Saturday, December 29, 2012

Immersion Therapy or "WHY YOU SUCK"

At times, life experience just makes us shittier people.

Operating under the premise that we are all born with blank intellectual slates, our thoughts/feelings/opinions are therefore shaped by a variety of factors. And while scientists continue the nature v. nurture merry-go-round, I am content to baldly state (with no offer of supporting evidence) that at least some of our beliefs are based on life experiences.

So if your life experiences suck - and most of us can boast a charming handful of "life suck" - then it's a pretty safe leap to say we garner some personal suck from the fallout.

"Bootstrap" folk will tell you to emerge like a phoenix from these hardships. To grow stronger. To persevere. To benefit from life's blows builds character, they say.

Well I say: SCREW. THEM.

To some degree, "bootstrappers" are right, but the premise that every incidence of life suck is an opportunity for life lemonade is horse hockey. And I'm calling it so.

In my decades thrice, I've seen myself, my friends and my family grow in some amazing ways. But - like an elm faced with obstruction - we've grown rather wonky and sort of to the left (me) or to the right (my parents, for example). And yes, that was, in part, a political reference.

But I'm mixing my metaphors. We are trees and life is a beverage and now we are all confused. So let me get simple. Examples.

I was a naive kid. As such, I believed everyone could be a friend and that everyone had my best interest at heart.

That my mother wailed on me and that my father allowed it -- well, let's just say these events "complicated" my innate belief. 'Cause these people loved me, but they hurt me all the time. The result? Complete confusion of boundaries and a series of unhealthy relationships. Awesome.

I went from a trusting soul that wouldn't harm a bug (Oooh! Pretty!) to someone who, in many ways, ended up hurting other people. Life? Made me a shittier person.

And guess what? YOU'RE SHITTIER TOO.

**Alright. Calm down my little elms! No sense barking at me over what - to everyone else - is easy to see. Just sit and drink your lemonade and listen for a while.**

Let's pick on someone else first.

Usher.

He's gorgeous. He's talented. He's from Atlanta. So naturally, we hate on him. It's only fair.

But while we're hating on the singing, dancing, hometown hero, he's busy hating on someone else. Namely, his ex and some poor, innocent lovely that never did him a stitch of wrong.

In his song, "You Remind Me," Usher openly admits that he won't give said lovely a chance. Why? Is she a puppy-hating, Sandusky-supporting, card-carrying member of the Communist Party?

Nope.

She just has the misfortune of resembling a woman who, in the past, broke his heart.

End scene.

Life experience? Screwed Lovely out of weeks of posh dates, stares from envious friends and sex on 1-million-count bedsheets.

Life? Fucked with Usher.

Now let's get back to you.

You?

Weren't born with preconceived notions of what it meant to be masculine or feminine. What it meant to be beautiful or ugly. What it meant to be black or white. You weren't born knowing Mexicans came here to steal our jobs, or that Asian kids were smarter than everyone else, or that Muslims are all terrorists, or that the France was for pussies, or that driving a German car made you better than everyone else.

You LEARNED this. And you suck for it.

Growing up, my brother's best friend was Titus Wimbish. Titus was black, but I doubt, if asked to describe Titus, my brother could have or would have told you that. He may have described him as funny or fun or "he likes to ride bikes." But race wouldn't have come up unless asked directly. Why? It certainly wasn't because my pre-kindergarten brother was plying politically correct. My friends, it was because race simply wasn't a factor to a 4 year old kid.

Life somehow sees fit to make it a factor.

Like when race plays a role in the break up of your (admittedly) already-fucked family.

Life experience? It' a bitch.

And let's go with "bitch" for a moment.

Dogs will shy away from all men, once they have been beaten by one. To repair the damage takes years of patience and giving. Melvin? Now greets most men who walk into my house. But it took 9 years of a safe home with consistent care for him to do so.

And are we so very different?

Our Justice System doesn't think so.

When called to jury duty, we are asked a series of questions to determine our underlying prejudice. Among them, if we've "ever been the victim of a violent crime" or whether or not we attend a house of faith.

In jury duty selection, it's not a question of whether or not one has prejudices - it's just a process of attempting to weed out which ones we possess. Because the sad fact remains that, if you were robbed at gun point by a burly black man, you're likely to shy away from ALL burly black men you encounter. It's guilt by association. And we all do it.

Whether you burn men because one man scorned you, whether you see all fat people as lazy because your mother was fat and lazy, whether you get a pit in your stomach every time you see and Asian woman because Frank left you for an Asian woman, or whether a lovely who might have graced your 1 million count sheets is a 'definite no' because she reminds you of a girl that you once knew...

Well, Usher...life's made you shitty.

Welcome to the club.

Here's your badge.

...

My name is Erin, and my life experiences have shaped me into a monster elm...

...

Therapists will tell you that - as with dogs - the solution for human beings is the same as the cause.

Exposure.

Life experience.

If one guy or gal screwed ya (and subsequently screwed ya up), the solution to the fallout is prolonged exposure to many guys or gals that won't screw ya. (Metaphorically).

And I am certain this works. Because the power to change is not only a negative power. And countless people have learned to love more and suck less.

But it takes time. It takes effort.

Like 9 years of petting, walks, brushing, baths, and puppy chow.

Some of us would just rather suck.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Monogamy

Like you, I am a FaceBook addict.

And thank goodness! What a never-ending source of inspiration it is!

Today's inspiration comes from my friend, M.E. (which sounds like some sort of secret self-credit...but those really ARE her initials).

Seems Miss M.E. encountered a situation which many lovely ladies - including myself - frequently face: the unwanted "suitor."

"Suitor" being a generous term.

Now before all my male readers groan, please allow me to clarify: a well-placed compliment is always welcome. An innocent approach? Perfectly appropriate. But there's a line. And it isn't subtle.

Succinctly, if your approach contains the words "titties," "ass," "pussy," "daaaaamn," "fuck" or any iteration of a synonym, it's pretty evident you don't respect us. And for any self-assured lady respect is a must.

Which is where M.E.'s story comes in...

M.E. is married. Happily so. But this piece of information - and the sparkly rock on her finger - apparently act as no deterrent from unwanted suitors, who often take it upon themselves to offer her a "way out" of her (apparently confining) relationship.

That this "offer" reeks of a lack of respect for M.E., her relationship, and her choices is obvious...and therefore not my reason for this post.

My inspiration, therefore, comes from M.E.'s thoughtful and heartfelt reaction to such an offer.

Today, M.E. made the case for monogamy. And in a world of swingers, open marriages, and outright cheaters, I think it's an argument being drowned out by the noise.

I share with you her thoughts:

"I am happily married and monogamous. I understand that me being monogamous might come as a surprise to some people but its not something my husband forced me into, it is something I decided on my own. I am not looking for a way out, nor am I looking for another man to be with. My husband is the only man I want to be with. It is not appropriate to ask me what I'm down to do with you, or repeatedly asking me to give you a personal demo of what I know how to do in bed (barf). I don't care if you are drunk, and an apology wont be enough to make up for disrespecting me, my husband, and my relationship."

As M.E. so eloquently outlines, what's so wrong with monogamy?

Surely, every relationship is about personal choice...but as the world becomes increasingly more open to relationships that are...well...more open...there seems to be a counter-trend. Namely, that monogamy is "boring" and "a trap"...a situation, therefore, from which one would be lucky to escape.

My friends, this counter-trend is in direct opposition to freedom of relationship choice.

M.E. wasn't forced into a monogamous marriage. She chose it. She loves her husband. And, my friends, that's okay!

...

For the majority of my life, I've been terrified of monogamy and of marriage. I tend to be a monogamist in relationships, but that's always been with the internal understanding that my relationships are like car leases - you use the car when new and exciting, with the understood anticipation of trade in after three years or 36,000 miles.

This may seem a heartless approach, but, my friends, if you'd witnessed the marriage I grew up with, you wouldn't want any part of that either.

But recently I've changed my tune.

The change can be attributed to a variety of factors - among them, shared experiences with miss M.E.

I currently work in a "breastaurant" - an establishment that serves food for both the stomach and the eyes. Think "Hooters"...but with barbecue.

In any event, working in such an establishment often brings in the inappropriate suitor...but most are well-intentioned and immediately snap back to the realm of respectful when told they have crossed the line.

It's not these gentlemen with whom I have a problem.

It's the ones that won't relent.

The ones with wedding rings who tell me the wife will never know.

The ones who give excuses about needing an escape from the old ball n' chain.

The ones who, despite being told that I am in a relationship, insist that they can provide a respite from the monotony of monogamy. That they can please me in ways my man can't or won't. That no one will ever know.

What these men fail to realize - other than their obvious lack of respect for me, my decisions and my relationship - is that I am not looking for a way out.

What a revelation!

At 31, I have been around the relationship block. My friends, I have done it all, dating-wise. And that's okay by me.

Ever-curious, I had to know what each of kind of relationship looked like. I needed to know. Now I do. And now that I do... I've opted for monogamy.

Why? Because monogamy - especially with the right match - offers me everything I am looking for in the form in which I want to receive it.

I am not missing out on anything.

I am not itching for something new.

I am no longer curious about the path not taken.

I? Am happy with monogamy for the first time in my life. And my friends - THAT'S OKAY!

To some, this claim may ring in the ears like the "War on Christmas" -like some ridiculous whine-fest about a non-existant issue. But given the frequency with which I and ladies like M.E. are approached with "alternate offers," I cannot help but feel that monogamy is getting a bit of an unfair shake.

Sure, 40 years next to the same bag o'skin seems terrifying...but the face doesn't need to change so long as the person behind it continues to grow.

And THAT, my friends, is what I have learned.

That the incessant trade ins on my previous leases have not been indictments of that person or of monogamy itself. They've been the symptoms of the illness that was stagnation. Monogamy only becomes monotony when the person (or persons) in the relationship fail to grow - both individually and within the relationship.

I concede that growth is, by definition, a personal journey, and therefore unique to the individual. For some, this may require some form of open relationship. But for others, a single person may prove the perfect soil in which to plant.

There are many metaphors there...and I've likely over and understated my case...but my journey may well be one that shows monogamy remains a viable option for sustainable happiness.

And my friends, that's finally okay by me.

This one isn't funny. So here's a smiley face: :)

Intelligence - study, knowledge, learning - threaten, as they always have, the establishment.

With my Master's imminent, The Powers would tell you - as might Common Sense - that more doors will be open to me. That paths, previously blocked, would be cleared for me. That diligence and study, being virtues, would be rewarded.

They are not.

Power herself, it seems, prefers the company of those lesser minded but better endowed with backgrounds of privilege and pride. To excel, one must court her highness with gifts and flattering words. That these words are disingenuous? Matters not.

And it has always been so.

Unfailingly brilliant, Michelangelo was met with incessant criticism from those whose knowledge of art and architecture was as absent and inept as their churches were rigid and ostentatious.

We see it in his self depictions as Nicodemus. In possession of a then-illegal copy of Scripture, Michelangelo identified with the man who visited Jesus by night - the man who feared being found on his pilgrimage. Michelangelo knew what he believed. But, like Nicodemus, he could not be discovered professing it in daylight.

Forward thinking, it seems, has always fallen victim - at least in the short - to the staunch establishment.

Rather than embrace the enlightenment, we continue to insist on the comfort found in the pitch of The Dark Ages.

So what exactly am I saying? Do I stand here, a Michelangelo among the masses, condemning you for your inferiority to my unheralded brilliance?

The thought beings me a silly smile.

For I am no Michelangelo. I have no great skill or divine insight. I bear only the benefit of being able to witness the Michelangelos of our times. Those men and women who continue to struggle against The Establishment. Those friends whose thoughts, feelings, and natural inclinations so threaten Power as to elicit immediate stifling by way of The Pigeonhole.

My most brilliant and capable friends...those who are able to find work...are placed in positions far below their capabilities. Forced to toil over menial tasks and piss away potential via Pinterest or Spotify, my friends languish at the entry-level, while management/the status quo are "promoted to a level of incompetence."

As a six-year-old version of me would whine, "It's not fair."

Existing in an Era of Entitlement, one could easily claim that I am among those youth who expect the world to be handed over, silver spoon and all, that I might gorge myself while the proverbial African children continue to starve.

My friends, make no mistake - it's not that I don't appreciate my green beans.

But to call myself and my friends entitled is to completely discredit the hardships we've faced in our efforts to swim upstream. And, while I know of the personal struggles of those of whom I speak, I am only at liberty to expose my own personal struggles, which, I assure you, are not mine alone to bear.

The past four years have graced me with the loss of full-time employment, the loss of my home and the subsequent compounding of debt which could not and cannot be overcome by the acceptance of a litany of part-time jobs (the only ones offered me).

Again, on the threshold of my Master's, I openly admit that student loans are presently keeping me afloat. My car has not been serviced in years - which is also about the last time I saw a doctor or dentist. Without health insurance, (not offered at part-time jobs) I cannot afford it.

I type this on a computer given to me countless years ago by my brother.

My rent next month may be paid by my father.

But the resumes I have in circulation? Countless.

A Dean's List Scholar and former journalist, one would think my qualifications would make me a desirable hire. But I am told more often than not that I am an intellectual threat.

"You are overqualified."

"Yes. And I am also broke. Please just let me answer your phones."

And still, I know I have it better than some.

Those starving children in Africa? Yes, I know. I know. I haven't forgotten about them...

Like so many of my generation, Iw as raised to believe that "This is America, the land of opportunity" and that, if I just work hard enough, I will succeed.

But, dear friends, I have been working hard.

And if you are truly my friends, I know you have been too.

So I suppose there's just one thing to do: keep spinning our wheels until we burn out...and then join the others as we exhaustedly float downstream.

Or become the modern Michelangelos.

But then again, even Michelangelo relented to the power of the Papacy.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Precious Things

I saw you again on the porch tonight; your hair tied up in a bun.

I know you did it in less than 30 seconds, messy.

You looked gorgeous.

You smiled and said hello to me.

My breath caught in my throat.

You'd just returned from Mexico.

I haven't left the house in two days.

Your bed is just below mine. It's positioned just the same. I saw it when I was there the other night.

We coexist in address.

Our lives?

Worlds apart.

Because you're the beautiful one.

And my smarts don't matter. They pale to your face.

To anyone else or to me.

I'd trade them. Every bit.

To awake from this nightmare in the bed downstairs.

But these are "Precious things."

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Idol

Truth be told, I don't want to kill you.

For the last six months, you're all I've known.

I held you. Nursed you. Built you. Broke you.

But the time approaches, and I can't not kill you.

Not when we've come this far.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Just an early morning dumpster ponder

I marvel at people.

Like exotic animals in some far-flung zoo, I watch their behaviors, captivated, but completely unable to comprehend the actions. Each movement is a puzzle. Motivations? Wonders.

On mornings such as these, I feel a complete and utter detachment from my species.

It's not a judgement per se. Just a state of being.

And today that detachment was fostered by my once again magical dumpster.

Apparently someone was evicted recently...

I live in a nice neighborhood in a nice part of town with nice neighbors and a nice landlord. It's really nice.

Not cookie cutter, mind you. NICE.

But this morning, all of a neighbor's worldly goods languished by my magical dumpster.

One can tell much about a person by their worldly goods. The way I see it, the things a person chooses to surround his/herself with, in many ways speaks of that person's value system.

You can deduce so much from someone based on purchases or salvages. Based upon what is kept and what is thrown away.

And, my friends, I marveled this morning that my nice neighbor in a nice apartment in a nice community was living in squalor. Apparently of his/her own making.

...

I do not dust often enough. I would rather slaughter the innocent than have to hand wash my dishes just once more... but, my friends, I think it can safely be said that I maintain what I have.

I stil have clothes (and wear them!) from high school. I haven't had a new stick of furniture in years. My dishes date back to undergrad. I have pairs of socks that have lasted longer than poignant relationships.

I TAKE CARE OF WHAT I AM GIVEN.

It may not be much, but it's mine.

I like to be surrounded by nice (if not new) things.

My neighbor? Apparently not so.

The furniture was in ruins. Barely recognizable. Certainly not functional. And couldn't have been. Not for years.

There was a little pink couch. Tiny. Child-size. Hand embroidered with a tiny drawer for the keeping of a tot's most valuable possessions.

I would have cherished this. Loved it like The Bear Chair. This solitary piece of furniture - what stories wove themselves in with those little multi-colored flowers? And why were those memories so devalued as to rot long before their discard?

Without words, the wreckage by the MD spoke to me. It spoke to me of my difference. Of my separateness. It asked me - in the country blessed with the most by way of material wealth - why do some not see? Why do some not value? Why do some not cherish?

I do not judge my nice neighbor for eviction. I do not judge him or her for losing worldly goods. But I must admit I do not understand - and lack of understanding usually brings with it judgement - the carelessness and squalor with which said neighbor treated the blessings he/she had.

Because, rest assured my friends, if the nice day comes when my nice landlord has to put me out, my belongings will speak o a woman who valued vintage, family and old movies. And you best believe scavengers will be all over my shit!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Ahem

I only want to know what you think about me if it can somehow make me better. Otherwise, I'll thank you to kindly SHUT THE HELL UP.

Also...

"Life has a way of working things out...unless you're brutally murdered." - Kal Storch

Monday, November 12, 2012

Take A Walk With Me, Sissy

So...it's coming around again.

Your birthday.

22.

Today I wish you'd lived to be my age. And older still.

Take a walk with me, Sissy.

If I had any gift I could give, it'd be the peace that comes with discovering certain things. And that discovery process takes time. Time you were not given.

Sissy, you saw so much. And I am grateful. But it makes me sad you weren't granted the years of confusion and the subsequent, quiet revelations of "what it all means."

If I could tear it from my chest and leave it at your stone, I would.

It's the only peace I have, but I'd give it all to you.

I love you. That fact - like your life- never changes.

In fact, in a world of constant change, you remain ever the same. This brings me no comfort. I want you to change. I want you to grow. I want you to know.

Take a walk with me, Sissy.

Earlier this week, I had a chat with Cason. I couldn't love her more. It is not possible.

But as she changes, my heart aches. She hurts, but she grows. For you I want the same...

I know this isn't poetry. I've spoken more beautifully. And more intelligently.

But that's one of the thousands of things I've learned and would share with you. Eloquence...intelligence...they pale compared to sincerity.

Take a walk with me, Sissy.

Move with me. Walk with me. Grow before me.

And let me - for once - be the one to just lie still.

E for Effort

‎"It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious." Oscar Wilde

"I strive for charming. It's tedious." - Erin Greer

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Lady Adelaide

"Now she's a bird with a broken wing,

she likes the ideas of things

more than what they are bound to bring..."

Funny

I can't believe it was you.

All this time and then...

Your voice. Your voice on the line...

Friday, November 9, 2012

Reaching Out

I just received this regarding my television show:

On 11-9-12, you did a broadcast with Jarryd Wallace. What is the best way to contact him. I too am a amputee, mine is above the knee. Whats more important is I too know about God's grace after 56 years. My story is one thats not as glamourous as Jarryds, as I did 25 years in prison before being paroled on 8-29-07. I found my salvation on 1-19-07 through Christ our Lord and Savior, and would love to share my story with him or any one who will listen to me. Please contact me at XXX.XXX@yahoo.com or call me at 770-XXX-XXXX.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Moment to Gloat

I'd like to take a moment from the election to note that tonight's episode of my tv show is rather awesome, if I do say so myself. I'm pretty darn good at this "producing thing."

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Dance, Monkey! Dance!

I love songs that tell me what to do.

It's like dance propaganda.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Baaaa

Like a sheep with horrendous taste in shepherds.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

GET THE FUCK GONE

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you:

A NEW STANDARD

Also known as "GET THE FUCK GONE."

...

You see me at the bus stop, the QT, the gift shop

Approach me like you know me, wanna show me

Say you owe me.

Can you please, please have my number?

Make me dinner?

You're a winner!

So you say...

"Baby gimme one chance

Watch my dance

I'm romance

Get in my pants?

Wait...where you goin'?"

So you say...

...

But while you keep talkin' talkin'

this bitch be walkin' walkin'

Cause I'm sick and tired

of being mired

in the games you wanna play.

So with two birds front and center

I'll allow you, fool, to enter

my thoughts as you approach me

like you know me, wanna show me

and you say what you say.

...

Livin' up the single life, don't want a wife? Well baby, GET THE FUCK GONE.

Got no job, no prospects? Livin' off of state checks? Your last girl's a damn wreck? Then GET THE FUCK GONE.

You ex is a psycho? You're homo? Like disco? Go anywhere the wind go? Then GET THE FUCK GONE.

Oh what's that? You're married? You and wifey wanna share me? Well 'less she's dead and buried, GET THE FUCK GONE.

12 beers a day, no work and all play? Well, what else can I say? GET THE FUCK GONE.

10 kids. 10 mammas. I don't want your drama.

Smoke out, do drugs? Bitch, I don't date thugs.

You got no life, no story...guess what? You bore me.

A zealot, a monger? Can I say it any stronger?

Humor? You got none. But your deer rack's full of shotguns? Dude, you're fuckin' with the wrong one. So GET THE FUCK GONE.

Can't complete a statement? Live in your parents' basement? I ain't got the patience, so bitch, hit the pavement!

Don't listen? Been missin' the last one you were kissin'? You just got out of prison? Then GET THE FUCK GONE.

Unfaithful, distasteful, unintelligent and hateful? I find you all disgraceful! So GET THE FUCK GONE.

'Cause I have my own home, my own car

Don't care who you think you are

I've been there. I've got scars

So GET THE FUCK GONE!

PUSH

One lap

Two laps

Three laps

Four laps

Push until I collapse

Every time I relapse

Burn it

Earn it

Every time I yearn it's

MY pain

MY gain

Master of my own brain

Though rife

with strife

Author of my own life

Five laps

Six laps

Pulling up my bootstraps

Running with no road maps

A prolapse in my synapse

Allowing me to time-lapse

I'll get fast

Get past

the hurdles of the now-past

Push through

Rear view

Always was my go-to

But my past includes you

How much must I go through?

Burn it

Earn it

Every time I yearn it's

MY pain

MY gain

MY strife

MY life

Every time I relapse

PUSH.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Homeward Bound

Cully was a puppy

big of feet, big of heart

Who loved to run and laugh and play

He'd meander across the yard

sniffing here and checking there

It was all good fun

He'd discover something new and neat

And off dear Cully'd run.

When Eve would fall there'd come a call

and Cully'd bound away

from the smells and tortoise shells

Run home at the end of the day.

...

But then one day the pup he played

too far from his dear home

He wandered to a neighbor's porch

and there began to moan.

Whimpers lead to whispers as the neighbor's lights turned on

The door open, Cully came in, and had himself a bone.

A woman's face, a warm embrace

held him for the time.

But at the end of the day, he was a stray

and his heart could never be mine.

...

A stop on the road, I lightened the load

for the happy wayward hound,

but then came the day Cully scampered away

And I knew he was homeward bound.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Scar Tissue

Scab

Back

stab

Stack

of woes

Shove

knife

Love

wife

it shows

Hell

bent

Time

spent

it grows

Bleed

more

Hard

core

exposed

Woes

stack

Stab

back

Scab

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

On Feminism or "Fuck You Very, Very Much"

Women of the world are under attack, and I'm looking for some men (and women) to join me in giving a damn.

My soul has been sick since yesterday, when three noteworthy events occurred--each piggybacking on the other--in heightening my awareness that the "fairer sex" continues to receive unfair treatment.

And I've, quite frankly, had it.

These events were (in this order):

1. Observing the Prime Minister of Australia stand before her government and lambast a misogynist for his deplorable example. http://jezebel.com/5950163/best-thing-youll-see-all-day-australias-female-prime-minister-rips-misogynist-a-new-one-in-epic-speech-on-sexism?utm_campaign=socialflow_jezebel_facebook&utm_source=jezebel_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

2. Being personally verbally attacked by a professional male weightlifter for assuming a position of authority on my own film set. That I was the only woman present in a room full of muscular men was one problem. That none of those muscular men came to my aid, opting instead to stand by and watch, was another.

3. A beautiful feminist voice was silenced when the Taliban decided to murder (they failed) a 14 year old Pakistani writer by shooting her to death as she rode on a school bus. http://hellogiggles.com/14-year-old-pakistani-girl-malala-yousufzai-shot-by-the-taliban-for-being-a-feminist-blogger?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

ENOUGH.

Does it piss me off that women continue to make less than men for the same job? Yes.

Does it anger me that women's healthcare coverage denies necessary annual exams but will cover prostate checks? YES.

Does the fact that women are underrepresented in nearly every power-related field in this country? Yes, yes, YES.

But despite my annoyance at these situations, my investiture usually does a consta-hover at just that - annoyance. After all, this is just the way things are, and change comes slow, and I have no doubt that my daughters (should I ever have them) will one day be afforded opportunities that I never had...

That's me usually. Susan B. Anthony am I none.

Until today.

Because, goddamnit, someone has to stand up for the ladies. And I guess that someone is just gonna hafta be me.

From my vantage, each instance on the above list shares two common characteristics: 1. that they all involve an instance of acknowledgement of extreme gender inequity and 2. the media.

Let's consider:

That genitalia is not a signifier of intelligence, grace, wit, or entitlement has been scientifically verified in every way possible. But in a society (societies) where gender roles dominate (and are heightened and perpetuated by media outlets), this equity is often thrown by the wayside in favor of perpetuating the ideals of subservient, pretty women and powerful, take charge men.

And while there is nothing wrong with any or all of these traits--should someone come by them naturally--there is something very wrong with listing them as a mandate. And with punishing those that choose not to fit in with the "Brady Bunch" structure of our socioeconomic mindset.

And most of us refuse to even admit that gender mandates continue to be a problem. After all, there's a war in Iraq and the economy's in the toilet. But while we focus on the men dying on the Middle East battlefield and the men who caused the economic decline and the men we are going to turn to to clean up the mess, we refuse to see what has, since yesterday, become quite plain to me: women's voices are all but absent in these pressing matters. And that, my friends, is a pressing matter.

If we truly take an unbiased look at the evidence, most of us would rather turn a blind eye to sexism than admit that there is not only an elephant in the room, but that it is shitting all over the lives of vagina-wielding members of our populace.

Most of us really just haven't thought about it, because we don't want to think about it, because it's ugly and it's scary and we're better off here than those poor girls like Malala Yousufzai in Pakistan who are getting bullets on buses.

My friends, "Injustice somewhere is a threat to justice everywhere." And whether in the Australian Parlament, on a Mid East school bus or in a gym in Marietta, Georgia, our choice to turn a blind eye to the rampant inequity fostered by gender roles is, at best, obtuse and, at worst, a death sentence.

Think that's hyperbolic?

Think gender equity is not a problem here?

Think again.

That it remains "emasculating" when a woman's wages exceed her husband's is misogyny.

That people care more about Hillary Clinton's haircut than the policies set forth through her post? Misogyny.

That a female producer can't call for "Quiet on the set" without a roid-raging egomaniac screaming and cursing at her, exerting his physical dominance because she dared to assert herself as a position of authority? Misogyny.

And it's coming to a head.

Most likely because we often refuse to even see or acknowledge it.

I guarantee you Mr. Temper Tantrum didn't go home and assess the fact that he has a deep-seeded issue with female authority figures. Double or nothing he went home seething about that "uppity bitch" who tried to take over his gym, and punched it out on his heavy bag, content in that he had "put [me] in [my] place."

All I can say is, I hope this man doesn't have sons.

And therein, my friends, is our solution: sons. and daughters. US.

First, we must take a good, hard look at what we personally believe about gender roles. What is good? What is not? What is acceptable? What is not? WHY.

Why, for example, is it NOT okay for a man to be "effeminate"? Why are female weightlifters "disgusting"? Why does a man speaking with authority equal leadership, and a woman doing likewise equal an attempt at usurping authority?

Realizing we are all guilty.

And then teaching our children differently.

Because our sons will not believe they can be "real men" without being the biggest, strongest, richest guy on the block if we do not believe it.

And our daughters will never stand up, speak up and tell anyone with a problem to shut up so long as The Secretary of State's pantsuit is more important than her policies.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

WJB

Did you like Elvis Presley?

I reckon probly so.

He seems like someone you would like,

but I guess I'll never know.

...

I don't know just what brought me here

or why I feel that you're so near

when I hear his wistful song.

...

We never listened to this tune.

You never saw this lonely room.

but I can see you, plain as day

When The King starts to play

This melancholy ode to love

a woman he's been dreaming of

to me a kitchen 50's style

blinking lights and your young smile

in a house I've never known

but its me there

not yet grown

And you, with youth upon your face

take my hand in your embrace

and sweep me 'cross the shining floor

...

Is it possible...HOW is it possible

that you're not here anymore?

...

Yes, I think I know it now

I can't say when or why or how

but you'd have sang this song to me

You. And me. And Elvis Presley.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cS5aCozhcA

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Death of Emily Dickinson

I am homicidally depressed today.

So, naturally, as one does, I seek to blame someone --anyone other than myself-- for the psychological hazing being inflicted on the freshman that is my head.

Tonight (this morning?), as I bend over to ask Otter, "Please, sir, may I have another?," I choose to turn my ire on someone truly underserving. But, as she is --or was-- infinitely more talented than me...well, that makes her a prime target. That she's already dead? All the better. (See the above use of "homicidal" for reference.)

Yes, as loathing her may somehow salve my wounds and, for the moment, keep me out of the pen, I have chosen to unleash my inner Patrick Bateman on Emily Dickinson.

That talented bitch.

Yes who are you, MISS Dickinson, to lecture me on hope? Talking all "feathers" and "perches" and selflessness...What would you know of hope?

For all intents and purposes, you were a freak! A social outcast! Holed up in your own home...afraid to even venture past your front door. Wearing white all the livelong day! Hasn't anyone ever told you that white is not at all slimming?

Oh! And I've seen the pictures. Believe me, girlfriend, you could use all the help you can get! It's no wonder that man you were pining over never took a second glance at you...and you're going to tell me you never stopped hoping?

Bitch, you must have feathers in your brains! ...

Readers, I don't think it's working.

For no amount of bile-spewing nonsense aimed at another person is gonna mend this Pacific-sized rent in my soul.

My soul -- where "hope" is supposedly perched.

...

Emily, if I may, I actually find you lovely.

Tonight, in my darkest hour, your poetry --never meant for publication, written solely for your eyes --echoed in my poisoned brains.

Like most things "mean," my mud slinging stems from jealousy. Envy. Bitterness. Failure.

For, according to your own pen, you never lost that little bird. But me? Well me...

"And sore must be the storm; That could abash the little bird; That kept so many warm."

Monday, September 24, 2012

DLP

Sometimes I wonder where you are

and if there's a girl in my stead

in your bed?

Could it be the weather

the cool fall to tether

my soul to the words that you said?

The leaves change and maybe

when you call her baby

and--like me once--she does spread

Over football and coffee

and please take it off me

I just can't get you out of my head.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Smile Though Your Heart is Aching

When at my most charming, odds are I am seconds away from suicide.

The only thing keeping me going?

This repulsive little dance of wit and grace I do for you.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Diligence!

I don't know how they find me, but they do and I cannot get away.

I hide behind pseudonyms and middle names, refuse to give out information, and sit, aloof, in the corner with my nose buried in a book, but they find me. And, despite my characteristic "leave me the fuck alone" scowl, they continue to do the most terrifying thing I can imagine...

They ask me for advice.

...

I've always viewed success as a substance best measured by a combination of two things: 1. productivity 2. happiness or sense of accomplishment (which, to me, are generally speaking the same things).

By my own definition, I have had some measured success in the entertainment industry. I have also had some epic failures. But through the world's eyes, I know I remain a sea monkey in the vast ocean of production. A speck in the universe that is film/tv/news.

So how, where and why do these people find me?

And, more importantly, why do they give a damn about what I have to say?

Recently (within the past week) I have fielded no fewer than three emails from complete strangers (how did they get my personal email? Your guess is as good as mine.) telling me that they are production professionals (one editor, one DP, one writer) offering services and seeking advice.

My brow furrowed at each request.

Why the fuck are you asking me?

From my vantage, it is nothing short of obvious that I am flying by the seat of my pants - following what is, to most, an unreachable goal fueled by an impractical passion.

I've been courting the poor house for years now. Taking on projects for less than no money. Speaking lines written by writers with no concept of the Oxford Comma and enduring directors who wouldn't know the lens from the tripod on which it's perched.

Who the hell wants to listen to me anyway?

Friends, it dawned on me today that I am living a brave life. An insane, ludicrous, pie in the sky, how in the fuck do you expect this to work (I dunno but I just know it's gonna) life.

And I can't afford to go to the doctor. Or get my teeth fixed. Or have my hair professionally dyed. Hell, I can't even afford the good toilet paper.

But somehow, people out there see what I am doing. And while the naysayers of the world poo poo my efforts, there are a few likeminded souls (Lord, what fools these mortals be!) who actually might like to follow in my footsteps.

I wouldn't recommend it.

Hell, run for the hills, I say.

But for those few strangers (fans?) writing to me, the best advice I can give is to turn you around and point you to someone smart. Someone not me.

My dears, I give you George Bernard Shaw--mixed with a hint of Erin's own recipe: "network, network, network!" and "follow your dreams. Even into the pits of hell. Follow your dreams."

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man." - George Bernard Shaw

Friday, September 14, 2012

Sometimes

Forgive me, but I'm feeling ugly today

So my make-ups a little bit thicker

my smile's just a little bit slicker

my temper a little bit quicker.

....

Forgive me, but I'm feeling wretched today

so my shirt may be just a tad tighter

my hair may be just a tad lighter

in 3...2...1 princess to fighter

...

Because baby, I'm feeling ugly today

and until you show me you're a "sticker"

until my heart knows not to bicker

until my outlook's a bit brighter

until the world gets a bit righter

Everything's just gonna be wrong.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Opportunity Knocks?

Missed opportunities give me fits.

It's only 11 a.m., and already I've missed four...and those are just the obvious ones I can count.

In this life there are so many things dependent upon so many other things which are, in turn, contingent on other things and...whoa. All of the sudden, I need some Excedrin Migraine.

How in the world are we--mere mortals--expected to navigate the snake-infested waters of chance, while most of us are too busy flailing about, sans flotation devices, with nary an idea of how to swim?

Forget medal placement, I'm just tryin' to survive here!

As of this moment, I have left the house only once today. In that time, I witnessed the following scenarios and resisted my impulse to act. Had I acted on each impulse? Well, let's just say we might have had another "sweet pussy" situation on our hands.

1. The security officer at my therapist's building was standing alone, looking forlorn and singing to the radio. I had just had a waking dream/fantasy about starting a true-life musical on the streets with a random stranger when I encountered this officer. My impulse was to speak to her...or, at the very least, join in her song and make real the fantasy in which I had just indulged...but I did neither. Why? Because I was in a hurry. Things to do...

2. Upon exiting my therapist's office, I encountered the same officer. Engaged in the same activity. To the same results. Why didn't I act this time? Cowardice, most likely. Though I told myself it was because my feet hurt too much to dance. Note to all: NEVER let your feet hurt too much to dance. Blisters? Fatigue? Bunions? Dance anyway.

3. I passed a rather dumpy young student on the street. She was wearing a "Rent" t-shirt and carrying a large lunch bag. When she saw me, she looked down. Eyes down, chin down. I could tell she wanted to melt into the pavement. I wanted to smile at her, but I knew she wouldn't have seen it. As we passed, I resisted the urge to literally touch her arm, smile and tell her to lift her chin up. That everything was going to be okay. But I walked on by. Opportunity to brighten someone's day? Missed.

4. While approaching my car, I noticed I was also approaching a strikingly handsome young man with broad shoulders and lovely, lovely...well, everything. Our eyes met. But I didn't say anything. We passed. I reached my car and felt that tingle...you know the one...when someone is watching you. I turned and looked at Pretty. He turned, full blushed, and smiled. And then? My dumb ass got in the car. Why? I told myself it was the blister I'd developed from my insistence on inappropriate but enviable footwear. Really, it was just because I wanted to get home to my humdrum life and not take any chances today.

5. On my way home, as I took a cat and nine tails to my mind for missing so many opportunities, I passed a camera crew. Within walking distance of my house. But I didn't stop to offer my services. I didn't great them and "network." I just drove right on by. Why? Because it was easier. And, my friends, because I am a coward.

For as much as I talk about capre diem-ing the shit out of life, I am, at my core, a lazy goodfornothing who'd prefer to sit in her kitsch-glam apartment writing her observations on life rather than actually going out and living it.

The proof? I should walk up the street and hit up that camera crew. But instead I'm gonna do my dishes. I'm gonna wash my work uniform. I'm gonna shower and put on clothes and engage in the same ol' routine 'cause it's comfortable and 'cause I'm lazy.

I'm gonna do everything as I've always done...and then wonder why nothing ever changes.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Out Of My Reach

I saw a red, red rose today

discarded in a lillypad pond.

To its right

A blue, blue crane.

In my awe, I desired each

Knew I would cherish the wealth

But the crane flew at my approach

And the flower was out of my reach.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Sweet, Sweet Pussy

I purchase perfumes with a zeal most women reserve for the acquisition of Jimmy Choos, so when I tell you that the lil' ol' lady at the grocery store smelled like manna from Heaven--well, you can rely on me as a credible expert.

I first caught her scent when she whizzed by me in her electronic wheelchair in the deli meats section. Such was the aroma that I simply could not help but turn my head.

Two packages of pita and some raspberries later, I encountered her--and her mountain of frizzy black hair--in the plums isle. I could not resist remarking... "Excuse me, ma'am? I couldn't help but notice that you smell AMAZING? May I ask what perfume you are wearing?"

With a smile, she said, "Of course. Come here and let me whisper in your ear."

Ummm...I found this odd...but, as I attract odd like trash does flies, I figured 'what the hell?'. So I shrugged and leaned in closer. This is when she whispered in my ear, "Sweet Pussy."

Ummm....WHAT!?!?!

Certain I had misheard, I asked for a repeat.

"Sweet Pussy."

My eyeballs fell out of my skull.

As I bent to retrieve them from the tiled floor of the Edgewood Kroger, my new, best-smelling senior friend asked me, "now what do you think of that?"

...

My dears, I am not often at a loss for words...but any mention of "pussy" by a woman likely older than my grandmother (though equally inappropriate) knocked me square on my ass...And I should have stayed there. Because granny had one helluva follow-up.

...

"What do you think your man would say if you wore it?"...and then, I CANNOT MAKE THIS UP, she took a knowing glance at my...*ahem*...yeah. Yeah she did.

I'm sure I sputtered. I was--howdoyousay?--flummoxed.

But is this the end of the encounter? Oh no, my friends! No...

"My gentleman friend...he always says I smell so cleeeaaaan. What do you think that means?"

Erin's Mind: "Run Erin! Run NOW!" Erin's mouth: "Umm...I am boy retarded. I never have any idea what they are thinking...so... All I know is that they are pretty and I like to look at them."

"Oh really?," she says with sudden and discomforting interest. "And what about the ladies?"

WHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Is this geriatric, wheelchaired minx propositioning me in the produce isle?!?!?

"Ummm...it takes a very special lady. Very special. I'm pretty keen on the menfolk."

"Oh," she responds. Knowing nod. And as she begins to scuttle away, "Well, you can find sweet pussy in Little 5 Points."

Sure. Sure I can.

But where can I find my wits?

'Cause I seem to have lost them in her sweet pussy...

Monday, September 3, 2012

Salvation is Gay and Died in 1900

I am somewhat saddened by Oscar Wilde's status as a gay man.

Somehow, that he died almost 100 years before I was even born never seemed to be an obstacle to our incontrovertible destiny of a lifetime spent side by side--evenings on the front porch, waxing philosophic on literary brilliance (coffee and cigars involved), days spent pouring over the works of the Masters...our brilliant children going on to to be sole saviors of the contemporary literate...

Yes. Death and the subsequent decay were mere setbacks to my plan...

But while at least part of me continues to believe that I can alter both space and time to make this marriage work, I fear our kismet has been met with an unopposable obstacle.

You see, my soulmate is gay.

And while I love gay men and would still bend time, move space, conquer death and battle the decay with copious amounts of Pet Formula Febreeze, it seems no amount of godlike power can turn the man's tastes.

Which sucks for you people.

'Cause who's gonna save you from yourselves now?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lessons Learned or "Justifying A Passtime"

As I've put in more than 200 hours on the game, I figure there must be something or other I am learning from Bejangled (ie. Bejeweled) other than how to avoid writing my thesis...

As you are my captive audience, I have decided to share these life lessons with the class.

1. There are countless color/shape combinations. Some will garner you more points than others. But no matter which combinations you choose--no matter how many quad and quint combos you miss--another series of combinations will quickly present themselves. So just keep playing. And don't freak out. Many paths to the mountain, my friend.

2. There is ALWAYS another move. ALWAYS. Even if you don't see it immediately. Be still. Be patient. The answer will present itself.

3. Similarly, there's always a "do over". Do it again until you are satisfied.

4. No pressure. No one ever received the Nobel Prize for a high score in Bejeweled. Likewise, no Singaporian was ever caned for missing the three-triangle combo in the bottom righthand corner. (Shit! I SHOULD HAVE SEEN THAT ONE!)

5. No game is ever lost before the time runs out. You never know when a 10-second jewel is going to drop from the ceiling right into your lap.

6. Similarly, the whole game can change in 10 seconds.

7. Agonizing over choices only costs you time...and time is your most valuable possession. Don't overthink. Just choose. Deal with the consequences as they come.

As with all lists from here to eternity, I'm gonna try to end this one on 7.

7 is, after all, the epitome of all things "excellence." Just ask the "As is."

**Shout out to my Aces

We Meet Again

Envy called to play today.

I told her I was busy.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

On Failure

Despite my phobia of singing in front of people, high school Erin G got it in her silly lil' noggin that she was going to enter the talent show.

Pale as an olive-skinned teen can be, she entered the chorus room and auditioned with "Flashdance: What a Feeling."

She got in.

Maybe everyone did.

She has since blocked the memory...

She practiced. A lot. And as she did she realized that, while dancing like a maniac (heh. pun.) and soaking onesself with water while backlit made for cinematic magic...her solo, trembly, please-god-don't-look-at-me-why-the-fuck-am-I-doing-this? voice was less than winning material.

So she changed her routine.

To Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Were Made For Walkin'."

Complete with audience participation.

Much to the chagrin of that poor guy in the front row.

Sorry kid.

Anyway, following the performance, the participants circled up all holdy-hands-did-we-make-it?-did-we-make-it? style as the judges announced the winners.

She wasn't third place.

She wasn't second place.

And first place went to a blind kid with perfect pitch who played guitar.

That he smacked people (on purpose!) in the hallway with his cane was irrelevant... This kid was the champion, and this lil' lady was a gogo boot-clad, blue eyeshadow wearing talent show loser.

I didn't take it well.

Losing's never been my strong suit, and my tendency to beat myself up over mistakes that have decades-since past is, ummm, legendary.

Head bowed in shame, I carried my sorry carcass home. Or Richard James did. And I hemmed and hawed about how life was unfair and about how I never should have tried as no one in their right mind would vote against a blind kid anyhow.

The next day at school, when the winners were invited to perform for assembly, my face remained in the all-too-familiar FML scowl.

My teacher, Mrs. Jordan, noticed.

She pulled me aside.

She asked me what was wrong.

My response was an eyes-down, head bowed, "They hated me."

That Mrs. J responded with, "They didn't hate you," is not really the point. What is the point is that I honest-to-gawd believed what I was saying.

One setback. One failed attempt. One crack in the veneer of my Erin facade, and I admitted that I was worthless.

Since childhood, I have had it drilled into me to perform. To be at one's best at all times. That one's worth was not inherent in one's presence alone. One had to prove themselves worthy. And I did so with grades. And accelerated classes. And dance performances. And captaining the show choir. And the Color Guard. And headlining the school musical. And serving as Vice President of the Woodstock Elves. And working a part-time job...

I graduated sixth in my class of nearly 400 and I was livid that a student's weighted grades in science kicked me out of the Top 5 in my last week of school.

I won the "Most Helpful" award in French, despite my inability to do even the most elementary of assignments, including reading "Le Monstre Dans Le Metro," and was voted "Best Tan" every year in the Marching Band.

I won Most Valuable Singer every year in choir.

Was named Best Actress and Best Lead Actress my junior year.

In my senior yearbook, I appeared in more photos than almost any other student.

And I felt fucking invisible.

Today, despite ardent attempts to give my all, I was once again voted out of the top three. Once again, I feel that sinking pit. My eyes are down. My head is bowed.

I've failed, and they hate me.

But this time...this time is different.

Because last time it wasn't the blind kid who couldn't see...it was me.

And this time I do see.

My eyes are down. My head is bowed. But they haven't bested me.

Monday, August 27, 2012

I Am The Terror That Flaps In The Night

I was just struck by a terrifying thought:

As a child, when I lost a tooth, my parents would sneak into my room at night, and exchange a piece of my bones for money!

Then, they would sneak away...all without me knowing!

Am I really THAT sound of a sleeper?

And think of how vulnerable you are in that state!

What if they had been radioactive chimps intent on 3914 Ebeneezer Road domination!?!?!

I WOULD HAVE BEEN AT THEIR MONKEY MERCY!

Who does this to their children!?!?

Great. Now I am terrified, and I can't fucking sleep.

On Triangles...Or Rhinoceros

I lead a remarkable life.

Inexplicably, days and references and happenstance will befall me...and years later, the "meaning of it all" will suddenly strike me with the force of Hurricane Isaac.

***Was that a Hebrew Bible reference or a current events reference? 'Cuz she wrote that thing once about the Jews descending from Issac. But that Florida hurricane is also Issac, right? So is this that? SHHHH! Down front! I'm trying to listen!

So, asides aside, I return to my previous efforts of dancing a jig around the point, which is this: shuffle shuffle.

I tend to draw any ounce of remarkable from the ordinary. And typically, Life will find a way to bring that one atypical aspect to a poignant apex. And that, my friends, is how I reach understanding.

In recent weeks, I have been given the extraordinary gift of a non-too-ordinary individual who has literally re-verbed my placid Me Pond. His pulse ripples through my life like a melody through a crowd--invisible to the eye--yet the swaying of the masses bears testament to the impact of its force.

Knowing nothing of my neuroses involving death, abandonment and flowers, HE provided me flowers that will never die.

Today, it was a rhinoceros, and I love him all the more.

...

Years ago I loved and lived in a triangle. Two men. One woman. And, as these things so often end...complete and utter devastation.

But, prior to the aforementioned endofitall, one of the men in my ill-fated triangle gave me a wooden rhinoceros in a carved, wooden box.

He kept its mate.

He said it was his way of ensuring we were together all the time.

I haven't spoken to him in two years.

He wrote to me this February.

I did not respond.

...

Today I find myself in yet another triangle. I am a different point this time, but the situation remains thrice.

Ironic, then, that the rhinoceros should choose this very moment to reappear.

...

The fear in me screams this triangle will end as the last one. That the rhino may just be The Grim of my tale.

But like Harry before me, perhaps this omen is not as sinister as fear leads me to suspect.

It ended in love and sacrifice for Harry--the only true family he ever knew.

...

In the realm of triangles, there are three possible options. So maybe my first triangle was acute and obtuse. Perhaps this one is right.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

"Imagine"

My friend just had the following conversation with her child:

Branham: (4 years old. Reaching his arms up as high as he can, hops, determinedly, on his tip toes. Then, frustrated...) UHHH!!!

Friend: What's wrong?

Branham: I can't FLY mommy!

Ok. So this is so cute it makes you want to slap a kitten for even trying. But slap/sap factor aside...

I love this.

I love what it says.

Kids have always held a certain fascination for me.

The way their little minds work. Their tiny limbs. (FREAKS!) But most importantly--Their views on the workings of this crazy little blue and green planet.

Seems to me that Neil Armstrong (bless him. rest him.) is the only adult who could claim to have viewed our earth from an equally unique perspective.

And that, dear friends, is a beautiful thing.

Somewhere along the line, we, as people, embrace our inabilities. We learn what is possible and what is not. We learn our limitations.

Children's limitations? Only the scope of their respective imaginations.

Not only did Branham believe he could fly, he did so to such an extent that he was frustrated to learn he could not.

That kind of faith in one's abilities - I ask you - where would mankind be if we continued to embrace those childlike dreams?

Though this concept sends my mind exploring in (insert hyperbolic number here) directions, my two most logical streams of thought lead me here:

1. "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."

When George Bernard Shaw said the previous, he was essentially saying that we all should carry on like children. And I agree. I mean, think about it...aren't you happiest when your daydreams take you places the logical world tells you you cannot, will not or are not allowed to go? Which leads me to my second thought.

Jesus.

You may run for the hills now...

2. In Luke and Matthew, Jesus says (depending on the translation) "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."

I'm no Biblical scholar, but I'm pretty sure he didn't mean that some posthumus place in the clouds is overrun by toddlers. Pretty sure he meant that heaven - that place of perfect mental and spiritual peace - is found in the innocence and wonder and possibility that only children's minds are continuously able to embrace.

But Erin!?!?! You're a Jew!!! So was Jesus. So sue me. The guy was on to something.

...

If there's one thing I love as much as waxing philosophic, it's irony. And I am struck by the irony that, as adults, we are consistently asking children what they want to grow up to be.

As for me? I am a grown up. And it remains my sincere hope that I can grow up to be what I once was - a kid with stars in her eyes and big dreams in her heart. And, most importantly, an unwavering faith that those dreams are not only still possible, but within my reach.

"Some people say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one..."

Friday, August 24, 2012

Barrett Eben Lawrence

When I was in ninth grade, a boy from my bus gave me the lyrics to a song.

He was a strange boy; the kind your southern baptist parents warned you to steer clear of.

His clothing was all black. Baggy. He wore his wallet on a chain. His hair was dyed. And long. And blonde.

He painted his nails.

...

In the morning, as I would stand, waiting, for that big yellow petri dish of judgement to pull up to the top of the hill, I was painfully aware of my braces, of whether or not my hair and outfit were acceptable, of whether anyone would notice that I was terrified, or that I lugged a mountain of insecurities around in my off-brand backpack.

I never saw him.

But he was watching me.

...

I don't remember how it happened, all I remember is the lasting effect.

The invisible outcast from up the street--how he spoke to me. How he told me I was beautiful. How he gave me a white envelope marked with black letters--a high school boy's scrawled handwriting.

How I was afraid to read them, as they were from a band banned from the pillar of the pulpit. How my hand shook when I took them home. How I cried when I began to read.

"I still recall the taste of your tears. Echoing your voice just like the ringing in my ears. My favorite dreams of you still wash ashore. Scraping through my head 'til I don't wanna sleep. Anymore."...

I do not know what moved me most--that I had been seen through my veneer or that I had failed to see the one person who even bothered looking... But as the words unfolded like the paper on which they had been written, I felt my tiny world expand.

I would no longer accept the things I was told by those who claimed to know better. I would no longer forgo forbidden experiences because of the censorship of those who feared all that was and is "different."

I was different.

Barett Eben Lawrence was different.

And he, like the forbidden words, was beautiful.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Broccoli Speak: It's Definitely A Thing

I shall institute a new saying: "broccoli speak."

Were ol' Webster to define it, the breakdown would look a lil' somethin' like this:

broccoli speak: (v) 1. to insist on speaking on a mundane topic without acknowledgement that Erin has just mentioned something epic. 2. to continue on with a blase conversation overlooking Erin's brilliance in the interim.

Ex:

Friend: What would you like to have for dinner tonight?

Erin: I am writing a new screenplay. Bow before me.

Friend: So...broccoli then?

...

In short- broccoli speak: (n) a killing offense.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I Disapprove

My inspiration.

Wicked

Unfortunately for all of us, your external beauty grants pardon for the internal plague of your true person.

Your lovely face like an angel, when you call for a heart in a box.

Just remember, the Wicked Queen died an old hag at the base of a ravine...

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Flowers for Algernon

There's no way you could know this, but I always set great significance to flowers dying.

Like clockwork, I timed the demise of my past few relationships. They coincided with the deaths of the flowers I had been given by those very people.

It has become a pseudo paranoia for me--a hard-held belief despite my knowledge of its impossibility.

But tonight, when I am low and unresponsive, you send me an image of flowers you've drawn. Drawn for me. With the simple words, "it's growing!"

You never knew about the flowers...

So how did you intuit that this was exactly what I needed today? And every day?

That the flowers are not only blooming--not only growing--but permanent. From your thoughts to your hands to paper.

Like my words--art.

Forever.

Without knowledge of my psychosis, you arrived bearing remedy.

I love you. I love you. I love you.

Imperfect you--perfect for me.

Like A 6 Year Old

I continue to operate under the megalomaniacal belief that everything, IS, in fact, all about me.

...

My therapist recently told me that "the only thing that's wrong with [me] is that I believe something is wrong with [me.]"

That poor, psychotic woman.

...

Pumpkins are the only gourd that got it right.

...

In case you are running low:

Complete with clearance rack and "in bulk" discounts.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Back the Fuck Off Okay?

Why do you expect perfection of me?

Did I don my Jesus Christ flops or something?

Gimme a second, 'cause I'll go and change...

Sunday, August 12, 2012

La Petit Mort de Cour

What do you want to know?

That you could have my heart if you want it?

That I'd deliver it up to you, Salome style, with a dance?

I laugh. A morbid testament to my willingness to debase myself.

For you? Well, yes.

But no. Not really for you at all.

The dance, mon cher, is for me.

I rehearsed it in my mind a thousand times prior this.

Aorta on a plate--selfless? Nay. Calculated.

A selfish offering--conceived not in the moment, but centuries prior. For mine is an old soul.

La Delour Exquise.

La petit mort de cour.

That hardest part is having to know, that while you leave with the heart, I continue to hear its beat in my breast.

Synoptic to Poe-etic, the ghostly reverberations of a tale-tell heart.

And I danced for you.

All smiles for you.

But more for me.

...

You want to tie me up?

I've spent lifetimes tying me down.

There's no pain you can inflict that I cannot match, mon cher.

No suffering that I haven't already endured--and long before this little dance.

Because when you offered me anything I wanted, and I asked for the head of John the Baptist... Well, you shoulda known then that something was wrong long before...

Long before you.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

America: FUCK YEAH?

It is a strange and disconcerting feeling to be both immensely proud of and utterly repulsed by one's own country.

While other nations are pussyfooting about, you know, killing their own people, we are landing on Mars.

And while most potheads I know can't be bothered to leave the sofa, Michael Phelps is being touted as the greatest athlete of all time.

Am I proud? Yes ma'am I am!

But while our rovers navigate the next planet and our athletes continue to amaze, our average citizen cannot afford healthcare.

Always a leader in innovation, we have the most advanced, most powerful (and most- funded) military on the planet. And we also have crazies from Colorado shooting up theaters and temples.

My fellow Americans, what the hell is going on?

Have we gone completely short bus? (I expect to get a strongly-worded letter from Mark Zohn for that one.)

We've proven we have the brains and the brawn...so what are we lacking?

The moral compass?

Maybe the problem is that only the bad people make the news. I'll concede that possibility...and, through my tv show, I hope to rectify that trend, if only a little bit...

But seriously...what happened to loving one's neighbor? What happened to a sense of community? Of togetherness?

As I recall, the last time Americans took up arms against each other, it didn't go well for either side.

How did we lose sight of this?

We sink or swim together, y'all.

I say it's high time we start uniting under the same flag. We do this just fine when Phelps wins another gold. Suddenly we're all proud to be Americans.

But when an American bombs a Sikh Temple? Well, that was just one crazy man.

Anyone else see a problem with this scenario? I do. We can't just embrace the good in ourselves and overlook everything else. THAT, my friends, is narcissism. And I'm afraid America has developed a textbook case.

If we're going to rally around our accomplishments, we need to own up to our failures as well.

Something in our way of life is breeding crazy like kudzu, and I, for one, would like to stamp it out.

Like all whiners before me, I don't have the answer. Not by way of anything but The Golden Rule (which, I'm pretty sure, would solve all of the world's problems if we let it.)

But so long as we are a country that lauds the individual over the community--so long as advertisers and propagandists breed discontent among our masses--so long as we covet our neighbors' houses instead of bringing our neighbors muffins...well, we're going to operate in discord.

We're gonna hate each other.

And the crazies among us are going to kill each other.

My friends--neighbors--it's not about a lone gunman or the Republicans or the Democrats. It's not even about where you choose to buy your chicken biscuits. It's about whom you choose to share your biscuits.

So--open invitation--you, dear reader, whomever you may be, are welcome to share my biscuit at any time.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

Don't be a good person. There's no profit in it.

So there I am, on the mountain, playing The Band-Aid Game (3 count), minding my own hypochondriacal thoughts, when I hear a scream.

I look up. Situation assessed: Lady. Lost footing. Fell on rocks. Crying. Grabbing ankle. Needs help.

K. So everyone else just walks on by. Not gonna lie--I contemplated the same. But DAMN THIS JEWISH GUILT! It was all, "You know, you really should help your fellow (wo)man. You know you'd want help if you were she. And her boyfriend appears rather hapless. You know, you really should do something about this."

I argued with my inner Jew all the way to the emergency call box, where I swallowed my pride, bent at the waist in terrycloth shorty shorts, and screamed into the vocal holes which I KNOW have not been cleaned since the Carter presidency.

Embarrassed, I relate the details of Ms. Slippy McTripsandfalls to the officers on the other end of the line and, grateful that my Jew finally shut the hell up, I huffed and puffed my way to the top of the mass o' granite.

Where I was met by police officers.

Demanding to know where the lady was.

They couldn't find her anywhere.

A bit surprised about the "good samaritan" response I was receiving from law enforcement, I again recounted the tale of Sally Cantclimb, including a description of her exercise ensemble and hair with poorly-placed streaks--a minor detail but, you know, anything can make the difference in an emergency.

With eyebrows raised the officers let me go...only to encounter two more sets of law enforcement on the way down.

And you know what? I started to feel ashamed of myself! ASHAMED FOR ATTEMPTING TO ASSIST SOMEONE WHO APPEARED TO BE IN NEED. Why? Because the bozos in blue are assuming I invented the whole story to get my jollies! As if!

I mean, Jesus Squeeze Us! Everyone knows that if I were to invent a tale, it'd involve a lawn hose and a bowler hat, NEITHER OF WHICH WERE PRESENT IN MY TALE OF TELLY ANKLETWIST!

So yeah. Doing the right thing? Overrated.

Next time, just walk on by.

Coup De Gras

Films live and die on this shit: you know the scene—crafted tear jerker at the finale—my friends watch, cheeks wet with tears, as one lover utters some variation to the other, “I love you, so I have to let you go.”

Cue rousing music. Cue audible sobs from the audience. Cue Erin’s gag reflex.

Yep. Nausea. The physical reaction so often induced when my mind screams, “Fuck that noise!”

Y’all love each other? Be together. Very simple. And—better yet—don’t make me watch it. That’s my motto.

And then I saunter off—secure in my superiority over all the chumps whimpering into their Kleenex--to watch something with lots of violence and very little dialogue. Like Conan.

But, dear friends, it appears I may be getting soft in my old age.

I know, I know: “Say it ain’t so!”

I’ve been fighting it for a while…but with the embrace of “Casablanca” as my favorite film of all time, well, it’s time I looked my true nature in the face.

Friends, I AM A SAP.

Like an addict standing for the first time in 12-step, I simply MUST put it out there.

I believe in love.

And--what’s more--I have finally stepped into my big girl panties and put down my childhood tantrums.

Sometimes love means we don’t get what we want. Sometimes love IS NOT, in fact, about how someone makes ME feel. And—gawddammit!—sometimes love actually does mandate that I set my own desires aside so someone else can be happy.

Ugh.

It’s like nails on a muthafuckin’ chalk board. I think I may be sick. (Error nausea. The worst kind. Even trumps “Fuck that noise!” nausea. Likely because there’s some pride swallowing involved.)

If there’s anything I abhor more than some rah-rah noise about “love” and “letting go” and “learning” and “growing”, it’s being wrong.

I hate, hate, hatey, hate, hate it.

Like cheese. I hate that shit too.

Still, better late than never in coming to the enlightened, unselfish side of the tracks. The view’s different over here, and I’m trying to get used to the smell…but my faith and my gut tell me I’m right, and, as the nausea subsides, I actually think I’m gonna grow to like it here.

The above is the smash ending to my all-manner-o-awesome blog, but I think my inspiration deserves a shout out. So here goes:

For that certain *selfish someone reading this—you know who you are—the last month with you has opened my eyes to so many things. And though we may not know where the road goes, I know it’s the path I wanna be taking. I’m glad I’m taking it with you. And cap’s tipped to Ms. C as well. She’s shown me much about love and sacrifice. And the power of late night Benadryl.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

So What Does That Say II

For those who delight in the misery of others, the sight of your smile can only be explained as ruse.

If they stopped to think--even for a second--that you might be truly happy, the utter shock of the revelation would literally kill them.

Guess some Grinches will just never see Christmas.

Shame really, as I love me some roast beast.

*Smile*

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

So What Does That Say?

All I can think--when you tell me I am wonderful--is that you don't know me at all.

Sigh...

While I excel at telling people what to do, I--sadly--can't force anyone to listen.

I consider this a tragedy for all of mankind.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Ahhh Wisdom

You know you're getting old when being "hot" is no longer sufficient reason to give someone your phone number.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Probly Shouldnta Done That

Sometimes--once you've done the thing you said you'd never do--you're not only utterly shocked that you did it, you are awakened anew to unforeseen potential.

Over Exposed

"Exposure"--such a lovely, loaded word.

I often find myself perpetually pondering the nuances of English words, and today it is "exposure" that has me glassy eyed and daydreaming my grammatically-correct-if-morally-questionable thoughts.

What does it mean to expose?

To be exposed?

To seek exposure?

Like so many things, the gravity of the term depends on the usage--and, if you're adept at usage--the inclusion of dual usage or entendre.

Those readers challenged by Dr. Seuss classics have now moved on to other, less challenging posts. For those of you inclined to bear with me, let's probe:

Like whores we seek exposure.

To the sun. To new experiences. To the beautiful. To the strange. We'll pay a fortune for a celebrity photo or a nickel for the freak show. We wanna know. Curiosity. It killed the cat. But what does that mean to a bunch of pussies like us?

Pussies who run from exposure.

Who don't want our dirty little secrets aired for all to see. Who brush the dirt under the rug and hide the skeletons in the closet and hope against hope and pray against prayer that our dinner party guests don't peek behind the jackets.

But why not hide those bodies in the attic? Those places no one ever goes? Because no one ever goes there. And what a thrill--to be exposed!

What a dichotomy are we! To dance the dance of exposure: "Look at me! Look at me!" all the while hiding our backs from the camera. We must, as we have our shame locked, white-knuckled, in our hands.

...

To expose onesself to the elements--or one's life to the tabloids--makes one a star. But to expose onesself in a movie theatre makes one a Pee Wee Herman pervert.

To expose corruption makes one a hero. But to expose one's soul makes one a vulnerable target.

But all press is good press no matter how pressing. One must impress. It brings stress. Stress to expose.

Not too much or they'll surely get bored.

Not too little or they'll surely ask questions.

No, just enough exposure so they know your name and seek your face.

Because they are the reason to rise every morning. They are the reason to pray every night. They are the reason to shower, to shave, to make the appearance.

Because we all want to be seen. But no one wants to be exposed.

Friday, July 27, 2012

50 Shades of Grey

As I age, life circumstances become less black and white.

An ENFJ to the core (the Myers Briggs test people. Jesus. Read a book!), this used to disturb me greatly.

I am a proponent of universal truth. There's a right. There's a wrong. And I am always the former.

Conversely (and confusingly), I also believe we make our truth--that "personal" truth is therefore perspective (if not in the highest sense of the word). That if we believe it, it is therefore fact to us, and therefore legitimate to us if not to others.

Blah de blah de blah de blah.

--It's a mess up in my brain. A true fever. HAWT. A fiyah!--

But despite my struggles against the grey areas of life, they kept at my grey matter like heat-seeking missiles, redirecting each time I'd duck and cover. And now that they've hit, I find myself surprisingly willing to embrace their destruction of my Myers Briggs boundaries.

You see, for me, it's the grey areas in which the mercy falls. It's the grey areas that carry the compassion, the empathy, the "there but for the grace of G-d go I"...

It's in the grey areas that I find comfort.

It's in the grey areas that I find G-d.

Grey areas from grey matter...perhaps the 50 shades that "matter" most.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I Vote Yes!

Seen on a sticker in the women's restroom: "Wear fur? Watch your back!"

As said sticker was shaped and colored like a traditional target for firearms, I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess what the Sticker Applier meant when furiously attaching the hate missive to the toilet paper dispenser:

Kim Kardashian--your days are numbered.

And you shall meet your end via a crazed animal rights activist who is presently stalking the Sparks Hall women's lavatories.

It's the only possible conclusion.

And one that I vehemently support.

Stardust

It is said that we are all made of stars. If dust we are, and to dust we shall return, it comforts me to know that dust is star dust...and that maybe, just maybe, we wind up among the stars.

RIP Madison Ashley McKenzie. Love you, Sissy

Monday, July 23, 2012

Slit

The only moment of peace I have ever had was jumping headfirst from a plane.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Proposal

Sometimes life is so damn funny.

A beautifully deadly condition.

A blessing with an abrupt end.

You know, you're probably not gonna believe it--but I'm truly happy about this.

I laugh when I picture your eye roll.

Thing is you're so vain, you literally think that because you are obsessed with me, that I must respond in kind--that I must meet your borderline psychotic fervor with reciprocity.

But I don't.

And if you knew the extent to which that is true, I think it'd eat you up inside.

Thing is, though, this post isn't about you. It isn't even for you.

It's for him.

See, I genuinely love him.

And I can't claim that and not wish sincerely for his happiness.

I do want his happiness.

**And I note with satisfied irony that I chose to begin that sentence with those two little words.**

I won't receive an invite in the mail, but when you walk down that isle, I'll be there.

In the back of your mind, yes--but, more importantly, in my heart. For him. Because that's what love is.

Every day you bring him happiness, is a day you bring me happiness. Every smile on his lips? A smile playing on mine.

Love him like there's no tomorrow. Love him hard. Love him true.

He'll never know we shared this moment.

But I do.

Sorry To Disappoint

Know how to spot a good actor?

It's more simple than you think.

They're not distracting.

Don't be disappointed in the answer. Just consider:

As human beings, we have an innate sense of when someone is being false. It's an adaptation to warn us of danger. Inherently, we can sense when the average person is hiding something or presenting a false front.

A good actor, therefore, is simply a person able to bypass that internal warning system.

If I, as a viewer, believe you...well, you're doing your job.

Simple as that.

Sanford Meisner called this principle, "behaving truthfully in imaginary circumstances."

I call it, "ability to bullshit."

Either way, it's all a good actor--or politician or salesman (but I repeat myself)--has to do.

If I am distracted by your performance? Well, somthing's off. Simple. Something isn't ringing true. And that takes me out of the story. And that's bad.

Betcha thought it was more complicated than that.

Sorry to disappoint you.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Onion Haaaaaaaay!

Villainy, thy name was BLACK VW.

But, friends, Romans, countrymen, lend those ears and lock your doors! There's a new menace on our streets!

Onion Haaaaaaaay!

With a name always spoken with the exact inflection of Dean Vernon Wormer in "Animal House," the nefarious Onion Haaaaaaaay reared his nefarious head one nefarious night this nefarious week at Hottie Hawgs. And with two little--henceforth reprehensible--words, this Asian Crusader of Evil wormed his way into my I-Hate-That-You-Breathe record books:

Onion Hay.

To begin at the nefarious beginning, I should clarify that onion hay is a tasty side item offered at H.H. Similar to the stuff you'd get in a bloomin' onion, our hay is fried, stacked and delicious. It's no wonder Onion Hay wanted an order.

Or did he?

Like all stories of this level of nefariousness (Nefarity? Nefaritude?), this one began on a dark and stormy night (that it was actually afternoon is irrelevant). Not-Yet-Named-Onion-Hay, this Asian fellow and his girlfriend arrive at H.H. and decide to sit on the patio. It's humid. It's blazing. It's about to rain. So, naturally, Not-Yet-Onion-Hay wanted me to run outside every 5 minutes. Grand.

On greeting them, I learn that Not-Yet-Onion-Hay and his girlfriend are:

1. Not that hungry so they'll be ordering something "to split."

2. Only having water, thank you.

3. Expecting two more people but those people won't be hungry either because they just ate so they will have waters also.

Waters delivered, the couple order a side of onion hay and a meat.

Whatever. At least they won't be harassing me for condiments.

Diligently I put in their order and then return to my other duties--assisting tables, filling condiment buckets, chatting up customers...when lo and behold--who should tap me on the shoulder but Not-Yet-Onion-Hay!

"Yes sir, can I help you?"

"Ummm...yeah. Like I said earlier, I'm not that hungry, so...could you just cancel that order for onion hay?"

Ooooookaaaaaay. So now my table of 4 people who are outside in "the miserable" and guzzling water like...whatever guzzles water...are only going to have 1 order of meat? Excellent.

So I set about the rigamarole that is finding a manager and having said manager remove the order. The questions follow. "Why do they want this removed from the order? Was there something wrong with it? Was the customer dissatisfied?" Nope. No. No. He just "wasn't that hungry."

As this IS my life, one should not be surprised that in the time it took to find a manager and conduct the previously outlined interaction, the onion hay in question came up in the food window. The kitchen had not received adequate notice to cancel the order. So I had to tell them to throw the onion hay away.

Not only did this move not win me any friends in the kitchen, it also upped the restaurant's food cost of this order...We weren't making any money on this table to begin with, and now we were losing money!

Pissed with Not-Yet-Onion-Hay for being an idiot, and pissed at the kitchen for being pissed at me, I returned to my patrons who had actually come to a restaurant to eat.

Now, up to and until this moment, Not-Yet-Onion-Hay had proven a not-so-unusual thorn in my side. Every shift has "one of those" customers that makes you wonder if people today really are the old wives tale incarnation of barn births. But this--THIS!--is where Not-Yet-Onion-Hay stepped out of the realm of mundane irritant and into the annals of I-Swear-I-Will-Shake-You-Into-Adult-Onset-SIDS.

As I once-again venture into the sweaty, heat/rain mess that is our patio...refilling the free drinks these people are swilling like...whatever swills... Not-Yet-Onion-Hay looks up and me and says:

*AHEM*

"You know, I'm actually pretty hungry. CAN I GET SOME ONION HAY?"

Aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!

I could feel my face burning. I KNEW I was making "the face"--that oh-my-god-you-are-the-biggest-fucking-idiot-I've-ever-had-the-misfortune-of-encountering-and-if-I-ever-meet-you-in-a-dark-alley-you-better-pray-to-Allah-that-he-has-mercy-on-your-damned-soul" face.

Shelly Cofield knows which face I mean.

Without a word, I stormed inside.

Concerned, my beautiful friend and coworker Meghan called out from behind the bar: "Erin, are you ok?"

"Nope. No. I'm NOT ok!"

"What happened?"

"You know that guy? The one who just caused all that commotion in the kitchen? Yeah. He's hungry now. And guess what he wants?!?!?!?

Onion Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!"

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My Disney Princess: Maleficent

Does it piss anyone else off that Briar Rose was granted three gifts--the first two of which were "beauty" and "song"?

Where's the smarts?

What are we teaching our kids?

That beauty and octave range are more important than intelligence?

American Idol anyone?

Ugh. So utterly angry.

Just another way in which Disney has ruined my life.

Perhaps if BR had been given a lick of sense (like Maleficent, for example), she wouldn't have purposefully poked a needle. "Hey! This looks shiny! I think I will jab it with my finger!" Poor, poor pitiful simpleton. Thank heaven she can sing!

True to form, the villain is the smart woman and the heroine is the twittering idiot ingenue.

Bah!

So of course I am still watching it. For Maleficent. Who, for the record, was profoundly misunderstood.

Ugh. That's Annoying.

Generally speakin', I like to keep my blog apolitical.

Sure, I regularly post on "the other forbidden topic" (religion), but politics remain outside my realm of understanding. Pork bellying, nepotism, bureaucracy...these things give me a migraine.

But today there's just somethin' that I gotta say:

I work three part-time jobs.

Tres.

So some would say I'm a hard workin' girl.

Thing is, even with three gigs goin', I still can't afford health insurance.

You know, that privatized health insurance that is supposed to be so much more cost efficient than the presently-passed healthcare package? Yeah. Some of my employers can't afford to provide it. Even to their full-time employees.

But let's back up for a moment.

One of the arguments for privatized insurance is quality of care. With private insurance you can (supposedly) see a doctor of your choice at a time of your choosing.

I'm gonna go ahead and call bullshit on that.

To get an appointent with my gyno--the only doctor I visit with regularity,--I have to call months in advance. And, even after checking to make sure my dr. was "in network" for my shitty health insurance through the university (mandatory insurance I might add), I still had to pay more than $400 out of pocket for my annual exam because said shitty insurance doesn't cover annual exams for female patients.

1. This is outrageous. An annual exam is preventative medicine recommended for all women of menstruating age. It is absurd that this exam would not be covered under any insurance.

2. To visit my gyno with no insurance and out of pocket usually costs me $125. Yep. My costs quadrupled when I filed through privatized insurance.

My first job out of college was working for a medical billing office. In my role, I witnessed hundreds (if not thousands) of claims being denied by privatized insurance for the most ludicrous reasons you can imagine. Among them? A man denied by a major insurer for an emergency appendectomy. Why? Because, on his way to the hospital with a burst appendix, he somehow forgot to call his insurer to "make sure the procedure was covered."

Blue Cross Blue Shield? FUCK. YOU.

A dear friend, Brian, recently shared with me that he pays $300 a month (single, white male, 40, no preexisting conditions that I am aware of.) $300 a month, which does not cover co-pays etc. etc. My father? More than $1,000 a month to insure himself, his wife, and my sister.

Opponents to healthcare reform bemoan an increase in taxes to provide healthcare for the masses...but I ask you: would a tax equate to more than we are currently spending per month for privatized insurance? I can't imagine that it would.

Americans give Canada incessant shit for their "socialized" medicine. But, on average, citizens in Canada and other areas with socialized medicine like the U.K. are living equally happy, long lives.

Are there drawbacks? Of course. Consider: http://www.politicsdaily.com/2009/07/14/ten-things-you-might-not-know-about-socialized-medicine/

and

http://weakonomics.com/2009/06/08/the-pros-and-cons-of-universal-health-care-in-the-united-states%C2%A0/

But what are longer lines for someone like me who, before, couldn't even afford to get in the queue?

I may have to wait two months as opposed to two days, but at least I'd actually get to go.

Socialized medicine may not be the "fix all" answer, but something has to be done. Do people from the U.K. and Canada come to America for specialists and specialized treatments? Sure. Those who can afford it.

And the right to live a healthy life should not be dependent upon one's income.

Dunce

One of the curses plaguing intelligent people is that we tend to believe everything we think.

Which is, ironically, a very stupid thing to do.

Monday, July 9, 2012

F to the E to the A to the R

The absence of fear is a frightening prospect.

It opens so many doors, and "opportunity," to folks like me, is one of the scariest words around.

It's right up there with "potential" on the "oh-shit-don't-tell-me-I-have-that!" o'meter.

Right now I'm running low on fear...and that scares the utter hell out of me.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Sphynx or "Why FaceBook has too many stupid fucking apps"

So FaceBook has this ridiculous app: "Between You and Me."

Little more than a ploy to make money (one must purchase 'tokens' to see who answered any of a Seattle Slew of questions about them), the app basically harasses all of your friends into answering what it feels are probing and evocative questions about you. You know, like, "Would Erin punch a goat in the gullet for a Blastin' Berry Hot Colors Fruit Roll Up?"

Stupid really, as the obvious answer to that last one is "yes."

Anyway, you can't see WHO answered these perspective-altering questions about you...but you CAN see the question and the answer. (Who answered is a mystery on par with the Sphynx and the locale of Hoffa, apparently. Wooooooooooo.)

But I've been wasting your time with goat punching and Hoffa searches. Let's get to the nitty of the gritty, shall we? Below are some of the questions and answers that--while still anonymous--make me laugh:

Do you think Erin has ever slapped anyone? YES

Do you think you can beat Erin in a fight? NO

Could Erin be a gangster? YES

Would Erin make a good spouse? YES (Naturally, given the answers above.)

Would Erin ever ditch a date? YES

Do you think Erin is a poser? NO ("Poser"!?!? Honesttogawd, does anyone ever say this anymore?)

Do you think Erin has good credit? YES

Would Erin ever dress up in a mascot outfit and run around? YES

Does Erin look good in tights? YES

Do you think Erin wants to 'come out of the closet'? NO (Haha. Jesus. Where DO they come up with this stuff?)

Do you think Erin has showered today? YES (Sadly this one is wrong.)

Do you think Erin is trailer trash? NO (This one too...)

Do you think Erin has ever given a 'dutch oven' to someone? NO (Ask anyone, I avoid ovens of all kinds.)

And the coupe de gras:

Do you think Erin would bail you out of jail? NO (That's right! ROT IN THERE FUCKER!)

Oh geez. The sheer joy of it brings tears to my eyes. Thank you FaceBook. Thank you.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Mustard Seed

It is proported by the Christian faith that Jesus came to earth to live among the people, not only to save souls, but also to live as Man. To know what Man knows. To experience the trials and tribulations Man experiences. And to conquer them.

If the Bible is to be believed--if every word is to be taken as *ahem* gospel truth--then Jesus was truly fascinating. Perfect in every way. Sinless. Without fault.

A true Messiah.

But even if every word is, indeed, divine...I cannot help but notice that there is one major snag in the "Live As Man" plan. Namely a crisis of faith. For, though Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, though he had to endure the most trying of religious, social and political times, he never bore the burden that you and I carry each day.

He never bore the burden of faith.

He never had to.

If the Bible is to be believed, Jesus, being part of the Father, had already experienced Heaven. (He even went on to conquer Hell.) Coming directly from the Father's Right Hand, he never had to doubt the existence or nature of God. He'd met the guy. The two were--how do you say?--close.

By definition, faith is a belief in things unseen. And I can dig that. Because, for the first time in my life, I have it. I truly do.

But it wasn't always this way.

I did a lot of soul searching. A lot. I lifted many rocks. My prayer-ridden knees gave out a few times. There were days I thought my cheeks would literally stain with tears.

Jesus never faced this.

Oh make no mistake--he had his questions. He asked that the "cup be taken" in the Garden of Gethsemane. He asked why he was forsaken on the cross. These instances--while moments of doubt in G-d's plan and in G-d's behavior--do not constitute a crisis of faith per se. Never once did Jesus have to question whether or not He was up there. Jesus already knew he was.

And this is why a god can never fully be a man. Not unless said god has the power to erase all he has previously known, so he or she may be free to discover it again.

I wish I could have spoken my argument more eloquently. But I hope the message stil comes across.

A crisis of faith is a human condition. And, therefore, rather than be ashamed of it, we should be proud: proud to b thinking, rational, inquisitive individuals. What develops therefrom is a faith born of discernment. A place of mental, emotional and spiritual agreement based on experience, learning, questioning, prayer, determination.

Because if you never really question your faith...is that truly "faith" at all?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dumpster Diving or Fuck You Vermont!

My parking lot (and the dumpster located conspicuously at its center) is forever full of mysterious and wonderful things.

It's like fucking Narnia out there.

Each morning (or afternoon, depending), as I drag my weary ass out of bed, I get a renewed sense of anticipation as I leash up Melvin for his ritual pee. Euphorically and anew the truth of my bounty washes over me like a love tide: What wonders will the dumpster yield today?

Jewels of the past have included a discarded couch, complete with used condom and a severed vampire head. In April.

http://erinscominduckandcover.blogspot.com/2012/04/there-is-synthetic-vampire-head-by-my.html

So yeah. Dumpster = magic place where dreams come true.

...

As with all things wonderful, my parking lot has been a little crowded recently. On more than one occasion, I have been forced to park so far up the street as to constitute a "walk."

I have grumbled about this.

I have scowled and glared the Glare of a Thousand Daggers.

On more than one occasion, I have chucked my flop at the cars in my lot with out-of-state tags. "You're not fooling anybody asshole! GO BACK TO VERMONT!"

But while I harbor an unnatural resentment for virtually all of the cars in my lot, recently one particular parker has really chapped my bum.

While others have raised my ire at stupid states like stupid Vermont, this she-devil has caused me to once again question the future of all mankind. Her villainy is so great as to warrant a true evil moniker--BLACK VW. So called for her audacity to 1. drive a black Volkswagon something or other (local tags. Still, "Fuck you, Vermont!) 2. take up space in the world, especially the space by the dumpster where I claim my morning treasures and 3. park directly behind the dumpster, thus making it literally impossible for anyone else to exit the lot. (A villain if there ever was one! I bet that bitch wears tights!)

More than once have I plotted the demise of BLACK VW. More than once have I been denied. For, every morning, there she sits--taunting me. A dark villainess with her proverbial tongue extending from her European "bonnet." Bitch.

...

As Melvin and I headed out on our usual quest this morning, I noticed my arch nemesis had ONCE AGAIN parked her traitorous German tank directly in front of the dumpster.

The tears welled as I prepared myself to tell Melvin that today would be yet another day of disappointment. That today we had once again been robbed of our joy and splendor by the hellbeast in the BLACK VW. That all was lost because some people were evil people...some people punch puppies and kitties...some people leave babies in dumpsters (OH! Maybe my surprise for tomorrow? *Fingers crossed*)

But as I prepared to once again chuck my flop at the injustice of it all, it happened! There it stood, a beacon in the darkness. A ray of hope amid the world of treachery. A win in the war of BLACK VW versus Good People of the World Everywhere Except Vermont.

It was nothing short of A MIRACLE. There, in pink/purple marker, carved as if by the hand of the Almighty into the side, front and rear windows of the BLACK VW, the immortal words: "You fucking idiot! Don't park here!"

Ladies and gentlemen: BEHOLD THE POWER OF THE PENDLETON DUMPSTER!