Friday, December 28, 2012

Idle No More

"Idle No More!" stated the signs before me. "IDLE NO MORE!" screamed the folks inside the fountain whilst doing the hora. Amongst this group of passionate Native Americans, "Native Americans", and Americans was a common theme... IDLE NO MORE! What else were they saying, though? What was this Satanic chant of theirs? No idea but I smell moth balls, so I agree with whatever the cause. I am handed a slip of paper, "Idle no more! Support Native Rights!" ( Now, THAT is vague. In what way have Native Americans' rights NOT been infringed upon?

Chief Spence? Apparently we're supporting the fella (we'll get back to Ol' Chief in a bit- turns out he is a she!)

"NYC natives support Chief Spence!" I am native to New York City but somehow I don't think they are referring to my kind. It also sort of sounds like they are now chanting, "O-O-O-Ohio!" This could be a promotion for a new musical... I jest! I do hope there is dialogue at some point, though. For I am cold and Squatting Dog grows restless.

Huh. There's a loose guinea pig next to me. I am sure she isn't terrified and clueless.

Bill C-45? Say NO to it. Upon further research, I have found it is IMPOSSIBLE to find anything simply explaining what Bill C-45 is. I can read who opposes it, who loves it, who ate it for breakfast... but not what it is! From the perspective of those who joined in protest today, the main issue is rivers and lakes. As stated on a paper I was given, "On December 4, Canada had 5 million protected rivers and lakes. On December 5, Canada had 82 protected rivers and lakes." Here's what I've gathered from the paper- this is a Canada thing, first of all. Jeez, Canada, it is always about you, isn't it? Also, this Chief Spence lady is hunger striking the situation. While I did find my hunger strikes when I was little to be effective, I wonder how they work these days for adults. I support her giving it her all but every hunger strike I've heard about has ended up in them giving up and eating or dying.  No one ever says, "Spence, you're skin and bones! I'll do whatever it takes, just eat something. I made you kugel!"

The closest I can find to an explanation is an article on   ....

The budget bill, Bill C-45, includes changes to public sector pension plans, a new electronic travel authorization system, pay raises for judges and changes to environmental protection and reviews for lakes and rivers.

WHAT does pay raise for judges have to do with destroying lakes and rivers? Why would they put those things on the same bill? It's like that was their evil plan all along, "Either they'll be jerks and not give judges more money or they'll lose all their natural water sources. MWAHAHA!!"

So, back to the events... they have chanted for about ten minutes and now dispersed a tad. What now? Oh, scratch that... more chant circles. Don't worry, I'm not going to go off on a rant about animal skin drums. I don't use them myself but these are freaking Native Americans, son. I'll allow it.

WHO smells like moth balls? Seriously... I love that smell but someone needs to take their native jacket out of the closet more often. Although, these guys have their step, ball change dance down, I must say! Now, we await as they plot out their next move. Ohio ball change or O-step-Hi-ball chance-O? Couldn't they call upon the sun spirit? We cold!

Pardon me if having a sense of humour offends you. I do support the cause, despite my facetiousness.

Some dancers are adding a head bob with the step-nice! Oh man, it's becoming a legitimate hora! OPA! Or are we playing 'snake'? I'm getting confused.

"Keep calm and screw that time to wake up!"  I had to read this six times to realize it's just lacking punctuation. "Keep calm and... screw that! Time to wake up!" Better, no? I kept reading, "Keep calm and screw..."

The guy is talking about his guinea pig! A man took a photo and he says, "Save that photo. In 2 years she'll be dancing on stage and that photo will be worth millions. She knows English. She understands everything I say. We've been together 10 years! One day she'll die and I will cry all day."

Oh, sweet! A dude's doing a native dance, not to be confused with the crack dance. Although, it could be that too. Now its turned into something of a subway breakdance. Whatever works! The drummers have left the stage. Fin?? At least it's a message left on high spirits and love rather than anger.  

Saturday, December 22, 2012

What comes before U? Parents!

Joy! My favourite discussion topic: parents! This goes next to 'childhood' in my list of things I hate discussing. I will do it, though. Not only because parental care is clearly a huge part of what makes us who we are but also because I've been asked about my parents a lot lately. Usually prefaced by, "Wow- you're F-ed up." This is not a claim I will deny nor is it one I am proud of (maybe a little...) To even out my distaste for the subject, I will insert my views on parents and possibly insert a personal anecdote or such from time to time. Fair?

It was 1932 and the sun was rising upon a fresh, crisp layer of flaxen snow (don't eat the flaxen snow). All over the world, people were preparing for the fourth of July. Except in one household on Todt Hill in Staten Island. Surrounded by mafioso loading their guns cheerfully and dead bodies rotting off the coast of the old Island was one quaint million-dollar household. In this household a new baby girl was being brought home. Her mother a medical doctor and a law student, her father a medical doctor and law student, as well. Along with this educated couple and perfect child were two bustling, noisy, obnoxious, unwanted male children. These were the baby's two older siblings. Bless her poor little soul.

I've said too much already.

What is the purpose of a parental figure? A mentor, a role model, a friend, a authority figure, a safety net, a protector, an introduction to love and morals and relationship forming.... These are all the things a parent is supposed to provide. However, when these traits are unavailable to a child, whether the parent makes themselves unable emotionally or physically, the outcome can be something awful. On the other hand, you have the unsung heroes who survive a parentless childhood with their decency in tact. It is probably impossible to discover where that line is drawn, precisely. Variables apply such as outside role models (i.e. family, teachers, celebrities...), as well as what is within the genetic makeup of the child. Will this "trauma" of lacking parents or a closeness to a parent lead to depression or independence? Resentment and spite or strength and joy? Tragedy or empowerment? What determines this answer? I am not sure.

My mother asked me recently, "If your father and I listened to less depressing music, do you think you would write less dark stuff?" To which I replied, "I've written about people dying and kittens being eaten since I was born. It's in our blood." I don't think my parents suddenly had a taste for morbid music and this influenced me. I think they were born with a penchant for the perished, just as I was. However, would I have continued my fascination if at an early age my parents intervened and told me it was bad or if my teachers punished me for it? Would I have had to hold in my passion and release it through massacring innocent lives? Maybe I would have gone on to lead a normal, mentally-healthy life. Who is to say? I don't believe I have it in me to harm anyone but maybe that is only because I do all my torture through my writing. Again, there is no way of knowing what would have, could have been. We only know that I turned out to be cold to the touch but warm at heart.

I guess the important question one must ask themselves before becoming a parent (if this is by choice) is, "Who do I plan to be?" That is to say, do I want to be a parent? Am I ready and prepared and do I have any idea what parenting implies? You've got your deadbeats, workaholics, runaways, man/woman children, and just generally bad, abusive, mean, distracted, and clueless types.

As for myself? Do I want to be a parent? No. Not really. Not particularly. Not by any means, actually. The funny thing is, I would have a perfect child. The genes are amazing and with my empathy and personality, the kid would be a freakin' star. Yet, I have no interest or desire. I have considered adoption but... if I don't even want a child, I feel like one that didn't biologically belong to me would be even more unloved than my own. I get it, that sounds mean. Is it less mean to deny how I feel, have a kid because it's expected of me, and turn out to be an uninterested party? Obviously not the way to go.

Today I saw two sides to parenting that really got engraved into my mind...

1. I was at an anti-fur rally and a family consisting of a mother, a father, a son, and a daughter walked by. The daughter who was about 6 asked her parents what was going on. The dad explained that the people were telling everyone about how animals were murdered in order to create fur coats and all. The daughter was completely intrigued and asked if she could go look. The parents allowed her to, despite the gruesome video, the faux dead fox, and the massive crowds surrounding them. I stood next to the parents in the freezing cold and watched for about 20 minutes as the little girl explored everything. The parents didn't put this down despite the father wearing leather shoes (as in, he didn't necessarily agree with the cause and yet he let his daughter learn) and they really encouraged and helped to inform her. It was the best parenting I have seen in a long time. I was very impressed and for a moment wished I had a child I could teach.

2. I was on the train and this couple was with their daughter. A woman stood up so the wife could sit down. The wife hesitated, as the father had the stroller, therefore, the seat was being offered to him. However, the father hissed at her to "sit down already" and she obeyed, then mocked him while rolling her eyes. When the man next to her got off the train, the father sat down in his place and they discussed what occurred. He was "embarrassed in public" because she hesitated and she felt it was weird to take the seat offered to him. He angrily whispered at her that he was "being polite!" This stupid bickering continued for about 4 minutes and then he made her smirk, they kissed, and forgave each other. I am going to guess these two weirdos are in couple's therapy. It was such a stupid fight leading to a very forced apology. Even the 4 year old daughter HAD to see right through it. While I was glad they made up, the initial conversation and fake nature of it all could not have made a great impression on the child. Besides, if that kind of thing happens in public over such a tiny detail, I can only imagine what occurs elsewhere over other issues.

Clearly it is not just a Freudian world where yo mama is to blame for everything, especially being that Freud was... well, Freud! Obviously that is a factor, though and unfortunately, we cannot control what others do. We can, however, try to smack reality into people. Considering how many people I see throwing away and abusing their dogs, I can't even brain how many people go into parenthood in the same way.  This is what saddens and scares me. Also, two crazy people or two normal people of crazy descendants should really not have kids. Please do not.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Fighting for You - A Poem

Dear mama, I'll never go to war

They always do

And if I do, I won't be far

They always are

So mama, please don't you worry

She always will

I'll be back in a real hurry

They never are

Things will be back to normal

He'll never be

I'll be in badges, dressed real formal

Oh! But mama, mama, please don't cry

mama, mama, I promise I won't die

I'll fight for freedom

I'll fight for rights

I'll even take pictures of the wild sights

Just for you, mama, mama

Just for you

Yeah, mama, mama

Dear mama, I've gone off to the war

They always do

And it's true, I'm kinda far

They always are

So mama, please don't worry

She always will

I'll be back in a real hurry

They never are

Things won't be back to normal

No, he'll never be

My arm is gone, but I'll still be dressed real formal

Oh! But mama, mama, please don't cry

mama, mama I promise I won't die

I'm fighting for freedom

I'm fighting for rights

I've not the time to take pictures of wild sights

None for you mama, mama

None for you

No, mama, mama

Dear mama, your son's died in war

They always do

His body so near, but his soul's so far

They always are

So, mama, I'm sorry about the news

They really are

This isn't the path we wished for God to choose

We never do

Maybe some day things will be normal

They'll never be

The funeral's Monday, the dress is formal

Oh! But mama, mama, please don't cry

mama, mama your son has died

He was fighting for freedom

He was fighting for rights

Didn't even have time to take pictures of sights

None for you mama, mama

None for you

No, mama, no mama

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

To the Window! To the Wal...mart!

11 December, 2012

4.30 PM

58 68th Street + Park Avenue

- It is getting dark and it is cold but gathered here are the Occupiers, animal activists, and the union men and women -

One man stands with a pink sign on either side of his hat. It states, "Duke + Walmart = Fire Hazard!" This is a reference to the 100 Bangladeshi garment workers (who produce for Walmart AND Sears) who were burnt to death due to a factory fire hazard on November 24th. Here's a portion from that explains the situation:

"In a meeting last year, Walmart officials decided against agreeing to pay suppliers more so that they could upgrade their manufacturing facilities and pay for the costs of safety improvements. “Specifically to the issue of any corrections on electrical and fire safety, we are talking about 4,500 factories, and in most cases very extensive and costly modifications would need to be undertaken to some factories,” Walmart officials said in documents obtained by Bloomberg News. “It is not financially feasible for the brands to make such investments.”

More than 300 Bangladeshi garment factory workers have died since 2006. Walmart reported a 9 percent increase in third-quarter net income, earning $3.63 billion.

Back to what I was saying...

The Occupy/Union/Activist men stand around discussing issues of today, yesterday, and tomorrow as the live streamers and videographers circle them like vultures. Entering the building are handsomely suited men politely laughing and speaking of trivial topics. I wonder what their intentions are for being at this conference...  do they believe they can learn from Mike Duke:  fourth chief executive officer of Walmart? Do they simply want to hear his side of the story? Are they going to throw a shoe at him?

Another hot topic of this picket is mainly expressed across the street. It is also one I typically support (I will have to research this group, 'Mercy for Animals' further first, however). That is, animal activism. The animal activist war against Walmart started when a horrific video, taken by an investigator hired by Mercy for Animals, was said to be the farm Walmart purchases it's pork from. The video includes "ripping off piglets' testicles and tails, allegedly without painkillers and the repeated slamming of sick piglets against the ground until they are near death; then they are tossed aside. Piglets are also shown suffering from unattended, open bleeding wounds, and a mother is depicted inflamed and bleeding from constant birthing" (Huffington Post). Costco on the other hand has chosen to persuade it's supplier to rid of the old and cruel methods. If you're a Bob Barker fan (and, really, who isn't?) or a pig cruelty fan, check out the video (

As soon as I heard rattles and chant-talk around the corner, I knew things would be heating up any moment. The police must have heard this as well, as  I was asked to move from my spot on the building's ledge to make room for one cop moving the large barriers in order to herd the picketers to the very edge of the street. The cop clearly wanted to keep things friendly by the way he joked with me about the broken barrier. While I am certainly not a threat to anyone, his attitude towards others and myself made the whole event much more pleasant.

Then it all began,  as the chant, "Bad for the workers, bad for the town... Walmart pushes wages down!" burst through the air like a firework. Not the most clever chant but it expressed the idea they were trying to convey. There's a shaker, whistles... ah, now it is complete; a cowbell!

I must say, there is a surprising number of live streamers, videographers, and photographers for such a contained group of protestors. Myself included, of course, the lone writer scribbling away in my notebook.

The chants continue... "What's outrageous?" "Walmart wages!" "What's disgusting?" "Union bashing!" Again, not too catchy, but it gets the point across and it was easy to remember. A mic check ensues. Then more people arrive. New signs.

What kind of numbers are we talking here? I would say 40-50 picketers, 25-30 animal activists, and hovering above the police barrier is one police tape line, "Walmart Free Zone". Hark! Who has just arrived? It's a group of women carrying signs with images of Walmart employees, along with statements regarding their rights. As shown below:

I am assuming the girl on the left was an organizer of some sort, as the woman on the right had to ask her permission for me to take this photo and then she made sure she was in it. Thus why I didn't give her too much face space. This wasn't the best poster to photograph, I guess, as no one was stopping them from speaking out but I guess it is about the bigger picture. These workers want, nay, need better pay in order to live. Herein lies the reason union men and women were present. There were RWSDU signs (Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union)  "Stronger Together", specifically, Local 338 and UFCW (United Food and Commercial Workers).

More people. More new signs. *Mike Duke: Let Pigs Live Better* ... *Walmart Supports Animal Abuse* ... "Walmart Free NYC* ... *Every City and Every Town, Walmart we will Shut you Down!*

An elderly woman comes up to me and asks what is going on. All I get to say is, "Well, Walmart-" She interrupts, "Oh, Walmart, got it!" We laugh.

"From Wall Street to Walmart: Occupy Black Friday"

Before I headed off to class after observing the events for a little over an hour, the last conversation I heard was between the doorman and a cop. The doorman asked the cop, with a smirk on his face, if he could place more barriers across the street. The cop told him he couldn't and that he wouldn't.

Uptown cops are good people.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Interview with a Dead Man

Mind: When did it start, these thoughts? What inspired them? I mean, where did they begin? Do you know if these were with you from birth or did you develop them? Was it trauma?

Zandia: It started where everything starts, the beginning. I was trapped in a burning building, it was either let the flames engulf me or jump. As horrible as the jump would be, I knew the flames would be unbearable. Life was my flame and that terrified me more than hitting the ground at full force. You should have seen it. You should have been there. My brain matter, my bones, my blood... it was a masterpiece.

Mind: But you didn't jump. You didn't throw yourself off a building.

Zandia: It's anything you want it to be. Afterwards, it's all fair game. To me, I had jumped. The rope seemed so boring. Just hanging blue and bloated. Like a fish flopping around on a pier. There's no art to that. The leap is proof. When I was little, my aunt bought me a porcelain doll. One day I was carrying her around, so proud of my lovely doll. Everyone complimented her. Suddenly her face smashed into a corner. It was a crime scene, shards everywhere, her face unrecognizable. I cried so hard. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever owned and I mutilated her. We couldn't glue her back together, so we threw her out the next day. She was garbage, useless without her perfect porcelain face. All my life I was told I had the skin of a porcelain doll. So pale and delicate. When I dropped, the crack of my every bone was not that of porcelain shattering.

Mind: That must have hurt you terribly. Your doll being ruined...

Zandia: You think I care about her? She was useless. Even with her face intact. Her arms were stuffed with cotton. She would just dangle when I held her hand. She would stare blankly at me. Hugging her offered me no consolation. That porcelain was cold and once it broke, as I moved my finger along the edge of the ceramic, my skin got caught on a jagged end and ripped off. I bled endlessly. I was certain I was going to die. The pain was excruciating. A week later it got infected. I lived. My mind had accepted my imminent death, I was ready for it and it never happened.

Mind: Did you understand death at that point?

Zandia: Do you understand death?

Mind: Would you like some tea?

Zandia: No. If you leave me, you will come back to an empty room. You asked me to come here. Don't-

Mind: No one asked you to be here

Zandia: Would you like me to go?

Mind: Wait. Please. I apologize for my rude gesture.

Zandia: I wanted to do it because of the reactions I got when I spoke of it

Mind: What sort of reaction was that?

Zandia: Pity. Sympathy. Guilt. Concern. Superiority.

Mind: How would you feel if you were them?

Zandia: My mother died several years ago. Everyone said she fought it as long as she could. That she was a fighter. She overcame so much and finally had to give in to it due to the agony. No one said that to me.

Mind: What was your mother like?

Zandia: She wasn't a fighter, she was a liar.

Mind: Did you two not get along?

Zandia: She gave birth to me. I will never forgive her. Before she died, as she lay there looking like a pair of shrunken jeans, she said not to worry, that I would see her again.

Mind: And your father?

Zandia: What does he matter?

Mind: I am trying to understand you and your life through your past. I am having great difficulty.

Zandia: Then you understand.

Mind: Was this your first time?

Zandia: No.

Mind: Was it always this way?

Zandia: I am more creative than that, I assure you. I tried everything.

Mind: What were the other experiences like, where you were okay?

Zandia: The only time I was "okay" was the last time. The other times were pleasant, though. Doctor Bosch gave me a prescription for four different medications. He said try mixing them for added effectiveness.

Mind: What were the medications for?

Zandia: So I did mix them. I mixed all of them. I was disappointed, for the first hour, nothing happened. At an hour and  a half, there was a deep, boiling feeling in my stomach. As if every organ had broke away from any attachments and was just floating inside me. Even my heart had detached and was moving back and forth inside my torso, slamming into every soft, fatty spot it came across. Until finally my organs crashed into one another with such force that I felt as if I was going to implode. My whole body was going to cave into itself. All this while being stabbed in the stomach over and over again. Slowly the knife's tip entered my flesh and layer by layer cut through every nerve, muscle, and bone and this kept happening for about another 30 minutes. Then I threw up.

Mind: What was your last drink to get the medication down?

Zandia: Bleach. It is so wretched that one's throat will hardly allow it down into your body.

Mind: Do you feel shame for you have done?

Zandia: Do the leaves apologize when they drop in the Fall?

Mind: You surely can't believe that the two are the same!

Zandia: I am here, aren't I?

Mind: What about siblings? Do you have any?

Zandia: There were two children born before me.

Mind: Anything you wish to tell me about your history with them?

Zandia: No.

Mind: Did you write a note or anything beforehand?

Zandia: Yes. I had it memorized, in case I woke up and had to do it all again

Mind: Can you say what it said?

Zandia: It was directed towards the world. I reminded it of all its greatest travesties. The war, the genocide, the hatred, the intolerance, the ignorance, the betrayal, the bigotry, the naivety, the idealism, the lies, the faking, the selfishness... I told it to reflect on that.

Mind: What about the good things?

Zandia: The good things come and go. The bad things stain our lives. It's black paint on your wall, you can't just coat it over. It has be destroyed.

Mind: When were you happiest in your life?

Zandia: If I had to say, it would be when I was in my early to mid 20s

Mind: Why is that?

Zandia: I had no orders, expectations, or prison...

Mind: Is that how you would sum up your relationship with your parents?

Zandia: I am referring to my peers. Throughout my life, there were people surrounding me. No matter how they felt about me, they were there. Whenever I needed to be alone, I was being swallowed by the crowds. My ability to breathe was hindered by those caving in on me constantly. There was always a desire to simply do them in.  It turns out, there will always be more. You just can't rid of every single one. This realization came to me after I took matters into my own hands.

Mind: Do you have any regrets?

Zandia: I suppose so. Upon further thought, it occurred to me that some humans enjoyed the misery. They were hopelessly brain dead and led to believe that success means they must play "happy". They don't allow reality to hinder their joy. They can pretend the war and genocide and hatred and all that doesn't exist. They are either idiots or geniuses. I feel "idiots" is more likely. What use is joy if you are so evil, so selfish, so brainless as to not care whether others suffer while you ease through life? They have no right to be happy. They need to be locked away. They are psychopaths. I cared. I cared so much that I wanted to help those desperate morons. Give them a free trip out of jail. My intentions were good. The happy ones want everyone to suffer along with them. When they walk around with their huge smiles, they are saying, "This is what happiness looks like. I pity you because you will never have this. You are worthless." They pass right by the middle aged parent with 4 children, no family, no job, no joy.... She wants that smile but she will never attain it and all those happy people tell her not to give up hope. Hope is a luxury that no unfortunate soul can afford.

Mind: Were you hated for your views?

Zandia: I rather be hated than pitied.

Mind: Did you ever desire happiness?

Zandia: Before I became conscious? Sure. When I was younger, I noticed all the other kids seemed to be in a perfectly simultaneous dance. They matured just as planned, they developed right on schedule, they had the friends, the smarts, the lust for life...

Mind: What did you have?

Zandia: I had a hunger than I could not satisfy. I had to understand more. Once I began learning, it completely enveloped me. I had no time for school or friends, I had to understand why everything seemed so... unnecessary. People were superfluous obstacles keeping me from the truth.


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Hello? Is there anybody out there?

I seem to be on a roll this week with these postings. I've been so inspired! Either that, or thinking of absolutely anything I can do other than my final papers. Please make those disappear!

I guess today I want to write about my own experience with bullying. What provoked this was a blog I am reading written by a man who refers to himself as 'Single Dad', which is precisely what he is. A middle-aged single man with two severely disabled children. As sad as his posts may be, I am addicted to reading them. Through the sarcasm, anger, and sadness... He's a freakin' tough dude. Anyway, he wrote one entry about people being mean to people. He mentions kid-on-kid bullying but also teacher-on-(disabled) student bullying. This made me realize that bullying has lost its "trendiness" again! I mean, it's still trendy to bully but not to discuss it. For a while, all these kids were killing themselves and it was a hot topic. Do more people need to die for this subject to matter?? So, I am here to discuss my own bullying history and to maybe start some conversation about it.

First of all, here is a link to the blog I am talking about:

At times it is hard to pick out what exactly can be considered bullying, what is just "the darned things kids say", and what is straight up evil. Kids know what will hit you hard, they're like your mother but they aren't legally required to feed you once in a while. For example, I have two 6-year-old cousins. The girl can pretty much just circle the room and say something about each person that will really hurt. She comes to me, "You smell bad!" Now, this was a meaningless comment, as I smelled delicious that evening but still, I felt the need to go ask my other cousin if I smelled weird. I was self-conscious all night! Then she went to my cousin and says, "Why is your nose so big?" This cousin happens to have a large, pre-pubescent nose that he is dealing with the "drama" of right now. Finally he goes to my brother whom she loves dearly and says, "Ross... you're so weird." Of course, he has always felt very uncomfortable about himself and deals with self-esteem issues relating to this. Kids just know. Albeit, I always felt this little girl would be the bad seed but she just went on to poorly represent little children everywhere.

Back to my own peer issues... Let's go level by level. I guess things that could be included in "things kids say" for me would be being picked on after a car accident for having a big, red mound on my head. The kids called me 'Apple Head'. They didn't even realize I could have been their learning tool. "Now, kids, what word starts with 'A'?" "APPLE HEAD ARIEL!!" Right? I feel like teachers didn't take full advantage of my painful and traumatizing car accident.

Fortunately, for the most part, I was ignored throughout the early years. Except, bullies will always find a way to bully the bullee, bullied (?) Once they figured out my home situation, they had all the material they needed. See, I was a latchkey kid. Except, I wasn't just the last kid to be picked up, often times, the school would have to call my parents when it was getting to be around 9 or 10 PM and be like, "Uh. We don't want her. Come get your child." I would also often be completely baffled at the nurses office when I was sick. The nurse would ask me who to contact to come get me, "Er.. well... can you take me home?" When I think about it, it's ironic that my favourite song that my mom would sing to me at night was, "You've got a friend". Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall, all you have to do is call... and maybe I'll hire someone to be there?

The real bullying came a little later. I would say the intentional, mean stuff came around 12. There were two groups, the majority of the kids and the girl who would pretend to be my friend. The majority of kids included the boys who would make fun of me because they didn't have crushes on me. I didn't even know that was a thing! If only they knew just how ugly they were. Though, the girls are always way worse. Especially the fake friend. Although, her and her sister would be labeled under 'Evil'. Amongst all the self-esteem murdering deeds and misbehaving and whatnot, I think the scariest parts were the physical things. I recall several instances of being locked in a closet and hit with a ruler. Aren't there weird porns written about this sort of thing? Fortunately, I already had tough skin by then from all the brotherly beatings. Makes you wonder how none of the teachers asked me about all the cuts and bruises! Knowing me, I would have been like, "Eagle ran into me. You know how it is..."

Then we move on to high school, when I was moved to New Jersey and into my first new school. The kids were smarter than me, higher than me, and really learned a lot from the movies about how to make someone miserable. Plus, the queen of uncool was trying to be new friend by verbally and physically abusing me. There must be something about me that is just really hard to resist beating up. However, all my childhood friends (I say "all" like there are more than 3.... there aren't) had went on to try to ruin my life from afar, so I needed new people to smash any sense of joy left in me. Between her and the "cool" girls in high school, I should have just given up right then. What was my saving grace? 7 people who changed my life forever *ever, ever, ever...* (that was supposed to be an echo.) Those people included a poet, a comedian, a musician, 3 English teachers, and a science teacher.  That's all it took!

Maybe it's silly to consider someone you have never met a role model or people who are paid to teach you but I needed them and I am sure there are tons of people out there who have the same story as I do. They didn't particularly mentor me or comfort me, I never spoke enough for them to get to know me, but their presence was all I needed. What all these people have in common is, well, they're pretty weird. I don't have some inspiring story about my teachers taking me under their wing and showing me how being unique is a gift. No. I simply saw that I wasn't alone and within my misery, I could just live. Not necessarily live a life of fame, fortune, and friends but live and experience the good times, along with the numerous bad ones. Yes, that really was all it took! This approach won't work for everyone, however. In order for this to work, an individual has to recognize the humour and the empowering ways of just not caring what other people see you as, think of you, or want from you. I guess what really causes this reaction in people is this need to attack the "weak" for fear of being (as opposed to feeding on) The Other. Which, I must say, I loved that the father in the blog references and even dedicates an entire page to on his site.

You can view that at: p://

Speaking of which, my group from class left me hanging at our meet-up place, so I better go find them and get work done!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Day in the Life

... of a dog foster. I can imagine some people hear about the difficulties of fostering a shelter dog and say several things, "It's tough but it's for a good cause!", "Hey, at least he's cute!", or my personal favourite, "Come on, it's just a dog..."

Have you ever wanted to simultaneously punch a malnourished dog in the face, as well as an ignorant human? I have.

Of course dogs (and cats and puppies and kittens) are adorable but do you know how freaking annoying and needy they are? At least if you're taking care of a kid, you can throw him outside and say, "Survival of the fittest! If it's meant to survive, it will." This sort of applies to dogs and cats but they're cuter, so it's not as good an argument.

Let me start with kittens. Demons of the Earth! As tiring and messy and difficult it is to take care of a big  pup, a kitten is definitely Satan's way of saying, "Oh, yeah, I'm watching you." They scratch, bite, walk under your feet, fling litter everywhere, get into everything, destroy everything, stink, get stuff in their fur, attack everyone and everything... to sum it all up, they are like monkeys who are too stupid to get down trees once they climb up. They don't get much easier, either. To anyone who has ever said, "Aw, a kitten! I want it!" I wish unto you, well, kittens!

Now, puppies. Aw, puppies. I like puppies. Puppies are so much fun! Oh, golly gee!

Go eat a bomb.

Puppies are better than kittens but not by much. They can't jump up on things and knock everything down, sure, but they can chew on everything, pee on everything, wake you up every ten minutes for attention, and eat things off the floor and then puke everywhere. If you adopt a puppy, you should also be buying stock in Bounty paper towel!

Of course, on the other hand, fostering is rewarding, it's fun at times, and when you find that dog that was only days, weeks, or months ago, homeless, starving, and miserable the perfect home, you feel like a God! Of course, you don't  do it for that reason alone but it's a great reward at the end of the day.

Besides, have you ever bought those gourmet dog treats? I swear, if I weren't vegan, I would eat them. The ingredients are often, honey, flour, peanut butter, and *insert un-pronounceable item*... Probably delicious!

Is saving another life, even a "lower life form's" life worth sacrificing your own sanity? I think so. That is, if I had been sane before, I think I'd be willing to give it up for the cause. Soon the dogs will be taking care of me, really. That's the bigger plan. Train an army of super genius dogs that will obey my every command and... well, I haven't gotten far enough to plan what they will accomplish but I think genius dog army is a really good start!

All I am trying to say here is... I need to find a home for my current foster. You can share her information at the following link:

Yes, this was all a big plot to get you, my readers, to pity me and help me find the dog a home. Evil? Maybe. Clever? Duh.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Art you glad I didn't say Banana?

What does it mean to be a musician? An artist? A writer? Anything that you declare to the world that you "are"? Recently I've shared some of my old art of various types with some people whose opinions matter to me and they all expressed two things. One was that I should try to publish my work. Yeah, easy for you to say... and the other was a request for me to help with their own work. Aside from the fact that I'm not your art teacher... (You show me $1100 and maybe I'll teach you how to write a haiku.) Actually, it goes like this:

I ain't yo teacha

Go to someone else, dang fool

Stop messin' around

I also just don't know how to teach something like that. Poetry and lyrics are about emotion, experience, truth, imagination. Things that can't be planned or predicted or taught. One might be inspired or shown how to be open to these things but it's not coming out of nowhere!

The last poem I wrote was magnificent. What was it written about? How I may have mooned my entire neighbourhood a few months back. Yeah. Long story short, I was walking to the store with my buddy and suddenly I feel my pants snag on something on the ground. I fumble around a bit, trying to get it loose and my friend keeps walking, somehow complete unaware of my struggle. I try to play it cool and continue walking when suddenly I realize my pants have just dropped to the ground. Those of you who know me, well, at all, know I am all about the commando. My first instinct? You would think it would be to grab my pants and pull them up, no? No. I jump to the floor, my bum on the nasty sidewalk and whine out, "Help! Don't look at me but oh god, help me!"

As he put it,

i was walking the dog, heard a thump and see her sitting bare-bummed on the ground (lmao)

What a pal. 'An Ode to the Belt' shall forever live in infamy. I only wish I could figure out where I saved it. Then there was my other piece about my first experience of a booty call. Except, innocent little me was totally unaware. You see, what I thought was the name of a goth club was actually a bondage hotel. With bondage stuff. That he wanted to use on me, with me, despite me... however you want to say it.  Needless to say, naw aw, it did not happen.

Thus it is once again proven that art and poetry can be created from anything and everything. I think this connects deeply with one of my favourite terms, authenticity. Being true to yourself, not allowing labels to be placed upon you. Self-definition. Now, this doesn't always work... apparently, if I just claim to be the inventor of Furby doesn't mean they'll pay me royalties and give me tons of money. Besides, there's certainly a portion of shame that comes with this self-proclaimed honour. To be fair, I do stuff cameras in dolls and force them into people's homes. I call them FurbEyes.

This post hasn't really hit a point of inspiration for me, speaking of which. I think I will end here. The moral of the story being... wear a belt?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Make it rain, eyes. Make it, make it rain...

I know writing a blog entry about what one fears is not fun. It's not amusing or light-hearted to read. However, sometimes it's called for. We all need to take a moment from time to time and release what haunts the mind. Otherwise, it broods and boils. What happens when you leave a boiling pot of water covered? Yeah... let's avoid that. Onto the fun stuff.

What are common causes of insomnia? Stress, depression, excitement, mania... insomnia is never good but it can be because of a positive reaction. Unfortunately, that is not the case for me. My insomnia is due to horrible images that come into my view at night. Decapitation, terrorism, shooting, stabbing, throwing off buildings... I've seen it all. I've experienced this since as long as I can remember. This is why I talk about death so much. If I didn't laugh about it, I don't know how I'd cope with these thoughts.

This entry is certainly not be about me, though. I will insert my own experiences and, obviously, my views on issues but I don't want to get into my own history. Death intrigues us all to some extent. Some people are deathly afraid of it, some people are fascinated with it, and some are in denial of it. I think that is a big part of where religion comes into play. Humans are experts at finding distractions and ignoring the dark realities of life. While I have no evidence or certainty of it, I can say with a bit of confidence that there probably is no Heaven. Throw out your white robe, stop growing out your beard, and cancel those harp lessons, as there will be no need for that. On the other hand, there is likely no Hell either. Do whatever stupid thing you want, just don't hurt anyone! Not because I said so, not because God said so but because it's illegal. Doesn't matter if you care about morals and you aren't worried about it being done to you in return, just avoid jail. That should be enough reason. Although, if you want free food and housing, I guess I can't really convince you, can I? Therein lies the conundrum of an existentialist. Why should one "behave" if they are not guided by fear of consequences or morals? I got into this topic in my last failed blog thingamadoo but  after re-examining the issue... well, I still have no answer. Maybe people should just behave because it will make society more pleasant. Therefore, there will always be people trying to ruin it and there is no reasoning with them. We can only do our best to be a decent being in the subjective eye and maybe help others to be what society has deemed to be appropriate social behaviour. Then, of course, you run into the issue of terrorists. In their society, killing is "appropriate". Taking your life in the name of God is the proper thing to do and there is no one around who is going to tell you otherwise. Does that make it okay? Was sacrifice "okay"? Is cannibalism "okay"? I wouldn't say so and most people wouldn't say so and therefore we go to other cultures and tell them our way is the right way. I don't see any problem with that... as I said, it keeps society running much smoother. On the other hand, if there were more of them, more terrorists than average people, more cannibals than... whatever the opposite of a cannibal is and they came to us and started jailing us and punishing us for our choices, would that then be the "okay" thing? Is it simply a matter of numbers or is it influence? Americans have one of the greatest influences on other nations in the world and yet, I see it an impossible task for Americans to convince every other being that just sitting down for a cup of coffee is better than strapping bombs to children. Speaking of which, shouldn't the instinctual need to care for and protect one's child already be taking care of this? What could be the thought process of a mother setting her boy up with bombs? "Here, honey, have a nice time blowing up. Don't forget your lunch! Never explode on an empty stomach!"  (Again- how would we cope without some humour?)

That is what we call an Ariel tangent. Those happen. I am talking death here, though. Right? Right. It's amazing what people will do to avoid recognizing their own decline. It is also amazing what people will do and risk in order to avoid the decline or loss of others. Yin and yang. Yo and yo. Salt n Pepa. It's all about balance.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sleepless in my Bedroom

When you're cleaning your apartment in nothing but ripped knee-high socks and a large UFT t-shirt while lip-synching to Billy Joels' "Say Goodbye to Hollywood" at 7 something in the morning, things are good. Or are they bad? I have lost my sense of reality due to my insomnia. Please excuse my dementia.

This is the life of a manic depressive. I don't actually have Bipolar Disorder and I am certainly not trendy enough to diagnose myself, even though Dr. Web M.D. has. Who is Dr. M.D. to judge me anyway? He probably doesn't even have a PhD! Going back to what I said before: I now envy a website than is primarily used for self-diagnosing the plague... things are definitely good.

Mania is fun, though, kids! 3-4 hours of sleep is all you need and then you paint on your wall. My landlord may not appreciate my choice of medium but it's a masterpiece!

I call this piece, "Eyes on the Pr-eyes". What inspired this piece, you may ask? Poor decisions; my specialty, not to brag. Regret is a big motivation. I hate people who say life is too short for regrets. Seriously. First of all, life is pretty freakin' long! You can live to over a hundred years, that's 36,500 days. Do you know how many hours that is? That's... just kidding, I'm not doing the math. The only people who say that are the ones who re-post things on Facebook like, "Everyday is a gift, that's why it's called the present." I am sure whoever made that quote was hoping your present would involve spending hours in your bedroom switching between 'sharing' Facebook posts and looking at celebrities while crying because you can't shove the back of your toothbrush far enough down your throat to induce vomiting.

Did you just cringe or think, "Wow, harsh"? You need to go outside. Can't make this stuff up.

Humans do retarded things that they shouldn't. If they don't regret it, they don't change and they don't correct! Who wants to live in a world where everyone thinks every stupid choice they made was the right way to go? That's my job!

Choices I've made this week:

1. The woman at the supermarket yelled at me for tying my foster dog up outside. She says, "I would NEVER tie my dog up outside!" I replied, "I would NEVER work at a supermarket. We're even."

2. The Jesus Freak in the train station was giving out God pamphlets. He says, "Do you want to go to Heaven?" I replied, "Will you be there?" He says, "Of course!" I replied, "No thanks."

Come on, if you were me, you wouldn't regret those conversations either.

Now I don't know if I want this blog entry to be about mania/depression or regret. Both have been on my mind lately. I could probably incorporate both, right? Come on, old girl, you can BS this like you have done with everything your entire life! GO TEAM! I suppose I could say, what has been a great assistance in keeping me awake during my mania has been regret. Zing! It's true but I still get Whitey Points for that, no?

The issue I regret? Fellows, lads, men, males, testosterone whores, sperm purses... boys. Not boys as in all of them! This isn't my coming-out speech (although, I tend to think several people are waiting on the day in which I make that announcement...) This is one boy and one boy only. This is where all the males reading this entry groan and turn off their brains. Not that they cared in the first place, being that I am not them. For those of you who are a little slow, yes, I just called men self-involved. Especially since I already dismissed the possibility of lesbian visuals.

This guy situation is not sappy at all, though. Quite the opposite, actually. My problem is my lack of interest in romance. Flowers, candlelight, edible panties, it all disgusts me! Actually, I could go for some edible panties right now.I got the munchies. I feel like one has to be very confident that they're getting some action if they're going to wear those things. Otherwise, you're going through your date with candy melting around your lady parts mixing with your nervous sweats and everything else that is happening down there. If you're doing it right, there will be tears in that concoction as well. I digress, though. Point is, I don't want a guy to write me poems about butterflies with diabetes, text me pictures of kittens eating rainbows, or to call me their sweet buns o' love. I suppose, though, these are the things I have to tolerate in order to be with another person. I have to see them more than once a year. I have to stop joking about dead people. I have to actually pretend to like them. The irony in all of this? This guy, RegretGuy as I shall call him, he made me want all of this stuff! That's why we didn't work out.


The odd part is, this took over a year to hit me. Finally, a friend convinced me to get my feelings out on paper. While this isn't paper, physical paper is as scarce as teen celibacy. I am now writing this, I have thought about the situation for an accumulation of hours, and I have beat myself over it... the one thing I haven't done? Tell him. Do you know why this is? The movies. The romantic comedies have taught me nothing worth knowing except two things: 1. Betty White being in a movie does not automatically make it good. 2. If he isn't flying away somewhere and the two of you have not been involved in some semi-humourous timeline of events involving your free-spirited parents and a weird pet, you're not supposed to do anything about your feelings for him. I can deal with that. Plus, I'm not as brave as a parent allowing their child to play with Elmo. Too soon?

Regret discussed. I can now move on with my life. What else is there? I regret BEING BORN! That's not true. I don't blame myself for that. I also regret watching all the Comedy Central Roasts available on Netflix. I feel like my life would be much happier if I hadn't wasted over an hour of my life watching Charlie Sheen get loved upon by funny Jews. "Ha! He called the guy a Jew Kike. It's cool, we love you!" Now, I understand that everything actors do is just a publicity stunt and I understand that I hadn't even heard of Charlie Sheen until this roast but... well, actually, I guess I can't fault him. He did his job and made his money. I bow out. In which case, I regret typing the name Charlie Sheen in my blog and I still regret watching the roast.

There are some things that you shouldn't waste all your time and efforts feeling bad for. Actually, most mistakes aren't worth worrying about! However, regret can't be seen as intrinsically bad, either. If you can figure yourself out and maybe even still make a difference, it's worth pondering. If there's nothing you can do about it, pick up your Depends and get over it. I assure you, whatever story you tell people about that mistake you made 5, 10, 30 years ago, you told them it already and they do not want to hear it again. They really don't care, despite the repetitive 'AWs' and concerned faces. If you're like me and you can fix your mistakes but are too lazy to, you should probably just go self-mutilate or something... I don't know.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Remember that time I kidnapped a minor?

I didn't really kidnap a minor, don't worry. It got your attention, though, didn't it?

Well, technically, I did kidnap a 16-year-old for 12 hours but I didn't mean to. At first.

Maybe I should explain...

It was some random day of who cares what month... The weather was warm, or was it cold? I think it was fairly chilly. I woke up that morning (late afternoon), exited my bedroom, entered my living room, passed by the middle aged Jamaican man, and entered the kitchen. Then I did a double take. I re-entered the living room and, as it were (I am probably not using this phrase correctly but you probably don't care, eh?), my eyes were not mistaken, there in my living room was a petite teen girl smoking a huge blunt made out of corn husks. She seemed content, the Jamaican seemed content, and the naked couple cuddled up that I did not recognize seemed content. I said, "Good morning" and proceeded back into the kitchen to make something out of peanut butter (this may not be accurate but it is very likely...) After all, it was only 4 in the afternoon, I was much too groggy to worry about the delightful combination of illegal activity occurring in my very own living room.

Once I finished my nutritious and delicious  high-sodium, high-protein, high-fat brunchner (breakfast, lunch, dinner), I went back into the living room. Something I wish I hadn't done. For my eyes had not been fooling me for the third time, the lavish weed buffet had not confused my senses, and I was not simply witnessing some sort of kinky "sharing-of the-toke with a blow up doll" ritual, there was indeed a petite, dirty blonde teenage female getting her jollies on Rasta's (as I was to find out was the Jamaican's nickname) bodacious Bonnarroo prize-winning corn husk doob.

Sure. Cool.

Except, NOT COOL! I calmly sat myself next to the red-eyed insurgent and asked her, "So. What's up?" She replied, "Hey, I'm (yeah, as if I remember her name). My mom is a total (enter word of choice) and she's trying to have me locked up. I'm running away." She explained that her mom was some helicopter mom who is a Wall Street who-cares-what that, as young girl that we shall call Daisy explains, wishes to have her rebellious child locked in the psych ward for not going to school and smoking pot. Rasta had found her in the park trying to sleep under newspaper and one of the bums staying with me decided my apartment was a great refuge for both of these people. Why, you ask? I would say it is because my life is one big orgy of punches to the groin.

Now the chaos, havoc, and madness ensues. Enter Character 1 stage right. Character 1 will go by the name Char1, an unfortunate name choice by his mother. Char1 is a well-meaning guy, an outspoken guy, the kind of guy you don't think you should introduce to your grandmother but when you do introduce him to your grandmother, he turns out to be very polite and timid. Huh? Who? What? Why? I don't know.

Anyway, Char1 has strong opinions about everything. He gives the girl two options. Daisy must either stay in hiding with us, telling her we will all protect her, even if it means arrest (mind you, I would probably be the only one left standing if the cops came) or she would have to go face the real world. He told her, much like a tough-love father, that if she wanted freedom and to run her own life, she would have to go out into the cold, into the dark, and into her greatest fears. Rasta's only comment at this was, "Hey. I can teach her how to be a woman?" To which I replied, "What in the hail do you mean by that?!" He clarified that he wanted to teach her the ways of survival but I am fairly certain he had other plans in mind.

At this point, Daisy was fairly confident she was going to stay with me a few days. I figured, heck, my arrest was imminent for one reason or another, why not be this child's hero and guide? This was all hunky dory until for one reason or another, Char1 and Rasta started to argue. One angry Jamaican and one 6'4 angry Jew with a voice that could topple sweet dreams- oh mercy.

This started to make Daisy anxious. This brave lioness was beginning to cower and look once again like the innocent and scared child she was. That may have been the doing of the drugs but it worked well for me in this case. She took me into the bedroom and asked me, as the most normal one in the apartment, what she should do. I, now on my high-horse for being considered more normal than the drug-toting, homeless Rastafarian man armed with nothing but corn husks and a coconut slicer and a snowboarding sushi chef with a penchant for streaking, I felt words of wisdom overcome me. I asked her questions three... "Do you want to turn out like them?" She shook her head. "Do you want to be homeless, smell like the trail of goo that remains after the carcass of a dead sewer rat are removed, and let old men touch your boobies for  a piece of old bread?" She shook her head. "Shall we call your mom?" Yes. Yes, we shall.

After much concern on all ends, we finally made the dreaded call to her mother. I took the phone and in my best Judy Dench voice I said, "Hello ma'am. I just want you to know your daughter is safe and you have nothing to worry about. I am an educated, kind, and mature young woman, much like your daughter. I assure you, her well-being is my top priority. Daisy needed some space and time to think but I think she is ready to return home under the condition that you allow her some independence and your trust. I am very sorry for worrying you but I think you both need to sit down and talk this over without finger-pointing or negativity. I hope you two can work this out." Her mother replied, "I WANT MY DAUGHTER!!" A detective then picked up the phone and I basically told him the same thing but not referencing him as her mother. That would be silly, silly! I assured them both Daisy would be headed home in moments and hung up.


Dramatic Pause.

Deep Inhale.

Breath Mint.

Minutes later, she was headed out with Char1 and myself and on the train headed uptown to her mommy.

Once she was taken care of I went back to bed, hoping to never wake up and exit my bedroom again.