Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Setting Fire to Our Insides for Fun

While mindlessly inter-webbing a cute co-worker of mine, I decided to Google myself, just to see who else is out there like me...or not like me but with my name. Under images I found a picture of myself and was horrified. I clicked on it to see where it liked and found it was part of my friends blog who referenced mine. It was liked to my actual previous post "100 Reasons Not To Be In a Relationship." I re-read my previously scorned reasons and laughed. The cycle, the pure cyclical nature of this things we call life. I was bummed out, jaded and needed to feel it was okay to be single. Then low-and-behold, I met the next love of my life (referenced in the previous post entitled "A Contradictory New Year." 

In recap, I didn't want a relationship. In fact, I did everything I could think of to stop it. However, he fell into my life and made me do it. I fell in love and I told him. We had a great year, I admit. Full of summer pool parties and winter drives where we thought we might die. We frequented blockbuster, even making friends with the clerk. We had our favorite restaurants like the Chinese place by his house "Red Ruby," Texas Roadhouse, and Pizza Hut. I have yet to go back to any of these. I met his daughter and fell in love with her as well. That year, something in me changed. I no longer wanted to run to another country and find what it was that I was looking for--I had found it. Right here, in the suburbs of Detroit. The man I was going to build my life with. The man with whom I was going to work extra hard to make enough money to support us and his daughter. I even pretended to care about sports for him. And, for once in my life, I not only was able to sleep alongside someone, but wanted to. I longed to have his arms around me every night and to feel his breath on my neck. It was love, a grown-up love I had never felt before. We had built something, something out of nothing in this dreary, quiet town. And I couldn't wait to explore it. He held my hand and I let him and he would let me kiss his forehead whenever I wanted. I bonded with his roommate and his friends and we barbequed in his driveway. I felt comfortable with his sisters and brother and actually wanted to visit his parents. I wanted to be a part of their life, too. I wanted to prove everybody wrong and show them that I was capable of loving someone, of being apart of something bigger than myself. And we made it work, and it was lovely and he smelt like home.

In March Mike grew distant and I didn't know why. He stopped sending his normal "Good Morning love" texts and hardly spoke to me. It became like pulling teeth to see him. At the end, I was only seeing him once a week, where I usually would stay at his place for days. We were moving backward and I couldn't understand why. So I did what every normal girl would do (which I hated) I clung with everything I had to what I felt like I was losing. However, it felt as though I was grasping at nothing but air. He hardly looked at me and we fought all the time. I remember then looking back at the beginning thinking how we had never fought, ever. We were too reasonable for that. However, in the subsequent months our relationship was reduced to him asking to give him space, him ignoring me completely and me finally blowing up, drunk, crying and yelling, perched in the bed of his truck so he wouldn't leave. Not my finest moment, but I knew what I wanted and I was keeping it. However, it got to the point where I was miserable every day. I woke up with my heart heavy and the nauseous feeling that someone was dying. Either me or him, it felt like. What was worse was that all I could think about was the fact that I never wanted this, he made me do it. He made me love him so that he could leave me and I would once again feel the crushing weight of the world on my heart and soul. The day I had enough I went over to his house to break up with him. He was crying and I was numb but then I started crying. He held me and asked me to stay, to try. It was a wonderful night, one I probably will never forget. I left him while he slept but was hopeful for tomorrow. The next day I didn't hear from him all day. That night he sent me a lengthy text message explaining he needed to figure out something and couldn't do it with me there. He needed space and asked for me to wait for him. I knew I couldn't but tried anyway.
The next day I felt... relieved. The war was over. I had lost, but I was still breathing this time. It in no way compared to the devastation I had felt with the last one. 
I picked my head up, threw on make up and went to work. I walked past my boss's office and as he knew what was happening in my relationship I couldn't look at him, for I felt the painful fire of tears strewing in my eyes.
My boss, Ryan, called me to his office later saying "We're going to have a real problem if you do that, walk by without saying hi." He said this with a side-smirk that I would later find endearing. However, once he saw my face and blood-shot eyes his smirk dropped and looked at me with curiosity and sadness. I waved my hand away and ran into the stockroom. I cried for 15 minutes and thought "this will never happen again." I have not cried since and it's been three months. I hardly even let myself think about it... except when I go to write it down.
About two weeks ago now I text one of our mutual friends and asked him if he wouldn't mind getting my Nintendo from Mike's house, the only thing I really wanted back. That night Mike text me and there was no fighting but a civil, heartfelt exchange of what if's and I'm sorry's. He asked me the next day if I could try to work it out, he was better now and ready. Whether this was sincere or not, I will never know, but I said I didn't know how to answer that when really, I just couldn't tell him no. I guess a little part of me will always love him, and a little part of me would like to try again. I miss him. I try not to think about it, but I catch myself seeing things that remind me of him. However, it could never work, I know that now. It is not the life I wanted, and I don't think that I could be happy in a small house living right where I grew up. I need adventure and spontaneity and wonder and curiosity and excitement.  I'm twenty-four and knowing where my life is headed sounds like death to me. 
Anyway, looking at that list today I was reminded, yes, of all the reasons that relationships suck, but more-so and more importantly I was reminded who I was and I want to be her again. Fearless, and not running away from things, but running to them.
While watching Doctor Who the other night the Doctor said this, and I really took to it:
I’m not running away. But this is one corner… of one country, in one continent, on one planet that’s a corner of a galaxy that’s a corner of a universe that is forever growing and shrinking and creating and destroying, and never remaining the same for a single millisecond. And there is so much, so much to see, Amy. Because it goes so fast. I’m not running away from things, I am running to them. Before they flare and fade forever.
And it’s all right. Our lives won’t run the same. They can’t. One day, soon, maybe…you’ll stop. I’ve known for a while. Because you were the first. The first face this face saw. And you were sealed onto my heart. Amelia Pond,  I’m running to you and Rory before you fade from me.
The Doctor, “The Power of Three”
And I can't wait to explore. 
About a month ago, after going over my failed relationship for the thousandth time in my head, I finally realized that we simply weren't meant to last forever, and there was nothing that I could do. We weren't meant to be and it was okay. He was part of a year of my life and he made it beautiful. And now... well now it's time to move on. Get back to who I was and explore and wander around, because not all who wander are lost. 
In that same period of time, I may have developed a crush on someone. And it's fun and it's new and although nothing will develop because it can't, I still get the butterflies when I run into him or hear his voice. I hold to these things, and am glad that they are still possible. Because after that blank-white page slides over your future plans you had built with someone, you need to hold on to what you can, to find the beauty in the world. Because it's still there, just waiting for you. And out of the brisk, fall, air, a new flower of hope sometimes blossoms.

A Contradictory New Year

[This post was actually written on December 30, 2011. It is heart-breaking to read now, but I wanted to post it, to remember. Not to forget and erase these wonderful feelings and memories with the painful reminder that life kicks you in the balls... or womanly parts...right when you finally realize you're happy.]
In a lovely contradictory fashion--because let's admit, I'm all about that-- this post is in complete opposition to the last. 1oo Reasons Not To Be In A Relationship? Great, it really was. Was I jaded, defeated, and feeling alone? Absolutely. Was I justified and realistic in my post? You bet. I admit, I was content in a weird- happy to be sad- kind of way. But something happened this year. Something amazing and scary and altogether life-changing.
After writing a small Facebook status, my brain wouldn't turn off with all of the ideas and theories that I learned this year. Thus, like all aspiring post-modern writers, we must write down our thoughts in a beautiful stream-of-consciousness fashion so that we can feel justified for having these feelings, and feel a little more like Sylvia or T.S..
So, here goes. I apologize in advance for all of the romantic notions and straight-up girliness. I'm completely aware that I've turned into one of those girls I hate. Only, I have semantics and rationality on my side. I hold tight to those.
What I learned this year: It's okay to try again. You are not defined by your past, but how you try to make it right. Life is funny sometimes, and you can't take it too seriously. And as much as we all hate those trite sayings, I believe now that one is true, when you stop looking for it... sometimes God throws something great your way. You just have to find the courage to let yourself have it.
I believed for a long time two things: vulnerability is weakness and that I didn't deserve love because I didn't believe in it. I put little effort or promise into my relationships with people. Since I was a tween I was taught that "People Always Leave." I still feel that way, but that burning hatred for those who left me is now just a tiny flame somewhere lost in the back of my mind, locked in a cupboard. I don't let myself go there, and quite frankly, I've moved on. I can completely say that I am no longer that lost little girl just trying to hold on to something, to feel real and understood.
It took awhile, two whole years in fact, of being on my own to build up this shatter-proof confidence and love of myself. I learned the hard--and slow--way that love is real. How did I finally figure it out, you ask? No, it wasn't from some boy who came to sweep me off my feet, but from a quiet whisper from myself, telling me that I am good enough. That I am worthy of anything and everything. That I am my own person, and I am a unique snowflake. The world often tries to tell you that you aren't, but if I've learned anything these last two years, I know that to be true. No one will ever be able to replace me on this world, and this gives me strength. Thus, I learned to love again. And it's true, once you love yourself, you can love others.
I then found the best group of friends that I could ever ask for. Like clockwork, after my devastating 2009, I started working for JCPenney. There I met the new loves of my life. Sam, Jess, and Dee have become my other family. Although we have our own busy lives, we see each other more at work than I see my own family. They gave me something to look forward to each day and made me feel a part of something when every one else seemed to fade away. They accepted me for who I am, even on my weird or cranky or pessimistic days. They were always there to talk to and offer advice and simply just to hang out with. I have had more fun with them than most of my long term friends, and I know that when we all move on from JCP, they will always have my back. As most of you know, I am notorious for not answering my phone, but for them I always try to make an exception. They make me want to be a better person. I can honestly say that I truly love them.
As I continued to get stronger and build up my own confidence, I concentrated and put effort into the things that I could control. I kicked ass in school and will be student teaching in January with a 3.8. I couldn't be happier.
I also learned this year that it is not healthy to hold on to things that are no longer good for me, but let them go, forgive, and concentrate on the people that love you and the things that you love. I spent far too much energy on one person who--honestly--could give a shit less about me. I still think about him often, but I've found days now, or periods of time where I don't. For the last 8 years I thought about him every day. It's started to fade, and I knew this day would come. I sometimes wish that we hadn't ended it the way we did. It's been two years since I've spoken to him and sometimes I wish I could see how he's doing. As awful as it was, I do hope that he's happy. People do crazy things sometimes, and I can't hold the grudge any longer. A few months ago I forgave him, and then something amazing happened.
At the beginning of the year I started dating again. I figured I might as well get a few free dinners and some entertainment. I had no hope for any of them, and ended most of them after a few weeks. Most of them turned out to be weird or awful, but none of them were really worth holding on to. And then one fateful summer night, I was sitting alone outside on my swing when I got a call from Corrie, a friend from school and Lyceum. We had never been too close, but had hung out a few times at parties. She said she had a friend of Dane's, her boyfriend, for me to meet. She sent me a picture and he was adorable and had a humble smile. At that point, I still had no intention of keeping anything long-term. I had big dreams of moving to various countries--hoping to find happiness there.
I met Mike on a Thursday night at a trivia game in the basement of a bar. Initially I thought he was cute, but as another Aryan, a little too close to he-who-must-not-be-named. I had vowed to only date brunettes, but like most of my intentions, he easily shattered them.
We went through a "non-label" period because I obviously have issues with commitment. I didn't trust him for a majority of our beginning period. I was a wreck but tried to hide it as best as I could. I kept telling myself that this would only last through the summer, and then I could go back to how I was. But like everything else, nothing goes as planned. Without sounding gay, yes, that's the best word I could come up with, he helped me change in the best way possible.
High five to Sara Quintana and I for trying something new this year. I honestly couldn't be happier. =] I hope everyone has a great and safe New Year.

Monday, February 7, 2011

100 Reasons Not To Be In A Relationship

Okay, this is simply for my own purpose and entertainment. The next time a boy asks me, "Give me five good reasons why you won't date me?" I can respond, "Psh, I have 100." Most are aimed towards woman, yet, I'm sure some males can relate.
My goal is to someday get to 1,000. But this will take time, so I will simply post these and continue adding to it. Some of these are crude, so before reading, be warned. Some you may not understand, but I have reasons. Also, I am not cold, heartless, or robotic. I just hate relationships, and I feel that this is okay. It is OKAY, ladies and gents, to be single. You are not defined by the boy on your arm or the ring on your finger. And these are the reasons.
  1. You never have to hold hands.
  2. You definitely don't have to cuddle afterwards.
  3. You may leave at any time after.
  4. You never have to meet their parents.
  5. You don't have to pretend to like their family.
  6. You don't have to go to 500 different family houses on Christmas.
  7. You don't have to spend money on each other.
  8. You can focus on your career without feeling guilty.
  9. You can have your own priorities, excluding them.
  10. You don't have to buy gifts.
  11. You never have to take care of flowers.
  12. You don't have to remember birthdays.
  13. You don't have to remember anniversaries.
  14. You don't have to buy Christmas presents.
  15. You never have to buy any sort of presents.
  16. You never have to buy things in order to make up for something that you forgot or did.
  17. You don't have to pretend to like their taste in music.
  18. You don't have to watch awful movies which they like.
  19. You don't have to pretend to like any type of sport.
  20. You can flirt with random people at bars.
  21. You can make out with random people at bars.
  22. You can "whatever" with random people at bars.
  23. You can have friends with benefits with anyone.
  24. You don't have to keep things at each others houses.
  25. You don't have to split food.
  26. You don't have to call them back afterwards.
  27. You can ignore any phone call.
  28. You can still hang out with your friends.
  29. You don't have to feel bad about hitting on their friends.
  30. You don't have to shave your legs.
  31. You don't have to shave... and that goes for dudes too.
  32. You can stay in on date night.
  33. You can flirt with your friends in front of anyone.
  34. You don't have to get dressed up.
  35. You don't have to wear uncomfortable underwear.
  36. You don't have to spend money on uncomfortable underwear.
  37. You don't have to wear makeup.
  38. You are never "that couple."
  39. You can freely make fun of "that couple"
  40. You never have to act like the perfect guy/girl.
  41. You don't have to hide your flaws.
  42. You don't have to hide your bad habits.
  43. You never have to watch your language.
  44. You can make more money.
  45. You never have to have a fight, you can just leave.
  46. You never have to worry about them cheating on you.
  47. You never have to creep-check their phone.
  48. You never have to creep-check their facebook.
  49. You won't lose any sleep over the state of your relationship.
  50. You never have to have the "where are we headed?" talk.
  51. You never have to have the "what are we?" talk.
  52. Never will you have this awkwardness, "Meet (name), he's my... um, boyfriend?"
  53. You never have to deal with any labels.
  54. You never have to have this conversation, "Hey (woman), are you going to the party tonight?" "Yeah!" "Okay, cool, is (man) coming, too?" "---I don't know, bitch, why don't you go ask him yourself, I am not his keeper."
  55. You can spend all day watching Star Wars or LOTR trilogies and not feel judged.
  56. You can eat immense amounts of food at dinner and not have to worry about what the other will think, and if they can afford to feed you.
  57. You can wear your sweatpants every night.
  58. You can openly pick apart their tiny flaws.
  59. When they ask you, "Do you like my haircut?" you can say "no."
  60. When they ask you "Does this make me look fat?" you can say "yes."
  61. You don't always have to invite them to parties.
  62. You never have to pretend to like their friends.
  63. You don't have to share... anything
  64. You don't have to judge what they put on their hot dogs.
  65. You don't have to judge their shoes.
  66. You don't have to have the awkward morning breath.
  67. You don't have to have the awkward... excuse me while I go put on makeup before you wake up.
  68. You can be independent.
  69. You can learn basic "man-skills" on your own (i.e. fix things around the house, BBQ.)
  70. You can BBQ.
  71. You can be selfish.
  72. You always can choose the movie.
  73. You can always choose the dinner venue.
  74. You can have a never-ending string of the beloved "first week."
  75. You don't have to ever be disappointed, you just leave.
  76. You never have to watch what you say in case you hurt their feelings
  77. You can spend more time with your friends.
  78. You can spend more time with your family.
  79. You can have the whole bed to yourself.
  80. You don't have to kiss them goodbye.
  81. You don't have to put up with the crazies.
  82. You don't have to put up with the man-swings.
  83. You don't have to put up with the illogical fighting.
  84. You never have to have the conversation, "Why do you like me?"
  85. You don't have to pretend to like ESPN.
  86. You don't have to settle.
  87. You never have compromise.
  88. You don't have to worry if they're a cat/dog person.
  89. You don't have to go to family weddings.
  90. You don't have to go to family functions.
  91. You don't have to be their chauffer.
  92. You don't have be the 3 a.m. call reassuring them that everything is okay.
  93. You don't have to have intellectual battles.
  94. You never have to have cleaning wars.
  95. You never have to have the "toilet seat down" issue.
  96. You can finish an entire movie without being "interrupted."
  97. You can hog all of the blankets.
  98. You never have to have the awful conversation about religion.
  99. You never have to have the "I want kids" talk.
  100. You can watch a movie without spooning.
  101. You never have to worry about where the arm goes.
  102. You don't have to worry if they snore.
  103. You can arbitrarily change sleeping positions without bother.
  104. You never have to do the honorable things and take the bullet.
  105. You never have to pass colds.
  106. You never have the argument, pizza or chinese.
  107. You never have to make the 12 a.m. trip for cough syrup.
  108. You never have to make the infamous, pro/con list.
  109. You never have to worry about falling in love with someone else.
  110. You don't have to care about how their day went.
  111. You don't have to act interested...ever.
  112. You never have to worry about physical abuse.
  113. You never have to worry about emotional abuse.
  114. You never have to battle over video games. For any reason. Yes, I know how to play, stop instructing me how.
  115. If you see a shawty, you don't have to ignore him.
  116. You never have to come up with reasons why you don't want a relationship.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Is love a tender thing?

Since Beowulf days, where the stories that were told were finally put to paper, there has been just a few topics that have stood the test of time. War, Power, Currency, and the epic one... Love.
This word is known throughout the entire world, whether it be: حُب, 喜爱, láska, kærlighed, liefde, armastus, rakkaus, amour, die Liebe, αγάπη, szeretet, ást, sayang, amore, 愛, 애정, mīlestība, meilė, kjærlighet, zamiłowanie, amor, dragoste, любовь, láska, ljubezen, amor, kärlek, aşk, or simply love. That's right, 28 eight languages, and 28 different words that mean that very same indefinable entity that rules our lives, almost 7 billion people.
Have you tried it lately? To define it? Ask yourself, what is love? It's a feeling right? How does it make you feel? Sit back right now and come up with some adjectives. Warm, comforting, invigorating, healing... But nothing quite fits does it? Don't worry, you're not the only one.
For centuries, poets have been trying to define this very thing. Today, song writers haven't developed a new topic yet, either. I just searched "love" on my itunes and found 115 results with the world love in the title. Yet, the most accurate description that I've ever found is Shakespeare's Sonnet 116:
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

This is what I think love is. This is one of his definition poems, and I feel that he hits it head on. Yet, I do have to say, that this is simply a poem based upon what love does and withstands, not what it is. Not the very supernatural or metaphysical existence of itself. To be honest, I have no words to define it. It does not exist in my head and although I did feel that burn in my chest every now and then, I don't believe the heart which pumps blood to the rest of my body, also holds love. I don't know whether it exists within ourselves or is perhaps housed in our auras. Perhaps it's simply a metaphysical energy that is created when two people are in close range with one another. I don't know.
I would like to, because the very reason for this particular blog is because I was staring at myself in the mirror a minute ago. I was staring, noticing the certain detachment that has grown in my eyes, and realized that it's been a hell of a long time since I felt it. There's the platonic family love, sure. But I don't feel that. I just know it's there. When my mom brings me home dinner, or my friend calls to chat. It makes me smile, but I don't feel anything. At the DIA today, I felt excitement for the first time in awhile and I almost mistook it for anxiety.
So I guess my question here is, do other people feel this still? Does love exist for those over 20 years old. And for that matter, does love exist for those who have already lost their love? Their Big, True, whatever-adjective-you-choose love? Can you feel those butterflies again, the dropping of the stomach, can't eat-can't sleep-die without you love?
Because all I keep thinking is that I had that. I had it once. It was real, and I felt it. I felt it somewhere inside me. And that part is dead now. And I'm just throwing this question out into the universe, a general wondering, whether or not I will ever be able to revive that little part of myself. Is this punishment? I had it, and I let it go. I didn't fight, I didn't fly down there and confess my love. I just let it go, without so much as a phone call afterward. Am I being punished because I made one cowardly act? I say one, because I did fight, a lot, before. I grew up believing that love could save us all, and with love, anything could be done. I once believed that love was enough, and I fought like hell to keep it. But at the end, I don't know, I must have been worn out, beaten down, and perhaps disillusioned. And when I was beaten, I told myself that I would never let it happen again. When love failed, I turned to reason. Love is not a real thing. It didn't make sense for me to fly down and be with him. I have responsibilities. And I stuck to that. I guess that I still am with questioning the definition of love. Because somewhere, deep down inside, I'm waiting. I'm waiting for that boy to look at me with severe eyes and say, "Alicia, I love you. You don't have to do this anymore."
But I chose Reason, Rationality, and Education. Does love even exist in this world? Can I really tell myself that I believe in something that does not have any real structure, format, or concrete evidence? Can I trust something that is so easily broken and walked away from? Can I truly believe in something that was never reciprocated? I guess we'll find out.
As for now, I guess I'll stick to telling myself that love spelled backwards is evol, and Shakespeare said it best when he wrote, "Is love a tender thing? It is too rough, too rude, too boisterous; and it pricks like thorn."

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Una Propuesta Formal para la Anexión de un Día Llamado "Donday"

"A Formal Proposal for the Annexation of a Day Called 'Donday'"

Let me begin by saying that I am a fan of the seven-day-week, or at least I used to be. In theory, the-seven-days had everything that one needed. A dreaded Monday, where everyone is excused for being grouchy and fatigued. A Tuesday, which usually is a bit better than a Monday, so most people call it a success. A Wednesday, which is a nice hump-day. A Thursday, which incorporates the best TV show night, so, enough said. A Friday, which signifies the end of the work week and is a little celebration all in itself. A Saturday (which used to be my favorite day), as you could sleep in, and spend the rest of the day not worrying about the following day's events, as you would usually have that day off as well. And finally, Sunday, which (please excuse my limited and hopefully inoffensive definition), is a day for rest, given to us by our gracious Lord.

To many, the seven-day-week is manageable. Insofar as you are a person who has a five-day-work-week, or a five-day-school-week. Yet, I must admit, with our glorious nation's love for capitalism, companies have challenged this five-day-work-week in efforts to maximize profits and feed off every last individual who happens to have a day off. Retail, Restaurant, and realistically any service-industry company have now opened their doors (count it!) seven days a week. And what does this mean for the public? No. More. Days. Off.

To me, I can recall fondly the days that I spent working for GM. I worked Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and respectively had Saturday and Sunday off, my little vacation time. Having attended school during this period as well, my five-day-week was considerably crammed from sun-up to sun-down with appointments. Yet, I would spend my days dreaming about what the weekend had in-store for me. These two days were much needed to soothe the hardships that I had to endure all week. The weekends were my tranquility. I would spend them, more often than not, doing absolutely nothing. I would sit, and read, or watch movies, or, dare I even say it, go out with my friends. The weekends would recharge my delicate little mind with its tranquil environment enough to give me the strength to go out and conquer the world come Monday.

And then I got a job in retail.

Having to work in the service-sector is not very enjoyable. The work is easy, mindless even, and I get to spend the entire time just talking to people, and yes, shopping for them. To any like-minded female in their early twenties who is finishing up college, this is an ideal job. And yes, I would have to agree. They work around your schedules and, yes, at first I was excited, have weekend hours. I was very enthusiastic about this find, as I was going to school most days and needed the extra hours on the weekends. However, as I look around me today, I see the poor American struggling to be stress-free.

In my humble opinion, Americans work too damn hard. Other countries such as Spain have siestas, which is a nap taken in early afternoon. In Serbia and Slovenia, especially among older citizens, it is common to observe the so-called "house rule," requiring people to refrain from telephoning or visiting each other between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., as people are supposed to be resting. Afternoon sleep is also a common habit in China and Taiwan after the midday meal. This is called "wujiao (午覺)" in Chinese. Almost all schools in Mainland China and Taiwan have a half-hour nap period right after lunch. This is a time when all lights are out and one is not allowed to do anything other than rest or sleep. Some Japanese offices have special rooms known as napping rooms for their workers to take a nap during lunch break or after overtime work. In Islam, it is encouraged to take a nap between Dhuhr (midday) and Asr (afternoon) prayers. What do American's have? Cat naps, and only if you're a stay-at-home parent, because lets face it, we don't have whole offices for sleeping. If we do, please let me know, and I will go work for them.

I digress. The average person spends 43 hours at work a week. 80% of workers feel stress on the job, nearly half say they need help in learning how to manage stress and 42% say their coworkers need such help. An average of 20 workers are murdered each week in the U. S. making homicide the second highest cause of workplace deaths and the leading one for females. Consequently, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. and what do you think the leading cause of heart disease is? Stress.

And there you have it, work is stressful, stress causes death. People in America need to calm the fuck down and take a breather. We work longer, harder hours to gain wages to pay for bigger and more expensive houses. Literally 90% or more Americans are living above their means. Everything is credit and floating around in this fictitious universe. And for what?

This is why I propose what I like to call, Donday, which will conveniently slide right in between Sunday and Monday. Since Saturday and Sunday have both been invaded by the mean, angry, soul-crushing, capitalistic punks, this day is for the feeble, lonely, voiceless Democrat to take back what was formally his; a day off without slaving to The Man. On this very lovely day, nothing, and I mean nothing will be open. The local CVS's will close (oh my goodness, how will I ever buy my greeting cards and shampoo?!), the retail stores will shut down (no doorbusters people, sorry!), gas stations and liquor stores will turn out their lights and shut down their pipes, and, yes, heavens forbid, Meijer employees will not have to work that day, either. TV stations and radio programs will cease to broadcast, and the internet will, dare I say it, turn off.

On this endearing day, one will simply have to be. I say be instead of live because I feel that, in America, one lives by working, doing things for others, vacations, etc.. On this day, this wonderful Donday, one will simply be. One will exist and feel the presence of themselves. They can sit outside and enjoy the luscious gardens or green grass that is usually such a hassle to them. They can sit and read a book all day. One can run and bike ride and fly a kite in the park. One can walk their dog around the city. People can sit, while making their own coffee, and discuss politics or literature or philosophy. One can study or brush up on something that they've put off. Paint a picture, learn a language, play with their children, teach their children, make babies, pray, write, and lay longingly looking up at the clouds pass.

This is not laziness, people. This is a necessity. We need this day to relieve our stress levels and give our Prozac and Xanax a rest. We need this day to give a giant middle-finger to America's wealthiest as they sit on their asses all day, everyday. Here's to a dream in which everyone, I don't care if you're red, purple, yellow, black, green, blue, or white, will have their own day to recharge which will never, and I mean never, be overtaken by McDonald's wanting to sell people $1 cheeseburgers, forcing the rest of us unruly souls to slave away while they make a killing.

This is but my humble opinion, so I challenge you to consider how much you would benefit from a Donday.

Oh yeah, and if we switched up the weeks, and added more days to the year, maybe the time-space-continuum would fluctuate and we all wouldn't implode in two years. Just a thought.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

On the way home, this car hears my confessions. I think tonight I'll take the long way.

I haven't written anything of substance lately. From movies, to my secret love of Sylvia, these things seem trivial in light of what is really happening in my life. So I figured I'd write it. Because, let's face it, writing is my therapy.

If you know me at all, you probably know that my father is ill and my mother is well, without job. I will not go into detail on these since, for their own privacy, I feel it inappropriate. All I can say is that I keep repeating the phrase my mom says, "God wouldn't give you more than you can handle." Yeah, venture to the nearest psyc ward. I'm not sure if I believe that, if there is anything or anyone up there at all. My prayers have never been answered, I've never been heard. I stick to concrete things, like what I'm going to do tomorrow or what I'm going to eat. Anything above that is simply too much for my fragile little head to wrap around. I'll be sitting somewhere, just staring and minutes will just go by and I have no motivation to move. People will start talking to me and all I can think about is when they are going to stop. I've noticed something lately, that 90% of what people have to say is just pure complaining. [yes, this is included right now] About the most meaningless things, too. Like about what someone (who I absolutely do not know) said to them about someone else, or how they're not sure if they really like their boyfriend, or how someone pissed them off at work. People, WE DO NOT CARE. Most of us are in our own heads, either waiting for our turn to talk, or your turn to shut up. This may be harsh, but I think that people need a reality check. If you have nothing intelligent or meaningful to say, keep it to yourself. Silence is golden people.

And speaking of silence. Why is everyone afraid to sit with on another without talking. We're not going to explode if you sit in silence for 10 minutes, please stop contriving things to talk about. And speaking of, when is the last time you've actually heard silence? Think about it. What's going on your room right now? A radio, perhaps, maybe even a fan or two. Shut it down, shut it down and just enjoy the fact that your ears are not straining. Honestly, lately I feel like my ears are just tired and have begun muffling everything. My brain is being protected from imploding. I don't know, maybe I just feel with the mood that I'm in lately that anything I do or say is just fake because in all honesty, all I want to do is sit in my room. Literally, just sit and not do anything. Not even think. Just sit and try to concentrate on not hating everything and feeling like I might suck the happiness out of anyone I'm around.

However, I have started writing Chapter 2 of the book. And I'm only a page in, but it helps. I've also started reading "Eat, Pray, Love." I was given it a few years back from my mom as a Christmas gift, but thought it looked silly. Yet, I felt the strangest urge to pick it up today.

I equally have the strangest urge that I want a relationship. I know, for me, weird. I mean, right now I could really use someone to get me out of everything, my head included, and take me back to reality. To first dates, runs in the park, and the laughter that you only have when you first get to know someone. Obviously, I'm a hot mess right now, but someday. I have faith (in something) that someone will come along and all of this misery and pondering and hopelessness will not all be in vain, but will simply be a character building exercise so that when I actually do meet Mr. Right, I won't be a hot mess all the time, locked up in my room suffering from Female Hysteria yelling at my yellow wallpaper (if you get that reference, I commend you). As for now, I will sit listening to Alexi Murdoch, while laying on my floor awaiting winter. Things always happen in winter, good things. I don't know why. But I just love winter. Its cold, and quiet. Desolate. Maybe it mirrors me. Now that's really depressing. But when it's all hot and sunny, I just feel.... I don't know, uncomfortable I guess would be the word. I want cold. Snow, white, sterile, jackets and hoodies, jeans, converse, my leather jacket.. oh my leather jacket I miss you. And to sleep, to finally get a good night's rest covered and burrito-ed in all of my blankets trying to keep warm. Oh, winter, how I cannot wait.

Breathe, just breathe. It's really all that I can do right now when I feel as though the entire world is pulling me apart. I've lost some of myself. And I want it back. I want to be selfish and not devote all my time to making others happy. None of them seem to give a damn about me, or how I'm feeling. They're all caught up in their own dilemmas, nobody would even notice if I left.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

[Entertainment?] Weekly

Okay, I am aware that there is a massive catastrophe currently happening in the Gulf as 3 million gallons of oil spill everyday. I am also aware that Obama needs to get his shit together, turn this off, and clean up, then hand BP the bill.

However, I want to discuss something much more disturbing to me, notice the slight sarcasm. My mother graciously brought home this week's Entertainment Weekly because TrueBlood was on the cover. I thank her for that, and out of pure boredom because I had just read two 400 page books in two days (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire--amazing!), I had nothing else to read and thus read this cover to cover.

And then I saw this, THE CHART, of the top 20 movies out right now.
1.Shrek Forever After, 2. Get Him To The Greek, 3. Killers, 4. Prince of Persia, 5. SATC 2, 6. Marmaduke, 7. Iron Man 2, 8. Splice, 9. Robin Hood, 10. Letters to Juliet... etc.

I don't even care to continue this list. All I have to say (right...) is WTF?! I swear, you know there must be a problem in the movie industry when a fat, green monster takes the first. I know Shrek is popular with the kids, and I'll admit I liked the first a bit, but four... common Dreamworks, think of something else already. And speaking of this, Iron Man 2, and Sex and the City 2... does anyone left in film have any original ideas?

And I admit, I like sequels, on occasion. But the reviews of all of these are horrendous. The quality in films have plummeted. They all simply try to appeal to the mass audiences without taking a break to work on a focus group. Disney movies now contain ideas and issues that children should not even been exposed to yet, and certainly cannot understand, just to sell tickets. This may be a good thing, you ask? No. I'm sorry, I want to watch a movie that has some depth, some pain, some compassion, and some real, raw human emotions. I do not want to see a collaboration of every issue ever between humans, aliens, men, women, children, financial crisis, race, sex, etc. Start centering your audience! Not everyone wants to see Megan Fox's body thrown about with rushed action sequences.

I equally do not want to see Katherine Heigl, ever, again. The Killers actually gave me a headache. I was sitting in the theatre next to my best friend (who asked me to go, and I said yes only because I'm a good friend, and there was NOTHING ELSE I WANTED TO SEE) in the theatre willing myself to go to sleep so that I didn't have to kill any more brain cells. If I see one more romantic comedy with her or anyone else (that means you, Jennifer Aniston!) where the girl is portrayed as a needy, dumb-on-purpose, uncomfortable in her flawless body woman, I am personally going to Hollywood and hit them over the head with Atlas Shrugged. Seriously? Let these women have some power, have some actual, intelligent lines, and maybe, yes, maybe, even let them break out of this stereotypical "I will succumb to the man's world" attitude. I thought we had a winner with Angelina until she decided to marry Hollywood's Golden Boy and adopt a freaking country of children, and then made Changeling, where she spent the duration of the movie crying and getting herself put in a psyc ward because the men didn't want to give back her kid. It's what, 2010? And we're still portraying woman as these feeble little feathers. And don't even get me started with Megan Fox, parading around with nothing on, pouting her lips and fighting crime? No. Just leave.

All I can think of is the joy that I felt after watching Garden State. I literally was crying at the end of that movie simply because of it's brilliance. I honestly haven't seen a good movie since. There has been a couple of smart indie films which I enjoyed, Sunshine Cleaning, Remember Me (minus the awful ending), Into The Wild, The Hurt Locker, Atonement, and Becoming Jane, which instantly have moved up the ranks of my movie lists. However, nothing has come out in the last 5 years which has really made me sit up and say, "WOW, that's a freaking movie." It's sad really, these kids are going to grow up thinking that a movie must consist of a superhero, Megan Fox, and CGI action sequences to be good. This breaks my heart. Gone are the days where you literally want to watch the movie again right after, simply because your heart aches that these characters are no longer in your life. Gone are the days when you hear a line, or see a scene that makes you think differently about life, they will never show you the beauty of living anymore. Instead? We have four women going off into Abu Dhabi buying Prada and producers pillaging through the Literature section at Borders and settling for everything ever written by Nick Sparks.

After this devastation of summer movies, I may have to quit my quest for a secondary education certificate and write a decent script. But wait, my writing usually doesn't consist of Ogres or super heroes.