Tuesday, December 16, 2014

it's the season


It's the season for being busy and doing all the season things. 
I'm laying low. Still on a regular schedule of going to work and coming home. But the shack is twinkly, and the festive music plays, and the classic Christmas cartoons and movies are on, but my insides are busy. My head is crowded. I feel like I should do more, but I have no idea what that would be. I weird out every year on the matter of not wanting to miss anything. I want to squeeze every drop of Christmas I can, and I do. 


Mostly the skies have been a muted shade of gray, except for one day they were blue, and the night was black with a quarter moon suspended low enough for some stars to throw a glittery trail around as they zoomed by. 

The tree has been up for several days already and it smells SO GOOD. I know there are sprays and candles that say they're going to smell like a Christmas tree, but no, I don't think this aroma can be duplicated. And if I'm wrong, please tell me where to find such a thing. 

Lucky for me that we've got a three person family living in a two bedroom shack, and that means that my little bed is nestled in close to the tree in the living room. It works. Sweet scents for slumber.


The tree is wilting a bit already. Some of the limbs are in a downward drift. But it's still the most beautiful tree we've ever had. And yes, we say that every year. But every year it's true. And again, the smell. It's nose candy. Not that kind. 


The little elf, Buddy, is back to flying around, back and forth all over the house. I love this elf. I know a lot of people hate it, but I love it. I love having magical things for kids. The world is full of reality, I say more magic for kids. For us all. Even when some of our kids and some of us understand the magic, when our eyes have grown more mature to see around the magic, the magic can still be there. It's still fun. 



I mentioned to the kids that maybe we could make each other gifts this year instead of buying them. I didn't get much of a response. I think that they didn't really think I was a little bit serious. They hoped I wasn't serious. They laughed and ignored me. Let's just say... they've seen the things that I've tried to make in the past. I knew that pile of reindeer shit wasn't going to fly when I brought it up. 

I can't craft. I draw stick people. I can't sew. I don't love to bake. 

I can color, though. I can blend and shade some colors to a masterpiece. Crayola should really be paying me. Also, I'm pretty good with a knife. I'm thinking arrows. I could make arrows. A stick with a point. I'm golden. 


Laying low isn't a bad thing at all. We're soaking in the best of gifts on the daily. We're together, my boy, my girl and I. We laugh and talk and we argue. Sometimes there's dancing and singing going on, and sometimes I hear it coming from the shower. That always makes me smile.



Part of my weirdo mind expects everything to go down like old Hollywood. Glamour and glitz and sparkles lights, and food on trays and song and dance, and Bing Crosby, Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, and while that may not be realistic, it is, and it's totally, really already happening. Except for instead of evening gowns, tuxedos and tap shoes, we wear layers of hoodies, hats and boots. 

We munch on nuts, chocolates, cheeses and crackers, and popcorn and all that good stuff. We make platters of nachos, or hot wings that bring the heat and will make you cry. It's all good here at the shack.



And we listen to this...


-Angie




Friday, December 12, 2014

as real as real can be 6

Last weekend we took a day and we traded patch-paved roads for highways. 

We left trees and leaves and earth behind, for concrete, iron and steel. 

We handed off the television, phones and computers for a deck of cards and conversation.

We ate microwaveable food sealed in plastic from the vending machine instead of home-cooked. 

To us it's vending, for him it's a treat. We sat in a room filled with people where we only knew one person. And that one person is worth every bit of the day long trade offs. Strange as it is and as bad as it's really hated, the whole day is really a treat for all of us. 

We're swapping out years for months now. Much like counting down the days until Christmas, we are counting down the months. No longer years. It's getting to be a home stretch, and instead of the sorrow of things gone by and time lost, we now daydream about the realities of the times to come. Making plans. 

Time is the weirdest thing. Sometimes it seems like everything happened just a few days ago. Mostly, though, it seems exactly 100 years longer than the actual three years that it has been. 

It's been over six years since the whole nightmare started. I'll never, ever forget the day he called to tell me what had happened. I told him it would all be alright. Somehow, everything would be OK. When I hung up the phone I screamed and cried. I'll probably cry the day he walks out of that place and goes home. Another trade off. Tears of fear for tears of happiness. 

While my brother looks forward to his own things, some of the smallest of things, I look forward to being able to call him on the phone, taking pictures with him, sitting with him on a couch at home, giving him a hug without having a watchful eye or a search. I look forward to everything. 

We all wore red, mom, the girls, and I, to the Big House that houses nearly all gang members. Because Christmas. But at least mom's shirt was of a flannel, plaid print, and mine had Snoopy and Woodstock. So I think it was obvious that we weren't reppin for either side. We would make some pretty awful gang members. Next time we go we're trading off the reds for some blues. Gotta keep it neutral. 

-Angie

as real as real can be
as real as real can be 2
as real as real can be 3
as real as real can be 4
as real as real can be 5

Thursday, December 11, 2014

this post will change your life forever! - no, it won't

What happens next will amaze you!!! 
Nobody expected THIS!!! 
When you see this you won't believe your eyes!!! 
This made me choke on my coffee!!! 
This made me cry so hard!!! 
You will be forever changed!!!

You might think you know what's going to happen, but you don't, and when the complete opposite thing happens, you are going to fall straight flat on your back and all of your skin is going to melt away !!! while your eyeballs bulge out of your sockets !!! and then you'll eat them !!! and then your veins will string themselves together to form into bricks and you will literally be a pile of shit bricks, because, OH SHIT, which is what you are usually guaranteed to do... SHIT BRICKS. It will be the most out-fucking-rageous thing EVA!!!


Uh yeah, if you could just calm way the fuck down. All of the exclamation points alone give me anxiety. They make me nervous. They make me run, do not walk, RUN in the other direction. I mean, that's a lot of yelling, right? That's too much excitement, eh? 

Or is it just me? I'm typically not the end result of what any of those exclamation points proclaim. Is anyone? Is anyone really amazed, or choking on their coffee, or being forever changed? Because if they are, then I think I must be kind of an emotional flat liner. And I'm kind of really ok with that. Really. I'll just be standing over here and I'll be all - Dude... check that sky...

I like some ordinary stories with a calm little dot of a period at the end of it. Sometimes exclamation points are necessary and warranted, and sometimes they're just fun to throw around, but sometimes means sometimes, not alltimes. 

Same with text messages. People just be screaming at me in text messages. And sometimes if it's somebody that I don't even know very well, then I'm left to assume they're not yelling at me, because how could they be? They don't even know me, so what? But they're not angry, they're just so happy, or maybe they're not, and they just think that the !!! shows that they are happy and so pleased to be texting me that those !!! just fly out. I mean, I really don't know what the fuck is going on there. It must be like when we throw a smiley face emoticon down just to make sure that we're not coming across as, what, not pleasant enough? 

When you text somebody, take a deep calming breath, and say in your head what you're going to text to that person. If you're not excited when you hear yourself say it, or if you're not obviously yelling at the person, then don't add on the seventeen exclamation points. 

The more exclamation points means the louder and longer you're yelling about something. That's how I read it. It all reads a little manic to me, also. I think a lot of people's crazy comes out in those points. That could be a rule to follow. How crazy do I think this person is? Well, let's just go back and see how many exclamation points they've used, shall we? 

You guys stay crazy and cool and excited, just quit yelling at me so much. 

-Angie


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

into the woods













I love it out here, mom. There is everything to do out here. I feel bad for people that don't get to live in a place like this. -Jolie

Even during the times we lived in town, I would take us all out to the country and into the woods every chance I got. I wanted them to love the woods and what's in those woods as much as I did when I was little. For me now, it's necessity. Nature is like life's iron. Wrinkles in your shit? They won't be there, or, they won't be as noticeable after you spend some time with nature. Nature can smooth things away. It's the way to breathe and balance out. 

When Tyler was younger, and like Jolie now, it was just fun to be outside. There's always some kind of living thing to see and something joyous to hear. Always treasures to be found - a feather, maybe a snakeskin, a vacant turtle shell, or a skull. And probably they get to see all of these things still living, too. Maybe a winter's supply of nuts in an old rotted fallen tree. 

Jolie found a stash of nuts and felt bad for unknowingly uncovering it until it was too late, because the squirrels probably worked so hard. I assured her they would be fine, and would probably come back for their nuts. But right there - empathy. Being outside with living things, where there are no written rules, but kind of... more understandings and a handshake, offers life lessons. 

For Tyler now, and I imagine it will be the same for Jolie when she's older, it's a bit of necessity to get out at times. The air is good and far and wide. The woods have a way of setting roots way deeper in your soul than in any earth. 

-Angie

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

plastic or glass - which would god have?



I think that when I'm asleep I probably have the key to the answers to all of the world's greatest questions, but I can't remember them when I wake up. This time when I left sleep on the pillow and thought I was having a genius moment, I grabbed my phone about two seconds after my eyes opened to jot it down, but as I was jotting it down I could only remember a part of it. The part that only posed another question. The answer and the why of it were left behind in slumber. 

This is what I wrote: Plastic cup or glass mug. Which would God have? 

I can't remember what God was doing that would lead me to think about what his preference would be, but it was like the coolest analogy ever. It was very sophisticated symbolism. Probably.

Was he going to have a beer? Catch a spider? Play the cup song? Make the little kid phone with the string running between the two? I don't know. It remains a mystery. 

Seems like it had something to do with shoveling. Because it was really deep. The world will never know. 

-Angie

Sunday, November 30, 2014

a letter to the racist people or potentially racist people or whatever

So the last day of the blogging every day for the month of November is today and I've stepped nearly completely out of my usual writing and have written a letter of sorts to the racist people or potentially racists people or whatever. 

The prisons are full of black people. The system is harder on black people. Justice does not move as swiftly for blacks. Those are facts. These handful of online posts circulating talking about - Look what happened to this white person by this black person, where's the outcry? Are you fucking kidding me with that? Handful. Literally. Most of which didn't need an outcry, because justice did, in fact, come swiftly. 

OR, you find a clip of a black guy that is as equally crazy as you are, spewing the same ignorant hate as you do, and then all of a sudden this guy is your fucking messiah. Oh, here's a black guy that agrees with us and sees things like we do, so he must be one of the good ones. 

Also, what's your point in posting this stuff? I mean, I do get it, because, well, you thrive on hate, but I just can not understand it. I realize that you're hanging on by the skin of your teeth in an attempt to make all blacks look bad; be bad. However, there's a nationwide movement taking place, in case you missed it, because there is obviously a huge problem that has been going on. Can you really not see it? Really? You should probably have that problem seen about. You know, your eyes and your hearts.

I don't get why some of you are so angry, anyway. You probably don't have any black friends, and your kids probably don't either, so in your lily white, perfectly cookie cut world, what is your actual problem if it's not even affecting you? Is it ignorance? Are you just ignorant? C'mon, admit it, you're just being blindingly ignorant, right? Bless your hearts. You don't even know you're ignorant and you probably never will.

But so alright, you don't have any friends other than white friends, and maybe that's not your fault. (coughbullshitcough) Maybe you just don't get out much? Work? Live? Breathe? Or maybe you've got that one black friend, so that's your safety net of not being racist? That covers you, right?  Or there was that one time you went to wherever and actually talked to that one black woman at the checkout, and she seemed cool, and you had an epiphany, so they can't be all bad, and well, double-fucking-duh-no-shit. Try being a human being, maybe? 

The good news is I think there's only a small bunch of you wondering around. You crawled out of the shit pile in the last several years, didn't you. What was it? A presidential campaign or something was going on? 

You whisper your lies and hate amongst yourselves, and you've nearly perfected what to say and how to act when you're out and about. Nearly. You were really pretty good at it, too. A few of you almost had some people fooled. The real truth always comes out, though, and you slip up here and there. You say what you were thinking, but you never meant to actually say it. Is that some kind of code, by the way? To not reveal yourselves? I'm just wondering how that works. Sneaky bastards, aren't you? Is there a secret handshake? I bet there's a secret handshake. Do you, like, take a shit in each other's palms, and then give it a spit and then, what?, I dunno, jack each other off with it? You guys are gross in so many ways. You're disgusting.

There's a movement going on. You should get out of the way. Real human beings care for each other. When we see something that we know is wrong, that we can kind of understand, but we know it's wrong, we don't focus on that for too long. We keep it moving. We focus on the good things. The positive things. The things that can bring about change. The ways to channel the rage into a fire for something good. We celebrate human life, and we lift each other up. We see the pain in other's eyes, and though we know we maybe can't solve it immediately, or maybe even ever, we don't try to perpetuate the hate for those that are doing the wrong. We maybe don't start fires, but we don't keep fueling them, either. We stand for positive change for everyone. 

It won't all be orderly and neat, but that's because there's a movement taking place. Do you think a rushing river doesn't take some of the bank out with it as it flows? Some of the current rages forward. It moves. It changes the shape of things. It has to. Sometimes a storm is needed to start the raging or to ignite the fire. Sometimes that storm carries on with protests, signs, talks, shouts, whispers, anger, heartache, shame, tears, and death to bring about change.  

I posted something to Facebook, (yes, I know, that's where all of the scholars hang out) enlightening people about white privilege the other day, and someone told me that I had made the most racist statement yet by putting that out there. 
Dude. ?? 
Blank stare. Blink. Blink. Blink. Blink. Blink. Back to blank stare.

I am fed up with some white people. And I'm wondering about some other white people that I know feel as I do about this, but they are remaining quiet. It's interesting. We all need to talk about this. We all need to stand up for each other. While I'm in the middle of the woods in the quiet, with a mostly quiet town up the road, it doesn't excuse me to turn and ignore what is happening. I would love to. I would love to think that everything is going beautifully for everyone, but it's just not. 

Just know that while some of you are talking your talk in the shadows, the majority of us are, at the very least, whispering whispers of love and light and fairness and equality and vigilance. 

My heart is with the people of Ferguson. My heart is with anyone who is treated or judged unfairly. I hope that I will always see and that I will always speak up.

-Angie

PS - When you say you're sorry, don't then say, but... 

PPS - I realize this is snarky and sarcastic and stuff, and that's typically not me. I almost didn't post this for those reasons, but what I wrote is what I meant to say and it's true, so I'm going to let it fly. 


Friday, November 28, 2014

friday of all fridays. i can not


The day after Thanksgiving and I'm still thankful. After two prior nights of nightmares, last night finally brought sound sleep. Maybe it was a food coma, actually. 

A couple of days ago I bought a tree in the cold rain, because I knew Thanksgiving day I wasn't going to, and I knew the day after I absolutely, for sure, without a doubt wasn't going to. 

That day is today, which is Black Friday, which should be name changed to something like People turned zombies on steroids, with blood-shot, glossy-eyes, that will take out their fellow man in a barefoot dash across acid-tainted, broken glass to save an all mighty dollar for a pair of socks, and then cut that fellow man's heart out with a shard of the glass so they will have something to snack on while waiting at the checkout Day. You know, sustenance. 

I'm really not being judgmental, for the most part. I took part in this soul-stealing festivity a few years ago. I nearly died. I've been to sold out concerts before and those crowds were no comparison to what goes down on this Friday of all Fridays. I. Can. Not. 

So today we're hanging out in the woods. In the quiet solitude. We're going to put up our tree that has now drip dried of rain. We'll slurp hot chocolate, and watch Christmas Vacation as we traditionally do with each trimming of the tree. We don't watch it as much as we listen to it as we sling lights. It just needs to be on. It's our thing. We'll have turkey sandwiches for late breakfast or lunch and maybe dinner. We'll enjoy this day and hope it goes by slowly, because the rest of the days are going to go by so fast. 

-Angie



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