Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Emo Tuesday

I have reached rock bottom. I have hit that place where there is nothing left, and all I feel is a black emptiness...
I'm talking, of course, about Laundry Day.
You know, that day when everything you can possibly imagine wearing is dirty? What's that you say? You say you don't HAVE those days? You say you do laundry bi-weekly just to avoid such a predicament?
Well, la-di-da for you. Some of us have more interesting things to do than, you know. Clean. For instance, I've been extremely busy with classes and drama and... well, facebook doesn't post its OWN statuses, you know.
And anyway, my wardrobe issues are not solely dirt-related. I feel I should confess this right now...
I am a pants destroyer.
That's right. I destroy pants. I am the pants death star. Every pair of pants I come in contact with is doomed to rip, tear, fray, shrink, grow, or and/or get stained. I was down to my very last pair of jeans yesterday and... rrrriiiiiip. A big slit up the back of my calf.
So I'm now officially jeansless.
Which, in a roundabout way I won't bore you with, led to Emo Tuesday. Emo Tuesday is a thing my sisters started back in high school, and it's pretty self explanatory. On Tuesdays-- some random Tuesdays, I forget the rule--they and their friends dressed up... you know. Emo.
So now I'm tramping around school in a red corset top, black skull hoodie, and black converse. Plus a lot of eye makeup. It's kind of like a social experiment about how people react to different styles. I've been getting a lot of weird looks, and I think I scared some people earlier. I do kind of look like the depressed child of a clown and a whore.
I should probably get some new jeans.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cleanliness is Next to Die

Yeah, yeah, I know. I already posted today. Can I help it if I have a lot to say?

My mom has this thing about cleaning. It is tantamount to her-- it is ultimate. If her kitchen is clean when she gets home, the world is good and life falls into place. If it isn't... whoooo nellie. Watch out. Nothing is ok until that woman's space is organized, wiped down, sorted, scrubbed, vaccuumed, steamed, brushed-- you get the picture. Her desk is always a clutter of things that she has to do, and she does them because she needs them out of her way. Raising four kids, my mom rarely gets her way in the area of cleanliness. She's had to accommodate, settle for our less-than-best efforts. She's bribed, nagged, screamed, sobbed, pleaded, bargained, demanded- she's done everything in her power to make us CLEAN. And it worked pretty well for most of us- three out of four of her children have become her. They have taken on her inability to think in chaos, her heightened stress level when things get piled up too high, her desire for everything to fit neatly into its shiny little cubbie, the whole house glistening with peaceful cheer.
Not me.
For some reason this is my chief rebellion, the thing I seem to do to piss her off. Other kids do normal things like get weird piercings, sleep around, come home drunk, blast heavy metal, shoot heroine into their eyeballs. But not me. My addiction is to clutter. I love it. I love my little piles of rubble, my debris, my mess. I love my old candy bar wrappers, my stacks of books with the covers falling off, my unmade bed, my dirty socks, my shipping material, the five different journals in which I write spasmodically, guiltily, as if their pages have missed me while I was too busy living to document my thrilling life. I thrive, I thrill, I thrum among my own personal landscape of junk. I carve walkways on my floor, dirty laundry mingling with clean laundry, ants marching in dedicated formations under my bed to carry out particles of apple core, homework and notebooks scattered in ragged piles across the wasteland of my domain. My shelves are stacked with books-- the ones that aren't scattered on the floor. Books, books, and more books. Books on geology, books about lovers, history books, cook books, fantasy, mystery, steamy romance novels, poetry, philosophy, bibles, thrillers, classics; old books, new books, books that are falling apart, second hand books; books I loved, books I hated, books I haven't read yet. Around, behind, between, beneath the books are mementos, trophies, souvenirs of who I've been. A medal I got when I graduated high school, proclaiming me drama student of the year-- an award created for me, lasting only one year after I was gone. Willow Tree figurines, faceless and graceful. Carousel horses from that brief phase. Porcelain dolls. A gnome I sculpted, along with his brilliant purple Best of Show Ribbon from the county fair. Incense. Candles. Jewelry. Dollhouse furniture. Ceramic turtles.
If you're wondering when I start the part about the camera crew coming in a filming me for "Hoarders", that doesn't happen.
I don't know where this compulsion to create mess comes from. If you look at my desk, however, you will see that it is indeed there. I organize my desk about once a week, then sit down to write an essay or do some reading for class. I fidget. I get a water bottle. I pop in a cough drop and leave the wrapper on my desk. I pull out the assignment sheet and syllabus and look at them. I create a little cave of chaos around my laptop, and then I start working. I like to text while I write- text and eat and jiggle my right leg. And it helps if someone's making noise. A lot of people say they need absolute silence and peace to work, but I find I need a nice steady amount of distraction. Otherwise, the volume of my own thoughts freaks me out and I sit in front of the screen, humbled and afraid.
I guess I shouldn't say my messiness is my only rebellion-- there is that other thing. See, I think when my mom had three girls, I think she kinda envisioned the next twenty or so years being an epic game of dress -up. And that worked out great-- for about the first eight years of my life. Then suddenly I "decided" to become a chubber. It was not a good stage for me. Painfully shy, socially inept, brilliant in all the wrong ways, bossy, chronically afraid of everything, getting chunkier by the minute while going through a fairly early puberty with no friends and no hope that I'd ever have one... not that I'd ever been a particularly obliging or compliant child, but around that time I became a damn impossible one. It frustrated my mom, I think, seeing her bright, happy, pretty oldest daughter suddenly morph into a sullen, miserable, messy little chunk in a velour turtleneck (ahhh, fashion-- NOT one of my many talents).
I got it back, all of it, all my five year old enthusiasm and self-confidence. Everything but the pretty part. Now nobody would say I'm ugly, not in the face department, but let's face it- NOBODY wants to play dress-up (or, sadly, dress- down) with an independent-minded, size- 18 doll. And I know this bothers my pretty, practical mother. I can be as smart as I can be, and write the world's greatest novel, and be the world's most loving daughter-- and she sees that, really she does-- but the truth is, at the end of the day.... I'm still a fat slob. I still don't put things in their proper compartments, and neither do I fit in my own proper place. She loves me as much as a mother can love a child, and I know that, but the shape carved out for me in her heart is not quite the shape I really am. And as I get older, more and more I realize-- I don't want to be that shape. I kind of like who I am. I will always have this drive to please my mother, always be sad when I can't, but... somehow, it's no longer of the utmost importance. It's a painful problem for everyone involved.
I look around at my desk and I see things that are necessary to me. My pens, my makeup, my tissues, my cough drops, my water bottle, a sandwich, my cell phone, a veritable thicket of computer and charger and keyboard cords, some dishes. I see a world in which there will never be a time when I can say "Everything else is perfect now. I can sit down and write in peace." I see a world in which there will never be a time when I will say "I have done everything I should do. Now I'll do what I really want to do." No. In this life we get a certain number of days, of hours, minutes, seconds, moments. And I'm sorry, but I don't want to spend mine washing dishes and jogging. I'm sorry! I really am. I'm not that girl. I want to spend my time lost in other worlds, creating plots, ranting about the complicated, messy, inconvenient world that is not what I'd like it to be. My seconds will be spent at a desk, at a keyboard, in my head, in my mind, in a book. My minutes and hours, my passion, do not lie in having perfectly dustless curtains. And as much as I wistfully suck my stomach in when I try on clothes at the store, or fantasize about how perfect my life would be if I was thin, the truth is that the amount of time required is disproportionate to how much I really care.
I guess my point is, the world isn't quite what I'd like it to be. Why should I be what the world would like me to be? The world isn't peaceful and clean-- it's a mess. So why should my desk have to be any different?

'Cuz Your Mama Don't Vote and Your Daddy Don't Rock n' Roll

So there's been a lot of election talk lately, what with midterms and all (who knew, even out of college you gotta be ready for them!). I've noticed that there are three factions of people: people who voted, people who are pretending they voted, and people who didn't know there were elections for anything but the president. I'm generalizing here, of course.
The people who voted are -- generally-- self righteous, convicted, and liable to try to make you feel guilty for NOT voting. My history professor, for example. Her steely gaze alone was almost enough to make me feel guilty for not voting.
The people who pretended to vote are nervous. They want to be good people but are lazy, uninformed, or forgetful. These people will sometimes start half-assed political debates in order to look "in touch", then edge away with wary eyes when you argue back. This would be most of the people I see every day.
And then there's me, the out-of-the-loop couch potato. I don't know a midterm election from dog crap and frankly, I don't care that much. All I know the eBay lady ran for something, and the other chick's name is an anagram of California, plus a "Y". Because let's face it, it doesn't matter who sits up there in the capital or senate or congress or whatever. By the time you're well known enough to be on the ballot, you're too corrupt to make a difference.
I have a growing disdain for the philosophy "if you don't vote, you don't have the right to complain." On some level, yeah, I get it. We should work to change our country, not just bitch about it. But at the same time, our whole government is comprised of so many layers and branches, all of them owned by SOMEBODY, not a one of those high-ranking officials with a skeleton-less closet. You really think one man's gonna change that? One vote? I don't feel informed enough to vote, and if I was informed, I'd feel too disgusted to vote. I think one vote can make a difference, when you add up all those people who are "just one vote"-- but the outcome , in the end, makes no difference.
It's like saying that "if you don't vote for American Idol, you have no right to complain about the music on your radio". It doesn't matter, dude. This whiny man or that whiny man-- it's all the same in the end.

Novel update:
5, 748 words down...69,252 to go.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I return to the Blog that nobody reads and NaNoWriMo

So this month, after three years of being impressed by those who endeavor it, I decided to try this November novel writing thing. Joined on their website just now, technically a day late but oh well. I don't have any idea what I want to write about but I can be prolific when I turn off my editor-- prolific, but crap. Oh well. I'm also going to blog about the experience. I feel like I'm sending these words out in a glass bottle into the ocean, hoping some lonely castaway might stumble upon them and find them interesting.
Dream on.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Summer Blahs

Summer. Is there anything more capable of instilling lethargy and ennui?? It's been a weird, busy summer. And my dad reclaimed his laptop, meaning I haven't gotten to do as much writing as I'd like. Soon I'll be back at school, hopefully with some kind of computer, and as I've sworn off movies and TV, I should be a lot more productive as far as writing goes.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Shut Up and Give Facebook a Break: Why Privacy Doesn't Matter Anymore

I remember when I first used the internet. I was probably fourteen or so, and my mom stood over my shoulder, anxiously monitoring my every click. The number one rule of the internet back then? Never, ever give anyone your full name. In fact, try not to mention your first name. I remember vividly my parents' graphic description of what would happen if anyone found out my full name- namely, that they would hunt me down and rape and pillage our entire community.

In this day and age, that's just ridiculous. For one thing, I've googled my name and there are approximately eight gazillion people with the same name out there. For another, nobody would be able to find me on social networking sites if I only gave part of my name, or a fake name. And yes, there are freaks out there on the web- but there are more than enough people making themselves huge targets to prevent them from finding some reason to hunt me down. Identity theft is now much more complex than simply assuming someone's name. Our lives, on the whole, are much more transparent. We tweet about where we had lunch and we update our statuses about what class we're in. If some psycho killer was hunting us without our knowledge, we'd be dead in hours. But with very few exceptions, the truth is, nobody's stalking us. We're not being monitored. Our information, instead of being maliciously collected and used in some huge scheme against us, is actually just noise. Internet static. Really, for the most part? Nobody cares.

So what if Facebook isn't air-tight secure? It's not like I put my social security number up. I'm part of a generation that doesn't care if the world sees my info. In fact, between facebook, blog sites, youtube, etc., most of us are longing to be looked at. We can all be stars now, but not if we hide. So go ahead! View my profile information! Share it with advertisers (maybe then I'll see some ads I'd actually be INTERESTED in). Share it with the world! Maybe then somebody will notice me.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Seriously, Emily? A Poem? WHY?

Hello faithful-and-less-than-faithful readers! Yes, it is I! Back with more depressed-ness. This time, in form of a poem. Now. You may or may not have heard me dismiss poetry as the lowest kind of twiddle-twaddle nonsense. And it's true, I dislike poems. This is one reason I hate Spring- besides giving me a permanent stuffy nose and red eyes, it makes me write poetry. Just be grateful it isn't a love poem.
Truth be told, what I truly and deeply dislike are OTHER people's poems. Cats batting bats and love that comes from above and oh just shoot me, you're such a cutie. And you have to smile pained-ly and nod and say "that's very deep!" while inside some small, artistic animal is racing around clawing at the windows trying to escape.
Somehow my own poems rarely do this to me. At least, not until a few months later when I see them in the stark, realistic light of fall.
But it is not Fall yet.
It's Spring.
And Spring makes me foolish enough to believe in things like my own poetry and love.

Anyway. I wanted to post "Motherhood" on my other blog because I know at LEAST one mother will eventually read it there and I want to know how it sounds to an actual mother. I, of course, am not one. The poem is (go read it first because I want to know if it comes across) about Mary. I thought it was pretty obvious, but my friend couldn't tell one first reading, so I wanted to get a feel of what percent got an idea that it was about Jesus. See, a couple of my profs have lately been talking about Mary, The Blessed Virgin. I take exception to both parts of that. There are no verses in the Bible that support Mary staying a virgin!! Just the opposite, actually. But anyway that's not my point. My main beef is, where do people get off saying she was "blessed"? My Religion prof was saying that they couldn't put too much in about Mary because other women would try to emulate her to be similarly blessed.


Let's think about this.

First off, Mary is visited by an angel and informed that she's to be the Holy Vessel. So she's spiritually impregnated (what, God couldn't have waited for her to get married? She was betrothed and all!) which back then would have meant utter ostracism. She was a Bad Girl, cut off from her social network, abandoned by friends and family, the subject of gossip and ridicule. She's supremely luck that the angel made a repeat performance for Joseph or else she would have ended up stoned. So then she takes this loooong journey-while pregnant, remember, hugely pregnant, on a DONKEY (donkeys, last time I checked, don't come with A/C and seat cushions) to a crowded, smelly city. Then she's forced to give birth in a cave surrounded by cows. And forget gentle lowing. These cows were POOPING and stomping around. So she's giving birth surrounded by smelly animals. Pushing out a honking big baby head through virgin bits, so there's tearing and bleeding and awfulness and SHE'S terrified because at home, she'd be surrounded by friends and family helping her through this but now they all hate her so all she has is Joseph.

And that's the EASY part.

All Jesus' life, she has GOT to be wondering... am I raising him right? Am I teaching him the right things? Should the son of God's poop be that strange green color? Should the Son of God be running around the yard in his holy birthday suit? I mean, who do you go to for advice on raising the savior of mankind? And when he reaches manhood, does he settle down and help old aging Joseph with the shop? Provide holy grandchildren? No. Does he go off to war, liberate their people from the Romans? Become a national hero? No. He just hits the road with a bunch of low-life friends and tells his mother THEY'RE his family now. After kicking up a bunch more trouble and bringing shame on his family, Jesus dies.

I don't mean to sound disrespectful. The thing is, I think we glorify the wrong things- the immaculate conception. The resurrection. The baptism. We forget that these were people, just.....living. Just trying to get by. And that's the part that deserves praise. The everyday stuff. At bottom, Mary wasn't a blessed virgin or a holy vessel or something to idolize and worship. She was just a mother, and that's something to admire.