Wednesday, August 29, 2007

backing up my heart drive

"The unexamined life is not worth living." --Socrates

today my computer crashed and I wasn't wearing my seat belt. irreplaceable writing and photos lost to the black hole of technology. it has made me think a great deal about the archiving of life. after the mac genius delivered the traumatic news, I literally felt something inside of me fizzle and fade. pieces of me were parts of that hard drive. after recovering from the loss, I comforted myself with future plans on how to avoid such devastation. I pictured dedicating a whole room to the storage of hard copies of everything that has now gone digital. I imagined a rain-forest slain in the name of printing out everything I have ever written.

and then, I starting thinking of it in a different way, as in, what did I really lose?

do I need to have pictures reminding me of times my brain has decided to forget? do the stories my hard drive destroyed perhaps need retelling? how much are we held back by memorabilia of past loves and past lives? how much do we really benefit from reading our 7th grade journals? maybe we cling to these things as progress reports, proof of the evolution taking place in our own life. or perhaps, we keep them as valuable proof of a life lived. I often look at photos of my life and marvel at how exciting it seems frozen on a screen. the wonder of experiences worn down by time is often renewed by a photo album. how much of who we are is defined by how many relics our museums hold? does framing our better moments and hanging them on our walls give us a clearer impression of the artists we have become?

Benjamin Disraeli said, "The best way to become acquainted with a subject is to write a book about it." just make sure you back up your manuscript, or you might forget who you were.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

tall grass grows

tall grass grows
round the remembrance of your face
its meaning
is hidden by
the undulating green
summer suns
frozen by snow
the sleep of bears, yawning blossoms
the ache of bones, both growing and forgotten
what questions did your eyebrows raise?
what histories could be traced by the slope of your nose?
strange to miss the things we no longer need
strange to want for things we’ve always carried deep
all we ever need, is a shovel

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

yodic wisdom

I grew up in a small town. I'm not talking no starbucks small town. I'm talking one flashing stoplight small town. I'm talking two gas stations, one grocery store, a few bars and a lot of gossip small town. I could ride my bike from one end of main street to the other quicker than you could find my town on a map. sublette, kansas. I grew up watching the waves of grain they sing about. I grew up making more toys out of water and dirt than you could find in a super wal-mart.

I grew up. I left the small town.

I feel galaxies and light years away from that place. I left that town, but the town still lives in me. I still see fields in my dreams. always fields, miles of them and nothing else but maybe a tree struggling against the relentless wind and the endless sky. so many clouds. clouds making faces at the ground. me, bruised and smiling picking at scabs.

I missed out on many things in that town. mostly things I could do without, but some things I am still trying to understand. a television-free trailer and no movie theaters for miles. I never saw star wars. I never saw a lot of things people still talk about. I feel foreign in the midst of most pop-culture remembrances. it happens all the time. people bringing up he-man or simon and simon. I don't know the facts of life as told by blair. so many times, I have been clueless as to what a wookiee looks like, that is, until today. I now know that a wookiee looks like a really hairy basketball player and makes funny sounds not unlike a drooling baby with banana stuck in its throat. at the insistence and persistence of my boyfriend, I have joined the rest of the world in wanting a yoda backpack. at the video store last night where we supplied ourselves for the long overdue marathon, the clerk nearly fainted when I told him I had never seen the films before, a reaction I have grown accustomed to. but no more, I have heard the wisdom of yoda and there is no turning back now. I have seen luke and darth do their lightsaber dance. I now know that the only thing keeping anyone from pulling their sunken spaceship out of the muck is the belief that they can't.

luke left tatooine and its two suns. I left kansas. may the force be with us.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

strike a poser

ask me what I do and I'll most likely flinch. then I'll proceed to stutter. a question I used to answer enthusiastically has become the daily equivalent to plucking my toes--surprisingly painful. I am a writer, yes, though I've never been published, let alone paid (unless you count the $75 I made my first year in junior college for an essay I wrote which won me second place.) what do I do? so many things. I wash my clothes when they stink, I read books but only look at the pictures in magazines, I sing in fake voices while I shower, I dance like various jungle animals late at night when I should be sleeping, I sleep in, I drink iced black coffee to keep me regular, I eat food when I'm hungry and even when I'm not, I pick at things that aren't smooth.

so many things.

but I'm sure the question is more about what I do for money. aahhh, well, um, I (quiet mumble) model... eyes down, I am shamed. my boyfriend tells me every time not to be embarrassed about it, but I am. my livelihood is based off of my measurements and my smile (or pout). I don't get paid for my ideas but rather my ability to "sell it". but what exactly is "it"? every audition I go to, I realize how little of "it" I have to sell. "it" is not a look but rather an attitude and a belief that there is absolutely nothing degrading about making love to the camera. yet every time I feel dirty, used, and anxious to see if he'll ever call.

today I had a music video audition for the new j-lo hit we're all dying to hear. you wouldn't see this kind of freaky in a five dollar circus. an 80-year-old woman with throat cancer wearing a see-thru teddy and fishnets. a homeless man with a head shot. a pimp named "fancy" that wasn't acting. a big-breasted woman in a tiny red dress proclaiming "I'm australian, of course I'll show you my titties!" a pock-faced korean guy in a fluorescent orange tae kwon do uniform telling a girl she looked pretty in her photos but not in real life. a rosy-cheeked santa claus. a hunchback wearing high-tops. and me, eyebrows raised, trying to decide why I was here.

oh yeah, for the money.

oh the price I pay to make a little cash. don't get me wrong, I know it's a choice I've made and continue to make. I can always go back to taking orders and slinging drinks. but with this new gig, I have more time than ever to do all the things I do that don't pay my bills. and for that, I am grateful. just don't ask me what I do.

Monday, August 13, 2007

comet dust

last night I left the bright lights of the big city and headed north up the 2. my fellow stargazer and I settled in under the pinhole sky. armed with two chairs and some peanut butter and jelly, we sat, quietly, looking up at the dancing sea of stars. we watched them twinkle and fall. some were like flaming arrows arching through the sky. some, a mere whisper of failing light. others were like lasers cutting brilliant rainbows out of the dark fabric of the night. one by one, like shimmering stones from the river, I collected shooting stars. 29 in all. Zeus rained gold on Danaƫ and Perseus was born. the Comet Swift-Tuttle passed by the sun and the Perseids meteor shower was born. for thousands of years wishes have been made on the dust of this comet. eventually, this comet will hit the earth or the moon. in the meantime, once a year, you can watch its journey and enjoy its fireworks.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

punk rock and poetry

"end war with dowina"

that was the sentence that was going through my head right as I woke up this morning. gibberish, maybe. or perhaps, an important message sent from the deep of sleep. a message that once successfully translated and understood could possibly bring about world peace. no pressure. apparently I was talking in my sleep all night. my boyfriend said I was quite articulate despite the fact that he could make no sense of any of my nocturnal nonsense. I need to start recording this stuff...

having never consciously heard the word dowina, I decided to do a little research. apparently it stems from the Slovak word "deva" which means "girl". interesting. there is a Slovakian punk band named Dowina as well as an ancient Slovakian castle located on the Danube and Morava rivers. the castle and its history inspired many romantic poets, one being the great Hungarian poet, Endre Ady. I came across this poem:

Longing for Love

Neither the issue nor the sire,
neither fulfilment nor desire
am I for anyone,
am I for anyone.

I am as all men, the sunless sea,
the alien thule, mystery,
a fleeing wisp of light,
a fleeing wisp of light.

But I must look for friends and brothers;
I want to show myself to others
that seeing they will see,
that seeing they will see.

For this my lyric masochism;
I long to close the gaping schism,
and thus belong somewhere,
and thus belong somewhere.

so there you have it folks, end war with punk rock and poetry. oh, and love.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

ask yourself to dance

Oh dancing with myself
Oh dancing with myself
Well there's nothing to lose
And there's nothing to prove
I'll be dancing with myself
--Billy idol

"To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance." --Oscar Wilde

until we can sit comfortably at a candlelit dinner alone, until we can gaze lovingly into our own eyes, until we can shout to the mountaintops, "I LOVE (insert your name here)!" every proclamation of love to another is a farce. to not know how to love yourself is to not know how to love.

so in an attempt to light or simply rekindle that internal flame, I offer up a private prom of sorts. you can wear nylon taffeta or a tux or your saggy ass drawers. you can crown yourself prom queen or king. you can be your own favorite dj. pick a song you love, I mean really love. now look at yourself standing awkwardly against the wall. walk over to yourself. say, "you look really nice." and then ask yourself to dance. now dance like it's nobody's business. sweat, sway, shimmy, shake. punch the air. grind yourself. do the running man. pop that ass. lose yourself in yourself. forget all the mean things you think and forgive all the mean things you say. commit yourself to the beautiful sweaty dance machine that is you. ask yourself to go steady. give yourself a kiss, hell slip in the tongue. be vulnerable. tell yourself that you love you. I promise you will say I love you back.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

hardhats and headsets

today has already started off amazingly. at work. i just picked up the phone and said, "Production. This is Jamie." and the person on the other end said, "Hi Wendy, is Lisa available?"....awesome.

wendy moosters

"To be nobody but yourself in a world that's doing its best to make you somebody else, is to fight the hardest battle you are ever going to fight. Never stop fighting." -e.e. cummings

it's astounding really, how difficult it is to do something as seemingly simple as be yourself. something you would think is effortless is nearly impossible. every attempt we make is met with shouts of protest. whether it's parents or bills, so many things challenge the act. for many, one of the most pervasive forms of self betrayal comes from our job. my rock star friend is an accountant. my writer friend is in medical sales. my actor friend, an office rat. myself, I have done hard time behind a bar, in a fluorescent lit cubicle, on a cruise ship, in a candy store, on a golf course, in a casino, in a toy store and in a banquet hall. I have wielded a hammer, a keyboard , a camera, a nail gun, a bottle opener, a vacuum cleaner, and a tray. I have worn hardhats and headsets and bejeweled crushed velvet gowns and fishnet tights and pleated khaki pants and polo t's and tool belts and goggles and vests and visors and nude pantyhose. I have driven boats and built trusses and sold teddy bears hugging candy canes and installed shelving and puttied holes and filed files and made spreadsheets and mixed margaritas and rolled silverware and asked too many questions about the quality of a taco bell tortilla to angry people who were too polite to hang up the phone but not to treat me like less than a human being. in the name of making ends meet, I have worn many silly hats. I have spent entirely too much time doing things I hate while the children of my dreams sat crying in dirty diapers. too many times my jobs have demanded that I neglect myself and all my ambitions.

so what is one to do? commit to their goals regardless the cost. sleep under the stars. eat soggy dumpster fare. take bird baths in gas station bathrooms. develop sores that won't go away. personally, I'm way into things like comfort and having money to see a doctor when you're sick and also having the time to write and create. it's unfortunate that the idea of having a job you love is a romantic notion rather than a reality for most people.

to not only spend your time doing what you love, but to pay your bills as well. maybe we are all getting there. I like to think that my rock star friend will soon retire her adding machine and that my writer friend will start selling her books instead of band-aids, and that my actress friend will be lit by spotlights rather than fluorescent bulbs. myself, I would love to get paid to be the best person at being myself. I've yet to meet anyone who is as gifted at being me as I am.

now if you'll excuse me, I have to lace up my gloves and get busy never stop fighting.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

midday margarita magic

the day has dictated itself to me, like a faithful secretary, I take notes:
plans will only get you so far.
you wanted to write today, but instead you are going to get drunk at 3 in the afternoon.
as soon as you are ready to write, there will be a knock on your door. answer it.
it will be your friend who you haven't talked to in too long.
talk with her.
she will suggest midday margaritas. drink them. eat too much mexican food while you're at it.
walk down sunset. push shopping carts and ride quarter horses. admire the sidewalk art.
admire everything.
see new things you pass everyday.
plan to spend the whole day doing what you hadn't planned.
a day spent is not wasted.
now, write...

Thursday, August 2, 2007

catch me now I'm falling

hand me a ball and I'll beg you for a helmet. too many times I have caught a ball with my nose while my gloved hand blindly grasped at the air. put me in a field and I am a flailing mathematician who hasn't studied for the eye-hand coordinates pop quiz. a page of numbers, meaningless. my limbs are left helpless, there is no communication where flying objects are concerned.

as a child I gave my try at baseball. I longingly watched what was happening all around me; friendships forming, victory being tasted, fun being had by all, expect me, who would wait in the outfield praying to the god of awkward childhoods, please please please, send that ball anywhere but here. let this patch of browning green be my sanctuary. please grant me the friendship and spare me the pain. but then I'd hear the successful crack of ball on bat and every scrawny inch of me would beg for the womb and its fetal protection. the screaming of teammates was deafening. the scorching sun blinding. I'd scrunch up my face and stick out my arm and ask the god, who had thus far proven a traitor, to at least guide the soaring ball away from the delicate bones of my face and towards the untouched leather of my glove. time would stand still and then I'd hear the thump of the ball on the earth and the moaning of my teammates grabbing at their heads in frustration. I'd release the buzzing oxygen from my lungs, find the neglected ball and throw it as far away from me as I could. for me it was a small victory, no blood, no stitches, but for my teammates it was the disappointment they had come to expect from me. Eventually, I realized that no friendship was worth the anxiety of being an imposture. I offered my glove up at the sacrificial church sale and said goodbye to baseball.

so given my history in the sports hall of shame, how unexpected that I am now opening my heart back up to the thing that once broke it. thanks to the constant inspiration of my pal skl, I am learning the fine art of being a sports fan. flanked by smiling friends, I am falling in love with baseball from the bleachers. the dodgers stadium is becoming my second home. my idea of fun is now synonymous with $12 beers and the crunching of peanut shells. give me a blue foam finger and I will shake the shit out of it. I can't get enough of the night air at dizzying heights from the cheap seats. less than a movie ticket to get high off a home run. the glittering of lights, the clapping of hands. one giant romance taking place. strangers sharing the intimacy of hope. in the moment it is that simple. everyone in love with the moment and nothing else.

the god of awkward childhoods taught me my lesson and now I am rewarded for faithfully following my heart. and now my heart sings, "take me out to the ball game, take me out with the crowd!"