Friday, August 27, 2010

Oh I'm not sure where to start today.  I am actually in this strange and awful place wherein I feel the need to write ... and write and write, just to get it out, you know?  And at the same time, ick, I just don't even want to hear my own damn voice.  I know from writing in school and writing for professional assignments, that it really helps me to just write, almost a stream of consciousness or to utilize writing prompts (I have a book I'm currently using with a topic or prompt for each day of the year).  The purpose of this type of writing is just to get all the gunk outta my head so that the real stuff, the real point and purpose of what I want to say can shine through.  Maybe it sounds nutty to some, but this is what works for me as a writer.  

I guess I'm in a bit of a writer's ... not a block exactly, but some kind of funk.  I suspect that even when I try, even when I think that I'm doing it, I am no longer writing or blogging authentically.  And in my opinion, if I'm not going to come on with it, as I describe that hard-hitting genuine writing that's so compelling in any sort of first-person narrative ... well, then just hang it up, geez.  You might be familiar with one of my favorite bloggers, Anna.  Before you click, if you haven't done so in the past, I will tell you that she is an admitted drug addict and she writes a completely honest and therefore completely graphic blog about ... everything that goes on in her life.  And I adore her.  I mean it.  Nope, I don't know the girl.  Don't know whether we'd ever be friends or even have anything to talk about if we met.   But as a blogger, she is the absolute shit in my eyes.  Because it doesn't matter what mental state she's in, doesn't matter what emotion she's feeling, what she's going through ... it's not about the external material for her writing.  It's her narrative, her explicit descriptions and reporting on what she feels and sees and thinks and wonders about ... she conveys her humanity quite exquisitely.  

I've written like that in my life before.  I'm not sure whether I ever did it as consistently as Anna, but I sure as hell came a lot closer to it than I'm doing now.  It's not just my blog, it's anything I write.  I have a Hub-Page, I write a journal, I do some writing exercises ... it's everything.  I'm off my game.  

This is depressing to write about.  I think the reason I'm off my writing game is that ... surprise surprise ... I'm just "off" in life.  Maybe I'm not facing things that I need to face.  Maybe I'm not living authentically.  Maybe I'm scared of a lot of things right now, and I'm allowing fear to stop me from writing and from living.  I think that on some level, I know that at least some of this is true.  And ya know what's pathetic?  It only makes me loathe myself.  I hate myself for it.  Every word that isn't what I want it to be, every single time that I see myself as a diminished version of the woman that I was or was becoming earlier in life ... that woman who I could right now definitely and confidently describe to you ... every time I think about the discrepancy between the two, I feel disgusted with myself.  That's it.  I knew if I wrote about it, I'd get to the bottom of it.  I hate where I am right now, hate what I'm doing with my gifts and my talents and the blessings of my life.  

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Go There, Then Come Back Here

Okay!  Check out this website, because ... because ... you MUST.  It makes me laugh, especially when I'm in that sort of bitter-but-not-REALLY and melancholy moods, both of which fuel my cynical "gallows" type of humor.  It might also be described as "Office Space" humor.  

After you tire of that (as if!), check out my "A Few of My Favorite Things" blog roll to the left.  I've begun late-summer cleaning and purging, people!!  This list is meant to be a true representation of the blogs (and occasionally other sorts of site) that I do indeed consider "favorite."  Therefore, I have deleted a few blogs (perhaps the reasoning behind such decisions will be a forthcoming post itself) and added a few new favorites.  If you like my fellow bloggers' words, drop them a comment and say so.  After all, your comments are the way that I "met" most of you!  And if you hate them, well, hey, it's up to you what you wish to say or refrain from saying!  'Tis the life of us bloggers.

...Because in the meantime, while you're being sent to and fro by, well, me, I have a coupla new blog themes or possibly features and the like which will be posted in the not-too-distant future.  I'm taking a new direction with my writing -- and of course that includes TerminallyUniq... STAY TUNED!  :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Sheesh.  As if I weren't already grouchy, cranky, or whatever you want to call it.  Now I'm reading this book, and I just have to mention it.  It's called "Fierce," and it's a memoir by Barbara Robinette Moss.  I guess it's a sequel of sorts to an earlier memoir she wrote that focused more on her childhood; that one was called "Make Me Into Zeus' Daughter."  I didn't read that one, because this one appealed to me more with its focus being on her trying to make her way through adulthood.  She, like me, and like many of my readers, is an ACOA, an Adult Child of Alcoholic(s).  That shitty label can make itself known in many hideous ways, but we all have quite a few things in common; so I like to read memoirs like this.  Usually.

But damn, woman!  That's what I keep saying as I go through the book.  First of all, I got about 10 books in the last month, between loaners from friends, a couple e-book purchases, and the library.  And out of the EIGHT I've already peered into, this was one of only TWO that even seemed decent.  It was a real strike-out of a book haul this time.  I will try to read a little more of my other books, but they don't look too promising so far.  

Anyway, the whole time I'm reading this book, I just can't stop shaking my head.  I'm bewildered.  I mean, okay, I don't know Ms. Moss' exact age; I suppose I could cipher it if I took the time, but I haven't.  She must be the age of MY parents, roughly; her own father, the drunk in this scenario, was a WW2 vet.  And I know that the times were different when she was growing up, but man, was she naive, even into adulthood, even halfway through this book when she's been divorced twice, lived in 3 states, and had a child!  And she just keeps making all of these crap decisions that make me think, Damn, there's a difference between being effed up from an ACOA upbringing and just lacking common sense completely.  Wow.

I was drawn to the book, because the e-book store kept suggesting it to me, supposedly because it matched up to my other purchased books.  I made note of that, but then I also saw it reviewed on Amazon recently.  Oh, there were all these positive reviews about the author's candor and overcoming this and that!  It sounded like it would be right up my alley!  So I'm going to read it through.  I'll give her this:  she writes in such a way as to keep me turning the pages, if not feeling sympathetic toward or relating to her.  I'll let you all know what I think when I'm finished.

So I might as well mention the other book that I read, last week.  It's been on my ever-expanding book list forever, friends have been urging me to read it and saying how much they thought I would like it, on and on.  I guess I wasn't clear on the plot or whatever ... it's summary sure doesn't do it justice.  It's "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett.  Well!  I could not believe I had waited so long, with this book just OUT THERE, waiting for me to pick it on up!  I simply adored it!  I had to think it over, reflect, absorb, all of these things that I do with a beloved book ... and yes, now that I've done that, I can honestly tell you it is one of my Top 15 favorite books of all time.  It might be Top 10; I have to sit down and think about my current list.  I mean, this is including my favorite so-called "great" literature, my favorite childhood classics, poetry, whatever, all in one collection ... and this book would make the top 10-15.  It is wonderful.  I loved it.  

So there you are!  As you know, I don't do any sort of regular book or movie reviews, but hey, if I like or love or hate or am confused by something, I like to discuss.  And this weekend I've had one movie and two books ... and it ain't over yet!


I'm so annoyed by the hypocritical and -- perhaps even more -- the Puritanical -- attitudes in this country!  So I'm watching the movie, "Kickass," right?  I've actually only gotten halfway through it right now, as I'm writing.  I'm watching it now, because I bought it OnDemand from my cable company ... I thought I had it for 48 hours, but no... so, then, just having to know how it ended, I bought it again today.  I'm not sure the movie is worth the $10 I've now spent on it, but it is good.  And funny.  I like its originality and spunk.  SO the other day, after I'd begun watching it, I was telling a few people about it, and I found that not many of my friends had seen it.  I reminded them that it was the movie about the superhero guy that had become controversial because it stars a 13-year-old actress whose dialog includes every swear word you can imagine including words such as "cunt" and of course "fuck" and the like.  Just to give you an example, the last two people I told this to, who said they only vaguely remembered the controversy, responded with the argument, "Well, couldn't they have toned it down a little bit then?"  Both people said roughly the same thing...

I was like, "NO! WHY WOULD THEY?"  This, if you know me, is unthinkable in my opinion.  Um, hello, if that's the way the character is written, then why should they "tone it down" when the stupid American "public" says something about it?  That is not the way of art or literature or music or ANY creative pursuit!!!!!  EVER!  It's not just in the dialog for gratuitous name-calling or vulgarity!  IT'S THE CHARACTER! Oooh, I was pissed off.  I'm so glad the movie got made and people saw it and the role was cast perfectly in my opinion.  DESPITE all this bullshit.

I had to wonder whether the whole issue of the little pre-pubescent-looking blond girl in the role of the foul-mouthed super-heroine would have caused such a stir if she had been black or male or Mexican something else that people are more apt to expect vulgarity from?  There's no way to know for sure...

You might have heard, in real-life news, that two young men were recently released from jail (or prison or whatever you call it in their case) in Florida ... they are the King brothers, who were sentenced to something like 8 years (I'd have to review the case, as to the specifics) in some form of Juvenile Hall after being found guilty of murdering their father.  The unique thing about their case was that they were found guilty of their crime at ages 12 and 13.  The jury recommended sentencing for both boys of Life without Parole, but the judge intervened and gave them this sentence which amounted to a second chance for them.  I remember the footage, which I saw again last week as the guys were released, of these two tiny little white boys, with their bowl haircuts, who looked even younger than they were.  One boy's feet didn't even touch the floor of the witness stand!  And while the jury recommended a harsh sentence (I'm not saying it was right or wrong), many people commented on the fact that it was just so hard to look at these little angel-faced babies and think about the possibility of them having murdered their dad.

And then, at the same time, in the same state, there was another case.  A 14-year-old boy was being tried for the murder of his mother.  I don't know as many details of this case, but I did hear how it turned out.  Same thing, where the judge and jury had to consider what to do with such a young person who had maybe committed murder.  If he was guilty, do we throw him away?  The thing that struck me, though, was that this time the defendant was at least 6-foot tall.  He was black, with a stoic, serious face throughout the proceedings (at least in the footage I saw), and a grim mug shot.  He stood in court room a full head taller than his defense attorney.  I fear that the mere appearance that this boy had, and any ideas or prejudgments people might knowingly or otherwise attach to that appearance would be quite different than the one that the little swinging-feet white boys had.  Maybe I'm wrong.  And I know that there are individuals among us who have all sorts of non-typical viewpoints and perspectives.  But it just makes me wonder.

Anyway, the third boy, the 14 yr old, eventually ended up with a 10-year-sentence similar to that of the King brothers, so I guess you could say all was fair.  But the 14 yr old almost exhausted all his appeals trying to get there, and it took a lot longer, and therefore I can only imagine more stress and maybe more money, attorneys' fees, etc.  Just made me think about society's perceptions again.  

I don't think I have to tell most people that our society will gladly accept a whole bunch of violence, war, blood, rape, guts, and guns as part and parcel of any movie or tv show or video game that's out there, rated PG-13 or higher.  But if you want to show a sex scene or use a swear WORD, especially out of the mouth of a little blond girl?  Well, MY word!  Not without an NC-17 rating on that garbage!  And I think that is fucking sick, quite frankly.   It's true that words are mighty, that they can hurt and soothe and unite and wound ... this is why we have laws about hate speech and such.  But in the majority of contexts, words really are just words.  You can swear or not, you can use big, educated words or not, etc.  These are just ways we paint the picture of a person, a character, where they might have been, WHO they might have been or are going to be.  As a writer, I love words and value them.  But I do not believe in giving them so much power that THEY control US.  And as for references and depictions of sexuality, especially when it is loving, between two people, not even something "radical" or pushing any envelope?  I think it's gross that our society can't bear to look at that, can't bear to allow it in our films or TV, without crying out that it's shameful and improper and lewd.

It seems that only violence, in any and all forms, passes with flying colors.  What's wrong with this picture?

Monday, August 09, 2010

My Mum

Okay!  I tried to write about my mum a few times, and each time I got too caught up in so many different topics!!!  Methinks that maybe I should write a whole book about her!  Or at least I better start penning my memoirs, AND hers as well!  Hmm ... maybe we could get together and write a book about ... whatever it was ... like Britney Spears and HER moms did!  Yeah!

What I really wanted to convey was the simple-yet-complex fact that I am just so blessed to have my mom.  And that today, as every time she is able to go with me, I was ever-so-grateful to have her along at the doctor's office.  I always know, whether we discuss it explicitly beforehand or not, that she has my back.  And we are so close that we can really read one another and know pretty well what is needed.  I know that in a conversation with a doctor-type, where I am leading the talk as the patient and Mom is mostly listening / observing, she is nevertheless alert and aware of all that's going on every second.  She will jump in and argue, plead, state a convincing point, or otherwise have me covered if need be.  I don't worry about it.  And I KNOW that if God forbid I were ever in some sort of "state" where I couldn't speak for myself and make my own demands, she would "come out of the box" as she puts it and tell somebody what's what.  

My mom has been instrumental in making me every single thing I am today of which I am proud!  She brought me up to be intelligent and curious and sensitive and compassionate and non-judgmental of others ... She instilled in me that the differences between all human beings, be it our skin color or the way that our minds and bodies work or the language we speak or the thing we do especially well -- that it's THOSE things which make the world beautiful and wonderful and divine and blooming with all sorts of music and ideas and art and science and books and jokes and personality!  I love that my mom instilled in me the value of diversity in ALL of its forms.

My mom has a lot of other hard-core beliefs that she really and truly lives by; so that I can only hope to follow in her footsteps and do the same, really living authentically in the beliefs that I espouse.  But she is also funny and warm and sociable and just always up for doing something FUN!!!  My momma taught me that it's of the UTMOST importance to find the joy in life, in EVERY part of life.  And what I've really learned to remember is that sometimes you need to go searching for that joy and holding onto it during those times when it seems hardest to locate or when the joys seem to be at their simplest ... when times are tough, you know.  I have learned from my mom to laugh in those times, to find what is funny and ironic and joyful and amazing.  

There are so many things my mom teaches me all the time, so many things that I have learned and have to keep re-learning because I believe they are essential to leading a good life.  A Good Life.  Some of my absolute happiest, most joyful moments are spent with my mom!  We always find some silly thing to talk about or laugh about or get into a conversation around.  And that's on the days when we are cooped up in the car or the doc's office!  When we are out on the town, forget about it!!!  

I love you, Mum!

To the Doctor Again!

And so today, I had another doctor's appointment!  I hadn't expected to go see the doc again so soon, but his office needed to switch the appointment, then I needed to change it, and blah blah, here we were.  Sad to say, I spent the past week working myself up again into a full-on state of permanent panic.  Just like the last ... what?  four?  five? ... times.  When I first met him, then the next appt after that, then for SURE the last two times when I wasn't doing very well (those stories you already know), and now today too.  I'm a real piece of work, I have to say so myself.  

The great thing is, today went wonderfully, just like last time, JUST LIKE LAST TIME!  My mom -- BLESS HER (and I'll come back to that in a sec) -- accompanied me again, so that was wonderful; she calms me, helps me laugh even when I'm crabby and nervous, helps me find the I-Pass (because we pay tolls here in Illinois... heard we're one of only 3 states or something ... that true?) and everything like that.  She's the best.  But we'll get to her, like I said.

Mentally, I think I can say that I am convinced that this doctor is good.  What a lame word, good!  But what I mean by it in this case is that he is GOOD at what he does (he's an expert!); he's GOOD for me (our personalities don't clash); and he strikes me as a GOOD man.  I mean, I don't think I've ever gotten to know one of my doctors well enough to sit in true judgment of him or her as a human being, like, oh what a wonderful person that doctor is, so true and loyal and wonderful and charitable and whatever!  All I can know is that he seems to be genuinely trying to help me, not rushed when he's talking to me, not pushing newest drugs on me all the time, not rude to me OR to the people I've brought in with me to appointments (have had that one happen before!), and things like that.  I guess these type of things make up that hard-to-pin-down category of "bedside manner" -- although I sure hope never to be bedridden again by a migraine (and I suppose that's another story too).

I'm feeling blessed that this doctor does not even notice the chip on my shoulder that feels so heavy to me, so obvious all the time ... Or maybe it's not that he doesn't notice, but rather that he's seen it before, that practically ALL his patients trudge in burdened by the same, having been through the same before finding him or being "sent" to him from bewildered suburban doctors ... which is how I got there.  I don't know.  And our working relationship is still fairly young, but now it's solid.  And I'm feeling better about that.  I'm thinking that possibly ... probably, even ... next appointment will not make me piss myself for a week before-hand.  Maybe just the night before?  Ha.

Stay tuned for the bit about my mum ...