Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Hey! You're squishing me!

Since I'd been so antsy the weekend before last, whining and moaning that I didn't know what to do with myself, I asked whitey if we could please go to the coast to take some photos. We haven't done that since last year and I felt the irrefutable need to go out into public on a Sunday because I've gotten bored with slamming my face in a cupboard door so what better way to torture myself then try and find a parking space at a San Diego beach in the middle of summer on a lovely weekend morning?

Needless to say, it was difficult. And then I had a parallel parking freak-out and we almost scrapped the idea all together (well, it was me who yelled "oh forget it" while whitey looked at me like my hair was on fire) until I found a space I could pull in to. While the boy nursed his coffee, trying to rev up his brain after I woke him at 9:30, (even though I'd been awake since 6:30 and had waited around patiently for 3 stinking hours loudly crumpling paper and maybe on purpose heavily throwing my big camera bag onto the bed hoping to stir the coma-sleeper) we got out of the car and I readied my camera and surveyed our surroundings.

Holy bajeesus, the place was packed. Unbelievably swarming with people, dogs, kids, picnics, a wedding, cars, kayaks, divers, snorklers, and cute lifeguards. I knew we had left the house too late as it was but I was mostly worried about the light, not thinking we'd be shit out of luck at our first location as we wound through the slalom course of parked cars then saw a steady stream of auto-vultures trying to wishfully find a space that was not going to become available until someone got stung by a jellyfish and went crying off to the nearest ER or the sun went all the way down.

It was daunting and a bit of a bummer, even though I know we can't expect to have any public place to ourselves, ever. Hell, I've been in what I thought was the middle of fucking nowhere in the mountains thinking there couldn't possibly be another soul around and just when I was about to drop trou and pee on a tree here comes a person whistling Dixie, blissfully unaware that they almost saw my money maker in a most unflattering way. But this was regoddamndiculous.

Crowds are something I didn't used to have a problem with. As long as I had a personal space big enough that a stranger wasn't literally crawling up my ass, I'm looking at you Disneyland lines, I was OK. I even used to like going to compacted clubs and squeezing my way into the middle of a sweaty hoard to dance off my rum & Cokes. But not any more.

These days I don't like it. I already live in a major tourist town and one of the largest cities in the United States and frankly, I'm feeling a bit claustrophobic. Squeezed out. Crowded. And besides the physical confines of living with so many damn people, it's making me think about other areas that have turned into virtual mob scenes and I just don't know if there's room for me.

Take the internet, or more specifically, blogs. There are millions upon millions of them. Is there room for another cranky girl who writes about whatever and is occasionally funny, sporadically admired or randomly read? I don't know. Why do some blogs take off in a short time and others putter along with hidden gems and no feedback?

I've had this conversation with whitey a million times and it's his opinion that a lot of bloggers whore themselves out like mad when they first come onto the scene, leaving comments on as many sites, posts, other blogs as they can just to start their own fan base. I'm inclined to agree, but that can't be the case all the time. Demographics play a part as well, I'm sure.

I don't have kids so I don't write a mom blog. I could regale you with crazy stories of my insane cat, like last night when a stranger kitty perched his orange ass on the windowsill and caused Rascal to fly into a blind rage of white fur and clawless paws and I'm sure we were 2 seconds from her crashing her hurtling body through the glass but I saved her by yanking her back through my wood blinds she was almost breaking and threw her into the bedroom with some fucking catnip. But I don't want to write about my cat all the time either, like some nameless bloggers do that get 192 comments whenever they post a fucking photo of their cats doing nothing but sitting in a box!! But I digress.

I'm not political, I don't post pictures of my tits, fabulous as they are, I'm not selling vibrators on the side. I haven't gotten fired for my blog (yet), I have no shopping section, I can't see a publisher ever asking me to submit my goofy memoires to sell on Amazon, and I'm not part of the Blogher inner circle of women writers that all seem to know each other and go weekending in Napa every 3 months having wonderful times with expensive bottles of wine and even more expensive cameras. Not that I'm jealous of that in the least. ~wahh~

It all boils down to competition, which is something I've never been very good at handling. I hate to lose. And when I use the word hate I mean hate as in I would rather dive into a pool of used syringes than take second place or worse. I'm trying to reconcile those completely rational ha ha feelings because it's stupid and eventually leads to giving up at the first sign of struggle which is also stupid. No one can win all the time and personal goals are just that, personal. There doesn't have to be a trophy at the end of every race.

A sparkly tiara, maybe.

But what if you set a goal and because of the sheer numbers of other people who have the same goal make it so your goal is never going to be reached? Is there enough room for everyone at the table?

This is what I don't know.

I've been so desperate (this could be part of the problem) to be considered an artist my entire life while watching my friends draw their little asses off while I scribbled my lopsided circles. To have something, anything that could be deemed an artistic talent. And of course I'm my own worst critic, although my mother comes in a close second (ha ha, mom, I win!) I am occasionally pleased with something I've written and now that I'm getting really passionate about photography I've experienced the same pride there.

And then I see other people's work and I think, omg, I'm crap. I have a lot to learn and I'm willing to do that work, but will it make a shit of difference? There are so many people doing the same thing. So many people that are already there. Is there room for one more and most importantly, room for me?

And what if you want to make a HUGE career change that is artistic in nature and is known for its practically unbreakable glass ceiling and high level competition. What I see now is a world saturated with people doing the same thing I want to do. Others recognized for it, some deserving, some not, others seemingly successful and happy. Does there need to be an empty space to fill before you feel content and accomplished? Should outside accolades be part of the goal? Is self-satisfaction with one's art enough? Does that really matter? Should it matter?

Is there room for one more?

Friday, July 27, 2007

Splish splash

Well, summer is in full-swing here in Southern Cal which means the temps are starting to climb up towards the 90's and no doubt will break the 100 mark within a few weeks. ~barf~ Which is all about 40+ degrees hotter than my sweating, red, whiny ass can take. ~hurl~ And I just checked our current gas & electric bill and was pleasantly surprised to see it was only $130.00. Clearly there's a lot wrong with that picture. ~gag~

Last summer I took a day off to attend a memorial service and get-together to say goodbye to a dear lady and fellow riding buddy who lost her long and valiant battle with cancer. Unfortunately her timing, which was notoriously bad, differed not a bit on that day since she decided to leave this world during a heat-wave and about 70 of us tried not to expire ourselves as we told stories of our lady through tears and sweat under a blistering 103 degree sun. It sucked the high hard one but we knew she'd be laughing and saying, suck it up and have another sangria.

When I was younger and living far inland from the beach, which hasn't fucking changed at all since I still live 20 miles from any kind of semblance of a refreshing breeze, we'd head to the ocean for a break and some boogie-boarding when boards were made of burlapish covered styrofoam (don't think I'm kidding.) My parents didn't take us very often since they weren't the "take the kids somewhere fun" kind of people but I did get to go now-and-then and usually loved it.

One such excursion was with the youth group I was involved in at my church. They piled a large group of us in the half-rusted church van and various station wagons and headed for the shore for the day. One thing that bears explaning is this church group was not your typical bunch of Christian kids reading the bible in their spare time, volunteering at old-age homes and treating each other with kindness. (That's typical, right?)

We were kids of privilege and sported attitudes and were on our way to being professional back-stabbers with no grasp on the concept that there was only one ultimate judge and it wasn't our pimply selves. Needless to say, we were up to our assholes in judgement of each other and the leaders were party animals and basically it was like a bad John Hughes movie with crosses and no fairytale endings.

I don't even know why I signed up for this stupid outing since my few years hanging with these people, most of whom were complete assholes and my closest friends, (which is totally interchangeable when you're a 14 year-old girl), and there was a major issue causing me mountains of anxiety. An undeniable fact that has burdened me my whole life. An experience-altering situation that effected almost everything.

I was a chunker.

I was born a chunker, I grew up a chunker, I will always be. A chunker.

It's the way my DNA is built. My little double helix is thick and crowned with a ding-dong. I've craved sugar since I took my first breath and even if I ate nothing but bean sprouts and carrot tops I'd have boobs that could smother a small child and an ass Sir Mixalot would be proud to tap. Of course I'd like to be different and blah blah that's a topic for another time but my point is, the chunker was going to the beach. With people. And would have to wear, I'm sure you'll feel my pain...

A bathing suit.

I was totally worried about it since the girls I grew up with, and who were my direct competition, were fucking built like fucking chopsticks with feathered fucking hair. One friend was actually too skinny and looking back now I wasn't like a mack truck or anything but standing next to her even a normal sized person would appear to be one wafer-thin mint away from exploding.

I couldn't talk to my mother about my woes since she was naturally thin and has never understood my struggles and frankly I wanted the entire universe to pretend I didn't have this problem. Instead I had a crying fit and proclaimed, while standing in front of my stuffed closet, that I had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO WEAR and please why can't I have a NEW SUIT all my old ones are HORRIBLE and UGLY.

Which was true. I grew up in a house with a pool, as did all the neighborhood kids, and our swimsuits were hammered, faded, misshapen messes before we reached the halfway mark of our summer vacations. My mother obliged my tantrum but neglected to take me with her to make a decision on the perfect torture accoutrement and when I got home from school the day before I was going to the beach with all of those thin people, I found this on my bed:

pinksuit2 for the blog

When, pulled over my fluffy flesh, looked more like this:

pinksuit1 for the blog

Which caused my selfish, ungrateful eyes to well with tears because, GAH, pink! I had a healthy hate-hate relationship with pink and saved a special animosity for hot pink. This was the WORST possible choice in the history of choices but my other suits were tattered shit and I had no alternative. I tried not to get hysterical and mustered up some bravery and wore it. And hell, I was a character and funny and maybe no one would notice my hot pink nightmare stretching across my butt.

The next day I was dropped off at the church, met up with the group and we headed for the crowded beach. It was amazing how many people had crammed onto the limited supply of sand and the waters were full of swimmers, surfers and the like. Things were going surprisingly well and I'd gained a bit of confidence throughout the day and decided to ditch my t-shirt and take a dip in the ocean to cool off. Big pink ass and all.

I was by myself and swam out past the breaking waves and was bobbing along in the water peaceful and happy. Minding my own business and perfectly fine I decided to do this little maneuver that I often did in my own pool, sinking under the water and slowly breaking through the surface by doing a modified breast stroke. Instead of pushing the water behind me while being horizontal to the water I pointed both hands towards the sky and pushed them down to my sides with popping myself through the surface.

It really was a zen thing for me and I was a very strong swimmer with approximately 12 years of water time under my belt and in no way was I in any type of physical jeopardy whatsofuckingever.

Which apparently escaped the psychotic and overzealous female lifeguard who mistook my controlled and untroubled floating in 8 fucking feet of calm water as hysterical drowning and took it upon herself to "save" me by screaming in my face, flipping me on my back and smothering me with her rescue buoy strapped around my chubby middle where she then proceeded to kick the living shit out of me while hauling my now air-deprived carcass as she violently yanked me through and under the water exposing my face in the direct line of crashing swells and maniacally dragged me by my hot pink swimsuit until the back side was crammed so far up my crack it took a professional spelunker and a jar of vaseline to get it out and I was deposited choking and sputtering in all manners of public humiliation neon mightaswellhavebeenabeaconofwhitehotpinkglory by the beserk wanna-be super hero right in front of 4 thousand beach-goers and my 28 friends. And chaperones.

That suit mysteriously disappeared soon after.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Do they have a cream for


A pill? A shot? A fancy hat? Hello?

I open this blog 20 times a day and nada. It's not coming. This page has turned into Glenn Close from Fatal Attraction. She keeps sticking her head in the door and sneering, "I WON'T BE IGNORED, DAAAAAAAAAAN" but I'm that asshole Micheal Douglas who does indeed give her the brush-off and gets a boiled bunny for his trouble. Bah.

What do you say after you spend a full week with your family then top it off with air travel and an esophageal endoscopy? Thank you sir may I have another? If it's not one thing it's your mother? How about, GIVE ME THE DRUGS AND KEEP 'EM COMIN! Because that's exactly what I said but they didn't give me the requested "take home" supply I so nicely asked for. Such jerks.

Backing things up quite a bit, The Police were great. We trudged through hours upon hours of Los Angles traffic, getting lost along the way (thank you Westin shitass directions) but had a fab time despite the compost greenhouse temperature of our swank hotel room and the closing of the late-night bar in our faces. It was a dream come true for me and I rub Sting's face on my chest whenever I wear one of my two $35.00 concert t-shirts. I took some pic's of LA and the aquarium in Long Beach which are here and here if you'd like to take a look.

My vacation visit was hard. It literally takes me 2 weeks to recover from one of those and this year was no different. I go because it's my family and we do have some good times. But I also go because my dad is a few days shy of 82 and although I don't like to even say this kind of stuff out loud I know time is precious and I'd better savor what I can since we live over 1000 miles apart and don't see each other very often as it is.

I was also hoping to reconnect with my brother but he proved to be the stupid asshole he is the whole fucking time. But I held my tongue when he spewed crap because I'm the GOOD kid! Not that you'd know it by the way my mother says nothing to the assholenish coming from him but yells at me if I voice a thought she doesn't think is reasonable like being afraid my very much needed (and only) flight home might be canceled due to the thunder and lightening storm blowing through the skies. (It wasn't, by the way, has been before but clearly my 2 hours of crying got me a break from Mother Nature.)

I did have some nice moments with my family and went into Yellowstone by myself twice to take some photos and have a few hours of peace & quiet, which was oddly calming since I generally don't like doing things like that solo. Although I missed my bf like crazy and wished he were there with me. Those pic's are here and here, if you're so inclined.

Consequently I arrived home completely emotionally spent. I'm remiss to discover it takes me longer to recover from these trips when in reality it should be the opposite, no? I'm old enough to have figured out how to let this shit slide off my back but alas, it is not the case. Seeing the breakdown of my family in living color is hard. Watching my dad fade into a sad, old man who gets treated like shit by my mother is unbearable. Not being able to do anything about these stupid things is frustrating. Knowing my mother loves my brother more than me when he's such a fucking asshole is something I can barely describe. (Boy is there a lot of back story there.)

This paired with the prospect that my house is either never going to sell or I'm going to have to dump it at a price that will fuck my future for good has me feeling intermittently (I say intermittently because it's not all the time but I haven't been able to shake it full-time. It's like I'm walking around in wet clothes and for the most part I don't notice but if the circumstances change then ugh, wet jeans. Is there anything worse?) pretty fucking blue. And I feel bad that all of this crap is visited on my boyfriend who is the best and doesn't deserve more shit piled on top of his own shit.

And oh yea, I had to have a camera snaked down to my belly button which revealed nothing of why my stomach hurts every day. That was fun! But let's shift gears since I'm tired of this boo-hooing.

I reported for jury duty yesterday and had detailed fantasies of hurting the woman who stole my seat (she was sitting 2 seats from me and watched me go to the vending machine) when I got up to get some water but since there were oh, like 29 cops within 80 feet of me I opted to send out my best "you're a fucker" vibes which I think worked a little because she about folded in on herself to read her library book. Stupid bitch. And lucky for her we were all released at 11:00 because all the trial cases "went away", whatever that means.

While I was sitting there, sending out the hate, I opened the blank journal I brought with me in case anything (finally) struck me to write about and I had to document it right then and there and was surprised to find a few pages were already filled with blather and ideas (I use the term loosely), some of which made me cringe, most I didn't remember, and some I couldn't read at all.

I won't give it all away (since I might use some in the future) but let me just say we should all be grateful that my idea for a rant aimed towards dumb T.V. channels dedicated to inane things like golf and poker hasn't surfaced yet since my suggestions for new all this thing all the time stations were "The Pap Smear Channel" and "World Series of Booger Flicking."

Another asterisked paragraph said the following:

"Why do people feel the need to make you look at disgusting things? Do we really need visual proof of the turd that split your taint?"
- brother shit
- dog fur

One second thought, I think I'll keep that one.

So that's what's what. I can't think of much else that's going on. We've watched a bevy of bad movies in the last few weeks (Dreamgirls? Seriously? How did that even get in our queue?), but nothing worth writing about. I'm reading a Stephen King novel that is bugging the shit out of me (not all experimentation is good, Stephen, we've talked about this) but I'm determined to finish it and one of the ladies that works within a few feet of me, but whom I cannot see so I don't know exactly who it is, has taken to loudly clearing her throat several times a day which ends up sounding like a harbor seal being choked with a thorn-studded strap-on covered in hair gel. Like I'm not on the edge of puking all the damn day already.

And this brings the worst entry of the year (the author has the right to rescind that proclimation at any time) and blatant abuse of parentheses to a close. Thank you and good night.

Monday, July 09, 2007

I'm home...

...and I didn't kill one single person.

I'd call that a success.