Jul. 21st, 2017 12:00 am
redrover: (Default)
Poems I Managed to Choke Out

Last Time - July 2017

Cemteries Untended )

Who )
Untitled, 2010 )

Last Time

Jul. 20th, 2017 11:34 pm
redrover: (Default)
Let me tell you something about time:

Time isn't your friend.

Time ran out on you when you were sitting down to a nice dinner,
leaving you to pay a bill that somehow included two extra bottles of wine.

And may I remind you:
When you said you wished you had more time,
It turned up stick thin and starving,
turned the bananas black and the bread green
and shut off your morning alarm before sneaking out through the window.

Maybe it didn't take your last twenty dollars on the way out,
but it made you forget where you left your wallet.

When your best friend's birthday rolled around,
Time had nothing interesting to say for hours
The last one to leave the party
(Remember, it arrived an hour early, while you were still trying to get dressed
You had a million things to do
And then you also had to entertain the concept of Time
like some kind of existential crisis
that couldn't even be bothered to run the vacuum for you while it followed you from room to room.)
Its midnight date came and went while
Time droned on and on
and you looked around for any escape from the monotony.
You had to be rescued.

Time was a little kid dragging its feet
When all you wanted was to get from Monday to Friday
From a morning at work to an evening having fun
being young, being in love, being drunk, being new
But there it was
Making a ticking sound every second for no other reason than to make you
Moving, then
Slipping off behind some dumpsters on Friday afternoon, vanishing for the whole goddamn weekend and leaving you wondering where it went.

Time plays tricks on us all, but maybe you more than most.

It sure moved fast enough between spring and fall, too. You know:
When all you wanted was for time to stop
And maybe let you enjoy that vacation that you arranged down to the minute
Time delayed your flight, lost you your reservation, and spent the whole trip
Pretending to be an Olympic sprinter -
Ruined all your plans and
you wished you'd had more time.

Time was always running out, wearing thin, growing short, growing long, on your hands, on your mind, eating at you, fleeting, flowing, too much, too little, never exactly what you wanted.

Never enough.

I wish you needed me
Like you said you needed time.
redrover: (pic#10444942)
So I'm in my Drawing class, where my professor has us set up to draw the same still-life for six hours (two classes.) This isn't an easy ask of new students: we're all standing and working on one picture for three hour stretches with no breaks, and none of us are particularly accustomed to doing this. In my previous class, for example, we spent half the class or more listening to a lecture and then the remaining time, whatever it was, was spent on drawing.

Personally, I can get into my work, but after a while I needed to eat and have some water. I ducked out after two hours to take a breather. When I came back, I girded my loins for one more hour.

What we were drawing was a pretty conventional set-up. We had a large vase, an ear of dried corn, an apple, and a teacup, and then some fabric in the background. I'm chugging along, starting to get down tone and detail, and from behind me I hear a deep, masculine voice going, "I hate this fucking vase."

A few minutes go by.

"I hate this fucking vase."

I glance back and see the ex-Marine sort of stooped over his easel, a look of intense concentration and frustration on his face. "I hate this fucking vase."

I finally interrupt his efforts and suggest, "Why don't you go out and take a break, get some water, and come back and see if you feel better about it?"

He huffs out a sigh kind of like surrender and goes, "Yeah, you're right."

A while later, after he has come back and attacked his vase again, the professor advises him that he's good to start working on tone. He's as thrilled as one can be without actually enjoying the process. After a few minutes, he suddenly goes, "...I know what it is. The vase is crooked."

I look over and see that he's right. The fucking vase is crooked. I now have to go back and fix my drawing. I grit my teeth and decide not to put my easel next to his when we start figure drawing.

I spend the rest of class thinking, "I hate this fucking vase."
redrover: (pic#10444940)
My husband's boss paid for us to take a tour of the Grand Canyon. I want to lay out really explicitly that I am so grateful for that opportunity. I had a lot of fun, and it was an amazing experience.

But I'm not me unless I have a laugh at my expense, so I'm going to talk about the really shitty parts of the tour.

First off, let me set the scene: To start with, the trip began at eight on a bus that took us from Las Vegas to Boulder City. From there, we hopped on a plane to an airfield near Grand Canyon West, then got on a helicopter, which took us to a boat on the Colorado River, and then back to the helicopter, then onto a shuttle that took us to Sky Walk, then to Guano Point, and then back to the airfield where we took the plane back to Boulder City. We're a group of six adults, one five-year old, and a very small infant. I say "very small" because all infants are in fact very small.

I don't know much about babies. I don't want one. They seem like a lot of hassle, they don't have a whole lot of personality, they don't do much besides be small and constantly in need of care, and there's something a little horrific about always having a tiny person wanting to latch onto your nipple.

This baby in particular was just not having a great day. He cried a lot, and to be honest, I don't really blame him. It was hot, his schedule was jacked, and on the boat they put a life jacket on him. I suspect if I had a limited vocabulary and an inability to comprehend the situation into which I'd been placed, I'd be fucking done, too. Social anxiety disorder being what it is, I can completely understand the desire to cry when I'm uncomfortable.

Of course, I'm a person who doesn't like or want kids, so it was pretty trying. I suspect it was trying for his parents, and they probably did want kids. Don't get me wrong: this isn't me throwing shade on the baby or the parents. (Who throws shade on babies? Who does that?) I get that there are babies in the world and they cry, and I need to suck it up. It's just a stressful thing and an important factor in the story.

I mention this baby specifically because he is a major player in the events of the day.

Okay, so the trip:

I have never in my life been on a Cessna. This one was an eight-seater plane that made me very dubious just looking at it. I was more dubious when I got on, hit my head, and had a panic attack during take-off. Now, I'm not an infrequent flier. I've traveled a lot for work reasons. I've never gotten sick - in fact, the only time I've ever felt queasy is on a catamaran out on the Pacific Ocean. But man, this plane fucked me up.

I did not want to do that again. I managed to keep it down, but spent some time bent double and deep breathing when I disembarked.

The helicopter was amazing. I have never been so stoked to do anything in my life. We got up in the air and I was literally the smiley emote, humming the Jurassic Park theme, just having a blast. They could have left me in there for the rest of the trip and I would have been gold. I don't know how much helicopters cost, where I would keep one, or who would fly it, but I want one.

So we get off the helicopter at the bottom of the canyon and I see stairs. Lots of stairs. I'm admittedly not great at thinking ahead, but at this point my spidey sense is tingling. We have to go down those stairs to the boat. It is 109 F outside. I don't think that helicopter lands anywhere else.

Well, it'll be fine, I think to myself, and skip down the stairs because damn if I don't like boats.

We get on the boat and the guy running the operation offers a life jacket for the baby. I'm thinking, "Oh, this is going to go great." This kid's already pretty pissed off and now they're going to put a tiny, bulky life jacket on him in this heat?

I was right. They put it on him and the baby's world ends. He is done with this shit. It's hot, he's cranky, and now he looks like Fester Addams. He screams until they finally break down and decide the potential risks are outweighed by everyone's sanity, including the baby's. They take off the life jacket and suddenly it's a peaceful boat trip again.

And oh my god, it's gorgeous. The canyon's towering over us, the sky's blue, the water is...well. Brown. There's sage growing along the banks, we're snapping photos, it's great.

And then we get back to the dock and I remember the stairs.

Have you ever seen something loom? Because these stairs loomed. We have to climb them to get back to the helicopter, and I'm thinking...maybe I can just live down here. Maybe I can be that weird tourist who just decided to build a little lean-to at the bottom of the stairs and never left.

By a small margin, returning to civilization wins out and I make the climb to the top again. Barely. Miserably.

The helicopter ride back is a little less enjoyable because the poor infant is still in a haze of misery. We did betray him, after all, by putting that life jacket on him.

His brother, however, seems remarkably chill. He's just letting it wash over him as though he mastered the art of Zen. Five year olds are pretty cool people.

We get on the shuttle, get to the glass bridge Sky Walk thing, and that is where I have panic attack number two for the day while simultaneously discovering I am terrified of heights. But I walked it. I don't remember much about it, but I did it.

We had a very brief lunch at Guano Point and had to hurry on to get back to the airfield for our return flight, and I do have a lot of complaints about how the tour company planned that, but it's not really that big of a deal. The important thing to focus on here is how fast we had to move to finish the tour, and how stressed out everyone was getting between having to hurry and trying to keep the baby calm. All this kid wants is to be with his mother, which is stressing her out because carrying a kid for hours in the heat isn't fun, and it's stressing the baby out because as much as he wants to be cuddled, it's hot and he doesn't want to be touching her.

And the only thing he knows how to say to convey what he wants when he's unhappy is "Up, up, up," which is probably not going to get him whatever he's hoping for. He's smart enough to be really frustrated with his inability to communicate. The baby is having a horrible day.

So eventually we get back in the plane, and by this point I'm hot, I'm tired, the baby is crying, and this one guy in our group has not stopped talking and ramping up my anxiety past the breaking point. I could deal with the crying baby. I understand the crying baby by this point because I've watched the progression of his day and seen just where we adults failed him.

But I can't deal with people who talk through their anxiety. I can't deal with adults who can't shut the fuck up.

So. I'm done, and I have to get on this Cessna that has so far not been my friend. I know as I'm getting on the plane that whatever happens next, it's not going to be pretty.

I was right. Ten minutes into the flight, I feel It. You know that feeling. The sides of your throat feel like your rectum. Everything on the inside sort of slides down like it's winding up to throw a fastball. By this time, I kind of want everyone to stop talking and just let me try to talk my body into calming its tits, but my husband's boss is a really loud man, people are still amped from the trip, the baby is crying and repeating "Up, up, up," and the only chill person on this flight seems to be the five year old.

I start hurling.

For a moment, there's silence on the plane with the exception of me, upchucking into a paper bag. Then shit goes nuts.

Bossman scrambles for a plastic bag and has a second paper bag ready when I inevitably fill the first one (props to him). He takes the baby from his wife while she goes searching for wet wipes and tissues because moms have everything in those diaper bags...

The infant starts screaming. Whatever is happening to him, he doesn't want it to be happening. All I can think - as I'm bent double, trying to aim into the tiniest barf bag in the world while the tiniest plane in the world bounces its way across miles of n o t h i n g - is, "This thirteen month old kid is voicing my innermost feelings in a really spiritual way. I can relate to the baby. I, too, want to scream."

This is the only time I've ever really connected with a baby.

At this point, all I want is to stop throwing up, but the wailing is hitting a nerve that keeps activating my gag reflex. I didn't know that was possible, but it totally is. In between gags, I manage to tell Bossman to give the baby back to its mother, and instantly the crying stops. So does the vomiting. Chaos has left the building.

I lean back and sit in a stupor until we land, and from that point I have a very vague memory of buying a sports drink because I was convinced I "needed electrolytes". When we got on the bus back to our hotel, I promptly threw up the electrolytes again, so I must not have needed them that badly.

At the hotel, I remember my husband telling me we should say our goodbyes to everyone, and then turning around and saying really loudly, "Bye," before barreling through the Mandalay Bay lobby to the elevators, possibly knocking over a club promoter in the process.

I woke up at about eight completely naked and dying for water.

Update #1:

The plane cursed me. I can't drive a car now without getting carsick. I blame the plane.

I blame the plane.

Update #2:

After discussing this experience with my French professor, I have been given some new perspective on the Cessna flight: I may have been upchucking, but at least I didn't have to pee.


Mar. 28th, 2016 06:32 pm
redrover: (Default)
At night, when the only sounds outside are distant cars on the highway, my cat likes to curl up on my roommate's bed and sleep. During the day, though, she likes to sit between the venetian blinds and the window so she can watch the birds outside. Crows, mostly, but sometimes sparrows. They hang out in the eaves near my apartment, singing late in the mornings.

Sometimes, I'll hear her making little chirping noises, like she's trying to talk to them. It's pretty cute, even when you consider she's a cat and would like nothing more than to hunt those birds.

Eventually, I started hearing a tapping coming from the other side of the glass. I figured she had managed to capture the attention of the crows out there, and they were teasing her by pecking at the glass. I never saw it happen, of course; any time I would peek through the blinds to catch her playmate in action, I'd find it had vanished.

Around two last night, my cat's chirps woke me up. I thought it was a little weird, since I didn't hear any birdsong. I got up to shoo her away from the window, and that's right about when I heard something tapping on the other side of the glass.
redrover: (Default)
I'm going to try and write this all out here while it's still fresh in my mind, because there's a lot to it.

Okay, so basically I've been pushing for my archery club to start offering lessons. I was trying to go through certain channels for a long time to get a coaching certification, and the only guy in the area who could offer it (hereafter known as Pete) always sort of brushed me off. So, I finally went and got certified in Harrisonburg, which is about two or three hours away.

Following that, I told Pete I was going to start setting up classes with the club, and I needed help with a curriculum. He said 'okay', and I asked for it by the end of April. It's now July and he still hasn't tried to help me.

Okay, so. Pete's not necessary or essential to running classes, even if he is an experienced coach. I had another club officer to help. So, I try to get classes set up. Only, no coaches will volunteer their time until I start offering to pay them. So, for two months I've been having the club vote on paying coaches.

I finally get the coaches I need and the classes set up, and had the first two today. As I walk in to talk to one of the coaches, Pete comes in behind me and interrupts my conversation to start shouting at me, telling me I can't charge for classes, I can't pay coaches, it's against club rules, the club needs to vote on it, etc etc etc. Now, he hasn't been coming to club meetings, so the other coach pulls up the minutes and I finally have enough of him shouting at me and tell him, "I'm not just pulling this shit out of my ass, Pete."

"Don't swear at me, lady."

I had a sudden AW FUCK NO moment because I do not need to be "put in my place" like that. So I snap back, "Don't call me lady," and he goes dead quiet.

Meanwhile, the other coach has the minutes that show where we voted on this stuff, and yes, I'm in the right. So Pete says nothing else about it.

Apparently, Pete called the club president to be a tattletits and told him (as he later recounted to me) that he was going to bring a lawyer to the club meetings, and he was involving the commerce board (????), and if so-and-so became club president, he was going to report him to the authorities for unethical behavior, and if I ever swore at him again, he was going to hit me.

I started laughing and said he could sure fucking try.

The club president then told me I shouldn't have had the lessons on a tournament day, which is fair (I didn't realize I'd scheduled them on a tournament day, unfortunately) and to ignore Pete because Pete's all bluster and needs to be medicated.

Anyway, the long and short is I pissed off an old man by swearing at him and standing my ground on an issue when I was in the right. And I gave not a single fuck about it.
redrover: (Would an idiot do this?)
Love makes us vulnerable. Love means allowing someone into our hearts and homes because we feel safe in their presence. Love means trusting those people with our emotional, physical, and mental well-being. This is the root of any loving relationship, no matter the form it takes. This should be the foundation of your relationship with your mother, your father, your siblings, your friends, your lovers, and your children.

A loved one who uses their position within your circle of vulnerability to hurt you with unkind words or deeds does not love you the way you deserve to be loved.

Mary Schmich wrote, “Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.”

Real love is unconditional. There are no caveats or exceptions to this rule.

If someone loves you, they will not make you feel negatively about yourself.

If someone loves you, they will not make you feel negatively about yourself.

If someone loves you, they will not make you feel negatively about yourself.


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