Well.. today I'm off to California, or The Land of Fruits and Nuts, as my dad calls it. I'll be gone for about 11 days and probably won't be blogging any while I'm there... so I hope you all have a rockin' New Years. See ya next year!
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Posted by A at 9:12 AM
Monday, December 26, 2005
Bah Humbug and Crap
I don't know when I'll learn just how very much I hate the holidays. I don't say I hate them to be flippant or cool or whatever. I really do dislike them. No matter what, holidays seem to end up being depressing and disappointing in one way or another. Yet, each year, the big cynical Scrooge part of me gets shushed by my smaller idealistic part that insists this year will be different, and each year I find myself buying into it.
I went down to Pburg because Mikey was in town and it had been ages since I last saw him. I stayed with Angie and her girlfriend, which, going into it, I thought was a little weird. However, I was really touched to be thought of and included in my friends' celebrations because I have no family here. I didn't want it to be weird and on the drive down there, I was even a little excited. I imagined a warm holiday in which I would act like a normal person and be grateful for the open arms of someone else's family.
Truthfully, it didn't happen like that. In fact, I'm both ashamed and embarrassed of what did happen. You see, I ended up having an emotional breakdown/freak out. The reasons are complicated and I'm not even entirely sure why, other than being at Christmas dinner made me feel unbearably lonely and alone. That combined with the fact that Angie has been increasingly distant since my move, and seeing for myself this new life she has with her girlfriend.. well, it was really hard. I've been having kind of a mid-midlife crisis type thing anyway, and all of this just pushed me over the edge.
The first night was fun and being in a group setting of friends was fine. The next night, I went out with Mikey and Angie's brother, Brian, and we were having a ton of fun until all the gay boys were off making out with each other and I was left sitting by myself in the bar. It was pretty dead and the one cute girl there had totally blown me off, so I was sitting there alone with my increasingly depressing drunken thoughts. I ended up crying about how lonely I feel and how I wonder what is wrong with me, that I have absolutely no luck in the romance department. After all that, no one ended up hooking up with anyone and we all went home separately. Before going to sleep, I scrounged up a pen and paper and, through tears, I wrote the following (warning: drunk and maudlin ahead):
I'm tired. Tired of my life, tired of watching other people be happy, tired of watching everyone else obtain what it is I want for myself. Sick, sick to death of envy and jealousy, sick of comparing myself to others.
I'm just so tired. Tired of being me, tired of being unhappy, tired of fucking everything.
I doubt and hate myself so much. I treat my friends more gently and with more tolerance and understanding than I treat myself. My friends receive gentleness, while I receive punishment, over and over, for crimes I can't let go of. Stupid crimes that earn ridiculously stiff consequences and berating.
I am so tired. Tired. Tired of pain and struggle, tired of trying to carve my way through this life. Tired of being unique, different. Tired of being an acquired taste. I'm tired of feeling old and bitter before my time. I'm tired of my fear, my insecurities... all the things that prevent me from being who and what I want to be.
Most of all, I'm tired of being invisible. In some ways, I enjoy and cherish being different, but in other ways I wish there was more of a mainstream appreciation for me. My sense of humor, my looks, whatever. I'm tired of being on the margins, feeling entirely unique and different from everyone else. Tired of not fitting in.
Why can't I be happy with what makes me unique and "special"? Why must I always want what is impossible to obtain?
My greatest fear is that I will be alone forever. That I'm nearly 30 and haven't had a single long-term relationship that I would call successful. That all I've had is the one really fucked up one, and that's it. That no one seems to get me, and that no one ever seems to be interested in me. It's hard for me to separate this disinterest from my appearance, something I fear I will never be satisfied with.
I don't know how to take this apparent disinterest in me. I want to be wanted. I want to have fucking dates and relationships, for god's sake. Even a simple hook up now and then would be more satisfactory. I just can't help feeling that I don't fit into this world at all. I can't help but fear that I will be alone forever, watching everyone else but me obtain the simple happiness I want for myself. I'm so fucking tired of being alone! I'm tired of being different. I just want to be beautiful and wanted, and loved. Why does this come so easily to some and not at all to me? I'm so sick, fucking sick of feeling invisible and unattractive, and knowing that I don't fit most people's ideas of anything.
Being different is my fucking curse. Special, unique, my ass! I'm tired of feeling ugly and unwanted, and freakish because I don't fit into any sort of box. I'm tired of being me. If I died at this moment, I would think more on the relief of not having to deal with this bullshit anymore and honestly I wouldn't care what I hadn't accomplished yet. I just don't care. I'm miserable and I fear I will always be miserable.
Merry fucking Christmas bullshit!!!
Having vented some, I went to bed and had one of the most vivid, disturbing, and intense nightmares I've ever had. The next day was okay, although I was still feeling the emotional remnants of the previous night as well as my nightmare. The more time I spent at Angie's house, the more weirded out I felt by the whole thing. I felt like such an outsider in her life and I started thinking about how I just wanted to go home.
Christmas Eve, we went to Angie's dad's house for a family dinner. It's not as if they were all strangers, and I tried to be a good guest out of appreciation for inclusion of their holiday. But as time went by, I just kept being pulled down into depressing emotional shit. Angie spent no time with me whatsoever and stuck by her girlfriend pretty much the entire time. Once a mood like that starts to take over, there's very little I can do except remove myself from the situation to deal with it alone. I went outside a few times to breathe and I was trying so hard not to cry. I probably would have been able to hold it all together until we left, but Angie's step-mom, who is just about the kindest, warmest, most generous person I know, came over to me. She stepped close to me and looked me in the eyes and said, "Oh, Alena.. don't worry.. you're a wonderful person and I know you'll find someone just as amazing. There is someone out there for you."
It was like she could read my mind and I just lost it right there. I started crying and tried to apologize and explain that it wasn't her fault, but I felt like I was making a scene, so I got up and went into another room to compose myself. Instead, once away from other people, I cried harder. I had been invited to brunch at Angie's mom's the next day, but all I could think was that I wanted to go home, that I couldn't deal with any of it anymore.
We went back to Angie's house and started to watch a movie. I kept thinking about everything and the emotional vortex I was in, and I felt strongly that I should just go. It was too hard, all of it, and I felt embarrassed, ashamed for how I was acting. I felt like a terrible guest on all counts and the longer I was around Angie and her girlfriend, the more uncomfortable and weird I felt. So I pulled Angie aside and told her I was so sorry for acting like I was and that I wanted to go home. I cried yet again, as I tried to explain how I felt and what was wrong, that I was so sorry for being such an emotional freak. We had a short talk and she convinced me to stay.
I had hoped that these feelings would pass or be less intense the next day. My intention had been to the most grateful guest, to be helpful and cheery. But Christmas Day was just as bad. It was so clear to me what an outsider I was, and it didn't even feel like I fit into Angie's life anymore. I decided I would go to brunch and then leave as soon as possible.
My departure felt hasty and weird. I just couldn't wait to get out of there. I felt like I wouldn't feel normal again until I was home. As I said goodbye to Angie at her mom's, I kept apologizing for being such an emotional freak, trying to explain my actions and feelings. She said she loves me because I am a freak, which I now think is kind of funny. But at times like that, where I'm overwhelmed and overtaken by emotions I can't control or subdue, it feels like I can't connect to anyone else and I can't get what's going on inside across. When I got home, I called to say I'd gotten here, but I could hear myself speaking and I knew I sounded really weird, so I thanked them and apologized again for crying.
Now that I'm home, I do feel much more centered and relieved, but I can't shake the feeling of being a traveling emotional freak show, a grenade of weird shit that apparently can explode at any time. I feel like I can never go back there, that I can never stay with Angie again. That probably none of them will invite me again anyway, considering how I acted. That maybe Angie and I can't be friends anymore because I can't deal with the changes or the shift of things. I feel all kinds of guilt because I feel a complex mixture of jealousy and I know it's wrong.
I just don't know what is wrong with me. When I'm overtaken like this, I know my behavior must seem bizarre and selfish. Emotions like this, I can't control, and that's not normal, is it?
Posted by A at 12:15 PM
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Whereupon Alena Discovers She Does Not Live Alone...
So, yesterday, I was poking around in my bedroom closet, trying to find some rope that I suspected was in a container at the very bottom of everything. The rope was for the purely innocent application of hanging something outside to air out, lest you think my sex life is more interesting than it actually is at the moment. Anyway, I'm very leery of poking around in closets due to my abnormal fear of spiders living inside my shoes and God knows where else, those crafty buggers. I cautiously pulled out some items to have better access to the container, when I noticed something quite odd.
At the back of the closet on the floor, there were the remnants of a stuffed unicorn. Now, the unicorn was mine.. It was a wall-hanging-type-thinger that had been given to me when I was a baby. I have been called a packrat, but I don't just save everything: I am compulsively sentimental. If I have had an item for years, even if it's something I wouldn't use or decorate with now, it gets saved. So this unicorn is something I've had all my life, and apparently it was put in my bedroom closet during my move.
The unicorn had been mauled, chewed apart, and as it lay dying alone in a dark closet, it had hemorrhaged stuffing everywhere. I was a little shocked and couldn't believe what I was seeing. My first thought was that Melissa's dog, Greta, had somehow gotten into my closet during her stay with me. I pulled out the remains and looked them over, trying to understand. As I squatted in front of my closet, I began to notice other things. There was a section of shoelace that had been obviously chewed off a pair of my Bean Boots. I was like, WTF?
It occurred to me then that Greta was not the culprit. Even if she had somehow gotten in my closet, she didn't have enough time to demolish the unicorn AND my shoelaces. I mean, I kept my bedroom door shut nearly the whole time she visited. As I looked, I noticed more shoelace pieces, this time from another pair of boots. A light bulb went off in my head, and I'm sure my eyes went appropriately wide. I began piecing things together.. the unicorn, the shoelaces, a phone cord that had 'split' (i.e. was chewed in half) while I was away this summer, scratching noises in the ceiling of my kitchen..
Oh yeah. Mice. Fucking great!!
When I realized this, I freaked out. I fetched a flashlight and began inspecting my closet. While I have yet to find mouse poo in my apartment, hear them partying in my closet, or God forbid, SEE one.. it's more than obvious that they're here. I think I found a mouse hole in the closet and I suspect they probably are living in that wall, cozily nesting in the insulation and unicorn innards. Damn it!
I immediately called my landlord, hoping he would deal with it. Instead, I was told that unless the entire building was infested, it was up to me to buy poison or traps. Or live with them. Feh!!
So my landlord is all, "Yeah, you just go to Lowe's and buy some mouse and rat poison, it smells just like peanut butter, and you leave it out for them. What it does is cause blood thinning, so if they get hurt, they bleed to death because their blood won't clot. Yeah, they would die in the walls and there might be a smell. It also makes them very thirsty, so be sure to close your toilet seat and leave the sink empty and dry. The idea is that they'll get so thirsty they'll go elsewhere."
And in my head, I'm like, "OMFGOMFGOMFG, stop, stop, stop.. OMG.. please don't tell me this.. stooooooop!!"
This launched me into Freak-Out #2. Anyone who knows me knows that I do not believe in killing things and I feel quite strongly about this because I think it's wrong. To me, all living things have as much right to live as I do. There is a very short list of things (mosquitos, flies, roaches, ants) that I will kill if it comes down to it, but even then I don't feel great about it. In this case, there is no good solution. A snap-trap would provide a more merciful end, but then I have to be face-to-face with what I've done and it would honestly break my heart... On the other hand, poisoning, while allowing me to be somewhat of a coward, causes a slow death and I think that's even more wrong than the death alone.
After the conversation with my landlord, I called Melissa because I was flipping out. As further proof of what a big bleeding-heart baby I am, I started crying when I was explaining to her why it tore me up that I was even considering poison. It still makes me emotional when I think about it. Then I talked to my mom, who had a casual attitude about it and told me they have to poison rats and mice all the time in their orto.
I still haven't decided what I'm going to do. Earlier I took my flashlight and further examined the closet and my shoes. Almost all of the ones that were on the floor had been chewed on, one pair in particular was quite obviously a favored mouse snack. I moved them all off the floor and found what looks to be a hole in a corner behind/underneath the linoleum. The closet door doesn't latch shut, so for psychological relief, I placed something heavy in front of the door. There aren't any signs of them in the kitchen, but I don't know who I'm trying to fool.. as evidenced by the chewed phone cord, they have been in the living room.
Posted by A at 12:03 PM
Thursday, December 15, 2005
As our nation deals with the fallout of natural disasters, war and spiraling deficits, our leaders in Congress have made their top two priorities clear: huge new tax cuts targeted to the wealthy and devastating cuts to programs that help hard-working families get by.
Voting mostly along party lines, the U.S. House of Representatives passed $56 billion in tax breaks last week that would go overwhelmingly to the wealthiest sliver of Americans. The Tax Policy Center estimates 84.2 percent of the cuts passed by the House would go to the top 20 percent of households by income.
But that's not all. The tax cuts come after the House passed $50 billion in cuts to services that struggling working families depend on, like Medicaid, student loans, child support enforcement and food stamps.
These aren't the priorities of America's working families--and it's time our leaders of Congress knew that. Send a message to your representative and senators telling them you oppose cuts for working families and new tax breaks for the wealthy.
The voices of working families will make a difference in this important fight. Make sure your voice is heard today! Thank you for all that you do.
Working Families e-Activist Network
P.S. Make sure Congress knows what your priorities are. Send your message today.
Seriously, George, WTF? The country is reeling from the effect of natural disasters, we're trillions of dollars in debt, the unemployment rate is increasing, there are more families and children without health care every day, and on top of it we're pouring an unbelievable amount of money into the war. Sounds like a fantastic time for even more tax cuts for the rich and for cutting much-needed social service programs. Fucking outrageous. Simply outrageous.
Posted by A at 9:18 AM
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
The Truth is Free
I stumbled across the site Freedocumentaries.org and wanted to spread the word. I really like documentaries and it looks as if this site has lots of good ones. Some require downloading a Bittorrent client (try Azureus) to view the whole film, but as far as I can see, it looks to be really worth it.
Some titles I'm looking forward to viewing are BBC's The Bush Family Fortunes: The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Afghan Massacre: Convoy of Death, Votergate, and CBC's Dick Cheney Bio.
Posted by A at 12:25 PM
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Friday, December 09, 2005
NEVER THE SAME
A documentary by Jonathan Levin
Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, millions of people around the world showed unprecedented compassion, sympathy, and generosity for the victims and families of those who lost their lives on that terrible day.
'NEVER THE SAME' brings to light the story of another severely affected group: the tens of thousands of men and women who literally threw themselves into the dust and smoke to contribute to the rescue, recovery, and clean-up efforts in the wake of 9/11. They gave of themselves tirelessly, doing so in a toxic work environment never experienced before. As a result, an alarming proportion of these courageous and dedicated people wound up suffering terribly from both physical and emotional illnesses, many of which will persist for years; other health consequences like cancers are highly likely to develop over time. Yet despite the sacrifices made by these selfless individuals, nothing has been provided by the US government for their physical and mental health care, while the Workers' Compensation system treats them as malingerers and frauds.
Thousands of men and women selflessly sacrificed their health in service to others following the most well-known disaster in our nation's history - but the system, in short, has failed them. Not only do they deserve recognition for their remarkable efforts, they deserve the health care resources necessary to help them heal.
Posted by A at 8:01 AM
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Just a note to say that I plan to make this really boring blog into something a little more interesting.
I have no idea how to make different categories for my blog, but if I did, I would have a Music section. My way around this is to have separate blogs, but lyrics by themselves are rather dry and often the beauty of a song can't be captured by the words alone. So I figure that instead of posting here, I'll just put songs along with their lyrics on the other blog. That way it will all be together in one place and way more fun to look over.
If I get bored, I might go back and add songs to the older posts. The files will last 60 days after a download, so if something is ever unavailable, that's why.
Posted by A at 6:00 PM