I blog gluten-free

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lean On Me?

Lean on me...
I've been asked a few times why and how I manage to slip away from people here and there. I have to. I love them, but it gets to be too much. I am often told, it's ok, you can lean--- I learned that leaning is a really good way to fall flat on your ass when the "dependable wall" moves. This of course, doesn't keep me from acting as the wall myself, because I have always been expected to be. Yes, I have high expectations for myself, maybe higher than those I have for others. I'll get mad at me before I do someone else. If I actually go after a person, they really screwed up!
Still, when other people are upset, I kind of feel it in the air, even when I can't quite pinpoint, or don't know what to say. Or if I should. Or how. I'm still feeling what I call my November Chaos, although the month of December will be on us shortly.
I do occasionally tell others to follow their own advice to me. Because I care, I also occasionally offer a kick in the ass if someone hurts themselves, which I hate to see. But I am unclear on how to actually state sometimes "Hey, what the hell- knock that off"- I get terrified to actually step up.
So I'm itchy. Waiting on Mom to come back from the ER soon- checked in on things a while ago- I keep seeing chaos- numerous people- one who, years ago, first sat me down at a kitchen table, and finally watched me break and admit that things were worse than I let on- who now deals with extreme pain, a relationship that  turns her into a quiet shell of herself, and now, as it breaks again, leaves her a wreck... family still acting like fuck ups, wanting so much more than I can offer in a shoulder to lean on, and more... and not quite having a damn clue what the fuck to do, even though, I manage fine in the abstract.
And I hurt. Damn humidity. Damn November. Damn nightmares. Damn, damn, damn, damn. I haven't helped anyone. I've hurt myself.

Have Yourself A Goofy Little Christmas

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas is really a wee bit depressing. (Not that I don't love Judy Garland or occasionally sing it myself) but it's not really all that joyful. (And in Meet Me in St. Louis, the adorable Tootie, upon reaching the end of the tearjerker, goes out and destroys all the happy snowpeople she made, and her "dead" dolls' graves- um... yeah... I leave that one alone.) But I'm nothing if not a classicist, and I love music, from the tear jerking, soulful, cry in your voice type to, I'm sad right now, but I remember happiness and I'll have it again, to just pure unbridled joy.
So I decided to attempt to rework it. This is likely not a faithful song parody. It is not meant in any which way to take away from the beauty that is Judy Garland and her husky, soulful interpretation.

Have yourself
A goofy little Christmas
Laugh! And laugh some more
From now on

There'll be mischief
And be mayhem

Have yourself a goofy little Christmas
Dry your tears and say

By George, that Eric Brooks has caught teh ghey!
From now on

No apologies need be made

Here we are, 
And there'll be muddling through
So have yourself a goofy little Christmas


We will laugh and dance 

Screw the Fates
We can all make choices
Hang the  shining tinsel 'pon a pretty girl
and have yourself a goofy little Christmas 

Have a lovely Christmas, Advent, Chanukuh, Kwanza, Yule (Solstice) and Eid seasons.
Happy Christmachanukwanzasolsticekuh. And to all, a wish for joy. Sto lat!

Beth's Mad World

I have this annoying tendency to be a huge sap. I think I'm a giant boob sometimes.
I really have no damn filter... but I also tend to stutter when the time comes to say it like I really mean it. One day, I was informed that I must be one of the last "truly honest people in the world". My heart broke. Because it came out of the mouth of someone who told me that I needed to learn how to lie. I chose to not go through with those lessons. I admit it: I have a lot of ideals--- I think everyone is naturally honest, we learn to lie, just as we learn hatred and fear- and when someone proves to me that they aren't honorable, aren't honest, and that they aren't the person I thought they were, it still hurts. With everything I've gone through, you'd think I'd have learned my lessons and quit being the happy idealist. I think I lie to myself sometimes.
I can't say I haven't hurt someone, or more than 1 someone(s). I have. Sometimes, to protect myself, and because I keep thinking someone should probably be protected from me, I remember that I am very good at taking care of myself, and that I have pulled my fair share of nasty stunts. And I walk away, often finding out that it was a very stupid idea. But I know how to do that and keep that pretty well covered-up. You wouldn't know it looking at me, and I wouldn't begin to tell you half the time. Well, there goes that darn cat out of the bag. You know something? As long as someone finds joy, then maybe there was no wrong time. I don't know. I'll figure it out as I go.
Well, since I'm being emo:

Monday, November 29, 2010

Candy Cane- Girl

Every year, I become the recipient of at least 2 packages telling me that I am under orders not to open until Christmas. I never did look as a child, I couldn't stand thinking about how sad my parents would be if I was caught. Now, it's just a sense of honor-- I obey the gentle order, although the suspense just about kills me and I have to usually hide them in a closet- Out of sight, Out of mind- and while I am always delighted, it's so darned nerve-wracking!
My hand to heaven, I will not do that to anyone!
I shall obey even if it kills me. Darn it!

My Velveteen Rabbit

Some nights, when it's quiet and still, if I peek out through the crack in my curtain, or if I'm outside and just quietly sitting, a little wild rabbit comes very close... he'll sit there for a good while, too... just quietly sitting. He's about the size of both of my hands together, and he runs if I move or when I go back in, but if I'm quiet and just read my books, which I'm famous for around the complex, apparently, he'll occasionally find a spot to get closer, but never less than 3-4 feet away. I've taken to referring to him as my very own little Velveteen Rabbit, a reference from a favorite children's tale of mine.
It's nice to have a pet again of sorts. I always manage to "befriend" one wild animal when I'm by myself outside, from a stray cat that would sleep on my feet, and was of such an orange-y color, I took to calling her Marmie, short for Marmalade. There were also the occasional rather tame birds who would sit near me, or the cricket, or, yes, the bat that scared me quite out of my mind. I took to simply, as the Beatles might put it, Letting It Be. He moved on shortly, and I thanked my lucky stars for that and that it was just a little fruit bat. I think he enjoyed greeting me by flying right towards me when I flicked a light on though!
I guess the wild ones see me as quiet and gentle, so they don't bother me. And that's OK.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Na Zadrowie!

Na zadrowie! (Polish for "To your health"- another cheer I like to give, much like Sto lat! which is a wish for the blessed to live 100 years of happiness- usually done on birthdays.)
Even in the darkest times, lord knows I've had my little attitude problem lately!- I thank God for many things, all the time, but ESPECIALLY on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
I am thankful that:
I recently rediscovered pancakes and they were more marvelous than I remembered.
My kidney function is better than it has been in oh, say, 27 years.You're reading that right.,.. it's the Lil' Kidney that Could.
I have friends who constantly want to make sure I'm OK, a mother who drives me nuts, drives like a drill sergeant on LSD (meaning: she's quite authoritive, but sometimes, she takes hair pin turns that freak me out)- and uses language I don't often hear out of her mouth, and I never feel unloved, even if I feel lonely. Because someone will pull me out of my slump.
Bad marriage- Learning from and getting a divorce!
My celiac diagnosis, which, oddly, caused my urologist to cancel surgery on my bladder and intestine when the issue suddenly disappeared. (Leading to a frightening moment where he gasped and said "What the heck?" I asked, fearfully, "Oh, no, what's wrong?" He said, laughing, "Look! The problem isn't there anymore! Keep doing what you're doing; (Prayer and diet), it's working!") It's annoying, and I miss some things, but... for me, I have my health. I might seem fragile, but this is healthy for me.
I could have been dead many times over: I AM ALIVE! I'll repeat that: I'M ALIVE!

If I am having a bad day: I try to think of all the good stuff, will kick myself in the butt if my attitude problem gets TOO bad and I count my blessings.
On this Thanksgiving, and as we enter the Christmas season,
Na zadrowie! May God bless and keep you! Sto lat!

WBC Tire Slashing

Westboro Baptist/ Tire Slashing

One part of religion I've always detested, probably WHY I always will choose faith over religion if I have to choose, is the amazing amount of people who hate for God. I detest what Westboro Baptist does. Fred Phelps makes me feel a bit sick. But it is not mature, responsible, or faithful to get back at someone you detest. Tampering with a vehicle, including slashing tires, is still a crime. Just as protesting a funeral should be, I don't care if the deceased was a one-eyed-one-horned flying purple people eater from Ork who committed terrorism- the family and friends deserve a chance to grieve. There is nothing mature, reasonable, or Godly, about slashing tires. (and believe me, I fully support or have done, some protesting myself, never in a religious vein however.) Fighting with a religious bigot is a no-win, time consuming proposition that leaves no one with dignity intact. Now, if you really want to practice showing God's love, even to those you don't like (Remember: Love thine enemy) keep your fat mouth shut and fix the tire. Or, you know, whatever else they might need. No, no great battles will be won. None were won in this situation, anyway. But in this way, you do not fall prey to becoming a selfish schlub who gets revenge on dense people.
The WBC does a fine job acting like idiots; you do not need to join them in that act!
1)The WBC should not be at any soldier's funeral
2)When they give the rally cry of "God hates fags" - they are attempting to speak for God.
3)It is illegal to screw with a car.
4)It is stupid to try to get revenge on, or get down at the same level as a religious bigot. Why would you want to be seen in this light?
 God does help those who work for Him. But doing something as stupid as screwing with a vehicle is probably not going to put a dent in the grand scheme of things. If they are going to be an example of hatred and intolerance, then it is up to those who actually work for God, to actually practice what they preach. I might detest someone's religious / political leanings, for example, but that doesn't mean I'll stoop to their level.
So I won't laugh at this article. I'll be sad, because someone's death turned into a circus for idiots. I'll be sad because there are people who hate for God and don't see the contradiction in it. I'll be sad because in anger, someone stooped to the level of the bigots.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Coffee Bean Chronicles

Captain's Log
Stardate: November 23rd, 2010 0903

Day One Minus Coffee:
Still pretty normal. Found tea. It's ok. Holding out for real coffee and legs that work. Send reinforcements.

Day two minus coffee:
Today, overheard Hanson. Urge to kill rising. Send reinforcements.

Day Three Minus Coffee:
Frigging TEA?! Do I look like a bloody limey? It's piss water! *spits* SEND REINFORCEMENTS
Day Four Minus Coffee:
Whose brilliant bloody idea was it to start this demon beverage anyway? Dad should have guarded his cup better. Cried at a Starbuck's commercial.  Please, for God's sake, send reinforcements! I hallucinated and thought my neighbor was an anthropomorphic coffee bean.
Day Five Minus Coffee:
Hallucinations getting worse. Yelled at someone on the phone. Apparently, he wanted to sell me life insurance. Or was it panties with an embedded radio? Either way he got an earful. Please *Sobbing* Send reinforcements!
Day Six without coffee:
Unintelligible. Sources say Beth was alternately shaking, sobbing, and screaming cuss words in German.  
Please, you can help. Who can look at that cute little face and say "no"?
Day Seven Without Coffee:
Raided decaff for guests. Cried. Send help, before all is lost.
Day Eight Without Coffee: cursing the goatherders who first saw goats dancing after eating coffee berries, and the horses they rode in on.
Day Nine Without Coffee: Cold, so cold. Send Help. Please... please...
Day Ten Without Coffee: Beth is an empty shell of herself, with messy curls and hallowed eyes. Don't get too close without coffee...she will snap. Please, won't you help this poor cute little thing?
Beth can't talk anymore, but she keeps signing "coffee" over and over, it's just pathetic.
Thou art a beautiful and cruel mistress

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Angel On The Subway

If we choose faith, we must suspend our reason in order to believe in something higher than reason- Søren Kierkegaard
(Once again, I'm trying to take on a heady issue, in which there may or may not be any right answers, except for those that are right for the individuals.)
I was always taught, (remember, I was raised by a man who did make his novitiate in the Franciscan orders)
to look at it through the eyes of Hebrews 11:1 :
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.- New American Version (I go between this and the KJV) 
So, in essence:
Faith is believing, without absolute proof. We HOPE we're doing right, we HOPE that our faith will make us whole, without the burden of scientific proof. I don't know if you could look at my experiences with faith and how they shaped me under a microscope.
One of the biggest kicks in the rear from God was during a very hard time in 2003. Try looking at this scientifically, or from a "logical" standpoint, and you might just see what numerous people look at on the streets daily. I saw an angel of sorts.

I left after classes one afternoon, heading off to my job at the Citizen's Environmental Coalition in Buffalo here. I had a lot on my mind, I'd just finished midterms, was in an awful relationship and saw no end in sight, and was, a little out of it and not myself. I had to go from bus to the subway system to get further downtown. I sat next to a sweet, bedraggled middle-aged lady, dressed as those who live on the streets often are. She asked me for some money for food, I offered a meal at the next stop instead, if she was really serious about being hungry. We got off, and I bought her a burger and sat and ate with her.  She told me, very seriously, "Something will happen today, hold on and pray, and you'll be OK." I kind of brushed her off as a sweet but slightly loopy crazy person, but thanked her, smiled, and we went our separate ways.
Later, after a fast dinner with my boss, we headed out, discussing environmental manners and at that moment, Senator Bruno and the Super Fund sites.
I was careful, crossing a street right by Buffalo's youth corrections facility, the West Ferry Detention Center--- and yet, suddenly, out of nowhere, a woman ran a redlight and the car hit me before I could react! There was glass shattered, I got thrown up on the hood, and there were cuts and bruises, but nothing more. I swear, I heard a familiar little voice (one I'd dismissed as being a kook) say, not physically, but more through the air- "See, I told you he'd protect you".
So, that's what reaffirmed a lagging faith for me, with all sorts of nuttiness wearing me down. I call her my Angel of The Subway.

Brutal Honesty

I always say I prefer to be honest, and to be brutal if I have to be. Might as well give this a shot. 

Here it is... This is your chance... From here on... TOTAL HONESTY... Raw hard facts... Revealing evidence of character... ARE YOU READY!!!  After doing this yourself... you are hereby charged with spreading it throughout your friends like wild fire. 

You will be given a word, respond with the first thing that comes to mind.

Toy = Glow Worm

Other = (s) first

Hot = tamale

Kid = stuff

Blue = eyes

Big = hearted

Pieces = bits

Answer the following questions.

When was the last time you felt unsatisfied?
It happens on occasion. Then I kick myself in the butt and remember what I accomplished.

When was the last time you thought about a friend naked?
Good heavens, why would I do that?

If you were a vegetable, what would you be and why?
Sweet pea (that totally counts, right?)

If guaranteed anonymity what one thing would you do?
Tell a lot of people just how I really feel.

Who was your last text from, and what did it say?

What was your last google search for?
I wanted to see if I had a poem by Emerson correct.

Have you ever made out with yourself in the mirror?

You just found a $100 in the parking lot, do you keep it or turn it in?
Turn it in, even if it means going to a police station to do so.

Would you rather fuck Eva Mendez dead, or Oprah alive?
Wow. There's a new one. I was afraid it was going to ask about my socks or something. And frankly, neither is my type.

If you were forced to eat only one thing for an entire month what would you choose?
chocolate chip cookies and milk. 


S'mores or Weenies

Pumpkin Pie or Pecan Pie
Pumpkin pie

Coors or Bud
I'll abstain.

Whiskey or Vodka

Spring or Fall

Now that you are at the end... Add on one question of your choice... Answer it and tag all your friends... ;)

At this moment in time, what decision from your past would you change if given a chance, if any?
At this moment, I would not simply lie there like a rug for people to stomp on, but proudly stand and say screw you! I am NOT a doormat, I am a human, damn it!

If you could leave behind a list of advice for the future, would you? What do you think the most important thing you could say would be?
For me: You do not "find" love, in that sense, until you love yourself, not in spite of, but BECAUSE of your quirks.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Time For Everything & Everything In Its' Place

This is, sadly, a rant. Because I've seen too much of this lately.
Please remember that while I appreciate, and use, a rather filthy sense of humor, I also try to remember that There is a time and place for everything. If I rant, at the fact that of late my being able to realize that my phone just rang, and I am frustrated that others are likely getting pissy because they think I'm ignoring them, do not answer it with "Did the clinic call with your test results?" This looks bad on any angle. If there were an issue, logically I'd like only those closest or with need-to-know to actually know. If it's for other reasons, like my kidney function, yet again, this is still a painful part of life. Yes, I got pissed first. And frankly, I snapped. And chose to delete because I'd never gotten pissed at this person's behavior before, and indeed had allowed it, or tried to redirect them. But it struck to close to nasty things I used to hear said to me in front of others to put me in my place. I was close to sending back "What the fuck, you really have your mind in the gutter, motherfucker. Knock it off".
I was also feeling like it was so crude particularly when the person knows I don't have the wherewithal, I don't think, to handle two Facebooks, and have very nosy family members on my page who occasionally ask me "What's with the dirty humor"? My explanation is always "I've heard worse out of you."
Truthfully, I also almost sent back, "Oh, are you cranky, you old fart? What's a matter, not enough tit pics lately?" I am being evil, because no matter which angle I try to view the "sarcastic" inquiry into "lab work", I feel very violated. I'm a little over sensitive right about now. But I have to try to remember that my sense of humor can be pretty dirty, although I do my best not to make a person feel shame when they are on the receiving end.

Searching For Simplicity

I can't honestly say that as a child, my life was simple.
Oh, I had my days of grabbing my blankets and pillows, turning the kitchen chairs and all the couch cushions into a big fort, and reading by flashlight in my "safe" place :) (A lot of fun when company came over for coffee with Mom, haha!) or showing my visiting speech therapist the latest artwork, doll, or book I was reading (all the better to help me learn--- "This is Sally," or "This. I like this.") I had my star-gazing on an old WWII wool blanket Grandpa gave me for laying out on the grass. I had an older brother to alternatively torture and snuggle (he still occasionally does that!)
But I do recall simple moments, where I didn't need much... sitting on the old speakers, the old headphones on my head, speechless with excitement. I recall feeling rather floaty when I really liked something. I remember days of speech therapy where, if it went badly, I went to my room and hid under my covers until someone talked me out. Numerous trips to Grandma's when they thought I was too young and might get scared seeing Dad in a hospital bed. After a while, it became a fact of life, like the insulin in the refrigerator, or the numerous doctors he saw- some of whom, like our ENT, we actually shared or would end up sharing- like the kidney specialist/ surgeon. Yet again, it didn't seem odd to me to see the Gentle Giant laying in a hospital bed from the time I was 6 to about the time I was 12.
That scares me... that I could see a man with tubes everywhere, in a sterile room, and think nothing of it. Whenever we changed places, he was more than happy to ask me what a nice girl like me was doing in a place like that.
I never really knew the simplicity of childhood, I suppose... so now, I occasionally end up with this new zen attitude, attempting to actually learn and apply lessons from none other than Winnie the Pooh, but I've gotten to appreciate that. I do thank heavens, though, that I do know how to struggle, get by by the skin of my teeth. But sometimes, I just want to lay back and let the world spin without me for a while.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Choosing a Favorite

There is a tag which asks you to choose your five favorite movies, books, and songs. Argh! In keeping with the tradition, I have a hard time choosing, thinking it's something like being asked to choose your favorite child or whether you'd like to lop off his toes so he can fit in a smaller cradle. Yes, I'm one of those people :)

But I'll try. Nothing is in any particular order, or will stay static.

2)The Life of Brian
4)Sweeney Todd

Books:1)The Cider House Rules- John Irving
2) A Prayer For Owen Meany- John Irving
3) Where the Sidewalk Ends- Shel Silverstein
4)Goodnight, Moon- Margaret Wise Brown
5) The Gashlycrumb Tinies- Edward Gorey

Songs: (Oh, my, here is where I become most sad)
1)Baba O' Riley (AKA Teenage Wasteland)- the Who
2)My Funny Valentine- Frank Sinatra
3)Black Balloon- the Goo Goo Dolls
4) Try, Try, Try-alternative version -the Smashing Pumpkins
5) See What I'm Saying- Powder

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Damn It, I'm Mad

Have you ever had a moment where someone says something so completely insane, or contains too much more information than you care to know?
First up:
A friend is dating- engaged to- a complete and total idiot. (This is nothing new, but having been on the other side, rather than the one attempting to hold on tight for them, my opinion is probably the last thing they want.) Yes, she is a very big girl. (As in, Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs would be utterly infatuated.) She has often engaged in risky behaviors, or let people walk on her in order to feel "love". (I occasionally want to snap my fingers in front of her face and say "Hello, Polly! Wake up, Polly!" in order to see if I can snap her out of it.) She is loving, sweet, gentle to a fault. I compare her to a rather sweet and clumsy puppy. The other day, after reading one of her posts on an assignment she was doing, I scrolled down to see that she was mourning because she obviously hadn't gotten pregnant yet. I feel very bad that I heaved a sigh of relief, but I don't need her going through it all with a baby involved. The erstwhile husband-to-be has yet to say something true, is constantly "looking for a job"- look I know it's hard, but 6 interviews a week? Really? Honey, you're not James Evans. And he occasionally found a job here or there. Polly* has yet to meet his parents, who apparently go inbetween visiting with him "in Vegas" (trips he goes on ALONE), to "disowning" him.- hence, no $.  he has separated her from her friends (we all ended up becoming like family in these past 8 years.) When she became very sick, for months, she kept on being sick, while he still used her for his personal needs. When finally forced to go to the ER, she was told she was in bad shape. Since he could not get up to the hospital to be with her, she walked out, AMA, as they wanted to keep her. What, might I ask, was he SO afraid of? So many men would heaven and earth during these moments! The stories he tells don't ring true. All in all, it's a familiar story, and I want to give her a good kick, but also grab her and hold her and tell her everything's gonna be OK.
Next is the entitled brat who realizes being a grown up is so hard. My brat of a cousin, who was taught to call adults, including mom and dad by their names, is offered whatever they want, if they'd just quit screaming, and so on and so forth. (This is also a kid who steals the money from the cards at her younger brother's graduation party.)
Sorry, kiddo, it doesn't fly with me. Especially when you look older than I do. It sounds like an old woman just behaving like a shit.
I'd feel for you, but you were taught selfishness as a virtue. It scares the hell out of me. The fact that you brag like that- you never were taught to rely on your brain, gut, or on honesty, it was ask, or scream, until it was given. Well, Happy Birthday, Petra Pan.


Fate: Old crones measuring out the fabric of Life from a roll, One spinning the cloth,  one gently tugging, measuring,  one standing poised with scissors at that moment, ready to snip the ties that bind one to the mortal coil.
We could say fate rules our lives. Why do I struggle? I try to be good! Did I do something awful in a former life?
But if fate controls us, then we are mindless, we go whichever way the winds blow. (Sadly there are a lot of people who act like that!)
There is no sin, then, for we are fated to do right or to do wrong. But we are made with free will. We can stop situations we don't like, if they don't feel good for us. We can CHOOSE to do wrong, (Indeed, we can rationalize: "It's for the greater good! It's for God and country! I need to feed my starving child- in Jean Valjean's case in Les Miserables, his first crime, that began the catalyst, was stealing a loaf of bread for starving nieces and nephews.)
So therefore, we make- create our fates. Good or bad, from mistakes we make, we find ourselves where we need to be to learn lessons, salve our wounds and repent and move on.
If we did not have free will, we could not sin.
If fate is all that rules us, then we could not figure out how to take something terrible and turn it into something beautiful. From my mistakes, I can teach, I can help others. I can BE THERE.
We are not ruled by Fate. We make our own.
All we are powerless to stop are death and taxes. And that as sure as God made little apples, we will have idiots, in power, and not in power, to amuse us and infuriate us. And the sun keeps rising in the east, and setting in the west.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ten Nine Eight...

It's true that I feel I've been a bit tagged out on Facebook...don't get me wrong, I adore figuring people out in any which way I can, but it isn't often I see anything new and different that makes me think, makes me dig.
(It's also true that I'm posting this in the wee hours of the morning. Don't worry- I settled on a half and half caff, and should get those pesky days and nights worked out soon!)
This tag does make me think, because while I seem open, there are always things I may or may not say out loud!

1)Take care of you, too. I'm OK, I'm a big, tough girl!
2)Fuck you, you fucking fuck. You know who you are.

3)In my childhood, I said "I hate you" and immediately felt bad, because it felt wrong. But thanks to you, faithless preachers, I now know what passionate hatred feels like. You taught me HOW to actually hate, not just to say it in anger.
4)I'll forgive you, eventually, it hurts that I haven't been able to, yet.

5)You're not some nice guy who occasionally offers a few beers to the kids. You're a pedophile and an asshole. May you rot in hell.
6)Thanks, you never will know just how grateful I am.
7)I can't believe how often you tell me that you look up to me for my strength. You don't seem to know that I use you as an example, you're a survivor in so many ways!
8)Girl, he's no good for you. You ARE beautiful and wonderful, someone WILL love you. Dump him!
9)Tell me something, as a Seventh Day Adventist, you're not supposed to drink, smoke or have premarital sex, and I don't think turkey bacon counts as "kosher"- what gives you the right to preach to ME?
10)My Angel of Mischief, you don't know how much I miss you. Love you!

1) My eyes go from blue to gray to green naturally. Often it's a sort of mixture.

2)I'm a rather stubborn little thing.
3)If I had to choose an absolutely favorite animal, I'd have to pick the "elly- pant"- elephant- although I love butterflies, too.

4)One of my top 5 favorite songs is "Try, Try, Try" by the Smashing Pumpkins, but I hate the video.
5)I have conductive hearing loss. I'm extremely high functioning, but I have a few give-aways. It all began when I was young. I'm grateful I can hear what I can.
6)In November, I go through a period where I tend to be mildly dark- I don't like my "Emo" moment, so I try to find ways to get through it before I make myself angry at my poor attitude.

7)Hi, My name is Beth, and I am a caffeine addict!
8)With no. 5 having been said, often I listen to music on high, flat on my belly. Sometimes those big old headphones from the 80s help, but right now, I sometimes, sacrifice sound for feeling.
9) I'll read nearly ANYTHING, at least once. If I like it, a thousand times. I can't help reading fast, sometimes I have to break it down so I can really soak it in.

*In some way, show me how music affects YOU. You don't just sit stoically and nod your head here or there, do you?
*Humor. Of all kinds. Look how odd mine is!
*Enjoy the sweet and simple.

*Have a sense of honor and duty.

*Enjoy the feeling of getting lost among the smells of books at the bookstore with me
*Understand that I'm stubborn and will not be easy for you!

*How can I really reach her?
*How do liars manage to seemingly outpopulate those with scruples?
*How is it that we still have prejudice, and why are so many bigots just flaming idiots?
*Wait- how do I say that? Why is everyone attempting to gently hide a smirk?
*Maybe I am too sensitive

*Oh, my God- stupid people are funny...from a distance!
*I really need to how to give an honest, genuine smile.

*I'll see the ocean as large as life again

*A lot.
*Finally get my psych degree
*I want to be able to say "Go screw yourself" bluntly to a few people.
*To actually relearn enough ASL that I am comfortable with it. I am still not quite comfortable in any language.
*I want to forgive.


Not understanding that there is a time and place for everything
Insisting that faith makes me an idiot.
Inflated sense of self worth
anyone who attempts to control me

long walks on the beach

Candlelit dinners
A good,  perhaps sarcastic,  sense of humor

Veni Vidi Vici. (Or, in present tense: I WILL conquer.)

But, regretting instead of learning from these screw ups would be really stupid!

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned, it's been a fortnight since my last Confession.
(No sacrilegious intent, it's an automatic impulse.)
Sometimes, I have a few moments, where I'm more of a storm cloud than a sunbeam.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Another Dystopian Landscape from the Files

In the time of sweet innocence
The pigtails flowed down their backs
Wide eyes faced the world, unabashed
In the time of sweet innocence
cheeks were round
and chins less sharp
Then there came a day, where the winds howled
and the November rains fell
The shy tried to venture forth
Straining to escape loving, but stifling arms
Into the cold, sweet round cheeks pink with excitement and exposure
The course words grated on ears that weren't ready yet
With eyes and hands, she tries to figure things out
But instead, finds herself being pulled, pushed, shoved
The room begins to whirl
And still she attempts to understand
While the cheap beer flows
And the nauseas smoke swirls
"I need to go" she says, not realizing, she can't even open her mouth in her panic.
And those she called "friend" leave
not realizing the pain and the fear
she is weighted to the sofa
Sitting straight as a little toy soldier
Arms pulled in close
"Run!" she tells herself
But while her brain is happy to oblige, her legs will not
And she sees the veil drawn in front of her eyes, first scarlet, then black
And into pain she falls, among the grime, among the danger...
And come the early hours, not safe for man nor beast, in the cold dark rain
She drags her body home, locked in silence, tears batted away

Batty McKook

The woman oozed bitchiness from her "perfectly imperfect" coif that had probably taken 4 hours to create and looked like a five year old had decided to experiment with a Barbie doll's head, to the narrow, cold, ice-blue eyes, down to the perfect "retro" outfit that had actually never been anything but a "fashion no-no". In between the words that oozed from her lips, coated in what she thought was a lovely shade of red lipstick but really made it look like someone had taken initiative and socked her in the mouth, she popped her bubblegum madly. While sipping coffee, Katia stared at her with interest, over the rim of the thick, creamy ceramic mug.
"These disabled people," began the preamble. Katia's eyes fell to the terribly made-up lips, the stiff gestures of the angry hands of a bigot. She'd been annoyed by the woman a few times already this morning, acting like a lady of the manor in a small west-side coffee shop run by student liberals (a terrible choice, but they were all too polite to do anything but stifle their laughter in sips of coffee and polite coughs.) "Free money! Food stamps! And these idiots getting them jobs! I don't want some mongolian handling my oranges! I don't want to have everything translated- I see 'shadow puppets' of sorts at church! If they can't understand singing, why should the deaf be exposed to it?" (Damn it, Katia thought, you couldn't say melons and make your stupid statements amusing?) "They should be sterilized. Or maybe, put out of their misery." Katia, tired of distracting her young nephew, stood, and walked over.
"Hi!" she said, purposefully making her voice and gestures, from her wave to her pantomime, to her "bouncy" step, more effusive and bubbly.
"Hi," the woman said, sounding rather confused.
Katia pointed to the hearing aid in her ear, pointed out that she herself had a disability.
"Hi," she said again, using the flat voice she'd had when she'd first begun to speak, a mild version of  the so called "Deaf Accent", "I've got good news. This past week, I was paper-trained!" She purposefully allowed the words to be more simple than usual, and to sound ridiculous. But the woman was taken aback.
"Be careful what you assume," Katia put some emphasis on the beginning of "assume". "Some of us read lips. And most of the time, the 'learning disabled', are quicker than you give credit for." She turned on her heel, a military style pivot and went back to her nephew, who bore a whipped cream mustache from his hot chocolate and was gazing at his reflection in a spoon. Bitch Woman looked shocked. She had no idea that ranting to her "friend" who stared at her, now, mystified and amused, would lead to anyone telling her off. Katia had no clue what had caused her rant, she'd received only snippets, but she was never one to keep her mouth shut when people behaved stupidly, or hurt themselves. Katia's nephew looked up at her. "Aunt Kate?"
"Yes, boo-boo?"
"Why are you  just sitting down?"
Katia grinned. Mikey had been so interested in his cup, that he had assumed she'd just been pacing as usual, reading the newspaper or finding something else to do, rather than sitting down at the same time he did, and then getting up again.
Katia wondered if he'd heard Batty McKook, but decided to keep quiet. She knew he'd be exposed to all sorts of people, but didn't want to show him the dark side of humanity if she could help it.
"I move a lot, silly, you know that."
"Let me guess, one of the paintings on the far wall caught your eye while Ted was talking to me about sports."
Katia thought for a second, and nodded. She hated lying, but the truth would hurt her more.
"Where did Ted go?"
"Just before you came back, he said he had to go shovel up front, or something."
Katia looked up. Their old friend, Ted the Barista, was busy cleaning a blender. Pausing, he used simple pantomime to let Katia know that he'd told Mikey that Batty was digging her own grave, and that Aunt Kate was being nice enough to offer her a better shovel. Score ten for Mikey's selective hearing! He'd seen the snow and sleet through the window, heard "shovel" and decided that Ted was going to shovel the snow in front of the cafe!
Was it wrong, part of her nagged, to lie to Mikey by omission? To tell him that Aunt Kate had gotten angry enough to go after a mean, nasty person because she didn't want to expose him to bigoted nonsense felt self-serving to her on one hand. On the other, it didn't feel right to lie that she'd been off staring at a photo of the sunset while the guys talked sports as they usually did. She smiled and sipped, and talked with Mikey about school, while her mind tumbled...

Bethy's Dirty Thirty

Not so long ago, I was informed that I wouldn't make it to thirty. This is before some major surgeries and lifestyle changes.
Every so often, I get a list- and I LOVE lists, I make them all the time- from "To Do: laundry, coffee, jog, eat.." (as you can see, I'm slightly OCD and need all bases covered!) of "Things to do before 30, things to do before dating, etc."
So, my list of things to do before 30:
1)Quit using "should" in relation to myself. I don't like it, and often the shoulds don't apply to me.
2)Quit thinking along the lines of Shouldas Wouldas and Couldas. It just makes you miserable.
3)Laugh at lists that tell me that at this age, I *should* not be shopping in the junior's section. I finally found something that fit there! (A belt). -so, I have nice pants, that with work, don't bag down like gangsta pants.
4)Every woman MUST have pretty, well fitted lingerie. For herself. I always feel nicer when everything fits just right. In this day and age, so many women are wearing bras that are either too large or too small. STOP THAT! Get fitted! (Amusingly, I found a bra in a box I was unpacking from my pregnancy days---a 38C--- it is laughably huge now! I am thinking of using it as a catapult.)
5)You know that old Frank Sinatra song, telling young housewives, to remember to be their husbands' lovers too? (You know, Wives and Lovers)- Sure, I like looking nice. But I'm not going to immolate myself if I forget mascara and lipgloss one day, provided I at least wash my face! I don't need to look like a doll, I just need to be me. Be natural and the beauty shines through. (I always preferred being a funny Valentine anyway.)
6)Don't forget important birthdays. You don't need to necessarily remember Horace the Greengrocer's Anniversary of Birth, but if you find out, buy him a Coke and tell him Happy Birthday. But parents, brothers, sisters, etc? Yeah, try to remember that. Last year, I was so shocked when my brother asked me if I was 20 now. Uhhhhh....
7)Don't ever think you've got it all figured out. Something WILL trip you up. When that happens, be sure to have your wits and a circle of loving friends and family around you.
8)Order a real drink. Appletinis are classless, and if I want a lollypop, I'll eat one, not drink one.
9)Quit holding long grudges. Yeah, you got embarrassed. OK. Now STFU and understand that it's just a tiny ripple in a big pond. Learn to laugh at the craziness.
10)Don't blame Mama for every issue. You can make decisions, too, y'know?
11) Dating rebels without causes. All you're doing is getting screwed over in the end. Now, a rebel WITH a cause, that's a case-by-case decision. Notably: what is the rebellion against, and can they put aside the protest and be human?
12)Letting people lead you. It's OK to be nice. But if you can't say no, you're screwed.
13)Know that it's the simple, and often, the childlike things that can teach the most valid lessons. My heart swells at the end of the Paper Bag Princess, where Elizabeth, who has saved the prince, and been insulted, as well as consigned to wearing a paper bag, and knowing that the bratty prince does not love her, finally snaps and shouts, "Ronald, you're a bum!" (or in the British version, a toad)- "and they didn't get married after all." Here, Elizabeth shows that we don't need to while away in our towers singing "Someday, my prince will come...". She saves the day.
14) Understand that there are things to fight, to be angry about. But, yes, do forgive those who have hurt you. It's a long process, but the opposite doesn't make any sense whatsoever.
15)At least once, save up and get a pair of tailored pants. That's my next step. It sucks being irregular.
16) Get regular trims, even if growing out your hair. Don't be stubborn like me and refuse to let scissors near your hair for a long time
17)It is ok to refuse adamantly if your mother tries to insist on shorter hair again! (BE POLITE!)
18)Love yourself because of your quirks and be proud.
19) Don't worry about popular music. If you're all over the map, embrace it.
20) Know there is no such thing as embarrassing songs on playlists. This said, I have a confession: I like a few recent "pop songs". Because they spoke to me individually.
21) Don't feel as though you need to explain yourself to everyone. Your true friends love you for your quirks. Those who hate you are idiots.
22) Don't be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes, we can't handle things by ourselves.
23) If it works, don't let anyone tell you differently. Don't believe every bit of advice, even if it comes from me.
24) Watch The Meaning of Life and the Life of Brian and sing along as much as possible.
25) If it hurts, if it doesn't work, quit doing it!
26)Sometimes, as much as I'd like to, I can't tell you what to do. Sometimes, we have to work it out for ourselves. But I can be a shoulder.
27) Lying does nothing more than hurt others and you. I can forgive once, a thousand times... but after a while, you will lose all respect and friends. Be honest and faithful.
28)Love one another. If not romantically, at least respect-wise.
29) Your friends do not have to think or believe as you do. If this is how it is for you, brother, I pity you.
30) Travel as much as you can. Don't stay in one place just hoping!


Regrets. If asked about mine, I tend to say, "Oh, why look back?" I have to be honest: Sure, I've got them.
10: Being infatuated with this Kurt Cobain lookalike all through highschool. He was after all, my first kiss... he stole a kiss at my sophomore Homecoming. (He was obvious, I was... frightened enough to squeak.)  Looking back now, that sucked too! When I dated him years later, I realize he preferred being the misunderstood loner who took no part in actually fixing the issues he complained about! He annoyed me, and that was over Pretty Darned Quick!
But he played 7 instruments, including bass... swoon...
Quite a few of my regrets could be as obvious as the nose on your face. We'll not look at those.
9) Not learning how to stand up for myself before I took the crash course at the School of Hard Knocks.
8) For the longest time, saying "no" was difficult for me and got me into trouble.
7)Playing with "Dark Auburn #50" at age 14. I looked like Lucille Ball was bleeding from the head. Strawberry blond, my natural color until about age 6, works best for me. And by this I mean more blond than pink.
6)Chopping my hair short for the swim team because caring for chlorine-damaged hair got to me and I let scissors near my head before I thought twice.
5)Letting people lead me into trouble. I used to be this quiet little thing who would take whatever people hashed out, as long as I was just getting into the outside world.
4)Not doing the dice-chop-peel and removal of bad friends sooner. I had to separate the wheat from the chafe, and when I did, it still hurt like hell.
3)I used to feel guilty about things I hadn't done. I still occasionally apologize without realizing it. Every so often, I even will bump into my coffee table or my fridge and say "I'm sorry" before I think about it.
2)Not getting tested for Celiac Disease prior to October '09. It took nearly needing surgery on my intestine and bladder to scare me enough to say "This is not just a milk allergy. Something is screwing me up." That, and concerned people who noted that I was not just white, I was bluish, with heavy circles under my eyes, and could not keep food down.
1)Letting doctors prescribe heavy medications---at one point, a medication I was given to prevent nightmares (Also known as doping you up to enable dream-less sleep) left me zombified and feeling like each leg weighed 90 pounds. I was very pleased with myself when I told that one bastard doctor off!
I don't  regret that my choices, my hard times, my dances in the dark have taught me extremely valuable lessons. I don't regret that I see my mistakes as a lesson that I needed to learn. I think in every life, we should have an opportunity to screw up. The clincher is, learning from it, not hurting others, and not repeating it over and over again.
I don't regret that I'm the goofball that I am. Indeed, that I can be silly and dorky, crack jokes, and be me, is a major miracle!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Why I Support TWLOHA

I've posted it before, in varying forms, how I turned to rather dangerous ways to cope in an abusive marriage, where I also received abuse from my ex-husband's family, in varying forms. (At one point, due to massive religious, faith-less fundamentalism and zeal for preaching how they could sin all they liked because they were good Christians, and that I was awful and did not believe enough, that I was sick because God was punishing me for my sins, I would joke that I quaked with fear if they served Kool-Aid. Actually, it was food itself they served that would make me ill.). I turned first to cutting... providence, or so they say, of the teenager and emo-kid. Of the attention seeker. The scars are fading there, now... I wrote over them today. I would wear long sleeves in 90 degree weather. Not just from those, but from that lovely, grab the biceps and shake type hug I used to get. I learned pure sarcasm. Rather dark sarcasm, at that. I lied when people would see them... oh, I slipped... I became rather accomplished at covering for my embarrassing habit (to me) and for others. To this day, if you ask how I managed a broken lower rib that punctured a lung, I tell a half truth: "Oh, clumsy me, I fell down the stairs!" I also used diet pills... at that time, Hoodia was the choice. I would get caught by my mother, who finally witnessed me literally hitting rock bottom in front of her. I went through therapies, withdrawl, acquired a tendency to smoke 2 packs of cigarettes a day, during the worst withdrawl period. For the longest time, I refused to sing... I had practiced very hard... O, Holy Night- to this day, a Christmas carol I love but refuse to sing- and during the church service, I saw the disapproving face, the arms crossed, the anger that I'd gone out in public. And I choked, literally. I was given water, and finished, before running and locking myself in a bathroom, with the help of a sweet old man with heart but who really couldn't carry a note in a bucket. Later, privately, I was informed by my ex Husband, aka Sperm Donor, that no matter what, I would always sound like a cat in a Cuisine- Art.
I kept quiet, plotted, planned, did my best to get out of the house, to move- by myself- to- actually, right where I am now, or thereabouts. Friends would ask me questions. My therapist would ask. My surgeon asked me after I was coherent after my kidney surgery- "Good heavens, I don't know," I hedged. A friend passed me the info on an organization called To Write Love On Her Arms as I began my divorce proceedings, during which I tossed out my ex, and his rather lascivious friend, who, with my ex's permission, had taken a migraine induced nap to his advantage. I ignored their pleas and shouts and threats and focused on myself. I called myself every kind of fool, went for even intense counselling, and made my apologies- and those whom I'd wronged the worst, told me to shut up, they loved me, they knew I was strong, but told me to bend, so I wouldn't break. To this day, while this is all dark memory, they worry, and I can see it. But yet, I am told by people I admire just how strong I am, that they look up to me. I credit, God, family, friends, my own stubbornness and will to live, and To Write Love On Her Arms, along with counsellors and physicians, for saving my life, telling me I had more to do, and people to help, beginning with me.
I am proud to support TWLOA.

Yes, Bethy, There IS a Santa Claus

Macy's Department Stores have begun their yearly ritual, dropping off a letter to Santa at the North Pole in their special mailboxes.
Info, here: Believe!
Yes, I did write my own letter, and am passing along some notes and a stamp for my nephew to do the same. The Believe! Program donates $1.00 for each letter, to the Make a Wish Foundation.
Plus, with as rough as this year has been, a little child-like simplicity and that I can feel it, means a lot to me.
What did I ask for? A hippopotamus, world peace, etc... my usual. I must bore poor Santy Claus to tears. (Actually, following Eartha Kitt's example: I wouldn't mind a light blue convertible, either...)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dear Champ

Dear Grandma,
It's been weird these past few months, Champ.
Lots has happened.
While we were cleaning out your room, I received a call letting me know that an apartment I'd put in for as a "I'll see, but I don't think it's going to happen, never hurts to try" thing called. I was accepted not 2 weeks after that. I keep wanting to call you and invite you over for coffee. (I've picked up the phone with that intent more than once.)
Grandma, it's been nuts here... I'm working on a lot of projects. I know, you always told me to try to sit still, but I can't.
I'm still reading up a storm. Thanks for all the books you bought me and indulging my love of reading, Champ.
I hope the family can stick together, but it's hard watching people go nuts. And not knowing what to do. But I'll try... I'll be me, love who I love, stick to friends, and eliminate the bad, just as I've been doing for years.
One of my favorite photos of us, taken in '06. 
I love you, Champ. For you, I'll be having that strawberry milkshake I promised you. I'm glad you liked the ones I brought or would ask hospital staff to bring you, even if it was a Boost shake in the Hospice Days. And for you, I'll learn to smile. Love you, Champ!
Happy 83'rd Birthday, Champ!

A Limerick

'Twas once a girl named Jill
Whom, when she saw a hippopotamus,
Aye, her heart would thrill
And tho in vain she tried to make him a pair of pants
The sweet girl had a heart as big as his bottomus.

Crisis of Religion

I am having difficulty at present, reconciling my faith- how I believe, what I believe, with the Pope, whom I usually only refer to as Mr. Ratzinger, Herr Ratzinger if I want to use my limited German, because I don't see him actually helping the sex abuse victims of clergy as he promised, particularly after his visit to Malta. It seems odd to me how we went from John Paul II, who as a young priest, Father, or Uncle Karil (this to keep the children he taught safe in WWII Poland and under Communist Regime) did his best to spite the Natzis, while Herr Ratzinger was a Hitler Youth. No matter that some joined to keep themselves safe... it just weirds me out. The past is not mine to judge. The present? Well, Mr. Ratzinger, where is the aid? I'll pray about this. Enough about Herr Ratzinger.
And now, the makers of the Pope's Cologne, which, golly gee, must be the bees' knees, have commissioned the world's first Scratch 'n' Sniff Holy Card. "The Pope's Cologne" is apparently made the same way as that worn by Pope Pius IX. Pope Pius IX is "canonized" even after his Vatican police kidnapped a Jewish boy from his family, whom Pius raised himself. What happened, apparently, was that a Catholic maid had illegally baptized the boy during an illness, and in that time (Mid-to-late 19th century) it was illegal for Jewish parents to raise their child, who being baptized, were considered Catholics. Apparently the child grew to love his foster-father, the Pope, because he himself fought for Pius IX's canonization. Woo hoo! I can smell the Pope's Man-Stink!
How saintly, Pope Pius.
Please note: I have no ill will towards the Catholic Church. If I see action, I myself will state, yes, I support Pope Benedict. But these are things all Catholics should ask: How are these humans, still capable of greed, sin, prejudice, and of inaction when action is needed most, infallible? Yeah, I'll be working on that. And working up a Confession... but I guess we all have a crisis of religion here or there. My faith is strong, My brain won't quit, and my flesh is weak.
Somehow, I don't find this saint reassuring.

Tips from the School of Hard Knocks

My basic survival tips learned at the "School of Hard Knocks"
1) In a jam, a bit of instant hand sanitizer with alcohol doubles as a deodorant substitute.
Purell Pictures, Images and Photos

2)Is it humid? Is your hair a massive mess? I like to add a touch (meaning no more than a pea-sized amount of defrizz serum after I towel-dry my hair). I am not perfect, so occasionally work has to be done on the fly. A basic dryer sheet (try the unscented...YOU don't need to smell like summer flowers or fresh linen!) rubbed over the hair, and then combed, helps out beautifully.
dryer sheet Pictures, Images and Photos

3) Are you a single woman? Did you come face-to face with someone threatening? As someone who has learned to defend themselves the hard way, I found that, because I lack brute strength, if I want to subdue an attacker, I can spray them in the eyes with hairspray... it will sting like hell, and if you've ever been around when people are using massive amounts of the stuff, it can temporarily glue the lashes shut. While they're weeping, or attempting to open their eyes DESPITE the pain, (and they will), run like hell!
Aqua Net can save the day!
aqua net Pictures, Images and Photos