Saturday, February 28, 2009

Enough Already with the Doom and Gloom

Hmm. . . looking around. . . trying to find something less dreary to post. Okay, I think I've got it.

Here’s a meme that’s been going around. It’s called the bucket list. You have to review all 100 items and put in bold the ones you’ve already achieved in life. So, here is my bucket list (though I must say I wouldn't put a lot of these on my own personal bucket list):

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii .
5.Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris.
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch.
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi concentration camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Ridden an elephant

Thursday, February 26, 2009

One More Whiny Dark Haiku

Just get over it
It was very long ago
Put it in the past

Easy words to say
Hard to put into practice
Difficult advice

Hard to overcome
Years feeling inadequate
From harsh words spoken

Why could I not be
Well liked, respected, and loved?
What was wrong with me?

What do others see
When they look at me today?
Am I still outcast?

Am I nothing more
Than what I was told back then?
Fat, ugly, clumsy?

The girl who couldn’t
Turn a cartwheel, learn to skate
Such a clumsy girl.

All she had was brains
Go sit in the corner and
Read you clumsy girl.

Leave the rest of them
Alone, ones who were better
And fit with the crowd.

Sit on the sidelines,
Be quiet, do not disturb
Others’ status quo.

Do not speak your mind.
Nobody wants to hear you
And your dismal thoughts.

The anguish is real
It is here now in this time
Not just in the past.

My reality
Like it or not this is me.
Don’t tell me I’m wrong.

Don’t patronize me
And tell me you understand
You don’t understand.

It’s never enough
It’s never okay to be me
I’m never okay.

Perhaps aren’t working as well
As one might expect.

Don’t worry. I’ll come
Through this episode, return
To my wiseass self.

Life will continue.
Spring will soon arrive, perhaps
With it will come hope.

And with hope maybe
There will be a return to
Prose without Haiku.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I remember you
You were the one who laughed when
I tripped and fell down

I remember you
You were the one who told me
We couldn’t be friends

I remember you
You were the one who picked on
My weight, clothes, and smarts

I remember you
You were the one who called me
Names while others laughed

I remember you
You were the one who stood by
Glad it was not you

I remember you
You were the other one who
Was bullied with me

I remember you
You were our teacher who said
And did naught to help

I wonder do you
Remember me? Do you care
That I carry scars?

Do you care that I
Distrust a little more due
To the part you played?

Do you care that I
Struggle to face my demons
And sometimes I fail?

Do you care that I
Struggle to face my demons
And sometimes succeed?

Do you care at all?
Or did you move on with life
Gladly free of me?

Comments remain closed for now.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Haiku from a Conflicted Soul

Where are you my friends?
Why does friendship elude me?
I cry day and night

Doing myself in
By pushing people away
I self sabotage

Get close! Be my friend!
Oh wait, not so close! Back off!
Come back! Be my friend!

There’s an old adage
To have a friend be a friend.
I really want to be!

Internal struggle,
Get well enough to be friends.
Don’t push them away.

Sometimes too scary
To let anyone too close.
Help me let you in.

Be gentle with me.
Do not tease or point out my

Do not treat me well
To lure me in so you can
Hurt me like others.

Or just go away.
If you won’t be my friend then
Don’t torture me. Please.

I have closed comments for this post. No matter how you might respond, either kindly or unkindly, it would surely bring me tears, and I don’t need any more of those right now.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Somehow This Just Feels Like Me Right Now

Your everlasting summer and you can see it fading fast
So you grab a piece of something that you think is gonna last
Well, you wouldn't know a diamond if you held it in your hand
The things you think are precious I can't understand

Are you reelin' in the years
Stowin' away the time
Are you gatherin' up the tears
Have you had enough of mine
Are you reelin' in the years
Stowin' away the time
Are you gatherin' up the tears
Have you had enough of mine

You've been telling me you're a genius since you were seventeen
In all the time I've known you I still don't know what you mean
The weekend at the college didn't turn out like you planned
The things that pass for knowledge I can't understand

Are you reelin' in the years
Stowin' away the time
Are you gatherin' up the tears
Have you had enough of mine
Are you reelin' in the years
Stowin' away the time
Are you gatherin' up the tears
Have you had enough of mine

I've spent a lot of money and I've spent a lot of time
The trip we made to Hollywood is etched upon my mind
After all the things we've done and seen you find another man
The things you think are useless I can't understand

Are you reelin' in the years
Stowin' away the time
Are you gatherin' up the tears
Have you had enough of mine
Are you reelin' in the years
Stowin' away the time
Are you gatherin' up the tears
Have you had enough of mine

Friday, February 20, 2009

I'm Just All Tact and Manners (or Not)

The Scene:
A large throng of people is exiting the Assembly Hall having just witnessed a disappointing performance by the Illini. It is cold and a few snowflakes flutter down through the sky covering the ground and cars with a light dusting like powdered sugar on French toast. There is various and intermittent conversation amongst the crowd as they walk towards the parking area. TS and N are amongst the throng trying, like everyone else, to make their way to their car before hypothermia sets in (okay, yes, that’s probably an exaggeration but dog gone it, it was cold that night, and windy, so it felt like hypothermia might set in). Although TS is not trying to eavesdrop various snippets of conversation close by reach her. She pays little attention, but does hear and register a bit here and there.

The Dialogue:
Random Man (Man): Do you want to go get something to eat?
Young Woman (presumably his daughter, around college age) (Woman): Sure, that’d be great.
Man: Let’s head over to Urbana. It’ll probably be less crowded there.
Woman: Okay
Man: Is there an Arby’s up there along Springfield?
Silence for a couple of seconds
TS: No, but there’s one on Cunningham.
Man: (sounding irritated) I wasn’t talking to you.
TS: (cheerfully) I know, but you asked, and I knew the answer and just thought I’d help out.

TS makes eye contact with Man and sees that he is not looking kindly at her. Man and Woman disappear into the crowd with TS seeing no more of them.

The Questions:
Was I out of line to provide him an answer? Should I have kept my mouth shut?

My feeling was that we were all (you know, literally 100s of people walking the same general direction) traveling pretty much in a pack, their conversation was hardly confidential, and I was just trying to be helpful. Apparently, I didn’t come across that way to him somehow.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Big V Day

Valentine’s Day dawned with N crawling into bed with me, snuggling with me and announcing that he was hungry. I told him I’d have to shower and dress first, but then we could have a special Valentine’s treat by going to Starbucks for breakfast. He liked the sound of that and went off to play on his Playstation until I was ready.

At Starbuck’s he had his usual, tall hot chocolate and a blueberry muffin, while I had a grande non-fat mocha and a slice of lemon loaf. On the way, he wanted to drop off a Valentine card he had for W. W wasn’t at his apartment so N suggested we stop by Q’s place to drop it off. I reluctantly agreed. We drove over and, of course, W’s car was in the driveway. N trotted up and knocked on the door. There was no answer so he tucked the card in the storm door, and we left.

After our Starbuck’s breakfast we went home and exchanged Valentines. N had been lamenting for the last couple of weeks that in his whole life (all 10 years of it) he’d never received a heart-shaped box of candy. He was thrilled when I handed him a small heart-shaped tin with 4 chocolates in it. (They were 2 for $5 at Walgreen’s so it seemed a reasonable enough expense.)

The rest of the morning and early afternoon was spent doing chores like laundry and attending a meeting at church. When we arrived home BJ had just arrived, and when we went inside I found his Valentine’s presents (yes plural) to me. Nothing big but I was very touched at his thoughtfulness and thought that what he gave me was just perfect (not to mention delicious since what’s not to love about chocolate, especially when combined with nuts and maybe just a bit of caramel). I gave him his card and a tin of candy identical to the one I gave N. (Hey! Two for $5. I’m on a budget.)

The three of us sat around and played Uno until it was almost time to go to dinner. We (the three of us) attended a dinner put on by the college group at church as a fundraiser for their spring break mission trip. It was great! The food was excellent, and in addition, there was music and an original play put on by the students. All in all it was a really good time, and we didn’t have to fight the Valentine’s Day crowds at a restaurant. I was a little worried W would show up with Q at the dinner and more worried that, given past behavior, they would sit at the same table with us. Fortunately, they were no shows. I breathed a big sigh of relief.

After the dinner we returned home, and I soon had N tucked into bed for the night. I finished the laundry and put clean sheets on the bed. BJ came to bed, and well, let’s just say we may or may not have done more than immediately fall asleep.

All in all it was a really fine Valentine’s Day.

And on another front, my laptop is down with an apparent virus. Therefore, no internets time from home, and of course, I can't spend all work day online. I'm missing out big time. Wish I had the money to call in the Geek Squad on this one. Unfortunately, I don't. Plus I'm scared to fire it up to fuck it up try to do anything myself. So there you have it. I'm an online addict with no fix. Trembling much? Yeah, like all freakin' weekend people, all freakin' weekend.

Friday, February 13, 2009


We are all flawed. It is part of our human condition. There is to be found no perfection among us.

I know that. I most certainly do. I’m trying to develop a better attitude and state of mind around this fact because my current attitude and state of mind are not working for me.

Currently, and for as long as I can remember, in my mind there are two states of being: perfect or failure. That is a very black and white way of looking at things, and the world is full of shades of gray (not to mention a myriad of other colors some of which I’m not even sure what they are, such as puce). In actuality the opposite of perfect is imperfect. Clearly part of my problem is equating imperfect with failure.

Part of the problem with equating imperfection to failure is that if you are doomed to be a failure then why be the least failed failure? Might as well go for the whole hog and be the most failed failure since no matter how hard you try you aren’t going to be a success (and here’s another part of my problem: I equate success with perfection) anyway so you might just as well eff it up big time if you’re going to eff up at all.

In my world, if I am not perfect then I am not a success. Therefore, because I am like all humans I am imperfect and therefore a failure. Carrying it further then it no longer behooves me to even try because I can’t ever be anything but a failure anyway since I will never be able to achieve perfection and perfection is the only way I can achieve success.

Now (said in my best Dr. Phil voice) how’s that workin’ for ya Trueself?

It’s not working very well, not at all. As a matter of fact it makes life damned hard and hardly worth living.

(Channeling Dr. Phil again) You must be getting a payoff with this behavior or you wouldn’t continue to do it. What’s the payoff you get out of this?

It gives me an excuse to not try. It makes it okay for me to sit on my butt and do little to nothing to make my situation better.

Okay. There. I’ve said it. That’s as far as I can go today, right now. I have to let this marinate for a while because it’s a big deal, a big effing deal, and I need to think about how I’m going to go about changing this attitude problem and how I can revise my point of view on things. But it’s a start, this acknowledgement of reality.

It’s a start.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

In Support of Gay Marriage

I know not all my readers agree with me on this issue, and that's okay. In this country, we have the right to our own opinions. This is mine.

"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Random Observations from the Past Week

  • If one attends a memorial service with one’s girlfriend it is probably not a great idea to sit with one’s ex at the reception afterwards when there are plenty of other open places in the room. Consider this your helpful handy tip of the day.

  • If one receives a calendar with important events included on it, and is also reminded twice during the week of an event, one of those times being just three hours prior to the event, one should not be surprised when one’s lack of attention to and attendance at said event causes ill feelings on the part of those affected. Another helpful handy tip of the day. (I’m nothing if not helpful.)

  • Spring-like weather appears to contribute to good feelings and a sense of wellbeing deep within me.

  • I am learning that strength does indeed come from within myself. Nobody can give it to me, nor can they take it away from me.

  • When my therapist asked me about friends that I have who would call me occasionally just to talk and see how I am without wanting something from me I couldn’t think of any. That made me sad.

  • I also realize that I have to be that kind of friend if I want to have that kind of friend, and I don’t do that well. I’m too afraid of calling at the wrong time, saying the wrong thing, embarrassing myself somehow. Self-consciousness is my downfall.

  • During the conference season, the Illini have done very well at home and have pretty much sucked in road games. This doesn’t make me feel great when they have two road games this week, although it’s a bit comforting that one of those games is against Indiana, a team that has only one conference win so far this season.

  • Meeting your boyfriend’s grown, or nearly grown, children is nerve-wracking. Even more nerve-wracking is not getting much feedback on what they thought of you thereby insuring you won’t feel any less nervous the next time.

  • I really work better as part of a team than as a lone wolf. I like doing things together with someone else rather than by myself. That makes single life very difficult.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Can't Seem to Get the Ton of Bricks Off Me

Curt's death hit me like a ton of bricks. It continues to sit on my chest today. I'm sorry if this seems very self indulgent to focus so much energy and so many blog entries to this, but it's my blog and this is what is on my mind. I'll get back to my regularly scheduled whining, bitching and moaning about trivial shit soon enough.

I attended the memorial service yesterday afternoon, sat in a packed church with hundreds of others who were impacted by Curt's death, who shared stories of his life, who felt the impact in a way similar to how I felt it. We cried, and we laughed, and we paid tribute to a man who was someone who went about the business of making the world a better place one step at a time.

I include here a link to an online obituary and guest book for Curt. Not that you care, dear readers, but I do. What a special man and what beautiful tributes have already been left there for his family to read and know just how much he touched the lives of others. I haven't been able to write anything yet there, but I will. . . when I can get the words together to make sense and really express the feelings that are inside me.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Guess Heaven Needed Curt More Than the World Did

His death hit me harder than I ever expected. Maybe part of it is how unexpected it was. Maybe part of it is him being hit by a car. Maybe part of it is how I bottle up my emotions, and when something triggers them they come rushing out. Maybe part of it is I'm trying to get as many of the tears out now so I'm not such a mess at the memorial service.

Found this song on youtube and thought it fit the situation well. Feel free to cry along with me as we mourn those who've died untimely deaths.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Cars 2, Pedestrians 0

A bit more than a year ago I was hit by a car. The car was going pretty slowly in a parking lot so I escaped with minimal damage.

Yesterday, a friend of mine was not so lucky. He was in a crosswalk when he was hit by a car. The woman driving said she didn’t see him because the sun was in her eyes. He is now in the hospital in critical condition.

He and his wife were days away from leaving on a trip overseas. Needless to say, the trip has been canceled.

I am praying (you’re welcome to join me if you’re the praying kind) that he will heal from his injuries and for peace and comfort for his wife and children.

My friend died this afternoon. I can't tell you how sad I am over this. Please go hug your loved ones and let them know how much they mean to you. You never know when it will be your last chance.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

A Small Vignette from Trueself’s World

[TS walks into the family room where her 10-year-old son N is watching TV]

TS: How does my hair look in the back?

N: It’s okay. Well. . . that silver thing in there (a small jaw clip) sure does stick out.

TS: It doesn’t look good?

N: I didn’t say that. Besides not that many people will see you from the back anyway.

TS: But the way my desk is positioned in my cubicle the back of my head is the first thing they’ll see! I don’t want to give a bad first impression.

N: Do many people come see you?

TS: No.

N: See? It’s no problem.

[TS exits room and returns a few minutes later with different hairstyle.]

TS: So. . . does the back of my hair look better now?

N: Oh yeah! It looks way better than it did. I didn’t want to hurt your feelings, but it looked really bad before.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Super Weekend? Eh. . .

Okay, dumping the contents of my brain with regards to last weekend, in no particular order other than as it comes to mind although I’m going to try to think about the weekend chronologically. Scattered minds, however, lend themselves more to a scattershot approach than actual order.

  • Friday was a day off for me. I took the day off just because N had the day off of school for one of those teacher play work days. With the cold hanging on (will it never end?) I didn’t do much that day. N went sledding. I sat at home drinking fruit juice with a little Jack Daniels (medicinal purposes you know) in it and watched soap operas. I was a slug. Oh I also did three loads of laundry ensuring that N and I will can be fully clothed when we venture into public this week.

  • Saturday N wanted guacamole and chips for lunch. It sounded so good that I agreed to go to the store to get the avocado to make it, and that’s all we had for lunch – guacamole and tortilla chips. Nutritious, eh?

  • BJ came over Saturday afternoon and watched basketball with me. We watched Ohio State beat Indiana. I never thought I’d say these words, but I kind of feel sorry for Indiana with their winless conference season so far. (And in somewhat related news, No, Bob Knight should not be offered the job at Georgia. No, no, no.)

  • Saturday night BJ, N and I went out for pizza for dinner. While we were there I got to watch the world’s worst billiards players (yes, Fusion, even worse than you and me) nearby since we were seated near the billiards area.

  • Busted! N caught BJ and me on Sunday morning. I went upstairs to shower and dress. BJ and I were both in my bedroom (clothed thankfully), me sitting on the bed, BJ leaning over me kissing me when N walked in without knocking. N realized immediately his faux pas, backed out of the room, closed the door and knocked. None of us spoke of his gaff. Since he didn’t ask, I wasn’t about to bring it up. I don’t think he knows that I know he walked in on us.

  • A blog buddy of mine is sending a gift. I won’t out him/her, but will take the time now to publicly thank this person for the gift. (Yes, I’m sure it’s risky giving my real name and address to invisible internet people. However, I trust this person entirely in spite of not having met in person. After all, they’ve made no claim to being from Nigeria and needing my help to get their millions out of the country. Maybe I’ll think differently when the gift arrives and contains a pipe bomb. Kidding! I’m just kidding. No, I don’t give out my name and address to just anyone so don’t ask, but I do pick and choose who among my longtime readers I trust.) Unfortunately, it didn’t arrive before this weekend as my buddy had hoped, but I’m sure it’ll be here in time for this weekend when it will again be useful as we have another Illini game to attend.

  • BJ attended Sunday’s Illini game with N and me and one of N’s buddies. Unfortunately, BJ was cheering for the wrong team. Fortunately, the Illini won anyway. It is especially fortunate for BJ as I don’t think his arm could’ve taken much more punching than it did even with the Illini winning. Besides that I told him if the black and gold people won he owed me some really expensive fancy dinner afterwards. What’s that? What did I owe him if the Illini won? Heh. Right. Like I’d owe him anything just for the world being in proper alignment.

  • N was invited at the last minute to a Super Bowl party leaving me at home, alone, to watch the festivities all by lonesome little self. Somehow being alone during the Super Bowl feels a bit like being alone on a major holiday. Makes you wonder if you’re really that unlovable. Plus the wrong team won. I watched the whole freaking game, and the wrong team won. Sheesh. At least I enjoyed the halftime show. I know I’m showing my age here, but I enjoyed The Boss way more than some of the other entertainers of recent Super Bowls.

Monday, February 02, 2009

John's Funeral

This story just begged to be shared, and since I have no postworthy thoughts at the moment I figured this will just have to do for now.