girly with the FatLady. We met and got our hair done. The other hairdresser, Yomari, did a great job on her. Yomari is a great hairdresser but her energy sets me on edge; Maria is much more soothing to me so I always go to her. But I send my freinds to Yomari. Maria re-did the purple in my hair. It's still dark but I like it, and I know from watching MoodMagicBarbie (who has gone pink) that it will settle and brighten in a few days. I like it. It's subtle. You really see it in daylight and it's a surprise, but it's not readily noticable.

After the hair, I stopped by the hospital to get my check and drop of the CD. In compiling the CD I realized how much work I actually did---I'd even done giveaways. The client wasn't there; was out sick. But I went and found the financial person, got her to open the door, got my check and left the CD.

Later, the client called... she'd hurt her back. She assured me again that this wasn't about me... it's really about her. She's probably in her early 60's and basically they're trying to force her out. I know they worked her like a dog planning the event; one night I spoke to her and she was in the office. It was midnight. My heart... the one that believes in love and hope, has understanding and sympathy for her, even though I know that what's going on with her is going to affect me in the end. And it sucks.

But I got my check.

And then I had to go to Target and get the Sun some more clothes for school, cuz I never did go school shopping for him. And the rest, the tiny bit there is, has to spread around some more and then I still have to borrow money from Poppy to cover at least a month's rent. Just so I don't get further in the hole. But student loans will be ignored a little while longer. And so will Amex.

It's sunny on the Rock today, the leaves on the tree outside my window are turning. There's so much in my life I need to face, but I don't feel like doing it. I don't have a choice, though.

Someone remarked to me it seemed I was getting my momentum back. I am. I always do. I have no choice but to go on. Nobody is going to love me but me; no one is going to comfort me but me; no one is going to pick me up and keep me going but me. I am not OK but I will be at some point. Hopefully someday soon.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Bible Spice Goes Prime Time

I saw someone on line called Gov. Palin "Bible Spice" and it just cracked me up.

I had a feeling she'd do OK cuz I knew they were going to drill her. And she did OK, if you consider the snippiness and the "folksiness" and a coupla one-liners.

But she evaded some questions, she kept going back to "energy" even if the question started out as something entirely different, and she did some predictable things like make Biden look old.

Overall, what gets me is
  1. How come Obama is "inexperienced" and it's not OK, but she's "inexperienced" but it's OK? And no, the difference isn't he's running for President and she's running for Veep. Cuz to me it looks like she's running for President. Since I get the distinct feeling McCain isn't well/doesn't really want this anymore/is downright old. So she really IS running for President. A female GW, that's what we'd get.
  2. She kept coming back to what she did in Wasilla. Wasilla has about the same number of people in it that the Rock does (2000 census lists the population out here at 4,520). People, that's small. Really small. That's not a lot of governing. That would mean the guy who owns the store downstairs from me, and who is the head of the Chamber of Commerce and is basically the unofficial Mayor of The Rock... HE could go on to be Governor of Manhattan, and then Vice President. NOT!
  3. Why doesn't Trig have a bedtime?????
I think Biden did OK, though. His unexpected choking up about his kid seemed genuine... and showed a man has emotion. I liked that. And I thought it odd it wasn't really picked up on...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I Need Reasons To Continue

..."Living Life To the Best of My Ability" and "Taking The High Road".

Cuz as of right this second, neither of those things is working for me. I'm tired. Done. Faithless.

It started... well it's been coming, this questioning, but I hold on. I hold on to life, and to love, and to dreams, and faith that the Light will win.

I'm not a Christian. I don't believe in Heaven or what happens after I'm gone. But I believe in "Do Right because it's right to do right" and I believe that what you put out, you get back. I do believe that God rewards the righteous. Be kind to nature and animals because we are all part of the same system. Not Karma per se... or maybe that is Karma. Who the fuck knows. But I don't see it working. So maybe I don't really believe after all. Or maybe I'm still not doing it right. But I don't see how I can give any more, what else should I be doing? Or how 'bout I just plain ol' want my turn NOW? Dammit. I'm tired of waiting.

I had a dream once... a dream that I was leading a bunch of people out of hell. We were all scared... but they were following me, trusting me to get them out and I was scared. We hid behind a bush and watched fire and creatures running amok on a stage of some sort, but I knew it was my job to get us out, and I knew that I would. And I've carried that dream with me these past few years, but I wonder sometimes why me? Why bother? And how narcissistic of me to think I have that responsibility in the first place? (Fluffernutter just texted me--cuz I asked him for cheer--that we are artists so we can see and do and see life how we want to live it. I thanked him... but the fucking problem with that is that I don't think anybody else sees the value.)

In the larger picture, I watch this political process brewing, watch someone small and unknown come out of the dark talking about "Hope" and "Change"... and watch the media and the people of this country mock the idea, tear it down and stomp on it like it's some kind of a joke, and then turn it around and appropriate it like it was their mantra to being with... change it into the same old shit.

In my "every day"... I try to hold on to the fundamental belief that living well is the best revenge, that walking in the Light and taking the high road will at least give me peace.

And people tell me "but you're beautiful" and "you're smart" and "you're talented" and "you'll be OK". But motherfucker, I AM NOT OK.

I AM TIRED.

I AM SCARED.

I AM BROKE.

And the best part is, I am alone. Me and the kid. Yeah, family. Yeah friends. And, yes, God too. I know He's there. This is all true. Good family and good friends and God (and not always in that order) but at the end of the day when the lights go out it's still me and the kid. Me in the dark.

I got up this morning feeling shitty; I thought I'd escaped the cold the Sun had last week. My head was all foggy. And then of course I feel bad because I made him go to school feeling that way, made him go to karate feeling that way. And I would have skipped out on sewing batten pockets for sails except a.) I told them I'd be there today and b.) this week's unemployment was my last (and $100 less than it has been) so I don't really have a choice. I figure I have to work 28 hours a week to at least bring home what I was getting from unemployment. And THAT wasn't even enough (but according to Food Stamps it's still over the income limit for a family of two in New York City, so I don't qualify for Food Stamps. Con Ed be damned. $1200 rent be damned. The rules are the rules). The problem with that is that it's 28 hours of time away from what I WANT to do, can't make any phone calls, can't network, can't look for other options. Take my break when the bell rings. Punch a time clock.

So then I second guess myself: have I been wasting time? I fucked up August, I guess, but I don't think it could be helped. In August I managed to get myself out of bed everyday and that was a major fucking accomplishment.

There's things to glean from sewing batten pockets; I'm learning how to handle an industrial sewing machine. It's kinda cool actually. It's a challenge to learn how to control all that power with only your foot. To remember all the details that go into cutting and sewing the thing. I saw the pocket on an actual sail the other day, and it's kind of cool to know that this 30" or 42" pocket contributes an awful lot to keeping a sail up. I know that this skill, like every other skill I've learned, may not have much to do with a lot of other things directly, but in some indirect way will prove useful at some other point in my life. Although I can't really say that my knowing how to figure out the cost per second of a television commercial does me any good now, and 15 years ago it mattered a lot to me. But I still know what it means... can understand how that cost translates to the corruption of our society. There's an awful lot of money in knowing the cost per second of commercial.

But that, and batten pockets aren't really helping me now.

Halfway through the morning I got an email from the hospital that one of my checks was ready. Finally. But then I got another phone call from the actual client, telling me she had the check. And that she wanted a CD of the work I did for them. What she didn't tell me, until I was actually in front of the hospital about to go up and get the check was that if I didn't give the CD, I wasn't going to get the check. "Nothing personal". What I said was, so in essence you're telling me I'm a.) not getting this job again next year b.) you think that FUCKING LITTLE of all the fucking work I did that you think you can do this by yourself? ("we have someone who knows Quark") and c.) it's not personal??? Fuck you. I delivered on time. I gave you what you asked for. I did a shitload of work for below market rate, and this is what I get? The preliminary files and comps were never part of the contract, so fuck it. They won't get that. But still.

I was in front of the hospital, the Sun and Moon behind me, and I cried. I'm so fucking tired of crying.

And this was from the client I DO like; that other motherfucker still hasn't paid the last two invoices I sent, and pretty much told me he's paying me to do what HE wants... and it's the crappiest crap I've ever done. I won't even show it. Anywhere. Ever.

I went and got my eyebrows done cuz it makes me feel good and fuck it, some people smoke. Some people drink. And tomorrow I'm getting my hair done.

My favorite girl in eyebrow salon was telling me how if McCain wins, she told her mom she's seriously considering going home to her country because they'll be no point in her staying here. She can't afford college. Business has dropped off (because only idiots like me continue to get their eyebrows done in a recession, but I can't afford Prozac, not even on Medicaid) and the landlord is raising her rent for the second time in a year.

I bring the boys home and start cooking. I spent like $60 at the grocery store on the Rock the other day cuz I had no choice; we had no food in the house. I hate shopping out here cuz things are ever so slightly overpriced but what can you do. (Oh, and I spent $81 on a monthly Metrocard today, even though I debated it seriously... but to to keep refilling my "pay as you go" card ends up costing more since Mass Transit is my only option.) I wanted the boys to do homework. They did the math without a fight, but my kid starts screaming and flinging things when I told him his one sentence (sloppy) didn't constitute his two 15-minute free-writing sessions. His latest thing is he hates me, (I told him "You have other options") "You're the worst mother ever" and my personal favorite "I don't care". "But I do" I told him. This is usually followed by "I'm NOT DOING IT and YOU CANT MAKE ME" which of course I can... but who has that fucking kind of time or energy?

Not me.

So I took away his DS for a week. It ended up being 7 because everytime he said something smart or threw something I added another week.

This is where I wish I weren't doing this by myself. And this is where someone will tell me "Oh but chances are you would be doing it by yourself even if you HAD a partner" which personally I think is bullshit, but whatever.

The point is, I'm fucking tired already and this is only the beginning.

And then on top of all this crap is still feeling emotional and unhappy about other shit that's just so not even worth talking about anymore because it's beating a dead horse. And yet... yet I still hope, still want things to work out differently. Still know what I felt but whatever.

Because the special and the extraordinary are a once-in-a-lifetime thing if you're lucky, and there's no guarantee it'll even happen for you. Like getting hit by lightening. And I guess I already had my flash.

Goldie Taylor wrote a beautiful essay called "A Woman's Worth" that's being passed around the Internet. I read it a few weeks back and kept saying "Hey, that's me, I can relate", except for me it still hasn't gotten better. I can relate to putting my kid first... to suffering economically and/or taking jobs beneath my abilities so that I can be there for him. I want to pick him up from school. I want to take him to violin, and to karate, because I believe those things are good for him. I shelled out $80 bucks yesterday to the Senseis (who are also struggling... they now have no house phone for the dojo, the summer attendance dropped by half once school started and they are a month behind in the rent. BigSensei is snappy and not sleeping, and LittleSensei is still wondering how he can balance his family, a full time job and the school) because I am loyal to them. I am loyal to LittleSensei, my Nene and my friend, because he has always been straight up. But also, the brothers are good for my kid.

But it's $80 I don't really have... and then I have to shell out money to get there. And fight my kid to get him there, though once he's there he's OK with being there. But I give them the $80, the brothers, because they train me for free, because they support me in my efforts to make my kid a man. We're all in this together right? But I wonder in the end, what is it all worth? Do I earn brownie points for this?

SD paid for the Sun's violin lessons... but I have to fight to get the kid there. Though once he's there he's OK with being there. The theory is he'll get some kind of music scholarship (not necessarily violin) and go to Berkley, where he can live with his dad and let his father deal with the sex and the girls. But I wonder in the end, is the plan a good one? Is it worth it? Do I earn brownie points for this? When I have to fight him on practice, worry about his time... his sleep?

And I do all that because he's my kid... my responsibility, my job. My job to make him a better man, the best man he can be but in the end, in a world that doesn't give a shit about integrity and is OK with mediocrity, will it matter? Will he matter? Or will he feel like me... fucking cursed, trod upon, holding up the wall for no good reason. Because it's right to do so.

Me being available to my kid like this is costing me... 4 months behind in the rent, student loan debt that doubles every time I look at it, assholes that don't care that I put my heart and soul into everything I do. Is it worth it?

But what if I succumb... give in, take the shortcuts. Would I feel any better?

And the fucked up part is... I couldn't even if I tried. My heart won't let me. Just like my heart never lets me give up on love or roll over for assholes or play dead or walk in the Darkness, no matter how badly I want to...

Fuck Me.

And now I'm gonna go watch a snappy, condescending mediocre Governor earn media points cuz she knows how to be snappy and condescending. Cuz America loves fireworks. Doesn't matter if there's no real substance behind it...

Keepin' It Movin'

602nd post...

I used to write everyday. But lately everyday I pretty much have the same things to say... and don't much feel like repeating myself.

The kids were off Tuesday and Wednesday for Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year. For various reasons, it's not our Jewish New Year, but every year I wonder about converting...

We all needed the break though. Somehow it's been rough getting back into the school swing. The kid cuz he's in 4th grade now and he has to work, me well, cuz.

On Tuesday we went to karate, and it's much easier to get to Yonkers from Manhattan than it is to get to Yonkers from the Rock, so we got there a little late. We missed half of the class in the Sun's age group, and with whom I usually work out. So we took the teenage class instead. In addition to being harder, it's also a half-hour longer, but it was OK. The Sun and I both managed to maintain.

I hurt today, though.

On Wednesday, today for me still since I haven't been to bed, I cleaned out my closet. Well, the first of two closets. I actually have empty space in it. It's a really big deal to me, because
  1. it's a goal I set for myself and actually accomplished it
  2. I got rid of a lot of ill-fitting/not-my-style-ever/anymore/too big/bad memories stuff
  3. I got rid of the few really cheap suits I had (I HATE cheap suits)
  4. there's space to actually have someone hang stuff in there.
Now, I'm not sure with whom or when #5 will apply, but hey.

The FatLady and Lilac Blue and Ladybug, Sugar and Spice came up which was nice. Their company made the task go by much faster, and the girls entertained the boys who were seriously beginning to work my nerves by then.

My kid in particular is approaching hormonal hell. He's always been a little snippy, but lately the mouth has been shooting off. And then there's the flouncing and flinging of things, which gives me flashbacks to his father. So we WILL be nipping THAT shit in the bud. In fact, I had to reach out and slap him, lightly, cuz in addition to the attitude and the shouting, he was flinging things. Not cool.

But it's late and I'm fighting a cold and I'm tired... so I'll post more later. But I'm excited about my closet...