redrover: (Default)
2017-07-21 12:00 am


Poems I Managed to Choke Out

Last Time - July 2017

Cemteries Untended )

Who )
Untitled, 2010 )
redrover: (Default)
2017-07-20 11:34 pm

Last Time

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)
2016-08-25 04:50 pm

I hate this fucking vase.

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)
2016-07-15 08:23 pm

Big Canyon, Little Baby

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.
redrover: (Default)
2012-10-07 11:21 am
Entry tags:

(no subject)

It's always an adventure when I use air travel.

Many people will remember what happened the last time I moved internationally: during an effort to clear up some issues with the legalities of my visa, I was detained by UK border patrol and then redirected to Italy, where I was temporarily arrested by the Polizia di Stato.

On all subsequent flights into the UK, I have been detained while they figured out why I was detained in the first place.

On one notable outbound occasion, I sat next to Giancarlo Esposito (Once Upon a Time, Breaking Bad, and Revolution) and talked to him about his family and the documentary he was filming.

At least... )
redrover: (Default)
2012-01-01 06:46 pm

I need to pray about it.

I'm able to remember that Men in Black came out at the same time as The Lost World (which is the sequel to Jurassic Park). The reason I know this is because a friend and I went to the theater to see The Lost World, and at the box office, she had second thoughts.

Her words to me: 'I don't know if I can see this. I need to pray about it.'

Unsure what to say, and unwilling to just go home and wait for her to get a direct line to God to talk about the potential pitfalls of seeing fake dinosaurs and how this might apply to her religious life, I agreed to forgo the experience and we saw Men in Black instead.

(I think it's important to note here that I have no personal issue with this sort of religious fervor. If she really felt she needed to pray about it, I am absolutely, one hundred percent fine with that. I just think, were I in a similar position, I would have had that particular conversation with my deity before putting on my coat.)

Skip forward to 2012. I recount this story to Steph and Kimtoo, who proceed to create a Tumblr post with "I can't watch Sherlock Holmes. I need to pray about it." They tag it with the Sherlock BBC tag.
redrover: (Default)
2011-11-16 01:19 pm
Entry tags:

(no subject)

I've been wavering for some time about writing this entry, mostly because there have been a good deal of distractions to excuse it away. I try to write off my problems by saying 'it's not so bad' or 'others have it worse'.

The problem with ignoring the need to put voice to my own issues is they don't go away. Yes, other people do have things worse - but that doesn't invalidate the fact that I have a problem. It's like allowing a cut to go untreated because someone else has a terminal illness. Eventually, the cut is going to become infected. And in this case, ignoring my need to talk about my problems has caused other complications to arise because I've let it fester rather than addressing it.

So this has been going on since my mother visited me in Italy, though I wasn't strictly conscious of it until October.

To begin, I haven't had my period in three months. I have taken numerous home pregnancy tests (all negative), and am attempting to get in to see my family practitioner and have myself tested at the hospital. As concerned as I am about my physical health, it's my mental well-being that is suffering more; the idea that I may be a parent, not in some indeterminate future, but soon, has made me begin to consider just what sort of person I am, and what issues have shaped me to be who I am.

Trigger warning for abuse, racism, and alcoholism. It's also quite long, so I apologize for that. )

So. I don't want hugs or backpats or sympathy really. I definitely don't know that I want to hear anyone else tell me what a horrible person my mother was, because...she was human, and I'm not saying any of this to slander her. I needed to type this all out for me. This is me, pouring my heart out into the internet ether because I need it. I need to talk to someone who doesn't know me, who isn't motivated by family loyalty to defend her or by friendship to agree with me. I need to know that it isn't necessary to internalize this.

But if you're reading this and have gotten this far, I suppose I should include a closing thought. Some message for people to come away with.

I don't have one, but I hope you come away with something. Maybe seeing how I am today, knowing what helped shaped the person I am - functional but still a righteous mess - will make you think twice about justifying bullying or prejudices, or taking a drink, or raising a hand (or weapon) against a child.
redrover: (10 Lessons)
2011-11-05 04:26 pm
Entry tags:

(no subject)


Arrived to archery this morning and decided to take advantage of the coaching session.

They corrected a few of my issues, including how I held my bow and my stance. So, all well and good.

Though I kept missing the boss (target). My arrows kept flying to the top right. My coach took me to where they'd landed (all in a line, in the same spot) and said, “Well, you're missing. But you're CONSISTENTLY missing!”

So I reached down to grab them and without thinking, I wiped them off with my palm.

Apparently, I'd missed the boss, but got a delightful bullseye right in some rabbit shit.


Went for a bike-ride to town. Had a couple of young boys ask me to sell them my bike, which is interesting for two reasons:

1. It's a rather expensive bike – and new. Unless they had 200 quid on them, I don't know what they expected.
2. It's a rather expensive ladies' bike. And obviously so, what with the flowers all over it.

We've been riding down to the end of High Street every Saturday and standing at the new and as-yet-unopened comic shop with our noses pressed to the glass. The depth of our nerdy behavior is astonishing.
redrover: (Default)
2011-11-02 03:29 pm

When I Was Your Age, We Called them Literary Lending Outposts.

Looking for the bookshop on the base. Approached two soldiers and had the following conversation:

"Can you guys tell me if there's a bookshop on this base, or if I need to go to the one on Mildenhall?"

"A what?"

"A bookshop."

"...Do you mean a library? Because there's a library. You can borrow books and return them a few days later."

This conversation astounded me for a few reasons:

Firstly, I clearly don't come from a country (OR PLANET?) that has no libraries if such a place even exists. Which it doesn't. Even Kiribati - the country with the lowest GDP - has a library. There is no fathomable reason for them to feel the need to tell me what libraries are. Given that I am an adult American who has at some point had an education in the United States, it is safe to assume that I (a) have been within fifty miles of a library and (b) know how to use it.

Failing that, you can assume that I have at least seen a library on television.

Secondly, how the fuck do you not know what a bookshop is? You are grown men. You must have seen a Barnes and Noble somewhere, even if you never set foot in one.

I don't...even know, guys. Help me out with this one. Am I getting so old that bookshops are as outdated and obscure as gramophones and I just didn't notice?

[Disclaimer: No, I don't think they were screwing with me. They were actually very helpful, if...baffling.]