Wednesday, February 24, 2010

And in the simplest of places

When you least expect it, a little bit of magic happens. Richard Nagle of Night Owl Photography was looking through some of the old photographs I had taken and in one I had dubbed "Faery Hotel", he finds a face.

A little back story; a few years back, my fiance and I took the kids to Parfrey's Glen in the Devil's Lake State Park of the Wisconsin Dells. My oldest daughter, then five or six, says she thinks this must be where the faeries live. There is a spot there, something like a wall, where it is riddled and pocked full of holes where I would assume little fae creatures could go in and out of, so I took a picture (shown below) of the wall. Mind you, this pic was taken well before I had any knowledge of Photoshop and it's glory to fix pictures and make them more pretty. This is the picture Richard saw.

This next picture, I have removed all the color, except for the face that Richard points out to me.

This next, I have put time and thought into making the picture much more bold and grand. A fate I believe she deserves.

I don't know if you also see what Richard saw, but it certainly filled my heart with joy and wonder.... and perhaps hope. Much love to you all.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

And so it went...

Well, the audition is over and as much as I am glad that it is over, the two to three week wait has been murder... and it is only day two.

Everyone keeps asking how it went, and to be honest, I feel okay about it.

Snow was coming down in the morning and I immediately panicked. I loathe snow driving, and my fiance offered to drive me the hour and handful of minutes to my audition. He says, "You're going to get to that audition, and you're going to rock it." Unfortunately, that meant that our four year old had to miss her cousin's birthday party and she wasn't too pleased about that. I hope she understands what this all meant to her mommy...

We got to the hotel about two hours early because, in anticipation of terrible driving conditions, we left extremely early. Of course, the roads are completely clear despite the weather channel's promise that driving conditions were going to be poor all the way to the audition site.

At the sign-up table the very warm and wonderful ladies working offered to move me into the earlier slot if the last person on the list was a no-show. I took a deep breath, and said yes. Dustin stayed a while with me but shortly thereafter our daughter became restless and I asked him to take her someplace more fun. We kissed, he wished me luck, and left me to my racing thoughts. And the kind lady at the sign-up desk told me I was next... My stomach did a quick somersault.

I walked into the room, and because no one said anything I said, "So is this like A.A. where I introduce myself and you all say, 'Hi, Naomi'?" I managed to get a giggle out of the directors for that one. They had me start with a vocal piece which, of course, I immediately forget how the song starts. After shaking my hands for a bit and thinking about it, I recovered. I think that I sang well even though I have this sinus infection trying to wipe me out. After I sing, they want me to play the violin. Ugh. Okay, so that wasn't awesome. Sad I even went there.

At least by the time I did my monologue I was pretty much thinking that nothing could be worse than my violin playing, so my monologue had to look wondrous in comparison. I nailed it.... I mean, really nailed it. I used emotion and the words were pouring out of my mouth with inflection, and pace. I am proud of that darned monologue. I am, however, certain that Kate shall haunt me in my dreams. While I was doing my monologue, my eyes went from one director to the next, and there was one, sadly, who seemed to have better things to do on the computer. Not that this is totally true... it was just my perception at the time. A lot of that might have come from the fact that I was a huge bundle of nerves and if I didn't see a face lit up with a smile, I thought I had failed.

Next I did my movement piece. At first, I was sort of dancing alone, and then the director for the Fantastikals came out and danced with me and played a mirror game. I am not sure if that was a good or bad sign, but it made me feel less like an ass. I portrayed Fire, and then she had me act like I was a puppet-person. That was... weird feeling.

People keep asking me how I did with the movement. To be honest I was nervous and so stuck in my own head that I really couldn't tell you. I hope that I did well enough but I won't know for a couple of weeks if it was enough.

To be honest, I have always felt awkward and tomboyish. My feet are too big and my fingers too long and my knees to knobby. I have never really felt graceful. Not like I see these characters. They are the embodiment of the things they emulate and I feel like I am outside, nose to the glass, always on this side. I know I could do it in the makeup but at the audition I had to be me. I had to be the person I see myself as, no masks, no makeup. It was hard.

After that I was dismissed but had to do a quick frolic for the Bristol Buskin Frolic's director. I giggled and danced around like a fruit for a little bit.

Waiting back in the room with the other girls in my audition slot, we laughed about a lot of different things. One I had already met on my Faceplace, and the others seemed ready to talk about anything but auditions and were very friendly. After the last girl did her audition, we waited a few minutes until they called us in for our group improv.

The thing about improv is that you do these activities, but you don't remember a darn thing you said because it was spur of the moment and right from the belt. I know that I made an Ode to a Basket of Chips, and that it was funny, but I can't for the life of me remember what the heck I even said. All I know is that group improv was a blast. After that we were told we could head home.

My feelings? I think I might be offered a part. I don't know if I'll get the part I want, but I have a feeling they might offer me something. Only time will tell, and this is only day two of my two to three week wait. And it is murder.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Warning: Contains Excitement

Well, it is about 36 odd hours until I begin an adventure I have never been on before. I have an outfit specifically for this event, a head shot, a monologue memorized, and a resume. I have a full tank of gas and a heart brimming with excitement and ambition. I also have a tummy full of butterflies and love it just a little bit...

I decided that this experience was going to do a lot for me.

I have remained stagnant in the town I am living in for too long now and it is beginning to eat at my creativity. I am in a serious rut when it comes to the novel I am working on, and what I need is a new experience and this is exactly what I need. I am a classic Sagittarius. I need to live in the moment and revel in the new things that I can see and do. I don't just sit out, I have to be in the moment, lost in the feelings that it creates. I need this for ME. I need this to bring back that spark I had when I started college and began something new.

Don't get me wrong, this adventure doesn't put my education on the back burner. In fact, the days I would be working are days that I would not be at school at all. Because I don't attend in the summer, this works perfectly for me. And I WANT this, damnit!

So, is this just a whim? No. I was going to audition after I went to Faire the first time, but utterly chickened out. I don't think I had the confidence that I needed at that time to envision myself in a part. The other huge thing has been the absolutely WONDERFUL bonds I have with Faire friends and family that have made this a possibility. It would take hours to list all of the people that have made an impact with this choice, but I promise you that if I get a role at Faire I will list them all. I will look through my Faceplace and find every encouraging comment and thank every single one of those people individually on here. Even if I don't get a part, I will do this... but I need to wait until after I find out one way or the other.

As the time draws nearer and nearer to AUDITION TIME, my tummy does back flips. I have confidence in myself, and others have confidence in me. I have what I need for this audition pretty much prepared. These nerves are good and the excitement building inside has me so full of life right now that I want to keep and savor this moment. I want to lay in bed tomorrow night and sigh and know I have done what I could to prepare, and then earn that part.

I love you, my darlings.

I would say, "Tell me to break a leg," but you have already done that. And for that, I am grateful.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Short Story, in the works

Mrs. Cisse preferred to be called just that. She was old enough to be your great-grandmother, and reminded you of that fact as often as she could. She was old enough now to have forgotten more than you would ever hope to learn in your life, and if there was one thing that she loved more than anything, it was to tell stories.

She would sit way back in her rickety old rocking chair and slip the shoes from her dark African feet and hum a few bars of an old forgotten song before beginning her tale.

"Why do you do that, Mrs. Cisse?" you ask timidly one day, wiping your dusty hands on the thighs of your dusty blue jeans.

She opens her eyes only for a moment in a hawk-like glare and closes them again to resume rocking in the chair. Creeeeeak.... snap. Creeeeeeak..... snap.

As she leans forward in the chair once more, you see the youth in her eyes. She is smiling and almost seems transported to the banks of a river in Africa. You can almost smell the mud on her feet, in her hair. You catch a whiff of smoke, and hear the beat of distant drums.

When I but a young girl we fish from the banks of the Kafue River. Mostly we catch pike or yellow bream, but my father wish to catch the magic barbel. Now, barbel are not good for eating, mind. It cause much sickness of the tummy and cramps that make you feel like Nenaunir crawl up inside your belly and make a storm inside it. He want to catch this fish because he say he use it to find me a husband that love me for all time.

'Mubambi,' he would say, 'lie down in the tall grasses and wait by the
edge of the water until you see a flash of red in the water. It happen when the sun reach the tips of the acacia tree. When you see it you call out to me in the language of our people. You say NYEJUGU! as loud as you can and you make that barbel turn it eyes to the sunset. When it look away, you point at it and I spear it, and we use it in a paste we put on your breasts for the good man to come to you.'

"Now you stop snickerin', you! 'Dere be nothing wrong with a fine pair of breasts, especially when they covered in mud and grasses. You might grow a pair of fine breasts yourself one day, and you might find you a man that take care of you. All you children think you know so much, but you just worryin' bout your cell phones and your dee-vi-dees. You just be still now and let me tell you this story so you might learn something." She settles herself back into her rocking chair, the sun slanting across her dark cheek.

I laid down in the tall grasses just like my father tell me and I don't see nothing in the water but little minnows, and hippos across the bank laying in the sun. The flies are getting bad in the wet grasses and they tickle the back of my naked legs.
The sun is beginning to make a slow descent and I can hear the rustle of birds finding their roosts for the night. I cannot hear my father near me, but I know that he is there, waiting. I hear a hippo pass gas across the river and I have to hold back a giggle that tries to jump up outta me.

When the sun finally reaches the top of the acacia trees, I squint my eyes real tight and concentrate on the slow moving water.

"Did you see the magic barbel?" you ask in a small voice.

"Well, child, if you would just button up your lip I might get to that part of the story," she says, but with a gentle tone.

I laid there waiting, just waiting for something to happen. Night started to fall and the bats were beginning their dips and dives for night insects over the river.

'Well Mubambi, I don't think we are going to see the magic barbel tonight,' says he. He sounds a bit sad.

As we head back to our small home in our village, I can hear the talking drums from the village to the east. Because I don't speak the language of the talking drums, I look to my father to answer the questions in my eyes.

'It's nothing Mubambi,' he says, but I seen fear in those dark eyes. I never knew my father to be scared of nothing, but he sure looked scared then. I could feel my heart thumping hard in my chest to the beat of them drums.

My father instructed me to get back to our hut and tell my mother to put supper on. He handed me a small string of fish, which was enough for just the three of us, and he made his way toward the chief's hut. Women were not allowed in that part of the village so I had no choice but to head home.

My mother was grinding grains when I moved the grasses aside, readying them for a bread that she would make for our supper.

'Father wanted me to give you these,' I tell her. 'He want me to tell you that he want you to start making dinner.'

'Well, what it look like I am doing child?' she ask me, her breasts were full and her belly look ready to burst with the baby inside it.

I duck under the hand that swings at my head and she sigh. She too tired to scold me now, and I am happy for the change of pace. Later on my father comes into the hut and looks a little less scared than he did earlier, but still I can see something in his eyes. He sits down on the mat and lets my mother serve him his dinner, and looks at me as he sets the large leaf down on the mat.

'Mubambi, you have been chosen for a very important task,' he says.

'What task, father?' I ask him. 'Aren't we already on a task to find the magic barbel?'

'We must put that task aside. You are to travel to the next village with a basket of goods.'

'When am I to do this, father?'

'As soon as there is light in the sky,' he says.

That night I lie on my small bed and listen as my mother and father talk. I hear them argue about my travels for the next day. My mother want to know why I get chose to go to the next village and my father tell her that I not be as noticeable as a man traveling. That no one will bother with a young girl carrying a basket on a path. A man with a basket be stopped right away and then the gift never make it to the temple.

I have dreams that night of drums. I dream that I am running with my head basket and that men are chasing me down a path I don't recognize. I wake to my mother slapping my face and glaring at me.

'You can't sleep all day, girl! You must get up and do what your father tell you!' She says. She loves yelling at me and slapping my face. She mad that I am not yet married, as I should have been five moons ago. She shamed because no man want me. They say my eyes ain't right.

As I make my way outside the hut, my father waiting there with a small head basket filled with fruits.

'Why do I have to take this basket of fruit, father? Do they not have food in the next village?'

I didn't hear my mother come out of the hut behind me, and was not expecting the sting of a slap to the face to come from behind me.

'Mbuku! You do not question your father! You would be whipped if I had the time to do it!' she says, raising her hand to slap me again.

My father grabs her wrist and puts her hand to her side forcefully. With a glare at me, my mother retreats back into the hut, and I can hear her mumbling to herself.

My father puts a hand to my stinging cheek and wipes a tear from it. He places the basket on my head and touches his cheek to mine. Though I am too old for my father to be showing this affection, he does it anyway.

'Mubambi, I want you to take this basket to Baruti, in the next village. He is a wise man there. Talk to no one on your way there, not even to the Gods. No one must know your name on this journey my daughter,' he tells me.

(Will continue more later)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I have neglected you for several days, and for that I apologize. I suppose I had a lot more going on than I originally thought I would.

We went to an indoor water park for my daughter's fourth birthday and brought extra kids along, so that was fun and interesting. I wore a bikini for the first time in a looooong time, and got compliments on my new tattoo. It was nice to spend time with Dusty's kids, and to get their minds off of things for a while. They seemed to really enjoy being out of town and in a new place for a while, and not being treated like fragile glass all weekend. I think all the hours in the water park wore them out though, because they when it was time to leave they all seemed eager and slept in the car on the way home.

Valentine's Day wasn't really anything super special, but my fiance did take two of his favorite girls (myself and my four year old) out to eat at my favorite place. There wasn't a whole lot of time for anything else because he had to be up and ready for work by four thirty in the morning.
We ended up going to see the movie Valentine's Day last night, and I thought it was a really cute movie. It did make me think about how connected we all are, and how we are all just a few steps from other situation as messed up as our own.

I keep realizing each day just how much closer I am to my audition, and I'm not going to lie, I am getting nervous. And also excited, and nauseous, and happy, and all sorts of other emotions. I haven't done this sort of thing in a long time, and I just want to do my best. I know I can do it, I just have to do it when I get there... I think that that is going to be the tricky part. Oh and the wait after... that's going to be murder!!

Have some thoughts in mind for a few short stories. I might stick those here when I get around to writing them up. For now, I am going to go do my monologue and exercises. Much love.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Lately I got a chance to interview Hal Sparks. He’s hilarious, creative, and I am pretty sure has one of the longest tongues in recorded history. With so much going on in his life, it was really an honor to get a chance to ask him a few questions, much less the large number that he took the time to answer. The best part is the fact that I got to squee like a blushing fan girl when he answered the questions. With that said, here’s my interview with Hal.

NH: So, most people recognize you from Talk Soup or the VH1 shows that you have been on (my personal favorites are the I Love... series, but you kicked major butt in Celebracadabra) but I personally loved you in Dude, Where's My Car. What do you think Zoltan would have to say about all this Mayan Calendar hoo-ha? (And yes, I *did* just say hoo-ha.)

HS: Well being that I’ve spent more time as Zoltan than any other person
in history I know him well enough to say that he’d say It’s scientific enough to think of it as the Mayan Y2K but nerdy enough to still be upset about Y2K to not bring it up – and personally, I share his view.

NH: You seem to have your hands in a lot of pots right now... Comedy, acting, voice acting (as Tak in the video game) AND leading the band Zero 1. Is there anything you CAN'T do?

HS: More won’t than can’t. Believe it or not, I am somewhat selective about how I use my energy and where. I’m a big believer in do everything in your life that brings you joy until it either stops bringing you joy or you find something else that brings you more joy. I think people are too focused in some ways in thinking about what they can’t do or shouldn’t do instead of what they really want. I would venture to say that most of the people that focus heavily on the volume of things I do would be better suited focusing on the things they stop themselves from doing, and asking themselves “Why?”

NH: When it comes to tongues, I hear that yours is pretty darned impressive. What is the strangest thing you have ever licked (Besides the obvious "nose gold")?

HS: I’d tell you but that would be fair to her – I mean, it – I mean – nevermind.

NH: You have a stand-up special coming up called Charmageddon (great name by the way), is this going to be a tour or just a special on cable?

HS: There has been a tour that lead up to the special. I tend to name my tours so that I can more easily define what material I’ve been working on, what I’ve done and when. Charmageddon comes from a social tool I use that gives me the ability to talk about the most difficult of subjects while using charm to get away with it. All the tour information, people can find at of course. (How do you like that plug?)

NH: Most people know I have a HUGE issue with people using the term "That's so gay", as an actor from the series Queer as Folk do you take a stance on the subject at all?

HS: Of course – unless you’re using it as a compliment, I suppose. I wouldn’t object to people going “Wow, donating a kidney to a friend. That’s so gay!” or “Doctors without borders. That’s so gay!” I guess it’s all about what you say right before you say it. All kidding aside, I do think it’s dumb that people use it as a derogatory phrase. It does interest me that teenagers and middle school kids are now spelling gay “g-e-i-y” in some cases to delineate the difference between the homosexual term “gay” and the stupid/weird/weak associations the term has gotten otherwise, so there is a difference.

NH: What is your biggest pet peeve? Mine, for example, is when people are walking really slowly in front of me when I am in a hurry.

HS: Ah so your pet peeve is with yourself. Cause you’re the one in the hurry, they’re just walking. Now I know something about you. I don’t really have pet peeves or minor annoyances. Either something enrages me or it can completely be ignored. As a matter of fact, most
of the time I encounter things that other people would consider peevy – I either write material based on them or just laugh to myself, because it’s absurd.

NH: Your band, Zero 1 has another album coming out called "The Sacred Nothing". When can we expect to see this in stores and when do I get my free, signed copy?!

HS: Do they still have stores that sell CDs? I wasn’t aware. In answer to your second question, whenever you come see me do a live show, either doing standup or music.

(As an aside; Umm… SWEEEEET!)

NH: You are an avid non-drinker (of alcohol), and you have said on Twitter that you have never touched the stuff. Is there some reason for this or do you just mainline instead? (Said with the obvious humor it intended.)

HS: There’s too many reasons to list. Mainly because it’s not based on any one element but on personal principle. The truth is at a very young age I saw what it seemed like was an experiment that everybody seemed to be conducted on themselves with no control to the experiment.
Normally when you test a drug on a lab rat you have one rat that isn’t taking it. It seemed like everyone I knew took it without ever seeing if their life would be better or different or the same, normal or abnormal, if they just didn’t. So I figured I’d just be the control. Then along the way, I had a lot of other reinforcements and reasons that came along. From the KISS song “Detroit Rock City” to the untimely death of Steve Clark from Def Leppard to horrible stories of people doing things while drunk they wouldn’t have done otherwise, and having lost some friends at a very young age to the effects of alcohol seems like plenty of reason to me. The odd thing is, more people ask me why I don’t drink without ever asking themselves why they do in the first place. Considering they’re making the decision to participate in an activity, logic would follow that they would have to explain why they do it instead of those who don’t having to explain to them.

NH: You not-so-recently cut off your hair and donated it. Any other worthy causes you might like to see get a boost? (My college fund could use paying for... just saying...)

HS: There’s a charity page going up at that includes a lot of the organizations I work with, not the least of which is the Lili Claire Foundation, Doctors without Borders, and Farm Sanctuary. If you think my schedule as an entertainer is busy, you should see the amount
of work that I would like to do with the charities in my life. It’s a whole career in and of itself.

NH: There's a little debate around your actual height and I would like to clear it all up. Some people are saying 5'5" while others are giving you a “generous” 5'8". How tall are you?!

HS: Since when is the national average generous? But for the record, I’m taller than 5’8” by a smidge. Oft times when I play a character who needs to be perceived as weak, or a follower or the like, I’m often cast against people who are significantly taller than I am which gives
the illusion that I am shorter than I am, which is very depressing for people who have friends that they think look like me. I meet that person, and they are 5’2” and the look on their face is priceless.

NH: What is the strangest request you have received from a fan?

HS: There is by no means any metric to judge the strangeness of the things I have been asked to do, be, or give to fans over the years. And if I came up with one, someone would top it on Twitter in 10 minutes. Obviously if you’re in the public eye at all, people are going to proposition you constantly to do all kinds of things. Some of which, quite frankly, are doable. Most of which, however, are insane. Call me crazy, but I find it amusing. And I appreciate the engagement
and creativity. As long as they don’t get too pushy.

NH: You are listed everywhere as single... I find this to be totally unacceptable! When shall we marry and what should be the theme? (Note the timing of that question following the previous one.)

HS: Clearly you haven’t seen my opinions on marriage. Personally I think that the minute you assume you’re going to get married, you discount the person you are in a relationship with and start interviewing them for a job. If marriage happens, it should never be a given or an expected outcome to any relationship. One of the things people miss when I crap on marriage in my act is that I actually take it more seriously than most people. I just don’t believe that it’s automatically going to happen to me, so that when I’m dating someone, I’m not just sizing them up whether they’ll be a good wife or mother, which people do all the time to each other. As for the theme?
Traditional Native American wedding.

NH: Thank you so very much, Hal. You are truly amazing!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Magic in the Making

Well, got a wild hair today and decided to try and piece together some ideas for fairy wings.

I wandered the aisles of the local Hobby Lobby long enough for the cashier's voice to echo around the store letting me know that I had fifteen minutes until the store closed so would I please bring my purchases up to the front? (I am pretty sure that the underlying phrase was, "I am sick of looking at old women and fake spring flowers and if you would bring whatever crap you're buying to the front so I could close out my register I'd appreciate it". At least that was the vibe I got when, ten minutes later, she was reminding me yet again that I had not yet brought my purchases to the front and someone somewhere gave the lights a quick on-and-off for good measure.

I brought my odd assortment of items to the front register for purchase at eight o'clock sharp and after giving me the stink eye for half a second, the cashier began to ring up my items; Three rolls of pearlized cellophane, one purple pearlized table covering, 5mm solder (on a spindle), floral tape, two scissors, a can of spray adhesive, and a bundle of long decorative sticks... she looked me over with what I assume to be mild amusement and gave me (what I assume was meant to be) a smile (and looked more like she had a mild toothache or a moderate pain in the posterior) and bade me good night.

Once I got the stuff home, I began to work furiously with some concept designs, and I think I like what ideas I have come up with so far. Now there are little bits of cellophane all over the house and my daughter believes that I have lost my mind.

So why am I making fairy wings? Well... that would be telling you. But just know that they have a purpose, and sometime in the future I'll reveal what that purpose is. For now, enjoy this photo of my first prototype swatch.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Even though sickness is taking its toll on me, I still must do the things that need done, which sucks. Unlike some people, I find it difficult to accept the help of others when I am not doing well. I don't like to ask for help at the best of times, and I seek it from few people. In a way I feel a bit guilty asking my fiance for help because he is the one going out and earning all the money while I am at home getting an education.

Don't get me wrong, I could ask for help, and I would get it too but I just feel like a bit of a pain in the ass asking at all.

Today I bought a fish. Why is this important? No idea. I stayed up to an insane time cleaning all the green algae out of the fresh water tank I have. Took all the water and decor out of it, the fish, EVERYTHING... cleaned it all and put it back in then got to thinking, 'If I had a plecostomus , I wouldn't have had to do all this work...' So I bought one. For those of you unfamiliar with fish types, those are the ones doing a Hoover job on the tank.

Bought myself some really nice athletic clothes for when I am working out and practicing as well. Nothing like being comfortable when you are working out. Currently I have been working on a lot of core exercises, because really, it's my tummy I am not happy with. By no means am I overweight, but having two kids left me an insane amount of loose skin that I would love to be rid of. After some of this exercise, I have heard that some light tanning will also decrease the visibility of stretch marks. Probably more info than you cared to know about, but what the hell, I say.

I also cleaned my little one's room today. It is amazing how much crap can be amassed in a few short weeks of not paying close attention. Besides, she is like a small hurricane in her bedroom and it was a bit ridiculous in there. Pretty sure there were Sluagh under her bed, so after I cleaned it out I left a few small trinkets for them to take back to their evil little fae denizens.

I am pretty sure I saw someone that I liked when I looked in the mirror. Even though I am sick and look a mess, I liked what I saw. I don't know why that was the way it was today in comparison to others, and I don't dislike what I see any other day but I am not sure that I always like it. For some reason today I saw a little spark there. Something worth enjoying. It was refreshing.

Now I am off to do some more laundry. I have to go with the energy surge when I have them because every time I stop I shut down. I can't afford that right now because if I miss a day, I get waaaay behind. See you soon my lovelies. All my love.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

I feel like parts of me are on the table
Scattered round like a toppled house of cards.
Spades piercing,
Clubs to beat you senseless with concern.
Hearts beating,
Diamonds glittering like a ray of hope.

Choose a card, any card.
Put it in your back pocket
or hold it near your heart.

There's no winning this game,
This gamble in life.
One thing's for sure
They make a really nice house.

Into the Past...

Life, for an eight year old, can be very complicated. One minute she has a boy chasing her around, the next she is punching him in the face because he's being mean to her friends and on Friday she came home with a bruise on her cheek because this boy kicked her in the face at recess. It reminds me a lot of my school yard days...

She is growing up so fast and her sister is right behind her with a birthday coming up in six days.

I just have no idea where the time goes anymore...

One minute they are sleeping next to you in bed, skin smelling sweet like powder, their breath like milk. Any small cry wakes you from sleep and you know that it is time to walk the floors with them and comfort them until they sleep once more. Now it is all I can do to get them to sit much less lay down with me, content to listen to the beat of my heart.

Perhaps it is just one of those days where you realize that time is slipping away from you and you wonder if you have remembered to be grateful for it all. Have you remembered to teach them all you can? To let them be the people they are and not the people you expect them to be? Have you listened to their imaginations? Have you nurtured their self confidence? It seems that there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish it all and as these years fly by you stop occasionally to marvel at the human being you have created.

When I was eight years old my parents had been divorced a year and I had been uprooted and taken from one of the southern states to one of the northernmost states away from my father and brothers. I fought with anyone who came near and was angry in general at the world. I was cooking most of my own food by then, and I never had a baby sitter. I rode the metropolitan bus lines and would wander around Madison by foot on my own. Imagine a blond haired, blue-eyed child... thrift store clothes and sneakers torn at the soles from summers past. I had a southern accent I was desperately trying to shake and burdens that an eight year old should never carry. I fought very bravely and lost as many scuffles as I won. And I wonder...

Am I different now? Am I better?

I am still fighting fights, only these with my mind. I am still wearing out my shoes from play only now it is climbing rocks and chasing my kids. I still feel the weight of burden, but there isn't a way to shake it anymore. I know that one thing has never changed though; when I love, I love fiercely...when I fight, I fight bravely... when I smile, I mean it with every part of me.

My daughters make me smile.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Thank you sir, may I have another?

Well, I guess I get to add another great friend to the ranks of people who are growing up and moving away (see: joining the military). I am not really sure what the draw is for some people, and for others it is more than obvious... it's just not a choice I can make for my family.

As much as I ache and itch for the big city once more, the unfortunate truth is that my daughter comes from a "broken" family and because we share custody, neither of us will be going anywhere anytime soon. Perhaps if she were old enough to make the choice of who she wanted to live with it might be a different story but the sad fact is that I never want her to have to choose. My brothers and I were put through that and I don't want that for my little girl. You feel like you are betraying one or the other when you have to make a choice like that, and a kid needs both parent in their lives.

The other issue is that so many of my friends and family are here, and my daughter's family from her dad. I want her to be able to have family nearby because I was never able to do that. Besides, my fiance's family is here as well, and our little girl needs her family too.

It's so hard. I am a big city girl living in a small city.

It's not that Janesville is a tiny place in the middle of nowhere, it's just that the diversity here never changes... and with GM shutting down, the place is sort of going to crap. Moving here from Madison was hard enough and it doesn't seem to be getting any better.

The truth is that I need to spread out my wings some. I need to be able to stretch and grow and see new things so that I have things to write. I need the new to spark what's in there. I think that that is why I want this job at Ren Faire so much. It would really add to the things that I have done and accomplished, seen and experienced, touched and lived through. It's an endeavor such as I have never done and my brain really needs the change of pace. School, while enjoyable, is monotonous and the walls of my house get smaller everyday.

This doesn't mean that I want to go out and "be all that I can be". Quite the opposite, actually. My dad was in the Army and we moved almost quarterly, it seemed. I was constantly having to make new friends, see new things, all that. And while it made me the person I am now, I really do enjoy the root structure I have made for the kids. Frankly, I have no reason to leave just yet.

I am going to miss them so much... but they are family, they'll come home to me.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Again? Seriously??!!

So yeah, got on the same rant I did before about my mom, only this one to my Psych professor. We were talking about mental illness as a hereditary disease and Nature vs. Nurture, blah blah blah. My professor, I am pretty sure, was just trying to get me going mostly because I am the only one in the class who actually wants to go against what the text says, and because discussion board postings aren't graded on content that can be considered true or false she likes to push my hot buttons. She knew she had found a topic I would rant about so I did. I really just don't want to talk about it anymore. There's nothing that I can do, so I would rather not think about it. And as for mental illness being hereditary? Well, I don't even want to go back into that...

On a better note, though, I have been practicing the monologue and getting pretty far with it. I am quite stoked. Most of the time I just need a teeny little clue to remember the lines I forget and as soon as I can eliminate those, I will be more confident. I have little to no trouble writing the whole thing out, but it will be way different trying to make it conversational. I need to remind myself to get batteries for my voice recorder. I think that will make all the difference in the world having that as a backup for before the actual audition.

In other news, it was a long day for me. The homework is sort of yanking me away from the other things that I have to do, but the homework trumps everything else because I have to rely on the government to keep paying for school. Sort of puts me over the barrel when all of my professors decide to pile it on simultaneously. Don't get me wrong. I absolutely love school and do very well at it, it is just very time consuming. Especially when doing it all online. You normally have one class a day (maybe two) at the school, you have an assignment to finish and bring back. This way requires me to check in to four classes DAILY, with one to two assignments due each week. But I love it. I really do.

I paid for the parts for my car today and that stung a little... I mean, it has to be done right? I have to have wheels to get around and thank the gods I shall only have to change these on the car once. *Does that knocking on wood thing*

I suppose I had better get busy doing something... If anything else comes to mind, I'll be back with more.

Oh, and don't forget to feed the fish. They like the attention.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The inner workings

Got on a rant today about things that upset me... on accident. Was talking to a good friend about my mom and really got myself a little pissed off. I know that I should love, honor, and obey my mother and all that, but just thinking about her makes me angry at times. I want to have that feel good relationship with her but I just can't bring myself to do it.

When most people say, "My mom is crazy," we tend to feel a little bad for them. I never do, because my mom is certifiably nuts. I got to spend the bulk of my first pregnancy taking care of my mom when she was in and out of the psych ward and doped up on so many different drugs she couldn't function. I have broken my back cleaning my mom's house because she just gave up caring about it. I have loaned my mom money when the paltry sum she gets for Social Security doesn't pay out for her frivolous and ridiculous spending habits. Five dollars here, ten dollars there. I had to take my brother in when my mom decided that an alcoholic boyfriend was more important.

No. I don't want sympathy. I don't want advice on what to do about it, and I don't want anyone feeling like they know me a little better now.

I want people to understand that at times I cringe because someone has said that they know my mom from "that coffee shop downtown". "Does she ever go home?" "What does she do there all day?" I don't have the answers. I try to stay out of it. I just don't want people to associate the way she is with the way I am. I want them to understand that I am the way I am, and she is the way she is. There's really no common ground any more.

Don't take all this the wrong way either. I love my mom. My mom gave me life, and shares my blood. I just don't respect her and I am trying to figure out how to do that and keep my own integrity. I want to help without enabling. I want to find a balance.

That's all for now I think. Sorry about the rant.