Sunday, December 19, 2010


A house is made of brick and stone but a home is made of love alone...
A home! A home! My kingdom for a home!

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I endured your constant nagging,
tuned out your incessant whine,
Lived with you when I didn't have or want to,
witnessed with awe how you shine

26 years of aggrivation
and I've never had more to say
about the irksome boy you began as
and the man I'm so proud of today

But, flustered, the words just aren't coming
the images taunt me from bed
for God knows there is no sleeping
as your wedding looms fast in my head.

Like the Grinch who can't understand Christmas
Or the Scrooge with his hoarde of gold coins
I can't explain the singing in Whoville
or the magic of two love enjoins

I wish that with words I could capture
the essence of you and of she
but the harder I try to define it
the more it eludes me.

So try as I might here to capture,
through all of the everyday things,
the past and the present and future,
and all of the blessings they bring,

I cannot define where you're going.
I cannot define where you've been.
I cannot lasso the moon.
We will never be here again.

I am angry with words as they fail me,
Frustrated and coming unglued.
Intrigued by the irony before me


Who knew
that the hardest thing I'd have to do
is write a piece for you?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

Ask any writer and he or she will tell you--the times you most need to write are the times you find it the hardest to do so. Such is the case with me right now.

I have had a lot on my mind as of late. Guess the holidays will do that to you...See, what has been deemed "the most wonderful time of the year" has, as I have gotten older, also become the most complicated.

Take, for example, Thanksgiving.

Thursday was Thanksgiving, and, up and until last year, that meant my day was pretty much set: the family and I would load up the car and head to grandma's for a day of forced consumption of foods I deemed "questionable" and the inevitable fight that ensues when you force a group of volatile people into the same dining room. (Oh yes. I've got stories. Some involving death threats. Some, lesbians. And still others with violence and sweet potatoes (they DO NOT taste like candy, MOM!))

It was broken.
But it was home. It was family. My family.

Lately, I have been missing my family.

It's not that they're not around...most of them I can pick up the phone and call for an awkward chat at any time. So I guess if I had to best explain, I would say I am missing the UNIT, as opposed to the individuals.

Though always broken, the unit changed irreparably three years ago, with the loss of my sister, Madison. Since that time, her absence has been a shadow at my back, a whisper in my hair, an uneasy knot in my stomach.

Last year, my grandma--my rock and my sole tie to my past in so many ways--joined her. Two essential cogs in the ERIN UNIT down...

The other cogs are in working order--in fact, in many ways they have rallied to pick up the slack for the missing pieces. My brother Josh has started his own family, as has my brother Ryan, who will be married next month. Justin and Cason are pursuing their undergraduate degrees, and the parents on both sides seem to have found a rhythm in which to settle.

Which pretty much leaves me.

What am I doing? Other than currently avoiding any semblance of adult responsibility by writing a blog that only I read?

Well, there's grad school. And I am teaching. And I am preparing to move. I'm in a show. By all accounts, I'm the busiest of busy bees.

I'm also...lost. And lonely.

I have a circle of friends, a dog who loves me, food in the cupboard (ever notice that no one says 'cupboard' anymore?), and my health. I even found a new church.

All blessings. And I am thankful...I just...


It'sa comin'.

And more rapidly than I am completely comfortable with. Soon there will be brightly colored paper strewn about the floor and too much food. The last remnants of a year now past.

Seems like yesterday I was toasting the onset of 2010, and now--365 whirwind days later--I am staring down 2011. And that frightens me. (He's a beast, that 2011. Pointy teeth and whatnot.)

It's not that I am dreading the big 3-0, (March 16, people. It's comin' up fast) it's more that I no longer have any idea what to expect from each day. Optimists would say that's what's so exciting about it--the promise of a New Year. New experiences. New people. New places. New lessons. To pessimists, well, it's just another year.

Me? I seem to fall somewhere in the middle.

You see, I want the positive, wonderful things...I just fear that maybe they are not coming. (This is one of the benefits of having a blog no one reads. You can exorcise all your personal nonsense without the burden of worrying that anyone will know about it. SCORE ONE FOR ME!)

The past few years have been, well, a painful purge of the life I built in my early to late 20s--my home, my career, my romantic and familial relationships--all trampled by the army of e'er onward marching time. And I have been forced to watch.

Do I know it has been good for me? That I have grown? That I am stronger (if more jaded) now than ever I have been before?

Eh. Maybe.

But I am still struggling with the issue of acceptance.
Lets just say I have a difficult time 'letting go.' (My name is Erin Greer, and I am an emotional hoarder. You can find me by the doughnut table...)

It's not that the things in my life were necessarily all that good; it's just that, whatever they were--good or bad--they were mine.

As such, and much like a gangrenous arm, I have difficulty letting them go, even if it is in my best interest for the long haul.


Gotta hate it.

Or maybe I don't.

Maybe this year will be the year of promise.

Maybe this year will see me 'land on good soil' and produce 'a hundred times that which was planted.'


But before I go freakin' crazy with the optimism (Wait...she calls that 'freakin' crazy with optimism'...whoa...what is she? Emo or something? Maybe we should get her a scarf...a colorful scarf. I saw one at The Gap that was rainbow striped. You can't be pessimistic in a rainbow-striped scarf. It's unnatural.) I guess I should say this: the New Year only holds new promise if I have the guts to make necessary changes.

There. I've said it. It's out there.

I need the equivalent of a karmic spring cleaning. The dust under this rug is likely to choke me. But Lord willing and the creek don't rise, I hope to have the ovarian fortitude to 'woman up' and seize this life I've been given.

Which I guess means I should get out of jammies and into the shower. It IS noon for Pete's sake.

Freshened up, I'll likely force myself through some grad school work, fret about my impending move, wonder why I haven't any motivation or life direction, and take my dog for a walk.

Should you need me, I'll be the one by the doughnut table wearing the rainbow-striped scarf.

Monday, November 1, 2010

So I almost got arrested...

So I almost got arrested.

For attempting to take Christ home.
In a very literal sense.

So I was driving...and lo and behold! What do I see on the side of the road, but Christ! Or, at least, a sign supporting Him for State Senate...

Sure. Go ahead. Read that last sentence over a few times. I can wait.

Yep. Apparently our Lord and Savior HAS returned--and, upon His arrival, has decided that the Peach State alone, above all the world, NEEDS His help.

Spurred (likely by The Holy Ghost), I decide I am going to steal this sign and take it home. Because if Christ has given up knocking on the doors of hearts in favor of pleading for acceptance through the ballot box well--then He is the Son of God, and who am I to question? (What can I say? The Man's got my vote.)

So I begin with the covert ops. Stealthily, I have (a certain accomplice who will remain unnamed) pull up in front of the green and white sign, which is nestled amidst the signs of lesser opponents. I had hoped for a drive by, complete with tuck and roll 007 style, but "Accomplice" pulled to a complete stop.


Undaunted, I leaped from the car, bounded to the sign, heaved it from the ground, and, when returning to the car with my Divine Prize--was stopped by the arrival of two police officers.

Neither looked happy.

Feverishly, I began to contemplate a plan to cover my sin... "Quick," I ask myself, "What would Jesus do?" My answer? "Come clean."

So, naturally, I did the opposite.

"Hello officer."

"What are you doing?"

"Oh. I just wanted to get a picture with this sign."


"Because it's funny."

"Why is it funny?"

"Because it says 'Christ for State Senate'."

"And WHY is that funny?"

Ok. Seriously. WHY is that funny? WHY is that funny? (Hold on, it gets better!)

"Because it says..."

"Look, ma'am, all we need is for some opponent of the candidate to see you stealing the sign, and then there'd be a suit. You might support his opponent."

And then I come up with the comedy coup de etat. Did I honestly say the following to an officer of the law who had caught me stealing? You're damned right I did...

"Oh, don't worry officer. I am not anti-Christ."


Ha! Ha!


And this point I could not help but laugh. Literally laugh at my own cleverness in the face of jail time. And what does my truly rapier wit elicit from the officer?

Dead. Silence.
Nary a cricket to even help me out.

"Put the sign back."

"But sir..."

"Put the sign back."

"Well, can I at least get my picture with it first?"


Damn. It.

I walk back to the scene of the crime.
I replace the Evangelical sign foretelling of our impending salvation from record unemployment, out of control state spending, and abysmal test scores.
I stump back to the car.

"The sign fell down."

"Excuse me?"

"The sign fell down. Fix it."

Erin's mind: "FUCK NO!" Erin's mouth (which is none smarter than her mind): "You CAN'T be serious."

Again at this juncture you may be asking yourself: "Did Erin really just say that to a policeman who caught her stealing?"
Again I answer, "you're damned right I did."

Stump back to the sign. Pick up the sign. Deliberately push sign into the ground with disdain which completely oversteps the bounds of obnoxious. Glare at officer. Literally say out loud: "Better?" Stump back to the car. Slam door. Drive away.

I did not get arrested.

And they say Christ no longer performs miracles?
I say I was the first to receive one.

Christ for State Senate!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I got a suitor waitin' for me
Shine, suitor, shine
He tall, he sweet, he woo eloquently
Shine, suitor, shine
He gonna be true and he gonna stay right
Shine, suitor, shine
He praise me all day and he love me all night
Shine, suitor, shine

I got a diamond waitin' for me
Shine, diamond, shine
Its face cut in antiquity
Shine, diamond, shine
Its fire burn like the love in his heart
Shine, diamond, shine
With it he say we never will part
Shine, diamond, shine

I got a future waitin' for me
Shine, future, shine
Its prospects good and its blessin's free
Shine, future, shine
Its path is long, sun an' flowers an' trees
Shine, future, shine
To light my suitor, my diamond and me
Shine, future, shine

I have no preference

One day I will find him
or he, me.
Either way, I have no preference
so long as we end up in the corner coffee shop--
I with my cinnamon dolce latte, he with his coffee, black
or is he a chai tea man?
Either way, I have no preference
so long as we both end up in the park at the corner of where I stop for a walk and where he works--CNN, where he is a researcher
or is he a high school teacher?
Either way I have no preference
so long as we both end up at the same table in the mall cafeteria because all other tables are full--I with my Chic-fil-a sandwich and a Coke, he with his Mongolian Beef and Dr. Pepper
or is he a Greek salad, Sobe man?
Either way, I have no preference
so long as I find him
or he, me.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Finger Yarn

So this may not be eloquent. (You may want to place bets on that. I've got 5 to 1 odds on 'mediocre word choice.') But anyway, today I had one of those mornings where you wake with a jolt and, once you gather where you REALLY are and what you are REALLY doing, you are pleased as punch to no longer be living in the dream world your subconscious pieced together from memories, fears and random bits of chicken wire.
(Yes, your dream subconscious is, in fact, the mental equivalent of a sadistic McGyver. You know...for the record.)

Anyway, on with the story...

So last night, my brother, Justin, was kidnapped. That his age fluctuated throughout the entire dream did not tip me off in the slightest way that anything might be I ran about frantically in search of the man-child, spouting things to authority figures that I had picked up on CSI: Las Vegas. Things like, "the first 48 hours are the most crucial in kidnapping cases. After that, the survival rate of the victim drops dramatically."

As you may expect, the police in my dream were annoyed.

Frustrated by their refusal to spur to action, I basically became hysterical--screaming, crying, railing at The Fates for claiming my brother--that kind of thing.

But this is the part that really struck me:
In the depths of my tantrum, I hit my knees. I hit my knees and uttered one of the most sincere prayers I have ever uttered, awake or no. In my dream prayer, I begged God to please return my brother home...there were several versions of this plea uttered before I heard these words come out of my dream mouth: "Take me instead. A trade. My life for his."

At that moment, I woke up.

My eyes flew open the way they only do when you are terrified. And in that instant, before I even knew up from down, I knew God had granted my request. I knew my brother was safe at home. And I cannot describe the serge of thankfulness I felt. Odd, as it was spurred by events which never even took place...

You see, my brother and I don't talk much. Which is a sin, really.
In childhood he was my partner in crime. A little boy with the biggest heart and biggest brain...

I converted Justin early. I wanted him on Team Erin to unite against the Evil Axis of Ryan as soon as possible. Up to and until that time, The Erin, while still in power, was admittedly losing ground to The Axis, an invader who tattled on her and refused to play the games she liked.

Anyway, Justin came and, while I had hoped for a female ally, I soon found that this particular addition to the fight brought more to the table than I could've strategized previously. He was sweet. He was fun. He laughed when I sang him songs. And when I pulled him in a wagon. And when I played with his chubby legs and sang made-up lyrics consisting of "Running to the store and...jump over that leaf."

I. Loved. This. Kid.

People get older. Games fall away. The Axis crumbles to reveal a real human being that you suddenly realize you love with all your might. Relationships they...change. If you are lucky--and in many ways, I have been--those relationships evolve into something greater. And sustainable. Something that doesn't need as much water, sunlight and constant attention to grow.

I guess what I needed this morning was a reminder. A reminder to foster those relationships closest to my core. And, whether you want to hear it or not, I am amazed at what The Lord has done to show me this over the past week.
I spoke with The Axis. He comes home in 20-some-odd days, and I cannot wait to see him. I called Justin first-thing this morning, and, while he usually doesn't answer in the mornings, I actually heard his voice--a litany of yes and no answers--but a comfort to the inner me who, just moments before, subconsciously believed I had lost him forever. And this afternoon I leave for Florida to spend a few days with my mom and Rodger.

There is a checkered history there. There is pain. But it's a pain I wouldn't trade.

I see You in this.

I thank You.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Portrait of a Lady

Beautiful girls.

Beautiful, beautiful girls.
Anxiety: an odor present in the sea of designer perfumes
And written all over their freshly made up faces.

Make up.
Only on the surface of the skin?
Today—glorious!—they get to make up who they are.
Or who They want them to be.

Nameless faces.
Nameless, interchangeable, oh-so-beautiful faces.

A concept.
A construct.
A collage.
Of beautiful, beautiful girls.

Beautiful girls, struggling to become women.
Grappling, under the watchful eyes of Demi-elders—Demigods?—who know little more about that undefinable station than the seas of beautiful, beautiful girls They judge.

Judge by gossamer merits for Balkan letters.

Beautiful face
Designer dress
Couture shoes

Each voicing—without speaking—


Beautiful, beautiful girls in rows
Spoils to the winner?
Lambs to the slaughter…

Smiling, I pass

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New Boots... or "Why Erin Rules the World" Part 1

What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object?


So yesterday--first day of grad school--I get myself all gussied up and drive downtown in hot pursuit of my scholastic future. But first thing's first: parking.

As I circle lot after lot in the tri-state area that is GSU's campus, I begin to realize that while an MA is an attainable goal, a parking space, apparently, is NOT.

Countless minutes and miles into my 'can I please FOR THE LOVE OF GOD get to school' adventure, I spot what I at first fear to be a mirage: "Waaaait...could that be a..." And then, on approaching: "IT IS! Allah be praised, IT'S A PARKING SPACE!"

Beaming through my afore-mentioned 'gussy,' I whip into the parking space--space #2 in the Lanier Lot off of Peachtree Center Ave. When pulling in, I notice a large, white sign that reads (loosely translated) "Pay to park in this Lanier Lot, Heathen, or your ass will be towed post haste!"

I also notice a sign in front of my space: "Reserved for (context) customers only."

Now I know what 'context' means (just not in this context?) and I know what parentheses mean. So I look around to see if I can see any building within the vicinity that includes an establishment of any type called "context" (or, as it was,'context' SMALL 'c' in parentheses.) There is none. Nada. Nyet on the (context).

Noting that there is no such establishment, I assume that the sign means that this parking space is reserved for Lanier Lot patrons (of which I am one), so I go and pay the electronic meter.

At this juncture I find it important to note that, when prompted to pay the fee for parking space #2, the machine ever-so-sweetly issued me a pass for said space. Not a WARNING...a PASS--which I then placed in my window and then went about my merry, gussy way.

Class was a veritable cornucopia of 'film speak,' with the merits of such adaptations as "Gone With the Wind," "Harry Potter" and "Mildred Pierce" bandied about. Bliss. Until I went to the library to get my books for the required reading. (Note: 'The Silence of the Lambs' must be read by Monday. It's 300 pages. I have no book. Which likely tells you volumes about my experience at the GSU library. But I digress. This is not a story of epic loss. This is, after all, the tale of my epic triumph. Remember: 'irresistible force/immovable object.')

Anyway, I finally make it back to my car, admittedly crestfallen at the Medieval Mess that was GSU's bookstore, when, much to my surprise, I see my red Audi A4 sporting a shiny new pair of lemon yellow boots!

Boots, you say?

Usually moved to glee by the mere prospect of new boots, I found that somehow these boots--and the ostentatious orange sticker that accompanied them--turned my stomach in a more, shall we say, 'unholy anger' way.

Think Incredible Hulk. With better pants.

I mean What. The. Fuck.
I PAID for this parking space!
Didn't these obnoxiously foul, boot-wielding imbeciles see the clearly displayed tag in my front dash?

Incensed, I dial the number on the sticker from hell and feign southern charm when the woman on the other end answers the line.

"Excuse me, ma'am," I say, literally oozing honey-coated venom, "But I fear there has been some mistake. You see, I paid to park here. I simply cannot understand why a paying customer would be booted..."

"I am not sure. Let me call it in for you. A representative should be arriving within the next 20 minutes ma'am, and he should be able to clear this up."

"Thaaaaank you sooooo much."

Seethe. In the hot sun. 90+ degrees. For 23 minutes and 42 seconds. Gussy all gone. Rage in its place.

Suddenly, I spot a pair of amiable-looking (if dim-witted) blokes in Lanier shirts. Aha! Officials! We shall get to the bottom of this mess!

At my approach, the gents smile and greet me.
But as I ask them about the boots, I see their simple faces fall.
Seems Lanier operates the lot, but the Boot Masters are of a different ilk. I shall have to continue to wait. And roast alive. From the inside and the outside.

**Marvel or DC, if you're out there and you're reading, this could be one kick ass super power. I'm just saying...**

Anyway, as my flesh begins to audibly sizzle, another man squeals in to the lot. This one, I see, has the tools to end my suffering.

But not the desire.


Southern charm button ON: "Excuuuse me, sir? Yes. Hi. I fear there has been some grave form of injustice exercised here. You see, I paid for my space, as this pass (show pass) clearly states. So if you wouldn't mind just removing these boots now..."

"This space is reserved."

"Pardon me?"

"This space is reserved."

"For who?"


"Is that a grammar joke?"


" that a grammar jo..."

"It's a store."

"A store?"

"Yes ma'am. It's a store. And this space is reserved for that store."

"Uh huh. I see. So where, pray tell, might this 'context store' be?"

"Turn the corner and it's up two blocks."

"Uhhhh huhhhh..."

Houston ,we have a stand off.

"So, sir, what you are telling me is that this space--which is a space that I paid Lanier for in a Lanier Lot with a Lanier tag which was printed by a Lanier machine, is actually reserved for a store that I cannot see from this location?"

"Yes ma'am."


I walk to the great, white sign. I point for emphasis.

"This sign says this is a Lanier Lot and that I am to pay Lanier to park here."

"Yes ma'am, but the sign in front of your car says 'reserved for (context)'."

"Ok, seriously Big Guy, do you even know what context means? It means...oh nevermind."

I try again.

"What about this sign over here?," I ask, pointing to a green sign in the same lot that also says I am to pay Lanier. "And this one here? In fact, I count SIX SIGNS in this lot that say to pay Lanier. Which I did. So WHY, I ask you, have I been booted?"

"Because THIS space is reserved."


"This space is reserved."

"So, despite the presence of SIX signs that read to the contrary, this ONE sign that says "reserved for an invisible business" trumps all the other signs?"

"Yes ma'am."

"And it also trumps the fact that the Lanier machine accepted my money to pay for a parking space that Lanier properties doesn't even own?"

"Yes ma'am."

"Let me speak to your manager."

"Sure. His contact information is on the receipt. You have to pay the $75 fine to receive the receipt."

"$75 fine!?!?!?!"

Then there was an explosion and the earth blew up.
Or I had an aneurysm.
In retrospect, I cannot be sure which truly occurred.
All I know is that this poor schmo had NO IDEA what hit him.

Did I tell him I was a reporter and planned to follow up with both his supervisors and the BBB? Yes I did.
Did I tell him that I was SURE his employer was in deep in the signage law racket and that I refused to be a victim to either him or his mafioso pals? Most assuredly.
Did I threaten to call the cops on him and his cronies for their obviously illegal--not to mention morally reprehensible--business practices? You bet your purple Hulk pants I did!

I threw my credit card, ninja star style, at my bewildered foe who, by this time was literally cowering by my tire, and dialed my phone like the key pad had done me an unspeakable injustice. I would have my vengeance. Oh yes! Because, when ERIN GREER PAYS FOR A PARKING SPACE, ERIN GREER GETS A PARKING SPACE and no entity between Heaven and Happy Hell is going to stand in the way of that God-given truth.

Ten minutes and countless phone calls and threatening messages later I was on the road...sounds of the impending apocalypse buzzing in my ears. Who would be the first to return my call and feel the righteous wrath emanating from my lips of justice?

Turns out, it was this guy named Micah.

Armed with the sword of truth and anger the levels of which have more than once produced a Eunich, I began my tale...intricately weaving for young Micah the sordid details of Lanier's misdeed and the irreconcilable damages which had been done to myself, as well as the destitute and poor of spirit here in Atlanta, Georgia.

"How can you justify," I asked him, "reserving spaces in already reserved lots? Surely there are LAWS prohibiting double reservations? Surely, an upright and just society WILL NOT STAND for reserved reserved parking! This is an OUTRAGE! A tresspass of this nature WILL NOT STAND, good Micah! NOT WHILE THERE IS BREATH LEFT IN MY BODY!"

"Um, ma'am?...Unfortunately, we at Lanier do not do the towing. That's contracted out. You may take it up with the towing company, but I sincerely doubt they will refund your $75, as they will claim they are within their legal rights."


"What I can do for you ma'am is offer you your $3 parking fee back."

"WILL RIP YOUR...wait...what was that?"

"I am sorry you had such a negative experience, and I will refund you your $3 parking fee."


And then--a sound more disturbing than any I have uttered over the scope of this David vs. Goliath war with the GSU parking mob--

"Oh. My. God...YESSSSSSS! I WIN! I WIN! I WIN!I WIN! Take THAT you reserved reserved parking, double booting, orange tag sticking mother fuckers! I have WON! THREE WHOLE DOLLARS!!!"

Fear not good citizens of Earth! Your heroine is here in heels and a sundress, receiving $3 in recompense for war crimes and handing out a heaping helping of justice!

Irresistible force, meet IMMOVABLE OBJECT--Me! Me! Meeeeeee!

Friday, August 6, 2010


Seems here lately I have been wishing on a star that I will go to bed one night a woman and wake up the next morning a bank.
Specifically...I want a bail out...

I just got off the phone with the Gwinnett County tax department.

And I am pissed.

Seems I am being taxed on my home's value from 2007--BEFORE THE CRASH OF THE HOUSING MARKET.

So my annual taxes on this place continue to INCREASE, despite the fact that my home is now worth 1/3 OF IT'S 2007 VALUE.

That's right folks. I am paying taxes on an $80,000 property when my home is currently on the market for 20,000 bucks. Let me reiterate--taxes on $80,000; net worth only $20,000.

I am about to stage a fucking revolt.

"So what can be done about it?", you ask. Surely the county can provide a reassessment of the property and tax it at its current value? Surely that's what's JUST and RIGHT, especially in an economy where damn near everyone is struggling?

Why not? Because apparently home values for tax purposes are only assessed every 5 years. No ifs, ands or buts. So for those of us initially evaluated less than 5 years ago? Looks like we're up the creek, now where's that damned paddle...

According to Mr. I-Don't-Give-A-Damn-About-Your-Plight on the phone, this 5 year assessment policy will change next year. As of next year, properties will be appraised annually.

Sucks for me.

And for you too.

Because as we continue to struggle, and I continue wishing on Polaris that my name was Wells Fucking Fargo, no one is coming to bat for us. No silver tongued orator is taking up our cause with Congress. No activist is organizing the bus boycott. No caped super hero disguised as a regular bloke is currently making a quick change in a phone booth.

Instead, we are sitting in the audience, watching...expecting Oprah Winfrey to come out to film her "Favorite things" episode, when it's much more likely that Maury Povich will enter from behind the curtain.

As I sit, seething, I feel utterly exhausted.
I confess the largest part of me wants to give in, give up and hoist a white flag.

My spirit, however, refuses to go gently into that good night. (Henceforth, my spirit shall operate under the pseudonym 'Dylan Thomas'...To all my 'literary' readers, you are welcome...)

"Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light..."

You see, tired as we are, we can't give up. We just can't. It's not our destiny. It's not our shared American heritage. It's not our way.

I know so many people out there are struggling, wondering when this drought is going to end. I confess, I do not know. But I do not that it will not end if we continue to go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light... or maybe just at the bastards that prepare your tax bill...

Isaiah 6:8

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Rant from a Mouthpeice

I just received my writing assignment for October.
Food allergies.

TRY not to wet yourself with untoward ado.

First of all, let me say, I am THANKFUL for my job. (Enough so, apparently, to write of my gratitude IN ALL CAPS). I love to write. I love being given the opportunity. And I love receiving a paycheck for it. But that said, I can't help but wonder:

Is this all that I have to offer the world? A series of 1,000 word pieces (which, incidentally, always run long) on common-place maladies in upper-middle class homes?

~~ Quick! Someone call the financially-stable, overly-Botoxed, conservative Republican housewives and tell them to allergy proof their homes IMMEDIATELY, lest little Aiden and Ella develop an unseasonal sniffle! We can't have them contaminating the other children at St. Ignatious' Aryan Private School for the Pretentious and Smug.~~

Is this honestly the legacy I am building?
If so, I think I may need a costly and time-consuming recount. Florida style. 'Cause I'm pretty sure that somewhere along the way I developed a problem with my hanging chads.

Chads. Dangly bits. Tiny tears in papers that are supposed to stand for something...
I am pretty sure there is some deep, earth-shattering analogy there, but I am too out of practice at transposing my own thoughts to articulate what it is. So I will leave it up to your interpretation and suffice to say this--

I think I have more to say than "this is a list of common food allergies."

Offhand, I don't know what it is I have to say, but I do know it's profound.
(It has to be. Why else would I have this uncanny command of adverbs?)

Until I can figure it out, I will likely bury myself in a crossword or take the dog on an unnecessarily long walk. Perhaps I will make myself some food. But nothing with cheese. I am allergic.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Were I a poet
I'd write you a rhyme

A musician
I'd write you a tune

Were I an artist
I'd paint you the Heavens

An astronomer
I'd lasso the moon

Would but that I were all of these things
Then maybe you might see

The depth to which your mere memory affects
the very heart of me

But given a parchment, a lute, a brush
or a telescope aimed at the sun

My fingers, so clumsy, my heart all aflutter,
could master nary a one

The words to my sonnet, the notes to my symphony,
The muse to my masterpiece, the stars to my galaxy

You, who are all that I see

Will you ever know the depth to which your mere memory affects
the very heart of me?

Friday, July 16, 2010


You are hideously resplendent
As you kick me when I'm down

Superior with your heel upon my throat

You--brilliant--know just what to say to crush me
And your aim for the jugular hits

Every time

Cool when my heart is racing
Cruel when it is breaking

You are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen

Kill me again, emerald eyes

Saturday, June 26, 2010

On Kyle McLaughlin. And maybe wisdom.

On the mirror in my bathroom, I have three pieces of, shall we say, "advice" written in sparkly silver lipstick. They are:
1. You are what you repeatedly do
2. Gratitude
and 3., which was added today--"Fear is the mind killer."

I chose this strategic placement because when I emerge from the shower so fresh and so clean clean, I want these mantras to be among the first things I think about. That and because the bathroom mirror was easy to reach.

So let's start with my thought of the day--"Fear is the mind killer."
For those of you fortunate enough to have heard Kyle McLaughlin whisper these words of wisdom in the original (and classic) "Dune," the magnitude of this statement may have already made it into the lexicon of your life. If so, count yourself most blessed. But for those of you not fortunate enough to have a father who subjected--nay enlightened --you with such cinematic achievements as the original "Dune," consider this your immersion into higher truth.

"Fear is the mind killer."

Or, put another, more familiar way, "What would you do if you knew you could not fail?"

In evaluating my life, I recognize that so many of my choices (and so many of my messes) have been the direct result of either proactively or reactively attempting to avoid those things I most fear--failure, ruin, abandonment, illness, balloons. And while I may have saved myself some pain along the way, all of my bravest attempts at avoiding these things I fear have done nothing to prevent the inevitable result that I have none-the-less experienced my fair share of every single thing that I fear.

Have I failed? Yes.
Have I been ruined? Yes, if only for the short term.
Have I suffered abandonment? Yes.
Illness? Yes.
Balloons? Sadly, even as recently as last night.

But I am still here. Still here and, all things considered, doing relatively okay.

So why do I continue to be so deathly afraid of these things? And why do I let these fears not only paralyze me from moving forward, but also draw to me those very things which I seek to avoid?

As I was told this morning, perhaps the answer lies in an absence of faith.

It was shared with me that to put these fears aside, I must live in the moment with a faith that things will continue to be well. With a faith that I am "in good hands." With the assurance that God is, in fact, not only in control, but that He also operates under the AllState Insurance slogan.

And this is a difficult concept for me. Difficult because a) I tend to believe that people make their own Fate, for better or for worse (and that Fate is made up of choices and if you make the wrong choices then you end up with a shitty life and blah blah blah blah blah panic attack) and b) because every time I start to get comfortable, I feel like I get the rug snatched from underneath me.

a) + b) = Erin becomes a shadow boxer, punching away at echoes and murmurs of anything that could possibly become a potential threat. And Erin as a shadow boxer = Erin as an ineffectual human being. For those of you who are good at algebra, you simplify this equation by eliminating the common element of each side. Thus, you eliminate "Erin" and you have the truth: shadow boxer = ineffectual human being.

And that, folks, ain't what I want to be.
In fact, my fear of being an ineffectual human being trumps many of my other fears. Which I guess means I have some choices to make. Specifically, maybe I need to tackle some of those decisions that, to this point, I have been afraid to make. After all, "fear is the mind killer."


I need to go take a shower now. And, for the moment, at least part of me is thankful to know that my advice will be there to welcome me when I get out. And the fact that said advice comes to me in the hushed whispers of Lyle McLaughlin? Well, that's just an added bonus.

I guess you could say that for the moment, life is good.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Shut. Up.

I think constantly, then have nothing to say.
Think, think, think. Even during sleep. To the point of exhaustion.

SO where is my pay off for this arduous activity?
Where are my answers to these problems I ponder so endlessly?
I am putting the work in, surely. At this rate, I should be racking up overtime. Bonuses and the like. Fruit baskets. Paid vacation days.

Whom should I speak to about this injustice? It stands to reason that there would be laws against this type of indentured servitude...

Even if the culprit is the riding crop wielding, S&M heeled bitch in my own mind... Surely I can take her to court? Sue the spikes off that black vinyl suit? Right about now, I'd even agree to settle out of court...

These thoughts, they go in circles. They never lead anywhere. No universal truth. No divinely-inspired answer. Not even a difinitive "This is what you should do with your free time on Tuesday."

Only more questions. Churning at the grindstone. Pushing like Sampson--round and round and round and round.

Universally a symbol of the beauty of the everlasting, never ending, ad infinitum.

Ad nauseum?

Ah yes. The ever-repetitive, ever cyclical, infuriating thoughts. Always prevalent, leading nowhere.

Someone please, PLEASE help me punch out on the time clock. Please, PLEASE let me get some fucking rest. I'm even past the point of asking for an answer. All I really want is just an end.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Shooting Star by Bob Dylan

Seen a shooting star tonight
And I thought of you.
You were trying to break into another world
A world I never knew.
I always kind of wondered
If you ever made it through.
Seen a shooting star tonight
And I thought of you.

Seen a shooting star tonight
And I thought of me.
If I was still the same
If I ever became what you wanted me to be
Did I miss the mark or
Over-step the line
That only you could see?
Seen a shooting star tonight
And I thought of me.

Listen to the engine, listen to the bell
As the last fire truck from hell
Goes rolling by, all good people are praying,
It's the last temptation
The last account
The last time you might hear the sermon on the mount,
The last radio is playing.

Seen a shooting star tonight
Slip Away.
Tomorrow will be another day.
Guess it's too late to say the things to you
That you needed to hear me say.
Seen a shooting star tonight
Slip away.

Monday, June 7, 2010


I get a secret sense of power knowing that I can erase you...even in a small pressing "control + a" and then "backspace".

Monday, May 31, 2010

The Depth of Emptiness

When you click on "new post", this web site...the one you are currently reading...opens up a blank page.

Blank. Empty. Full of potential.
And a writing box.

The box is small, I guess, in the grand scheme of things. 4"X6" or so. But able to expand.

Infinitely, one would imagine.

Able to expand infinitely into infinite space--

Able to hold the depth and breadth and nuance of my ideas?

On fate and choice
On love and apathy
On timing and purpose

On you and me

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Of Vice and Men

I have had 29 years to discover things, and, to date, what I have discovered can most readily be summed up in this--people ain't perfect.

We all have our baggage. Our drawbacks. Our flaws. And usually these aspects of the human condition interest me...but recently, I have to say the universal trait which has caught my attention is


Simply put (at least from my perspective), I consider a vice to be a behavior that an individual believes somehow enriches their life (else, WHY would they continue indulging in it?), but, to an outsider, the behavior actually presents a detriment.

Examples of vices are vast--and can often be termed synonymously with 'addiction.' Addiction to gambling. Alcohol. Drugs. Porn. Sex. Violence. Cigarettes. Adrenaline. People.

Hmm...'people'...there's an interesting one...we'll come back to that one in a minute.

Then of course there are vice behaviors--reckless spending. Incessantly lying. Stealing. Deliberate manipulation. Enabling. Victimizing. (Overusing gerunds...sorry, grammar joke. Not funny.)

Thing is, everyone has a vice. EVERYONE.

Each and every one of us has something--some character trait or aspect of our behavior that is either directly or indirectly detrimental to our lives, our relationships and/or our mental and emotional well being.

Yep, congratulations. Hold hands. Clap. Sing Kumbaya. We are all broken. Hurray!

Moving on. SO. Vices. We got 'em. Awesome. But what does that mean?
Specifically, WHERE do these behaviors come from? What causes them? And what causes us to keep them? Or to personally embrace some while rejecting others?

What would it take to make us give them up? And should we?

In dissecting this topic, I think I may have found the subject for another of my books that I may or may not ever write. So if you steal this from me, be prepared. Hell hath no fury...

Stop distracting me, dammit! Where was I? Oh yes. VICES.

The origins of the behavior are likely to arouse as much debate as "The Origin of the Species," but I for one tend to bend to the notion that nature and nurture present themselves in tandem as dual contributors to the development of one's chosen vice(s). Put simply, kids of alcoholics tend to grow up to be alcoholics. Abusers tend to breed abusers. People tend to breed...people.

One of my therapists (oh yes, there have been several) referred to this cycle of familial behavior as the 'generational curse.' Essentially that each child grows up developing reactions and coping mechanisms to deal with childhood experiences in the home. Those behaviors then affect their children and so on and so on and so on. Psychobabble bullshit. I usually tuned out at about the time she started on this point...

Anyway, it isn't that simple. Nothing ever is. There are always exceptions. Not every kid who gets hit grows up to hit. But we are creatures of habit. Monkey see, monkey do. Don't believe me? Go sit in on an elementary school class for 5 minutes.

So where vices come from, we can't be exactly sure. But WHY we keep them--now that's what has been consuming my mind of late.

Because WHY WOULD YOU hang on to something that could hurt you in the long run? Why put ourselves through the pain? Is it because it's comfortable? It's what we know? Maybe it literally physically or emotionally feels good?

And do those good feelings ever outweigh the consequences in the long run?
I mean, if we are addicted, but our addictions cause us to lose or sacrifice something else we love...WHY do we accept that and carry on with the behavior? And WHAT will make us stop?

(Seriously, there is a book here. Seriously.)

I think it all comes down to economics. Specifically, cost/benefit analysis. For those of you out there who slept through economics (me), cost/benefit analysis is basically the notion that you will continue in a pattern for as long as you perceive that the benefits of the behavior are outweighing the cost of said behavior. (At least that's how I understood the principle. Again....I was scribbling bunnies and unicorns in the margins of my notebook during economics, so I may or may not be the leading authority here.) In other words, an alcoholic will remain an alcoholic so long as the high of being drunk outweighs the consequences of being drunk. ie. Donnie Drunko's gonna keep drinkin 'till he comes home and his wife has thrown all of his clothes out into the yard, so he gets in his car to drive to his buddy Mike's house to crash on the sofa in the game room but on the way gets arrested for drunk driving, and, while in the hoosgow, he is unable to call his boss to say he will not be in to work the following day, thus ensuring his receipt of a pink slip which has been looming ever since said boss found our good friend Donnie spiking his morning coffee with Jim Beam.

The end.

I once heard that most people only change when it becomes entirely too painful to remain the same.

Which is why the smoker puts down the cigarettes after being diagnosed with cancer.
The gambler seeks help after the last hand claims the deed to the house.
The sex addict goes to rehab when the spouse and kids walk out.
The liar comes clean when confronted, facing the embarrassment of undeniable truth.

Which, I guess, brings me back to people who are addicted to people. Which may just apply to people like me. See, at my very best, I know I love you. In spite of your baggage, drawbacks, flaws. And maybe, just maybe, my vice is that I allow myself to get hurt by your vices.

Or maybe my vice is that I just think way too damned much.

Additional reading for the class. Some thoughts on vices:

He who hates vice hates men.
- John Morley

The vices we scoff at in others, laugh at us within ourselves.
- Thomas Browne

It is the function of vice to keep virtue within reasonable grounds.
- Samuel Butler

What maintains one vice would bring up two children.
- Benjamin Franklin

Nurse one vice in your bosom. Give it the attention it deserves and let your virtues spring up modestly around it. Then you'll have the miser who's no liar; and the drunkard who's the benefactor of a whole city.
- Thornton Wilder

Sunday, May 2, 2010


People are like pre-made custard: each comprised of numerous ingredients.
Some of them are universal; some are more exotic. Some are undeniably delicious and some just downright bizarre or disgusting.

Each of these ingredients works in tandem to create the 'flavor of the piece.' The 'palate,' if you will.

I find most people unpalatable.


People custards have raisins. Or bananas. Or nuts.

In short, people custards are gross.

See, while I tend to like cream and eggs (the very bases of people custard), my culinary preferences above and beyond said base mimic those of Sally Albright to what some might term an 'alarming degree.'

On a plus note, it means I know exactly what I want and how I want it...two very important things to know. Especially if you plan on putting said thing into your mouth (I'll give you a minute to catch the double entendre on that one...)

Caught up? Good. I got sick of waiting for you. Hmmm...'slow to catch on to sexual double entendres'...that pretty much equates to including raisins in your personal people custard. Yep. That settles it. I don't like your flavor.

And my dislike of your personal ingredients leads me to my next point:
I have begun to believe that my anal-rententive palate preferences have left me literally starving for a human connection.

Because I won't have you because of your raisins. Or your bananas. Or your nuts.
I cannot stomach you.

But, consequently, my menu has become devoid of options. Seems here recently the restaurant ('life,' for those of you bogged down in metaphor and now surprisingly hungry for dessert) has been telling me that maybe I have to accept the whole of the human custard and learn to choke down the nuts.

Is that settling?

I don't know.

But the diner doesn't seem to be in any hurry to change the menu any time soon.
And I'm hungry, dammit!

Friday, April 23, 2010


I read once that the strongest structures are built with parallel columns--each carrying its own perspective weight, while at the same time working in conjunction with neighboring columns to support the structure of the house.

After contemplation, I thought this a beautiful metaphor for man's independence and interdependence. Parallels as a literal, visual interpretation of lives lived in a balance of verticals and horizontals. Ups and downs, lefts and rights. Never intersecting, nonetheless connecting.

I would draw it if I could...but my pictures are best painted with words.
Perhaps you could draw it for me? I would love to see what you see.
This is my picture from my hand. The meter is irregular...but then, so is an improvised dance. And that's really what life is...isn't it?

Life is parallel.
And horizontal.
And vertical.

You and I, parallel.
I and I, parallel.
God and I...


You and I are vertical.
Up and down.
Rise and fall.
Each attached to a string,
alternating up to Heaven and down to Hell.

But we pass in the middle.

You and I are horizontal.
In the most delicious of ways.

We alternate, top and bottom.
And mirror the horizon
of our future days.

Balancing the grid work in
the decline and the swell.

Passing, ne'er crossing
but connected, just as well.

Life is horizontal.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

About a Happy Little Elf

"I'm sorry to say that this is not the movie you'll be watching. The movie you are about to see is extremely unpleasant. If you wish to see a film about a happy little elf, I'm sure there is still plenty of seating in theatre number two."--Lemony Snicket

People like 'happy' things. Sparkly things. Shimmery, shiny, who-wants-to-go-to-the-beach-and-play-vollyball-with-highly-attractive-members-of-the-opposite-sex things.

This ain't that kind of blog.

What I want to talk about is, really, a series of unfortunate events.

And it's my blog. So I can.

If you are lucky, I may sprinkle it with multicolored New Years' Eve confetti and import pictures of Ryan Reynolds' abs...but I make no promises. So for those of you reconsidering reading this post, I suggest you cozy up with some stale popcorn and overpriced soda in theater number two.

As to the rest of you...

Let's discuss...oh, i don't know...LOSS.
And for those of you whose minds leapt instantly to flashbacks of UGA's seemingly unceasing failures in Jacksonville, well, all I can say is that maybe this blog isn't for you.

Let's start at the very beginning, as I've heard from a very reliable source that the beginning is a very good place to start.

I was told recently, by someone who loved me very much, that I "cannot be alone."

Let that sink in for a moment.

Am I a "people person"? Yes.
Do I think the world would pretty much suck without you assholes in it? Um, yeah.
Do I think God put 7 billion of us here so that we could run around avoiding each other? Not likely.
So do I need people?...Well, sure.

I admit these things. I embrace them. But try as I might, I just couldn't palate the possibility that my love of people equates to an inability to be alone. (Try spitting that last sentence three times fast. Go ahead. Try it. This is a blog and I've got all day...)

I pondered it. (The 'cannot be alone' thing. Not the repetition thing. That'd just be a silly point to ponder.)

Anyway, what I came up with is this: some people fixate on what they do not or cannot have. For example:

Shit I do not have:
a Lamborghini Murcielago LP 640 Roadster
an Italian Villa with walkable gardens on the Appian Way
the Hope Diamond, delivered personally by Prince William
work ethic
a pair of jeans that fit

And while I would absolutely love to have these things, I'd say I manage to go about my daily life without crying (much) over their absence. Why? Because I am not one of those people who obsesses over what they can't or don't have.

Thus, I am not one who obsesses over not having, say, a boyfriend. Why? It just ain't me.

So what DO I obsess over if not the absence of what I don't have?
The loss of what I DO have.


Like a cripple remembering healthy limbs, I, unhealthily, mire myself in loss.
Even over little things.

I cried when I traded in my first car, even though I was gung-ho about its replacement. (Did I just type 'gung-ho'? I did. There's your New Years Eve confetti guys. Relish it.)

I cried when I left a school I despised.

I cried when I left jobs I hated.

Because each time I lost something. So what if it was a wretched something? It was MY wretched something.

Which is what makes this morning's discovery so much more poignant. If I lament the loss of my 1981 Nissan 200SX with somewhere in the neighborhood of 120,000 miles on it and a roof panel that fell down in my face when I drove, then you can imagine how much the loss of, say, a loved one, affects me.

This morning, while walking Melvin in the dewy parking lot, I began to think about my grandmother. Next month will mark a year since her passing, and I cannot tell you what her presence--and now her absence--has meant to me.

In July, my sister will have been gone for three years. Which is about three years and a day too many. And in November, I will remember my grandfather, whose long, lean frame I still close my eyes and see, as he baits my line for me (I could never kill the worm) along the banks of the Carticay.

Death. He haunts me. Yes, we have a date with Destiny, he and I.
And not just over the souls he has claimed...

I want to confront him for the many relationships torn asunder by his cythe. Beautiful memories mired in gore.

Vengeance. I want it. For the friends and lovers who, though still alive, are dead to me. And I will take said vengeance against Death. Or attempt it.

Because if I acknowledge the true Architect behind the passing of these relationships--well, He is someone who cannot be crossed.
He is unfailing and omniscient.
He is right, and I am wrong.

And that is a confetti-less realization, devoid of beach vollyball and Ryan Reynolds' abs.

Which is why Death and I have a long-standing date. Him I can battle and, in my ignorance, believe in the option of a margin of victory. The Architect, well...


I do not mourn what I do not have. I mourn what I had and lost. There is a difference. And to me that difference is marked and profound.

I can stomach it if I never meet you. If we continue to pass on the street and never speak. If you sit next to me in class but we never have the "may I borrow a pencil" exchange that inevitably leads to coffee every Wednesday at 6.

But what I cannot do is lose you.
What I cannot do is forget that chance encounter that changed my day, my perspective, and, yes, in some small way, my life.
What I cannot do is deny that you affect me.
Once I have grabbed hold, I cannot turn loose.

I guess I do need you.

I do.

Please, please don't leave me.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I don't trust you.

But does that really say something about you? Or does it say something about me?

It's not like you've given me a reason to doubt.
Although your behavior remains in question.
Or questionable.
I can't decide.

Really, it's the actions of billions of other people that set me to shadow boxing.
It is unfortunate then that you fall into the category of "people."
Puts you among bad company, you see.
Means you have the capability to do what they've done.

But do you have the desire?

If not, then I can breathe easy. Until I remember that desires come and go.
And, if so, would you admit it? I don't trust that you would.

No, I don't trust you.

But I want to.

Does that make me a fool?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I am composing letters in my head that I will never send.
I still wake up on your time.

I miss you...r meticulousness.
The way you kept your nails.
And hair.
And skin.

The way you kept the details of our lives working.

I miss your scent.
And 1 minute conversations just to say "I love you."

Friday, February 26, 2010

Rear Window

They say "God never closes one door without opening a window." And when they say that, I usually want to hit them.

Why the impulse to violence? Because those self-same folks, so quick to spout their God's-most-convenient-avenues-for-escape theories, are also the ones who warn you away from taking the initiative and walking through.

Their intentions, I have no doubt, are good ones. Especially in the case of family and friends, whose care and concern are genuine. But the resulting situation is a conundrum--how do you know when to follow advice, or when to climb out of the window?

Consider the following examples:

Say you lose your job, and another pops up--one that may not be exactly what you want, but the timing is definitely right. Is that your God-given window? Should you take the job--even if it requires a change in career or living situation--simply because it is there? Is the job falling in your lap a sign from the cosmos that this is the new path you are "supposed to take"?
Or do you hold out, wait on the perfect opportunity that might never come, and risk the possibility of defying those same, possibly mythical cosmos?

Another example--say you just got out of a serious relationship. Maybe days ago. Maybe a week. And some fantastic person walks into your life. Is it possible that that person is your proverbial 'window'? Or, do you refrain from dating Mr. Fantastic because your friends and family say you shouldn't date so quickly after ending another relationship?
If you go with your friends and family, there's the possibility of living life under the ever-present "what if" cloud, wondering if you literally missed a chance at finding "the one" (whatever THAT means.) Conversely, if you jump in with Mr. Window, you run the risk of the transference of feelings and baggage, not to mention a Colossus case of codependency.

And what about the possibility of following your dreams? At what point do you give up your hopes of being a famous accordianist and instead resolve to join your father in his lawn fertilizer business? I mean, you needed income, and there was that open window--Do you climb through?

Sure. At this point you (or maybe I?) am thinking that it all comes down to personal choice. Cosmic window or no cosmic window, only you can know what's right for you... blah, blah, blah, now I want to slap my own self...

Why? Because it's all "sage bullshit", that's why. Telling someone that they and only they can make these life decisions doesn't help at all. Not in the slightest way. Might as well tell someone drowning in an ice-cold pond that the water is cold. "Um....yeah....I picked up on that..." Shiver, shiver, shiver, hemorrhage.

Thing is, I know I usually take the window--or don't--based on fear. Usually the fear of missing out on something. Fear of missing the boat, if you will. You know that fear you get when you have a dream that it's time for the business meeting that will shape your entire career, and then you realize that you will never make it to said meeting because you are on a waterslide in the Bermuda Triangle and have no chance of escaping, much less of finding a suitable tie? Yeah. That's the kind of panic I'm talking about.

And I don't want to live my life that way. Fear is a terrible reason to do just about anything...

But OVERCOMING, Erin, window or no window, THAT'S a point worth pondering...