Reasons it doesn’t matter if no one ever reads this

This blog is a big deal to me. It always has been.

Only for the past year or so, though, have I attempted to care if it were a big deal to other people too.

It’s something about me I’m not fond of – this apparent need to be liked. I never thought I had that very much. I’ve found myself censoring more, saying less. Trying to appeal…and for what?

The pull of my blog has always been that it is mine. That when everything was reduced down to work and play and manifesting your dream, that I had something I had done for myself. Just for the pure craft. Except I wasn’t. I was writing hoping to be popular, hoping for someone to notice me.

There were all sorts of levels of bullshit surrounding that revelation. I was ashamed. I was embarrassed. I was not surprised.

Earlier this week, I found a document that brought me to sobering reality. The-Writers-Manifesto (that’s a pdf link, and if you download it you need to tell him how great he is). After reading it, I wanted to slap myself and write books at the same time.

So with much pain and heartbreak, I’ve come to the realization that it’s okay if no one reads what I write.

Why?

I’m not writing for anyone else.

I will have a record – a concrete one – of days, months, years. However meager it may seem, I am shaping my legacy on my own terms.

I can be honest. I don’t have to be afraid of offending anyone, because I’m not depending on them to read what I say. In itself, this is amazingly freeing.

Whether I move on with my ideas or simply do this and nothing else, it’s okay with me.

And by being myself, whatever happens, this piece of me exists. No one can pay for that.

 

Everyone should be tolerant…except me

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I am a hypocrite. I own and admit to this.

I’m not proud. I’m not perfect. I’ve always thought owning up to your shortcomings is the best way to remain humble.

And so, I give unto you, ways I am an intolerant ass…

I judge people by their vehicle (no, not in the “you don’t drive a good enough car” kind of way) in that if you drive around in a 1992 Honda Civic with spinning rims and custom paint bumping Toby McGray or whatever twangy nonsense youngsters listen to these days, I will probably roll my eyes at you and you may even get a double-bird for achievement in douchebaggery.

Much in that same vein, if you drive a Hummer and it is not plugged into the wall, covered in solar panels and handing out medications to AIDS patients, you are a pompous ass and I will not feel sorry for you if…well, anything.

If you drive around the WalMart parking lot with your windows down and music up when all I want to do is get across the crosswalk and buy juice boxes without dying, I may cast questionable hexes in your wake.

If I can see your midriff and you are over 12 and not a supermodel, I judge.

If you tell me all your secrets in horrific detail within the first five minutes of our meeting, I’ll probably think you’re weird. Really weird. This is perhaps the most hypocritical of all, because hello, I’m Emily. Have you read my blog?

If you specify race as a way of describing someone, I immediately classify you as a bigot.

If you are a Republican, I immediately either dislike you or want you to explain yourself. This is perhaps the most embarrassing because I firmly believe everyone should be free to have their own beliefs for their own reasons…and if someone made the same statement about Democrats or brunettes I would be highly offended. I suppose that is why this is not my list of reasons I am a fairy princess.

If you “don’t text” you don’t belong in my century. Even my mom texts.

While there are many, many (many) more of these, I will leave it at this.

Like I said before, I’m not proud of any of these things. I despise the feeling of being judged and I realize that my inclinations to do exactly that are wrong on so many levels, but hey, at least I’ve matured some in my standards of judgementery – when I was in high school you were immediately on my questionable list if you didn’t go to church, wear prolife tshirts and date rigidly within the confines of your race and creed.

Maybe when I’m 90 I’ll have this whole live and let live figured out.

Signed,
The Intolerant Asshole

In which I vent for a Friday

First of all, have you seen this?

middle school bullies

Now, before you click that link, let me say these things:

This is not the original video. In fact, most of it is just audio since the kids in the original were minors and I’m sure there’s some sort of law.

There is lots of language, which is a lot of the point actually. A bunch of filthy mouth asshole kids who are abusing an old lady whose job is to sit on the bus and prevent bullying. So if the language offends you, not only are you reading the wrong blog…but you probably need to mentally prepare.

The video is ten minutes long. I made it through less than one minute before I was in tears and couldn’t take any more.

 

If you would rather not watch the video, let me summarize. A 68-year-old woman named Karen (who is a widow and a former bus driver of 20 years) has the unenviable job of riding a school bus in the name of “monitoring” the kids. Basically she’s there to keep situations from escalating and anyone from getting hurt.

In the video, she is shown sitting alone in a seat, looking out the window and trying to maintain composure whilst a crowd of truly vile middle school students call her names (“fatass,” “lard,” and “old bitch” are some of the ones I caught), call her ugly, poke her (to illustrate her “lard’), and basically be as loathsome as possible to her (when she finally speaks up to say maybe they shouldn’t say anything if they don’t have anything nice to say, she is told to “shut the fuck up” and that is about the time I was so emotional I had to turn it off).

I bring this up because this is real. This is what kids are growing up thinking is okay. Say anything as long as everyone seems to think you’re cool. I know that kids were mean when I was growing up – but this mean? I can’t wrap my mind around it.

This could be my grandmother. This woman is no doubt the same age as some of those kids’ own grandmas.

It just makes me sad is all. These kids can’t all have terrible parents. Some of them have to have parents who would think their kids would never do something like this. There were undoubtedly some shocked parents when the original video went viral and sweet little Junior was highlighted on YouTube calling Grandma Karen a fat bitch.

I don’t know what I’m hoping to accomplish with this. Maybe nothing.

Please, everyone…be kind. It’s not hard. Love each other. This is just wrong.

Sometimes

I picked the iPad up this afternoon and this was in the camera roll.

Sometimes you just have to sleep late.

Sometimes, after you sleep late, you have to hope that the lunches the kids packed for themselves have at least one thing in them that isn’t chocolate.

Sometimes at 3:30 in the morning you go in to investigate crying, and find your weepy almost 10 year old shuddering from a night terror. One like he hasn’t had since he was two.

Sometimes you watch his baby sister climb next to him and reassure him that she’s right there beside him.

Sometimes, at 3:30 in the morning, you tell your kids to just turn on the TV until they get sleepy. Because they just damn deserve it.

Sometimes you have to shave with a dull razor.

Sometimes you have to let go of something or someone you love. Because it’s just not worth it anymore.

Sometimes you have to be a dick.

Sometimes you have to use impolite language.

Sometimes you forget who you are.

Sometimes you have to realize that you forget just so you can remember.

Sometimes it’s okay to let the baby run around naked.

Sometimes coffee is all that sounds good.

Sometimes you eat pizza after midnight.

Sometimes growing up is growing apart.

Sometimes following your dream is hard.

Sometimes the path is lost.

Sometimes you have to listen to Adele on repeat, no matter how cheesy.

Sometimes you have to cry.

Sometimes you have to laugh.

Sometimes you have to recognize that love is in spite of instead of because.

Sometimes Oprah is right.

Sometimes everyone is just tired.

Sometimes you have to wait for the rain.

 

What the ?£€¥

Brave Little Blogger Contest

 

See what I did there?

Earlier in the week, I took a stroll through my old blog at Xanga. This is old stuff, folks. The idea of a blig or a blog or whatever it was was completely foreign to me. Facebook wasn’t a thing yet unless you were actually a student, people still used MySpace, and the world, while shrinking, was still pretty big.

I wrote everything I thought in that blog. Insecurities, fears. Reading back over some of the stuff that is still there (not all, though, because I don’t even remember the password, so there’s no doubt all sorts of nuggets hiding in private mode) I was completely embarrassed.

And then I wondered why.

One of my main goals in my writing, whatever format it has been in, has been to be as bald and blatant as possible. To say the things that you might think but never admit. Things like sometimes I have farting competitions with myself and I think I just realized I haven’t worn deodorant in like three days, or that I have coupon codes for sex toy sites in excess. Things that everyone kind of ignores about themselves.

But I realized, in my reading, that I leave a whole lot out now. I don’t post my laments about my relationship…or not as much as I did. I don’t wonder in print about people who talk about Sue Schmo and what they say about me.

I don’t criticize or talk about people I love because I know they’ll probably read it. I don’t say things online that I wouldn’t say to someone’s face….even though I may think them. And while that may be the socially acceptable and responsible thing to do – the smart thing – it makes me feel like a hypocrite.

For instance, I can’t say on Facebook that my best friend’s family hates me or that there are certain people who I keep in my life only because they have to be. I can’t say that there are days I feel like the biggest loser on Earth because I feel like talking to someone and I have only the toddler and the cat. I can’t say the things that annoy me about the people I love most. Not even that I love them maybe too much.

In all honesty, I can’t say which is better. My Xanga posts were lamenty, embarrassing, angst ridden, teenagery blather…but they were straight from the gut. The posts I write today are struggly, observant, sometimes well written, and read by everyone I know.

To be straight, I don’t know where the line is. I don’t find anything appealing about airing marital issues online or sounding like the OMGLOL4RLZ chicks whose posts I ignore on my facebook news feed every day, but I don’t want to feel like I’m being anything less than totally honest.

First world issues, I guess. There are worse problems in the world than my blog. Or so I hear.

Muckbrain

I’d like to say that I’ve been relatively quiet lately because I’ve been bustling busy, being scholarly and cleaning house and such. 

 

Alas.

 

I think the fairest way to say it is that I just ran out of words. Like I’ve said before, I have this calendar of post ideas and the idea is to jog creativity and such. And everything I’ve ever read about serious writing says that to be a writer, you write. You write on days when you’re sick and days when you’re tired and days when you have nothing to say. 

 

And normally I do. But for the past week or so, it just hasn’t been there. Nothing at all. I’m not depressed or anything, I think I just needed a bit of a break. So I took one. I didn’t Facebook like I usually do. I didn’t respond to emails. I didn’t really tweet. 

 

This past weekend was pretty lovely, and Josh and I spent most of it geocaching, which is perhaps the greatest thing ever. If you’ve never heard of it, concisely it’s like a worldwide scavenger hunt, and you participate using GPSs. You drive around wherever it takes you (there’s a handy iPhone app), and you usually end up going some pretty cool places. 

 

Josh and I started geocaching last year, took a break over the summer because damn it’s hot, and then we remembered a few weeks ago…”oh yeah, that’s super fun, let’s do it again.”

 

So we did. This weekend we went all over North Mississippi/Tennessee/Alabama, following blinking GPS dots, digging in the brush, climbing hills, and – in one instance – trying not to get sucked into the muck of a sulphur spring.

 

I don’t really know why I like it so much. I have a habit of scanning out the window while we drive, to see if I see any dead bodies in the woods. 

 

I never said I wasn’t, you know, weird. 

Part 2 of 2…about the catfish

So another movie I watched this past weekend…Catfish.

When I initially watched this movie last year sometime, that title was stupid and made no sense. Eventually it got explained in the movie but I can’t help but think the film would have maybe escaped obscurity if it had a different title.

Consultation services available upon request.

So the movie is about a photographer in NYC who becomes acquainted with a young painting prodigy named Abby, and through her he “meets” her family on Facebook.

Nev, the NYC photographer, who is totally adorable and down to earth, is drawn to the family because they are hip and with it and very…cool, for lack of a better term. He chats with all of them and gets into a pseudo relationship with Abby’s big sister, Meg. Texts and google chats are flying like monkey feces.

SPOILER ALERT:

Abby’s whole family is pretty much complete bullshit, all fabricated by her mom Angela. While Abby does exist, she doesn’t paint. Everyone else is pretty much fictional and the people who are real are not accurately portrayed at all.

This is interesting to me because I’m pretty sure a girl I went to college with is doing the same thing. She has made this entire life for herself, away from everyone who knew her in reality. She has, according to her photos – lost nigh unto 100 pounds and gained not only fashion sense but a completely new bone structure.

The thing is, THIS IS AN ASSTON OF WORK. Profiles. Pictures. Stories to go with the profiles and pictures. The movie chick even had phones for different characters and all sorts of crap.

My thought is…you know, write a book. Put that effort to some use. Creating new lives on Facebook is not exactly lucrative.

Vince Pierce: They used to tank cod from Alaska all the way to China. They’d keep them in vats in the ship. By the time the codfish reached China, the flesh was mush and tasteless. So this guy came up with the idea that if you put these cods in these big vats, put some catfish in with them and the catfish will keep the cod agile. And there are those people who are catfish in life. And they keep you on your toes. They keep you guessing, they keep you thinking, they keep you fresh. And I thank god for the catfish because we would be droll, boring and dull if we didn’t have somebody nipping at our fin. — IMDb Quotes: Catfish (2010 Documentary)


This concludes my series on movies that are interesting.

My first two-part series. Thanks, Netflix

This has been a weekend full of eating. It’s a good thing I didn’t make any resolutions to eat less or lose weight, because I would pretty much have already sabotaged myself.
We’ve been doing a good bit of Netflix-watching over the past couple of weeks. Saturday night we went to see our friends Marty and Erin in Tennessee, because Josh has this kickass beef that he’s started making and they had yet to eat any. So we went.

Whenever we go to Adamsville for dinner, Josh and Marty wait until we arrive to buy any of the preparations. We get there, we unload into the house, and the boys immediately leave to go get groceries for the meal.

And go to GameStop. And Taco Bell. And buy pies at the nearby gas station.

So Saturday night while the guys were gone, Erin and I decided to watch a movie (much to Lucy’s chagrin – she would be happy to watch the Birthday episode of Yo Gabba Gabba for the rest of her life).

Erin chose a documentary called Dive! which, in a nutshell, is about a bunch of people (and their families) in California who live primarily off the food they retrieve from dumpsters behind grocery stores.

I know, right? I think Erin chose it because she thought they were going to talk about dumpster diving for furniture or clothes or whatever – I know that’s what I thought.

But yea and verily, I was wrong. It was TOTALLY about food.

Initially I was grossed out. But then they showed the food they were retrieving…bread, meat, produce. All tossed out because of a cracked egg or a looming sell-by date. Stuff that was top-of-the-line shit…and perfectly fine. It just happened to have come out of the store by the back door, instead of a reusable shopping bag.

My snobbery started to wane when I realized that these people were eating organic, free-range, antibiotic free meats and veggies and most of the time I don’t even look at that stuff because it’s so expensive.

Then they started talking about the amount of waste the US produces and I felt like a greedy asshole.

Did you know that the US wastes 96 billion pounds of food a year? One year of our waste could feed the entire population of Haiti for like five years.

Yet, because we don’t share, and because everyone is so focused on profit, we still have hungry people in our country. That’s so bizarrely wrong on so many levels.

It’s sobering to be told things like that. Stuff we all know in the back of our mind and don’t really think about.

So while I won’t be scaling the dumpsters behind Kroger anytime soon (I totally would, by the way – but Josh said it was too close to the sheriff’s department and so he refuses to drive the getaway car), I am now actively searching for ways I can help do my part and reduce this terrible deficit between what we have and what we use – and what we need.

You can sign the online petition to Trader Joe’s here. It’s a start.

Tomorrow, I’m talking about catfish…kind of.

Have a hobby in the lobby

According to my blogging calendar which I am employing as a betterment and NOT a resolution, this month is Hobby Month.

I never really had many hobbies. In high school and my initial foray into college I was too worried about being cool and making friends and whatever else.

Now, though, I have found the joy of tedious pastimes.

Crocheting. Knitting. Sewing, now that I have a machine (Lucy screams whenever I try to use it, though, so…there is that). Writing, which I should do more of. Painting, which I admittedly have not done in a long time.

You know what I’ve found, though? Hobbies are damnfruit fun. I love doing these things because I CHOOSE to do them.

no, not by me. just thought it was pretty.

 

Lots of people have said things along the lines of, “Why don’t you set up a booth/etsy/various other mercantile options for your knitting and stuff?” And it makes sense. I should do that.

 

But here is the ordeal. The VERY INSTANT I become committed to making something (anything), I despise it. I avoid it on purpose and I take 10 times longer to do it than I normally would.

So I don’t do it.

Which, I suppose, is a little bit lazy, maybe selfish.

I can’t help that, though. I yam what I yam.