Sunday, September 30, 2007
The Soul Moved a Little Bit Closer to Nirvana....
but it still has a long way to go down the dharma highway.
I am not one for praying unnecessarily. My convictions and faith have more to do with logic and the world around me. But I dabble in this and that.
I discovered The Buddhist Blog
about twenty days ago, not long before the Myanmar Protests
started making waves in the news. I tell you, this revived interest in Buddhism has actually helped quell some of that omnipresent anger I articulate daily. And quite right--I may have suffered an apoplectic fit regarding the junta's inhumane treatment of Myanmar's impoverished citizens and peaceful monks.
I do not know how Myanmar or the myriad of other countries put up with these horrible dictators, but as I type that out, I do know. Americans do it everyday; we are merely wealthier than our counterparts. I suppose that makes it easier for us, somehow. At least, we are tantalized by celebrities and materialism, and that helps quiet the controversy of our own impudent president.
Nevertheless, it is understood that the people of Myanmar have suffered greatly.
I realize I am hopping on the activist-wagon by suddenly and fervently getting concerned about Myanmar. My concern for these recent events will only be surpassed by the next widely-publicized mistreatment of a people or culture. So I am not asking anyone who reads this to sign a petition or join a campaign or even read about the history of Aung San Suu Kyi.
Instead, read this, whatever your religious conviction (or non-conviction). Perhaps, you could contemplate upon it. I did. It silenced anger for a short time; perhaps, I will read it daily.
The Buddha's Words on Kindness
This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness,
And who knows the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech.
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied.
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful,
Not proud and demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.
Wishing: In gladness and in safety,
May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be;
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born,
May all beings be at ease!
Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings:
Radiating kindness over the entire world
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed views,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense desires,
Is not born again into this world.
Friday, September 28, 2007
I needed a vacation.
And since I wasn't born with a silver spoon up my ass, I could only afford a two day trip up to Traverse City. It's a gorgeous part of Michigan, made even prettier by near-by attractions like the Sleeping Bear Dunes* and a hell of a lot of cherry orchards. Plus, the entire geography of Northern Michigan is inhabited by people who look like these dudes
I would give you some pictures, but I actually shoot a film
camera. Say it with me now: 'Ff-ei-lmm". It has to do with nickel and negatives and exposures and things that click and whir and light. It's not digital magic. My film
is currently being sent off to Kodak or someplace that still develops the stuff. No,really. I shoot with fancy stuff. Do you know why I shoot with fancy stuff? Because I have fancy hair. Please take notice:
There are many things about myself that I dislike. My hair, however, is not one of those things. My hair is a sweet kiss of honey-wheat, and it's all natural. Yup. It's as natural as that little bald spot right in the center of my skull. To die for.
Anyway, when I wasn't taking pictures or stuffing my face with food, I was shopping for yarn. For those of you non-knitters, you must know that a knitter is always prowling for a local yarn store (LYS). I found a couple. Evidence:
The best purchase? Easily, it was the 600 yards of alpaca. That's the brown stuff. It's not dyed or anything. Those cute little alpacas have gorgeous hair. I would like to own a herd of the little shits one day, but until then, I can fondle this, and pet it, and call it 'my pretty'.It says: Peruvian Tweed, The Heavenly Fiber. And it is, I assure you.
Besides, I am always on the prowl for yarn. Look at my stash! It's EMBARRASSING! Don't you think it's rather insulting? If you do think so, please email my husband and convince him of the meagerness of my yarn. I mean, really. How is anything productive going to come of this?
Feh. Must own more yarn.
In other news, I am now an official writer, as I am being paid for a piece of writing. Yes. A whole ten dollars. Details and linkage forthcoming.
Also, I am being featured in a Detroit local magazine, and not for exposing myself. Other details forthcoming.
I tell you, I am one fabulous knitting writer. Or one fantastic writing knitter. Or something. Hmph.*If you want a sweet-crybaby read, go here to read about the origin of the name Sleeping Bear Dunes. Ach, it's fucking beautiful.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
I'm Having a Quarter-Life Crisis
Every morning, I stub my toe on the edge of this catastrophic contraption called a 'bed' in IKEA language.
I spend more money on Starbuck's than most people's annual earnings in Algeria. I am also thinking about bankruptcy.
I have a motorcycle that is bright yellow. I've never liked yellow.
I don't have mad skillz. Period. And quite honestly, if I see someone type that or pronounce that phrase one more time, I might just get jiggy with them. Put that stupid cliche to rest, please. k, thx.
I have a total of 11 friends. That's quite a lot when all I do is knit and blog. And I'm not counting blog friends. That's a different category. I have four blog friends. I officially suck.
No, I really am thinking about bankruptcy, because I'm a social worker. And social workers are stupid.
I have a competition with myself every morning to see what kind of outfit I can wear without repeating something from the last four weeks. That is why I wind up wearing argyle socks, gauchos, and a poncho on any given day.
I have hair jealousy. I'm jealous of men with no hair.
Frequently, I think that the cat serves more purpose than I do.
Yesterday, I fell up while climbing into the Jeep. You try it. It doesn't feel pleasant and it takes an extremely good lack of coordination.
I would like to be a vegan so that I can seem hip when I meet new people. That is the only reason why I am considering it. Wow. What a toolish thing to say.
I'm tired of men. In general. I found the perfect one, and a few of the somewhat palatable. The rest would make that former comment a sick joke, and that is why I am tired of men.
I was told today that I look 35. I'm 28. This is not a good indication of what is to come.
I have an ass that competes for solar energy with most other living organisms. This makes me unattractive and unfriendly to the weakening ecology.
And finally, I dream of selling every last single thing I own, packing up a bag, and talking my husband into living the life of a gypsy. Financially, it would be a wise decision. Emotionally, it would be rewarding. And let's face it. I could use the exercise.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
One year in our lives seems so small. There it is: 365 days. 12 months. Some years stretch on and on like a river; some flit by like a moth's flight.
And then some years remind us of something more than time. This year of my life is one of the most important--one that will stand out in my small history. It is the first year of marriage.
The first year of marriage is probably not as important as the tenth, or the thirtieth. It is the easy times--lazy Saturdays and wishful dreaming. The first year is the indication of what is to come. Our first year has been an upheaval of life--marriage, mortgages, moving. But it has also been a year of love.
In one year of marriage, I have learned the following about Michael: he will buy me coffee in the morning just to get me out of bed, even when he doesn't need to leave the house. He will bend over backwards to accommodate my schedule and my diet. He will rub my feet and scratch my back. He will attend yarn shops with me and without me, indulging every fiber desire. And at night, he will place his hand lightly on my hip as we drift off to sleep. He will laugh at my inane thoughts as though they are meaningful. On my birthday, he will shower me with gifts and hugs and smiles.
Even when he is sad, Michael will smile for me. He takes every opportunity to tell me how much he loves me. This is a marriage of friendship, of constancy, of childlike faith. I could not ask for more.
There is often a pause in a relationship, when one retires to the bedroom and considers life and all of its inconsistencies. And many can find displeasure in their relationships. This is normal. I would not harbor ill will against Michael if he has done this: I am stubborn and usually in my own world. I can be argumentative and snobbish. I can be dull and listless. And on weekends, I don't shower. But I would also wager that Michael has never had these thoughts of doubt or disappointment. He has always met me as I am.
And so, in one year, I have learned about symbiosis in its most platonic way: Michael and I are a Form of this relationship; we've many roads to walk together, and we acknowledge there may come a time when we will wish to walk apart. But we cannot imagine such a time. Where he goes, so shall I. Where he sleeps, so I will rest. And when he needs me, there I will be.
This year has been a year of firsts. It has lengthened and shortened like tides, bringing us out to sea and taking us back to shore. But there is raft that supports us, and makes us giggle at the waves which toss us. To love Michael is to love the world that created him. It is what makes me believe in people, this love.
It could not be more simple nor more complex. I am glad to be his wife.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Oh. Shit. Homeroom.
All right, I'll be honest. I'm not down with high school. I never was.
Hated it. Hated cheerleaders and pep rallies and republican-cowboy-buckle-belt-wearin' sychophants. Hated every last minute of fakeness, cruelty, materialism and southern-fried morality.
In fact, during pep rallies, I kinda imagined squeezing the heads of every flag girl, of every dance team member (sorry, old friend), of every single student who actually wore school color. I imagined squeezing their heads so very violently and so very cruelly that the gymnasium would wind up looking like a set on a Tarentino movie. This is true. I am glad college and marijuana happened. I am extremely glad that I learned to ride a motorcycle and smoke and drink vodka straight. I am especially glad of my introduction to the classics in college, as well as hippie protests. I had found my pack, and we were dirty, smelly, high and in love with life.
There is good news. The good news is, I don't give a shit about high school, and with the exception of one person, I have not kept in touch with anybody therein. And I'm completely okay with that. It's nice to hear from that one person (my dearest and oldest friend) about so-and-so getting married or so-and-so accomplishing something fantastic (like the guy, forever high, who slept through AP History becoming a doctor). But all in all, I could totally erase those four years and never look back. It was torture. It was hell.
And now, I live in Detroit. I'm covered in tattoos, I'm married to this fantastic guy who adores me and my bitchiness and I'm planning my next act of insane knitting. High school? Old news.
Until recently. Until I found the blog of a friend who I lost touch with, and then found all these other blogs, and left one comment here and another there, and now...high school is back in session, except this time, they're ADULT republicans with ADULT campaigns on Jesus. Should I have even shown my face? I think not!
Fuck. I might have to change the address to my blog. Fuckity-fuck-fuck-fuck, if I do say so myself. And I do.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
I Don't Understand Football
Look! A Wolverine taking a dump on top of a Fightin' Irish!
I don't understand anything about it. I know there are downs and yards and incompletes and fumbles and snaps and hooks and shotguns and Hail Mary's. I don't know how or why any of these terms, individually, suddenly a football game do make.
For years, I didn't care.
Then, I went to a Jesuit Catholic college
that didn't HAVE a football team, so we had to adopt Notre Dame as our sister school. Yes, it was two or three states to the East of us (no one said an ivy league education made you a fucking mapologist, or whatever), but Notre Dame was the great, shining example that smart kids can be good athletes. And we told ourselves that while smugly reading our Descartes and Aristotilian textbooks. Of course, what any truly clever person understood was that Notre Dame athletes were getting lots of leeway around that education thingy. Creighton's basketball players
were given the same advantages: personal tutors, personal classes, personal everything. And I'm pretty sure they weren't taking "God and Persons 401".
Ever since those fucking preists got caught with their pants down and their hands in some not-so-sacred chalices, Catholic schools have been getting honest. Dammit. Now, Notre Dame actually expects its football players to maintain a decent grade point average. Plus, the potential recruits for college football have figured out that South Bend, Indiana is not the ideal college town, especially if you have to spend any time actually studying. So there go all the decent recruits to schools like UGA and Florida and (God Help Us All) Ohio.
Yesterday was an ugly, ugly, ugly day. It was made uglier by my husband's laughter, mocking me as I sank deeper into my Notre Dame sweatshirt. I honestly think I watched Michael swell up three or four times in his Michigan sweatshirt.
When the shittiest coach in all of college history
manages to convince his team of mentally challenged rodents
to stomp the shit out of a historically recognized institution of football
, I quit.
I never liked the stupid game, anyway.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
One Day in Detroit
As we drove down I-75, following the line of expensive cars that normally depart from the highway somewhere around 8 mile, I thought we were in for another crafty-meets-snobby art linup. Little did I know that we were entering the twilight zones of art fairs.
We arrived at the megalithic Russell Industrial Center. Three buildings comprise the complex, each made up of service elevators, concrete, rusty doors and broken windows. Michael was in heaven. I just wanted to take another shower.
Gradually, we made our way around the
three dozen people
throng of Detroiters shopping for baby-doll heads on sticks and glass pipes. We made our way into the buildings themselves. The true art fair had begun.
There were a lot of hallways and stairs and things that went bump and creak. There were also a lot of hippies smoking pot in dark corridors.
Several cars had been left in the bowels of the buildings. Behind this car is a long wall, on which is written "Beware of Dog". Around the corner of this wall is a door made out of plywood, and from here is where I heard growling and barking. We did indeed beware the dog, and turned our attention to the fourth floor hallway, where we found these:
It Reads "Benefit Plans and Agreements/UAW and Ford Motor Corporation"
Boxes of 'em.
The reading material was great. I guess Ford sought a different publisher this year, though. Ford has layed off about 30,000 workers in the past six years. A majority of those workers lived in the Detroit Metro.
Chapter: "Guaranteed Income Stream Benefit Program"
We went up to the roof, but I couldn't convince Michael to stick his leg over the edge. I did manage to get this picture. The sky was gloriously blue today; felt like the perfect Great Lakes weather for a Saturday. Beautiful.
But more fun was to be had by all. After I finished my ciagarette and chucked the butt down into the unsuspecting dreadlocks of one whacked-out goth chick, we bolted down the stairs and headed to the car. Time for a drive through lovely Detroit. We whirled and rolled throughout the city until we reached the eeriest, most desperate and sad place in all of Motown. The Packard Plant was built in 1907 and was made up of forty buildings, stretching down three blocks. It sits on Grand Boulevard in Detroit, which is as un-Grand as you could possibly imagine. We didn't drive through its many alley-ways, as we weren't in the Jeep. If we had fallen into one of the potholes, another car would've been left at the plant. We did see signs of life, though--firepits, garbage, pillows and blankets. And really, can you blame a vagrant for making his shelter here? It's better than the alternative:
As we drove away, through the dangers of forgotten Detroit, I felt true sadness in my heart. Not only had we stood in the place of mechanical history and science, but also on the ground where many of America's true workers had created these horrible and tragic machines--vehicles. To think of the linemen that worked in the Packard plant and their lives made me shiver--ghosts far outnumber citizens in Detroit.
But then, a sign. A sign that all things find their purpose, no matter how mistakenly. One day, all of this will be returned to the Earth, and just like that, man's achievements will be wiped clean after our departure, and something else will get a shot at doing everything much, much better.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Ha! HA HA HA!
I'm laughing at my school nurse and my regular nurse and my childhood dentist. Join me in laughing at them.
HA HA HA HA! SO THERE! HA!
I'm also laughing at my mom, but in a nicer way, because she reads the blog.
I have a confession to make--I visited the
rich imperialist sadistic dentist's office today, something I have not done for about six years. Why the long wait? Well, I'll explain why.
Dentists are people who get rich off of the only bones in your body on the outside on purpose. Dentists make their money by torturing you and then mortifying you with threats of oral cancer if you don't come back every six months. Dentists collect painful and horrific little tools that make whirring noises; these tools are plugged into generators and fluid pumps. These tools wind up in your mouth. Dentists take pleasure in fingering your tongue with no sense of decency. Dentists hide their smirks behind clean, white, impenetrable masks. When dentists see you wince, they wink at their comely hygienists who stand by, always ready to assist in the hell that is a 'dental exam'. In short, dentists are charlatans. They are worse than chiropractors--to complete a dental exam, a person must return to the office nine times in two weeks in order to get a 'clean oral bill of health'. When was the last time you called for an appointment for a dental exam and was then told by the eighteen year old pin-up model in the scrubs outfit that the first appointment was merely an initial screening that must be held before the cleaning which (obviously) comes before the actual exam? And God help you if you have cavities. Or a dead tooth. Or a cracked crown. Or a diaspora. Simply put, you're screwed and may need a loan officer.
Regardless, I had decided the time had come to face the music. I've been a smoker for nine years and have ignored my teeth during the whole she-bang. Sure, I brush, but I hardly floss (because really, who does?)(okay, all of you who just said 'I do', please stop reading this post and go put the floss somewhere that will result in a gut cleanse when it comes out). I drink about nine pots of coffee a day and (thanks to my obsessive and repressive nature) clench my jaws ALL THE TIME. When I do brush my teeth properly, my gums hurt and the root of each tooth screams in agony. The bell had rung, the clock had ticked, my time was up. I had to go.
It being Rosh Hashana, I don't have to go to work today. Yay for secularists of all kinds! And what's a better way than celebrating a day off? Going to the fucking dentist.
Upon arrival, I told the chirpy eighteen year old who 'sets up' for the hygienist that I hated dentists. I was shaking. My palms were sweating and my brow was crinkled as I searched forthe destructing tools ensuring my demise. The dental assistant smiled like a model, patted my hand in a conciliatory manner, and parked me in the car-seat-turned-iron-maiden that is the patient chair. She took some x-rays and then readied me for the dental hygienist.
My dental hygienist was Dr. Ruth, I swear to God. Short and Jewish with a fabulous crop of red hair, she eagerly told me how excited she was to be the first one to make me cry after years of keeping my mouth dentist-free. With the skill of a skid row whore, she propped my mouth into all sorts of interesting poses and 'hmmed' and 'ohhhed' over the state of things in meus os. She created a work of pain in my soul, demonstrating how truly sensitive my roots were by tapping on them with her scalpel.
"You see that hurts?"
tink tink tink goes the metal scraper
"AOOUgghhaalll!" I screamed.
"Oh, poor darling, we'll get you all fixed up!"
An hour later, I was out the door.
So why am I laughing? While my gums have been violated like Paris Hilton in her daddy's hotel room, I can say this with glee:
I DON'T HAVE ANY CAVITIES!! HA HA HA HA HA!
And I've never had one in all of my 28 years of life. The dentists, while they search for ultimate control of my mouth, have not caught me. I have slipped through their latex-and-saliva-covered fingers once again.
Touche! But don't touch the gums, please. Ouch.