Thursday, January 29, 2009

For someone who needs it...possibly

****(In this post names have been changed to protect the anonymous)****

This is a brief update! I met with my sponsor (who I will call Maryl Streep) today for about two hours. I've just done the third step and am gearing up for the fourth where I make a "searching and fearless moral inventory" of myself. Heh heh- fearless! Waaaaaaaahahahahahahaha! I'm scared to death! Ah ha ha! [laughter dying down] Ha..ha!...oooh.

So what I am about to write is for those of you out there (Al-anon, AA, or NA) who might be going through the steps too.

Just in case you're shaking constantly, feeling raw and terrified most of the time, I'm right there with you. And when I saw "raw" I mean really, really raw. I'm a sushi roll. And I mean, like, not even the rice is cooked. On my Sunday night meeting I trembled the entire time. But Meryl Streep told me today that she thinks I'm doing awesome. She said she's seen a lot of growth in me since I showed up in Al-Anon last summer. Hooray! Approval from the big sister I never had! She said that the first three steps are really a daily continuing practice - admitting I don't have control, that a higher power can help me, and then giving my problems up to God.

On Sunday I met a new person, named Pat Benatar who is also new to the program. She said she was scared too and we bonded over that for a while. Then, without thinking about it, I volunteered to help for the next meeting.

The group moderator, Ulysses S. Grant, raised his bushy eyebrows. "Awesome," he said. "What do you want to do?"
"Uhhh...what do you need?"
He was unclear about this so he said he'd call me.

The group leader (I don't remember exactly what they're called) of the Wednesday meeting, Sophia Loren, was much more specific. That meeting is in the middle of the day, and it attracts mostly retired old ladies. This is a sharp contrast to Sunday's meeting which is mostly bohemian. Anyway, Sophia Loren, like most small old ladies I know, had a list of things I could do.

"First, honey, if you could lift this suitcase for me that would be wonderful," she said, beaming.
There was an entire suitcase of new books and meeting materials that needed to be carried back into the supply closet. So I am now the brute strength of the group. Feels good to be doing service.

Anyway, what I wanted to tell you if you happen to be new to all of this like me is that it is the most painful and wonderful thing I've ever gone through. Even right now I'm shaking and my stomach feels sick, but I wouldn't go back to the way I was before if you paid me. (of course, you never know, I'm willing to take offers) There's a new voice that's talking in my head, and it's the parent I never had. She's cool and calm, and maternal, and I think she's the person I'm turning into. I hope she is. She's so strong and groovy.

And amazing things are happening! My mom apoloized to me! She's on the 9th step and she said I was the first person she wanted to apologize to. At first I was nervous. I didn't know what she was going to say, and I was afraid for her to bring up really painful things. But she didn't get specific and I was glad. She just said, "I'm sorry for how much I've hurt you. I know it's a lot. I want you to know that I'll do anything I can to make up for it. Is there anything I can do?"

The kid in me thought, "Ask for a Wii!" but the new, stronger voice in me came out and said, "Take care of yourself. You know, I used to have all those nightmares that you were screaming for help and I couldn't help you. You're taking better care of yourself now, and it makes me feel better. You're doing good, just keep it up. It's nice to see you this way." I could have told her never to drink again, just promise me you won't drink or take pills again. But she can't promise that. So I guess I told her the next best thing.

For those of you who don't know my mom this was amazing. I never thought she'd say that. I never even thought she'd stay dry so long, but she's really working hard. I was proud of her because I know that must have taken a lot of courage to admit with your own kid.

Anyway, I just had this nagging feeling that somebody else needed to read this. It could just be the caretaker in me. We're in this together whoever you are, Meryl Streep, Sophia Loren, Ulysses S. Grant and Pat Benatar!

We belong to the light!
We belong to the thunder!

This is not a metaphor

I woke up this morning, dragged myself into the bathroom and turned on the light. My immediate reaction, when I looked in the mirror, filled me with joy. I said (out loud, mind you), "Hey! I'm pretty!" and hugged myself. Then I froze and looked at myself again. There I stood, arms wrapped around myself, an embrace inspired by my own perceived cuteness. "What am I, three years old?" I asked myself.

You see, my darlings, with all of this self-help I'm going through I'm a little worried about how weird and over the top New Agey I could get. April lent me a book on CD called "You Can Heal Your Life" by Louise Hay, a woman who survived severe child abuse and poverty, and then went beyond surviving to thriving like a one of those house plants that starts off small and then blooms like mad, with Audrey Two-like vines draping out of the pot and onto the floor. I jived with most of what ole Louise had to say, you know, all the thinking positively stuff, and how if you tell yourself that you deserve nothing then you're likely to get nothing. But there were times I felt that Louise went slightly off the deep end. She was talking about her body and accepting it the way it is - stretch marks, blemishes, wrinkles and everything. All very cool. She would say, "I love my face!" and I thought, "I love your face too, Louise! You rock!" And then she said (and I don't remember the exact quote except for the last four words), "Every part of my body serves me and I love it and respect it. Even my anus. I love my anus!" This is where I felt that our paths split. I feel that I can become a healthy, confident person without giving my anus the time of day. It will go it's way and I will go mine. Does it have a function? Sure. And I respect that. Will I annouce our love to the world? No.

But what if I eventually do? What if I become like some of the people I meet at Wild Lotus who talk constantly about "the universe." Don't get me wrong, I dig the universe. I acknowledge that I am part of it, and I even dig on karma. But I have this fear in the back of my mind that in about ten years I'm going to do something bizarre like change my name to Lilypad Lovinfields and teach a children's yoga class where I also play the lute.

"And now children," I'll say, as I strum. "We're going to learn to chant! Say it with me, "OooooommmmIlovemyanusooooooooooommmmm."

Am I playing on stereotypes just a wee bit? Perhaps. But everyone I know has a fear of becoming some sort of stereotype, and it's high time that I admit that, yes, I'm afraid of becoming weirder than I already am. And why am I afraid of it, you ask? Sigh. Because I worry about what people think of me just a tad much. I think it's healthy to have a little dose of this. It's why I don't do things like expel gas in public. I know a few people like this and I wish that they would worry about what I think just enough to stop, or go to another room.

I will say one thing, though, and if I sound all cheesy and New Agey then so be it. There's a serendipitous quality to all of the messages I'm getting lately. Yoga, Al-anon, therapy, and believe it or not FLY Lady (a website I visit that helps chicks like me get their houses organized) have all been saying the same things. They all tell me to love myself the way I am. When I first joined FLY Lday I didn't know that FLY stood for "Finally Loving Yourself." I thought, "Wait, I just want you to teach me how to keep my house clean so that I'm not embarassed when people come over." But it turns out that it's so much more! The first thing FLY Lady tells you to do is shine your sink, and then make sure when you wake up every morning to get fully dressed and wash your face. In essence, to take care of myself first thing.

FLY Lady sends me motherly reminders each day, and the one from the other day was so fitting it was creepy. She said this, "Each one of us has a light that shines. Some of our lights have been shaded by those negative words we have heard all our lives. We have to remove that shroud of sadness that has dimmed our lights and let our light shine! Let me start this process by reminding you that our parents did all they knew to do! Their little lights were dimmed too. We begin this process with forgiveness. Forgive them because they did not know what they were doing...Now go shine your sink! This is not a metaphor! Take this action and see that little ray of hope for yourself! Your shiny sink is just the beginning! Let your light shine and see the beauty that is you!"

Keep in mind, I originally joined this site to learn how to keep my house clean. So, like, the universe (insert a vision of me with my eyes all wide and trippy cosmic-like) is telling me in every possible way to love myself. Duuuuuuuuuuude! I must totally obey.

I'm off to make silly faces at myself in the mirror. Am I acting like a three year old? Yes. And I love it (insert a vision of me blowing a raspberry).

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Boots of Chinese Plastic

I just discovered this song:

Damn, Chrissie Hynde is awesome.

I'm working on the end of the book. Stop me if I've blogged about this. I emailed the agent a synopsis of the new ending on Friday and she wrote back to say that it's "fabulous." Wooooohoooo! Fabulous! Yes, I cherish every nice thing that she writes about the book as if I were reading a love letter. So I'm finishing the damn thing, and then I'll ship it off to her. I've been sitting at the laptop today, writing steadily and youtubing songs that go with my mood.

Back to work, gents.

By the way,
You look fantastic
In your boots
Of Chinese plastic

Saturday, January 24, 2009


I'm better this morning. Gees, I don't think I've written a post like that before. I think that was a cry for help. Sorry guys, I try not to do that on the internet. I'm trying to compose my raw emotional posts in a way that if someone else indentifies with it they can feel comforted by it. The good thing is that this parental voice has come around in my mind and last night I was able to soothe myself to sleep - no beating myself up physically, or entertaining thoughts of hurting myself. That's a significant babystep I think.

So allow me to be more specific than I was last night. I was upset with myself for the insane way that I handle anger. Whenever someone I like, love, or even if it's just someone who I don't know well but want them to like me I'm extra, super nice. I know, I know, what an asshole right? Well, yes. Sometimes. For example, about six years ago I was a hostess at Houston's restaraunt for a very brief period of time. Like, just a few months. Eventually I was fired and it wasn't because I did anything horrible. I was told that I was not "seating aggressively." When my manager said this to me I imagined a hostesss politely leading a couple to their table, and then suddenly lifting one of them in the air, dropping them, and then body slamming them into their seat. But that's not exactly what he was talking about. Houston's is a busy restaurant and they want waitors and hostesses to be neaurotically fast and OCD on the ball. This is why my sister Stephanie was lead hostess. She was totally on top of things and damn good. I was kind of pokey and joked around a lot. But I also knew that the unspoken reason here was, "we want sexy hostesses who flirt." I knew this because I was told to put on more makeup, even though by more standards I was wearing a lot, and because all of the hostesses were very flirty and sexy. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Stephanie is a tease. She's just hot and she's got a good game face. If a regular customer came in who liked to flirt with the hostesses, she was able to handle him even if he was a real slime. I was not able to do this. If a dude was all weird and flirty I would maybe giggle and fall silent, or I would look at him funny before I had time to stop myself.

Aaaaanyway, the manager didn't like me very much. This somehow made me want him to like me more even though this guy was kind of a jerk. I wanted him to see me as sweet and genuine. But these qualities only seemed to aggravate him. A few weeks after I was fired I came into drop something off to Stephanie and when the guy (whose name I don't even remember) came to the podium to tell her something I told him hi and then gave him a hug. When I hugged him he back away and said, "No, no. Good to see you" and scurried off.

I actually hugged this guy, this guy who I didn't like, who didn't like me and who had fired me a few weeks before. Though it was rude of him to push me away atleast he was acknowledging that there was a problem between us. I don't like being angry at people. I don't handle it well. I can even handle them being mad at me better than I can handle my own anger, and that's not saying very much. This reaction is seemingly genuine. A lot of people have been touched by it. They're kind of like, "Wow, you really forgave me fast, what a great, merciful person you are." But how could I have forgiven them when I didn't even acknowledge that there was a problem in the first place? I wasn't being all merciful and wonderful. I was in complete denial, and it's only caused complications in every single one of my relationships.

It's because this stuff tends to build. And build. And build. And Until eventually I'm an enormous ant hill of supressed anger, like one of those mountain sized African ant hills that you see on Animal Planet. I've said before that it takes a lot for me to completely cut someone out of my life, but that statement is misleading. That makes it sound like the problem is all theirs when the truth is that with all of these people I let them hurt me again and again, and each time I held them closer. Until I exploded. There are times when I've even said "I love you" when I'm extremely angry. I can think of times that I've done that with both family and friends. The reason those moments stand out in my mind is because I remember thinking, "Why aren't I mad? I should be mad." The friend I lost once asked me, "Why aren't you mad at me?" And I thought about it and told her, "I don't know." I wasn't able to let myself feel it. I numbed it with, "She didn't really mean it. I know deep down she respects me," and also "She's aldready so hurt. I don't want to be mad at her on top of that." As if anger is the absolute worse thing I can feel for a person. As if love is "I'm totally cool with you all the time no matter what you do," and "I'm pissed at you" translates into, "I hate you." But that doesn't make sense.

You guys are all wondering if the times I've said "I love you" out of the blue were times that I was pissed, aren't you? :) Well, honestly, I might have been. But to make it up to both of us I'm trying to learn how to bring a problem to light without acting extremely one way or the other. Also remember that the "I love you" wasn't a lie. I love all the people (who I know) who read this blog. It was just beside the point. It was more like a distraction. Like, I could have said, "Oh look, there's a pretty rainbow. Let's focus on that instead of the problem." The reason I felt pathetic last night is because I've done that sooooooo much in the recent past that it makes me feel crazy.

I know it might sound weird that trying to be really nice has made my life out of control and unmanagable, but it's true. I guess I could have done worse. I could have hit you all over the head with a plumbing tool. I could have buried my anger with drugs, World of Warcraft, or alcohol. (right now Christy is totally digging that I lumped World of Warcraft with addcitive drugs)

And now, my lovelies, it is time to face the reality of the day. I need to pick up the cat from the vet, post something for Creature Feature House, and attack the looming pile of laundry. Also accepting that I'm human and that getting mad doesn't make me the devil. And it should be noted that from what I know the friend I lost is doing very well. I'm getting there, I think. May we both have happiness.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I'm having a really bad night

I'm on step 3 now. I'm supposed to give things up to God. What if I'm mad at God, though? Not always. Just tonight. This process is so fucking slow. The major highs and lows of this whole being-honest-with-myself-trip are terrible. I see things and accept them and then the next day I see them again, the same things, and I run screaming. And I've hurt people and I've lost a friend. I had another meltdown in November. What if I fall apart again next week? I'm supposed to be getting better. I'm looking back on the last year and a half and hating myself, I mean seriously loating the pathetic dweeb I've been. I just read back through my journal and a lot of e-mails I sent this time around last year to get some perspective on where I was when I was falling apart and where I am now. Oh my God, I was crazy. I'm sorry I put you all through that. The list of wrong doings that I'm going to have to write eventually is going to be a bitch. Sometimes I feel like I'm not moving forward at all. I'm just looking back at everything. But I couldn't really look at it when I was in it.

Arrrrrgh. I should go to bed. I know this mood I'm in.

Ok, I just reread my last post for 2008. Leather Fanny Pack Lady said that Al-anon lows are bad shit. I need to get to a meeting tomorrow. I need to get to sleep, it's 1:00 in the fucking morning.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Something rambling that I started writing the other day

I start to avoid things around the time I wake up. First I avoid changing out of my pajamas. Then I avoid washing my face, but I'll brush my teeth because after I that I can brew the coffee, and I throw myself as enthusiastically at the coffee as I run spedily away from the responsisbility of getting dressed. When Chris is out of town I realize I'll have to brew 4 cups instead of six, and then I avoid the thought of Minnesota and knowing that he'll be there until Saturday. When I walk through the kitchen I see the new puppy chewing a pencil and, sometimes, I avoid stopping her. Then when I get to the living room I begin to wonder if she could get lead poinsoning and I go back in the kitchen to take the ruined thing out of her mouth.

This drains just enough energy that I avoid waking up Claire, even though it's 7:00 and she has to catch the bus at 7:30. Then I remember that it's Martin Luther King Day, which means she has off of school and I relax until I start to really think about the holiday and eventually have to avoid the thought of how many other white people there are who are aggravated that black people are proud of this. That somehow makes me remember Ray Nagin's Chocolate City speech, which is depressing because as a mayor the guy is supposed to represent all of us, the best of us really, and to me that means he should be trying to unify us as a city. Then, before I have time to avoid it, I wonder whether I'm more of a republican or a democrat and I think I might be more of a democrat but I never allow myself to really think it through because I don't want to dissapoint my republican friends. By the same token, I don't want to upset my democrat friends either so I usually avoid politics all together and watch Nickelodeon instead.

My sister April fearfully avoids the news too.

"I watch the Today show to see if there's another 9/11," she told me on the phone the other day. "If there's not, I think, 'oh good, we're not all going to die,' and I turn the shit off. I don't need to know how broken hearted John Travolta is about his son. I feel bad for him, but what good can it do to think about it and then start worrying about my kid?"

April echoed the reason why I generally avoid the news. Sometimes I hear things that are useful like if there's going to be a freeze and I need to wrap my pipes, which in New Orleans happens once about every ten years, and sometimes I hear ways I can help the city like if there's a coat drive or something. But hearing about a guy in the French Quarter who murdered and then cooked his girlfriend before he jumped off a building (true) doesn't really get me anywhere. I can't go back in time and help the girl. I can't help look for the guy on Crime Stoppers because he's already killed himself. I can't offer him cooking recipes. And (feel free to tell me I'm horrible, which you've already done once because of the cannibal recipe joke that was in poor taste - poor taste! Oh!) but when I hear things like that my first reaction is, "Well, that kind of tidys things up. There's no big political, moral debate about whether or not to execute him, and he won't be killing and cooking anyone else." As a freelance journalist I see the newsworthy quality of the story, but as a human being who worries constantly and tries to offset anxiety with a bad, dark sense of humor, I wish they would stop broadcasting this stuff.

There are, of course, ocassional reports of fantastic news, like the recent plane crash in the Hudson where everyone got out alive. I'm sure when they were going down all of them thought they were goners. What immense relief they must have felt when they stopped wincing, touched their faces and arms to make sure they were still attached and thought, "I'm alive!" But as April pointed out, during the same phone conversation, it's disturbing to know that an enormous plane that can carry over a hundred people through the air can be taken down by birds.

"I'm not flying again until they build me a plane that's bird-worthy. I don't mean ducks or geese or anything, I mean I want a jet engine that can suck up an ostrich."

Thinking about all of these things, New Orleanian blacks vs. whites, murderers vs. girlfriends, birds vs. planes, can make a person go back to bed even if they've had a pot of coffee all to themsleves. I'm beginning to realize that it's better to ponder and debate these things, particularly the things I can help. So I'm trying not to go back to sleep, literally and figurtively. Even with Chris being gone for a week, I can't just let it depress me so much that I block everything out. Too much depends on me being mentally healthy.

But there's a balance, and my recent solution to avoidance of thinking and overthinking is this (feel free to roll your eyes): meditation. Last week I went to a meditation hour at the yoga studio, and I must say that when the instructor told us that we'd be sitting there with our eyes closed for three twenty minute intervals I was skeptical. Specifically, I was skeptical about my ability to sit there with my eyes closed for 20 minutes and think NOTHING. And during that time of course I thought of all sorts of things, but every time I did I would imagine that thought as a balloon and I would let it go. Which made me think of the song "99 Red Balloons" so I had to let that go too.

Dude, it's like letting your monkey chattering brain take a break in a hammock. Or something. A recharge, I guess I should say. It's different from blocking things out. I could drink or (much closer to home) become obsessed with needing to help a loved one to avoid my own problems and fears, but that's not giving my brain any rest. When I was meditating I was letting go without blocking anything out. Do you know what I mean? Maybe I could better describe it this way...I can block out things I don't want to know about myself and the world and keeping myself ignorant can give me temporary bliss, but knowing when to shut the thinker down is true serenity. It's a balanced acceptance, somewhere in between overthinking to the point of exhaustion and blocking out reality.

I can't wait to go back this Sunday night and meditate again! Yay! Does this mean that I'm becoming a true New Agey flakey chick? I shall meditate upon it...


ps- for your serene enjoyment:

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Some acknowledgements

I forgot to mention that Ray and Christina are also responsible for last night's super fun. Christina got up and sang with the band after we all harassed, I mean, peer pressured her enough (beautiful voice, that one), and they did some dancing of their own, which made my dancing with myself look not too strange because I was dancing next to other people. Christy, you were missed, man. Fred (the bassist of Fuzzy Dice and my bud) was also a trooper. With terrible laringitis he still sang "California Sun." Kick ass. Chris was the trusty designated driver who got us all home. Now if we can get him to not be so shy on the dance floor, it would be a miraculous thing. But last night he was feeling considerably out of sorts. He'd been to the funeral of a former and much loved high school teacher...suddenly this post is depressing. Crap. Rock on Mr. Guajaurdo (sp?)! Teach them something in Heaven!

A brief report of happiness

Friends, I think all of the therapy is finally starting to pay off. I am truly happy this morning. I still have all of my same problems, and I'm hung over from going out to see The Fuzzy Dice last night, but I feel so serene.

I danced all night! I wasn't even done with my first drink before I started dancing and I really didn't worry about what I looked like or what anybody thought (mostly)! Particularly after a few whiskeys, but usually it takes me a few whiskeys before I really start to move. Elvis and Ray Charles cover songs filled me with glee. The screen above the musicians' heads that advertised "fried pickles" and "killer fries" added to the joint's delightfully cheesy mistique. No, actually, it's a cool place. Make that very cool - literally. It was about 20 degrees.

The kids are screaming. Must dash. Stay tuned next time when I blog about last Sunday's meditation hour at Wild Lotus, which was NOT boring! Come on, you miss my yoga posts, you know you do!

Friday, January 16, 2009


Guys! (As you read the following, imagine that I am jumping up and down) I heard back from the agent! I heard back from the agent! She read the two chapters where I made the major changes and she said this:

Hi Genevieve,
So sorry it's taken me this long to get back to you! My reading list has been diabolical. But I absolutely loved these pages! If this is the kind of work you're doing on the whole manuscript, I absolutely can't wait to read it. The fight scene is perfect, and Ana's meltdown was wonderful. Completely relatable, and well written.
Hope the rest is coming along well. Be in touch.

Ok, ignore the fact that most of you don't know what the fight scene is about or who Ana is, but you soon may because I'M ALMOST FINISHED EDITING THE BOOK!!!! The major editing, I mean. I know if she signs me on she might ask me to tweak things, as an editor will do as well BUT! she likes it, she really likes it! Yipeeeeeeeeeee! Everyone have another cup of coffee.

Back to the edits.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I can think of 100 other things to do

Yeasterday I applied for a position at the New Orleans public library. They're supposed to get back to me in a few weeks. I've applied a few other places too. While I've been waiting for these things to pan out, though, there's been a thought floating around in the back of my head, and I've been ignoring it for the last few weeks because I've heard this thought before.

"Um...I'm sorry, but why aren't you sending essays and stories out on a regular basis?"

Like I said, that question pops in up in my mind all the time, and I've resolved to send off on a regular basis a few times over the last few years but I never kept up with it. However, yesterday that question popped in my mind and it was followed by a statement that was hard to ignore:

"You have over seventy of them, Genny. I think that, uh, this writing thing? It might be a chronic condition. I don't think you're going to give it up any time soon. And people seem to like the stuff. You wanna, like, do something about that?"

And for those of you who are wondering, yes, when I address myself in my mind I revert to my childhood nickname. And I sound like a snotty high school girl. Here is the conversation that insued between the wise me and the worried me.

worry: But I've tried full-time writing from home before and I never stick with sending stuff out on a regular basis. I get depressed with the rejections.

wiser: Everybody who writes full-time gets rejections. The ones who are successful aren't better writers than you they just persevere. You know, you say this to everybody else. You should take your own advice.

worry: But I'm too disorganized.

wiser: So was Viriginia Woolf.

worry: But she drowned herself.

wiser: You're not a scizophrenic British realist. You're a depressive American essayist and young adult novelist. There's a difference.

worry: Name one.

wiser (thinking):...Her accent was cooler than yours.

worry: That doesn't help. Look, I can't work from the house. There are too many distractions. There are a hundred other things to do.

wiser: And you do all of those things with the constant stress of "I should be writing." After you write you do those other things better. Writing for you is like eating breakfast. It's a healthy way to start the day. Like Frosted Flakes.

worry: But I want to make a steady salary like other grownups.

wiser: You will make a steady salary.

worry: How do you know that?

wiser: Because this is what you want.

Holy shit, she's right.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A bit of a ramble with a couple of dark confessions, like digging Journey

As you might have guessed I did not get the editor job at Tulane. They gave it to the guy who I thought might get it. But I've been persevering. I've even applied for a few librarian positions, which I would love to get mostly because at fancy get togethers and things where people drink iced cocktails and ask me what I do for a living, I'd get to say, "Dude...I'm a librarian," with much moxy. Now I just need to get the job and to get invited to those parties.

I'm listening to Nirvana's cover of The Velvet Underground's "Here She Comes Now." As much as I love The Velvet Underground, I think I like Nirvana's accoustic version better. I've read that it's supposed to be about a girl's orgasm, and I guess that's what he's singing about, but I can't tell for sure. It goes:

If she ever comes down now
If she ever comes down now
She looks so good
She's made out of wood
She says ohhhh

....Ok, it looks like it is about a girl's orgasm. Anyway, it's a good song. If you youtube it, there's a lot of Kurt Cobain tribute type stuff that plays along with it.

Man, he would be over 40 now. You know how if you watch a video on youtube, afterwards it shows you other stuff by the same artist? There's one that pops up by Nirvana called "I Hate Myself and I Want to Die." That's eerie.

There are certain songs that, for mental care purposes, I don't allow myself to listen to. I'm not saying that these songs will make me hurt myself and if that happened it would be their fault. I'm also not saying that nobody else should listen to them. Other people can listen to these songs and they're fine, but I, much like someone with a peanut or shellfish allergy, am sensitive to their self-destructive themes.

First on the list is "Self Esteem" by The Offspring which offers heart wrenching lines like this, "I may be dumb, but I'm not a dweeb. I'm just a sucker with no self-esteem" and "Well I guess, I should stick up for myself but I really think it's better this way. The more you suffer, the more it shows you really care" I mean, just fucking shoot me in the head. Next is "Loser" by Beck. I like that song, but I just can't sing along with it anymore. "I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me?" That pretty much summed up my mood in 2007 along with almost all of 2008. But the absolute worst is Linkin Park's "Bleed it out."

"I bleed it out, dig in deeper just to throw it away."

The first time I cut my arm was in the 7th grade, and I remember what I was thinking right before I did it. The thought didn't make any sense, but the feeling behind it was strong. I didn't want to die. I wanted to bleed the deepression out, like it was something that could be physically drained from me. I was like a boil that needed to be lanced. It didn't work, and the worst thing about cutting is that once I did it I had a hard time getting it out of my mind afterwards. Whenever I became deeply, mind and body numbingly sad, cutting would occur to me as a solution. Even if I chose to ignore it, which I did most of the time, the thought of it would linger to haunt me, and the thought of bleeding would depress me further as if I'd acutally done it.

But before you go thinking that I must look all marked up like a voodoo doll, as far as being a cutter goes I was pretty whimpy about it. I'm not like some of these people that you see with hideous scars all over themselves. My 3 tattoos are much more prominent than any measly ass cutting scar I ever gave myself.

Holy Jesus God, did I just write, "My tattoos are more prominent than my cutting scars?" Anyway, my point is that I'm trying to parent myself as I parent my children and so that includes keeping away from self-destructive songs while my self sesteem is still fragile and slowly getting stronger.

Journey's "Be Good to Yourself" works. And for some reason so does Van Halen's "Hot for Teacher." It's the drums and the kick ass guitar playing in the beginning. Speaking of which, if you have not heard Van Halen's "Unchained" and andrenalin-pumping rock n' roll gets you all worked up, you simply must look up that song right now. "Unchained, and ya hit the ground running."

I don't want to lie there, thinking I can bleed out pain, so depressed that I feel like my insides have turned to slowly hardening wet cement. I want to stay alive and moving, dancing sober and not caring if I do it badly.

And I've decided what I want to do with my writing. What I really want to do more than anything is to bring people comfort or to make them laugh. I don't want to sway anyone's politics or argue my own views or anything. I would just like to be silly. And if I'm not being silly, if I happen to be talking about depression or other disturbing topics like cutting, I want to be able to reach someone who's been through that before or who is maybe going through that now. Maybe, even if it's for a second, I could give them something to identify with and make them feel better. I think I might be good at that, you know?

So, I don't know how many of you guys are still with me. This has been a long, rambling talk. But if you're still there, thanks for reading. Good talk, man.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Creature Feature House

So my second blog is:

I'll post something new every Friday. I was going to post something new every Thursday because I was supposed to get this thing up and running on the 1st, but there were the usual setbacks. Hopefully next week I won't post a day late and say, "The new blog shall now be updated every Saturday...until next week when it shall be posted on Sunday."

Here is a poem that I discovered yesterday. It's fantastic for the first of the year, and if you're on a self-discovery type road trip like I am:

In the Produce Aisle
by Kirsten Dierking

In the vivid red
of the fresh berries,
in the pebbled skin
of an emerald lime,
in the bright colorsof things made
to be transitory,
you see the same loveliness you find in your own
delicate flesh,

the lines fanned
around your eyes
charming likethe burnish
of plums,
your life like all the other fragile organics, your soft hand

hovering over
the succulent apple,
you reach for it,
already transforming.