Wednesday, May 1, 2013
The hand is not just a hand. It is a collection of cells and organelles and atoms and electrons and, and, and...we recognize it. But to call a hand anything but by its name, primary to the collection of pieces and parts that create its surface, is to disregard its purpose.
Like the water in its sweating glass, like the hand attached to the person, like the person contained within this ball of carbon and oxygen, we are all parts of a whole. The whole does not exist without its parts--nor do the parts exist without the whole.
We've forgotten how it works. From the smallest atom to the fattest soul, to the largest boulders and the vastest oceans, we are all a part and contained within a body greater than our own. And not in some woo-woo, new-age, bullshittery (some might say) way, but in the way that we are all literally breathing the same air, sown of the same soil, borrowers of the same waves of light and of energy over and over again, until the energy our greater body has borrowed gets handed over for the birth of something else. In the way that your marrow will one day feed the first meal of a forager. In the way that science tells us that energy cannot be created or destroyed, we are all here sharing everything with everyone else-and you are not alone as much as a leaf is alone on a tree.
We are all here as pieces of a body. Your body is pieces of other bodies. And on and on; nothing can exist as separate from anything else. So why do we insist on acting like it?
I'm not a tree-hugger. I'm not an environmentalist. I'm not a scientist or even a guru. I am all of these things and none of them because in their labeling they lose their value -- I believe that we are all of these things and many more at our cores. I am simply someone looking for my individuation while trying to understand my connection to everything else -- marrying the two into something that makes sense of my place as a body and a cell, all at once.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
So my downstairs neighbor texts me:
"Hey Molly you hungry? Just made dinner and we've got some leftovers."
To which I respond:
"Haha" (<--where did the nervous text-laughter come from? Somebody punch me.) "No I'm good thanks, I just had some frozen pizza."
This is one of the many reasons why I love my neighbors. Along with their adorable daughters that give me Girl Scout cookies, their shoveling of my sidewalk, providing free internet access and not making snide remarks about "making music" like SOME of my previous shelter-acquaintances, I'd say we're perfect for one another. And after subsequent bashings of my frozen dietary lifestyle, I had no choice but to acquiesce to the free home-made goodness courtesy of my favorite dwelling-companions. TO MY CREDIT, HOWEVER, it was not frozen pizza. It was refrigerated Dominos.
Why the uncharacteristic ordering of overly-priced pizza at 10:30 on a previous weeknight -- sober, no less -- you ask? It was the first thing I could summon the energy to virtually order and shove down my gullet after coming out of a two-day food poisoning or stomach flu-like episode. One of which had kept me up for an entire Saturday evening and in bed the following two days. I still feel puke-drunk.
But bedtime marathons and Fifty Shades Freed (speaking of, we need to have a conversation about that) aside, I'm reminded of the few years my brother spent working at a retirement home in High School. Not because of my lack of control over my bodily functions or irrational tirades on the weather, but because of the running joke my family adopted over his role in the kitchen. It was my brother's job as a dutiful Servant of Elders to provide a few resident's meals Mechanical Soft.
For those of you not in the know, mechanical soft is a handy term used to describe one's entire meal being tenderly placed inside a blender and then mashed into a pulp-like substance, easily consumed by those without convenience of teeth. It's days like I've had this week I really wish I had someone around to liquify my food for me.
But then again, isn't that the very place at which I'm feeling stuck? Wanting someone to take care of me, but forget taking care of myself in the run-up? Trying to find this juncture of complete freedom and total dependence? Wanting all of what I want without compromise, but none of the consequences? Because as much as I hate to admit it, there's a whiny teenager lodged somewhere in my abdomen, screaming for the car keys but holding her hand out for gas money. I want to stay up all night working on my plans to rule the world, but I just don't want to clean up the puke when lack of sleep explodes in my face. And just like those retirees who must love being taken care of after so long doing nothing but the opposite, we all know it's no picnic being wheeled to the bathroom everyday.
My spiritual teacher once told me that power and responsibility should not be two words -- in essence, they work so closely together that they are the same. Peter Parker's uncle was right. With great power comes great responsibility, and every time I make the choice to treat my body as if it's the energizer bunny capable of great feats in sleeplessness, it will be my responsibility to deal with the aftermath. And in this particular case, the puke.
My mechanical soft diet has near about run its course. And I'm going to bed, because I have shit to do and not near enough rechargeable batteries in this lifetime to do it without a nap. And since I've missed you so much in the last few weeks...goodnight, my friends.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Last night a battle of epic proportions waged. In one corner, a craving for homemade chocolate chip cookies so great it could be described as criminal; brought on by end-of-Winter, brink-of-Spring anxiety that only creature comforts in the form of calorie-dense sugar bombs could calm. In the other, a lack of baking goods (thrown away in a fit of moth fright) and a fierce desire to Not Leave The House, Ever; compounded by a newfound interest in The Mindy Project and unlimited access to the entire season via Netflix (I told you that stupid thing is ruining my life).
The winner: chocolate chip cookies. Though you could call it a tie, seeing as I did subsequently finish the entire season -- aided in part by sluggishness due to aforementioned sugar consumption. Also, gluttony.
It's always around this time of year that I start noticing the inevitable signs of Winter Depression. My worst traits accumulate through the months of insufficient sunlight and too many layers of clothing: the inability to make decisions (see above); the underlying anxiety that manifests in pacing from room to room, unable to commit to any one activity; the fatigue accompanying each and every day, no matter its excitement. I don't know why I'm still caught by surprise at the dive my mood takes each year after Valentine's Day. It's official. From February to the first 80 degree day our unfortunate geographical position experiences, I am one crabby bitch.
While the snow angrily pounds the earth outside my house today, I'm afraid I've hit Critical Mass. Or some other techno-jargon, because I'm fairly sure I'm not using that term correctly at all, that means I'VE FUCKING HAD IT.
I still don't understand why I live here. Surely I would fair better in some balmy, imaginary state where snow falls but one month a year and by the time it hits I find it charmingly quaint. And then just at the right moment, it warms to a comfortable 75 degrees for the rest of "Winter." Haven't we figured out how to science the weather yet?
Bears hibernate. So do other smart animals.
So why is it that I -- as well as a majority of the human population -- still believe we have to keep the same pace in Winter as we do in warmer months? Why do we not see this as a time to slow down, to sleep more, to spend more time being domestic or simply just lying around? It's a time to recharge, right? So why the hell do I still have to stay the same weight in January as July, when all my squirrel neighbors are nice and fat right now?
Maybe we're all just nuts. So while I'm remaking the bed for the fifth time today and agonizing over wanting to do absolutely nothing but feeling ashamed about it, I hope you're at least finding some cozy ways to spend this home-binding day. And if not, here are some suggestions:
COOKIES. I've had this recipe memorized for as long as I can remember and it contributes as much to my domestic repertoire as to the size of my ass. The secret? Nestle Tollhouse. Adjust the amount of brown sugar to one cup and white sugar to a half and you have the Brown family secret recipe -- also a reason to not leave the couch for several hours. And if none of the dough makes it to the oven, I won't judge.
Celebrate Johnny Cash's birthday by dressing all in black and drinking too much. Could also be confused with a one-person funeral.
Make a list of SVU marathon names to send to USA. Instead of "Caffeinated Cases" or "Uncracked Cases" why not:
"Dramatic One-Liners Marathon"
"Awkward Explanatory Scenes Marathon" or;
"Overly-Obvious Apple Plug Marathon"?
I think I may have a future in TV. Everybody needs a wise-ass that makes cookies, amiright? And if all else fails, there's always the Middle Distance:
Enjoy your depressing day!
Friday, February 22, 2013
A friend and I were having a texual-based conversation last night. It went like this:
Remember how I told you I really need to get my period? CASE IN POINT.
Whenever women rant about how horrifying it is to experience the monthly symptoms of pre-menstruation, I find that most men that make it past the word "menstruation" without running in the opposite direction tend to respond along the same lines. It's always something to the effect of a verbal eye-roll, a sarcastic defense of their gender deeming women that have the sheer gumption to single themselves out because of a monthly bodily function either dramatic, feminist, or a hormonal cocktail of both. As if we have the ovaries to insinuate a gender superiority, or that we -- by the nature of our strife -- are capable of more than you. Because being a guy is no picnic either, you feminist so-and-so!
Fine. So you accidentally get hit in the balls by a stray something every couple months or so, and when you were 16 your hot teacher asked you to answer a question on the board during a particularly graphic midday fantasy. Get over it.
In the same way that every man I've ever met insists that testicular-jarring is the worst pain imaginable, I respond thusly: please image feeling that pain for one hour. Just one. And then add the sense that someone is inflating a balloon in your stomach, hire a midget to follow you around repeatedly punching your abdomen, stretch it out for about three days and then get back to me. And hey, while you're at it, throw in the need to sob uncontrollably at every lone leaf floating down the street.
I'm really not one to play the gender card. I don't think that there is any one superior sex, though if I had to trust one to CEO a company with a hairline fracture, it would be those with two X chromosomes.
Being a woman is a tricky thing. Even in writing this, I feel the nagging thought that I'm doing something wrong -- I'm playing the "PMS" card, I'm making men uncomfortable, I'm airing my bloody underwear. See, right?! I just said "bloody" and you cringed! Are we supposed to talk about this stuff, but keep it to our knitting circles? Are we supposed to reach the brink, but never jump over it? Are we supposed to dance around the topic endlessly, pretending that it both exists and does not exist -- to keep the illusion alive that we are not women bound to a monthly process that makes simple daily tasks feel like climbing Mount Everest?
Again, to reiterate: I am not a feminist. I love being a woman, and I love men, and women that love men, and men that love men, and men that are really women, and, and...and. But I do understand that we have still not yet reached that point of understanding between genders, where men sympathize with our monthly monster and we don't smack their balls for fun. I could point out the pressure that women feel, to be this way or that, to have this or that trait, to be capable, et al. I could recognize the same in men but justify ours as being so much less forgiving. But I won't, because while I think that no man could ever understand what it feels like to burst into tears at the word "orange," I have nothing in the way of experiencing an organ that lives externally and acts of its own free will. Or...desires.
Because look, here's the thing: we spend so much time trying to differentiate ourselves and our experiences -- to try and get those around us to understand us, because I am Me and you have no idea what I've been through -- that aren't we missing something along the way? If we all spent our years trying to get heard without doing any of the hearing, doesn't that make us all just shouting bumper cars? To be a human is a two-part process. It's the feeling and the understanding that does, indeed, make you uniquely you. But you will forever be just that without a few other "you's" to connect to. And connection takes time, understanding, patience and love. It IS the back-and-forth.
To be a woman is a combination of both the best and the worst that this world has to offer. But the same could be said for men, children, homosexuals, blacks, whites...each and every person around you has experienced their personal heaven and personal hell. Because what is life, without a little of everything? And that, my friends, is the most roundabout way of saying Life is Life that has ever been. Be it a good one for you all.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
I was watching SVU last night after a several day hiatus. The episode ended in a horrific car crash involving Benson and Stabler's pregnant wife Kathy. Kathy is pinned in the passenger side and goes into labor as the fire fighters arrive to cut her out. The firemen crowd around the shattered vehicle, yelling about cutting off its roof and instructing Benson -- still in the car -- on how to medically treat Kathy. As soon as I see the giant metal-cutting chompers that arrive to free poor Kathy, the phrase "jaws of life" swims through my brain and I feel a lump rise in my throat. Seriously. Just thinking, "jaws of life," made me want to cry. Why? I DON'T FUCKING KNOW.
I really need to get my period.
Later, as Kathy nestles safely in the hospital with her newborn baby boy after miraculously surviving the crash, Stabler holds his son for the first time and says, "welcome to the world."
At which point I cried mercifully for the duration of the show. You guys, being a woman is retarded sometimes.
In other news, I recently crawled out of some sort of hole and discovered Reddit. Ok, I didn't discover it. Mostly I just got to sick of Buddy Holly making fun of me for having a Pinterest app (which I don't use) that I installed a Reddit one (which I probably won't use). I'm sure I won't be any more Internet-savvy but maybe for today let's pretend. Here are some gems from the world of EVERYTHING:
I will adopt a wolf and call him Jonas and he will kiss me all day:
And finally, bartenders of the world unite over the rest of us drunken fools:
I worked at a movie theater where we sold wine and beer. This one lady came in and had apparently pre-gamed too much as well as downing a couple of bottles in the theater. She got the extra bottles from friends because we cut her off a long time before the bottles after she spilled red wine on the floor leaving the counter.
Movie is over and she comes stumbling down the walkway, literally bouncing off the railings and slams a glass of wine into an employees hands, spilling it all over the employee. She then slams herself into the counter and screamed "DO YOU SELL WINE TO GO?!" We told her no and she ran off into the projector room because she 'thought it was the bathroom' and vomited blood red wine everywhere.
Her husband was absolutely mortified, paid for damages from the puke and left.
That was a bad night for a lot of people.
I had a drunk customer who could not pay her bill run off and call 911 claiming that I had stabbed her. My weapon of choice you ask? A sweet potato french fry. The reaction of the cop (who showed up to look for a blood trail) when I told him that the restaurant had discontinued sweet potato fries months ago was truly priceless. Rock solid alibi.
Had two regulars that would come in for Bears games like clockwork. Never missed a game in the two years I worked there. Nice guys married with kids and working as house painters. One looked like Michael Chiklis the other looked like Ned from Groundhog's day. One day they get fall down sloppy and start causing a ruckus. I tell them that they have to clear out and they stumble to the sidewalk. Five minutes later everyone in the bar is gathering around the front window. I look out and these two dudes are making out in the middle of Clark Street. Never saw them again.
Surviving Midwestern Winter one day at a time brought to you by Reddit and SVU on Netflix. Actually, most things are brought to you by SVU on Netflix. HELP ME.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Sam says to me yesterday:
"Why don't you try and write advice to people actually asking for it?"
This is not the Sam of Phoenix and Yosemite adventures. This is Sam of my writing group, the one of All Hail Ze Zygote and other inflammatory sketch comedy writing; of which I have yet to share but secretly read in throws of envy over her seemingly effortless humor. She did not intend the above comment in as bitchy a tone as could be interpreted. Though I'd have liked to dump her glass of wine over her head for it, I -- alas -- know exactly what she's talking about.
I started this blog in September with the hopes of sharing my life's experience with those that might find a connecting thread in its messy web. That mess being no more or less than my innards spilled onto the page; set free by my angst, gumption, fear of being unknown, or whatever: it's been as messy a process as it sounds.
But then, months after the fact, Sam has to go and ask the very question I've been asking myself since the beginning. She brings up exactly the struggle I have daily with this thing. What the hell is it? Is it me talking to the wall, hoping something bounces back with enough force to stick? Is it me, aggrandizing my own wordsmithery in some sort of masturbatory process? Or is it me and you, communing together as we all are on this little sphere, hoping that the connection gives us the answers we're looking for?
That's a lot of questions. And unfortunately on this particular topic, I have very little answers.
I ask myself these same questions often. When you make art that bares your naked flesh over and over again, you're going to wonder what the fuck the point is every once in a while. Though I know the message and its intentions somewhere, I still have to take stock every now and again to make sure I haven't fallen into that self-stroking cycle.
So what am I doing here? What do you think I'm doing here? Or more to the point, what are you doing here? Is that connecting thread really there, between the reader and the writer, that pulls you out of the depths of yourself for a little while; to remind you that you are still human and so is everyone else?
And if not here, what is your connecting thread?
I was having a conversation with an old friend last night. He asked me how I was doing, to which I responded in some roundabout way on the uncertainty of being a 20-something. He called it a mid-life crisis. I just said I was trying to get as many of them out of the way before everybody starts buying unnecessary motorcycles.
So again, as we're all trying to figure it out at the same time, what makes you feel alive? And what's getting in your way?
Friday, February 15, 2013
If I were technologically inclined, I would devote all of my time and energy to inventing a machine that would give me enough hours in a day to get all the shit done that needs getting done. But then again, if that were the case, I probably would be rich and famous already and without need of a "job." What is the retirement age, again? Oh yeah, FUCK US, Y-GENERATION!
In the meantime, I will be functioning on barely passable levels of sleep and large quantities of caffeine.
This installment of the Evolution of Glitter and the introduction of a FACE to the painting brought to you by Starbucks and Mr. Coffee coffee brewers. Also my bed. Hello, lovely.
And in case you were wondering...my Valentine's Day was fantastic. Go Buddy Holly. This is what the love of my life and I would look like as cartoons. Obviously, my super power would be That of the Round Face. Happy Friday!