Friday, December 7, 2007

Make it stop!

2007 has been a hell of a year, if I say so myself. I've been to the doctor more this year than I believe in all previous years put together. It's funny how when your health is gone it becomes the focus of your life. I understand older people now and why they tell you about their sicknesses when you talk to them. It's because it becomes so fucking important...I mean, what's more pressing than the fact that your life, the very existence you live and breathe, is not so permanent anymore?
It's caused me to have a new perspective - my body and I are no longer the same thing. I don't think a "soul" or consciousness can exist without the body and vice-versa, but they are no longer the same object. I burned my hand pretty badly at Thanksgiving and it was literally an experience of "What did I just do?" rather than "Ow, I burned myself." It's like playing an instrument; my body is now a tool of my expression rather than the sum of my being.
I'm sure all this sounds crazy. Hell, it doesn't make a great deal of sense to me, either. I just know that after being sick for months, it has divorced me from thinking that I am this matter, these carbon-based cells.
On a side note, I discovered the blog Violent Acres ( about a month ago and read through her posts. It made me realize that a lot of my life has been very sheltered. It fascinates me to read about someone who has had such a different experience. I don't always agree with her, but her posts are entertaining, thought-provoking, and honest. She has a lot of personal demons, and I respect the hell out of someone who isn't afraid to admit to them and, most of all, doesn't care what you think.
Wouldn't that be refreshing to really not care what others think about you? I have only journeyed down this road a bit; I'm the oddball at work, the person who gets the job done but doesn't hang out with too many people outside of the job...but I get stuck on the little things, like trying to be helpful to people I know are assholes, and watching the noise level as not to disrupt the neighbors. Maybe these things are good and maybe you wish your neighbors would shut the hell up from time to time (I do!), but I think at the same time life might just be more rewarding if, when you decided to sing Shakira at the top of your lungs despite the fact that your neighbor's window is right there like mine is, you didn't have to stop and think about the consequences.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Face of the World

I've been away, or rather haven't been away from the entanglements and scheduling conflicts that keep me occupied most of these days. I've moved now; I have a room instead of a house. Less expensive, more boxes of stuff to store.
I just realized that public speaking no longer makes me shake physically. I guess if you do something enough, you eventually get used to it, even if it's something you never thought you'd embrace.
I've been writing more, which is good, but falling behind in my jobs. I now work at 4, count 'em 4, different places.
ITT Technical Institute - full time
Southern California School of Music - part time
UX - part time/contract work
The Princeton Review - on hiatus
What does this show you, friends and neighbors? It's never the fact that you can't get a job. It's how many of them you need before you can pay your bills. Let me stress again that I am single, no children, average student loan debt, average car payment. Is anyone listening in those hallowed halls of Congress? Or is that the point - let's make our citizens work themselves so much to make it that they no longer have time to participate in world events and we can run this country into the ground?
A friend tells me that the rhetoric Bush is spewing out now about Iran is exactly the same as what he said before we invaded Iraq. Please dear God let us know some peace for a time - no more war. Is it so selfish to want this? Will Iraq and Iran and Afghanistan really suffer so much without us? If so, who else can help? Surely if there is so much danger and distress in such a crucial part of the world, other countries would be willing to step in where we leave. Or perhaps we just don't want anyone else there due to the oil interests?
Tangled, tangled. My own life is so complicated. I can't imagine deciding the fate of a nation. It reminds me of the old Groucho Marx axiom - "I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member." I've heard the reverse is true of presidents - the only men who want the job are the men you don't want to have the job.
Just as an interesting fact - with the state of our country's homeland security today, the statements I've made can be counted as treason. Just an FYI.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

In memorium - Martha Smith

I just received word that a dear coworker, Martha Smith, has passed on tonight. She was a spirited lady who I was lucky enough to spend time with, to enjoy her ironic humor, and to learn from her. She even indirectly helped me with my stories by telling me about her experiences riding the trains. She was a fellow Texan and someone who you walked away glad you had spoken to them.
I know she was suffering before she died, and I am glad that she is no longer in pain, but all the same there is a hole in my consciousness that will never be filled up with her jokes or stories again.
I miss her very deeply. She was a part of home here in California.

Memoria in aeterna, Memento mori, Memento vivere.

In requiem.

Monday, June 11, 2007


It's been quite a crazy month, with my almost attendance of my father's wedding and a computer refresh for the school I work for. I'm tired and sore and miss summer vacation more than ever.
I will be moving in a month, keeping my record of the past seven years of never living in an apartment more than a year. It's hard and I hate it, but I never seem to be able to put down any real roots. Money is always an issue these days, hence the move. I know things could be a lot worse, but I still wish for a little less stress.
Nothing much to say. I've been too busy to write stories lately, so I'm out of practice. I don't know if Nightshade will ever get done - I'm not the same person I was when I started writing her story and it's hard for me to continue it.
Time is my generation's crisis. People can point to record wealth and standards of living, but what about having free time for yourself? Less and less of it, even for someone like me who is unmarried and has no children. Perhaps especially for someone like me...there are a lot of subsidies and tax breaks for children. It begins to look economically sound to have a dependent when you do your taxes yourself and see all the things you're missing out on.
Alas, I digress...Go out into the world and do your own thing, my imaginary audience, but ponder to yourself - are T. S. Eliot's words really true? Will there be time for all the works and days of hand? If there isn't, you're in trouble.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


I stand at the foot of the pounding ocean. Every hope, every dream I have will be no more than a single grain of sand to the world, a nothing beyond notice, not substantial enough to be forgotten. The sun will set and rise again, washing away the old, a child with no memory.
We live our lives in an orb of self-importance, sharing other orbs, repelling yet others. Is our dance any different than the very molecules we are built from? Are all our longings stamped into existence by electric current, filling the spaces between? Things fall apart, but oh the bittersweet rush of the fall! Breaking away from the set patterns, feeling the rogue attraction of a passing current - we are what we are made of. Is it so wrong to be made of the universe? To be a part of the godlike enormity of it all, a stepping stone in between matter and planet - or must we feel special, a being of celestial exquisiteness, a matter unencountered anywhere else?
I lie down in the sand, letting the waves touch me, letting the sand mingle into my skin. For a short time, I dream the dreams of the sand. The waves carry my hopes to unknown destinations. Electrons and wishes mingle in a microcosmic dance as the sun washes over the shores, settling down for the ever-new day to begin again.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Stream of consciousness

I would give all that I own for once to build up instead of break down.
I realize this isn't the way of the world, but it's hard for me to accept that my life will be spent moving from frustration to frustration, always dissatisfied.
I was stupid. What else is guaranteed in youth but stupidity and temerity? The weight of those years has always hung between us. Year by year, we have broken down more and more. Will you eventually look across a crowded room and meet my eyes, not realizing who I am? Will you let me haunt your thinking until you finally remember my name on the way home?
Could it really have been any different?
The biggest lie that every story ever told perpetuates is that of love.
"Nature's first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold
Her early leaf's a flower
But only so an hour
Then leaf subsides to leaf
So Eden sank to grief
So dawn turns down to day
Nothing Gold can Stay."
You can never see truly into someone else's mind. You can never know what they're thinking, when they're lying.
The sharpest edge lies on the truth. Lies are smooth, curved, promising. Truth is bloody and hurtful.
Everyone regrets something deep down. Mine will be my lack of control. Every time. Emotional, physical, mental. It all fails. Human, only human. Which one will be my downfall this time?
Fear is my biggest enemy, and the biggest part of my personality. When is enough? When is too little? It takes a lifetime to master...then you die, unable to pass that mastery on.
Foolish to think we are anything but transitory. But we touch the divine...and spend the rest of our lives unable to reach it again.
These words will never reach their intended. They will only reach the people they will least help.
I long for grace. I believe in things that aren't real. Religion is most people's delusion of choice, so I'm in good company.
All this feels like rambling, and probably is. This is the real Fringes of Lunacy, where the absurd meets the inspired. Bring your towel and don't panic.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Thoughts about the Virginia Tech shooting

At the risk of going off and saying something half-cocked, I will write this post. Please forgive me if I am insensitive.

I worry about the notion that it's okay to kill other people, but I also question the wisdom of warning the entire population to be hypervigilant. Is it really right to tell everyone else to react more violently, more quickly because a few nuts with guns, or a few nuts with box cutters, kill others? Those people are less than a 1/100th of a percent of the entire US population, let alone the world population, and are responsible for their own actions. To tell everyone else to live in fear because there's a better chance of winning the lottery than to be shot in a shooting spree is ludicrous. It's precisely what our country doesn't need right now. We need togetherness and justice, not suspicion and prejudice. And when is it ever right to blame the victim by telling them "Cowering under a desk and waiting for help to come is no longer an option"(source: )? Our citizens should not be prepared to live in warzone.

My biggest fear is that more of our rights will be taken away in the name of security. College campuses are still the biggest place for the free and open exchange of ideas. Please don't bolt down the doors and post the HSA at the entrances. When our country stifles the last bastion of cultural exchange, then we will truly be poor.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


I can't say that I'm poor, but for the first time in a long time, I simply don't make enough. I try my best to live within my means, but apparently with the gas prices the way they are, that means not having a car. I work too far away not to have a car, so I'm stuck. I have three jobs, and still I simply don't make enough money. Does any other American sense the desperate irony here? I am an educated individual, a Bachelor's Degree under my belt and enrolled in a Master's Degree, working three jobs, all of which pay less than twenty dollars an hour. Why? Because no one wants to hire someone who doesn't have less than two years experience in a field. Because no one will take a chance on intelligence over certification. It makes me angry in a way - since when do I need to have someone tell me what I am capable of? I can do anyone's job, given the time to learn and the resources. How many CEOs of multimillion dollar corporations can say that? Yet I cannot even get beyond a flunkie position being a no-name in one of those corporations...tell me this isn't age-based discrimination?
Anger at my potential being squashed. Anger that so many scheming, useless morons can hold jobs they are unqualified for, and more anger still at the system that supports those scheming, useless morons and makes them in charge. This isn't anger at my current employer. This is anger at the system, at being a cog in a machine, at making less in my current position than the dumbass technician who has to call five different people to figure out how to do his job.
All I want at this point is to be able to learn and work...I don't even want to be rich. I just want a job where I make enough to pay for gas and that's interesting enough that I want to go everyday. I'm sure there has to be one...or is that just my youth speaking?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Every year I do the Renaissance Faire. It's a fun place to be outdoors and interact with people in a way that most Californians have no concept of - just talking to them for no reason. Coming from Texas, this happens a stores, lines for tickets, airports...any time you put a Texan somewhere they have to wait, they'll usually try to talk to someone. It makes the time pass.
At any rate, it got me to thinking about people. We experience people every day, through our jobs, through our neighbors, but do any of us really understand the nature of people? We know there are bad people and good people (or if you're Oscar Wilder, charming or tedious people) and that we need to lock our doors when we leave the house...but we feel slighted if the neighborhood kid comes over to talk to us and their parents whisk them away in a rush, admonishing them not to talk to strangers. After all, we're not strangers - we're neighbors. The news tells us that there is every type of bad person out there and they're all waiting for you to slip up and walk down the wrong dark alley, but where are all these bad people when you get a flat tire on the side of the road?
I'm not by any means saying bad people don't exist. Often people are motivated for selfish reasons, and by that very nature means that if they want something, they care more about that than they do your wants and desires. Office politics and gossip could tell you that much. It just makes me wonder how much we cut ourselves off to shield from all this? A sense of community, a place to belong is a wonderful thing. It's annoying sometimes, sure, but in the end we are pack animals and together is where we belong. It also brings to mind the question if we continue to cut ourselves off from humanity for fear of pain and loss, what does that do in turn to our own humanity? Does it make us more selfish and liable to hurt others due to the demands of our own agendas, like a vicious downward spiral of ever-worsening behaviour and loss?
We live in fortress cities now. Mike Davis, a leading sociologist and specialist on the plight of cities and communities, has done extensive studies on Los Angeles and come to very startling conclusions. His books are very interesting (check them out sometime) and deal with the same idea that cutting humanity off from itself is a bad idea from many perspectives.
Renaissance Faire, I believe, is a place that many people go to get that sense of community back. It has all the affairs, gossip, drama, and fallout of any community, yet almost everyone who works it comes back yearly. I might mention now that this is an entirely volunteer effort and no money is paid to most of the participants if they are not involved with a stage show or "theme character" so anyone who works the faire is choosing to participate in this "mystery cycle" as it were.
More to come...this thought is definitely not fleshed out to completion.

Monday, March 19, 2007


It's been really busy again - I don't think there's much time in my life that I spend idle anymore. I remember lazy dazy in summer back in junior high when the day stretched out forever and it seemed like nothing could make the day pass. Now it seems the exact opposite - the day passes whether or not I wish it to, whether or not I've finished my work, done my chores, or had any type of relaxation.
I miss that right now. Taking vacation time is always to do something now, never to just be. Can you imagine not really being responsible, having absolutely nothing to do? What about having so many days off work you couldn't wait to go back? Some things from childhood don't become precious until they're over, and I believe this is one of the main ones.
I should head back to work now...

Monday, March 5, 2007


Sometimes it amazes me how fragile we are as human beings, how small things that happen to us sometimes never leave, how something inconsequential to others can devastate us for years. On the flipside, sometimes our resistance is downright heroic - from surviving wars to living with debilitating diseases, all with a smile on our face. We are downright astounding creatures.
All this being said, I think sometimes we have a hard time connecting to each other. We forget the simple truth that our experience is a shared one. Or perhaps this is just my own shortcoming - I have seen many people do selfless things for strangers, including myself. Perhaps those people are better people than I am; more realistic, more humanistic. More often than not, I react with fear to the unknown. It is a great weakness that someday, when I feel like I am not so small, perhaps I will overcome. Or perhaps I will just become more withdrawn and frightened as I get older, until I cannot connect with anyone anymore.
For a long time, my heading was "Sadness makes us Human." I still feel this way. I think it serves as a reminded to every member of the human race of all the struggles and pain we have in common. Perhaps at those times, when ego and pride are forgone, we truly see our reflections in the eyes of others.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Making yourself

Not so long ago, when I was struggling with a pretty heavy depressive episode, I came up with the idea that we make ourselves who we are. At first this seems pretty far-fetched, considering that I suffer from a genetic chemical imbalance that puts me into my depressions. But really, even now this still holds true. The more I learn about myself, the better I control the effects of depression, the more I can live my life, the more I become the person I want. I have always shied away from using drugs to control my depression because they also make me into a different person. I don't judge anyone else for using drugs, illegal or otherwise; this is simply the choice I make for myself. It strikes me as funny how much effort we'll spend to craft ourselves into what looks good and just leave ourselves morally bankrupt and self-centered. Money is increasingly becoming the focus of our lives instead of harmony.
Many people think spirituality is something you get from church. Truly, it should be something you already have and cultivate and bring to church. It bugs me how many people think that athiests and agnostics are immoral. I left the church due to the hypocrisy and flaunting of who is closer to God, who was wearing what, etc. I mean seriously, these are the same people reading in the Bible about how Jesus washed the feet of his disciples as they argued who would sit at the right hand of can they not see that they do the same things?
For me, it would absurd to think that someone else (such as a church) understands my relationship with God/Allah/the Goddess better than I do. The world is my church. Every day that I stop and look around me and feel lucky to be alive, to experience the wonder and the absurdity that is the world, that's my worship. I don't think there is a religion for people like me simply because we would all gather around, talk and laugh with each other, and walk away feeling the same satisfaction we feel every day.
The music of Eric Whitacre is something amazing - if you ever get a chance to hear a choir sing it live, it is a treat. He has a composition based on an e e cummings poem named "i thank you god for this most amazing day." Although I have yet to hear it, I think about that title a lot as I drive along and notice the mountains, or see the sunset, or stand in my yard and listen to the trees and smell the grass. I am grateful for the days I get, and the chances I get to make myself into a better person.

Monday, February 26, 2007

A Decision at Last

It's weird. For the first time in my life, I feel truly as if there are signs to point the way. I have taken the LSAT and the GRE, paid all my fees, gotten my letters of recommendation, and am waiting patiently for news to arrive. Then my best friend tells me he doesn't think it's such a good idea. We talk - he tells me I should pursue something creative. I keep seeing signs; another friend is coming out to California to look at schools and might be a potential roommate. Then, last night at the Oscar party I spoke with my very creative friends. My boyfriend, on the ride home with me, simply tells me, "You're really happy right now. You should think about that."
With those simple words it occurred to me what has been happening ever since this decision was presented to me. For once, metaphorically speaking, it's as if God has stopped watching TV, turned and looked down at me and said, "Oh no, no, dear. I meant you for other things."
I believe I am about to pursue a degree in something artistic. And I feel fabulous about it.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

I just saw Reno!

I just saw someone who looks like one of my characters. In fourteen years of writing, this has never happened. It's probably fortunate for me that he was in the drive-thru two cars ahead of me, or I might have done something weird like try to take his picture on my phone. My drawing style has always been very cartoonish, so it's hard for me to convey to my artist friend Fuzzy what I mean when I say, "No, Reno's nose is big, but not Faramir-big, just big-big!" You can imagine his frustration with me. I know what's there when I draw it, but I've never had a clear picture until today just now.
Maybe I should have chased him down and camera-phoned him.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Keeping pace

I often forget to post, considering most of my time on the internet is at work, and, when I am at work, I am often trying to catch up to my endless list of tasks. I am trying to make a habit of it though, if for no other reason that I will have a record of where my time and attention is going. I haven't written in a while - I must say that I miss it. I managed to reread the entire Dark Tower series and am still not pleased with the tone of the last four books, but it was nice to visit Roland in his world again.
It comes to me often that the world is not meant to be a very nice place. I was reading an excerpt from a book, and there was a quote the author used - "Whatever a man hates, he becomes." (Or that's what I remember the quote as since the website is down.) It really struck a chord with me. Is it really true? If so, is it wise to judge others so harshly as to hate them?
Sociologists will rail against society and the "prison city" that keeps people from interacting (it's true, ask one...and bring a lunch.) but is it in our nature to interact without conflict? Perhaps the division is necessary in modern life to keep it from collapsing into chaos. It would be interesting to know the truth of it, but truth is better left for philosophers than scientists. Everything is subjective, even this statement. Muhaha...the irony fairy strikes again!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Wilde and Emerson

It never ceases to amaze me how much society can make a brilliant man look average. Lately I've gotten on a kick of reviewing quotes from famous authors. It started with Oscar Wilde; the man is highly quotable and I'd heard many of his more boring quotes before (see previous entry on An Ideal Husband) but I read more of his lesser known quotes and was amazed! Where did this witty insightful man come from, and why weren't these quotes the ones he was known for? Tonight, I discovered Ralph Waldo Emerson - not the lame Ralph Waldo Emerson who I often confused with Henry David Thoreau, but a vibrant, intelligent man who was a great thinker and reluctant activist. I don't agree with his views on charity, but many of his quotes are inspiring.

Find someone who inspires you. Then find who inspired them. I suspect there is a very long trail of wisdom that lies mostly ignored for the masses, or perhaps is just unacknowledged.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Stephen King's Dark Tower series

I just heard that Stephen King's Dark Tower Story is getting a new addition in the form of a comic book. Apparently this story is between Wizard and Glass and The Gunslinger, which makes sense if you're a fan of the series. It's ironic that this is coming out now - I was just rereading the series this month.
One thing that bothers me - the books seemed to go downhill after Wizard and Glass. I'm still a fan of the ending - the ending after the ending for those of you who stopped - even though I know a lot of people weren't. There's something that fits Roland's dark romanticism about his endless repetition, but this time he has what he needs so it's uplifting in a way. The rest of the books in between just seemed too hokey, like Mr. King lost sight of the real world of the gunslingers and just added our world when he felt he couldn't get in touch with theirs anymore. Perhaps this is because I read the stories before W&G, before it seemed there would ever be anymore books. Many fans know what I mean - the original days when Dark Tower books were few and far between, and before the "may it do ya" and "thee" were introduced into The Gunslinger. I enjoyed the way the story seemed to be going through The Drawing of the Three and The Wastelands...and it seemed to dissipate after that. Perhaps this story, like many others before it, outlasted the author who wrote it. Sam Kieth's The Maxx comes to mind, although the author admitted it was time to move on at the end of that one.
It all seems to serve as a reminder: finish your story before the ending leaves you.


Wow. Stress stress stress....if there is a good way to relax, I need it right now. I need a good way to relax that doesn't involve oh, time off, fun, money, or illegal drugs. I hope at some point that there's some type of payoff, but the longer I live my life, the less it feels like there will ever be anything but the present.
I was thinking today that, were I to be diagnosed with cancer and given months to live, I would want to write. Not work at some job that isn't my passion just so that I can make a living wage, but to truly write, to sit down and do what all the authors tell you to do and write for at least four hours a day. I want to finish my stories before I die. Even if they're crappy stories that will be forgotten, it will still be better than never having finished. My NS stories are mounting; I have what I call a "pile of words" that's pretty formidable and a direction that I want to get to with her. The Drifters stories are just starting, which is sort of exciting and scary at the same time. I have two more ideas waiting in the wings for research to be done, and somehow the ideas keep coming. I used to be afraid that I would run out. Now I think it's more a matter of staying in shape mentally so that you're open to the ones that come to you.
BTW - the old author's saying about the characters having their own lives and you discovering them through writing - absolutely true. Anyone who can control their characters is writing a boring book.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Internet vitality

I live on probably the only block in the country where there are about five wireless networks, and all of them secured. Currently, I'm still recovering from Christmas and insurance and cell phone bills and graduate school application fees and test name it, I've incurred it over these past weeks. Consequently, I have no internet access at home. It's interesting to see how much I still rely on the internet to get my bills paid, make sure that my life is in order and generally keep in touch with people. In my opinion, the internet is achieving "utility" status, right up there with gas and water. Of course, many others would probably disagree, but those people probably aren't reading my blog, either.
It's hard, but enlightening at the same time. I grew up without internet access, and I was in high school by the time it really started hitting the masses where I lived. Seems odd that something so new could be so life-changing. I suppose that's what they felt about electricity as well.

Thursday, February 1, 2007


I read a lot. And when I mean a lot, I'm the person who reads the back of the shampoo bottle...more than once. The internet has been an interesting place for me due to this. It is just recently that I have decided that blogging isn't some sort of self-important pity party, or at least that it doesn't have to be.
It is here that I hope to develop my writing style. I don't ask anyone to read this...if you do, then be warned. This is not for you, as the Pearl Jam song puts it. Nor will it be about me directly. Somewhere in the middle, we'll find a compromise, and I'll find my voice. The journey is the important part.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A couple of good Oscar Wilde quotes...

I never liked Oscar Wilde before. We did An Ideal Husband when I was in theatre in college, and it was probably the most boring show I'd ever even heard of. One day I stumbled onto a quotations page and found out he's not all about foppish wit and careless upper society quips. The man, I've discovered recently, was brilliant in a way that not many people are. Mark Twain comes to mind. So does Carlos Mencia on a good day. At any rate, without further speculation on my part, here are a couple of quotes:

"In every first novel the hero is the author as Christ or Faust."

"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it. "

And one more because I can't count - "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth. "

Welcome to the 21st Century

If you're reading this, you probably already know me, so I'll save you some time by not introducing myself. If you don't know me, then what better way to know someone's true self than by reading his or her thoughts written out?

I find myself stuck in a quandary of sorts. My life is rather boring, my job mundane, my stress level too high - in other words, I am your typical American. I stand on a precipice of choosing to continue the practical or following the words of a man I admire - Mr. Joseph Campbell - and following my bliss.

Does this sound familiar? Of course it does. You're in the same situation, I'd bet. We all are. And, for now, I will continue to do the practical until I am absolutely dissuaded from it, even if it means pounding my head against a wall I know I am already tired of facing.

But that won't stop me from dreaming. And now I have an outlet...