The McClintock Place

The McClintock place stood at the very edge of the world, at the corner of Durante and 122nd. It stood, yellow paint peeling, shattered glass in the windows, lawn over run with thistles and vines for as long as Mallory could remember. She asked her mother about it once, while Mrs. Cho was chopping onions.

“Oh that dump has been there forever,” she said, wiping tears away with the back of her hand. “No one’s ever lived in it, at least not that I can remember. Who’d want to? They keep saying they’re gonna tear it down but they never do. It’s an eyesore is what it is.”

“Nothing has been anywhere forever,” Grandma Johnson said when Mallory asked her about the McClintock place. “Everything has a beginning and everything has an end. Learn that now and remember it.”

“So when did the McClintock place begin?” Mallory asked.

“Years ago,” Grandma said, “Maybe centuries. I only remember what I was told and all I was ever told was gossip and speculation so don’t go spreading this around like its gospel.”

Mallory promised she wouldn’t.  Grandma Johnson closed her eyes and fiddled quietly with the green beads of her bracelet. “It used to be that there was nothing out here but sand and grass and a few hills with a few trees. Somebody built a road out here and people started settling in. One of the first settling in was a man named McClintock. I don’t remember his first name but the stories all said that he was rich. He moved out here to build a mansion for his new wife, that’s the McClintock place.”

Mallory frowned. “McClintock’s is too small to be a mansion.” The house was little more than two stories with a basement and a balcony in the back that Mallory always worried would fall down when it stormed.

“They had different standards for mansion then.” Grandma Johnson shrugged. “Anyway, it was the only house on the block then so it was the best one too. McClintock built the place and moved him and his new wife in there. They had a big Welcome Home party with every big shot in town, politicians, actors, even a couple of war heroes thrown in for good measure. Then, in six months time, they were moving out again, getting divorced. McClintock spent the rest of his life trying to sell the place and his wife died just a few years after she divorced him.”

Mallory blinked and raised her eyebrows. “Because of the house?”

Grandma Johnson shrugged again and stopped playing with the beads on her bracelet. “That’s what people said. No one could ever agree as to exactly why but most everybody blamed the house. They thought there was something unnatural inside that drove the McClintock’s out.

“Like?” Mallory leaned forward eagerly. Grandma rolled her eyes.

“Oh, I don’t know, Mallory,” she bit her thin pink lips  in concentration and began to count on her withered fingers. “Some one said McClintock broke ground on an old Tongva holy site and the ghosts of their warriors nearly killed them for it. Other people said it was the immigrants who died building the rail road that got McClintock his fortune, coming for revenge. One kid thought it was just an evil house, that the barrier between hell and earth was just a little bit thinner than it was everywhere else.”

“What do you think?”

Grandma Johnson rolled her wheelchair back just a hair and stared out the window on to the busy street below. “I don’t think about it much, if I can help it. If you think about it too much, you remember than everyone of us is standing on stolen land, land people killed and died for. I imagine if haunting happened, it would be happening all over the world, not just one run down old house. It’s never just one house, one family that has to pay for that kind of thing.”

“Okay,” Mallory said, because she couldn’t think of anything else to say. Grandma Johnson arched a snow white eyebrow at her and glared hard.

“Don’t hang around the McClintock place,” she warned. “Even if there’s no such thing as ghosts, there’s broken glass and rusty nails and a bunch of crap you could hurt yourself on. Don’t you ever go in there, understand?”

“Understood, grandma,” Mallory said, slipping out the door.

That night Mallory stood in front of the McClintock place wearing her pink hoodie, gripping a kitchen knife in her pocket. Nobody saw her as she pushed past the brambles and the garbage people left on the lawn. Someone long ago kicked in the door and stole the knobs from out of their sockets. Mallory stepped into the house carefully, using the light of her phone to guide her way.

Grandma Johnson was right. There was broken glass everywhere. The walls had been stripped bare, only the vague tatters of dirty pink wall paper remained. Someone spray painted the N word just above the foyer. Mallory wished she had something to cover it up.

She walked slowly threw the house, waiting for something to show itself. She could hear it creak and moan around her, hear the scurrying of rats and mice and any number of bugs behind old broken furniture. There was a nest of pigeons in the window about the staircase but nothing she’d call “unnatural”.

Mallory hesitated at the stairs. Perhaps the ghosts of Tongva warriors and murdered railway works liked a view. Demons definitely would, having spent most of their lives beneath the earth. Perhaps the stairs would collapse right when she got to the middle and drag her down into the basement and no one would ever find her body because she promised her grandmother she wouldn’t mess around in the McClintock place.

Swallowing, Mallory jumped up the stairs as quick as she could, clinging to the first door way she reached. She looked back over her shoulder to see the stairs still in place, only the dust disturbed by her movement. The room whose door she clung to was empty as the others, filled only with moonlight and scraps of trash, candy wrappers and needles and dead leaves. Mallory turned and wandered through the long hallway. She looked in on every room and found much of the same. Maybe there were a few blankets in one, or broken furniture or a pile of bottles but no ghosts or demons.

She found a bed in the room with the balcony that looked like it had been slept on recently. There was also a bright pink bra on the floor and a crust covered spoon.

Mallory didn’t look to see what was in the basement. She leapt down the stairs again, out of the door and back into her own apartment where her mother and grandmother laid still asleep in their beds.

She looked at the McClintock place again, weeks later, years later, for the rest of her life. She never went inside again though. She never stood outside the yard with the other children to debate what she did not wish to know.

If you liked this and help support my writing, please download To Move On, an original short story I wrote for a contest where winning is determined by downloads! It’s fun! It’s FREE! It deals in the nature of loss and what it means to be an independent person!

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If I Had A Million Dollars

I think we can all agree, pretty much unequivocally, that If I Had A Million Dollars is the best Bare Naked Ladies song of all time. That is a pretty big accomplishment considering I have yet to hear a Bare Naked Ladies song that I do not like. Even The Big Bang Theory’s scientifically inaccurate theme song (autotrophs are organisms that produce their own energy/food, basically plants. They don’t drool. Neither BNL or NBC have answered my emails about it.) is pretty dang catchy and fun to sing along with.

If I Had A Million Dollars is the best Bare Naked Ladies song though. In the song, The Bare Naked Ladies sing to another person, possibly to each other, about what they would do to “buy your love” if they only had the money. The items listed range from the standard “I would buy you a house” to the absurd “John Merrick’s remains- all them crazy elephant bones” but the real heart comes in the refrains. They want the money not just for the cool items they’d buy but so they can “hang out” with their important people and not worry about survival. The money wouldn’t change their habits, it would just allow them to live their lives without additional stress.

My favorite part of the song is how accurately it captures the way non rich people talk about being rich. Even in the late eighties, I doubt you could buy a house with a yard, furniture for that house, a K car, a tree fort, a Picasso, either a Llama or an Emu, a monkey, and a fur coat and still have money to take your limousine to buy Kraft dinner with the fanciest dijon ketchups. When my family and I played “if I had a million dollars” on our long road trips back and fourth from South Dakota, we weren’t making actual plans. The real question wasn’t what would you do if you had a million dollars, but what would you do if your funds were unlimited? For most people, having a million dollars in their life time is just as likely as having unlimited funds but we all enjoyed the fantasy.

For my part, I would pay off my student loans and the loans of some of my friends. I’d finish the basement of my parent’s house, since that was what they always said they’d do. Then I would start making movies, devoting every moment to creating the things that mattered to me, rather than carving out what little time I could spare in between making enough money to pay for rent and groceries. I always wanted to create jobs, to find other creative people struggling and employee them. I want to be a patron, to find unknowns and fund their projects or bring them into mine. I want to help other artists the way I have been helped, or the way I wish I could be helped.

I’d also give waiters 100% tips and rent out mansions to play elaborate games of Clue with my friends. I’d have Hobbit style birthdays with mountains of food and expensive gift bags for all the guests. I would travel every where. I would die without a cent left to inherit.

To quote The Bare Naked Ladies, “I’d be rich.”

If you’d like to contribute to my dream of having my student loans paid off, please download To Move On. It’s free, it’s fun and every download gets me closer to $15000 dollars which would pay a hefty sum of my loans if not all of them! I am currently in seventh place with 586 downloads! If I could break a thousand before the contest ends in June, I would really love it! Thank you! 

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Mother’s Day

I called my mother friday. Mom is one of my favorite people to talk to. She can make me laugh faster than anyone I know and she always has good advice that I may or may not follow. She always answers in a joyful tone like she was waiting all day for your call. I could talk to my mother about nothing for hours but friday, I called for a specific purpose, to wish her a happy mother’s day.

Yes, I am aware that today is mother’s day but I love my mother everyday and hope I appreciate her most of them. Besides my mother is a Busy woman. Today she is directing the Youth service at my childhood church, a service preformed by members of the congregation between the ages of 10 and 18. After that, she and my father will likely go to visit my grandmother and have a delicious meal. Hopefully, Dad cooks or orders something for her, so she doesn’t end up cooking on a day which is meant to be about her. At least my grandmother’s house has a dishwasher.

I’ll probably end up calling her today anyway. I told her everything that needed to be said on Friday though. I told her that she is the funniest person I know, that I consider myself incredibly lucky to have her in my life and that she is one of the foremost influences in who I am and who I choose to be.

I also mentioned that I hadn’t got her a present because I am perpetually broke and don’t want to set a precedent that I will only disappoint. My present is that I don’t ask you for money, mom, how is that? You like my sister better now? Well, good choice.

I joke about my mother a lot on this blog, She has given me a life full of laughter and love. My mother in large part taught me my love of writing, my work ethic and my resilience. She is a wonderful mother but she is also an exceptional person. I hope that, if she weren’t my mother, we would still be friends because I cannot imagine my life without her in it.

Thank you, Mom. Happy Mother’s Day.

If you wanna make my mom really happy, please download my original short story To Move On! I There are two moms in it, one about to have a child and one coping with the loss of hers, plus some fight scenes, bad day time TV, and revenge served cold in a vast sandy plain! Every download gets me closer to winning cash prizes which I can use to pay off my student loans and buy things for my mom!

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One More Cup of Coffee

I never drank coffee regularly before I moved to LA. I think that is the greatest shame I ever caused my parents. My family has strong opinions about coffee, opinions that have been pushed since my earliest memories. My parents drink black coffee, no decaf. My father makes their first pot the night before, placing the 1/4 cup of ground beans into the electric coffee maker, with the filter and water in place. There it stands all night until my mother rises, always first, in the morning and turns the pot on. Between the two of them, they will consume the entire pot before nine am. My mother will make more and consume it through out the rest of the day. My sister started drinking it in high school, just the same as they did, except in her wilder moments when she would buy frappachinos from Starbucks. I remember my mother gasping audibly when she casually mentioned it in conversation. My parents are actually coffee liberals, compared to certain extended relatives. My Aunt and Uncle actually carry around their own coffee pot from city to city, either because they consume so much than they must provide their own or because they don’t trust other people to make their coffee right. My mother once carried fourteen cans of coffee across state lines for these people, like she worked in a drug cartel. Coffee is the first way my family relates to new people. Before my parents were married, my paternal grandfather, Papa, ingratiated himself with his new in laws by plunking down at their kitchen table and demanding “Where’s the coffee?” Later my grandmother pulled my mother aside and assured her Papa was good “common” people. Everything would be alright. Until their second child spent the first twenty three years of her life quietly preferring tea and soda. I think at first they chalked it up to my youth. Coffee would find me when the time was right. Yet, when I reached college and still got my caffiene boost from energy drinks, they must have wondered when, if ever that time would come. If I would ever give them coffee grandchildren. I started experimenting with coffee during my study abroad in India. I stayed at an actual coffee plantation for a couple weeks in Karnataka and did not wish to offend my hostess by refusing the signature drink. Fortunately, the coffee was loaded with enough milk and sugar that it was all but unrecognizable as coffee. I still preferred chai when I could get it but coffee would serve, provided it tasted nothing like coffee. I don’t think I would have started drinking coffee in Los Angeles if my roommate’s aunt hadn’t gifted us with two large jars of instant Folgers. I drank it, loaded again with milk and sugar, because it was free and I needed to stay awake for whatever silly thing I was doing to make rent. And so it continued until I was having a plastic 7-11 glass every morning as if it were my life’s blood. I am not, by any means, a completely straight coffee drinker. I still enjoy tea  and women and soda, but coffee is there when it’s needed. Years ago, my method of drinking instant, with three table spoons of sugar and a 1/4 cup of milk added, would have shocked and appalled my family. I think we’ve all grown as people. It’s not that I have to drink coffee all the time. If I never had another cup of coffee for the rest of my life, my family would still love me just as much as if I only had coffee for the rest of my life. I don’t have to chose a beverage, just as long as I am happy with what I’ve got to drink. If you liked this thinly veiled metaphor for bisexuality and also literal explanation of how my family and I feel about coffee, and you want to help me out, please download my original 100% free short story: To Move On! Each download  gets me closer to cash prizes that I can use for coffee and student loan payment! We’re currently in seventh place! Please download and share as much as you can!

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Nine Months

“It’s weird to think we’ve been out here almost nine months,” my roommate remarked to me one day recently. I nodded, considering what doughnut I wanted once we got to the store. I wanted glazed.

“We could have made a baby in nine months,” said my roommate who is only interested in other men.

“I’m glad we didn’t,” I said, again wondering if I could donate my uterus and ovaries somewhere they wouldn’t bother me.

My roommate nodded.

Nine months ago, I was packing for the move, if only in my mind. I was considering which of my possessions would make the cut and come with me to my new home. I’d been a bit of a hoarder up until that point, holding onto worn out items of clothing, books with stains and missing pages, and literally everything I ever wrote, including my homework assignments, for “posterity.” After moving six times in four years of college, I got a little better but I still obsessively held onto things in case I needed them, either practically or emotionally.

I wanted my move to Los Angeles to be different. Only absolute necessities would make the trek across state lines with me. My bookcase would not be fully of titles I never read, nor would movies clutter up my new space. For the first time, I was moving somewhere for no other reason than because I wanted to go there. Yes, I hoped to find my niche in television or film but I didn’t have a college waiting for me, or an internship or a job. Nine months ago, all I had was the lease of a one bedroom apartment in Hollywood and a roommate I had known for seventeen years.

Did the prospect intimidate me? Sure. I worried about finding work, navigating the city, paying rent and whether I’d eventually murder the only person I knew in a city of four million.

Mostly, though, I was excited. My life up to that point had been a series of hurdles that I had to overcome to finally create something. I would be going to a city known the world over for making movies and music and I was certain I’d be come a part of it. Maybe it would take time but for once my wanderlust didn’t gnaw at me. I could, and can, see myself living in Los Angeles for decades to come. I could become who I always wanted to be in Los Angeles, or at least have a hell of a tale to tell when I failed.

In the end, I brought only a few, professional and casual pieces of clothing, a nightstand to store my underwear, my important papers, my vibrators and my jewelry, a book case, a few kitchen items donated by my relatives, including the table and chair currently in my kitchen which served my grandmother for sixty years, a couple of throw pillows I made out of old t-shirts and a painting of Lenny Bruce I made in high school. Everything else would be provided, either by the apartment itself, my roommate or a gift from the family I have in San Diego, or bought by me. My sister had already promised me a mattress as a combination birthday and christmas gift and a chair and footstool that she no longer had space for. Everything eventually loaded into a uhaul served a practical or emotional purpose, and would provide a solid foundation to start my life in California.

Nine months later, not much has been added to the apartment. I bought screens to separate my sleeping quarters from the rest of the living room with in the first few days. My bed frame is most the recent, chosen, paid for and assembled with mixed results my yours truly. At some point in the future my roommate and I will buy a couch together but for now an air mattress will do the job but the next thing I want is a dry erase board for the fridge so we can leave each other notes for the days when we both have work or social engagements. I will probably end up drawing a squirrel on it at some point.

Yet, as my apartment remains the same, my life changes on a daily basis. I never know what will happen to me in this city, who I will see or where I will end up going. Some days I drive to Beverly Hills in cut off jean shorts that slide around my hips revealing laundry day underwear. Some days I hike Runyon canyon in flip flops and a sundress. Some days I leave the apartment only to buy a soda from the corner store. Preparation, beyond sunscreen, a full wallet and a water bottle, usually amounts to nothing. It is terrifying and glorious.

My roommate is right. Nine months is about how long it takes to make a life. While words will never quite capture how glad I am to have never had another creature inside me, living off the food I have already consumed and crushing my inner organs, I think I did create a life while I was here. I created my life and it is great.

If you liked this and want to help further improve my life, please download my original short story To Move On! Every download gets me closer to a $15000 grand prize! $15000 would pay off most of my student loads which are really not improving my life. Make my life as awesome as my apartment! Download!

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Keep Up

I was lucky enough to start my workday yesterday hiking Griffith Park with a lovely dog named Señor Gustavo (The names have been changed to protect the adorable). The particular trail we blaze most often is also preferred by a nearby stable and horseback tour company. I have absolutely no problem with this since I love horses and I love seeing them in the middle of Los Angeles. Often when I pass these trail rides, I get snippets of their conversation.

“Of course, this was back when television was good,” mused a man in an unironic cowboy hat, “before reality got involved. Now we’ve got the Kardashians.”

“People like to blame the Kardashians for the decline in our media,” I said in a squeaky voice, “but we choose the shows we get, don’t we, Señor Gustavo! Yes, we do! Yes, we do!”

Let me be abundantly clear: I have no great love for the Kardashians. Frankly, reality television is some of the worst television I have ever seen and it takes jobs away from writers which is what I would like to be paid for someday. Keeping Up With The Kardashians has earned its place in my ire since my first roommate used to fall asleep to it because she “didn’t like silence” so I had to wake up to the adventures of the alliterative family constantly for three months. I am well aware that most of my distaste for Keeping Up With The Kardashians revolves around my distaste for that particular individual, rather that a hatred for the Kardashians themselves.

As a matter of fact, and I am sure I will lose followers, possibly friends, with this; I like the Kardashians.

I like the Kardashians solely because so many people hate them. I like the Kardashians out of spite.

Even when I lived with that Roommate, the one my mother refers to as “Hannah Montana Gone Wild,”, I did not hear as much about the Kardashians as I do from people who hate them. With the exception of the recent Bruce Jenner interview, everything I know about the Kardashians I know from people who claim to hate them. Most recently, on my Facebook feed, an App that blocks any mention of the family was met with loud praise from a former teacher who uses the Kardashians, rather than any number of more violent or offensive public figures as an example of everything wrong with the world. If I had gotten that App, it would have blocked most of his posts.

Why?

Why do people need to fill their discourse with complaints about a family they have never met, never will meet and purportedly dislike? Why would you think so often about something that pisses you off? Why not talk about shows you think people should watch, before they get canceled because they have no web presence.

Keeping Up WIth Kardashians has been on the air for nine seasons. As of February, it was renewed for three more. The reviews are pretty much entirely negative but people are still watching. 4.39 million people watched the episode where Kim Kardashian married Kanye West. The show is doing something right. I have to wonder how many did so just to see how bad it would be. How many are watching reality television just so they can feel better than other people? How low is our national self esteem that we will continually marvel at people we do not like because we need to be better than someone?

Screw that. I like the Kardashians. I like Kim and Kanye and the mom and the other ones and Bruce Jenner, if only because they’ve become scapegoat of everything wrong with the world.

“Oh, but they’re so fake!”

Yeah, calm down, Holden Caulfield. Everyone is fake. This frank, abrasive voice on my blog is not the voice I use with my boss or with my mother. I put on personas and masks to navigate the world, as does every person on the planet because the truth is complex. A person’s essence cannot be distilled down into a TV show or a blog or really anything. It takes a lifetime of work to actually know yourself much less to know other people. Why do you despise this one particular family for doing what everyone else in history has already done.  If you know that they’re fake than you must know that you can’t know who they really are so why even have an opinion?

“Oh but they didn’t earn their wealth and fame!”

Again, so many people didn’t “earn” what they have for it to justify you despising one particular family more than anyone else. Do you resent Anderson Cooper, son of Gloria Vanderbilt, his privileged upbringing? “No, because he’s a good reporter.” Yes and the Kardashians are celebrities. It is their job to be entertaining and they are (see the ratings) just as good at it as Anderson Cooper is at reporting. Also, if you’re so upset that the Kardashians are famous, stop talking about them.

“They’re a bad example!”

If you are looking to reality television for examples of how to live your life, you are already in more trouble than I can imagine, but why exactly are the Kardashians bad examples? Because of Kim Kardashian’s sex tape? The one released without her permission which she then used to increase her wealth and notoriety, effectively turning a bad situation to her advantage? Even if you, like so many, believe she intentionally released it, what is so wrong with having consensual sex and releasing the tape? Is it because they’re shallow? Again, this is television. Literally everyone is shallow.

I suppose I am just irritated that this fairly innocuous family is the designated punching bag when so many more horrible people are venerated, especially in Hollywood. In 1988, oscar winner Sean Penn tied Madonna to a chair and physically and emotionally assaulted her for hours. That same year, Mark Whalberg threw rocks at a fourth grade field trip while shouting the N word and assaulted two vietnamese men which got him sent to jail for a hate crime which he is currently trying to get expunged. Roman Polanski is still allowed to make movies even though we know he raped a child. Why can we forgive all of that but we can’t forgive The Kardashians for being “shallow”?”

If you liked this, or if you didn’t, please download my original short story: To Move On. Every download gets me one step closer to winning the contest and paying off my student loans!

Categories: Kinda Funny?, screenwriting, shameless self promotion | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Positive Selfie Esteem

I initially hesitated to post the pictures below as my romantic preferences (I am wildly, jealously in love with myself) prevent me from dating. It’s cruel to make people randomly fall in love with me over the internet but I believe my beauty is meant to be shared. So consider this a disclaimer: you are not actually in love with the goddess you’re about to witness. It’s an infatuation because I am so incredibly gorgeous. Dating me would be like staring into the sun for days at a time. It’s not worth it. Don’t give into despondency because you can’t be with me, just appreciate that I exist.

Anyway, this was the glory I saw in my bathroom mirror this morning.

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Do you need a minute? Go get a glass of water. You’re probably very dehydrated on account of how hot I am. Go get a glass of water. I’ll still be stunning when you return.

Are we all back? Are we hydrated? Good.

I am a huge believer in selfies! I love that the women of my generation, after years of being told we are not pretty enough unless we look like this or that celebrity or ideal, have begun making these shrines to ourselves. Technology has given us the option to capture every moment that we feel good about our selves and the way we look and, by God, we are taking advantage of it! We are the most documented generation in history and I am so proud of that! Years from now, I will know exactly what I looked like when I was twenty four, which days I felt good when I was twenty five, what miracles occurred when I was twenty seven and who my friends were at thirty! Thanks to social media, I’ll be able to know most of those things about my friends and family too!

The one issue I have with selfie culture is that much of it still seems to revolve around, traditional beauty rules. There’s nothing wrong with make up or traditional femininity until it becomes a prerequisite to beauty. There should be no prerequisites to beauty, not make up, size, race, health, height or anything else that changes from person to person.

I never remember feeling proud of my appearance when I was a child. Any compliments from other people meant nothing because I was convinced that I was predestined to always look weird and ugly. Eventually, I started taking pride in that weirdness, more out of resistance to change than positive self esteem. I was determined to be Me, even if that me felt forever on the outside of what was normal and beautiful. Eventually, I realized that whatever I looked like would be fine because I am inherently beautiful, as if everyone else on the planet.

I started posting bed head selfies to Facebook a little over a year ago, in an effort to remind myself of my inherent beauty. I am beautiful when I first wake up and after I have manipulated my appearance with clothes, combs and coffee. I believe that people should be able to see both and thanks to Facebook and this blog, I can show them both on my own terms. That is the other amazing thing about selfies. By their very nature, the total control of my selfies falls to me. I decide what pictures to take and what pictures to post, assuming of course that no one hacks my phone and violates my autonomy illegally.  When I post a selfie, I am controlling my own destiny, I am sending a message that I do not need the approval of advertisers to be beautiful, and to be seen without a filter. I post selfies of me dressed, me with bed head, me messing around and me accomplishing my goals because I am worth sharing precisely as I am. And so are you.

Also, my bed head is hilarious.

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Bedhead: August 17 2014:

just after I moved to Los Angeles

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July 24 2014

Bed head on my grandparent’s farm

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July 4th 2014

Independence Day Bed head on my first visit to Los Angeles to find my apartment

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June 26th 2014

Rockin’ Pompador Bed Head

If you liked this and want to help the vision of loveliness pictured above, please download her original short story, for FREE! It’s called To Move On and it is in 7th place in a contest totally dependent on downloads! Prizes include enough money to pay off a heap of my student loads so please download, like and share as much as you can! Thank you, beautiful people

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Brief Reviews of All The Alcohol I’ve Consumed

Beer: Beer is what you drink when there’s nothing else to drink. I believe it’s hops distilled with poor life choices. sometimes you get fancy beer and its hops distilled with poor life choices  mixed with delusions on insight. It’s a Raymond Carver story, is what I am saying. And like a Raymond Carver story, it’s very fun to smash it on the sidewalk when you’re finished. Drink Beer when you hate yourself and you want to hate other people. Smash the bottles on the sidewalk when you’re done.

 

Wine: Wine is adult grape juice. It’s very useful for when you need to deal with your people but not tell them what you actually think of them. I like sweet wine because the other kind just tastes like a substitute teacher that slept with your dad during a PTA meeting. Drink wine when you have to deal with people you’d rather not. Pretend you’re a Bond villain.

 

Hard Cider: Hard cider is the best of both beer and wine because it tastes like liquid candy and you can smash the bottles on the sidewalk when you’re finished with it. I also like it because its as though apple juice had a rough childhood and now helps troubled teens “You don’t have to be what they say you are!” Drink Hard Cider whenever you want to. I’m not the boss of you.

 

Bourbon: The only good bourbon is Jack Daniel’s Kentucky Bourbon with a shot of honey. This is liquid gold. Put some in your Dr. Pepper glass at a Carl’s Jr. and have your friend drive you around, you will not regret it.

Vodka: Vodka is what you drink when you want to be drunk. It tastes like rubbing alcohol and I’ve yet to find the mixer that makes it at all palatable. Except Kinky Vodka which is delicious but only when consumed through a red vine straw while you watch twilight eclipse and pause it during that fake imaginary battle sequence so you can pretend they all died at the end. It’s hilarious. Drink Kinky Vodka to make bad movies Hilarious, Drink Regular Vodka when you hate yourself, but not enough.

 

Rum: Rum is fun when you want to pretend to be a pirate or you have a bunch of coke that you don’t know what to do with. Coke is only good with rum in it but rum is good with everything, especially cake! I like to eat my rum cake in a bowl. Drink Rum when your shopping gets away from you.

 

Irish Cream: Irish Cream is a breakfast liquor, for when you can’t afford antidepressants but you still need to go to class in january. Put it in your tea or coffee and you can barely graduate! Drink Irish Cream when everything’s terrible but you still have to be alive.

 

Tequila: Tequila is what you drink when you want to be drunk immediately and have a lot of fun. Also, a lot of vomit. Drink Tequila when you hate your future self and want her to vomit.


Schnapps:
Schnapps is a dessert drink for when you want to be awake but not like, functional. Put it in your cocoa and hang out with your mom at Christmas.

If you liked this; please download my free short story To Move On! It’s great! I’m in seventh place with 569 downloads! The most downloads win fabulous cash prizes which could totally be used to pay off my student loans or buy Jack Daniel’s! Combination of the two? Let’s find out together!

Categories: funny, shameless self promotion | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Five Minutes

I am not generally an industrious person. Generally, I have to force myself into any sort of consistent work schedule in order to get done what I do. I am a firm believer in writing every day if you want to be a writer. I believe that no words are wasted, that the act of writing, even if what you produce is absolute drivel that should never see the light of day, will make you a better writer. In practice, however, my best work has come from thinking about a thing for weeks while I surf the internet, reread books, nap and snack and then hash it out at the last minute, The process of lightning strike writing is exhilarating but not sustainable, especially if I hope to have a career. So I force myself to write everyday.

Forcing myself to write on my own projects is usually easy, since I can pick and choose what I want to work on and go at my own pace. Making myself work on actual paid stuff is absolutely the worst. Being paid to write is actually fairly easy. Being paid to write anything but the most mind numbing reports and data collections might as well be witch craft for as much as I can manage to do it. Yet, rent needs to be paid so I persevere, five minutes at a time.

I have to give credit where credit is due and say that my mother was the impotus for this work strategy. Since I was a very young child, my mother has worked primarily out of the home. When I got my first stay at home job and discovered how insanely difficult self motivation can be, I called her and asked her how she did it for all those years. She suggested setting a timer for five minutes and only working for that amount of time. Once those five minutes are up, go off and do something else for another five minutes. When that five minutes is up, return to work for another five minutes.

Of course, if you really get into whatever you’re doing, keep on doing that, especially if you’re getting paid for it.

The Five Minute Method works really well for writers and other people working from their home or on computers. I have no doubt that I would get fired from my dog walking gig if I stopped five minutes into a walk to do something else. My personal method is five minutes of actual paid work, followed my five minutes of writing or blogging because writing has to be a full time job years before you get paid for it, and finally five minutes of something not related to writing or work at all.

Five minutes is really ideal for me, since I can usually write a little over a hundred words in that amount of time. Five minutes, when I am not writing, is just enough time to fix a snack, or wash a dish or go to the bathroom. This blog so far is 510 words and I am only on my fourth five minute cycle. 521.

Do what you love, the saying goes, and you’ll never work a day in your life. There’s a follow up to that, saying you won’t work because no one is hiring in that field. One is inspiring and the other is funny but neither is exactly true. Even if you get the job of your dreams, there will be days when you don’t want to do it. Even if you become a successful water slide tester there will be days where your swim suit rides up and you get stuck on a loop de loop. You can accomplish what you want to do. It might be unlikely, depending on what it is, and will definitely require a ton of work but you can do it. You won’t always enjoy it though but you can still do it.

But you only have to for five minutes.

Guess what else takes five minutes?! It’s downloading To Move On! Actually, downloading only takes like 30 seconds so you could download To Move On like ten times in five minutes. We’re in seventh place which is six places away from me paying off my student loans and devoting more time and energy to writing! You guys like my writing, right? Thanks so much to everyone who has downloaded, liked or shared! Please keep doing so!

Categories: Kinda Funny?, Money, shameless self promotion, Work | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Miracles of Yesterday

Every so often something amazing happens. A solar eclipse or a rain storm in Los Angeles, making a left turn on a green light or a friend pays for your meal (anyone who pays for my meal is automatically my friend, at least for the duration of the meal). Yesterday, the most unlikeliest of things occurred; I had my life in order.

The majority of my time is divided between pretending that I am a responsible adult and bemoaning the fact that I am not. True, I can legally drive, drink, vote and have sex, though not all at the same time, but that’s not exactly being an adult. No, being an adult is like being a wizard. No one is really sure how they do what they do but they do it and it is impressive. Yesterday, I briefly had my shit together.

This was not a fluke. I had planned on really trying yesterday, being that it was the first of the month and I always like to start out well. These plans almost never come to fruition. I went to bed early the night before and woke up around 7:30 am, an hour before my alarm. My alarm is never actually to wake me up but rather to remind me to get out of bed and eat something by 8:30 lest I spend the entire morning reading the internet and laying in bed. It has happened before, it will happen again.

By 7:30, my scheduled blog post had already occurred. I shared it on my Facebook before getting up for breakfast. I boiled three eggs during the time I took to shower and trim my armpit hair. I haven’t actually shaved my armpit hair for months. I like to keep a healthy layer of body hair going just toward off people who don’t like body hair. I went through puberty. Anyone who wants to sleep with me is going to have to deal with it’s effects.

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They can cope.

Once I had my armpits and face together, I went into the kitchen and turned off my eggs. I let them cool while I took the dogs for a walk. The dogs are sweethearts that I am looking after for a friend. We walked for 45 minutes around the neighborhood  and I returned for breakfast.

As I peeled and consumed my three eggs, I went over my accounts for the month of April. Between my main job and the side gig as a dog walker, I had made a pretty penny, enough to cover my bills and still set something aside. More importantly, to me anyway, as of May First 2015, I had written 175000 words (Regular Brag), putting me about half a month ahead of my goal word count for 2015. Thanks, daily blog updates! To Move On still sat in fifth place… maybe you all should download it again? Hint hint?

Either way, I finished my eggs and coffee and went off to work, looking after other people’s pets for money. If any of you are job searching, I recommend becoming a pet sitter, particularly through a pet sitting company. You get exercise, you get to play with dogs and cats and it satisfies my childhood desire to see the inside of a strangers apartment. Today I had two dogs and two cats to look after, taking up a total of two hours of my time. Once I was done, I took my roommate grocery shopping with some of the money I made in April. Our fridge is gorgeous and full! When we finished there, I wrote out rent checks for my apartment and my parking garage meaning all of my monthly debts are paid again!

As I write this, listening to the whirr of my computer and our window fan, snacking on dried cranberries and water; two thoughts occur to me. First, I have to have forgotten something. There was something important I was supposed to do and I forgot it and tomorrow will be terrible. I recognize that that is the old habit of anxiety talking and ignore it, after double checking my email and texts to make sure I hadn’t actually forgotten something. Second, my standards for miracles have gotten really low.  That’s great news!

When my Depression was in full swing, I used to keep myself alive through bargaining. I refused to act on my suicidal thoughts until I had reached my various goals, becoming published, having sex, graduating college, that kind of thing. My logic was that once I got everything I ever thought I wanted then I would be happy enough that I wouldn’t want to kill myself. When I started getting what I wanted though, Death remained at the top of my list. I started to worry that I could never actually be happy, no matter how hard I “worked” at it. That realization, while terrifying, spurred me into getting help and probably saved my life.

So now, less than two years after that realization and subsequent help seeking, the fact that I am not only capable of getting up, making myself look nice, going to work and buying groceries but that I feel good about doing those things is incredible. I hesitated in writing this post for fear it would seem too much like bragging or filler. In the end though, we have to talk about our experiences with Depression and other mental illness. If I am lucky enough to be recovering, I owe it to myself and to other sufferers to talk about my good days and my bad. There have been days in my life where keeping myself alive felt like torture. Why shouldn’t I celebrate when I can keep moving with a smile on my face? When I go above and beyond my expectations and actually have the capacity to feel good about it? Why shouldn’t you?

If you liked this, please download my original short story To Move On which deals heavily in the Depression of a woman coping with the loss of her son. Also, fight scenes. 

Categories: Day in The Life, Feminism, funny, Kinda Funny?, Money, philosophy, shameless self promotion | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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