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.