considering a new venue…

You couldn’t think I actually would leave for reals? I am the queen of back and forth here, as you know so well. SO…

I am thinking of starting a new blog. Or rather, changing this one perhaps, or something like that. With a change of scenery and subject matter, as I have beyond used up any interest in oversharing about my ex monster-in-law, Hubby-no-more, privacy driven teen, or sex life. Gee, sounds downright boring when I put it that way. =)

So, am thinking of turning this place into an english major’s journey along the path to her secondary education grad degree, and all the insanity THAT is sure to involve. Such as… have been in the pre-program at a new Uni for exactly 10 weeks and already working on my transfer essay to another Uni for next fall… but I am getting ahead of myself here.

If I have any followers left, or there is anyone new exploring the dusty corners, let me know if this change of topic would be of interest. If so, will work next weekend on updating the space! Namaste, peeps old and new. =)

 

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on a jet plane…

“Americans should know the universe itself as a road, as many roads, as roads for traveling souls.” Walt Whitman

“To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.” Allen Ginsberg

“I was surprised, as always, at how easy the act of leaving was, and how good it felt. The world was suddenly rich with possibility.” Jack Kerouac

“And so love goes. And so And so life goes. And so I go.” Neal Cassady

It is time, peeps. 4 years this small space has swelled under the weight of my little life, and you have ridden the swells and waves along with me as they crashed or melted on the shore, as the case may be.

You have been by my side thru an unexpected divorce, subsequent male attention, and cheered me on as I fell sort of in love, completely in love, and finally, madly and deeply in love… for reals this time. You laughed with me, cried by my side, and held my virtual hand as I worked my way thru the brambles toward daylight, and my muchness.

It has been a journey that I am grateful for, and now I am at the end of this particular path. An immense field of green lays before me, wildflowers beckoning while weaving to and fro in the soft breezes. Namaste, peeps… it has been one hell of a ride…

 

 

reasons to love a man…

Ok, maybe not just ANY old man, but a certain Lineman comes to this girl’s mind in the heat of mid-morning August, whilst relaxing on patio in sweet sunshine. Surrounded by Bee Balm, Apple mint, and flowering Basil, which attract all manner of bees, hummingbirds, dragonflies, and multi-colored finch-like birds, I am in the throes of deep love. The smiling kind, sweet kind, grin-making kind that fills your heart up to bursting, making even his 3 hour snore-fest last night something to chuckle over, rather than throw his clothing out second story window, preferable while engulfed by flames… the clothes not yours truly.

Moving right along, there are many reasons to love a man. Snoring may not be one of the top 10, but with any luck you are dating someone who is so fantabulous that this minor inconvenience will be ignored, or dealt with utilizing the bitch-slap pillow method while feigning innocence…”Hmm, whaaa?… I was sleeping…”

  1. The fact that no matter how much dirt he tracks across the living room and kitchen floors, he always, and I do mean ALWAYS rinses out the lunch containers and coffee to-go mug you packed for him that morning, saying “It’s the least I can do after such a great lunch!”
  2. The fact that he still, after 16 months, manages to look sheepish for tracking dirt across floors. Without shoes 90% of the time, btw. Men… =)
  3. He tells you every Tuesday morning during his commute that while he does not want to go to work, and he doesn’t like Tuesdays (his Monday), the good thing is that he gets to come back here tonight, so it’s gonna be a good day.
  4. He is incapable of folding a shirt… or any article of clothing, actually. Now this normally would be seen as a fault, but to get to the age of 46 and still be completely baffled at how nothing I fold “looks all crumpled like mine does” is rather endearing. This from a man who can rewire the cable in the bedroom, make a coffee, re-pot the crowded tomato plant, and tune up your car before you manage to get all the groceries put away.
  5. He makes sure you… well, YOU KNOW, at least 2-8 times before he does. Every night. Let me say that again, ladies… EVERY NIGHT. I so completely and totally WIN!!!! =) =)  Just kidding, but seriously, when you find someone who takes your pleasure as seriously as his own, and who laughs aloud when you are capable of only laying there  whimpering and says “That a girl, all relaxed now?” is a keeper. As much as I try to reciprocate and allow him a quick night now and again, he says that while he loves the final course, all the appetizers just make him so damned happy. And yes, I do  completely believe him. That grin is too huge to fake. =)
  6. He eats everything you make for his dinners, without complaint, and also with gratitude. While I am a rather excellent girlfriend, my cooking skills for what he loves to eat are less than stellar. I have learned his preferences and am slowly making some adjustments to my own recipes to suit him, but am human and capable of really messing up a dinner here and there. My biggest embarrassment was when I burned the bejesus out of the bruschetta, and we had to saw the bottom 1/2 inch off the bread before we could eat it. To mess up such a simple recipe had me in fits, but he grinned and told me “But I love burnt toast.” Which happens to be a total lie but the man will eat almost anything I put in front of him. No olives or avocado, though.
  7. When you get up to pee at night and crawl back into bed, he reaches for you, folds his arm around you and says “You’re really back” like you had been on an Arctic expedition for the last year. Better still if he has no memory of the nightly line and is sheepish at the retelling. =)
  8. He shows up. Not just for food or sex, but is present. Really and for true… like when you want to talk after sex at 1 in the morning and he is falling asleep but struggles to reply, if incoherently. Or when he has a shitty day and two guys retired and no replacement is in sight and the rain fried all electric lines for miles… but he tells you that you made his day 98% better. How? By being you.

Obviously there is no way to top that last one, so I will let you all go. Have a spectacular day, peeps. Know my life, this man, and our relationship is by no means perfect or without faults and trials. But for all our rough days, there is light and sunshine and love… and for me, that is enough. Namaste, darlings!

 

just a pile of random shit…

It is too hot here to spend much time contemplating real bloody topics, so I am resorting to a list. Aforementioned heat melted brain to the degree that one cannot come up with 10 items that go together in any meaningful way, so I thought I would just toss out some random thoughts, Tish style. =)

  1. If one is looking to change careers with teaching being the end game, consider your state’s liberal arts university. Small class sizes, writing intensive courses and LAC requirements mean one comes away with a more personalized and marketable degree, as well as being hugely prepared for the Graduate level work one will need to complete. The real bonus, though, is that you will have 10 or so PhD holding professors who personally know you and your work ethic… no small thing in a small state!
  2. Paul and I were at the Cape recently, and we decided to “rough it” rather than spending the $600 to do the activities we would have enjoyed, had the coffers been full. Opted to kayak with the seals rather than take the crowded boat ride, and had a peaceful and magical time. Ate the free B&B breakfast, and light lunch of sandwiches/snacks, deciding to go out for one real meal a day… seafood, since it is what they are known for. Saved a bundle and had better seafood than if we had to budget for 3 full meals out. We also got up crazy early so we could park for free at the best beaches and skip the crowds.Hottest part of the day was spent in the outdoor shower then napping in our spacious room, as half the cost of a crappy hotel room, and we were literally .4 miles from the boat launch and beach. We set a budget and found ways to have exactly what we wanted without compromising our wallets. Think you cannot afford to get away for a few days? Ping me for more recommendations! =)
  3. I have read 8 young adult books in as many days… and am now even more grateful for Thoreau than before, if possible. While there were a few glimmers of hope, I now know  why our kids cannot spell or comprehend a complex thought. Just saying.
  4. I am experiencing a weird phenomena, shifted my calories back to heavy lunch and light dinner, added my pervious health shake, and cut out pretty much all crap in the hopes of resetting my system after a long bout of sickness and meds. Have gained 1 1/2 pounds in a week. GRR….!!!!! This very limited exercise is literally KILLING me, and need to do SOMETHING that will not hurt knee that I can do at home!
  5. Kohl’s Cash dollars earned always, and I do mean ALWAYS are valid starting the day after a sale ends. I get it and all, but every time?! How about changing it up once a year, just to keep us on our toes?! Of course, cannot complain too much buck during the sale, I managed to grab two $35 pillows for a mere $#.05 each, by using my coupon and card. Love/Hate relationship defined.
  6. Michael Phelps, golden boy extraordinaire, acts like the lovable dufus he is at any and all moments, appropriate or not. He is revered, and we understand that “boys will be boys.” Gabby Douglas stands still during the pledge, hand not on heart, but silent and respectful anyway. We filleted her and will be serving her over toast in the atrium for brunch tomorrow. Bad Un-American. Other than skin color and gender, can anyone provide a VALID reason for America’s disgust for this girl, and the excuses we make for that boy?
  7. Am officially caught up on Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, and House of Cards on Nexfilx, leaving me with only The West Wing to enjoy while I am melting to death in the evenings… I suppose this is a good thing with Uni starting back up in 2 weeks, but still, am sad. And a little relieved that nothing new has caught my eye to the extent that i will be tempted to blow off Italian to sneak-watch while kiddo is being good and working on assignments in her room… I would never live that down.
  8. Ever wonder why, 2 years later, you “accidentally” unfriended someone on Facebook? Go ahead, click them back into your life, no really, it will be fine. Not a chance of 13, 899 posts irrelevant to you showing up on your feed 12 seconds later. Sigh.

Well, that’s all I have today, peeps. Heading out to bring the kiddo to DR, grab some groceries, library for a bit. WAY too hot to enjoy outside time; friends tried the lake for an hour yesterday, srsly ONE HOUR, and came away with second degree sunburns, the lot of them. AFTER applying spf 60 liberally. My plan is to pretend we are star-nosed moles and eat watermelon on the couch with shades drawn all afternoon, watching scary movies and sipping frozen-to-slushy watered down Gatorade. Hope you all make it thru the insane weather this week, I do hear relief is on it’s way, and am reminded that I will be longing for such balmy temps come February. Love to you all! =)

i’m gonna write this…

Ah, August… almost half over already… wtf??!! I need to accomplish SO MUCH more before Uni starts again on the 29th. Trying to cram in another few chapters of the “last maths class you will ever have to take,” but hmm… you know I’ve heard THAT before. Technology for the Educator text is 600 pages without binding… sigh. Comparative Lit and History all good, so there’s that. No new computer as of yet, but plenty of post it notes and highlighters. Not so bad after all, I suppose. Just wish there was more time…

So, I am going to write THAT post. You know the one, in which loyal readers disappear as fast as ice cream at a Weight Watchers meet and greet, else they eviscerate you and leave you for dead, gleefully shouting around your larger than desired crumpled form.

As an eventual Professor who needs to feed herself in the interim, I am also a Secondary Education major, doubling in English/Comp Lit and Sociology. This means I will likely spend a few years teaching at the high school level until I can get enough of the PhD completed to warrant a faculty position at an institution of higher learning. This means young adults. With me. In a classroom. Gods help me… how anyone can NOT grasp literature and comprehensively read anything thrown their way at that age escapes me, but THAT conversation is one for another day. I will be in the weeds enough here shortly without opening that can of worms…

So, young adult literature. In my day, when the earth was new and I had to fight dinosaurs to walk to school, uphill, both ways mind you, there was no such genre. We read Dickens, Dumas, Melville, Dickinson, the Bronte sisters, and all manner of others, from Vonnegut to Cather, Hughes to Kerouac and pretty much anything classical or intriguing in between. Sure, we sometimes had to battle the librarian and the principal in order to check out those books if not being read in class, but they only had our best and innocent interests at heart, you remember…?

Now we are inundated with not 1 or 2 or even 4, but 6 shelves of these brightly colored (or vampire and wraith adorned) books in the local library. Out of necessity, I checked out a slew of them, in preparation for the YA Lit class I will be taking this coming January. Anticipating a glimpse into the inner workings of the adolescents I know, you can imagine my surprise at content, story line, and vocabulary level staring back up at me in defiance…

I KNOW, many of you love this genre. I KNOW, many of you would rather your kid read these books rather than comics. I KNOW, some of you are secretly applauding your suspicions that I was an elitist all along, but just listen for a sec, please. I chose them completely randomly, simply by shelf and alphabet, bottom to top. I came away with 14, and have gotten through 8 of them. I may be making correlations where none exist, but I was left a little stunned. Has anyone else noticed that a large percentage of the subject matter seems to romanticize problems such as cutting, anorexia, or pregnancy? One could offer that these books provide a safe space for a child to feel not alone, and to gain hope for themselves. BUT… I saw some alarming trends toward the reinforcement of the “Broken is Best” ideal that this generation seems to be clinging desperately to. One book in particular read like an instruction manual for eating disorders, including calorie counts and purging cycles that best help one attain one’s goals. WTF??!!!

I am also deeply disturbed by the racial implications, surely picked up by this impressionable age group. In three, yes, THREE of these random books, middle class white girls binge and purge, slice happily away at their taut skin, proving to the world, and therefore themselves, their inner strength is immense. The books I read by African American, Latina, and Native American authors had no such subplots. Including the 16 books I read last semester for SOC class on this exact topic, not one eating disorder to the bunch… maybe that is because for the most part, in the books I have read, they are already hungry. Sherman Alexi famously says, and I paraphrase here, that “Indians already have eating disorders… that’s what happens when you can’t afford food.”

So White Privilege rears its ugly head once again… and yes, I am aware that people who scream “ALL Lives Matter, not just BLACK” will take me to task over this. I am just wondering why, when from a cognition standpoint, morality is a social construct and we literally and collectively create the world around us and what we deem acceptable, WHY these themes persist to SUCH a degree in the literature designed for an age group who already is struggling to develop their own identity? WHY does it seem** that we are encouraging our kids to embrace the nasty bits of life, where I was encouraged to break the chains that bound me and FIGHT for every shred of self respect, decency, and moxy I could muster so I could just fucking get on with my life already??!!

**seem to me, and several educators I know, who are of varied racial identities**

I feel the need here to iterate that this post is NOT meant to marginalize anyone struggling with anything I mentioned above, or any other issues. I have my own child who is struggling greatly with identity, and I found out recently that a specific behavior that he and 3 close friends were exhibiting last year came directly out of a book they had to read for health class. Upon reporting that to the principal, I was told that this is “what kids do at this age, they copy behavior that is interesting to them.” Sigh.

I have spent 2 weeks debating the posting of this one, and discussed with 5 professors in 2 countries the trends of what we purposefully expose out youngsters to. Additionally, that is NOT to say there are not great series and single books out there for this demographic. The “Wrinkle in Time” series, for example, or even Harry Potter, that flawed and still great Boy Who Lived. Betsy’s Wedding, To Kill a Mockingbird, Flowers for Algernon, The Book Thief, and Thirteen Reasons Why specifically come to mind. Don’t forget anything by Tolkien, John Green, Douglas Adams, S. E. Hinton, L. M. Montgomery, and Scott Westerfeld, off the top of my head. So why on earth am I even writing this, if there is so much else out there? Because you know as well as I that flash is what gets the attention of adolescents today. And If one small group of girls whisper that this or that certain book “srsly changed my life, kwim?!” and sends the title to a couple thousand of their twitter BFF’s, then by next week Facebook and Instagram will have exploded under their praises…

But I digress. All I wanted to say is that this genre has a collective power rivaled only by the GOP’s. And if we want our young adults to know there is more out there, we have to find a way to entice them with it. And I don’t think Charlie and the wonder-mouse will stand a chance against ways to exert power over adults, get away with bullying, or even how to lie more creatively. Thoughts, peeps? Thanks as always for keeping it real, and if you have a series or book that is exemplary within the YA genre, please chime in… I am already creating my Grade 10 Eng/Comp book list. =)

tupac and mis-education…

Yes, I realize I am a white female, formerly of upper-middle class means. Yes, I realize some of you may dismiss my words because of the aforementioned niche I find myself in. But I have eyes and ears, I have used that past money to travel and volunteer, and I have seen and heard things that made my blood boil, and made me fear for those of you not protected by the insulating layer of white privilege I have spent much of my life under, until I stood alongside those of you of richer colors, fighting for change, and your glorious shades began to bleed over onto my embarrassingly pale flesh…

He was by no means a saint, but he was not all sinner either. Tupac was a man of complex ideals, a poet and a provider, an activist yet also someone who spent more than a few nights behind bars, often admitting to the 9 kinds of wrong he had been up to, and often not, as the case may be. But do the negative aspects of his life necessarily negate the man’s entire existence? I think not, and hope for my own sake that I am correct, or we all will be in for a world of hurt in the afterlife…

I re-read Woodson’s “The mis-education of The Negro” recently, and the words seeped into my soul as they did dozens of years ago, in becoming aware that what African American children were being taught later “crystalized into deep-seated insecurities, intra-racial cleavages, and interracial antagonisms.” How can a book written in 1933 be so relevant today, heartbreakingly correct STILL in the admonishment that we are literally forcing a sub-par life onto some of our nation’s best and brightest?! How can race STILL be an issue, in the year 2016CE??!!

So while I finished up another paper detailing another painting of white people by even more white people, I am listening to Mary J and Tupac and Erykah and thinking how different my life would be were I born in Color… I am wondering why we insist on white-washing our history, our nation, our children, and yet, millions are spent at tanning salons every year in the good ol’ US of A, presumably to make us white ones darker… anyone else see the fucked-upped-ness of that situation, folks?! This still feels dangerous to me, this intolerance that has not for one second let up. Rev Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcom X, Dubois and Washington and Haley and Hurston and Hughes and Ellison… all dead and gone, and everything they stood for and stood against, namely the uplifting of the African American and the defeat of bigotry, people, is still a struggle here and now, today, right this second on our collective experience. Isn’t it about damned time we let all this hatred and fear go, and embrace the possibility that we can be great together? She sighs and heads into the kitchen to make popcorn and coffee, too upset to eat a real dinner, and realizes she will not let her child relax with friend this evening, but will lecture them and get them to embrace their inner activist, in the hopes of a brighter and more colorful future… exit stage left, cue curtain.

 

oh boy…

Hmm. I have been rolling things around in my mind, tossing and turning them from ephemeral wisps to solid, mixed and risen, full formed thoughts, rising in the back of my head like fluffy Parker house rolls on the back of a wood stove.

I have noticed a tendency of me to avoid things here… but what and when is a mystery to all, including me. I can speak freely about sex, drugs, kid and ex problems, but do not like to tackle ethnicity or disparity too often. I hold back at the weirdest times, and for no apparent reason, given the shit that has come out of my keyboard in recent years.

So again, my mind is a mess, stress and love mixed in with Italian, kayaking, changing my hair style, and the possibility of dogs, a boat, and maybe even the “M” word, at some point. Kombucha, a new couch, braised baby bok choy with tree ears… I am in the sea of the swirly, twirly gumdrops for sure.

But one real thought, one hard and concrete thing keeps interrupting my Grey’s Anatomy time, I mean my STUDY TIME this morning. That is the presidential race in general, and the nominated candidates in particular. The sad-making aspect of this clown-car of a race is that we are making history again in the nominations of these two people. The first woman presidential candidate! WOW! =) And the first businessman, a non-political entity, SERIOUSLY? It could be an amazing time, this race that shows that Americans do indeed have the power to elect who they choose, which is NO SMALL THING, even in today’s world.

But I cannot feel happy about this. Because while a woman, a strong and capable women has been chosen to be the Democratic candidate, if she wins and our country continues down its present path, ALL women, as well as the Democratic party as a whole, will be dismissed in the future. And gods forbid the businessman wins, our country will be broken by the vitriol, misogynism, narrow-mindedness, and xenophobia that bubbles out of his mouth, to divide us further than ever before.

I fear for women, I fear for access to birth control, I fear for access to health care. I fear for anyone of any color other than white, and I fear for educational opportunities. I fear for those of us who do not have unlimited income, as we will be further marginalized, and I fear for what that will mean to a country in which the majority is indeed not wealthy.

BUT… I also have hope. I have an eternal belief, unshakeable and child-like, that hard times may come, but each of us can cast our pebble into the stream and change the direction of the waters. THIS is what makes our country great, the fact that we can STILL take matters into our own hands, and effect change as meaningful as our imaginations will allow. WE have power still, WE can make something we can be proud of. It may not be without a fight, but we can accomplish greatness, if only we DO.

So I will take a moment here to ask, beseech, implore you, ALL of you, to please exercise your RIGHT and RESPONSIBILITY to vote this November, and in your local elections. I cannot tell you who to vote for, but I can tell you that you have a voice, and not to use this gift is irresponsible. I do not know what tomorrow will bring, do not know how crazy things will get before they get better. But I do know if you allow your voice to be silenced, you are contributing to the further demise of what made our country great to begin with.

I know the candidates are fallible humans, with pros and cons each (presumably), and sometimes casting your vote is more of a “voting against one rather than for another” scenario. Regardless of where you stand on the issues, your party affiliation, and your perspective, it is time to step up. We are not in a time of tranquility and ease, as much as I would like it to be so. We are in a season of upheaval and change, and I just know in my heart of hearts that I can count on you all to stand up for what you believe, no matter what that may be.

I will leave you on that note, and hope in the days that come, you can stand alongside with me, feeling the possibility and hope for our collective futures, and know that you contributed to what we can together create. Namaste, peeps… =)

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