Monthly Archives: July 2010

Preparing for the Apocalypse

University of Denver. Bike racks. Taken by moi

The Apocalypse is surely coming. Yes, I know that doomsday theorists have been around and popular for hundreds of years, but I firmly believe that the end of the world will happen in our lifetime. Just look at DC in the past year. We’ve had a record blizzard, record heat, record earthquake, and yesterday a storm that knocked out most of the power in the DC/Maryland area. And THIS kid does NOT like power outages.

Yesterday afternoon and last night it was sort of fun. Beth and I lit all the candles in the house, played around with our disaster backpack (I wore a hardhat for awhile), made shadow puppet shows on the wall, and generally giggled and played with the flashlight. Downsides were: I was in the middle of baking bread int he bread machine, so it didn’t rise all the way and is very doughy-still edible though; I was in the middle of laundry, so all of my whites load had to hang dry and is all stiff this morning; the roof leaked and I had to move my entire closet out into my bedroom and call the maintenance guys in. There is now a bucket in the attic and a promise that someone will come out to fix it soon. But come’on Pepco. This is sort of ridiculous now. A third of Montgomery County’s street lights aren’t working? Over 220,000 residents don’t have power?? This might take several days to remedy?!?!?! Not cool, Pepco, definitely, not cool. Do you KNOW how hard it is to get ready in the morning by candlelight with no hairdryer or straightening iron?!?! I didn’t even attempt to put on make-up in the flickering candlelight. All this power-outage stuff has made me realize that the Apocalypse might not be the fun anarchy I once thought it would be.

Yes, I am one of those people that absolutely cannot WAIT for the zombie uprising. Beth and I have plans, weapons, and tactics all thought out. We have several scenarios based on different variables for when the flesh-eating walking dead come out to play, and we’re both very much looking forward to it. I need a few zombies and a little anarchy to relieve some of the stress that’s been building up over the years. There’s nothing like running through the streets with a sawed off shot-gun or machete, hacking your way through a swarm of oozing, groaning predators, to make you forget about bill payments, student loans, and ex-boyfriends. But even if the apocalypse doesn’t come in the form of zombies (God I hope it does), it’ll happen some other way in our lifetime. Nuclear war, comet, natural disaster, gamma rays from a dying neighbor star lightyears away, famine, disease, biological warfare, alien invasion–the possibilities are endless. And I’ve definitely been watching too many shows on the History and Discovery channels about this. I just want it to be one of the possibilities where I survive the initial majority of the population being wiped out so that I can have a little fun among the anarchy before I too perish. Of course, with my luck, I’ll be the first to get the disease, or in the city that the bomb is dropped/the asteriod hits, etc.

This recent power outage has made Beth and I realize though that we are not as prepared as we once thought we were. I got bored almost instantly yesterday and annoyed her into entertaining me. We also realized how much we rely on electricity to make food. (Oh yeah, yesterday morning, we just went out and stocked up the fridge again. Aaaaaand we’re probably gonna have to throw it all out. This is the thing that irritated me the most about this whole lovely experience.) I’m really not adjusting well to this no electricity/caveman situation. Of course, except for the food part, the things that I’m disliking most about this power outage won’t really be an issue when the end of the world comes. I won’t have to get up and still try to look professional for work; I’ll just hack my hair off, be dirty, and love every minute of it! And I won’t be bored when I’m trying desperately to survive. I just have to figure out the food part. Hmmmm time to read survival strageties and how to eat in the woods, etc.

So basically, when it really is the end of the world as we know, I’ll feel better than fine. 🙂

A Dark Masquerade

We screen our likeness from even ourselves

Because truth is painful

And lies are so easy.

We all play our parts to perfection

with elaborate costumes and masks

made up of our lies

to camouflage our weaknesses.

~

We’ve forgotten our true selves

behind so many beautiful things

that we don’t want to even think about

what’s now lurking underneath.

~

Take off your mask and I’ll remove mine.

What’s behind your charming visage

of a grinning, benevolent beast?

What’s underneath your character?

What’s behind my façade?

~

But try as we may

our masks stay on.

And mirrors reflect nothing

but elegant lies,

cleverly hidden

behind laughing eyes.

(revision of an earlier poem)

And I’m stronger because of it…

So July 13th is a pretty important day in my life. Not that I really want it to be and not anything that deserves a celebration. Not that kind of important. Important as in the start of hitting rock bottom. One of the major turning points in my life.

Before July 13, 2007 I was a mess. I was deeply depressed, doing poorly in school, cutting myself off from friends, hardly ever leaving my room, sleeping too much, having one night stands, getting high, and getting fat. I’d made a lot of bad choices, and they were catching up with me. But in the spring and summer of 2007, I had started to pick myself up and dust myself off. I wasn’t doing spectacular or anything, but I was doing better. I spent the summer at home, living with my mother and hanging out with my girlfriends. I hadn’t slept with anyone in six months, and I was very proud of that because I really wanted to end my trend of one night stands. I didn’t want to do it anymore because it only made me more unhappy. I was making better choices. If only I had known.

Going out to the hookah bar with your gal pals seems totally harmless right? And then running into an old guy friend you’d known elementary school through high school is also harmless right? Having him join us, smoke and drink with us, catching up on old times. And then he invited us back to his place for a few more drinks.  … If only I’d never gone. If only WE’D never gone. Because if he hadn’t done it to me, maybe it would’ve been one of my friends. And I hate that thought even more than what he did to me. On July 13th, 2007 I was raped by someone that I thought was a friend. In the week following that, I believe I hit rock bottom. Imagine not being able to shower or change clothes without dissolving into tears because being naked seems so painful and venerable. I cried constantly and refused to leave my mother’s house.

Eventually, slowly, I began to heal. My short creative non-fiction story “Second hand” talks about this healing process and the friend that helped me through it. A lot of people helped me through it actually. And writing that piece especially helped me through it.

On July 13, 2008 I tried to plan the most super fun day that I could think of to keep my mind off of what had happened only a year ago. It backfired. The day didn’t live up to my expectations, my friends all cancelled, and I ended up crying in my room most of the day. July 13th, 2009, I was at a summer publishing program with no one that I knew (in fact it was only the third or fourth day of the program). And you don’t wanna start off something like that by going “Hey! Guess what terrible thing happened to me!” So I sat quietly in class, ate lunch alone, and generally avoided people all day. There were definitely some tears that night as I watched the Denver stars, sipping on boxed wine and bottling all my feelings up. edit:hahaha I always forget about Denver for some reason… 2009 is updated/correct now. I probably had a harder time remembering this cause it was sort of my routine behavior in Denver. I know, I’m such an emo when I wanna be.

But July 13, 2010, I went to work, I worked out, I had dinner with my roommate, and I ate cake. I had no expectations for the day. I just wanted to be normal. And for the most part, it was and I was. Beth and I had a long talk that evening about the past and how every single tiny little choice affects us. What if we had gotten a table inside the hookah bar and not out on the patio? Would we have run into that bastard then? Would fate have found another way to put him on my path? Or would that just mean that it would happen to someone else and not to me? Every choice has a great impact on our lives whether we realize it or not.

It has taken me three years, but I’m finally able to say that I wouldn’t change it. It was the most horrible thing that’s ever happened to me in my entire life. But it made me who I am today. And the person that I am today is so much stronger, understanding, selfless, and more compassionate than who I was before. Rock bottom didn’t erase all of my character flaws–I’m certainly not perfect, although there was a time that I’d tell lie after lie to make you think so–but it did smooth out a lot of my rough edges. It’s like Tyler Durden said: “It’s only after you’ve lost everything that you’re free to do anything.” And it’s so true.

I was going to post this reflection on the third anniversary, but I was doing other things and trying to be normal. But I’m doing it now. Because I need to. Because I’m better. Because I’m stronger. And because I took myself out on a solo date–something I’ve never had the guts to do before. Yep, two weekends ago, right before my black anniversary, I took just me onesie out to a movie. Completely alone. And I wasn’t self conscious, and I actually had a good time. Yes, I saw Eclipse and bought a 12 pack of beer because I’m one classy broad like that 😉

Happy anniversary. I’m so proud of you

Wayfarer Redemption Review

Cover art for the first book "BattleAxe" (USA title "The Wayfarer Redemption")

While I was in between temp jobs, I gobbled down one of Beth’s favorite fantasy series The Wayfarer Redemption series by Sara Douglas. I should start by saying that I only read the first three of the series because the six books should really be treated like two separate trilogies. I don’t usually like reading books that people strongly recommend or they say is their favorite because I don’t want to tell them that I didn’t like it. I ran into this problem with the Sookie Stackhouse series. My sister thought I’d love them, so she bought me the whole box set for Christmas. I managed to struggle through three of them before I couldn’t take it anymore and lied politely to my sister at the dinner table, saying “I enjoyed them.” It wasn’t a total lie. I enjoyed taking a red pen to them…

But since we live together and have a whole room devoted to our book collections, I knew that I’d have to read some of her favs. And I trust her judgment more than most people because we’ve read a lot of the same things and have similar opinions on them. And even if our thoughts differ, she remembers and will make recommendations on my preferences and not hers.

I loved these books. Couldn’t put them down. They kept me guessing and throwing random theories at Beth (who never told me if I was right or not because she feels like that’s cheating. She also is appalled that I sometimes read the last page first, but again, different rant for a different post). One main character is very likable and a very dynamic character. Another main character… eh not so much. He is kind of a dick the whole series and a static character in my opinion, and that’s me being nice. I don’t really think you’re meant to like him. He’s not quite a Byronic hero, because that would mean that he actually had a plan and meant to be all dark and twisty and non-conventional as he saved the world. No offense, but he’s just not that smart or crafty. I feel so bad for the other main character. Sometimes, one character gets shit on the most but in the end everything turns out alright and s/he is just mildly damaged for the rest of his/her life but still able to be slightly normal and happy. Like Frodo–he goes through Hell and back and has the worst of luck, but at least he sort of gets peace at the end. No, this ending is not like that. One character just keeps getting the rough end of the bargain. I’m still not sure how I feel about that.

I would highly recommend the first three books of this series. Lots of twists and turns to keep you guessing, an epic setting with lots of characters, provinces, and politics. Women characters played just as important a part as men characters. Definitely a must read series for the epic fantasy lover.

Oh hey there…

Ok, sorry for the very long delay in between blog posts. My life actually got busy again!!!! FINALLY! So I got a new job that I actually really like. It’s down on 6th Street and Pennsylvania Ave. For those of you not familiar with the area, that’s right near the mall where all the museums and moments are. And by “right near,” I mean the next block over.  So I’ve been busy with the new job and also very busy going down to Virginia to see my nephew, who is the CUTEST little squawk box ever. Also, Dad came down to visit this weekend.

So yes very busy. I’ll be better and post more though. Don’t be surprised if there are a lot of similar things all at once. Like, I’ve read a lot of books lately , and I plan on writing a review on all of them. …. Eventually…

So yeah 🙂 I’ll post more soon.

Welcome to the world and may the Force be with you

On July 4th, 2010 at exactly 7:00pm, Jacob Orion Huie came into this world. He’s 6 lbs, 11 oz, 19 inches, and has a full head of curly brown hair. My nephew is perfect.

I’ve been waiting so long to meet him, and yesterday was so surreal. He was so tiny, so new, so undamaged, so perfect. I cried a little when I first got to hold him; I was just overwhelmed with awe and how much I loved someone that I just meet. Frick, I was surprised that I was holding someone who wasn’t even an hour old. It was an experience unlike anything I’ve ever felt before.

Thankfully, I had my trusty roommate there to take all sorts of pictures and get me a Mountain Dew for the late drive home from the hospital. Emotions and adrenaline were both running high that day, and so a crash was to be expected. So we both caffeinated ourselves for the drive home and of course, we couldn’t sleep when we did finally get home. We talked for hours about a lot of random things. Things about life, reflections on our experiences, the usual. A lot of it was brought to the surface at seeing such potential in our arms that evening. My little Jake (I’ve got to come up with a better nickname for him than just Jake. EVERYONE will call him Jake. I need something awesome…any ideas?) has a whole life ahead of him. He’s got a clean slate. He can do ANYTHING. It’s just… inspiring…

Mostly, I sort of rambled at Beth about what I want for his life… and what I don’t want. Above everything else, I want him to be happy. On the flip side, above all else, I don’t want him to suffer from the depression that tends to affect damn near everyone in my family. Yeah, we’re a happy bunch. Fortunately, no one ever seems to get the blues at the same time (except for me and my Mom, but we’re always singin’ the blues together).  I just want him to have everything, and I’ll do everything I can to make sure that he gets it.

And when I met him and introduced myself, I promised him that he could always come to my house to make trouble. And that’s one promise that I’ll always keep.

Consume this

I’ve been brainwashed since I escaped the fleshy prison that created me

Given a label, given a name, given a number.

Given things. Endlessly.

I need so much and I need it now

Feed me drugs to control my overstimulated brain

Catch my attention before I lose it

Turn the boring into the Hollywood

Overcompensate your total lack of substance

with glitter, celebrities, fancy cars, sex, drugs

Things I’ll never have, never experience

But make me want it. Make me think I need it.

Pump music into my head all day long

Give me all new state-of-the-art noise canceling headphones

So I can drown you out, cut you off

Attempt to separate myself from how you see, how you use, my generation

We’ve fallen behind in so many ways

You tell us we’re damaged in so many ways

You never let us forget that we have more than you ever had

But we don’t appreciate it, take it for granted

We’re troubled, we’re angsty, we’re angry

But don’t worry, there’s drugs for that

There’s rehab for us

There’s anti-stress creams, Kabbalah,  MTV.

Maybe, just maybe

We cut ourselves off because we can’t stand the noise anymore

We’ve figured out how used we are

You wanna sell me something?

Bottle up some sincerity.

*

Maybe we need so much because our world is so empty.