Monday, August 18, 2014

On Writing, and Talk of Menstrual Blood

I had a friend ask me Saturday night, "What's your dream?" My answer was a blank stare and mental "fuck if I know."

But I did tell Cory recently that this year (my 34th year that is, not 2014) I wanted to work on writing a book and learn how to play the guitar. Those are both goals I've had for the last 20 years or more. Procrastination is a gift. If only I could've majored in such at college and gotten a $54k/year salaried position procrastinating and worrying about things that never matter in the long term. (Please advise is this is a thing I can do.)

That statement coupled with finally reading Bird by Bird has kind of forced me to go through the deep dark pits of my google drive account (where I keep all the things I write then let save automatically never to be looked at again).

For me, writing has always been a form of therapy. What that translates to is bitterness and sarcasm. There's hurt there as well. And pain. But rereading those thoughts from the past me has cast a weird aura of calm and everything is gonna be okay-ness that I haven't had for quite some time.

If I scoop out all the bad memories (the ones I can access in my brain that haven't been blocked out) I can only assume that I'll have more room to insert happy memories. Good, healthy memories that I'm building with my husband and children. The memories of laughter with my platonic life partner on porches while getting attacked by june bugs and drinking whiskey sours. Those are the things I want to hold on to, not the bitter bitch inside who can't decide whether causing someone else pain to bring about piece of mind for herself is actually worth it or not.

There's a part of me that's always hesitant to share too much of what I write, or even what's in my head. Suffice to say that there's some shit in there not everyone needs to hear..or would even find remotely interesting. I'm guilty of "god would they just quit complaining" syndrome, when really all any of us are trying to do is survive. Staying afloat is a full-time job for most of us. One we work on top of our other full-time jobs. And if any of you are anything like me (which I gather most of you are) nurturing and taking care of ourselves is always last on the list.

I've gotten better about letting other people take my kids so I can have a night alone with a book or a bad movie coupled with a glass of wine. These few hours here and there have become vitally important to maintaining my sanity. I think it's why I've been known to take 2 or 3 showers a day. There's something about the scalding hot water and quiet that calm the persistent voices in my head screaming all of my responsibilities at me.

Anyway. In 2014 I want to write a book. I don't know what it'll be about. What would be best for me? That would be to write about my family. Have you guys seen "Peep World"? Premise: Writer dude writes book about his fucked up family (that makes mine look like a walk through Disney World) and family gets pissed. Yea...that's what I want to write. 99% my mother. Anne Lamont told me in this book to "write as if your parents are dead". Words to live by...

When I decided to write that book about my family two years ago I wrote this as the first chapter. (I'll spare you the introduction..it was all self loathing and shit)

This I offer up to you as a piece of me...

Warning: it's about my first period. Because it doesn't get much worse than your most embarrassing day ever. So there's menstrual blood. Don't read it if you're a pussy or it'll cause you to be even more socially awkward around me at some point in the future. Group hug, Ladies. I know y'all feel me. 

Denim Jumper

Since I’ve already told you about starting my period this morning I may as well continue with the uncomfortable feeling you already have and tell you about my first menstrual cycle ever. I’m channeling Judy Blume; don’t judge me.

The year was 1991. I was a young, naive 11 year old. My mother’s sex talk went something like this: “Don’t do it. It’s a sin to think about boys. Your body is a temple, don’t masturbate or you’ll go to hell. Unless you’re a boy, then it’s medically necessary.” It was a Sunday night and I was at church, as was to be expected since we went three times a week. Minimum. A little Pentecostal church in small town Oklahoma. And there I was, in the tiny bathroom in the back of the long corridor. And there it was. The blood..there...on my underwear. Oh God, this is what they’ve all been talking about. My period.

I did what any average 11 year old girl would do. I stuffed some toilet paper down there and opened the bathroom door, hoping to find my mom. Only I didn't take into consideration the fact that I don’t have an average mom. It’s something that constantly escapes my memory, because I’m still shocked when she disappoints me. Thirty-two years of life and I still hope that things will change. It’s the very definitely of crazy, doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different outcome.

“Mom, I think I just started my period.” Whispered, wallowing in my shame. “What?” Shouted, like everything else she’s ever said. “I started my period.” “Oh my baby! Oh! Oh!!” That’s when I saw him. Down the hall, just right there, was Brandon Joshman. (I changed his name here for obvious reasons. Although if he managed to get a hold of this ridiculous display of self indulgence he wouldn’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that this was totally about him.) Brandon, with his short curly hair filled with massive amounts of hair gel. Brandon, with his perfectly cut Levi stone washed jeans. This boy was the epitome of all that was hot in my 11 year old mind. He was everything. And there he was, at the moment the crimson gates opened, witnessing my mother’s tearful moment. Because, say it with me, “Why wouldn’t he be?”

The thing about getting your first menstrual cycle is that it should most definitely be a private thing, right? Not something to be shouted about in church corridors in front of hot boys, or shared with your brother who’s 9 years older than you. “Your sister became a woman.” And it should absolutely, most definitely, not share itself with your entire 7th grade class in the cafeteria on your first day of junior high. But it did.

1991. The 80’s were technically over, but socks with dress shoes and denim jumpers were still completely acceptable. So was curling my bangs and aqua net hairspray. And this particular denim jumper was so great, you guys. Like, first day of junior high great. I was finally allowed to shave my legs, a good year or more later than the rest of my friends. I had become a woman and put the humiliation of the night before behind me. It was in the past, and I was ready to conquer. Junior high was when all the good shit happened. I was gonna kiss a boy, smoke cigarettes, and have my very own locker. The locker happened. The other stuff? Well, kissing came at 19. Cigarettes came around 16, with the window of my red Pontiac Sunbird rolled all the way down and Green Day in my tape player. I was basically a delinquent.

You should know that I went to a school run by Baptists. A school where girls weren’t allowed to wear jeans, but boys were. Where self expression and free thinking were not only frowned upon, but grounds for immediate reprimanding and demerits. I had been going to school with almost the exact same group of rich, entitled brats since the third grade because my parents were trying to shelter me from books about witchcraft and being a virgin sacrifice offered up to Satan himself. No, really. My favorite book in junior high was about a teenager who listened to rock music which led her onto a path of self destruction, Satanism, and tantric sex. It sounded awesome.
My hair was big, my jumper was starched and ironed, and my socks were perfectly folded down to the point where they met my white keds. I even had a tiny brown leather purse to match because I was obviously an adult who needed a purse. In that purse? I had done it. I had managed to put make up inside it without my mother ever knowing. A compact with pressed powder and lip gloss. Rebellion is of the sin of witchcraft, and I was ready for my burning at the stake.

On my hourly trip to the bathroom to cake on more powder and smear bubble gum scented lip gloss all over my lips I turned and saw it. There it was on the back of my beautiful denim jumper. The crimson curse had placed itself firmly on my ass for all the world to see. Because in that sacred moment of buying sanitary napkins the night before my mom, as she always did, bought the cheapest ones possible. Wings? Fuck that, they cost an extra 74 cents. And the talk about changing that pad every couple of hours? What talk? There was no talk. If only the internet had been around then. Raising my daughter will be so much easier. I can just avoid the whole uncomfortable period and sex talks by saying “google it”.

Naturally I did what any terrified 11 year old girl would do. I ignored the problem and went to my next class, because surely I would be accused of some kind of mortal sin if I pointed out that I had period blood on my ass. Lunch happened, in the cafeteria, in front of everyone. Then I saw them there, the thin popular bitches, pointing and laughing. I’ve given birth three times, and shit myself every single time. The third time I was standing when it happened. The shit left my body and hit the floor right between my feet in front of my husband, my mother, and what seemed like 17 nurses. Those skinny bitches laughing at 11 year old me is still the most humiliating moment I’ve ever had in my life.

That’s when it happened. That’s when enemy number one saved me. The uptight Baptist principal of my school, with her gloriously huge permed bob, became my savior. As I hid from my shame in a bathroom stall, that woman became a saint and scrubbed the blood out of my denim jumper. In that moment she became more nurturing that my mom had ever been. As I left the bathroom she whispered, “Just use your purse to hide the water until it dries.”

My period has been nothing but a total bitch since that first Sunday night when she appeared. Interrupting hopes of sex, causing me to swear and cry over nothing important, and forcing me to get pregnant three times. Yet there was a lesson she was destined to teach me that day. Never judge a book by its cover. That saint of a woman was my principal until the day I graduated from high school. And while everyone else around me cursed her for ruining their lives by not letting them wear dangly earrings or blue nail polish, I knew that there was a caring tender woman underneath it all who rescued clueless little me and my denim jumper. I know what you’re wondering. The jumper lived to tell the tale, and was my companion through the rest of 7th grade. Sometimes I think that I should’ve saved and framed it. On days when my kids think I’m the worst human in the world and our dog has pissed on my kitchen floor for the third time in an hour, I could set my gaze upon it and remember that things could, in fact, always be worse. So much worse.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Hi, 34

I turned 34 exactly one week ago.
The day passed without much notice. 
I went to work... I came home... I ate pizza... Cory went to the grocery store to get me a cake at 11pm... I ate some then went to sleep. 
It's how I prefer to celebrate birthdays really. I've never been a fan of being the center of anyone's attention, let alone a group of people who may not even want to be there celebrating the existence of me anyhow.
34. 
34.
34.
Holy shit I'm 34.
Next year I'll be 35. 
And 35 just sounds so....adult. 
Am I an adult? I don't feel like an adult. I still feel like a lost 17 year old girl playing house.
Yet here I am with my husband, 3 children, and 9-6 job. 
People depend on me to survive. They call me Mama. 
I don't know if it will ever feel real...this whole being a grown up thing. 
But here I am...
And this here. This is nothing more than me trying to keep the moment from passing without a nod of the head. A how do you do if you will.
In keeping with standard blogger tradition. (Hi I'm the worst blogger ever nice to meet you)
Goals for my 34th year. In no particular order, because that requires too much brain power.
1. Run at least 3 more 5k's. I'm only racing myself here though so..no pressure. Just do them and don't die. 
2. Learn to play a new instrument. At least one song on a new instrument. 
3. Either cut ties with people who bring me down or learn to just shut the fuck up about it. People can only make me miserable if I let them.
4. Read the Harry Potter series again.
5. Get completely wasted and go sing karaoke with Cory. This one is mostly for his amusement and enjoyment. He loves karaoke. He also loves laughing at me while I drink. 
6. At least attempt to learn to rap. I'm half Korean so chances are pretty likely that I'm an undiscovered prodigy.
7. Quit being a pussy when people bring up my outlook on things of a spiritual nature. This one's gonna be a toughie.
8. TP Wayne Coyne's house. This one's more of a I wish I could do it....
9. Learn how to cook more Korean food. 
10. Get back under 200 pounds. I was there last November (barely) then life happened. Translation: stress eating happened.
11. Build a dark room at the shop. Invite all my friends over for a dark room party.
12. Continue to stalk Rainbow Rowell on Twitter. She still favorites most of my tweets directed her way so I think I've nearly broken her down and convinced her to be my best friend.
13. Continue to resist tweeting Tom Hiddleston my thoughts throughout the day because that's really fuckin' creepy, he'll never see them, and could literally give two shits.
14. Learn how to shuffle a deck of cards.
15. Get a passport. Because you never know. 
16. Start a fist fight with my mom when she asks me if I've gained weight. 
17. Go hiking. In real hiking boots. With a backpack and North Face jacket. Because anything worth doing is worth doing well.
18. See Emily at least twice. Watch "Brokeback Mountain" with her (again) and drink copious amounts of whiskey.
19. Write Lena Dunham a letter/email and tell her how much she means to me.
20. Work on being more patient with my kids. This one is an ongoing struggle. I can be a real asshat sometimes.
21. Write more. In any capacity. Just write more.
22. Read all the existing Saga's because Cory's asked me to. And I love him.
23. Take a fishing pole to a body of water, put a worm on the hook, catch a fish, take it off the hook, bring it home, clean the fucker, cook it, then eat it. 
24. Spend more time with my daddy.
25. Get at least one pedicure/manicure with a friend. Because they make me feel pretty and doing something just because it makes me feel pretty is okay, Vanessa...it really is.
26. Drink more water. And no, coffee doesn't count just because it has water in it.
27. Chill the fuck out. 
28. Quit comparing myself to others. I can only be me, right? 
29. Continue to spread the good message of Rainbow Rowell, Langhorne Slim, and Josh Groban's twitter account. 
30. Take Faith's inevitable progression towards puberty with grace and dignity. Resist the urge to scream, "YOU DON'T NEED ANYONE'S APPROVAL" when she asks to shave her legs because all the other girls are doing it. 
31. Camera. Use it more. 
32. Hug like I mean it more. 
33. Party til I puke. Literally. Just once so I can say I did it. 
34. Photograph another birth.
And now it's time for the birthday selfie. (Taken 7 days late)


And the birthday playlist. Which is proof that I'm now an adult, because it's all mellow and shit. But I'm a cool adult, guys, because it has like..Bon Iver on it.


-V out. Good night. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Just yawning, don't mind me

Last night I had a dream. In that dream were The Avett Brothers, and me..backstage. Backstage.
There were hair clippers on the floor, surrounded by locks of silky brown hair. Scott's hair.
And I wanted to steal it. Take it. Put it in my pillow. Make a tiny Scott doll. Because that's something I would definitely do in the waking hours.

Finding time to do things is tough when you work a 9-6 schedule. No shit, Sherlock. But it's been such a long time since I've done it.... so I'm finding ways to adjust. Cory working nights is seriously fucking with my life too. Just a few more days and I'm hoping we can find a way to settle into some kind of normalcy.

For now this is a "Hi, I'm alive" moment. Some bloggers are spreading incredibly important messages across this great land. Me? I'm here to tell you guys about my borderline erotic dreams involving the locks of discarded hair from celebrities and tell you that I'm super tired. Like, I don't wanna get off the couch to walk to the bed tired. Mostly because there's a pile of laundry on that bed waiting to be folded and put away.

Dear Husband,

Please come home and rub my feet.

Love,
Me




Sunday, April 20, 2014

Well, hello

I won't do the thing where I say "Has it really been over a month since I posted?" because I realize it's been that long.

With me blogging comes in spurts, and I only find it satisfying when I do it on my own timeline.

Okay, life. God. Life. This last month has been like riding the most terrifying roller coaster ever built. Up and down over and over again. But things are up and I have the distinct feeling that they'll continue to head that way.

Our online store has now been opened for 2 1/2 days and the response has been relatively encouraging. I mean....we haven't made thousands of dollars and people aren't scrambling to buy our shit, but a few people have bought a couple things so at least we know all that crazy work wasn't for nothing.

We'll take over the building in Guthrie sooner than we'd planned. (Like...immediately) It's exciting, but nerve wracking since we have to come up with rent immediately, although we're hoping that our landlord will show us a tiny bit of grace since it was unexpected. (No one's fault there...just the way life works out sometimes, ya know?) So all of you who have graciously volunteered to come help us roll new coats of paint on the walls, put in shelves, and rip up carpet will be getting calls and texts in the very near future.

The biggest change of all was when we found out I would be needing a new job. In this world I hate very few things. I mean, lots of things annoy me but hate? One of those things is job hunting. Resumes and phone calls and trying to make a good impression. Those are all things I struggle with.

But for once I had a stroke of luck because one of the best employers I've ever had was looking to fill a position nearly identical to the one I did a few years ago, for a ridiculously huge amount of pay (for us anyway). I mean...this is more money than our little family has ever seen. It's that magic number that I've wanted to get to for years. I've always known that if we could just get to this number we could afford to move out of our trailer at some point, get at least one car that does what it's supposed to do, and not rely on the occasional assistance from food stamps and the like.

Well holy shit, you guys. I start that job tomorrow and everything is changing. I went out to buy new big girl clothes today for my big girl job and it felt so good. I'm so excited to wear slacks and cardigans and put on makeup every day.

Cory will keep his job at the library because he loves it and he's really fucking good at it. But he'll shift gears to taking over most of the business stuff which will be a huge weight off my shoulders. Together we're gonna make the most amazing team. Well, we always have, which is why he's still my best friend after nearly 15 years.

Once the book/record store is ready to open in Guthrie we may shift gears to just being open for business 1-2 days a week during the summer (if we have it ready by then) but then we'll be open full time this fall since Cory will be back to working the late evening shift and can run all of that for us. We'll still be running crowd funding within the next month for the improvements on the building and building up some inventory, but this job takes some of the pressure off since we know we'll at least be able to cover the rent and utilities for now. It also means Cory can go to graduate school and get that coveted masters of library science degree without the same level of stress we had getting him his bachelor's.

I honestly feel like everything has happened over night. It's almost a shock to my system. I'll miss seeing my kids more often, since this is a legit Monday-Friday 9-6 job, but dammit if I'm not gonna put a picture of them at my desk as a reminder of what I'm working for and kick this job's ass all over the place.

Our family is so ready for changes. We're so ready to not live in poverty any more. I was explaining the numbers to my mom over the phone and just broke down. Good changes, you guys. They're happening.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Spring Breeeeaaaaakkkkk, Y'all

Spring Break. Are both words in that supposed to be capitalized? What's the protocol here?

Things that make me think of Spring Break/Spring break/spring break/SPriNg bReAK....


Ice cold Coca-Cola. Yea, Son...


Stress. But only after having kids in school. And not because I don't adore being with my kids, but because I may have uttered the phrase, "If you guys fight the entire week this is gonna be the longest week EVER." Also one of them said today, "I miss school." Just so we're clear here, it's Monday. The first day of Spring Break. 

Friends. Not on a beach in bikini, but in my glass swimming with ice and Diet Coke. My friend's names are Jim, Beam, Honey and Whiskey. We're besties. 


Pauly Shore. MTV. Sadness. Wasted lives.


I mean....not really, but am I ever gonna have a halfway legitimate opportunity to post this to my bloggity blog? 

Cold coffee. Extra coffee. All coffee. Coffee coffee coffee.

Basically


Katy Perry's boobs.

Angelina Jolie's new boobs.

Pamela Anderson's boobs.

James Franco's capped teeth and braids. 

Really though....


Tonight's post has been brought to you by stress followed by optimism followed by anger followed by frustration followed by sadness followed by advice from my TV boyfriend.


The moment I realized Cory was Adam & I'm Hannah....




Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Healing

My day started with drama. Lots of it. Being a parent is beautiful, magical, and down right maddening. 

I got to work after the war we'll just call "getting the kids to school" where I proceeded to sit in a corner hidden from the front windows and had myself a good cry. 

Crying heals. Crying breaks you down then enables you to stitch yourself back together. 

Then Cory called and asked me if I was okay. And in an effort to be more honest I told him that I was, at the moment, so not okay.

What's a loving husband to do but come sit with you at work after only 3 hours of sleep...then get you Chinese food at lunch time, and eat it with you while watching The Office just so you'll use laughter as the needle and thread. 

Oh by the way, you know what else heals? Ice cream. 


Sweet new glasses from some of my favorite people: Tumbleweeds. These beauties are a part of the Amelia collection.  I had my prescription lenses put into them easy peasy and adore them. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

It's Tuesday. This is random.

I told Emily (my PLP..platonic life partner...BFF....bosom friend) that I was going to write a series of blog entries on things that annoy me. I also said that it would more than likely be a ten parter.

And while I was mostly joking (but not really)

Oh okay a short list:

Fork. Plate. Stop scraping them together for fuck's sake.

Timid women (usually Asian) that walk like they're forever on ice or have to take a shit. I can say this because I'm half Asian so that makes it okay.

Bewbs. No. They're boobs. Tits. Headlights. Hooters. Gerber Servers. Whatever. But never ever bewbs.

Loud eating noises. This one is especially hilarious since I'm the most disgusting, noisy eater possibly on the planet and most definitely in my house.

My children whining. Listen...I have the most brilliant, perfect children on the planet. But I go into full on Hulk mode when they start using their horrible voices. I fully recognize the irony of me whining on the internet at this very moment about my children whining. I never said I was perfect.

Repetitive techno. No. Wait. Basically all techno.

People saying, in extreme disbelief, "You don't like 'Adventure Time?!!!'" No, I don't. I know I'm a terrible disappointment but hopefully you'll find a way to look past my faults and tolerate me anyhow.

Basically there are a lot of reasons to be annoyed, you guys. Just an example: I got to hear for a good minute or more today from someone I love about the man crossing the street wearing sweatpants tucked into what appeared to be....snow boots? Rain boots? Whatever it was that special someone in our van was, at that moment, more offended than I'd witnessed in an extremely long time. I mean....he ruined that someone's entire afternoon by making poor fashion choices before walking out his front door this morning.

I can never decide whether being easily annoyed makes me an asshole or just human. I suspect that you're all assholes too, but must be better about keeping it all bottled up inside.

Anyway....feel free to share with me on the street, in a comment, by owl post....what annoys you. I'm starting to think that everyone keeping these grievances with other people and/or life bottled up inside is part of why we're all over eating. No? Just me?

Amazing things I've found while searching the deep dark pits of the internet. And by deep dark pits what I mean to say is that you guys have all probably seen this shit already and I'm just completely wasting your time right now.

I just ordered one of these to carry my whiskey water around in. Word.

My place of employment has been stepping up their pinterest game, so you guys should so. totally. follow us. Here. Link. Follow.


One of you should make this for me then invite me over. I'm a super gracious guest who will praise that meal until the end of time.

Because I don't need a reason.

The google search for "Leo 90's" is basically my horny adolescence in a nut shell. At least til you get to the image of a sheep which leads you to one of the most fantastic tumblrs I've ever had the pleasure of coming across. 

Did I tell you guys I've been reading through the 1st installment of Game of Thrones? If I get through them all I expect someone to throw me a party complete with Jon Snow himself in attendance. And when I show up I want you all to tell me in your most ominous tone (after you yell SURPRISE of course) that "Cake is coming". 


You guys keep talking about True Detective. Which means I'll do everything in my power to avoid True Detective then cave in 4-6 months, binge watch all of it, and ask you guys why you never told me how amazing it was. Truth: I tried to watch it the other night but had just played multiple rounds of Cards Against Humanity, drank two full glasses of jack & coke, and eaten about 6 moonshine soaked cherries. We had friends over so I fell asleep on the couch and drooled in the most lady like fashion possible. 


Okay.... Good night, kitty cats. Or should I sayyyy.......Katy Kats?