Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Definition of Communication: the process of to impart information from a sender to a receiver with the use of a medium.

The medium most often used are words, either typed in email or spoken. Words can relay information from one to another. Words can also be used to uplift or to beat down. To create or to destroy. Not that I think the world is black and white, far from it.

My point is that this week I have experienced a wide range of words with all their varied intentions. Most of the words I have encountered this week have been mundane. A few have been uplifting and a few have been destructive.

I spent some time with a friend the other night exchanging words in the form of stories about the past weekend, plans for the coming weekend, and funny stuff too. We are both having a tough week this week. Her family of origin and my mom of choice both need a good thwacking. (A huge oversimplification but hey, it is my blog so I get to choose what I put here.) The other night this friend and I discussed how the hurts from our respective families were affecting us. No conclusion reached but a bit of healing for my heart, hopefully for hers too.

I haven’t made the final decision about my MOC (mom of choice for the uninitiated). I don’t know if I am really walking away forever (emotionally if not physically) or if it is just for a little while to heal. I guess it comes down to is she really healthy for me (now or in the future…). However, I feel shitty about taking a cold analytical view at a human relationship, especially one so close for so long.

I should probably give a clue to what happened to get me to this point with MOC. Sunday evening, just after spending 5 hours at a clients house finally getting a laptop in good running order, I went by MOC house to drop off something I had borrowed and to hear about how church went. (yes I go to church…*rolling eyes*) I get there and the first words spoken to me were biting and snarky. Oooook, I think to myself that it is time to bail as fast as possible cause I know what is coming. Long story short I didn’t get the chance to bail politely and ended up getting really hurt later in the evening by just one sentence she spoke. (I think the rest of the working through MOC shit will be in a different post.)


Missed words can have an impact too. Another friend missed a one sentence statement that ended up causing a whole shitstorm of stuff. All worked out now but the feelings of regret are there and the lines of communication are still a bit strained. No way for me to comfort this person either… Damn.

Here I am today. Totally burned out from months of dealing with insane/unhealthy birthparents, hearing nothing from my daughter (miss you!!!), still doing the long distance marriage thing, studying Shamanism (more on that in another post cause its time to “come out”) dealing with the emotional turmoil from that, working for people who every day do something to make my work life impossible, getting ready to move-but no not yet-but the move is back on-but oh it is on hold again rollercoaster, while missing my best friend who had to walk in the wilderness for a little while.

I am trying to keep my spirits up but yesterday it was a bit to hard to manage and I crashed out. Today is better. Tomorrow we will see…

I am hopefully going to be spending the weekend camping. Rest, recoup, sort out, do the mental fall cleaning and hopefully make some decisions. Keep your fingers crossed that I can recharge my batteries this weekend.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

"An open apology to boomers everywhere"

I wish I had writen this. It is perfect in capturing my generation's view of the world compaired to Baby Boomers. One of my favorite parts in this piece is "There were smiling families, hugging and learning important lessons on every channel, while at home, our parents threw dishes at each other's heads. We went to church and learned about God's divine plan every Sunday, but all it took was one Dr. Seuss cartoon about an entire world that existed on a speck of dust, and our belief in God was deconstructed in an instant. Our childhoods were one long existential crisis. We ate Happy Meals while watching the space shuttle blow into tiny bits."

Perhaps it is one of my favorites because it does such a good job of summing up my growing up. (Yeah, I watched the shuttle Challanger blow up, not on TV, but from the vantage point of standing in the cold air just outside my school in Orlando Florida.)

Below is the entire article. Please click here for the original posting.

"An open apology to boomers everywhere

Your earnest, self-important prattle has gotten on Gen X nerves for decades. But now we finally get it.

By Heather Havrilesky

Nov. 7, 2008 Dear boomers: We're sorry for rolling our eyes at you all these years. We apologize for scoffing at your earnestness, your lack of self-deprecation, your tendency to take yourselves a little too seriously. We can go ahead and admit now that we grew tired of hearing about the '60s and the peace movement, as if you had to live through those times to understand anything at all. It's true, we didn't completely partake of your idealism and your notions about community. Frankly, it looked gray and saggy in your hands, these many decades later. Chanting "What do we want? Peace! When do we want it? Now!" at that rally against the Iraq war made us feel self-conscious in spite of ourselves. We felt like clichés. We wondered why someone couldn't come up with a newer, catchier, pro-peace slogan over the course of 40 years of protests. We knew we shouldn't care that some of you were wearing socks with sandals and smelled like you'd been on the bus with Wavy Gravy for the last three decades, but we cared anyway. We couldn't help it. It's just who we are.

And look, we really did stand for something, underneath all the eye-rolling. We're feminists, we care about the environment, we want to improve race relations, we volunteer. We're just low-key about it. We never wanted to do it the way you did it: So unselfconscious, so optimistic, guilelessly throwing yourself behind Team Liberal. We didn't get that. We aren't joiners. We don't like carrying signs. We tend to disagree, if only on principle.

But when we watched Barack Obama's victory speech on Tuesday night, we looked into the eyes of a real leader, and decades of cynicism about politics and grass-roots movements and community melted away in a single moment. We heard the voice of a man who can inspire with his words, who's unashamed of his own intelligence, who's willing to treat the citizens of this country like smart, capable people, worthy of respect. For the first time in some of our lifetimes, we believed.

Suddenly it makes sense, what you've been trying to tell us about John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. Sure, we knew all about their roles in history, we'd learned about them in a million classes, through countless books and documentaries. Eventually, though, the endless memorials and tributes and TV specials and Oliver Stone films grew a little tedious. We didn't quite understand why you've never let those two go, why you'd speak so relentlessly about a better time.

But how could we have known? We were raised under Ronald Reagan, smiling emptily under a shellacked cap of shiny brown hair like a demon clown, warning us (With a knowing nod! With a wink!) about those evil Russians stockpiling nuclear arms thousands of miles away. We were raised by "The Love Boat" and "Eight Is Enough" and "Charlie's Angels," a steady flow of saccharine tales with clunky morals. There were smiling families, hugging and learning important lessons on every channel, while at home, our parents threw dishes at each other's heads. We went to church and learned about God's divine plan every Sunday, but all it took was one Dr. Seuss cartoon about an entire world that existed on a speck of dust, and our belief in God was deconstructed in an instant. Our childhoods were one long existential crisis. We ate Happy Meals while watching the space shuttle blow into tiny bits.

You and all your boomer friends read "I'm OK, You're OK," and tried desperately to avoid the mistakes of your parents, those stoic alcoholics of the so-called Greatest Generation. But you couldn't quite put your ideals into motion. As our parents, you told us to tell you anything, to be honest, to come to you with our problems, but when we did, you were uncomfortable and dismissive. You didn't really want to know how we felt. When we were emotional, you flashed back to that time your drunk mother threw the jack-o'-lantern into the street. You loved us, but you were passive-aggressive and avoidant in spite of your best intentions.

You did your best. But we rose out of that murky soup of love and confusion, of stated beliefs without the actions to back them up, and we grew cynical. We doubted even the most heartfelt, genuine statements. We didn't want to be blind to our own faults, like you were, so we paraded our faults around, exalted in our shortcomings. The worst thing, to us, was to not see ourselves clearly. The worst thing was to not be in on the joke.

So we cast a jaded eye on ourselves and each other. We drank too much and listened to obscure indie rock bands. We dressed badly and communicated in four-letter words and read books like "Infinite Jest" and "The Corrections," modern-day versions of your precious J.D. Salinger in which everyone is a fake and the high capitalist world is bought and sold and even the purest form of art is a commodity, not to be taken seriously. No one can be trusted, nothing is pure -- these are the truths we held to be self-evident.

No, we weren't always ready to get involved and make the world a better place, because the air we breathed was toxic with absurdity and excess. Consider our head-spinning trajectory: Mister Rogers, Son of Sam, the Iran hostage crisis, Catholic school, the Hite Report, "The Day After," Edwin Meese, rampant divorce, "Fantasy Island," "Endless Love," Jeffrey Dahmer, the Happy Meal, the Lockerbie air disaster, Toyotathons, John Updike, "Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire?" Do you see how far we had to come? How we were primed to hate our own country, and ourselves along with it?

And then most of us became mature, rational adults at the exact moment that a reckless frat boy boomer became our president. Just when we were starting to understand how to be a part of the larger world outside, Al Gore had the election stolen right out of his hands in Florida, and then the twin towers collapsed before our eyes. At first we felt moved to act for the greater good in the wake of that tragedy. But then the whole country seemed to implode in front of us, from our invasion of two sovereign nations to the rise of celebrity culture to tanning beds to McMansions to Guantánamo Bay to Hummers and a big, faceless herd of humans in low-rider ass pants, chattering about whether or not to get Botox. It was so sad and pathetic that it was funny to us, even if it was only sad and pathetic to you. We urged you to get a sense of humor; we'd lived this way for years, after all. Things were much worse now, worse than ever -- but we'd always expected that they would be, eventually. That's one of the few rewards of being deeply pessimistic, of being trained to lower our expectations, of living in a constant state of distrust and learned helplessness.

But on Tuesday night, that changed. We understood, for the first time in our lives, what it means to be a part of something big, without reservation. We saw the joy in that. We knew that history had been made, and we were happy to have made calls and sent money and knocked on doors for this man. We felt like we were really, truly participants in history, that we had a connection to those people in the crowd at Grant Park and those kids crying and celebrating in Compton on the local news. We were all Americans, together, old and young, black and white and Latino and Asian, and it didn't feel hokey or overly earnest to admit it for once.

So we apologize to you, for making fun of your earnestness. We never want to go back to our old way of thinking. Sure, we'll still be our irreverent, self-deprecating, exasperating selves, but we also want to believe. We want to follow this man, and trust him, and give him our full support. The world may not be transformed overnight, the economy may still struggle, Obama will surely make his share of mistakes. But we want to stand behind him, stand behind this country, and show our fellow Americans the same respect that this new leader of ours has shown all of us, in his words, in his manner and in his promises.

On Tuesday night, we could all sense, with open hearts, that this man meant what he said. There's no shame in seeing that clearly, together. There's no shame in trusting someone's words, and allowing those words to move and inspire you. There's no shame in throwing ourselves into this new future with full hearts, with tears in our eyes, unselfconsciously.

And in 15 years, our kids probably won't understand it when we talk about the night that Obama was elected president, either. They'll sigh deeply and roll their eyes and say they've heard this story a million times before, so please shut up about it already. They'll purse their lips and think about how our hair looks stupid and we smell like old cheese.

But maybe, just maybe, we can change the world enough that they'll get it. Maybe if we dare to hope, eventually hope won't feel quite so daring."

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Should have known...

Too much time on my hands this morning. Here are some of my favorite songs from when I was coming of age...

Spin me round by Dead or Alive.

Safety Dance by Men without Hats.

I Ran by A Flock of Seagulls

Pale Shelter - Tears for Fears

That last one there didn't get much airtime on the radio but that and Mothers Talk are a couple of my favorites. I am a huge fan of Tears for Fears to this day. Good to know that I am not the only one. *Giggle* (what is it about Tears for Fears fans and metal music??)

Shout 2000 - Disturbed

Stream of Consciousness

I am at the most interesting time of my current life.

I am healthy.

I am (mostly) free of the mental chains put on me by others.

My finances are still a mess.

I am ok with that.


I have a wonderful mom whom I was not born to.

She may not have given me physical life but she gave me emotional life.

Still does.

I have a daughter I don’t see.

Not by her choice or mine.

That choice was made by the woman who birthed me.

I was just diagnosed with endometriosis.

Been livin with it for years.

Getting treated for it and I feel much better.

I quit smoking 5 months ago the other day.

Yeah, I still miss it.

I quit drinking 5 years and 5 months ago.

Yeah, I still miss it.

I have great people in my life.

Friends who would do SecretSquirrelMissions at the drop of the hat. (bonus fuckeduplink here)

Don’t even need the hat really. (insert Palin wink here)

Friends who would (and have) walked through fire with/for me. (mystickisonfire!!!!)

And some who walked with me that I haven’t talked with in a long time. (Miss you!)

We all journey. Me, not as often as I should.

Journeys are good.

One place to another.

Where am I going?

Where have I been?

Where is my coffee?

There it is!

Now, where are my keys?

Sophie B Hawkins followed by Rush followed by Stevie Ray Vaughn covering Hendrix.

I have weird taste in mix CD’s I create. (insert another Palin wink here)

I should get going and get to mom’s place to help with the store room.

Yeah. Ok. Eventually.

Oh! My ADHD med. I need to go take that!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Nearly free at last...

Yesterday more than 65,340,608 people judged a man by the content of his character, not by the color of his skin.

Dr. King, here is your dream...

Today I am in an America where I have hope again. Hope for a better time to come. Not immediately but soon.

I decided to paste Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s speech below. I think we should all read this again, take it to heart, and remember that it was but forty-five short years ago that Dr. King gave this speech on the steps of the Lincoln memorial here in Washington DC.

Forty-Five years, 4 months and 23 days later in the same city, on the other end of the National Mall, the United States of America will innagurate its first Black man as President.

"I Have a Dream" by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
delivered 28 August 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.

"I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.
We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.

We cannot turn back.

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by a sign stating: "For Whites Only." We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until "justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream."¹

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest -- quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.
Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."²

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride,
From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that:

Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Free at last! Free at last!
Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!³