Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Comment: Sorry.

I got nothing. Blaming it on hibernatory symptoms.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Question: Mid-Life Crisis?

Am I in the middle of one right now? The timing's right. I'm angst-filled and feel completely fried from the teaching I've been doing for most of my life. I feel like I've lost my passion for teaching, especially children. This depresses me. Then again, it's late January in the winter in the mid-Atlantic region, so most things depress me. Like snow. And cold.

But seriously, where to next? I don't know. There are tons of answers, no doubt. My husband is starting a business and he needs help, so I'm going to help him to the best of my abilities. 

I also think i could be a better "homemaker" even though I am loath to use the term. I mean, our house is messy and disorganized and if I could just channel one percent of Martha Stewart that could really help me out. I don't want to get into decoupage or make my own ottoman, but I could use some organizational and storage tips. And a big garbage bag or ten. 

We are overrun with books, too. I went through a period of time over several years where i bought a LOT of books. Many of them are no longer relevant to me, so off to the library they can go. I think I could even sell some of them back to Amazon, though I'm not sure I've got the gumption. It doesn't look too hard...

The embarrassment of riches is surrounding me. I am grateful for that and don't want to look a gift horse in the mouth. I can make a difference by being a good role model for my children. That is of utmost importance. If I keep that in mind, whatever else I do will be icing on the cake.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Question: Why don't we do what we like to do?

I've talked about this long ago, but the answer still eludes me. I love to write, yet don't take the time to do it. My son loves the drums, but doesn't practice. Ditto my daughter and piano. Ditto some days exercising for my husband. These are all things we deeply enjoy, yet we don't allow time for them, even though we could.

I don't know what to make of this aversion to things we like. It makes no sense. I should be writing all the time and jogging all the time and my kids should practice their instruments at least some of the time. My husband usually waits until dinnertime to exercise so he's often cut short. It's all about planning, I guess, and we don't always do the best job at planning.

These days my self-care routine takes up a lot of my time, though I have no personal trainer nor stylist nor dietician. In order for me to get through my days in one piece, there's a laundry list of things I have to do to stay sane: exercise, meditate, sleep. Not to mention the laundry.

Oh the laundry! It's Sissyphean. The minute the pile is empty something new flies down the laundry chute, which, I'll admit, is cool, but would be cooler if PEOPLE ACTUALLY USED IT ON A REGULAR BASIS AND NOT ONLY ON CLEANING DAY. I'm just sayin'.

There are always napkins to be washed, jeans, stained shirts, sweaty grown up clothes that could march around the room with the weight and heft of their stink. 

Some people only do laundry once a week. Once a week?! Maybe if you were single and lived in The Bahamas and all you had was a few sarongs and a couple of shawls, sure. But in a family of four living creatures, all of whom grow larger and dirtier by the day? 

I do laundry every day or we would sink under the weight of our own filth. I make time for laundry. Why don't I make time for something I actually like?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Question: Why did you bail on Facebook for years?

One of the reasons I stopped using Facebook for nearly four years is because it kept making me wistful for my past. I’d see names from the good ole days and get all nostalgic and forget about my wonderful life that I have right NOW. This is my challenge in going on Facebook. I want to reconnect but sometimes you just can’t. Time passes, people move on.

I have people on my Facebook Friends list who are barely casual acquaintances, as well as very dear old friends with whom I’m thrilled to be back in touch.  I disappeared from Facebook for years. I’m back because I want to get back into the game, such as it is. People I care about are on it, and it’s also a platform for advertising my blog and other writing I do. So going back on was a rational decision.

I also stopped Facebook because we moved and I was trying to build a real 3-D life in my new hometown. This took years of effort, as anyone who has ever moved a family across the country knows.

Additionally, there was the Facebook Envy. Seeing my old friends and acquaintances on their vacations and photo shoots didn’t always make my day. It was Keith Johnstone who once wrote that whenever someone tells you about something nice that happened to them, it was like they were kicking you as they spoke. Not that people report nice things to be mean, but sometimes our more primal selves react with envy at what good tidings that have befallen our friend. We can still love and respect said friend, but if they win the lottery, you feel like someone kicked you in the nuts, so to speak.

That’s because we are, on a visceral level. competitive animals. We eat, we fuck, we shit, we sleep, and that isn’t enough, we always want more. Our ambitions and our desire to be good at something, brilliant at something, pushes us. That’s evolution.

So I guess that answers the question.

Thursday, January 22, 2015


I've decided to be somewhat disciplined on writing every day, so stay tuned on how that works out. I'm in the middle of a bunch of creative projects but can't seem to pull the trigger on any of them. It's not a case of writer's block, it's research block. I have books to read, websites to decode, to get my work out there. I don't know who's gonna read it, but I'd like to put at least some of it out there. So I need to get moving.

But enough about my navel gazing. Does anyone know when "Orange is the New Black" is starting its third season? I'm itching to get back into watching that world. Excellent show.

A lot of my time lately is on my physical health. I have a stupid hip injury that is acting up, so I'm doing exercises and going to physical therapy. The place I go to is like this MASSIVE operation across the river where all the professional sports teams take their injured members.

There are autographed jerseys framed all around the first floor, which I think is reserved for the plebs such as myself. don't imagine Troy Polamalu or Sydney Crosby having to sit in the gigantic waiting room like the rest of us. I bet they have their own wing, or floor, or both. Needless to say, I haven't seen anyone famous there, but there's really only a handful of professional athletes I can name, so I'm not much help there.

Physical therapy is so boring yet so important. I have a very nice PT who has green eyes and a pleasant demeanor and uses the word "tummy" unironically. He's nice. He explains everything but basically I just have to stretch and strengthen, which is, you guessed it, tedious and boring. But I want to get my mobility back up because this May my 50 year old sister, my 78 year old dad and I are going to "run" the half-marathon. I say run in quotation marks because when we did it three years ago it was really a spectacle, not a race. We stopped to pee and have snacks and dance in front of the motivating bands who were playing and basically made glorious asses of ourselves. It took us three and a half hours and it was a total laugh riot. It was an event.

So I'm aiming to be fit enough to have this next event. I can't wait to get the go ahead to start running again. I don't know how soon that will be and I'm an impatient gal, but I'm doing my best with the exercise bike to keep some semblance of fitness. I am also doing this seven minute workout (executed very poorly) that is supposed to cover all your muscles and is supposedly all the workout you need, if you can do it in seven minutes. I can't even do some of the exercises, and it takes me longer than seven minutes, but I see it as a challenge and it doesn't involve running, so I'll take it.

Challenges are good.

Rock on.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

I'm baaack!

Trying to get back in the swing of things. Just finished an intensive writing workshop with wondergal Ariel Gore, writer and teacher. Always gets me fired up.

Decided I'd pick this up again and see if I have the juice. It's been years since I've blogged regularly, so I don't know how this will work. If you'll be patient, I'll put out some of my writing for y'all to peruse. Below is something I wrote in Ariel's class. I'm asking, is this flash fiction? Cause I'm older than 25 so I'm not sure.  Happy reading!

The Tunnel
by Emi

Jack and Lucy always play together. They’re alike in that they’re both foster kids who live in the same apartment complex. But they’re different in that Jack is pale and blond and Lucy is brown and raven-haired. They are the same age, six years old. They both play together every chance they get, because they have an understanding. She won’t say anything about the large birthmark on his face and he won’t say anything about how heavy she is. Both children are teased and ridiculed at their homes and at school.

The only time they have when they can relax and let their guard down is when they go to the beach. There’s a special beach they go to, not the one with the tanned attendant looking for badges. It’s a secret beach that only Jack and Lucy know about. And you have to know how to find it. And only Jack and Lucy know. It’s their secret.

Friday is Special Beach Night.  Both children know that right after they are dropped off by the bus driver, they can leave immediately for the beach. They don’t need to check in with their overwrought, unengaged foster parents. There’s so much adult drama that Jack and Lucy don’t understand. But they do understand when they’re not wanted around, and Fridays seem to be the time, especially Friday nights when people start drinking and smoking and acting all loud and shit.

It’s also a good time for Special Beach Night because Jack and Lucy both need to blow off some steam from their rough weeks of being harassed and bullied. They have each other and they have Special Beach Night. You can only get there through the tunnel. Most people think it’s a sewage tunnel, but it isn’t. It’s just full of a bit of stagnant, acrid water. But there are no needles or soda cans or candy wrappers or crushed glass. Nobody goes in the tunnel mostly because nobody knows it’s there. But Jack and Lucy know.

And they know that at the end of a horrible week, all they need to do is slosh in through the tunnel and find peace and acceptance on the other side.

At the end of the tunnel, there is a small inlet on the beach that hosts all kinds of interesting creatures that Jack and Lucy can’t identify because neither one of them can read yet, thanks to the neglect they have at home. They’re both in first grade and should technically be able to look stuff up on the internet, if they had it, which they don’t. they don’t have love, they don’t have web access, but they have each other.

When they get together to play, they don’t talk much. It’s more about being in silence with another person, someone who isn’t going to scream at you and tell you you’re a retard or a wide load, that you’re ugly or fat or freakish.

Jack and Lucy have the understanding that they are each alone in the world. But when they really need to, they can always crawl through the tunnel to their beach of refuge. At this place, they are whole and they are loved.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Back in the Game

It's been years since I've blogged, and haven't had the itch for awhile now, but with the amount of time I now have on my hands, at least as of this writing, I am able to spend some of it writing, which is boss.  I just completed an intensive writing class online with Ariel Gore. I strongly recommend her. She is awesome and so are her workshops.

We're in the middle of a big adventure right now. My husband has decided to start a business. He was laid off on Halloween (eerily appropriate) and his severance just finished, so we are on a tightrope without a net. No, that's not true. There is a net. It's just pretty far down. We're not stupid, we're optimistic. If in a few months there is no traction on this company, we will change course. That's just the nature of online start-ups. They either work or they don't.

I feel both excited and nervous about what this project entails for my husband and my family. Penny pinching will become an art form, I'm guessing. This is a good thing. For too long we spent money without thinking about it. I know I did some time ago and I regret it.

But back to now. Now is a tightrope. Do you know that song, "Tightrope" by Janelle Monae? It's highly appropriate to describe both starting a business and managing mental illness. Just a little connection for you there. Check it out.