Thursday, March 5, 2009


Yesterday I was crawling out of my skin. I felt restless; wanting to do something (anything!) besides sitting on the sofa, but completely lacked any kind of motivation. I kept looking over at my painting area, hoping that some kind if inspiration would be sparked. Nothing.

At this point in my life, I'm trying to embrace where I'm at without judgment. Of course, it's much easier to embrace my happiness, contentment, pleasure - things that I have been taught are "good" emotions. It is much harder for me to embrace my anger, sadness, loneliness, as I was taught those are "bad" emotions (the things of which we do not speak or express). Over the past few years, I have come to the realization that there are no "bad" emotions. Sure, it doesn't feel great to be overcome with sadness, but I now see the beauty in these feelings. To be alive is to feel, and I want to experience all of life. When I really think about it, I feel the burden of that statement. It's the highs and the lows. And the lows sometimes sound daunting. Especially when you are sitting somewhere near the bottom of that low, looking up, hoping there is something to hope for.

Having nothing to do all day but acknowledge or ignore the cloud of worry becomes draining. Even as I say that, my internal critic (who sounds hauntingly like my mother, no surprise there) says with way more than an air of annoyance, "But you're not doing shit all day. How the hell can you be drained?" I tell my little critic to shut the fuck up because I'm busy having a pity party and I can't experience the fullness of party if she keeps yapping, pulling me out of my emotions. I've numbed myself for the past 20-something years, thankyouverymuch, I'm ready feel. Everything.

Well, in theory anyway. Living is daunting. Beautiful. Crazy. And daunting. It's that gasp of air before jumping. And I'm all in. This is when I feel the spark.

I can feel the rise of energy - my desires begin pulsing. I have this time - this time of unemployment, of worry - and I have complete freedom to do what I want with that time. Anything, everything, and nothing.

In a strange twist of events, I need to travel to Florida to help take care of my grandmother. Thankfully, this means making a little money and getting to travel a bit. I also recently re-connected with an old pen-pal - I know, it sounds so archaic. When we were freshman in high school, we took part in a pen-pal exchange thing - an English class in France was to be partnered with our French class in the States. She and I ended up together and wrote to each other consistently until about 2004. I stumbled upon a letter from her that had an email address on it - and voila! we are back in touch. This time via email, which is way more convenient than snail mail.

Anyhow, my French is somewhat nonexistent and so is her English. We write in our native language and hope the other one can still get by enough to understand. All of this has inspired me to use some of my free time to brush up on my French. Now that I'll be in Florida for awhile, I figure it's the perfect time to really focus in on re-learning. My grandma doesn't have internet (don't worry, I'll have time to post from a coffee shop or something), so I'll have ample time to study.

Who knows - maybe I'll find a job, save up, and travel to France in the near future. Any takers?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

And the Job Market Can Suck It

I recently lost my job - like so many others these days - and it kind of sucks.

Don't get me wrong, the days that I feel the freedom to embrace my jobless life are beautiful. I go to the beach, I paint, I meet friends for lunch or coffee (and they pay!), I read all day; it's like being on vacation in my own city.

And then I pay my bills and commence freaking out. The freak outs also happen on a weekly basis when I'm looking for employment. I quickly realized that it is not in the best interest of my emotional/mental state to look for a job everyday. That, my friends, is how people spiral into depression. Instead, I look once a week. The same day every week and on average, I apply for 1-2 jobs during that time. What's really sad is I'm not even being picky. At first I was like, "I'm not taking some bullshit entry level job. I have my masters, bitches." And then I saw what was out there and I was like, "janitorial work, here I come." But there aren't even janitorial positions open. Fuck.

I guess the good news is that I've had time to really invest in my new blog. But as you can see, I only have 2 followers.. I guess that's not really paying off either. But you should definitely go check out the blogs of my 2 followers - they're great writers and they're hot. Well, I don't know if they're hot, but in my imagination they are totally do-able. (Hot #1, Hot #2)

I'm starting to think of all the things I can sell - books, clothes, my cat, that treadmill that's been collecting dust in my garage for, like, 2 years. But then I remember no one is really buying things because they all just got laid off too. Fuckity fuck.

I'm really hoping something pans out soon because I don't know how much more of this I can take. Having my days completely free would be much nicer if I was independently wealthy (which includes the option of having a sugar daddy), but I'm not. Each day that passes pushes me closer and closer to the poverty line.

Even though this season of my life is less than desirable, I have learned many valuable things - like how to scrimp and save, what things are really important in my life, and how much money I just threw away when I had it. Maybe a lot of people say this when they're down and out, but I really hope that when (if?) I get a job I continue to choose to help others. Regardless of circumstance, we need each other and I think it's easy to forget that when times are "good."

So I guess on that note, I'd like to challenge you (all two of you!) to give back if you can. And no, I don't mean send me a check .. though that would be nice .. but if you have a consistent income and can spare even $10 a month that would be helpful to someone who is going through a difficult time. Or it would be helpful to a nonprofit that is working to help those in need.

Anyhow, that's my rant for the day. May we always meet each other with compassion and love.

Tales from the Bar

“Do you want another drink?”


I’m left sitting in a somewhat empty bar. I like this bar because its glows red and collects the most random and diverse group I’ve ever seen. As long as I get a table, I’m happy; I get to sit back, sip my drinks and absorb the world around me.

“Here’s your drink.” K sets the drink and down and slides into the horse-shoe booth. “That guy up there thinks you’re cute.”

“What?!” I can’t help but laugh, mostly because I think she’s kidding.

“I’m serious. I was ordering our drinks and that guy was like, ‘your friend is real cute.’ So I told him that he should come over and talk to you.”

“WHAT?!? Which guy? Is he even cute?”

“Kind of, he’s short. Its that guy over there,” she cranes her neck and I try to follow her glance, “see, the black guy with the hat on. He’s not bad, just kind of short. He said that he was too nervous so he was going to have a couple beers first.”

I sigh and think, “Why me? Why can’t an attractive, tall (or at least my height.. okay, a little taller), man think I’m cute?” I guess it wouldn’t matter anyway. What are the chances I’m going to meet and fall in love with a guy from a bar? The thought of this makes me laugh because of the irony; parents met in a bar and were married 3 months later. They’ve been married for 30 years now. I’m not sure how much longer that is going to last, but 30 years is pretty significant.

Time passes and the bar fills up. The red glow turns to glisten as the temperature rises and dancing bodies heat up. K is getting antsy and wants to get up and either dance or go outside. I, too, want to get up, but I don’t want to leave our booth. It is now so packed that all the tables are full and it’s nearly impossible to walk around. As we’re discussing our options I see a part forming the in red sea, but I can’t see what’s causing the miraculous separation. Suddenly a short, black man is leaning over our table towards me. He puts his hand out and introduces himself, but I can’t hear what he’s saying over the loud music. I tell him my name and he obviously can’t hear me because he leans in, putting one hand on my shoulder while holding the other hand in the longest shake I’ve ever engaged in.

“Hey, yo, I’ve been watching you from across the room and I think you’re pretty cute.”

Oh, Lord, save me.

“But I get a little nervous so I had to have a couple beers before I came and talked to you. So, if I say anything stupid, I’m sorry, I don’t normally drink this much.” He pulls back to look at me for a reaction and I smile and say something inaudible. I could have said, “go screw yourself” and he would have kept talking and acting suave. “So don’t leave with out talking to me, okay. I want to get your number.” He finally lets go of my hand and I smile as he walks away.

“Alright, K, let’s get outside for a bit, or dance.” She laughs and we willingly give up our seats.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Spinning 101

I think I just broke my ass... and that place between one's ass and vajayjay - for men, it's a taint; for women.. I don't know what it's called. I just wiki'd "taint" and apparently the scientific term is "perineum" and I recommend NOT looking that up for yourself, lest you want to be bombarded with pictures of penises, balls, and buttholes. I'm now scarred for life.

Back to the story of me breaking my ass..

Spinning (aka hell-trap on a bike) is the devil. I decided to take a spinning class at my gym because I heard it "totally re-shapes your ass." And whose ass couldn't use some re-shaping? I realized after the class that the re-shaping is due to the tiny, little seat that is jammed up your butt at varying intervals for a good 60 minutes.

Being a newbie to spin, I had to ask the class instructor for help in setting up my bike. The pint-sized, curly-haired lady with glasses followed me over to my bike that I had strategically wedged in a dark corner of the room. She explained the ins and outs of the torture device that was about to become my nemesis, and eventually we got things set up. I waited for her to walk away before I attempted to mount the bike, as I was almost positive that I would fall off or do something very embarrassing because that's just how my life goes. I'm a walking disaster most of the time.

Someone turns off the lights and the music starts thumping. For whatever reason I was expecting the nst!nst! bump of techno music, but Annie Lennox's Walking on Broken Glass came on. I thought this strange, but fitting as I always think the lyrics are "walking on, walking on your fat ahhaasss." Maybe I joined the adult contemporary spin class?

Soon after we start, the instructor is yelling out commands of turning this knob, leaning forward, climb, push, breathe, blah blah blah. She tells us we're going to be "in the saddle" for the first 30 minutes. Upon hearing this, I think, "more like the saddle is in me!" And I am thankful that the lights are out so none of my fellow spinners can see the horrid faces I'm making. Not to mention the sweat that is coming out of my body so quickly it doesn't have time to collect anywhere, it just falls to the floor. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I was dripping sweat.

We pass the first 30 minutes and are finally allowed to stand and ride. Initially, the standing and riding piece was a major factor in me not attending spin class. I was 90% sure that while others were standing and pedaling like pros, I would either a) not be able to stand because I'm weak sauce, or b) would promptly tip my bike over upon standing. But when she said we could stand, I think I audibly yelled, "praise God!" and stood with the confidence of Lance Armstrong.

My legs, being slightly less confident, started to feel like jell-o so I had to get back "in the saddle." And as soon as I sat, I was back up standing because my butt was not fond of the tiny seat being wedged back in. I went back and forth like this for the final 30 minutes, panting, sweating, and wincing the whole way. I almost started crying at one point. I'm not even kidding.

When the class was finally over, I waddled back to my car and went home. I was really hoping the pain would go away after a nice warm shower, but it didn't. I tried not to walk around too much because every move I made caused pain. After howling and groaning for a good hour, my roommate suggested I ice the area.

"I dunno. Get an ice pack and just sit on it."
"But it's not just my butt, it's like between my butt and my vag... maybe if I just lay down with the ice pack between my legs it will work."

And I did. For the rest of the night. Until the ice melted. And let me tell you, putting ice between your legs is a sure-fire way to cool down your whole body in a matter of minutes. It's amazing.

I kind of want to go to the class again. I'm convinced that if I just keep at it, it won't hurt as much. Like maybe I just need to break my butt in, y'know? But I'm also scared - I mean, what if I damage something in the process? It can't be good to have a seat jammed up your no-no spots for an hour. I don't see how people do this for a living. Especially guys. I can't imagine what spinning does to your junk. Ouch!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Virgin, not.

So I'm kind of tripping out. This is my second, first post. It's the second time I've written a "Are you there, Blogosphere? It's me, Elle" post. And it's sooo weird.

You see, I'm a born-again blogger. I ran a blog for 2 years and, I don't know how to say this, but I was kind of a big deal. I might as well have been Dooce's prodigy; strike that - she gets enough play and I'd rather be Jenny's prodigy. (Jenny is Ah! Maze! ing!) Okay, so I wasn't really worthy of either's company, but my blog was relatively successful. People loved me. Men through their cyber underwear at me (it was weird). And then I ended it. Like a bad relationship that had gone on too long and ends up a Lifetime feature movie, I finally walked out.

And now you're wondering why, right? (I know, I'm totally like Miss Cleo and shit.) I ended my previous blogship because (like many relationships) I was losing myself. If I'm totally honest, I didn't lose myself as much as I compromised myself. I knew how many people read the blog, how many of those people I actually knew in real life, and it all became about pleasing them rather than getting getting my "art" out. Really, the whole situation was a pressure cooker for all my co-dependent issues.

So I quit. In an effort to redefine (find?) my voice, I walked away. Maybe someday I'll let my former fans know about this new blog, but for now this is for me. If you feel so inclined to join me, sweet. If not, go fuck yourself. Just kidding. I mean, unless you want to.. then that's cool, whatever.