Posted in Uncategorized

Remember when

A few weeks ago I sent off a batch of letters to pen pals around the globe. Some of them I know personally, some I do not.  You never know when you put that stamp on the envelope if the person receiving your letter will like what you wrote about.  I seriously agonized over this.

Is my handwriting too tiny? Did I doodle too much? Do I sound like a moron?

Who knows.

Apparently, letter writing is coming back! Except for this time, there’s this whole crafty science to it. Like a real craftiness.  Case in point: washi tape. It’s tiny, cute and according to Pinterest, there are thousands of things you can do with… tape.  You can outline the envelope, make little triangle banners, make your own as a stamp, frame photos, get extra OCD with your daily planner (more on this shit later).  The washi tape makes me happy. It’s cute and I feel a sense of accomplishment when I use it. Like, “Hey! I just used this fucking semi-sticky tape with balloons on it to make a statement on my mail!”  When I was in high school and wanted to get fancy with tape I did one of two things:

  1. Used it to hold my eyelids super taut while I learned how to use eyeliner
  2. Used blue or black pen to draw on it, which was then used to seal a note.

I should probably use it on my taxes.

When I was a kid, I had a few pen pals. I remember going to Shoneys and on the way out, they had these kids magazines. On the back, there was a section for pen pals. I KNOW. Looking back, what a recipe for disaster. You never knew who you were writing. Always a crap shoot. Of course, no one’s parents really knew either.  I’m assuming my parents just thought I was doing this letter writing thing with school.

The first letter I received was from a girl who wrote me in pencil. She wrote me on wide ruled paper and her letters were huge. I distinctly remember the entire letter. I’m not sure how that’s even possible. She wrote about how she had a pet guinea pig and she put scratch and sniff stickers all over the top. In my response to her, I wrote in pen (because I was a fancy, smart ass nine year old) and about how jealous I was that she had a pig for a pet! A REAL PIG Y’ALL. I had no idea what the hell a guinea pig was.

She never wrote back.

In high school, I picked up a newspaper of some sort (I want to say it was the Nashville Scene) that had a pen pal section on it as well. So I picked out a few names and started writing away. Within a week, I had a response from an older gentleman who liked to read books and write poetry (go figure). He had read all the classics and I was really impressed that he made it through War and Peace. Not once, not twice, but three damn times.

My god.

I sent my response off with doodles on the margin and explained the only book that I truly loved was Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski. I talked about my boyfriend and probably a slew of other dumb shit. A week later, a response. I thought it was awesome he wrote back so quickly.  When the third letter arrived, my Dad came stomping up the stairs yelling my name.

Apparently, I had been writing a convicted felon in Kentucky.

And that was the end of that.

Writing letters, as we all know, seems to be a lost art form. With texting, snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, blah blah blah- why would you sit down to write someone? Because why not? I had forgotten how difficult it was to actually start a conversation when no one was there to instantly respond or like what I say with an emoji. The struggle was real you guys.

Yet, I made it work. I thought long and hard about what I wanted to say to my new found global friends. I tried not to make too many smiley faces with my pen and kept the doodling to a slight minimum. I even used my washi tape to reinforce the envelope. Because I’m fancy n’ shit.

I’m looking forward to receiving those response letters from Germany, France, Norway, Canada, New York, San Fransico.

I see you and I raise my glass.

Because we all know that any mail is better than junk mail.
And bills.
And those damn penny saver fliers.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Political Fatigue

Just moments ago, I noticed my dear friend posted on Facebook and used the phrase “political fatigue.”

Damn, if that doesn’t sum up everything, every which way and immediate.

I just finished taking a political science exam and writing out my own thoughts for an essay about the Iron Triangle. To be honest, I didn’t even know this term existed. When I took political science the first time, it was 1997. My book was hardback and we didn’t write opinion pieces. We read. Took notes. Read more. Took tests. I failed every bit of that class (and not for lack of attendance, much like my step aerobics class). I did go. I sat in tiny wooden desks (I’m not even kidding) and they had tops that resembled a painter’s palette.  Okay, it might have been a bit longer than that, but not by much.

In 1997, I was studying to be a history teacher. Total passion. My first roommate in college was a sorority girl who showed up, shook my hand and then promptly told me she was moving in with her boyfriend. She left a forwarding number should her parents call. She had sandy brown hair and wore smart looking outfits- fitted jeans and t-shirts that had capped sleeves. I remember specifically the yellow shirt she had on because the stitches at the top puckered, which reminded me of flowers.

Anyway,

I never saw her again.

So I was free to lay about this tiny cell of a room and read all day and all night. The walls of my dorm were cinderblock and painted white. The floor was brown tile, similar to that in my junior high school. The bed was terrible and plastic.

No, I wasn’t in prison, I promise.

We didn’t even have an elevator. That wasn’t an issue until my second year, when I lived on the fifth floor. The only perk of living up there was the bathroom was sprawling and there was a claw foot tub. I know, how Sylvia Plath of the University.  Only once did I see anyone in the tub and it was unfortunate.  I stumbled down the hall one morning to shower, which was early for me, considering I worked third shift at a gas station/murder mart. As I kicked open the door with my foot, shampoo under one arm, loofa in the other, there was Jen, sprawled out in all her bathing glory.  She was nice. Always trying to get me to go out and do things with some of the other girls. I did go once. Jen drove an old Mustang. The year escapes me, but it was the model that is most desired. And it was red. My thighs stuck to the black pleather seats. There was no air. We drove for hours on back roads and I couldn’t wait to get home and read.

That’s all I did. Read and smoke cigarettes in my room.

Napoleon. Henry VIII. Mary Queen of Scots. Jefferson. Bukowski. Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee. Cleopatra.

On and on.

Nights and nights.

Yet, the political science stuff was lost on me. How was it that I could read an entire novel on Napoleon, but I couldn’t keep my eyes open for three pages about Congress? I failed that class. Twice.

And here I am now, twenty years later, taking it again.  Struggling to keep my eyes open reading about Congress, the Iron Triangle, Federalists. The only difference now, is that I can open my computer and Google anything I have a question on. I can hold my phone up and say, “Okay Google, tell me what’s the big deal about …” and my phone tells me!

Twenty years ago, I had to drag my ass into the library and hope to God there was someone at a table who could give me a run down on the next three chapters (there never was). This time around is different. Aside from the fact that I’m twenty years older, I also “get it.” I’ve voted. I’ve screamed at the tv. I’ve paid attention to local elections and state elections.  On top of the reading and papers, there are also weekly discussions. I’ll spare you the grim details, but today, I just about came up out of my chair when I noticed the reoccuring theme:

Not voting.

A good chunk of my classmates didn’t vote because they didn’t think it would matter.

THIS IS EXACTLY WHY IT MATTERS!

I did manage to keep my emotions in check, but did bring it up with a few classmates who had mentioned the above. I mean, you didn’t vote? AT ALL? We are in a political science class! I just… words escape me really.

So, before I start to rage out again, I will say that I’m pretty sure I just passed this last exam and I’m still working on some responses for my classmates discussion topics.  Which brings me to the point of political fatigue: I’m over it. It’s shoved down our throats every waking hour of the day. It’s splattered across the web. Social media is the devil- splitting families, friends and lovers due to their beliefs.

And here I am, taking a political science class.

God help me.

Just four more weeks.

Posted in Uncategorized

Sun’s out, Twins out.

Growing up, I was flat chested.

My busty girlfriends would say, “Your time will come!” or “You’re so lucky you don’t have to wear a bra!” Yet, I would stand in the bathroom and look at myself and just feel bummed out.  It was a very Judy Blume moment. You know, one of those “Are you there God, it’s me…”

In seventh grade, I made an executive decision to stuff my bra with toilet paper. I spent at least an hour in the bathroom getting the scrunching of the toilet paper just right. I didn’t want to appear too lumpy. I couldn’t fold the toilet paper either because that wouldn’t do much for the mission at hand. There was an illusion I had to create and I thought I pulled it off beautifully.

That day I was sporting a tiny white bra that had lace on the top part of the cup. No underwire, because let’s be real here, there was no support issue. As I walked up to the bus stop, my best friend yanked me away from the crowd. “Dude, did you stuff your bra?!”

“Yep. Looks good, right?” I gave a little runway walk and put my hand on my hip.

She turned me around so that my back was to the other kids at the bus stop. “Well, you went a little overboard. What are you, a C cup? Is there an entire roll of toilet paper in there? Jesus.. here…” And she shoved her hand down my shirt and pulled out a good bit of my hard work. Then she started adjusting my bra. Squishing the toilet paper. Molding it to look just right. She took a step back and said, “There. That looks more believable.”

God bless best friends.

The bus ride went along as normal- excruciatingly long (we lived out in the country and our high school was a solid thirty-minute commute) and classes were uneventful, until lunch break. As I sat with my best friend, we noticed people starting to whisper and point. “They’re on to me, aren’t they?” I asked. She leaned in close to me and said, “There’s a rumor going around that we’re lesbians. Yankee lesbians!”  We started laughing. “What? We’re not lesbians!” We agreed that maybe pulling toilet paper out of my bra on a street corner at 6:15 am wasn’t the best idea we’d had. The brutality of pre-teens in a situation such as ours was not lost on us. It was also a time when acceptance was a tiny seedling- so the rumors escalated and the teasing continued. No mercy was shown.

Anyway, we overcame the rumors and went on about our day.

Our weeks.

Our years.

Our Decades.

Five years after graduating high school, I was married and pregnant.

I went to bed one night slightly flat chested and woke up with a massive rack. Hand to heart, that’s how it happened. While I slept, the big man upstairs was like, “J needs a nice rack. She’s gotta feed that baby.”  My husband at the time was like, “Where did those come from?” I’m pretty sure we high fived one another.  That morning I spent a good hour in the mirror admiring myself and marveling at human biology.

My time had finally come.

After my son was born, the twins stuck around. My Dad told me that shortly after I moved back home, that he was at the local gas station and a few people were discussing how I must’ve had my boobs done.  In that moment, I realized I’d been called up from the minors:  I was part of town gossip!

There is a point to this if you’re still reading. I’m not just here to talk about how I came of age and the good Lord blessed me with a great rack (well, that’s part of it. Boobs are awesome, can’t lie). What I’m getting around to, is bra culture.

Currently, I have two drawers full of cute bras that give me coverage and are sensible. The ones with the wild patterns I save for when I wear black shirts because no one wants to see teal leopard print through a white shirt. Or maybe they do. Yeah, they probably do. I see you, there in the back, smiling.

Earlier in the year, I noticed that bralette’s were making a comeback. When I was in eighth grade they were in style- but not as lovely as they are now. I had a yellow one back then and it didn’t do much for me, except create a barrier between my tiny twins and my t-shirt.  Recently, a few of my girlfriends had been singing the praises of these sexy sports bras, so I decided I’d try one out.

Well, three actually.

The first one was too small and I felt like I’d smother.

The second one was too big and I would just fall out.

Last night, I picked up my third (and in my mind, final attempt at being somewhat fashion forward). It’s black and lacey. It’s cute. It fits.

Or so I thought.

Normally I give new articles of clothing a test run at home before wearing them out in public. I need to make sure that there won’t be any mishaps or uncomfortableness. Sometimes you buy a bra and it fits, only to wear it an hour and your back is screaming for relief. This time, I threw caution to the wind and just put the bra on and got dressed for work.

Everything was working out fine until half way into my commute something felt off. Like a little too breezy. I looked down and noticed my boobs looked weird.  At a red light, I pulled the neck of my shirt out to take a glance downward.

Well. Look at that.

Lucy left boob is just HANGING OUT. Apparently, she too likes to throw caution to the wind.  What an attention whore!

In case you’re wondering how my Friday will be, I’ll  just be here in my office, constantly adjusting myself. Thankfully, I don’t have any in-person meetings today nor do I have to be on television or go through TSA.  Let’s all hope that my coworkers are accepting of my peekaboo boob. If it becomes too much, I could always just rip this bralette off and go free.

I’m kidding. No one needs to see how low they go.

Although, nothing screams casual Friday like a wonky tit, amirite?

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Letters piled on top

Outside, in the front bed, the calla lilies are blooming.
I want to show you,
but you are asleep.
I want to tell you that they remind me of the cup Willy Wonka ate,
but those are daffodils, not calla lilies
and these flowers look like flutes-
Their outside petals are creamy and beige
like flat paint on walls
in a remodeled house
the inside deep purple
like a fresh pitcher of Kool-aid
i want to fill them with water
and take a drink
just how I used to do with tic-tac containers
when i was a kid

a universal pattern is emerging
where we talk and talk
then we don’t and we don’t
some mornings, i cannot rip
all those piled up letters out of your
mouth
so we let them tumble out
like tiny crumbs
left in the corner
to be noticed later

there are evenings
when i want to roll up my sleeve
and show you
that i’ve worn those same badges
as you
heart on sleeve
ten to the dozen
this too shall pass

“I come as a poet, to call upon a poet,”

you are tall and slender
with the weight of the world
giving you a curve in your spine
let me take it
so that you can stand
without worry
or
want

after all,
i spent so much time
waiting for you
and the calla lilies
are only going to be
in the front garden
for just a few days
more

wake up soon,
we don’t have to
pile words on top
of one another

we can just stand
quietly

knowing that
in all of this
we will grow

Posted in Uncategorized

Sick, Tired & Changing

Three years ago, I quit my corporate desk job and gave the middle finger to my ridiculously long commute.  For the first time in a solid six months, I could take a deep breath without worry or panic rising up inside me.  It was awesome. I felt free. I felt alive.

Within a few months after leaving, I picked up a part time gig working retail. I loved it. I loved moving and being on my feet for sometimes, ten hours a day. I survived Black Friday, the day after Christmas sales, working weekends and the ever disgusting “clopen” shift (for those of you unfamiliar, clopen is when you close the store and then have to be back within a matter of hours; often with little sleep). I loved that job. I was so happy and I’m pretty sure I should’ve stayed there.

Anyway-

In that year and a half, I lost twenty two pounds.

TWENTY-TWO.
That’s like a small toddler.
Or a small dog.
Thank you, retail!

And then, I found out I was pregnant.

I talked with my manager and store manager at the time and let them know that I was a little concerned with all the lifting and ladders. I was still cool with walking around, doing front end work, etc, etc etc. But heaving giant vacuum cleaners to top stock while straddling a 14′ ladder might have to wait. While I didn’t plan on leaving my retail gig, I did. One afternoon while I was on break, my miscarriage started.

I put my notice in a few weeks later and decided to go back to the corporate life.

Fast forward two years-

I’m back to the desk life.
The panic and anxiety is back.
And so are those pesky twenty-two pounds.

Yeah.

Last week I was trolling Facebook when I noticed a high school friend of mine was posting about how he lost twenty pounds in three weeks. Ever skeptical, I commented. He let me know that he started the Eat to Live program by Dr. Fuhrman. Curiously and cautiously, I googled.

Within the hour, I was on Amazon ordering a used paperback copy (because what if I don’t like it and I just shelled out all that money for a book that will just take up space on my bookshelf)? I also ordered the cookbook (so I could get free shipping). Tonight, I sat down with both and worked up my meal plan and grocery list for the next seven days.

If you’re not familiar, the Eat to Live is a total game changer. The first six weeks (actually, it’s the rest of your life moving forward) are strictly vegan/vegetarian. No meat, no dairy, no caffeine. I know, it sounds totally insane. This is crazy. But it makes sense y’all.

You know what else is totally insane? Sitting on my ass all day at my job and then being so emotionally and physically drained from my day that I come home and sit on my ass some more.

While I eat cereal.
Or cookies.
Or chips.
I’ve even been known to fall asleep with a granola bar in my hand.

There’s a deep emotional void happening with me as well- and I know that not all of the weight I’ve put back on is based on my job entirely. I do feel that it plays a large part in the downward spiral- but mostly, it’s me. I need a redo on my insides, the way I look at food, the way I look at life.

Three months ago I quit smoking (although, I do still bum off of my best friend at work on those ever stressful days).

Last week I started doing intense meditation at night. I’ve noticed that on the evenings I meditate before bed, I wake up feeling refreshed, relaxed and happy. This morning was beautiful for me too. Up at seven, stretched, showered and off to run errands by nine. I felt good. I miss that feeling.

I’ve been going to the gym (although not every day) with my husband and my son. While my workouts aren’t nearly as intense as theirs- I’m still there. Huffing away on the elliptical. The rowing machine. The cycling.  I do it. And I do it terribly. Heh.

Baby steps are better than no steps at all I suppose.
Prepare yourself for the onslaught of rage posts.
The diet is coming.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Humming

most days
I try to write
exactly what I’m
thinking
into paragraphs

lately

this way feels
better

I don’t have to use
punctuation
or be all super
proper about shit

paragraphs mean
that i have to give
more than four
sentences that make sense
and
the past few nights
i spent time looking back
on this blog-

there are some pretty funny memories
and not so pleasant ones too

this sketch i found sums that up well:

Cameron Mark (@cameronmarkart) on Instagram:

this week i bought tickets
to take MD to see Paramore
in October
at the Fox-
which reminds me
that…

my heart is still bruised
over the death of a front
man

Wednesday
i did a card reading
my first in a very long time
the outcome was positive
and the recipient pleased

that felt good

doodling feels good
seeking out my creative self,
which had been tucked away
feels good too

traveling soon
summer is here
changes afoot

and they wonder why we act this way
Funny Giraffe peek-a-boo stamp kids gift Around door WoodlandTale:

Posted in poetry

The Garden, The Gun, The Hive

about the 2000m mark while
on the row machine at the gym
Tupelo Honey came on the radio

i stopped

Have you even tried Tupelo honey?
you probably buy yours at the grocery
holding a hand basket-
carts don’t exist where you are
there’s not enough space

but in your hand basket,
there is enough room for
that
little honey bear with the orange
cone top

You buy it, don’t you

Then again,

maybe you splurge for the
“organic”
in a mason jar
version (because everything in a mason jar is all the rage).
i bet you two hold hands and giggle
thinking of how much toast
you’ll eat now that you have
the good honey…

and then i start to row again

thinking

you haven’t been to the south-

how would you know about
the delicious,
heavy taste of honey
from Mississippi

let alone how to be nice
let alone how to be
let alone