why I’ve been posting sporadically

I’ve been posting sporadically because I’ve been enjoying a month off before law school starts. I traveled to D.C. to see Andrea, to NYC to visit my cousins and Gaby, and to Tampa with Ceddy. I wrote the first of many rough drafts of a novel I’d like to publish.

The first (official) day of class is on Monday. After (almost) a week of orientation, digging into assignments, and meeting new people, I’m going to be as prepared as I can be. I’m simultaneously anxious & excited for this new adventure.

I won’t get to post as often as I have been for the past year, but I’m going to try to post during the weekends. Thank you for reading (or looking, if you’re browsing at my photos)!

There is no Hallmark card for those who have strained relationships with their parents.

A concept that boggles my mind is that we’re supposed to accept blood-relations as family under all circumstances. Gaby sent me a great article called “Motherless by Choice” by Katie Naum. Ms. Naum’s mother wasn’t loving or supportive — she inflicted psychological terror and abuse. After years of trying to build up her self-esteem while her mother constantly tore her down, Ms. Naum escaped. She has cut off contact with her mother and has become happier, healthier, and more mentally stable.

I commented on Ms. Naum’s article to congratulate her for working on becoming the great woman she always had the potential to be. I assured her that there are many of us who have toxic relationships with our parents, so ignore the naysayers and people who don’t understand. I couldn’t believe that numerous commenters shamed her for removing her mother from her life. People quoted the Ten Commandments about “honoring your father and mother.” People warned that she would regret not making peace with her mother when her mother died.

My relationship with my mother hasn’t been as toxic as the author’s with her mother. But I related to Ms. Naum’s feelings. For years, I attempted to be the perfect, obedient daughter that she and my father expected me to be. Any time I would disagree with them, they would berate me for being ungrateful and insolent. My father constantly itemized how much supporting me cost. I blindly accepted everything they said as true. I thought my worth was based on their pride in me.

Father’s Day is on Sunday. I’ll be in Alpharetta for the day, as Brie needed someone to watch her while her nanny makes lunch and my parents go to church. I’m looking forward to having sister time without our parents or her nanny. I didn’t attend Mother’s Day, as I took a trip to California with Andrea and Shaina, instead. I don’t regret missing lunch with my mother that day — she was still harassing me because I don’t make spend enough time with “the family.” (Even if for the past several years, I would go there for lunch or dinner once a week. I don’t know any other people in their twenties who make that kind of effort, especially with parents who are the vortex of negativity in their lives.) Raf is in charge of getting our card, but there is no Hallmark card for those who have strained relationships with their parents.

Family’s involvement in your life should be conditional, just as it is with anyone else. Sharing genetics shouldn’t be a free pass to repeatedly tear someone down. Birthing someone doesn’t give you the right to consistently scream that you hope she fails, since her goals don’t aligned with yours. On the surface, I’ll be civil. But I can never be sincere about celebrating the days that praise the two biggest haters in my life.

(actual) nice guys (don’t) finish last

The doorbell chimed and woke Bea with a start. She slid from the couch to the floor, adjusting her blanket cocoon. (A blanket cape gave her more mobility.) She wiped sleep from her eyes and ambled to the front door. Not bothering to check the peep hole, she unlocked and opened it.

“Hey…?”

Bea couldn’t blame her confusion on her waning fever. A vaguely familiar gangly guy stood on her front porch. His name escaped her (or had never been committed to her memory).

“Hey Bea!” The disheveled hipster thrust a cup of melting ice cream into her hands. “I knew you were craving it, so I thought I’d stop by with some.”

Her eyes widened. “Are you psychic?”

“You tweeted about it this afternoon.”

“Do I know you?”

Ice cream dripped from the paper cup onto her hands. Her fingers stuck together as she gripped the cup tighter.

“I’m Miller. We met at The Cults show a couple weeks ago?”

Bea squinted and cocked her head.

“Your line was when you asked if I was named after the shitty beer –”

“Oh. You’re that guy. For future reference, that wasn’t a line.”

“Sure it was. You were negging me.”

That was your justification to stalk me on Twitter?”

“You wouldn’t give me your number, so you gave me your Twitter handle.”

“Being hammered makes me pity assholes like you.”

“Why am I an asshole? I brought you ice cream because you’re sick!”

“I mocked you at the bar because you were quizzing some poor girl wearing a Toro Y Moi shirt –”

“I just wanted to know if she was a real fan or –”

“–just a poser? How old are you, fourteen?”

“Twenty-seven.”

“Get out of my house. And take this with you.” Bea threw the Coldstone cup at his car and cheered when it splattered on his windshield.

“What the hell is wrong with you?! I was just trying to be nice –”

“That’s the problem with guys like you, Miller –”

“Guysplural — like me? I’m one of a kind! Women don’t appreciate men who treat them well –”

“– you say you’re nice, but are incensed when a woman won’t fuck you because of your niceness.”

“I never said I was –”

“Your creepiness says it for you.”

“So because you’re not interested that makes me a creep?”

Exactly!

The door slammed behind Bea. She locked and dead-bolted it. Disgusted, she shuffled to the kitchen and scrubbed her hands clean.

The Heist

A little boy pedaled his rusted red tricycle down the sidewalk toward Venice Beach. The street was deserted. Surfers, vendors, and street performers weren’t awake, much less at the boardwalk at sunrise.

Brakes screeching to a stop beside a No Parking sign, he slipped off his backpack and retrieved a bike lock. A chill ran down his spine. His mother always cautioned him about his overactive imagination. It was impossible to hear an irritated, whispered conversation when he was the only person on the boardwalk.

“This is bullshit.”

“It’s part of initiation –”

“Hazing. It’s part of a hazing ritual.”

“If you can’t handle a simple task, then –”

“– I’m not daring or scary enough to haunt with you. I know the rhetoric.”

“How can I be your mentor if you won’t let me ment?”

“That’s not a verb.”

“Quit stalling, ghoul.”

“What is it with ghosts and puns?”

“You’re also a fool.”

“Whoomp, there is it!”

“Ford.”

“Nixon.”

“The compatibility test was inaccurate. The Head Haunter appointed you as my mentor because we both had the misfortune of being named after terrible American presidents.”

“Can you be serious for one minute?”

“Who assigned our Fright Crew to haunt Venice Beach? These assholes just think their hallucinogens are extremely potent — they never get scared.”

“It’s a weird gig, but someone’s gotta do it.”

Nixon motioned for the younger ghost to follow him. Nixon and Ford hovered behind the suspicious little boy. He locked the back of his tricycle to the No Parking sign. Beaming, he sat on the curb and rummaged through his backpack for his iPad.

“The kid’s got an attention span of a flea.”

“You’re not gonna be able to spook him by rattling the sign or something. Get creative.”

Ford sighed and circled the little boy closely. The boy shuddered, but remained focused on his Candy Crush game. Ford dove and snatched the front wheel from the boy’s tricycle.

The boy gasped. “Hey!” He grabbed fistfuls of air, but Ford evaded him and dangled the wheel above his head.

Nixon smiled at his protégé. He cocked his head toward the hills, where the Haunting Headquarters cave was hidden. Ford flew past, tricycle wheel held above his head triumphantly.

“Kids these days –” Nixon snickered.

“– they should know better than to improperly lock their bikes, lest some ghosts steal their wheels.”

 

*Note: this story was inspired by this photo I took while in California last week.

an apology for my unforeseen hiatus

I apologize for not posting lately. A couple weeks ago, my MacBook crashed. The hard drive died after five years. (It outlasted every other computer I’ve had.) Ceddy has fixed it and now it works better than ever. I also have been doing a bit of traveling (Destin & Panama City Beach for Ames’ bachelorette party weekend and LA & San Francisco with Andrea and Shaina), so expect traveling photo posts, as well as new poems and stories.

happy anniversary, dear blog!

It’s been a year since I posted my first entry on this blog. I’ve written more in this past year than I had in the preceding four (five, really). I’ve shared photos of my travels. Most importantly, I’ve gotten to connect with so many awesome people.

I wanted to thank y’all for reading, commenting, liking, & being part of my journey. I hope to keep creating & interacting with even more great people in this upcoming year.

Throwback Thursday: a relaxing rowboat ride in Versailles

The lake by Jardins du château de Versailles. Versailles, France. 09.10.12.

The lake by Jardins du château de Versailles. Versailles, France. 09.10.12.

When Ceddy and I visited Jardins du château de Versailles, we rented one of the rowboats and paddled around the lake. Well…he did most of the paddling. I enjoyed the scenery.