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I should be cleaning, or cooking dinner so Jesse has something good to eat when he gets home from work. But I simply do not feel like it. Instead I have cracked open my last Blue Moon and am hoping that a good half-hour of uncensored complaining to the either will ease my shoulders from their permanent stressed position around my ears.

It has been a hard week. Exactly a week ago I was roused from a fitful slumber to go tend to Jesse, who had decided to end his three month bender by slicing himself up with a box cutter. As I too calmly disinfected, swabbed, bandaged and then cleaned up his blood from where it covered all available flat surfaces, I thought that maybe I missed my calling as a nurse. Either that, or I will make someone a really good mother someday.

So, in the time between here and there has been rough, filled with little sleep, Jesse detoxing on the couch, and me trying my best to take care of him. I have rearranged my life to take care of him. Because that is what you do for friends in need. That is what you do for the people that you love.

Today, it all came to a head, when he said he was going to go get a beer at Igor's before his shift there. I yelled, got very angry. I shouldn't have. But I don't understand why, after detoxing on my couch for a week and finally feeling good, he would want to put all that in jeopardy right before we actually get to see the doctor tomorrow. All week we have spent extraordinary amounts of time in the Central City Behavioral Health Clinic, seeing a social worker (who pointed out that the cuts on his arm were a bad thing) and getting him a psychiatric evaluation. Finally tomorrow (at 8 am, Gah!) he sees the doctor. Why would he get all fucked up the day before? How does it make sense for all that hard work to go to waste? I just don't understand.

Yesterday, I was tired to the point of tears. Today I cried. Once at a Doctor Who fan vid (I am still a little sensitive about my 10th Doctor.) And then again after the fight with Jesse. We parted on fine terms, I guess, but I just can't help feeling that nothing I do is ever good enough. Even when you give someone all you have, until you don't think you have any more, and still give more, it is never good enough, they are never happy. It has always been the case. It was the case a dozen years ago when John sat on the couch and detoxed and it is the same now. I never have been, and never will be, good enough. Especially for the people that I have given all of myself to. It is just never enough.

I was told this week that I didn't need affection or sweetness. It makes me sad that is how I appear to be. That I appear to be this unending fount of strength and stability that continually pours over everyone near me and needs nothing back. But all that water has to come from somewhere, right? That image of me is so at odds with how I see myself. I feel like a plant that sends out tendrils and shoots, grasping for the nourishment of affection and comfort and inspiration. However, it seems that my fragile shoots meet nothing but cold air, and I am forced to burrow back into myself. I am only strong because I have to be, because the people around me need me to be, because weakness is a luxury that would let down the people I love. They can not afford for me to be weak, and there is no one who would tolerate, or pity my weakness anyway. There is no one to hold me while I cry from exhaustion, when I show emotion it makes people uncomfortable.

Wow, this dazzling amount of self-pity and complaining is just making me feel worse. Off to the ether, with it, never to be read or thought of again. I need to go make dinner.
I am a bit of a control freak (understatement), and I hate to think that fate is an option. But in the dark hours of the night, when I am alone and feeling fragile, I am comforted by the thought "If it is meant to be it will be." Just for a moment I let the reigns of life fall from my hands, and let the responsibility fall on something else.

I used to think in poetry, but after years of trying to be emotionally dead, I don't think at all. Now the cogs of my brain are rusted in place, when they try to move, all I get is a rain of russet flakes. I need a jump start, need some lubrication, need a muse. But that is all counting on inspiration to come from outside myself. I don't want to do that any more... but can't help it.

I finally settled on a quote to go under my dorky Billy tattoo: "Because truth is madness and madness truth truly revealed, and to see is to always see too much."

Now off to clean my apartment and to control the things I can control.
going once, going twice
sold to the girl
who ignored all the advice
of all the people who knew her better
she just stood there
on the front porch
waiting for her will
to come and get here

she was packed
she had a suitcase
full of noble intentions
she had a map
and a straight face
hell bent on reinvention
and she was ready
for the lonely
she was in it for
it only

going once, going twice
down the road less taken
with her diary and her WD40
and her swiss army knife
and her beer
and there was always
someone there to say
why don't you just stay
and hang your hat here

but she was packed
she had a suitcase
full of bungles and near misses
and she was swinging
through a jungle
of last calls and first kisses
and she was learning
about please
and huge humilities

then one day she looked around her
and everything up til then was showing
and she wondered how did i get here
without even knowing where i was going?
now there's no getting out of this
and there is no going back
and it all seems so odd sometimes
and the odds all seem stacked

going once, going twice
sold to the girl
who ignored all the advice
of all the people who knew her better
she just stood there
on the front porch
waiting for her will
to come and get here

she was packed
she had a suitcase
full of noble intentions
she had a map
and a straight face
hell bent on reinvention
and she was ready
for the lonely
she was in it for
it only
This is a collection of advice from, of all places Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul II, however it is all advice I have been dispensing in one form or another since 1998. Since I am at home and happened to come across the book, I figured I would put it in my journal so I can have it when I want it without hours of trolling the internet.

What I Wish I'd Known Sooner:

-Don't drink grape juice while wearing a white shirt and driving to school.
-Don't let your life wait for other people.
-Dropping a cellular phone into a bathtub of water kinda kills the phone.
-Your mother will find out if you dye your hair purple.
-You haven't really lived until you've gotten a 48 on an Advanced Placement U.S. History test.
-Don't ever fall in love with someone who is more than one thousand miles away from you. It usually doesn't work.
-Milk crates makes boring pets.
-If it hurts, DON'T DO IT AGAIN!
-That which does not kill you will ultimately make you stronger.
-Speaking in public gets easier with practice.
-Don't sprint around the pool if you are trying to impersonate Jim from Huck Finn.
-Ten years from now most of what we freak out about won't make any difference.
-All that's gold doesn't glisten.
-Zits always pop up when you really can't afford for them to pop up.
-Always stay after class because that's where connections are made.
-When in doubt, duck. When certain, don't bother, 'cuz you're already screwed.
-While driving a car through a gate, always, ALWAYS make sure the gate is open! The consequences might be fatal to your car.
-If you're not living (I mean really living), you're dead already.
-Never pierce your belly button in the dark.
-Just because someone flirts with you incessantly doesn't necessarily mean he or she likes you.
-If your calculus teacher tells you to quit talking after a test or he'll give you a zero for your test grade, he means it. Really.
-Sometimes smart people can do very, very, stupid things.
-Being nice to people will get you far.
-The one person you can truly love is often right in front of you.
-Never, ever, EVER let a member of the opposite sex make you compromise your standards. Never.
-Nothing is ever too good to be true (said by Michael Faraday).
-If you start to like a girl, her roommate will immediately start liking you.
-Parents aren't around forever, and you need to treasure them while they are.
-Don't take the SAT twice if you already have a good score in the first place.
-Never do something if the risk is greater than the reward.
-Think carefully before you act.
-Dreaming and doing go hand in hand.
-Life moves fast, but not so fast that you can't slow down to enjoy it.
-Instead of waiting for life to get better, do something about it.
-You REALLY should do what needs to be done NOW, and not later. Procrastination is the easiest way, but not the most profitable.
-If your intuition is telling you to not do something, then don't. Your intuition is not stupid!
-Cereal is a vital stable for for all college students. Who cares how ridiculous you look eating it at 7:30 p.m.?
-If he doesn't respect you, then he's not worth any of your time.
-Learn to play an electric guitar: young women really dig it.
-Don't juggle knives unless you're really, really good at it.
-If at first you don't succeed, try again. Then give up. No sense in being ridiculous about it.
-Sticking things up your nose isn't the smartest idea in the world.
-You can't light fireworks in the basement and not get caught.
-Hair is flammable. Very flammable.
-Never ever trust your friend with a pair of scissors against your hair.
-Dyeing hair strawberry blond that is already strawberry blond makes it turn strawberry pink.
-White dogs and black pants don't mix.
-God doesn't make junk!
-Someday you will look back on this and it will all seem funny.
-You never know when you're making a memory.
-The heart does heal, and you will love like this again-- except when you do, you'll deny that you ever loved like this before.
-Nothing matters if you don't have loved ones to share it with. Your siblings are incredibly precious. If you don't know this now, you will--trust me!
-If you can laugh at yourself, you are going to be fine.
-If you allow others to laugh with you, you'll be great!
-Kissing is the most fun thing. Dancing is almost as fun.
To Save Your Friend's ListCollapse )
So. Many. Books.Collapse )
And I think I am now all caught up with my book log. I might have missed something in there somewhere, but I think that is all of them.

Princess, I just went to the library yesterday, so I will have different, interesting books to review next week. :)
It's been a while since I have updated on my reading habits. Work has been so hectic, my days off are utilized for sleep, and trying to have some semblance of a social life. (You know, it really wards off the crazies when life is not all work and no play. I've been trying to play, and organize my apartment, in a pathetic effort to stay sane.)
And, as always, I have been reading.
Read moreCollapse )
From a thread in the New Orleans community just now.

Someone posts:

i go to cal state fullerton and taking an american studies course about New Orleans. I have to do a research paper and i have some questions about the city and i was wondering if you can help me out??

how is the crime after hurricane katrina in the city of new orleans?

what area in new orleans did hurricane katrina affect the most?

what is the state of mardi gras since hurricane katrina?

And the replies are hilarious. My favorite:

Everybody knows that it's always Mardi Gras here. In fact, we are a Cajun Brigadoon that only appears before Lent and vanishes into the swamp on Ash Wednesday. Now if you'll excuse me, there's a parade coming down my street.

The close second:

how is the crime after hurricane katrina in the city of new orleans?

it is bad, teh mayor, Mr. F. Domino, has issued a reprot recomending all people in the city of new orleans arm themselfs with knifes when they come into the french quarter, where the mardi gras is held

what area in new orleans did hurricane katrina affect the most?

mostly the french quarter (which the locals call "deep ellum"), but it also affected some of the big downtown buildings, including the crysler building, a well-known landmark in new orleans, and displaced residents of the city of new orleans biggest housing project, cabrini-green.

what is the state of mardi gras since hurricane katrina?

it is good! i went to mardi gras last week and it was so much improved over even six months ago that i couldnt beleive it!

It wouldn't be so sad if I didn't answer very similar questions every time I was in Colorado. But still fuckin' funny.
Book # 18: The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts by Maxine Hong Kingston.

Brittany lent me a bunch of books to read one day when I was complaining that I was out of book, and had exhausted Walgreen's fine array of literature. This one was among them, a nice mix of fiction, classics and books I'm sure she had to buy for some classes along the way. It is refreshing to have to use my mind to think about things other than work every once in a while.

This book plays fast and loose with my idea of a memoir. In my head memoirs are more interesting than biographies, but very much in the same vein. Kingston lays out her life in a very non-liner fashion, lengthly interrupted by "talk-stories" or myths her mother had told her. One whole section of the book (which is broken up into five parts) is devoted to Fa Mu Lan and how she became a great woman warrior. How interesting it is to see the story as it is meant to be, instead of the Disney-fied version that we all know. It is very very different, but like all Disney movies still retains some of the original message.

It is difficult to tell the facts of Kingston's life from the Chinese fictions that her parents have told her. The way that she tells her story makes it difficult to separate what was only in her head and what might have really happened. Perhaps that is from the strain of trying to intertwine two drastically different cultures at so young an age. I haven't ever had that problem, I have always been able to tell fact from fiction (even fiction that I am deeply involved with) and separate my whole being into nice little compartments. Perhaps that is the Americanized way of living, to separate your life into little, digestible, compartments. We have so many milestones and so many markers to cut up time into as many little pieces as we need to to make sure that everything makes sense. Perhaps without these markers and these little contained pieces, it would be like the memoir, everything liquid and flowing from one point to another.

Perhaps life shouldn't be compartmentalized as we do it. Perhaps that is no way to live. Kingston's memoir doesn't separate the fact from the fiction, the talk stories from the actual events. There are a couple of times where she says that she has tried to separate these things, separate what is Chinese in her from what is American in her, but she never seemed to succeed. I would say that maybe if Americans weren't so good at compartmentalizing and putting troublesome emotions away in little boxes, then we would be a happier group of people, however, Kingston never seemed to put any thing in the little boxes and her life doesn't seem any happier than any other.

One part I especially liked was when she decided that she would tell her mother everything she had ever done wrong in her life, to absolve herself of the guilt that was ever present. She started with killing a spider when she was five, and thought if she just told one or two things she had done a day, she would have told her mother all of her "sins" in a year. This didn't last very long, unfortunately, because her mother didn't want to listen to her whisper about seemingly insignificant guilts. Kingston rationalizes it as she was intruding on her mother's only quiet time during the day. I thought it was a neat idea though, and a need to be absolved that is infinitely relate-able.

All in all, an interesting read. I only wish I was in class again, I would be prompted to go deeper, and inspired by the people around me to think about things I would never have come up with on my own.

But, instead of think some more, I read another trashy romance novel.

Book # 19: Devil May Cry by Sherrilyn Kenyon.

In my last post I talked about why I enjoy Ms. Kenyon's books so much. Well, none of that has changed, and with the latest book, I don't really have anything to add. The thing about romance books, even well written, highly entertaining romance books, is that still, they are all about the same. I enjoyed whittling away a couple hours while I was waiting for Tino to pick me up, and a couple of hours yesterday, reading, smoking and drinking coffee. There is no better way to spend a lazy Wednesday afternoon than just relaxing on my front stooplet with caffeine, nicotine, and vicariously living through other people.
Book #14 Dark of the Moon by Susan Krinard

Blah, Blah, Blah...Collapse )

Who knew I could write so much about a book I didn't like?

Book #15: The Bitch Posse by Martha O'Conner.

Put your trigger on my finger.Collapse )

Book #16: The Scandalous Summer of Sissy LeBlanc by Loraine Despres

It's okay for a woman to know her place. She just shouldn't stay there. Rule #59.Collapse )

Book #17: Upon the Midnight Clear by Sherrilyn Kenyon.

I love it when a man sweet-talks me.Collapse )

Phew, that was a lot of books. Stay tuned for next week, when I start to think again with a memoir about growing up Chinese-American.