Funeral

Who knew when I met you in November, you’d be dead in May. Or that you’d die like my mother. That was a slap in the face.

It’s the morning of your funeral and I’m at the Walgreen’s by my house. I grab boxes of soda and candy for your family, a plastic plant, and a scented candle for your mother. I don’t know what I’m doing, but I want to do something with limited time and resources.

My friend, your girlfriend, picks me up at the store and we go to the mortuary. It hasn’t changed much over the years, with the notable exception that the old undertaker who opens the door, wears a mask.

There’s twelve of us in the sanctuary. Your parents, uncle, a cousin, and siblings. Your ex-girlfriend is here too, all the way from Florida. Everyone is spread out, socially distanced, and wearing obligatory masks. You’re up front in a rented coffin, dressed in your familiar flannel jacket. That’s all that’s familiar. You’re bloated up to your father’s size. I wouldn’t have recognized you had we met in the street.

Apparently, during a pandemic, the funeral home runs low on Catholic Spanish speaking priests. Instead, there’s a budget pentecostal woman with a man to punctuate her loud preaching. I understand the sermon in words and short phrases here and there. Something about you being in the arms of Jesus. Your mother weeps and asks people to come up. We are last. My friend tells your corpse that I was willing to give you part of my liver. I feel tears coming. It is what it is. I can never save anybody.

On the way to your house, we stop by Family Dollar to get some prayer candles. The cashier tells us they’re very useful to have in hurricanes. Your mother has a giant shrine at the family home, flowers and candles everywhere. There’s you as a smiling baby, as a grinning teen, and finally a photo of you at 33. No one would know you just had a couple months to live or the secret habit that led you to become septic.

Tenth Blogiversary: Plague Year Edition

So yeah, I’ve been here 10 years on the 25th. Who knew when I hit ‘publish’ that day that 10 years later I’d be writing this. My biggest fears were realized, I began living alone, and now I’m living through a plague. Good times.

There are things I intend to do this year if I’m not taken by pestilence or misadventure. I want to finally type out my journal from 2012 written in that nursing home. Maybe I’ll see if my journal from my early 20s has anything I should share too. I want to write more blogs and maybe see if some publications will publish something I write for fun. I want to do more Youtube, maybe eventually even stream on Twitch just to pass time and make a few friends. I really wanted to edit writing for someone to give me some purpose, but the one time I did it, I didn’t do it right. It’s doubtful I will ever get to do that, but maybe. I want to do something meaningful for someone. Good luck.

Someone actually likes me romantically. Now I’m sure the world is ending! I expect if he was ever in the same room as me, he would be repulsed, but who knows? I’m enjoying being liked. I’m afraid everyone will dislike or become annoyed at me and hate me.

i’m going to be writing something about going out during the plague. Stay tuned. God willing, we will see 2021 together.

Blogoversary the 7th

Still here. Though not prolific,  I’ve been at this for 7 years now. God willing, I will keep at this blog until incapacity or death takes me out. I was 33 when I started, and will be 40 in December. I sometimes read back on my old posts. Lisa, circa 2010, was such a different person from Lisa 2017. In some ways, I truly feel my writing reached its apex in the first two years here (while my mom was still around, my biggest supporter). I sometimes find myself writing stuff worthy of Lisa 2011, but it is what it is. Had you told me during the course of this novel , that my mom would croak, I’d end up living with a drag queen and a pathological liar, end up in a mental  hospital, live in a nursing home for a couple of months, and finally come to living alone in an apartment complex I had lived in when I was 8 years-old… Well, I’d have been horrified to say the least. If you had told me that Donald Trump would be president one day, I’d have believed you were the greatest bullshitter.

I still feel as though I stand on the precipice of disaster at all times, especially now, with Trump and Paul Ryan trying to butcher the dangling safety net. I owe my apartment, medicine,  and healthcare to Medicaid. While I doubt Trump’s “fix” to Obamacare will pass, it’s terrifying to think of block grants. What if taking care of people on disability becomes superfluous? What if one day I’m blogging homeless?

  Here’s to a new blog year that happens to not be catastrophic. Thanks for hanging in there with me!

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One Year Ago Today

Ape
Ape (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Me a year ago.

One year ago today I was a different woman than I am now. When I looked at my future, I saw nothing. Nothing alone, nothing without him by my side.

One year ago today, my paranoia came crashing down on me and I could barely breathe under its weight, let alone climb out from under it.

One year ago today, the lies became too much, the truth too clear, and the fear unbearable. It was the fear that did it, the fear that my soul mate was as unreal as his words, that imaginary friends are mirages that disappear.

One year ago today, I checked his ears for the cartoon character earbuds I gave him for Christmas. If he’s wearing them, maybe he’s not mad at me. My obsession: checking for signs of discord. Perusing his body for gifts in quick glances. He wears one of my gifts, maybe he is happy with me. The earbuds are there! He smiles at me, he talks happily to his dogs. There isn’t anything in the intonation of his voice hiding ire or sadness. Perhaps all is well. Or not.

One year ago today, he returned from walking the dogs and went into his room, pugs too. The door closed, me shut out.  Me alone and the social worker coming. He was there with me before when she came, supportive, saying what needed to be said. I knock. No answer. Anger? Is he angry at me? Alone. Will I be  alone forever? Scared, and the social worker is coming. And the letter he wrote is on the stove for her. Angry? Is that why he left me alone? So scared of him not loving me anymore. Or is he hiding? Does hiding mean he is guilty of something? No. He’s mad at me. Or is he a liar? The  letter is partly a lie, making him a liar. Can a liar still be your soul mate? He lies sometimes, it means nothing. It means he doesn’t care. No it doesn’t. He has problems, but he loves me like a sister. He wouldn’t hurt me. Oh God, is he angry at me? What will become of me if I’m without him?

One year ago today, there was a knock on my their door. This is not my home, but a place where I stay at the mercy of the queens kings inside. No, my soul mate is merciful, even if his truth is not always truthful. But here is the social worker and there is the letter. She is not happy. She is angry at him. I am scared and try again to knock at my dearest friend’s bedroom door. I am crying. He must be angry. No, you dumbass, he’s avoiding a confrontation. No, he’s mad at me, he doesn’t really love me. Oh God!

One year ago today, my social worker read the letter penned in  my dear one’s artistic script:

750.00 dollars I owed them for paying my mother’s final expenses (I had thought I owed $550.00…but what do I know)

40.00 for a light bill (odd, because I thought the $240.00 I paid a month in rent included my share of everything).

35.00 for a late fee (strange, because I hadn’t been late in giving my share).

PAID IN FULL.

One year ago today, my social worker said loudly enough for my soul mate to hear through the door, “He sat here and said that they would wait until you were back on your feet to pay them back!”

And I told her about the netbook I got too, because of my soul mate’s partner forcing me to take back the laptop I got with my social security check and give him that money or I would have to “get the fuck out of his house,” adding tenderly as he menaced me that I was a bitch and a whore (though he knew I was a virgin). All the while letting me know that his lover acted differently when I was around, that even his dogs did too)

Just don’t let it happen again, admonished my social worker.

One year ago today, I told my social worker a story I was told about my soul mate’s partner. “He’s very mean. He was more worried about a friend of his getting blood on the seats of his van than that she slit her wrists…and when he left her at the hospital, he wouldn’t stay with her.”

One year ago today, I was left alone and I knocked again on dear friend’s door. No answer.

Crash!

That morning, one year ago today, I didn’t wake up saying to myself, “I guess I’ll pencil in committing suicide today.” But it wasn’t a spur of the moment decision either. I went to bed early many nights too depressed to face the partner of my beloved, he who had a way of making me feel like less than dirt. Secretly my death wish had waxed and waned since the day my mother died. Now, five months later, I reached my cliff. Before that day, though it was a thought, slightly researched.  I had researched a while before if one was unfortunate enough to survive death by ativan, ones vital organs may not fail. And so I decided, What have I got to lose now? The only person who really needed me was dead, everyone else would easily get over my loss.

I decided on Russian Roulette Pill and OCD style because I sort of wanted to keep living if my dear one didn’t dislike me now. I wrote a note proclaiming my love in a style mistakable as sisterly love to my soul mate, enjoining him to please take care of my cats and that this wasn’t his fault.

I tucked the note under me in case I decided to stop, and began. One pill. Count to 300. My  friend still hasn’t come out of his room. I take another and count to 300. Another and around this time I pass out. When I awaken, the door is open! I stumble in and ask if I can come in. He gave his ascent. I remember asking if he was mad at me and that was when he noticed I was doped. “Oh no! he exclaimed angrily. “That will get you thrown out in a matter of days.”

Was I afraid? No, peacefully, I stumbled back out of the room, decided what the hell, and down the gullet the rest of my Ativan went. How many did I take? My guess is maybe 7 or 9. When I woke up again sleeping next to Babee Dondee my littlest cat, my soul brother said with an edge in his voice “Good morning, or evening actually.” I can’t remember if he asked me to call my friend to get me or if I took the initiative, pobably the former.

My best friend told me Soul Bro answered the door, called to me that my friend was here, and promptly went back to playing a video game. There’s the love. As I left though, I recall handing him my suicide note.

I stayed in the ER several hours though I recall little of it, they mainly just monitored my idiot ass, my heart dipping down into the 60s. If one might die simply from judgemental lapses I’d have been a goner.

I was given the option of “voluntarily” being admitted or getting a judge to commit me. It was around 4am a nd  I was finally sobering up a bit. I bid adieu to my best friend who had stayed through the whole ordeal, was carted off in a wheelchair by a surly cop and began a 10 day vacation locked away in a psych ward. Ten days because no one wanted my sorry ass and I ended up in a faraway nursing home for 2 months. It was the worst two months of my life, though I absolutely LOVED my stay in the psych ward. It was pretty fun and I met some great folks. I’d do it again if it didn’t entail trying to kill myself and making all my friends tell me they don’t want my crazy self and sending me away to the home. Not fun.

The A to Z Blogging Challenge Condensed to the A to B Blogging Challenge

Cover of "The Diary of Anne Frank"
Not exactly a diarist of this caliber.Cover of The Diary of Anne Frank

 

I only got so far as B, so it’s going to be the A to B Blogging Challenge. For added grins I write it in “Melodramatic Victorian:”

My dear readers,

Given the task of writing a ‘B’ article for the A to Z Blogging Challenge, my mind turns to the idle days of youth. Those days, dear readers! Oh, those days! My pen quivers at the memory of budding life ‘ere the blossom bloomed and  old age withered the emerged flower! Do you remember, my most constant  friends, those days when our cheeks were cherry red with acne and life? I recall it as though it were yesterday…

It was the fall of my thirteenth year, and I had yet again given into the flights of fancy peculiar to me, the furies of fear, which set me apart from my schoolmates. The other children at the schoolhouse could not leave such a curiosity as me be. The privy, the dining area, out on the grounds, few places were safe from the little villains. I was afraid and yet part of me felt that negative attention was  better than no attention. Better not forgotten, but awful being remembered, I found that I despised educational pursuits altogether, so when I was installed in a safer place I still wanted to be done with the lot of it. In a way indeed I was.

This school, instead of being awash in Godless heathen, was awash and a dried   with God-fearing souls of a fundamentalist sect. I had been there, done that, and bought the appropriate apparel in the earliest of my formative years, and did not wish to do so again. Though the overwhelming majority were of the nicest sort of people, having been away from such beliefs for so long gave me a distaste for such ideas. I recall walking past a bulletin board against the candidate for the US senate who I supported because of abortion. Tsk, tsk. I also recall the campaign against Halloween, that evil Pagan holiday, where someone might sacrifice you to the devil if you were a virgin (a peril I’d still have to worry about today, sigh, as an aging spinster). I called “BS” on such fancies, having not recalled in all my 13 years hearing anyone in our town being sacrificed, but as you no doubt know, there’s a first for everything.

I wanted out of there, a place one could say was a liberal’s hell, and I feigned being ill so often they dismissed me from among them. I wish I could go back, give the proverbial rat’s derriere about learning, and propel myself through the middle grades. But I didn’t. I stayed home being homeschooled and developing agoraphobia, you know, the typical plights of adolescence.

I retired to home, schooled myself for two years in what I felt like learning and naught else, kept a diary, and remained agoraphobic except when with my mother.  The villains from the school before last and a crazy man who jumped out at me one night sealed my fearful state so much that only other fears brought me back into society two years later.

After my years à la Diary of Anne Frank, I resumed my education, my epistles in my diary became sporadic at best. Life lived outside the tiny expanse between my ears gave me other concerns than giving blow by blow dissertations on why my family ‘sucked,’ to use the vernacular common today, or what transpired on the television. Looking back on the juvenilia,  I am tempted to chuck those little books for the poor quality of the writing, but old sentimentality bade me stop.

We leave adolescence behind now and look beyond to the institution of higher learning ,The Community College, where one is given two year’s (or, in my case, five year’s ) instruction to go to higher-higher learning or to take up a trade. I was a wretched student for the most part, my inability to make deadlines one and for two there were diversions aplenty downtown. Secondary school had been easy for the most part. College was a whole other kettle of fish. I wonder at times, dear reader, if my days trudging the hallowed halls were worth it, that all my learning went for naught since I am pensioned by the government’s good will towards the mentally afflicted. Yet, one may postulate that knowledge, from the tiniest kernel of truth onward, is never a waste of time for anyone should it enhance the life of the pursuer –Eve excepted of course. The canvas of my mind was painted the hues of a liberal education, subtly infused with yellow flowers of reading and writing and a happy sun  of Windows 98. Oh, wonderous beauty, oh marvelous keyboard of life  (never mind I failed the word processing class. Moveable type wasn’t perfected in a day and the metaphor is effective just the same).

It was Creative Writing I that first propelled me forth in my illustrious pursuit of the written word, along with Creative Writing II, which had a few lesbians trying to find their Sapphic  muse as I tried to find my voice too. In class the first I learned and  listened in between the peculiar fits of panic I was dealt at that time of my life. From hearing my teacher lecture others and myself I learned:

  • Do not besmirch your paper with a preponderance of adjectives and adverbs  -a little goes a long way.
  • If you see something wrong with someone’s writing, tell him , that he might improve instead of gushing how wonderful his writing is (ah, but should I be bade  to tell someone EXACTLY what I saw wrong with something, I could pick out a few things. While my own writing  considerably lacked and I wasn’t able to discern just how bad it lacked, I could  see a  lot with the rather unexceptional lad with whom I was paired).
  • You need to work on the punctuation and spacing in your poems.
  • When writing a poem about your mother, don’t make it sound like a Hallmark moment (though said mother preferred the generic version as opposed to emo blood n’ guts version, thanks).
  • While you got a knack for pacing, this is the sort of story that’s been told 1000s of times, and your characters are archetypal (Lisa, cut out the gothic dramas, and what the hell is archetypal?.
  • If you’re writing a vintage style detective story, Oldest Guy in Class, don’t let the narrator call one of the characters “an old Jew.”
  • Young Guy, don’t use “ye olde English,” there’s enough of that from classic poets. To thyne own self be true… but only to  a point.

During Creative Writing the First, we were all expected to keep an “observation journal,” which was not to be a “How my boyfriend and I argue all the time journal” (not a problem for me, believe me). I was in the “wish I could disappear phase of my college education, so my journal became the friend I didn’t have. Rather, my teacher by proxy became my friend since she read the journal and left comments in the margins if I were lucky> I wrote about my observations and thoughts on things in what I flatter myself to be a humorous way. When class ended it was as though I lost a very dear friend. But this was another pre-cursor to my life as a blogger and horrid comment whore.

During Creative Writing the Second I began to realize my life was not meant to churn out fiction, rather my life was meant to chronicle my life, mundane as it was, and get a laugh or two. I remember I wrote a short story based on my life in high school and college and told of my one forray into the romantic world (humiliating myself for the grins of others, which pleased me. Better to laugh than cry…).  The teacher had us read excerpts from our writing at a bar that had a small stage, so perfect venue! I didn’t eat anything, lest I be sick, but I got up there, before the students and their friends, plus people who just came in to drink and didn’t care what else happened. I made a “Hi, mom” crack and began. I was a hit! It was one of the best moments of my obscure life.

I wish I could say after graduating, I became a celebrated writer or journalist or even went on to university, but it wasn’t to be. My anxiety, shyness, and inability to concentrate won in the end and I get paid by the government to exist and that’s my life.

But of course, my story doesn’t end there, my blogging story that is. Since graduating, my society with others, which was originally insignificant, almost went to nil. I have 3 friends I see regularly and other than that I keep to myself. Though I like people, I prefer it this way. In case you weren’t aware I’m terrified of rejection, plus I like being left to my own devices most of the time.

To supplement my lack of social life, I started conversing in a chat room for about 5 years or so. Now let me tell you something about chat rooms, lots of the brilliant conversationalists have problems bigger than yours, and no I wasn’t in a mental health room. It just seems like not many were “normal” insofar as my weak understanding of the word means and I don’t mean that as a slight. They say you don’t really know people online, but in 5 years, one does after a fashion, in a way some people  are more their true selves online than off I venture to say. Why I say this is you see how they deal with their fellows online and you know they are more flawed than you would see exhibited in polite society (not that I was a saint either to people who were rude to me).

In my chat room days I kept a couple of blogs. One I did a couple of posts and lost interest  in it, another I posted a few times until someone from the chat started pasting my musings into the chat to embarrass me.  Then I restarted blogging on that site, but my dearest mother sent me into fits of paranoia that the SOB gentleman down the way would find out I was writing about how he NEVER PAID ME BACK that $73.00  I loaned him to pay his light bill (what, me bitter? Not I, Christian charity, etc.). After a little while blogging almost privately I stopped writing there also.

Skipping on to the beginning of 2010, my best chat room friend and I had a falling out and suddenly I had nothing in my opinion. I stayed out of the chat room and the fellow who caused our quarrel began instant messaging me again. One day, as befitting his tastes and humor, he showed me a video of his favorite actress of the adult genre, Penny Flame. Who? What? Huh? “What makes her your favorite?” I asked, because watching said actress on said couch riding said man, she looked, well, like an actress of such moving pictures. A more everyday lass, less artificially rendered in make-up or enhancements of the bosom, but an actress none the less.

“She’s affectionate,” he said.

“Oh.”

Well, now, this wasn’t enough for me and my delicate sensibilities, so I researched her, and that brought up that infallible oracle  of truth, Wikipedia.

“Hey, did you know she retired, went on a Sex Rehab thing, and now keeps a blog as Jennie Ketcham?”

I became fascinated with not-Penny and was amazed by her goodness and how we seemed to have similar insecurities though she were endowed with more beauty and talents of letters than I ever should be gifted. I observed how her writing seemed to truly help people and a peculiar idea came to me, “Hey, maybe I could help folks while helping myself by writing too?” Misery loves company, right, I thought, and perhaps it would help other anxious people to know they aren’t alone or some such, etc. So I created this magnificent, magnanimous blog. Though I ramble something awful, can’t stay on topic to save my life, and worry all the time about losing my blogging friends, I must say this is my crowning achievement in life (I know, “winning” right?). I’ve met so many wonderful people through this blog and love you all. You give my life meaning and I hope to keep blogging as long as I live.

Adieu.

The Blair Witch Project; or, We Tour the Old Cemetery

Recall, gentle reader, last year I introduced you, in words at least, to Old Rich White People Cemetery where we almost got locked in. Well, it took a year to finally illustrate for you the eerie beauty of ORWPC, but I got you pictures this time before my camera went on it’s once a month vacation to the pawn shop. Consider us both duly blessed.

It was last Saturday after all my  adventures downtown (still got more to that story to tell, but the interesting parts were already told). I wanted to take flower pictures at the cemetery before they all wilted away. The graves themselves, however, are something to be seen.  We’re going on a journey again. This time without the pizza that looked as though it needed buriel rather than ingestion.

And we’re riding in the magic Ford Taurus. Kind of reminds you of that Emily Dickenson poem, that went something like, “Because I could not stop for death, it kindly stopped for me….”

Buckle up.

To get to ORWPC, one must pass through a not-so-garden district, but the bad neighborhood changes abruptly to an  affluent one. When one is riding through the not-so-gardeny district, you pass by a brick garbage can. It’s been said before that “death be not proud”and it certainly wasn’t for the young man who got shot there (I think that’s where a guy got shot a year ago, but it could be I’m mistaken) as evidenced by a roadside memorial sitting between the garbage can and the curb. Poor man, I hope he is in a better place now.

With my luck I’ll probably die in a firey autocrash right by the sewage treatment plant.

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But anyway, we’re still going on a journey. Make sure you look out the window because we are officially inside the pearly gates of Old Rich White People Cemetery.

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I love pink, don’t you? Combining my mother driving by and my superior photography skills, this azalea looks very Claude Monet,  nes pas?

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I include this picture simply because azaleas + dogwoods =pretty.

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The graves here go all the way back to the 1850s (actually before then, because this was The Place to bury your dead relations and bodies were exhumed from other graveyards to plant here). There is even a new section where you can be buried if it’s on your to-do list today. This grave, however, isn’t that old. These sort of headstones were popular in the 1940s if your young child died. This was a baby who was either stillborn or died the same day she was born. Someone is still putting flowers at her grave.

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See the grave that looks like a sideways wooden cross? That’s the young girl who got sick at sea. Her father put her in a keg of ale to preserve her and she was buried in the keg. If that keg is still intact down there, which I doubt, she probably looks the same as the day she died. That’s a creepy visual to me.  I bet the look of chopped wood on her grave signifies that she was ‘cut down’ early in life, but the cross means she remains alive in heaven or will be resurrected. Victorians were big on symbolism.

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Of all the graves in the cemetery, I think I like this one the most. Overdone with adornments, it screams Victorian, and I love it. I did some research on this fellow. He died of “consumption” in 1878. My great-grandfather on my grandmother’s side died of TB too.

The fellow in the grave was only 32 and had two children.

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I bet these were cheery folks. Nothing like a mausoleum with a “county jail” appeal to it.

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Don’t you know these people were rich if they could build something  like that in 1932? I kinda doubt they were working for the WPA.

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This is the Jewish section, also dating back to the mid 1800s.

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Stairway to heaven?

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Score for “different.” A grave that looks Greek and looks like a bird bath at the same time.

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This is the Confederate Dead Soldiers Memorial from the 1870s.

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I include this picture because I heart the tree.

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Score for ingenuity here too. It’s like this married couple are sweethearts.

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A unique grave augmented by a common car.

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A woman, age 20. A boy, age 8. On top of his grave is “Charlie,” which really brings it home to me that that was once someone’s beloved little boy. I wish I knew what was killing children in the 1870s. The Yellow Fever outbreak had passed, thank God, because that was a really awful way to go. I read somewhere that the life expectancy in the 1870s was 45 and 2% percent of people made it to 65. We’re pretty lucky that we didn’t live back then, pretty graves and dresses aside.

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These were probably Charlie’s  siblings, a baby and a toddler. The flower in relief on the toddler’s grave looks to me like a gladiola. Wonder what that symbolizes? Does knowing your children may not live soften the sting since it was a day to day reality in the 19th century? Somehow I doubt Margaret Sanger would be too popular a  woman in the 19th century.178

This section of graves belong to one family, proving the motto: “You can’t take it with you when you go, but you can sure

show you had something here.”

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Here are two brothers from the 1870s. One was 2 years-old and the other 11. Did they both die of illnesses or were some

children killed by misadventure?

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This tree must have come up long after the grave was placed here. Was everyone’s caskets made of wood back in the day and would they disappear years later, just leaving the skeleton, non-biodegradable things placed in the casket, and metal? I know this is a tad macabre, but my mind always wonders what’s happening in the graves. I imagine this fellow’s bones are now cradled by this tree. You can thank me for that visual later.181

Another set of siblings, 3 of them. I hope that family had more children and they made it to adulthood.

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This is the red azalea that I waxed rhapsodic over last year.

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This was the side gate from which we escaped after the graveyard closed last year.

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Here is a close up of the red azalea. It’s darker in real life.

With this I bid you adieu until next time.

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Winning! The Blogoversary Edition Vol. 1 (Excerpts from my first year)

Happy Pictures, Images and Photos
Yay! My First Blogoversary! (March 25th, but who's counting?)

I was going to post this on March 25th to commemorate my first year of blogging, but my friend invited me over to hang out, so I guess I’ll do it today. I will list some links and excerpts from the past year that I favored. This is a chance to reminisce or to brush up on my ADHD-style masterpieces. Pay attention. There will be a test!

Here is an excerpt from my very first post, March 25,2010:

In Which Nervous Nelly Explains How OCD Thinking Isn’t Always a Bad Thing

I worry about murderers, carjackers, rapists, etc. causing harm to my mother and sometimes to myself, but mainly to my mother when we are apart. Look at the news, awful things happen ALL THE TIME. But when something awful could have actually happened I was calm and I handled it.

Ok, so 3 or 4 years ago we tried out a newly opened Chinese buffet. It was later in the afternoon,  just past lunchtime, so there was only a couple other patrons and they were in another section of the restaurant (this was before  the state made smokers into lepers and my mom could still smoke inside). We were eating, the food was good too, which makes this all the greater a tragedy .  Suddenly, one could hear yelling in the kitchen.  It kept up steady and seemed to stay in the kitchen, so I felt confident  in my safety at grabbing something else. Oh what to get, what to get. Soup? Or a couple of those slivers of cake?

Oh, the possibilities! Oh…….. oh …….oh shit!

The shit had now officially hit the fan.  The argument spilled out near where I happened was, no further than 12 feet. A man was  surrounded by 3 guys and 2 women, and boy,  was he ever pissed.  It was a good thing I don’t speak Chinese,  but some things are universal,  a psychotic rage is distinguishable from someone mildly miffed that he burned the General Tso’s chicken. Psycho Cook then took a soup bowl and smashed it on the floor, but this must have not been cathartic enough, for he soon lunged at another cook.  I remained unnoticed and began to deliberate what to do. I wasn’t panicked I remember, a little nervous and disconcerted, but panicking? No, not really. Would someone else have totally freaked out? I’m not sure . Perhaps they would have the common sense to be scared, not just a little frightened. So I weighed my options, a little list in my brain:

A:) Every woman for herself, haul ass out the door and hope your mother will follow.  But I would never leave my mother if  if any harm could come to her, so scratch that.

B:) Run past the offending party back to my mother. Run, fat girl, run!!! No, that didn’t seem sensible either. Let  the lunging crouching tiger become  aware of  Hidden Dragon here? Not a good idea in my estimation.

C.) Act normal (or fake it in my case since  I ain’t never been normal, just seen the brochure once or twice). Yes this is the best idea. If  I ignore whatever the screaming, striking  cook is doing and act like an unconcerned customer I might have more of  a chance at not attracting the ire of  this poor guy.  Time to not be too particular, so I grab a bit of orange and start back, walking as far away from Psycho Cook ‘n pals as I dared. One of the waitresses sat at the table with my mom kind of hiding out.  The waitress said to us, “I hate Chinese people. All they do is fight.” ( disclaimer: She was Chinese or Malaysian herself, so she could say that I guess). She proceeded to tell us the story of  the restaurant. Appears a few guys got the idea of opening a restaurant together. Too bad that among the angry lot,  one was totally insane and off his meds.  Happens in the best of restaurants.

Meanwhile, the fray  moved more towards the kitchen and another waitress came over. “We got to go now! He threatening to kill people.”

Ever the scrupulous idiot that i am I tried to give them money fast, but they said not to worry about it. Fair enough, but I did manage to give the waitress 10 bucks at least and wouldn’t  take it  back.  This all happened really fast.  One or two of the men stayed with the wigged out chef and everyone else made for the door. When outside several people got into one car and left. The other patrons had already left before hell broke loose.

Safely away my mother and I were like “well…that was….different.”

Princess Rubenesque’s Adventures Downtown

April 30, 2010

The fireworks were beautiful and I think we had the best view we ever had, sitting in our fold-out chairs in clear view of where they were  shot off.  Then we went to the Chinese take-out for some soup. This joint gave birth to the term “seedy.” There’s always interesting people there. Someone opened the door to yell to a patron that their mutual pal is in jail, but she already knew and was cross but seemed to not view it as being as newsworthy as her friends did.

Soup is a rather ritual-oriented meal, especially the robust hot and sour they serve at Seedy China.  The soup is spicy hot and would not do for the average Anglo to gulp down, but it is the best I’ve ever tasted. In case you aren’t fortunate enough to know how to eat a pint of soup the proper way, allow me to school you on the perfect and essential way. You can thank me later for this vital skill.

Please recall, gentle reader, we did not grow up in a sty and must actaccordingly. Unfold your napkin and set it in your lap (if you are lucky like me your stomach is one  large flap and if utilized properly, can act as a ‘paperweight’ for the napkin in your lap).  Take your spoon and begin. Begin from the left and take  sips until you’ve taken a sip by dipping your spoon, working vertically until you’re at the right side of the bowl.  Then put a few of those crisp noodles, at least 3 of them since you really prefer things in 3′s.  Eat the noodles in your soup. Now repeat the entire ritual until you’re done, and if you’re good at it, people won’t even realize you have a ‘strategy’ for eating.

The Dying Swan; or, “That Ain’t Ebola is It?”

April 29, 2011

Once upon a time (like yesterday),  I took a look in the bathroom mirror and my eyes were red, particularly my right eye. Not like  bloodshot-been-opening-my-eyes-too-long-underwater-someone-been-on-a-drunk-red,  much weirder.  A horizontal line seemed to divide my eye in half in the middle,  reddish at the bottom half and normal white on top.

I looked into the eyes of death.

Or something…

My mind began to conjure up what symptom of my imminent death was this.

I had mostly given up my of several years’ obsession with the idea of contracting  AIDS by bizarre means not pertaining to intercourse or needles, so scratch that one for now.

Cancer?  Maybe that’s it, I thought. I always swam in outdoor pools without goggles  due to my high tolerance for chlorine, and I loved looking at the sun’s rays dancing on the pool’s bottom.

So I ask my mother, a retired nurse, what dread disease is this one?

What malady is about to dispatch me, to nail the lid of my coffin, strike me down in the prime of my life?

“Pollen,” said Mother.

The Various Trials of Nervous Nelly, from a Visit with her Therapist to Nearly Being Locked in a Cemetary Overnight

Apparently, the good people of Rich White Cemetery in their good sense, believe a decent cemetery should expel all living patrons by 5pm sharp regardless of time of year.  But the fun part is locking the gates without a glimpse for suckers who failed to read closing time upon entering. I wasn’t too concerned, though, since I  had my cell phone, not to say that would be too fun a call to make to the cops. I suggest we walk around, that surely somewhere remained unlocked, especially since I saw a not-so-paranormal-looking couple  just a few minutes ago walking.

Two gates locked, we’re padlocked in Perdition. We  keep walking until a third gate. This one looks a tad different and I walk up to it, a side entrance and the damn thing opens like the pearly gates to Glory.  Mama walks back to our ghetto fabulous classic 1994 Mazda MPV, me waiting so no one locks this gate on us.  I look at this gorgeous azalea I remember from last year, a dark red-purple flower about the size of a common magenta azalea but much darker, so awesome. I take a peep at the graves near the gate, all the while keeping my eye on said gate. No one, not St. Peter, not the devil, not a grounds keeper, is gonna lock that damn gate without me at least screaming loud enough to wake the dead.

Safely delivered from captivity, we go downtown to have a look at the teabagger rally, I mean the Tea Party,  that has gone on all day. We listen to Sean Hannity on the radio waxing rhapsodic about the noble Tea Party activists nationwide and Reagan this, Reagan that. Every time I listen to Hannity, I tend to think if he could dig up Reagan and marry him he would, anti-gay marriage or no.

So the noble tea folk are down at the federal courthouse at the river. Good for them, I suppose, since the joy of being American is the ability to protest for what you believe.  It’s WASP Party 2010 downtown and rather fun to look at as long as you recall everyone is entitled to believe as they like, that is until I see this one woman and I have my What the Flying Fuck?! moment of the day. She has this sign, “Obama, Go Back to Kenya. I Will Buy the Plane Ticket!”  Now, I could be wrong, but to me it sounds like some racist saying no more than “Go back to Africa.”  Sure, I get the whole Birther rumor popular among some people. But honestly? Honestly. Could Obama be from Kenya and a closet Muslim? Could I be an Ethiopian albino  and  a closet Hare Krishna? Anything is possible, but probable? Um no.  She has a right to her opinion and I have the right to think she’s plumb ignorant with a limited touch on reality.

Unfortunately, it seems I favor quite a few excerpts from my first 2 months. I know these aren’t literary masterpieces, but they were my first efforts. I think I got better at not rambling so much as I went on. I hope those of you who weren’t here from the first like this, and my first dear readers like “Lisa in Review.”

Do y’all like this and should I continue this base self-aggrandizement? Am I just being redundant?

Upcoming junk

  • I gotta do a book review on a book I got from bloggingforbooks.org. Hey, I was like, “Eh, what the hell? Free book! (I enjoyed it too, but don’t worry I’m not becoming a book blogger except every now and then).
  • Retrieve my stupid political post from Rejectionville and post it here. It’s a moot point now anyway, but whatever.
  • Finish my damn Christmas Post (once I get my netbook back from the pawn shop).
  • Do more OCD; less tangenty, boringy stuff.
  • Still want to write more of my memoirs, thrill a minute.
  • Answer my comments much faster.

I love you all and thank you for everything. Y’all don’t even know how much you mean to me and how you’ve helped me,

Lisa

PS, If anyone dislikes this color let me know or even the font.

Poetry Pot Luck: The Perfectionist

 

Yay! Another OCD poem!

 

Okay, I will try not to write more  ‘kill a buzz’ poetry next time, though y’all were awesome about the last one. It even got published on http://katemclaughlin.net, a successful author’s mental health blog. Coolest. Thing. Ever. Y’all won’t hold it against me if I break out into a stirring rendition of “Fame! I’m gonna live forever!” Shoot, I even feel as though I’ve got “Bette Davis Eyes” and that “I’m Walking on Sunshine, baby, yeah.”

I’m feeling so magnanimous today that I’m going to share one of the things that OCD does to virtually everyone who has it:  Rabid perfectionism. Cujo-trying-to-attack-style. Just when my mind thinks I’ve figured out a way to do something, that I’ve planned it out perfectly, Nervous Nelly will interject, “Nah girl, you ain’t doing that right. Try harder, loserrr.” If it ain’t Nervous Nelly in my head saying such, my mother is apt to say something that I will misconstrue as a criticism, which will turn me all ‘Sybilish’ and my mom and I end up having words. I want to be perfect and as good as everyone else, but my standards for myself are wayyyyyyyy too high. The really fun part is therapy and antidepressants just dampen it a tad. I can’t seem to stop. Irksome! But anyway, here I drop a rhyme about it for this week’s Poetry Pot Luck at http://jinglepoetry.blogspot.com . Tell me the truth if you don’t like it , in a nice way, of course!

 

Some people ask me why do you do such a thing?

Can it really be a comfort, or are you just not listening?

Nah, it's you. Definitely you. Or maybe me.

 

Are you just being difficult?

Are you just trying to make us mad?

 

No, I’m not. Yes, I am.

No. Yes. Maybe.

I’m not sure? I hope not.

I don’t think so…

 

I am difficult  and I am crazy

in my own convoluted way.

Well, you should stop, they say.

 

I don’t think you understand.

All people are driven forward by their minds.

I move forward but I’m three steps behind.

You go your way, but I must stay and listen to my mind.

 

It started around the age of six.

Staring at a piece of paper,

I knew I was in a fix.

Your name. Write your name.

No, no, it has to feel just right.

Instead I just sat there,

and the teacher marveled at how

I could be so dumb.

I didn’t know how to explain,

not to anyone.

 

In religion, I made the decision

to be as perfect as Jesus.

No everlasting flames for me!

But if I prayed once,

soon I’d pray again.

Oh Jesus, too much is a sin!

 

But you know better now, right?

You know you can’t ever be

a freaking deity?

 

Do I?

Yes, but maybe no.

Maybe I always knew,

but I was just a kid.

 

Now I’m an adult.

I only want to be as good as everyone else,

Perfect that without  completely erasing me.

So to myself I say,

Today will be the day I do nothing wrong.

I’ll please everyone, even you.

I might see the forest,

but all those trees are blocking my view.

 

Then tears, screams, I must begin anew.

Three Christmas Poems: Depressing, Controversial, and Semi-Festive

 

Hi everyone,

Combining http://magpietales.blogspot.com and http://thursdaypoetsrallypoetry.wordpress.com/ this week. The first poem is right depressing, so if you’re already in a depressed mode you might wish to skip it because it’s pretty dark. The second poem deals with the so-called “War on Christmas,” and I don’t mean to be sacrilegious. The third is my favorite poem, a slice of that tasty ghetto/trailer park-style pie some of y’all seem to like…Anywho, enjoy and comment, trash it, or ask questions about it as you may.

 

A Very Depressing Christmas Poem: Nola Leigh’s Christmas

Mary and Jesus


Nola Leigh, age 43, virtuous virginity.

It is Christmas Eve and she is alone,

She can’t bear to go home.

The Madonna in Sorrow
Madonna in Sorrow Image via Wikipedia

All of her relatives are dead,

So she goes to the church instead.

Open door but no one here,

She looks to the window and sits at the rear,

Thin stain glass, the virgin and her baby as before in the past.

Mary is benevolent, Jesus is sad in his innocence, looking even then for divine penitence.

Nola Leigh, 43, virtuous virginity.

Mother Mary, where were you 40 years ago,

When Nola Leigh needed you so?

Sweet Jesus, did you not see your young servant in desperate need?

While you were in the glass, Nola Leigh just had no chance.

But that’s all in the past.

Nola Leigh, 43, virtuous virginity.

 




A Very Controversial Christmas  Poem: Merry Holidays, Jesus!

 

Is it just me or is the whole "War on Christmas" thing stupid on either side?

 

Dear Jesus,

I think you should know, some of your Father’s creations are a little slow.

Or is it me who’s a bit dense? I’m not sure, but all this to me makes little sense.

It all has to do with a little word called ‘Christmas.’

Apparently there is a war on the word. Have you in heaven heard?

Being a mortal, this I can’t understand,

Did you actually make the demand

to nick-pick on a word not even invented when you walked this earth?

When you were old enough to say it, did you cry out “Merry Christmas!”in Aramaic?

Do you spend time between listening to prayers despairing, perhaps even swearing, that ‘Xmas’ does not bear your last name?

Or are you in on the joke that the Greeks often use the ‘X’ as the abbreviation of Christ?

Is it really a vice to say “Happy Holidays!” a couple of times a year?

Or do you say, “Your inclusiveness should fry with you in the lake of hell?”

Is it bad for me to say “Merry Christmas” too?

Truthfully, Jesus, I’m all in a stew,

so I guess I’ll leave it up to you.

War on Christmas

 

 

A Semi-Festive Christmas Poem: Our Christmas Tree

 

 

Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

 

 

Oh Christmas tree, lovely Christmas tree!

Chopped down in a forest of plastic at a Chinese factory.

That year, 1987, was the first year your blessed bough  hung before us,

Joy to the World and the rest of the chorus.

That first year, do you recall?

We broke your stand and had to nail you to the wall,

tied with festive utilitarian string,

A live tree stand for a metal trunk is an interesting thing.

We Wish You a Merry Christmas and colored lights

Trying to put you up is liable to yoke a fight.

Complicated, lopsided, daring you to fall,

Well, we said, at least you’re tall.

Jingle Bells, dust, and left over tree icing,

Damn I wish it were spring and gifts weren’t so high in the pricing.

But I love your ornaments, indeed I do,

Even if you look like you were decorated by monkeys in the zoo.

Martha Stewart would cry if she saw this tree where ‘Taste’ goes to die,

But two ornaments per limb here means pleasures double,

Memories good and bad, triumph over trouble.

Gold garland and silver star, thoughts happy  do not  tacky mar.

 

 

Merry. Christmas.