Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mom. Gotta love her.

Phone conversation I had with my Mom about 15 minutes ago:

My neighbor is so cool! Y'know what she did?

No. What?

Well, she knows I've been crazed the last couple of weeks with the layoffs and stress and work and worrying and all that. So, tonight, she brought me a six-pack of beer and a roll of Nestle Toll House cookie dough with a spoon wrapped in ribbon! Isn't that cool?

You drink beer?

Yeah, I drink beer. The spoon is tied to the cookie dough with curling ribb...

I didn't know you drink beer.

I do. I'm 21, y'know.

I have never seen you drink beer. I'm going to bed. Good night.

Note to self: drink more beer when around Mom.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I'm still here. For now.


That's the best way to describe it: mayhem.

Layoffs. Crying. Worrying. Yelling. Working. Overtime. Craziness. Not sleeping. Stressing. Eating. Not sleeping. Drinking. No blogging.

I'm still standing. Check back in a couple of days. And have the St. Bernard's on stand-by.


Monday, January 19, 2009

final assignment

The following essay is the final assignment for my writing class. The assignment? Write an essay.

Last year, ABC News did a feature called "What Would You Do?" The reporter, John Quinones, put real people in arranged situations to see how they'd react.

There was the girl in a restaurant seeing her best friend's fiance with another woman. There was the healthy 20-something girl parking in a handicap space. The mean girls scenario riled most people - women in particular. The black man yelling at and berating his girlfriend prompted only two women to come forward and offer help. Of all the scenarios, the ones involving race were disheartening. As I watched these scene replayed on Oprah, I had to ask myself: what would I do? As long as I wasn't putting myself in danger, I would speak up, I would offer help, I would do the right thing. Wouldn't I?

Every Sunday, I meet friends for brunch at Saddle Ranch. The staff know us and treat us well - part of the reason we go back every Sunday. The staff may know us, but that doesn't get us a table when there aren't enough waitresses. Sometimes, we have to wait.

Two weeks ago, I watched a man and his family push past the host - a young kid - and sit at the table next to us. The man was ranting about service while the woman and two tween-age girls just sat there. The man's ranting quickly became louder and more vicious as his remarks turned to personal attacks on the young host. The man was relentless with his comments, each ruder and cruder than the last. I was getting angrier with each comment. Until the girls chimed in. These two girls - not much older than 13 - made rude, inappropriate and downright mean comments about the host and his assumed (or is it presumed?) sexual orientation. I was offended and outraged. I was shaking. And I was silent.

I got up from the table and stomped to the bathroom. I was so upset with myself for not saying anything. Why was I so scared? What was there to be afraid of? I stood at the sink, breathless and breathing heavily at the same time. I stared at myself in the mirror - what if those comments were about race instead of sexual orientation? What if he'd have said "Nigger" instead of "Faggot" - would I have said something then? What if those comments were directed at me instead of that kid? Would someone speak up for me? Would someone be as livid and speak out?

I thought I would. I thought I could. I didn't.

I felt sick and sad for several days after. But I wasn't so sure who was worse - the man or me.

John Quinones said "Our lives begin to end when we stay silent about things that matter."

What would you do?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

the write stuff

Hope your new year is off to a spectacular start, y'all. I had a psychic reading on New Year's day (I know!). Damn. All good :)

As you know I've been taking a creative writing class. Our final assignment, due on 1/18, is an essay. Which, in itself, is an excellent exercise in writing. However, the not so excellent part is that I have no idea what to write about!

I've written down a couple of sayings/phrases that struck me and in my mind I sorta see how I could flesh 'em out. Just not sure I can flesh 'em out to fit 3-5 pages. Ai yi yi.

So...I ask you, my 5 readers, help a girl out here! Toss out a few topics...maybe somethin'll stick...

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

hell yeah!

I'm not here to test the waters;
I'm here to make waves!

I'm not sure who said it (Dorothy Parker??);
but *I* am sayin' it now!

Monday, January 05, 2009

the Name Game

the following is an in-class writing assignment in which we have 10-20 minutes to write about a particular topic; this time limit does not always allow for nice, wrapped-up endings...I apologize now for the abrupt one here.

Write about your name...

My mom is an opera singer. She has the most beautiful soprano voice...her favorite singer is Risë Stevens. Now, Rise Stevens spells her name R-I-S-E with an accent mark over the E. Apparently, my mom found that to be much too pretentious, so she changed the spelling to HER liking ~ R-I-S-S-A.

I never game my name much thought, really...until I got a new bike in the 5th grade. Susan Gilbert got a new bike. Mary Roberts got a new bike. Sara Palmer got a new bike. Kevin, Brian & Jimmy Hill, Lisa & Ricky Jones, Larry & Tammy Castleman all got new bikes. They all got new bikes with blue & yellow license plates bearing their names! Yep. Every last one of them had their names on a license plate. When I asked my parents for a license plate with *my* name, Mom had to gently explain there wasn't one. I was having NONE of it. She had to be lying. Somewhere there had to be a shiny blue & yellow license plate with my name on it. There just *had* to be! That became my quest, my obsession - find a mug, a magnet, a something with my name on it!

For my birthday that year, Mom gave me personalize pencils ordered from the Lillian Vernon catalog. And thus began my Mom's 'signature' gift - personalized [fill-in the blank] ~ towels, bathrobes, blankets, gym bags, coffee cups, luggage, sweatshirts, back packs, car mats, car seat covers, door mats, wine carafes, wine glasses, wine. Good grief! I've got my name on everything now!