Sunday, June 24, 2012


I’ve realized I haven’t put up a post like this in a while.  Maybe things finally calmed down enough in my life.  Maybe I’ve been too focused on more serious aspects.  Maybe a lot of things.  But this is one of those posts I originally envisioned for this blog.  Random stuff that leaves you scratching your head thinking, “how did that just happen?” whether good or bad.  And the last couple of weeks, I’ve had my fill.

Father’s Day

My stepfather is a great guy.  No, not perfect, but a genuinely kind and generous individual.  He may not have always known what to do with a little girl in tow.  He was more accustomed to baseball than Barbie.  …but then again…  so was I.  And if anything, that may have only made him all the more confused and uncomfortable.  Things have not always run smoothly between he and I.  In fact, there were moments that our relationship had bumps a Zamboni couldn’t iron out.  Like when my mother told me that he was angry with me for going to live with my grandparents for a while, “abandoning” the family after the car accident.  That he helped raise his siblings after his father died during his teens, and he expected me to do the same.  It took a couple of years before I wised up enough to realize my stepfather NEVER would have wished that responsibility on anyone, let alone his daughter.  In reality it was mother saying this, while pretending to be a ventriloquist.  I was not as wise then as I am now.

So, my dad?  Very friendly, patient man.  My mom?  Not so much.  And it takes a GREAT deal of energy for me to tolerate her.  I rarely make any kind of in-person appearances anymore, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I can’t do it by myself sometimes.  So this father’s day, when my phone rang begging me to join the “family gathering,” I enlisted the help of a friend to accompany me to help keep me…  let’s just say “even-tempered.”  My mom tends to be better behaved when there’s a new face in the room, and distracted from saying or doing other things that tend to annoy us all.

This I knew would be the best gift I could give to my dad for Father’s Day.  This, is why I know he likes the rare occasions when I visit.  I serve as a distraction for my mother, so he isn’t hounded by her CONSTANT nagging and demands.  This, was possibly the only reason I mustered the strength to make an appearance at all.  For his sake.  It was Father’s Day after all.

My friend Nando would be entering, what I’ve likely given him the impression of as ground zero, for the first time.  Not many of my friends are allowed to meet my family anymore.  And often enough, those who do, are usually only introduced so that they may have a better understanding of things I’ve described from my childhood.  And thus the adventures ensued.  Actually, the day went rather well.  Rather strange, and tense at moments while Nando is a teacher, and my mother supports Walker.  …she also says she supports unions, which should illustrate plenty without me having to spell it out for you.  But the piece-de-resistance of the evening was when my dad put the food on the table, and we all started to dig in to the bounty of grilled meats.  (I never fully understood why I grew up to be such a carnivore until sitting down to this food and realizing an odd disappointment that there were no side dishes.  Just brats, chicken, hotdogs, and sausages.  I had not only grown to appreciate veggies in the last decade, but also miss their presence?)  Anyhow, back to dinner conversation, a smattering of polite compliments towards my dad’s grilling expertise issued around the table.  And moments later out of nowhere.

“Remember that Mother’s Day when I packed up the boys, and left you behind?”  My mother blurted out.

I couldn’t do much more than stop chewing for a second.  Give a short, “Yup.”  And hope to the Gods that she drop it.  But I felt that old inspiration for a nervous tic to develop.  You know, that cinematic eye twitch that allows an audience to grasp a character’s utter befuddlement.  REALLY?  You want to bring up my abandonment issues in front of the entire dinner table, including a friend of mine you never met before, and your visiting stepson that has NO knowledge of this history?  ON Father’s Day, you want to talk about how you left your husband on a Mother’s Day?  And abandoned me in the driveway when I asked where you were going?

“I shouldn’t have done that, I guess.”  My mother continued, completely oblivious to her own impropriety.  “I probably should have taken you with me.  But you wouldn’t have come anyway.”

Um, NO.  You shouldn’t have left your husband on Mother’s Day, period, is what you shouldn’t have done.  *Nervous eye twitch…  “Great brats dad…”  Though I wanted to follow that with, “do you have any alcohol in the house?”  But thankfully she dropped it from there.

A Day For Me.

I’ve been working on the text book for the professor, as well the illustrations for it, (as I have officially landed the contract now.  I LOVE what I’m doing.  Setting my own hours.  Working from home.  ….working from home.  ….hrmm…

There is some good and bad to be said about this.  The good is: No gas spent.  Make my own hours.  No one looking over my shoulder.  Take breaks whenever I need.  And the best of all, I can work in my underwear if I so feel the urge.  And don’t think I haven’t from time to time.  The downside…  I may not leave my apartment for days on end.  My whole world tends to be restricted to white walls and brown carpet.  Add a little stress over finances to this equation, and I get overwhelmed and need to bust out.

So, I called up that same friend mentioned from earlier, Nando, to see if a movie was possible, and the whirlwind of adventure to follow was amazing!

First it was to a quick bite to eat before seeing a movie.  This was uneventful, at best.  It was kinda crappy food, and overpriced as such, in my opinion.  But between this and the theater, I made a motion for getting some candy at the store.  We had some time to kill, and so sue me, I don’t have the cash to buy all my concessions at the theater.  (I do buy my beverage there.  I know they make the most profit from soda sales.)  Stopping at the local Walmart was where the real adventure began.  Pulling into our space, we noticed several tents and trucks set up in front of the store.  There was also a large fireworks tent at the front of the parking lot, so realizing this had to be something different, our curiosities peaked.  Then I saw one last addition. 


That’s right.  Spider-man.

A promotional stunt coupled between Walmart and Sony for a big push on both the movie about to release this summer, and the new video game that will release as well.  The video game, I had low expectations for when first learning of it.  Despite the fact that Bruce Campbell does a great deal of voice acting for the game.  …Let’s face it, the last few Marvel Comics based video games haven’t been,  “super” (pardon the pun.)  We approached the tents inquisitively, and were met with extreme welcome.  Rice Krispie Treats, Cheese Nips, Little topple guys…  There was SO much free stuff, and it was all shoved at us saying, “Please take more, we have truckloads of this stuff we need to get rid of.”  And yet somehow all I could bring myself to take was a couple of Rice Krispie Treats.  And then I hear, “Also there’s a couple of game consoles over there, if you’re gamers.  If you can beat the demo, you can win the Spiderman Mask that’s on the table.”

Challenge accepted.

Mission Accomplished!

I love this mask!  …okay, so I’m a big kid.  But whatever.  If you really want to make fun of me for it I will make it easier on you and confess that I was coincidentally wearing my Spiderman underwear that day too.

I remember once upon a time having a conversation with a friend where I confessed that I didn’t feel like I was as geeky as everyone thought.  I wasn’t afraid of being thought of as a geek.  To the contrary I feel that’s an honorable position in society.  Quite the opposite, I felt like a poser.  Like people were going to catch on that I didn’t know nearly as much about comics and things as they suspected I did.  My friend just blinked at me and responded somewhere along the lines of, “Nnnnnooo….  I don’t think so.  You’re pretty GD geeky.”  It still took me a year or two to trust I could hold my own around other geek circles though.  Problem is, whether you acknowledge it or not, geek circles can be DAMN territorial.  As if always guarded against infiltrators.  They will test you, throwing out random bits of trivia, seeing if you can keep up.  Are you truly one of them?  Or are you actually one of the jocks that used to pick on them in high school?  Or are you the dumb girl, that can tell you the name of every boy band member, but who’s favorite comic book character is “x-man.”  And if you don’t know what a D-20 is, chances are, you’ll be run out of the shop, chased down by replica Lord of the Rings swords.  *Mint in box!

And that last paragraph?  Had so many geeky references in it, I dare you to find them all.  ; )  But don’t worry, I won’t chase you off if you didn’t catch it all.

Off to BRAVE the movie theater.

Pixar’s name shouldn’t have been put on this film.  We all know that certain flair that Pixar has to its storytelling.  It is the original voice, when we no longer thought original voices were possibly left.  We also know the feel of Disney’s storytelling.  I’m not saying one is better than the other.  Just different.  Personally I appreciate both styles respectively.  Perhaps it’s because Pixar has never really gone with a “princess” storyline before.  This is obviously much more a Disney trait.  This is also what makes me laugh a little because Disney worked SOOOO hard on getting its hands on names like Pixar and Marvel with the intentions of “butching up” its image.  It needed to better grab the male demographic and all those dollars they carry along with it.  …And then it does THIS?  Fems up the pixar aspect?

Now yes, the character Merida, is a strong independent type of typical ideal female role model.  Who as a result of which becomes a whiney brat.  Until lessons are learned and blah blah….  I’m not going to give a full review.  Because on the whole, I really did enjoy the film.  It had a good deal of humor.  Billy Connolly was hilarious.  The triplet brothers were fantastic comic relief.  But there just wasn’t much… originality.  No memorable lines to take away.  Chances are if I say, “Fish are friends, not food” or “Shark Bait! Hoo-rah-rah!” you know that’s Finding Nemo.  Or “Hi, my name is Dug, I just met you, and I love you.  SQUIRREL!” you’re ready to jump out of your seat and answer, “UP!”  And of course who could forget… “The cla-a-a-a-a-aw!  OOOOoooooooooh!”  So on the whole, it was a good movie.  And there were parts at which I was bouncing in my seat for the excitement of it.  The 3-D was expertly executed and the adventure was on par.  My only recommendation is, go in expecting Disney, not Pixar.

On To Conquer Lands

After the movie, it was time to head off to the comic book store with Nando to play a round of Game Of Thrones.  I haven’t gotten much chance at playing many games like this.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE them.  But the problem is this.  Either I end up playing with a group where the guys can’t play so much as hit on me.  (*Gasp!  Here we get rare footage of the mythed female geek, entering the herd of gamers!—Next on National Geographic!)  …Actually one of our conversations during the game DID go something to this effect.  But, no…  I don’t like playing in a group where it’s implied I’M the prize.  Playing with girls is fun…  But I don’t have any female friends in this area that like to play.  …Not enough, by far, anyway.  And every other opportunity I’ve had to play…  well, that’s usually been with guys I actually WAS dating, and it was dictated as “Boys Night.”  …No girls allowed.  ….*really?

I suppose this pisses me off more than I’ve ever let on.  I mean, I COMPLETELY understand the guys needing to be guys and have a night away from the “women” folk.  …but can’t there be the occasional game set up where everyone is welcome, in addition to “boys night?”  Must I be excluded from ALL games? Either being a female means I’m welcomed in overenthusiastically, or banished to the outlands.  I suppose the reason it really gets under my skin is because the message I’ve been sent with this hot cold reception I have personally experienced is, “female gamers are more than welcome, but only if we all have a chance at sleeping with you.” ….I guess in the end, it just shows how much those former romantic interests to exclude me from the activities I love were beneath my efforts. 

So, this is why I like this group of gamers.  This is why I like hanging out with Nando.  It has become a rare thing indeed for me to find a male friend that includes me in the geeky activities I adore without doing so just in attempts to try and date me.  In fact, Nando is the only one that doesn’t give ANY kind of pressure towards the “romantic” and just lets me be me.  And don’t get me wrong, because I admire any time a person works up the courage to show someone they may care for more than friendship to ANYONE…  But chances are, and I know this is hypocritical but, if I didn’t give you some clue that I’d be interested back?  You likely just threw our entire friendship out the window.  NOPE, sorry.  Can’t go anywhere with you anymore without me panicking that you’re trying to date me without officially dating me.  I refuse to give false hope a chance to grow.  But I refuse to rant anymore on that front.  I’ll save that for my next post, when I decide to rant about some of the wholly inappropriate communications recently delved out to me.

For now, I will just cap this post off with my pitiful notion of possibly entertaining the idea of hosting a game night once a week.  Of course this will dictate that I will have to break my rule of how many people will be allowed to know where I currently reside.  …Not sure if I’m ready for that and it will take some meditation.  But as the comic shop I’ve been enjoying is closing, something must be done.  Best I can say for now is…  we’ll see?

Monday, June 11, 2012


I’ve been trying to write an installment to my blog for a while.  But I keep ending up with yet another blank page before me.  It’s odd, because A LOT has happened in my life recently, and yet I can’t seem to write any of it down.  My instincts are, as usual to wax philosophical about romance and love, but when I begin to give in to those urges this installment seems to want to turn to wax pedantic  …and then wax profane.  : /

Then I hit the backspace, and stare once more at the blank page.

So, let’s skip all that and just focus on some of the "positive," shall we?  Maybe we’ll circle back around to the relationship bits someday, and how I’m still in love with someone from my distant past who, honestly doesn’t even exist anymore.  A short summary would be my new and difficult resolution to look forward to romance, (not backwards.)  But for now, I just can’t handle putting pronouns and adjectives much further than that to what it is I want to express.    And I am determined to move on.  …always moving on.  Right.  Let’s, shall we?


Or three.  It’s kinda funny, but, I was REALLY looking forward to May.  I was getting all geared up for it thinking, THIS TIME I’m going to be ready!  THIS TIME I’ll embrace the good things and not worry about the world crashing around my ears.  …And then, nothing.  I got to May, and my new place, and nothing really changed.  And we’ll get to the other bits in the next section, but here we’re talking about work.

So, forgive me for saying so but, I don’t WANT to go back to work.  I mean, I’m not lazy.  I’m not.  I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty.  But doing the heavy-lifting awful-hours type of jobs I’ve always had?  Give me a break.  You wouldn’t want to go back either.  I’ve done these jobs my whole life thus far, and put plain and simple… They wear me out.  Body and soul.  Especially soul.  If I had to describe how I feel about some of the things I’ve had to do day in and day out in the past, it honestly wouldn’t be that far of a stretch to say: it’s like being forced to club puppies to death eight hours a day—just a little more of me died inside with each swing of the… clock's pendulum.  A gory analogy, I know, but effective.

So, when I started applying around town I couldn’t bring myself to feel much enthusiasm for ANY of it.  And most places I was applying weren’t hiring currently, but promised to “keep me on file.”  Yeah.  Remind me to hold my breath.  But I did have one resource I’ve never had before.  The university’s job placement website for alumni and students.  And once I figured out how to use the damn thing…  I got call after call.  THREE of which looked extremely promising and THREE of which I was excited for.

The First Job: was an assistant to a professor.  I thought originally that the job was doing not much more than data entry and making rubrics.  No big deal right?  And not something I was leaping for joy over, but excited in a different way, yes.  I mean…  How good will it look on future applications, especially within the school system, if I can land this?  So I kept fingers crossed, and after some communication was assigned a time for an interview.  And at said interview I was told that she had scheduled three other interviews that day and saved me last for a reason.  “On paper,” she said, “you’re exactly what I’m looking for.”  She said she could see my talent for writing, even in the short emails we sent to each other, and THAT’S what she needs.  I was scratching my head.  Again, I thought this was a data entry position.

It turns out that the professor is writing a book.  A series of health related plays/skits for youngsters.  She needs someone to help organize, do a little copy editing kind of work, and so on.  I also get to play a bunch of educational video games and enter descriptions and hyperlinks for each.  And since then the job has evolved.  I’m now writing the prologue to the book and may have some graphic artist work coming my way associated with it as well.  Now how good is THAT going to look on a resume!!!!  My first real writing job!  My excitement level went through the roof!

The Second Job:  Was for a small business downtown.  I have friends that used to sing its praises once upon a time.  A little coffee shop that they said felt like home.  And when I got my interview I could understand why.  It is a LOVELY little establishment.  Art on the walls, and just plain friendly nature.  The job was for prepping and decorating donuts and pastries.  An early morning thing.  …I’m not a morning person, but I know I’m good at this, need the money, and doing this for a small business will be MUCH more rewarding than for a conglomerate tyrant like Walmart.  So, I kept the interview.  The writing job is on a contract basis where I make my own hours and have 100 hours to distribute however I see fit through the summer.  I can do both with ease!  …but when I got to my interview, I found out that they had hired someone the day before I sent my email.  (And they said they were kicking themselves for it.)  Again, I was told that on paper I’m perfect.

This is two days in a row I’ve been told this.  What the hell happened?  How did I go from being told by Walmart everyday that I’m “replaceable” to this “rock star” status!?  They looked over my portfolio and they DEFFINITELY want me!  …So, it isn’t much for hours.  Just one day a week actually.  But it’s all I need.  And I can’t wait to learn all there is to learn under this FANTASTIC decorator I will be working under.  Between the writing and the cake decorating, I should have enough to get by for the summer.

The Third Job:  Isn’t until Fall.  And I’m very hopeful for it as well.  I don’t see getting turned down for it.  It’s a tutoring position through the school.  One on One tutoring.  Which I have experience in, going back to the fifth grade, as well as helping my brothers with their home schooling, and teaching private art lessons in homes.  Like I said, I’m hopeful.

So that’s that.  What May failed to bring, June saw through.  On the career front at least.  And that’s enough for the moment.


I’ve been living a bit of the noir life lately.  Or that’s the way of my brain finding some levity to the situation.  A closet full of fedoras, a fridge with little else in it but booze, a dying plant on the kitchen table, and stacks of papers in the living room.  (Okay so the bottles of booze are really old because of how LITTLE I drink, and the stacks are notebooks that I’ve been hard at work writing my novels, but still effective to my illustration.)  I have an empty apartment.  No friends.  No family.  No pets.  …and I’m oddly okay with it.  My friend Nando comes over to hang now and then, and that’s cool.  But other than that, I’m quite alright with being by myself now.  Wasn’t what I was expecting…  but oddly okay with it.  I just wish I had cable for some background noise.  Silence can drive you a little nutty at times.  Especially when you can hear every whisper uttered in the parking lot.  (I’m looking at you, neighbors.)  *eye narrowing.  No seriously, don’t air your personal business out in the parking lot.  I don’t want to hear the drunk ramblings anymore.  > : (

In the last couple of months I think I’ve figured out some of the balance to friends.  And I’ve not reversed my position from the Ohio trip.  Sorry.  That SOOO proved to me that I can’t deal with people in copious masses (especially if they’re taking themselves WAY too seriously.)  It was a bad trip, and that’s the end of it.  But in the last couple of weeks, I’ve also had a good trip.  …Well, as good as it gets under the circumstances.  (Honestly, people in my life need to stop having bad luck and start having good health.)  But it was a road trip with friends to see other friends, and it was a good time catching up and recalling old times.  And in my time there, I realized something strange.

They say children and animals will speak truths.  And I believe “they.”

Once upon a time, I recall going to a coffee house, and a little girl, barely walking age, stumbled past my table.  The mother called out to her several times to come back, but she turned around, looked at her mother, looked at me, and then staggered to my leg and looked to her mother as if to say, “Nah, I’m good.”  Or the time, while walking past a service counter at work, a child in a cart behind her mother reached out to me wanting me to pick her up as I passed.  Random fun little encounters with children and animals that they seemed to want to be near me.  …That changed in my rather bitter past year or so.  That didn’t happen anymore.  Not only did children no longer seem drawn to me, but they actually seemed to not like me much when forced to be.  I couldn’t blame them.  Like I said, I didn’t really want anyone getting close to me, and children are going to pick up on that energy more easily than adults.

But on this trip, something seemed a bit more back to my variation of “normal.”  I had a day with a couple of “little” ones.  One, a baby, not yet walking, who decided that falling asleep in my arms was as comfy a place as any.  Another… maybe eight now, who used to cuddle up with me back when he was merely a toddler, (but doesn’t remember me,) decided that sitting practically on my lap to play computer games with me was a good use of his time.  Not to mention the two new kittens to the household, one of which claimed my knee as its ideal spot for rest nearly any time I sat down.

So…  It’s a positive side I suppose.  I may not have many people in my life anymore.  I may not be trying to fix that necessarily, and am just enjoying the peace and quiet.  But at least I’m not pushing people away either.  It’s a small and strange improvement arriving at the balance I think I need for now.

NOW HERE I AM, staring at the rest of this blank page.  A million words wanting to continue to spill forth.  But as I said at the beginning…  Just can’t do it right now.  Maybe sometime soon.  For now, I suppose this is as good a place as any to end this post.  Happy summer, everyone.  See you soon.