Friday, September 5, 2008

Somewhere (Sunday Scribblings-Fiction)

Somewhere I had laid down my purse and now I could not find it. This day was not unlike most other days. I was always picking things up, putting things down and basically wandering around in a general daze oblivious to the world around me. Whether from a drug-induced fog or being hyperfocused on the thought of the moment, I was destined to lose something everyday on campus. The security guards were starting to become familiar with my misplaced wallet and keys. I was always blessed by being on a campus full of artists who would return my misplaced items to the security office and never steal a thing out of them. Following my usual procedure, I searched the park benches near the ceramics and photography studios and made my way to the security office. This time, my purse was not there. Frantically, I made a bee line for my apartment across the street. Luckily, my roommate was home and let me into the apartment. I scrambled up the steps to my room and found my purse laying there on the bed. I know I had brought my purse to class with me that morning so was quite unsure how it got there.

"Megan, did you find my purse at school?" I asked my roommate.

"No, why, is it missing again?" she replied as she cleaned off her drafting table.

"Yes, but I just found it on my bed and I know I had it earlier this morning."

"I've been here all morning and no one has been here so maybe you just thought you brought it with you," she answered as she prepared her gauche for her assignment.

"Maybe..." I left Megan to work on her project and returned to my room. I was almost certain I had brought my purse to campus with me because I had used my checkbook to write out a check for some new paint brushes in the school store. I opened my purse and pulled out my checkbook. The carbon copy for the check I wrote was neatly inside.
Perplexed, I shrugged and got my things together for my next class, deciding it might be best to leave my purse at home this time around.

I walked over to the administration building and up the fire escape stairs into the painting studio. Since I was early for class, no one was there yet. I found an easel and put my painting of the torso of a naked woman on it. As I moved my easel to my favorite part of the studio, I stumbled over something and almost knocked down the easel next to mine. I looked down and there was my purse, the one I had left at home, sitting on the floor. I froze and looked around. No one else was in the studio with me. Was this some sort of joke? Was I losing my mind? What the hell, was my purse possessed? Is it possible for a purse to be possessed? Carefully, I tiptoed past the purse.

"What are you doing, D?" asked my friend Barry as he walked in.

"Nothing," I shifted my eyes away from his but kept my distance from the purse.

"Hey, isn't this your purse under my easel?" he asked. "Here, you don't want to lose it."

I practically jumped a foot off the ground when he tossed it over to me.

"What's wrong with you?" he asked as he set up his palette and paint brushes.

"Nothing, really. I'll be back in a couple minutes." I said as I left the studio with my purse in hand.

I raced down those steps as fast as I could and ran to the wood kiln on the edge of campus. No one else was around because it wasn't in use. I flopped onto the grass and emptied the contents of my purse onto the ground. Wallet, lipstick, chapstick, eyeliner, two dollars, some change, a locket, and my school id. Wait a minute, a locket? I did not own a locket. I hesitated. Should I open the locket? Did I want to know what was inside? Carefully, I opened it up and it revealed a small photo of my twin sister when she was 3. I dropped it. I hadn't seen my sister for two years since she ran away after yet another argument with our stepfather. What did this mean? I uttered some words to God for her for protection and peace and lay down on the grass letting the sun filter through my half-closed eyes. I thought about the last time I had seen her and imagined her laying next to me in the grass the way we used to do when we were teens. We would lay there all day talking about boys and making grand plans for the future. I was going to be a fashion designer and she was going to be a rock star. I had toughed it out at home with our abusive step-father, she had left in our junior year of highschool. I was pursuing my dream. I had no idea if she was pursuing hers but had always hoped that she was. As I lay there, I drifted off into that odd place between sleep and wakefulness. My sister was standing before me apologizing and crying. I told her everything was OK. I loved her. She held out her arms to me and I held out mine to her. At that moment, I opened my eyes and the vision of her was gone. I knew in my heart that she had left this earth as well and I wept.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Letting the Ugliness Show

Today, I found out that a friend from the past, passed away yesterday. Her story is a tragic one. Just a little over a year ago, she found out that she had irritable breast cancer. She had just gotten remarried and had given birth to a newborn son only weeks before finding out. She thought it was a breast infection but it wasn't... it was worse. She left six children behind but in her usual fashion, managed to make sure their education was provided for... one at a prestigious private school on full scholarship, one at a charter school, two others at a different private school and her oldest at a very well known and well-respected engineering college. It was her tenacity at being able to procure full scholarships, gift and donations even before having cancer that probably wore most on our friendship. She was the type of parent who bragged constantly about her children and who also knew the right words to say to get what she wanted even if there were others who might be in more dire need of those gifts and services. And, here is where the ugliness from me sets in. I liked her but I didn't like her. We both had large families and started at a very early age. I was jealous of the opportunities she was given. But, I did not want to be like her. Every conversation focused on her.

I thought of her today and googled her blog to find out that she passed away yesterday. I had known about her cancer and talked to her once since her being diagnosed but did not make the trip to see her in person. I feel guilty. I spent the last hour reading some of her last entries and have wept for her family. The loss they must be feeling and will continue to feel. Her new husband left to tend for a young son and her other five children with the help of her ex-husband. I walked away from the computer. I thought and cried and thought. And, I cannot justify not going to see her. At the same time, though, the gloss from her death... you know, that gloss that makes the deceased seem untouchable and like a saint, has dissipated slightly. While reading her blog she made a comment about how she used to judge parents for not doing a particular thing for their children, that she did herself. In that comment, the gloss disapated. I am sure this past year changed her immensely. But, there was a reason our friendship faded away.

The truth is that I am a liar and faulted human being, too. Many times, I don't do what I say I am going to do, whether it be from forgetfulness or selfishness or some other imperfection. Perhaps in her death, I can value that which was lovable about her and let go of that which was imperfect.

And, perhaps you will still love me despite my imperfections.

Monday, June 16, 2008

dear Lord...

I love my job! I couldn't have possibly imagine that I'd be reviewing restaurants and hotels this time last year, but I am. Thank you.

By the way, I'd really love the 13" MacBook Air that I am sampling right now but fear I'd accidentally throw it out with the newspaper like the reporter who did that earlier this year, if i did own one. My goodness, they are tiny and efficient. I will always be a Mac supporter and totally googly-eyed over every product they release!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


I am experiencing an overwhelming season of folly. Please excuse me.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

More Josiah Leming...

He's being interviewed on the Ellen DeGeneres show today, Tuesday, and will also being playing a song he wrote. You can see a portion of the interview and the song on her website...

I've been listening to his music all week since I bought the full EP on his myspace page... love it!!!

Stifled and Stagnant

My mother always told me I was the best and always gave lip service to ideas that she had that I could do. I wasn't the best. In highschool there were 10 people ahead of me. Not a bad place to be, but not good enough for a full scholarship. At 39 years old, I stand here stifled, unable to move forward. I don't have anyone telling me I am the best anymore and honestly I don't think that was it exactly helpful. Perhaps it would've been helpful if there was training or classes to support becoming the best or becoming better at something but there weren't. My oldest sister was supported and given opportunities to become the best at what she wanted to do. I never thought I was jealous. I still don't think I am. I didn't see things that way. I took care of myself and did what I could do personally to achieve my goals. But, looking back now, there is a level of support that my sister received that I did not and I think it's mostly because my sister is very verbal and able to express what she needs and wants whereas I did not. My Mom figured since I was taking care of myself already, I must not need anything, I guess. She did at one point ask my stepfather to pay for ice skating lessons but rather than pick someplace nearby, she asked for the moon (lessons in DE where Olympic figure skaters train) and he, of course, said no. She didn't tell me this until many years later. It seems that I am unable to move from the point where I am at now. Doing the Artist's Way at the end of last year, I did feel a certain momentum but I have rolled to a complete stop. I don't know how to move forward and I don't even know where forward is.

Certain career paths, interests come into focus, as witnessed in this blog, but as easily as they present themselves they also quickly flutter away. Am I capable of sustained interest in any one thing?

Same old story, different day.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

OK, so Josiah Leming is selling his songs directly...

from his MySpace Page. I love it. I had commented on his you tube that I thought he should bypass trying to get signed by a record company and sell his songs himself. I visited his MySpace Page and while there weren't links to buy songs at first, now there are. Apparently he has about three separate EP's available. I seriously think bypassing huge multi-million dollar music companies the wave of the future or at least part of the future. I mean, he'll probably make more money this way due to his AI exposure than he would if he was signed. Who knows? Granted, without AI he wouldn't have the exposure but I wonder what other avenues exist for artists to gain exposure without being signed?

Here's a link to his MySpace...

And, yeah, I downloaded his songs.

Josiah Leming, Not America's Next Idol?

This kid was cut and I almost feel, like, Thank God, because he is so much better than American Idol. I googled his name and here he is singing a song he wrote. His lyrics are deeper than your typical pop fluff and he sounds like he could be on the radio tomorrow. His style, too, is one that could be played on a few different style radio stations. I think perhaps that the Idol judges recognized the fact that he will go further by not signing with American Idol. He's too original for AI. See for yourself...

Here's a link to his myspace where songs of his play in the background... utterly amazing...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Succumbing to a Meme...

I didn't realize julie had tagged me until today, so here goes...

Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more. (No cheating!)
Find Page 123.
Find the first 5 sentences.
Post the next 3 sentences.
Tag 3 people.

You may know these two people, but this should be completely fictionalized. 800 words.

In her wonderful mixture of memoir and novel, Sigrid Nunez creates a seraing portrait of a German mother and an American daughter (whose father is Chines but grew up in Panama).

I tag...
Jodi, Dan, and Kim

New to Me Obama Fact...

He grew up in Hawaii. I can't tell you how much this tells me in regard to how he will function or could function in the world arena. As a person who lived in Hawaii for a year growing up and visited there again in 6th grade, Hawaii feels very different than living in your typical continental state. There is a very large international population living there as well as native Hawaiians. When I went to public school in Hawaii, the Hawaiian language was a part of what we were taught along with Greek mythology and my sister was taught Japanese in her private school. We had Japanese neighbors and actually shared a home with a Korean family for part of the time. I don't think one could grow up in Hawaii without having a better sense of the world at large. That's not to say that the US isn't a melting pot, but in Hawaii the ingredients in the pot are still recognizable as different and unique.

Definite food for thought.

American Idol and the Presidential Election

Thoughts regarding the election have occupied my mind and countless others over the past few months. I've watched youtube videos, did some reading and have even filled out a few of those "choose the right candidate" for me surveys. Of course, when I do the surveys I end up having unknown candidates pop up near the top with a Libertarian/Republican leaning. For the past year, I thought I'd throw my support behind Ron Paul because he just says a lot of things that represent true change. Some of his ideas are radical but if he had a chance, I'd vote for him because I think radical ideas are needed to get the congress as a whole to move toward changing laws in our country. But, ideas are only ideas and what has occupied my mind even more is which presidential candidate will fare the best in the international arena? Which candidate has the charisma and wisdom needed to be able to work as a team with other countries without neglecting US interests altogether? I personally don't think Clinton or McCain or Paul have that "wow" factor that make people listen to what you have to say or make you want to follow them. That same "it" factor that Simon mentions in regard to which contestant has the where with all to win American Idol. Barack Obama has it. He is also eloquent and seems to possess a certain amount of intelligence that has been lacking in other presidents. Perhaps having the "it" factor shouldn't be a deciding factor in choosing a presidential candidate but I think it may be what I base my vote on this time around.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A New Year...

Perhaps I will officially start my new year at the start of the Chinese New Year. I am much calmer and balanced by that point than I am right after Christmas. So much of our family events are wrapped up in a 4 month span... we have two birthdays in December, one in January, two in March and two right at the beginning of April. (Really those three birthdays occur over a two week span) The photography business is crazy right up until Christmas and I've always felt the business is our 6th child. So, you see, I need the month of January to settle down and yet to also plan for the upcoming birthdays. I feel blessed each year that our Chinese American friend invites us to her family's annual Chinese New Year dinner. So, this year I think I will wait until then to ponder life. In the meantime, I do have a few goals I'd like to accomplish this year...

1) Figure out what i want to be when I grow up
2) Follow God's leading. I am constantly getting little messages and signs leading me down a path that I am unsure I want to travel but I am curious to see where that particular path leads me.
3) Extend grace to myself. I am who I am.
4) I'd like to write in this blog more regularly.
5) I'd like to do something creative each day and document it like the 365 blogs.
6) I think I might do a 365 blog of all Zach (Would that get boring?)

Things I am thankful for so far this year:
1) An extended visit with my older sister and her son right after Christmas.
2) Having a few good irl and online friends.
3) A hardworking husband who loves me
4) Five healthy children
5) Possibilities