About Me

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...over-educated and under-experienced, or so they say...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

New Blog Location

Purchased my own domain name.  Haven't quite figured out how to get this to redirect to the new location.  If you're looking for Mixed Number, click the link below:


I will have this all redirected in the days to come.

~ Pandora

Friday, June 15, 2012

So Dumb So Dumb So Dumb So...

And sometimes you think about the idiot you were talking to yesterday, and while you have this long diatribe in your mind that is beyond stellar, by the time five o'clock in the morning comes, all you really want to say is...

You are so dumb... You are really dumb... for real.

And then you remember, no one said it better than this guy so...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Close Quarters With Brain Zaps

You walk into the elevator in the downtown skyscraper.    Another stranger steps into the elevator with you.  You push the 10th floor button and ask the stranger which floor she needs.  She tells you 10, the door closes, and what should be merely seconds feels like the longest moment of your elevator experience thus far.

You stand on the opposite side of the elevator, pretending that this is an acceptable distance between you and this other person.  Close quarters with strangers should be quick and painless.  But suddenly this lady twitches a bit and let's out a quiet "shit!"  You turn your eyes in her direction but say nothing.  A few seconds later she does it again.  You finally ask if she's okay and she responds with something like, "Oh, I stopped taking my Lexapro and it's giving me the brain zaps."

You're standing there looking at her thinking, "this is normal casual elevator talk, right?  I mean, everyone talks about their withdrawals from anti-depressants in the elevator.  No big deal..." and then you can't help yourself.  You say, "Brain zaps?"  She says, "It's like these little lightening bolts go off inside my head.  They literally shock me.  It's been happening all day."

At this point you're asking yourself and The Universe how it is that you ended up in the elevator with this person, but you are so used to strange happenings you go ahead and say, "Did your doctor tell you to stop taking the Lexapro?"  She says, "No, I just decided I didn't need it any more so I stopped taking it and... ah!  There it goes again!"

Looking at the lights at the top of the elevator panel, you're praying that 10 shows up right about now, but still you say, "Obviously, we don't know each other very well, but I think you may want to take one of those pills today and then ask your doctor the best way to come down from it.  Those pills adjust the chemical makeup of your brain, which is basically a thunderstorm of activity anyway, and now you've had three brain zaps between the 1st and 10th floor.  Doesn't seem good to me.  If you can't play it off in here, you're not going to do very well today."

This was a rather bold statement for you to make to a stranger in an elevator, but brain zaps in close quarters can be a moment where bold statements may very well be supported.  The bell finally dings, the door opens to the 10th floor, the stranger looks at you and says, "I guess you may be right.  Do you think it'll stop if I take the pill?"  You walk out onto the floor and say, "I know nothing of brain zaps, other than they can't be good."  You walk down the hall to the conference room, reflecting on how much you hate elevators and praying this lady isn't coming to the same meeting as you.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Timing Is Everything

So yesterday morning I’m sitting at my desk and Mr. Toenail’s phone starts going off. 

At this point, I have heard enough of his recent conversations to know that this is the ringtone of his latest bedroom interest. 

Just as the phone starts going off, some passerby whose voice I don’t recognize says, “Hello Toenail!” (of course, he doesn’t really call him Toenail… that’s my name for the dolt) 

Toenail, though, has answered his phone just as Passerby says hello, so all Passerby hears in response is this low and somewhat sultry voice respond back to him with, “…well hello….” To which I can hear Passerby stop in his tracks, just outside Toenail’s cubicle wall, and respond with, “Uh… what?” 

Right then Toenail says, again in a low and sultry voice, “…and I was just thinking about you… hmmm…” Passerby then gets almost hostile and steps into his cube doorway saying, “You were what?!” 

I can at this point hear Mr. Toenail turn around rapidly in his chair, shocked by the sudden entrance of hostile Passerby who must feel somewhat violated until he realizes that Toenail hasn’t been talking to him at all and he walks away embarrassed as I start falling out of my chair silently laughing because… that was the best Monday Morning Moment I’ve had in a while.

Sometimes it is good to sit next to a dolt like Toenail.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Trolling Through Tripe

Oh yes, my friends, I just can't let this go.

"Girlie Decor That Won't Freak Him Out" and totally freaking me out. "He's more likely to hang if your place doesn't ooze estrogen."

God help me...
God help us all...
This tripe annoys the hell out of me.  

Yes, I'm still receiving the stupid Cosmo magazines and I was a bit irked since I thought my  forced subscription would end in June but... I apparently have July to look forward to.  So I thumbed through it and ran across stellar advice like the importance of choosing the right shade of pink so when the man you're interested in comes to visit your home he won't be put off by it.  I learned that a man that puts his hands in his pockets and leaves his thumbs sticking out of his pockets and pointing toward his groin while talking to me, or anyone else, is apparently quite eager for me to know he doesn't have a rabbit in his pocket and he may be interested in being happy to see me.  And my favorite was the "Bonus" page where I got to answer yes or no to questions like, "Would you give up a year of your life to sleep with Ryan Gosling?" and "Would you lick the entire end zone to get to swipe Tim Tebow's V card?" and my personal favorite "Would you vomit in front of your crush in exchange for a free Louis Vuitton bag?"  (And right here, in stellar Pandora style, this is where I say:  WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE?!  WHY ARE YOU READING THIS?!?!)  

So I started ranting about this in my head on Friday.  By Saturday I found myself skimming through men's magazines to see if they were even remotely close to this stupid.  I trolled around through Esquire and while I found an article about Michael Fassbender outshining Ryan Gosling simply because he grew a new beard, I also found, unlike Cosmo, a News&Politics section with nice tid bits written by the same fellow who came up with this gem:  [politics] ...according to Aristotle, a truly veteran scribe, is the result of humans being the only herd animals capable of speaking to one another. Or shouting at one another, or giving to each other the ol' bazoo, for all of that, although there is no translation for "bazoo" in the ancient Greek. Thus, for our purposes here, this blog will be about politics in its most basic form — to wit, how we speak to each other for the purposes of governing, or choosing not to govern, ourselves as a small-r republican political commonwealth. It will be the policy of this blog not to treat ignorance with respect simply because that ignorance profits important and powerful people. It will be the policy to operate on the principle that, while there may be two sides to every question, rarely are they both right. If this blog sees a man walking down the street with a duck on his head, it will report that it saw a man walking down the street with a duck on his head. It will not need two sources for that. It will not seek out someone to tell it that what it really saw was a duck walking down the street with a guy on its ass. It will be the belief of this blog that, as Christopher Hitchens once said, the only correct answer to the question, "Is nothing sacred?" is "No." And there will be fun.  -- Charles P. Pierce
(Yes, I love the gentleman that wrote that little bit there.  I spent much time reading through his blog.)

I actually wasted a good portion of my afternoon today reading through the stupid Cosmopolitan magazine from cover to cover just to make sure I wasn't missing some hint of intelligent writing in there somewhere.  And nope, nothing... I came up with nothing except for perhaps a few diminished points in my own IQ because I think I permanently injured certain parts of my intellect in reading the thing.  I will never forget how important it was for me to read that a man loves his own penis so much that it is mathematically impossible for me, as his woman, to ever satisfy him as often as he has spent time satisfying himself.  Oh yes, they didn't teach me that one in college!  And I will always find useful the tid bit of how deep freezing my undies will be an "excellent and sexy" way to stay cool during the summer.  Wow... I wish someone would've told me that when I first moved to Phoenix 12 years ago.

So as I was ranting about this on the phone to another gentleman friend of mine, he asked me if I had checked other magazines just to make a more fair and complete comparison.  I got off the phone and went straight to Maxim because, in my memory, that magazine may be as close to the male equivalent of Cosmo there is.  What did I find?  Oh sure, I found Hometown Hotties and Helpful Hotties and Haha Hotties, but even in the midst of the more rock eating tripe I noticed that there were still some valid and interesting news articles like Navy Seal Hunt for Al Qaeda.  

From there I trolled through Men's Journal and GQ and found every single one of them had a section for news and politics and articles about successful businessmen and adventures, even in the midst of "spice up your bedroom" articles and racy pictures of famous women.  And I started having this moment where I wondered if all women's fashion type magazines were this ridiculous.  

I checked Elle magazine which had a portion for "news" but apparently "news" is Alicia Silverstone going green with her makeup (oh yes... this is important information... I'm so glad I ran across that because I'd actually forgotten who she was until she joined the religion of going green and still found a way to keep her makeup sacred).  I looked at Red Book and, while it also appeared to be a few steps up in terms of content, there still was little more beyond what one might consider "the woman's physical world."  

I mean... are we really made up of nothing but fashion and makeup and fumbling around in the dark trying to figure out what to do with this man's bing bang?!  And... has it ever even occurred to you to  ask the man himself what he'd like you to do with his bing bang instead of try to read it in some stupid magazine that's probably giving you incorrect advice anyway?  I mean, think about, if it's mathematically impossible for you to satisfy his needs for his own bing bang more than he's satisfied that need himself well... seems to me like he might be a pro and tell you exactly what you need to know but... guess that's expecting too much from a woman that needs to pick the right shade of pink pillows so the poor guy doesn't freak out when he comes over for some dim sum.

...sigh...  I digress...

Anyway, just as I was about to throw in the towel, I remembered Vogue.  And maybe it's because I was so discouraged and depressed by the lack of truly engaging material, or maybe it's because I really do think they have a well put together "fashion magazine," either way, Vogue Magazine wins Pandora's Pick Of The Night award.  

I wasn't interested in the "fashion" or the surface hoopla, I was merely trying to find something that, well, perhaps the same guy that reads the Death Race 2012 articles in GQ (before or after he's done looking at nearly naked pictures of Jennifer Anniston) might find interesting.  I was seriously having this moment where I thought it was quite possible that all editors of women's magazines think very little of our capacity to enjoy, retain, and discuss something other than our appearance and our apparent need to constantly please a man.  When I found this article about Danny Boyle as the art director for the Olympics, followed by this interview with Usain Bolt, Jamaican Olympic Runner, and then what ultimately rang my winner's bell was when I read the following sentence in a letter from the editor: For an industry that should be about empowering women of all shapes, sizes, and ages, too often the image of attractiveness it has projected has been entirely at odds with that message.  

So... I have no doubt that the same minds that read Cosmopolitan magazine have ZERO interest in the articles I just linked you to, but at least I know (particularly as a woman that doesn't read fashion magazines of any kind at all until they are forced upon me because a friend of mine thinks it's funny) for my own personal well being, there is at least one magazine out there that has something of interest for the more discerning and intelligent female reader (and there may be more, but I pretty much met my lifetime quota on the reading of fashion/tripe/sexcapade magazines today) and knowing that there is at least one does two things for me: 

1) lets me know there are women out there that instinctively know not to buy hot pink pillows and zebra print throw rugs in an attempt to keep a man from running and... 
2) means I will sleep much better tonight knowing that the astrologer for Cosmo assures me, and every other female Leo on the planet, that on June 27th Venus is going to tell me to invite a man over for a candlelit dinner and we will do much bonding.  

(...sigh... dear God ladies... we can't all be having candlelit dinners on the same night... and... you may need to make sure you're not oozing too much estrogen because that isn't good for bonding... 
I, on the other hand, may be oozing too much testosterone since I'd rather read about The 50 Most Powerful People In Washington, choose basic Earth tones for my house, and then have a meeting of the minds over a glass of wine at the dinner table because that's really where the foreplay begins, ladies... but, you go ahead... deep freeze your panties and worry about those damn pillows....)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Fanny Packs Aren't Very Zen

So I take these morning walks with my dog.  It’s one of my favorite things.  I walk the canal, the sun is coming up, the water looks pretty, ducks everywhere...  It’s this moment where I let my mind go off into the stratosphere and wander into any direction it decides to go.  It’s like my walking meditation moment, the way I start my day and simply breathe before I don my Land Agent persona, and it’s a sacred moment in which no one, aside from a random good morning from a passer-by, should bother me.  Seriously… don’t bother me, I’m thinking… it’s that moment.  So when I’m suddenly stopped by some voice that hits me like a  tree limb to the eye, I’m not overly enthusiastic about it, particularly when it’s a strange man who has decided to make a random comment about the length of my walk.  And what this man doesn’t know is that he has completely disrupted a thought process that I was having and has now irked me because his very appearance is enough for me to lose anything abstract inside my mind and I can’t even hear a word he’s actually saying to me because I’m so irritated by his unwelcome interruption that all I can do is glare at him from behind my sun glasses, as if to say, “Please don’t talk to me strange old man with a fanny pack,” and simply turn and walk away.  And the entire rest of the walk home all I could think about was my stupid reaction to that stupid old man and how I lost whatever concept I had going because I was brought down to Earth by a man sporting a fanny pack and… I didn’t even know people still used those things.  I went from intellectual stratosphere to fanny pack man.  

I have also decided that tomorrow morning I will wear the following sign as I walk:

 Just because I’m walking in the same vicinity as you between 5:30 and 6:00 a.m. does not mean I wish to speak with you.  Please just say good morning if you must and walk away.  

Thank You,

Random Curly Haired Lady with the little dog.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Target Practice

I have never really asked them, but I'm pretty sure one of the worst scares I ever gave my parents was when I dropped out of college somewhere around 20 to go pursue a music career similar to Jenny in Forest Gump, except I kept my clothes on and actually played in legit venues.  I was a classically trained musician, both vocally and instrumentally, and I was one wild and rebellious Pastor's daughter -- come on... that part alone meant I should've been a rockstar, right?  Give me a moment to think about it and I could create a long list of Pastor's Kids that grow up and horrify their father by moving into American Show Business (Grace Jones comes to mind).

Anyway, I dropped out of college and trolled around San Diego and Los Angeles and picked up gigs and odd jobs and odd friends and odd substances and odd stories and experiences and eventually I made my way back to college until I met Hope's dad and dropped out again to embark on what could be considered "screw up" number two.  The problem is... if it's really a problem at all... could these decisions really be considered a screw up?  It's a bit like that "meant to be" thought I had a while back, I'm not sure anything is actually a "screw up" anymore than I'm sure anything is truly "meant to be."  (here I go talking in circles again)

There's a young man I know, excellent friend of mine, the younger brother I never had, and he's getting ready to embark upon what some of his friends and family members consider a potential failure and "screw up."  He's thinking outside the box, not taking the traditional route, and preparing to leave the US with next to nothing in his pocket for a potential job somewhere in Germany and the potential promise of graduate school abroad (key word there being potential).  All of this, to some of the more influential people in his blood line (aka: parents), seems like an irrational pipe dream, but from where I'm standing, I'm saying take your two Euros and run.  And while you're at it, have your parents talk to my parents because I think my parents would've much preferred that kind of "pipe dream" compared to my Joan Baez stint on the beach, smoking a doobie with a homeless guy next to me, enjoying the sunset from my spot on the wall next to the board walk.

There comes a time, as parents, when we have to let go.  I love Hope more than anything in this world, but at some point between 18 and 20 something, I need to let go and let her fall on her face and let her feel defeat and let her feel triumph and let her become the woman she's supposed to become.  As much as my college drop-out moment probably terrified my parents and sent them into a state of deep prayer and supplication to the Lord above, they had to let me do that.  They had to let me go and experience life and learn what was wise about my decision and what was completely asinine about my decision.  They had to trust that all would be well.  And you know what?  All was ultimately well.  I'm not sure I'd ever take back that hippy chick moment of mine.  It was one of the best experiences of my young life, even as scary as it may have been at times.  It is a part of who I am now, and adds so much to the way I view certain aspects of people and life in general.  And this young friend of mine..., I have no doubt that he will achieve great things in his future.  Will it happen as soon as he hits the ground running in Germany?  I have no idea.  But is hitting the ground running in Germany a necessary part of his journey?  I am absolutely certain.

Someone once said to me, in a deep discussion of fate versus chance, that life is more like a moving target.  You aim in one direction and the target may be lying in the opposite direction but somehow you still hit the bulls-eye every time.  I don't know if that's the right way to think about life, but it's certainly a nice way to think about it (particularly when you're about to step out into uncharted territory with a bunch of nay sayers in the background).  Trust your judgment, trust your journey.  There are wrong turns, but you can always navigate your way back to the right path.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Gold Vein

My parents are married 50 years today.  We had the celebration for them this weekend.  When I tell people they've made it that long, I somehow always find myself in a situation where I have to explain that my parents actually love each other.  I'm not kidding.  When I say they've made it 50 years, most people say something like, "Wow!  How did they do that without killing each other?" or, "Wow!  Are they still happy?"  I can't properly describe how this makes me feel inside.  50 years is an accomplishment, I know this, but I also know that my parents truly love each other and to be faced with a world so dark and jaded that people assume that my parents have spent a miserable 50 years together, implying they should've been divorced long ago but they just held to the commitment regardless of the hate between them, it breaks my heart -- not for my parents, but for the world.

I'm a bit dark and jaded myself -- if you've read my blog long enough, you know this about me.  But when it comes to love, particularly what I've seen between my parents, well... I guess they're the main reason I still have hope.

In the weeks gone by the love my parents hold for each other has been in the forefront of my mind.  I have memories stuck in my head where I came home from school to find my dad scrubbing the front door because my mom was throwing a Christmas party.  She had made some random comment about the damn door being dirty and my dad went out on his hands and knees and scrubbed that stupid thing, without her asking him to, simply because he didn't want Mom to feel embarrassed about anything.  And I've remembered stories of her taking up fights with people that Dad would've preferred she didn't but she just couldn't help it because those particular people were running Dad through the mud and she wasn't going to stand for it.  And god bless her, the fire she can light because of the love for her husband is enough to intimidate anyone into submission.  I could go on for pages like this, but the point that sticks in my head is that these two people were a team -- they chose 50 years ago to experience life together, and they never stopped doing it.

I'm not going to pretend for a minute that any of this is a fairy tale or some kind of magical bull shit.  I didn't show up in their lives until somewhere around 11 years into their marriage.  And I don't know the ins and outs of their relationship, but reading between the lines of certain stories they've told, I do know that they've had their moments and there were times of great struggle and much decision making and work.  The point is, they did "the work."

50 years is "The Golden Anniversary."  Gold is, and I am no chemist, one of the most non-corrosive elements you can find.  It isn't indestructible, but you would seriously have to go out of your way to find the one or two things that can destroy it (kinda like Superman -- you gotta bring the cryptonite before you can truly try to take that guy down and, even then, you will most likely fail).  And my parents haven't just put up with each other because they're old school, they truly LOVE each other.  Hell... I can go visit them and my dad will still say, even though my mom is 71 and looks nothing like she did at 19 when he met her, "look at your mother... isn't that the most beautiful woman you've ever seen?"  At that moment, yes... yes Dad... she is the most beautiful woman I've ever seen... How could she not be?  There is most definitely something beautiful about both my mother and my father that allows them to have that moment, 50 years later.  Yes, Dad, Mom is the most beautiful woman I've ever seen and, at this point, you're the most beautiful man I've ever seen because I have yet to be loved the way you love my mother.

(And I will say this -- my parents never stopped going on dates and they never stopped having romantic getaways.  They did it when we were kids and they do it now.  My parents always made it a point to keep the romance alive, and I do think that is where a world of couples fail.  Your kids are going to grow up and leave you, your mate will still be there when the kids have gone so...)

In conclusion, my dad stood up and told a brief story about some young man asking him how a couple makes it to 50 years of marriage.  My dad's response was something like, "I really don't know except for it's a lot like breathing -- you're not alive unless you do it."  I have this terrible feeling that the answer he gave that man went nowhere, but for me that means -- being with your companion, your mate, is more important than anything you could possibly do without that person so... at some point it becomes like breathing because you would die if this person wasn't walking alongside you so... you do what it takes to make sure your friend, your lover, your companion stays with you and sometimes... you just breathe.

Similarly, I had made a comment to my mother about how I will never, at my age now, reach the "50 year" accomplishment.  Her response to me was, "Ultimately, it's not about the quantity, it's about the quality."  And what that meant to me was... Mom and Dad were GOLDEN the day they met.  They were two rocks that had a gold vein running through them.  Sure, they lived long enough together to reach the 50 year mark, but for both of them this has been golden from the beginning -- they always had the love that was strong enough to withstand the elements, they just happened to live long enough to put the number behind it.

God bless my parents.  I love them.  I am very proud to be the daughter of two people that see the quality in the love they have shared.  And at the end of the day, they may have been two glorious pieces of white shining quartz, eroded by air and water and fire, but they had this gold vein between them.  And while the quartz may have worn away, even in the midst of the fire, the gold vein between them remained strong and malleable, and they were able to adjust and mold and reconvene and keep the love and life between them the way they chose to see fit because, well, that is what it means to LOVE --  trust all things, believe all things, forgive, be kind, and hope... they have not failed... they CHOSE to be In Love.  And I love them for doing that.

Happy 50th Anniversary to my parents.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Lectures From Sunshine

Sunshine:  BLOG WITHDRAWLS!!!! …and that's all I'm gonna say … and while you were up last night being silly drinking wine you could've wrote a blog! …because i NEED ONE!!!!!  It’s been crazy hell for me in the personal realm and i need a damn blog to read to lift me up and make me feel better… and i said that was all i was going to say but i had to keep going

Pandora:  Hahaha!  I’m sorry.  I have been insanely busy the past month.  I will be blogging this weekend, I promise.

Sunshine:  …and writing in the book you’re working on… because you owe me…  this is your reminder…

Pandora:  Yes, I do owe you. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Meant To Be

The phrase "if it's meant to be" came up in conversation recently.  I responded with something like, "there is no meant to be, there is only right now."  Of course, that comment of mine was pretty vague and it lingered with my own thoughts for quite some time.  I finally decided that to some extent Life has bested me at the "romantic notion game" and while some people may see it as Jaded Pandora, I see it as Realistic Pandora.

"Meant To Be" is pretty much synonymous with "destiny" or "fate."  And to make an already complicated notion even more difficult, most people fail to notice that their idea of "meant to be" is really "what I want it to be."  It is an overly romanticized idea that has no practical or realistic value.

I remember driving down the road at 26 and thinking about how I never dreamed I would be a divorced woman, how I never dreamed I would be a single parent, and how disappointed I was to be in that situation and hadn't followed through with my original plan to stay the academic course all the way through my PhD.  And I remember thinking that I was certain love was real when I made the decision to marry, and I was certain it was "meant to be" when I dropped out of college to marry this man.  And I remember telling myself, as I drove down the road, that I guess it wasn't "meant to be," because if it had been it wouldn't have gone down the way it did.

And I remember pulling myself up by the boot straps and getting myself back into college and eventually graduate school because having my PhD and becoming a college professor was "meant to be."  What I didn't see coming was another round of custody battles that would eventually deplete me financially, psychologically, and emotionally.  What I didn't see coming was that the needs of my child would ultimately far outweigh my need to be a professor.  And what I didn't see coming was that I would have to choose between what I perceived to be my purpose and my "destiny" and what was truly my purpose and "meant to be" -- Mother and Sole Provider.

And I remember fighting my way into the corporate world, and I remember talking my way into a comfortable position and I remember thinking, "this wasn't supposed to be how it went down, but here I am."  And I remember keeping men at bay because they were not to be trusted, and I remember creating a list for myself for what I wanted in a man, were I to magically meet The One.  And I remember thinking that, a few years after I had made that list, I truly believed I had met The One and I once again believed this was "meant to be," but we all know how that one turned out so... shame on me... shame on my overly romantic tendencies and my apparent failure in realizing that I truly have no fucking idea what is "meant to be," except for everything that has happened to me thus far was "meant to be."

Truth is, the only thing that is "meant to be" is that I exist in this world, that I have a path I'm walking and while I dream and plan and do my best to become the vision in my head, there's no telling what may happen when the random storm passes through.  I'm like The Dream House that I always wanted, but I was dumb enough to build it in tornado alley and every so often I have to look at the rubble that was left behind and rebuild.  Each time I tell myself I will make it bigger and better and stronger and it will withstand the elements.  Unfortunately, the nature of the beast is unpredictable, and even if I were to move out of tornado alley, I still have to contend with earthquakes and hurricanes and floods and hell... maybe even a little war here and there.  The only thing I truly know is what is happening right now.

Right now there are people that had once been a part of my journey down this road, but they have taken other turns or left or passed away.  Then there are the people that crossed my path long ago that still seem to walk alongside me and I love them and enjoy them.  And then there are new people that cross my path and touch my life in new and exciting ways, and I can hope they stick around a while and become strong and solid relationships like the people I have beside me already, but one never knows what the road will bring and one can never predict the outcome of "meant to be," nor does anyone really know what was "meant to be" until a while after it has come and gone so... I see no point in going there.

Walk the walk, ride the wave, hold on tight, and enjoy.
Dream if you want to, dreams are good, but ... tread lightly with "meant to be."

Monday, May 21, 2012

21st Century Potluck

I grew up the daughter of a Baptist Minister.  Back in the 70s and  80s, in the Baptist environment, we had potlucks all the time.  We had Wednesday night Bible study potlucks, and Thursday night potlucks that I'm not sure why we had them but we had them, and we had Friday night potlucks which, again I can't really remember why we had them but I can assume it was because it was a Friday night and we were Baptist so you really weren't allowed to go play cards or dance or go out for a drink or anything so you might as well have a pot luck, right?  And then there were Sunday night potlucks sometimes (because in those days Baptists were big on Sunday night church, in addition to the three morning services we already had, and so it made sense to break up the monotony sometimes and have a potluck and eat while simultaneously singing some hymns or something).  And then, of course, there were the church picnics that were also potlucks, but... at least you had a playground and maybe even a swimming pool somewhere close by so you could potentially make it through the entire day without enduring the "potluck" part of things.

I can't fully explain my aversion to the potluck.  I have mental screen shots of being somewhere around 5 years old where my dad would walk me through the potluck line and put a little bit of everything on my plate without asking me if I wanted it or not (and, having been a parent now, I'm sure he didn't ask me because he knew I needed to eat something and he also knew I would say no to everything on the table).  And I remember sitting at the table and seeing some strange green bean casserole on my plate, and some homemade potato salad, and some homemade macaroni salad, and some random vegetables (including radishes), and maybe I was lucky enough to have a piece of fried chicken (but it always seemed to be homemade fried chicken that was dry and bland and overcooked so... there goes that hope of tastiness...).  And then there was always some crazy green jello mold thing with cottage cheese in it and... well... there never seemed to be anything that my mom cooked on my plate and... at 5 years old, you really knew nothing except for the fact that your mom's cooking was trustworthy and everything else on your plate at the moment was questionable.

Years later, I find myself in a position where I'm at a potluck with my own daughter and it's a completely different experience.  For my daughter, she will most likely have bad ass memories of "potlucks" that I never had.  Why?  Because the potluck these days seems to be planned by that select group of ladies that have husbands wealthy enough to let them stay home and do nothing but make the home and such.  So these ladies plan an event and designate it as a potluck, but the majority of us are working so... this means you don't get green bean casseroles or crazy jello that comes from molds with cottage cheese somewhere in the mix.  This means that you get people that quickly drive through McDonalds and buy fifty 99 cent cheeseburgers and you get to stand in line and watch the woman in charge of the potluck hand out cheeseburgers from the paper bag to anyone willing to take them.  This means that there's about five boxes of Hot-N-Ready pizzas from Little Ceasars on the potluck table because another working parent stopped there on the way home.  This means that there are buckets and buckets of Kentucky Fried Chicken on the table which is awesome because you know FOR CERTAIN it isn't overcooked and dry because, well, it's KFC (and if I weren't a Celiac, I'd totally eat that).  And sure, there's the one lady that had the time to make a homemade pot of Chicken Albondiga Soup, but there's also the one lady that still had enough guilt in her soul to drive all the way home from work and quickly chop up some lettuce and put in a bowl and try to pass it off as a salad, completely oblivious to the fact that the women behind the potluck table were wondering what the hell to do with that shit because there was no dressing or anything, just a bowl of lettuce.

I'd still like to take a moment to tell that lady that I think she's a bad ass for two reasons: 1) in the face of pizza and cheese burgers and fried chicken, the kids weren't going to eat any kind of salad anyway, even if she had thrown in some cranberries, feta cheese, sunflower seeds, bacon bits, and some bad ass vinaigrette dressing and 2) I'm a Celiac, and as bland and tasteless as that shit may have been, it was one of the only things on that stupid table I could eat and thank God I was smart enough to notice the Ranch dressing in the veggie tray behind it (which also reminds me, I need to give props to the genius that thought up the pre-made veggie tray because I'm pretty sure your mom was the one that always took the time to chop up the veggies and present them at the church potluck on her best china, and you were smart enough to grow up and make millions because you knew the future of the working world and people like me would forever bring the pre-made veggie tray to social events... God bless you, whoever you are... you are a smart and insightful individual and I wish I would've met you and married you and lived happily ever after off the fact that all you did was make millions from a really simple idea that everyone else was too dumb to figure out).

I don't know what else to say except, sort of like American politics, it may be time to recognize the traditional way of doing things doesn't apply anymore. If you have a situation where everyone is making a quick and random stop just to include a food item which could be McDonald's cheese burgers and Little Caesars Hot N Ready pizzas, you may need to realize that this is a time in American History where the art of the potluck (if you can call it that) is completely lost.  We live in a time of convenience.  And, at least in my world, it may be more beneficial to send out a memo saying, "We want to throw a get together, please contribute 10 to 20 dollars, and we will have ... cater the event."  I guarantee you, knowing myself and people like myself, that will fly.  Why?  Because we will probably spend that amount to feed our family random restaurant dinner or drive thru something or other on any given night of the week anyway so... go ahead, pool that money and make something happen.  But... I know what I'm saying makes everyone go into some kind of irrational tizzy that makes no sense to them or myself (that is to say, when they try to explain their irrational tizzy I have this moment where my mind breaks down because I can't figure out why this is a problem when it makes perfect sense to me but... okay... have it your way... I'll bring potato salad that came from the Albertson's deli across the street if I have to just to keep the potluck peace, even if no one eats it because there are five other potato salads from Costco on the table to choose from -- no one has time to peel potatoes and boil them and mix them in some strange mayo goo anymore either, but it still seems to be a potluck staple).

None the less, someone has to be the voice of potluck reason and well... at least tonight... it's me.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Queen's Dilly

(Pandora visits the satellite office)

Pandora:  (knocks on the cubicle wall) Caesar?

Caesar:  (turns around) Pandora?

Pandora:  Caesar...

Caesar: PandOora...  What?  Is today your day to step into Office Vietnam?

Pandora:  Apparently.  And considering the rants running through my head right now, it's also surround me with stupid people day.

Caesar:  Really?  I thought that was yesterday.  Is this becoming an epidemic?  Should we send out a bulletin?

Pandora:  Well, we may need to submit a warning to our fellow members of the intelligent underground.  There does seem to be something amiss in the universe right now.

Caesar:  Are you about to make a Mercury retrograde comment again?

Pandora:  No.  Although, I should probably ask around about that one.  I was informed that Venus is retrograde for the next six weeks, but that's supposed to affect one's love life, of which I have none, so I think I'm in the clear, but it may affect you and... I suppose that could be why so many stupid people are drawn to me right now.  I mean... something has to go wrong with my public relations right?  No love life but... if a planet needs to screw with me then why not send some stupid people, right?

Caesar:  Huh.  I don't know, but thanks for telling me about that.  Now I will pay attention to things that happen and I will have an excuse ready to go.

Pandora:  Just remember, that excuse is only valid through the end of June.

Caesar:  Hmmm...  (looks at his email)  Oh hey!  Dilly bars!  By the printers!

Pandora: ...dilly what?

Caesar:  (looks at her like she's stupid)  BARS...

Pandora:  Dilly bars?

Caesar: ...

Pandora:  I'm serious.  I've never heard of this before.

Caesar: How could you not?!  How sheltered have you been ALL YOUR LIFE... AGAIN?!  This is your basic ice cream product from Dairy Queen!!!

Pandora: (shrugs)

Caesar:  That's it.  Wait here.  (goes around the corner and comes back with a  Dilly Bar)

Caesar:  This, my friend, is a Dilly Bar.

Pandora:  um... that looks somewhat Freudian there.

Caesar:  Oh yeah... I am about to lick this big chocolate nipple!  

Pandora: ...

Caesar:  This is nothing but a big choconip with an even larger areola.  In a matter of seconds, let's just say this dilly will never be the same again.  (picks the thing up and ever so gently kisses it)

Pandora: ... 

Caesar:  You may want to walk away now.  You aren't going to want to see what's about to go on over here.

Pandora: Right.  Well, I do have a valid question.

Caesar:  What?  You want to lick my chocolate nipple?

Pandora: No, I don't want to lick your chocolate nipple.

Caesar: Oh, okay.  No problem.  I offer it more than I probably should anyway.  (continues to work the dilly)  Besides, Venus is retrograde right now, so I'm all confused. 

Pandora:  Seriously... can you please refrain from working the dilly and answer my question.

Caesar:  The Dilly... she's going to melt soon if you don't and the only place this baby needs to be melting is in my mouth.  

Pandora:  ...

Caesar:  All right, shoot.

Pandora:  I need to know the contact information for the engineer you're working with on the 83rd job.

Caesar: (working the dilly)  Engineer?  What engineer?

Pandora:  You know... the engineer in charge of the project for the city?  The main contact?

Caesar:  (not looking at anything but the stupid dilly ice cream bar)  Engineer in charge?  Main contact?

Pandora:  Oh my god... You know what I'm talking about.  Perhaps Project Manager is a better title?  Does that ring a bell?

Caesar:  Oh!  (licks the chocolate off his lips)  That guy!  What, you need me to call him?

Pandora:  No, I need to call him.

Caesar: (licking the bottom side of the dilly)  So you want me to dial him now and put him on speaker.

Pandora:  No, man, I need you to give me his contact info and I will call him myself.

Caesar:  (loving on the dilly)

Pandora:  dude... will you please just take a bite out of that thing already?

Caesar:  Don't be a hater, Pandora.  They do have Buster Bars.  You may need to pick one up on the way home.  You're extremely uptight right now.

Pandora:  ...

Caesar:  All right.  His name is George Zingerbacher.  Let me finish having my moment here with Dilly and I'll send you his info.  What you got against this thing anyway?  It is the yummiest nipple I've ever had.

Pandora:  well... look at it.  They so did that on purpose.  It has to be a representation of some lady somewhere.  

Caesar:  Of course it is!  It's a representation of the Queen Herself!  

Pandora:  Awesome...  The Queen's man had pet names for her glory and he made a chocolate ice cream bar to commemorate them and now everyone is excited to lick the Dilly.

Caesar:  Dang... This conversation is starting to remind me of that Family Guy episode where Peter turned into Mrs. Garrett's chest.

Pandora: What?

Caesar:  You know, Mrs. Garrett?  From The Facts Of Life?

Pandora:  Oh, sure, but those would be strawberry vanilla, not chocolate.

Caesar:  You're right.  ... oh man... that's a bad image now.  I need to think of something else.

Pandora:  How about you think about the Zingerbacher guy and get me his contact info.

Caesar:  Good idea.  (turns to his computer to print off the contact info and starts singing)  "You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have, the facts of life.  ...the facts of LIFE!"

Pandora:  Please don't do that.

Caesar:  "there's a time you gotta go and show you're growing now you know about the facts of life... the facts of LIFE!"

Pandora:  This is disturbing me.

Caesar: (hands Pandora the contact info)  Now, you go do what you need to do here, but I want you to promise me that you will go get a Buster Bar and chill out.

Pandora:  (takes the paper from his hand)  Yes, I will be sure to do that.

Caesar:  Leave me and Dilly alone now.  We need some alone time.  

Pandora:  (chuckles)  Thanks.  Take it easy, man.

Caesar:  Orale...

Pandora:  Simon...

(as Pandora walks away from his cubicle she hears him break into one last lyric:  "The facts of life are all about yooooooooooooooou....")

Pandora:  ...sigh...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Silver Chip

It’s been 9 months. Today is day #270. It is important to note that I have stopped counting, somewhat.  I mean, I used to count because it hurt.  Now I'm just counting because I committed to count out to 365.  In other words, I have reached the point of counting out of obligation to the task I set for myself as opposed to counting because I'm keeping track (if that makes any sense at all).

In the past 9 months I’ve experienced rage and bitterness, absolute sadness and depression, self-awareness and corner turning, and now this.

In the past three months, since achieving my “bronze chip” in February, I’ve made a conscious effort to shake off the bitter. It still pops up every once in a while, but I’ve learned to catch it when it happens and shut it down.

I’ve done my best to understand that this man created a bit of hell for himself through his own actions and, while I know he hurt me and my daughter, I also know he devastated himself.

I’ve done my best, and continue to do my best, to remind myself that this is something that had to happen the way it did because, had I married the man the way he is, it would have ultimately ended far worse (and significantly less humorous) than being dumped by the dumpster via text message six days before the wedding.

I have taken the advice of one of my greatest friends to heart and I have worked to remember who I am and own it.

I have made a conscious effort to practice forgiveness, not because I hope to mend this relationship someday but because the lack of forgiveness is harmful to myself and to my daughter.   

I have taken the energy that was somewhat destroying me and turned it into something that reconstructed me.

I have focused on my intellect.  I have focused on my creativity.  I have focused on my daughter.  I have focused on the few personal goals and dreams I have left.  And I have been better for it.

I have three more months before I hit my year mark.  To be honest, like I said, I'm not even sure why I'm counting anymore, other than the fact that I made a point to do so -- I made a point to track my journey of recovery and I gave myself a year.  And so... I think it needs to be said that in 9 months, as much as this bull shit hurt when it went down, I like who I've become, and continue to become, in the process.  I like what appears to be rising from the ashes.  I like embarking on something new.  And I like, for the first time in my life of weird ass bull shit experiences that I've had, that I actually paid attention to my own metamorphosis as I went through this lame ass shit.  (because most of the time, people just go through it blindly and wake up one day saying something like, "damn... I'm better than I was before, go figure!" and at least this time I have paid attention to the details leading up to the moment)

As Forest Gump said, shit happens... and his mama said, "you got to put the past behind you before you can move on," and sometimes if you just keep on running, even when you don't feel like it, you will eventually reach that point when you realize you're ready to go home.

My name is Pandora, and I have successfully completed 9 months of rejection recovery. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Growing Pains

All right, so there is a new website for this in the works.  It's not completed yet, but it is nearly ready.  I am extremely excited about this and it feels like a commitment of some kind, to myself, and one that I've never made before.  Strange part is, while I'm waiting for this, I seem to have lost my inspiration.  It's like I've fallen off the wagon or something and I'm waiting to get back on my feet before I know that I will be going on the long distance run of my life.  Bear with me.

Writing is the one true thing that makes me happy and feeds my soul.  Writing... is the one dream I have left.  Making you laugh, making you cry, making you angry, and making you have the sappiest warm fuzzies here and there that make you puke even as you enjoy them makes me the happiest person on Earth (at least in my own mind).

Again, I say, bear with me.  And... dream with me too, because ... dreaming and chasing the dream down is what makes life beautiful.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Something Bit Me!

Aside from the fact that I love the mild winter here, my favorite time of year in Phoenix is spring.  The weather is awesome, particularly in the evening, and I love to sit outside.  The problem is... shit bites me!

The hell is that?  I live in the damn desert, for God's sake!  It's dry here!  Really dry here!  If you live here you have to drink twelve thirty-two ounce glasses of water a day just to shed your skin like a healthy reptile!  There's none of this "water water everywhere" thing going on, and generally that is required for the mosquito world, so will someone please explain to me how the damn mosquitoes find their way here and then select me as their favorite target?!

Creatures... they are AWFUL creatures!  I can't find a reason for their existence in this ecosystem aside from keeping the human population level in some kind of death toll balance.  I absolutely hate them!  This is a time when I wear sun dresses, this is a time when I show some skin, and this is a time when they decide to mark up my flesh with red bumps that itch and piss me off in more ways than one!  Is this Florida?  NO!  This is the desert!  Someone call the feds and tell them we have an immigration problem!  The mosquitoes have decided they like it better here and we can't stop them from coming and stealing our lifeblood and leaving stupid marks on our body right before we decide to dress to the nines and impress someone!

Seriously... I was out on my patio the other night, and I when I came back in there were two glorious red bites on my left arm.  When I was at work the next day, talking to a specific gentleman about a certain document I needed him to sign, I noticed that he kept focusing on the bumps on my arm.  It really started to bug me.  I mean, if he were focused on my cleavage or something at least I would know I had him distracted enough to sign anywhere without thinking much about it, but when staring at inflamed red bumps on my arm I can only imagine what could be flying through his mind:  "Whoa... Is she ill?  Is that a disease?  Does she have chicken pox or shingles or something?  Oh my god... she's touched the same pen and paper she's asking me to touch!  Am I going to get what she's got?!"

I'm not kidding.  The man was entranced by the stupid bites on my arm.  I finally looked at him and said, "Yes, I got bit by some mosquitoes or something the other night."  And after he realized that he had been caught staring at the more unattractive parts of my body he replied, "Well honey, that's just because you're so sweet."  Really...?  Just sign the damn easement.  I know what paranoid thoughts were flying through your head old man.  Sign it.

I did leave that moment irritated.  I did leave that moment thinking about how I need to eat more garlic or something because, it works on vampires so... might as well give it a shot.  And... because I'm so sweet?!  ugh... that's such an old one... will someone come up with something new?  Seriously, I'm not that sweet.  I may have been prior to ... hell, I don't know... 15?  But I'm full of piss and vinegar these days and they're still biting the shit out of me.  How about you say something to me like, "Well... something's gotta bite you because apparently you've not had any luck in the bedroom lately so... at least the mosquitoes think you're worth it."  Man... if dude had said that to me I would've laughed out loud and actually paid him a dollar to sign that damn document.  But no... that's not how it goes.  Shit bites you, leaves itchy ugly marks, and then some idiot tells you it's because you're sweet.

Are you reading this blog?  I'm not sweet, man... I... am... not... sweet... and apparently the mosquitoes like it that way.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Expressive Cad Files

So, have you ever wondered what your life looks like to one of your engineer friends?  If you're like me, you have, because most of the time (as much as you love them) you are always wondering if they really get it.  Today, as I did my best to explain to my engineer friend what I was going through, she suddenly sent me this:

This is my experience in the last week and a half to my engineer friend via cad file.  (cad file is something only a certain group of you will know)  I'd have to say she did a pretty nice job on the chi chis, though I do despise the fact that the woman that is stabbing me in the back has better chi chis than I do, particularly since hers are purchased and mine are aux natural.  I would still have to say, she did an excellent job and these are better stick figures than I could create on my own.  The one part she was unable to represent was the part where my nerves are so shot I've been throwing up for no good reason for the past five days.  (leave it to an engineer to forget to represent the part where one's emotions  overrule logic and reason to the point of vomiting in a toilet bowl approximately a pound a day for no good reason aside from the fact that your jacked up world is gray, not black and white). 

I will, however, cherish forever that this is a time stamp in my life and done via cad file.  I just pray that I don't accidentally open this bullshit up in a business meeting when I meant to open the file for the Power Rd. Project instead.  

(god knows... even metaphorically speaking... this is nothing like Power Road...)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Random Thoughts

I kicked a midget once.  I know that sounds horrible, but I had no choice.  He completely invaded my personal space in the worst way.  I mean... what would you do if you were me and you were sitting on a bar stool and a drunk midget jumped into your lap screaming something like "OH!  I WANT YOUR FISHY!" right before diving his head into your holy of holies?!  I so kicked him... I kicked him all the way across the room.  God forgive me.

I'm not sure, but I think it may be a mortal sin if you fart in an elevator right before you step out and let other people walk inescapably into it as the doors shut behind them.  I'm not kidding.  I think that may be evil.  Why would you do that?!  Why would you fart in the elevator just so innocent people can be tortured on the way up to the fifth floor?!  Shame... shame on you elevator farting man.... (melt my face off why don't you...)

Speaking of melting my face off, if you have a cat that pees on your clothes, please don't wear those clothes to work and then come speak to me in my cubicle.  Thank you.

...the hell is up with this Wedge Salad bull shit?  Have you ever been unfortunate enough to order one of those stupid things, because you saw the words bacon and blue cheese crumbles in the description and thought it sounded perfect, only to have a plate brought out to you with a quarter wedge of some stupid Ice Berg lettuce, a fucking steak knife, and some bacon bits and blue cheese crumbles on the side?  ...the hell is that?!  That's not a salad!  That's not even art!  What is that?  Some creative way to get rid of a completely worthless vegetable that no one really eats any more so you have to trick us into ordering it?!  Dude... don't do it.  If you see the words "Wedge Salad" on a menu, do not be deceived!  DO NOT BE DECEIVED!!!  They are merely fooling you into paying somewhere between 5 and 15 dollars for something I wouldn't even serve my pet rabbit!  (if I had a rabbit... I don't really think rabbits make good pets though... too many pellets)

Someone please tell the bus boy in the cafeteria that we are not impressed with his ability to swat the germs off the counter-tops with a towel.  Someone please teach him to use disinfectant and to perhaps do a little scrubbing.  I think that might be a useful skill and one that is most likely included in the job description.

I'm pretty sure that's not beef in the Delimex Beef Tacitos.

I'm also pretty sure one should never eat anything with the word Whiz in the title.  ...seriously...

A wise man once said, you should never apologize for smelling like bacon.  Not that what he said right there was wise, but I laughed when he said it and... he's pretty wise.

I decided that driving behind a bus on a two lane highway is like standing in line behind the guy that's buying 20 scratch off lottery tickets at the Quicky Mart.  ...so irritating...

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Eerie Street

Nobody's seeing nobody,
yet nobody's free
Nobody's hurting nobody... cuz
nobody's saying a thing.

Ya sure, you're waking up lonely,
but at least you can breathe.
There's always you in the mirror,
even if you can't see.

And all that you wanted
was somebody to share.
Pack up your heart, Dear,
and tell somebody who cares.

Ya sure, you wish you were faded,
but drinking ain't cheap.
And ya sure, you'd rather be laughing but...
you can't get nothing for free.

Nobody's loving nobody...
past themselves they can't see.
Ain't no love going on here
when You're all that You need.

And all that you wanted
was to spread some new wings.
Open your eyes, Dear,
and set yourself free.

Friday, May 4, 2012

"I like meat... uh... I mean..." -- Pandora

Okay, so at least three of you have now said something to me today about Blog Neglect.

I do apologize.

I have had, since Sunday, a series of little earthquakes, some good some bad, that left my head somewhere off in the stratosphere and way too clouded to think or create.  However, I do promise to pick the pace up this weekend and I will be back at the blogging with a vengeance -- this I promise.

Until then, remember to be selective when employing the word MEAT in a sentence.  You may regret using it if you don't think it through first. ;-)

Monday, April 30, 2012

Music Is In The Soul

We had a big music weekend.

I had been playing music with a certain group of people for the past few years and, if you'd read The Send Off , you can probably put together how huge that experience was for me and for Hope and for everyone else involved.

The send off was Sunday.  It was emotional, to say the least, but it was perfect and beautiful and I wouldn't have it any other way, but it left me in tears.

I connected with every single person involved, but there was one in particular that I connected with more than others.  And to play music in that space again was so normal and yet... so abnormal, all at the same time, and, like I said, it left me in tears.  But even as I cried through most of the afternoon, at some point I had to pull myself together because my daughter and I had another musical engagement to attend to.

Ingrid Michaelson is my most favorite female artist these days, and she was playing at The Rialto in Tucson that night.  So we got ready and made our way out to see her.

My head was hurting, my stomach was hurting, and my eyes were swollen.  We were driving down the highway listening to music and my daughter finally said, "Music is strange, if you think about it.  We make noises with our voices that are different from speaking and it moves us somehow.  Isn't it weird?"

I smiled at her and agreed that it was weird, but weird in a beautiful way, weird in what I would consider a God way.  No matter your background, everyone uses music to worship, to meditate, to focus, or to reach some sort of emotional level that they just can't do with silence or simple words -- the voice soars when singing in a way that it can't do while speaking, and the instruments build the emotion behind the lyrics and somehow the message is communicated in a poignant way that the written and spoken word just can't get across.  I don't know why humans have this part of them.  I have no logic, no reason, no science in my intellect that can explain it all, but as an artist, as a musician, I have to say that music is a gift from a higher source and it is something that makes us special and unique.  We tell stories in song, we express emotions in song, we communicate in ways that reach masses of people unlike any other.  Music is universal.

We shared that moment, which was enough to bring me out of my tear induced headache for a while, and we got to Tucson, and we stood in line, and we took our seat in the theater, and then... the opening band came out.

They came out with their tight harmonies and their excellent musicianship and their poignant lyrics.  And as I sat there feeling the weight of my own sadness, brought on by memories that I had tried to bury, as I sat there with melancholy at my side, they started to sing songs that lifted me out of the dark -- songs of love and experience.

I had no clue who they were, but they were amazing and they moved me, just like I had explained to her in the car -- they told stories, in song, that were universal and they spoke on a human level as they sang:

...can't stop a heart that's bound to break, but you don't have to let it bleed, so if we're both here in darkness, I'll be the first to shine the light, I won't let you lose your voice here, screaming into the night .... I know... you're breaking down.  You'll make it through, but I can't do it for you.  

And their voices raised in the most beautiful harmony, and the emotion rose with the instruments in such a way that we all, every single one of us, suddenly felt inspired.

I watched one person after another, people who simply came to see the headliner, walk in closer and closer to the stage in an attempt to get close and be a part of this musical experience, wanting to hear and feel what was expressed in song, and knowing that, on some life level, they were a part of it.

And yes, music is a gift and it is, in a world of war and political bull shit, the one gift that humans seem to have gotten right.

Harper Blynn -- Bound To Break

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Gently Weeping

Something came to an end today
Something left me in tears
and I won't play my guitar
but I would give anything to hear yours weeping.

I remember wishing I had six strings
so you could make me sing,
but today I remembered
I sing with no one the way I sing with you.

Something left me today
Something that brings me to tears
and I place my guitar in the closet
but I would give anything to hear yours weeping

I remember waltzing in the ethers
all heart and soul and voice and distortion
but today I remember how this all went down
I hurt with no other the way I hurt with you

Something faded today
Something that drenched me in tears
and I shove my music in the corner
ashes to ashes and dust to dust
and I put my microphone away
and put it all behind me
and I leave it all to collect dust in the attic
and I throw this and I throw that
and my head hurts from crying
but still...
I would give...
I would give  anything to hear that guitar
gently weep.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Charcoal Burnt & Slightly Burnt

Pandora and Sunshine in the lunchroom.

Pandora: (takes a bite of the chicken salad) Mmmm....  this must be why all the other meats try to taste like chicken.

Sunshine: ...huh?

Pandora:   You know... Every time someone eats something strange like snake or alligator and you ask them what it's like, they say it tastes like chicken.

Sunshine:   Ya, well, they lie.  I don't believe anyone when they say it tastes like chicken, because if it tastes like chicken and it ain't chicken, I'm not eating it.

Pandora:  (smiles and shakes her head)

Sunshine:  Mmmm... You smell that?  Smells like popcorn.  I should make me some popcorn.  I like the Kettle Corn, only I like mine slightly burnt... mmm.... so good!

Pandora:  What?  You like burned popcorn?

Sunshine: I said slightly burnt, and yes, it's good!  It smells the place up, but it's good!

Pandora: Are you crazy?  Burned popcorn from the microwave even?

Sunshine:  Well, ya!  What you think I'm gonna do up in here?  Bring in a Jiffy Pop?  Bring in the popcorn cart from the Carnival down the street peddlin' my own burnt popcorn stand?  Of course it's microwave.

Pandora: Oh man...  burned food is terrible enough as it is, but I'm completely paranoid about microwave burned.  That's radiation!  That's all... charcoal from another planet or something and now you're putting it in your mouth and saying it tastes good!  It's going to kill you!

Sunshine:  Hahaha...  I like all my food burnt.  Burnt chicken nuggets?  Mmm....  Or like those french fries you bake in the oven?  Bake 'em ten minutes longer than it says to -- perfect.  Mmm....

Pandora: What?!  Holy cow!  Why have I worked so hard to cook a nice meal for you when you come to visit?  Next time I screw up a meal and burn everything I should call you up and invite you over.  You eat that?  That's terrible!  I'm always so upset if I burn things.  They taste awful!

Sunshine: Well, I didn't say charcoal burnt, I just said slightly burnt.

Pandora: Leaving the french fries in the oven ten minutes longer than is required is charcoal burnt.

Sunshine: (pulls out her iPhone) Girl.... let me show you the difference between charcoal burnt and slightly burnt.

Sunshine: THIS is charcoal burnt:

Sunshine: This is SLIGHTLY burnt:

 Sunshine: Charcoal burnt fries:

Sunshine: Slightly burnt fries:

Sunshine: See the difference?

Pandora: Okay, yes.  But still.

Sunshine: Here, take a look at this:

 Sunshine: THIS is a chicken:

Sunshine: THIS is not:

Pandora: Aaaa!  Put that away! Don't show me that!  That hurts my heart!

Sunshine: What hurts your heart?

Pandora: The alligator!  That's TERRIBLE!

Sunshine: What's terrible?  Why does that hurt your heart?  The chicken ain't got no head!  At least the alligator still has his head and feet!

Pandora:  Are you nuts!  Chickens never have the head when prepared for cooking!  That poor little guy looks like a baby gator they just skinned and threw on there!  He even has a cute little face!  Oh... I'm gonna throw up.  Why did you show me that?

Sunshine: Well, I figured since I was showing you the difference between charcoal burnt and slightly burnt, I might as well show you the difference between chicken and alligator while I'm at it.