Monday, September 12, 2011

Crafty McCraftster, Indeed.

Somewhere I read that there are two selves that rage within us--the self that one is and the self that one subconsciously longs to be. I dunno, something deeply perplexing like that. I am no philosopher/psychologist, clearly.

For lack of a better name I find myself afflicted with this ailment. I yam what I yam yet there is this other person who desperately wants to get out and claim my life. Or at least that's what I think it wants to do.

I'm sure any psychologist would pin me down and tell me to reconcile my two halves with each other. but it ain't that easy.

You see, I know my true self to be one Kiernan the Writer, the Overly Sensitive, what-have-you. Never one to be creative visually, I have always expressed my wa wa wee wa feelings via pen and paper. Because seriously, I can't do more than that. Connect-the-dots tends to be the best that I can do.

For the greater part of my life, I was fine with this. I resigned myself to the fact that creating artsy things was not my forte. Ever since I discovered, however, this internal war between my two selves has only heightened.

You see the problem lies within my delusion that I think I can create visual things. Ever since I was little I wanted to alter my own clothing, sculpt little Pokemon figurines, do my own get the idea. Good clothing would be ruined. Vulpix would turn out a little lumpy. My mother would run shrieking from the room after she discovered I had cut my own bangs.

I was gifted with this misleading thought that I am crafty. And oh how I try! Despite my best intentions, normally what happens is that the tissue paper flower, which the craft blog claimed would be "super easy!" left me with a mangled mess of, well, tissue paper and shattered dreams.

For those of you who are, like me, particularly challenged when it comes to finding good blogs to read on the internet, (and its conjoined twin sites and is a host site that features the most amazingly crafty things from amazingly crafty people. It's also like heroin for my deluded crafster alter-ego....who doesn't really exist.

These things are never as easy they look. Never, I say. They are lying to you.
(photo credit: a bit of sunshine)

But as it is, I have a pile of crafty things to do which are not currently getting done. And maybe, JUST MAYBE, I'll let you behold my handiwork. I have to satiate the beast somehow.

Until then, I must away to my diary.....

Monday, August 29, 2011

Ehh, You Can Keep Your Mystic Journey

Once upon a time a friend transferred his incredibly impressive music collection to my rather paltry one because I'm cheap and rarely buy music for myself. It wasn't until today, though, that I realized that I am the proud owner of not one, but nine (NINE!) Arlo Guthrie albums and have not so much as listened to any of them. I decided to be adventurous and listen to one. For some reason my eye was transfixed upon this album:

"Arlo, seriously, he can feel your sweat through your silk shirt."

Just contemplate the beauty of this scene here. Take a moment and breathe deeply. Hee hoo. Hee hoo. 

Because when one embarks upon a mystic journey, who doesn't carry a baby amongst a lush bed of ferns while staring profoundly into the distance? You get it, right?

Think about that. I felt my life change. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

You...say things.

This is an honest-to-goodness-gracious conversation that just happened via text:

Martin: You won't believe what I just did.
Me: You deleted your contracted HIV from figured out nuclear fission and have blasted off into space...the possibilities are endless.
Martin: I threw my phone in the trash at mcd's. And when i realized I lost it, I went back, sacked up and rifled through the trash bin.
Me: That's infinitely better than anything I could have come up with! Did you find it?
Martin: else would I be talking to you?
Me: Point made.

Holy Saint Jeebus, I question my sanity and that of my future children. I seriously wonder how I make it through my day to day life sometimes.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Holy Hounds of Hades, Batman! It's Hot!

You'd think someone sent Kansas straight into the depths of the Inferno given how stinkin' hot it's been the past couple of weeks.

Good glory be, how did people live here in this state without air conditioning?

.........Or maybe I'm just a big, fat weenie.

Unfortunatley, I work in an almost century-old building that has no air conditioning. It feels like every time I step into the hallway, I inhale a thick cloud of smog. Granted, my office has an air unit but it does little short of diddly squat in the face of 102 degree heat.

It's no surprise, then, that I feel like my body is going to explode as I sit here typing away. Seriously. It's not like I'm sweating profusely. My middle section is simply overheating like a desktop PC.

I wish my body had a little internal fan that would whirl frantically the hotter I get.

So I munch on ice. And drink ice water. But I'm this close to importing blocks of ice and building an igloo.

And since I can't do that, I think cool. Anything to keep my mind off of the heat.

I tried playing fun, upbeat songs that would refresh my sluggish brain while I worked.

And I don't care what you say, this did the trick:

....and now I have decided that I will learn how to dance like Chris Brown. Watch out.

My good friend Ted has (regrettably) moved away to do Border Patrol in Arizona and he, in so many words, told me I was being a weenie about the heat.

"When your job requires you to lift heavy things while being screamed at while running around in the desert, then I'll have pity on you," he said.

Touché, Ted. Touché. 

HOWEVER. It's still nasty out and I feel like my brain is going to melt out of my ears.

Estoy una weenie.

Monday, July 18, 2011

No One Looks Good in Bowling Shoes...

...except this guy, of course.

I visited good 'ol Chanute, Kansas this weekend to visit the dashing man you see pictured above. 

I don't know what it is about Chanute, but I really do love it there. Ain't a whole lot going on, however.  Even the mechanic who changed my oil the day I left looked at me like I was loony bird for going.

"So where ya headed?" he asked.
"Chanute, actually," came my reply.
"Oh. I'm sorry."

Oh ye of little imagination! Martin and I have plenty of adventures anytime I come for a visit. 

One of the highlights of the weekend was the bowling tournament Martin and I played against eachother  in the lone bowling alley in Chanute. 

Look at that concentration. Pure, glistening excellence.

In all seriousness, I suck at bowling. See, if there is one thing that I have learned about Mr. Martin is that he is good at everything. I say this without bitterness, mind you. 

Ok, who are we kidding? I cannot play games with that man because he will beat me despite my best efforts. You name it: chess, pool, Monopoly (oh, don't even get me started on bloody Monopoly), Scrabble, and now...bowling. It's incredibly infuriating. 

Don't let the poses fool you. He's a beast.

He creamed me in four, count 'em, four games. 

 Shut up, bowling ball.

In all honesty, I know the reason I love Chanute is because Martin is my reason for going there. Besides, who else would do this with me?

Yes, that's right. Before it goes the way of the dodo in terms of all internet memes, Martin and I tried the whole planking thing. I'm sure planking is pase by now, but I do respect his enthusiasm. 

The merry-go-round was a bit trickier. 

Of course, I had to give it a go. 

Martin's story is something that continues to fascinate me. He has literally been all over the world. He was born in Manila and grew up between there and Hong Kong. His dad was fortunate enough to get a work visa and brought his family here to California, then Chicago, all the way to....Chanute, Kansas. 

But had it not been for God's glorious, mystifying Divine Providence that brought him all the way from across the world to this tiny town of no more than 10,000, he and I would never have met. 

I would hope, then, that it makes sense that I would love Chanute, despite its natives protesting to the contrary. 

They would only be so lucky.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

me gusta leer

Triumph! I finally finished Wuthering Heights! This is quite the victory for me, folks.

Once upon a time, I was a voracious reader devouring book after book after book. In recent years, lamentably, my reading habits have taken quite a tumble and it takes me eons to finish anything.

Having finished at classic, I feel certain that I have turned over a new page (get it? get it?).

I have slain thee, incredibly dramatic 19th century soap opera novel.

One of the most unexpected (ok, one of the only) perks of working at a high school is, no, not summertime. Because, I am not, dear friends, a teacher; which is what most people automatically assume when I tell them I work at a high school. Rather, it's what the sumertime at a high school brings: stacks and stacks of discarded books, free for the taking. And let me tell you: I took home a haul.

Behold! My summer reading list!

To me, a discarded book (unless it's a novel by Stephanie Meyer) is something of a travesty. And the fact that students wanted nothing to do with the tomes they had already purchased at the beginning of the year is like a slap across the face of my soul. Then again, more for me right? So I adopted that lovely stack of books and they now sit safely on my desk.

This love affair with reading is hereditary, methinks. My parents were, and are, always reading something. Books are constantly lying around the house. My siblings were always swapping books and recommending books to eachother.

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of going to the library. Back then, you could always find me in the Cartoon section, devouring Garfield and The Far Side comics (my taste has matured since then).

And of course, a miniature Kiernan was always getting lost in the Library, having minor freak-out moments as she desperately tried to locate her mother who had assured her multiple times that she was "only going to the Big Person section." I knew better.

I think my miniature self would be disappointed that I didn't grow up to be Matilda, like I so ardently desired. Sorry, miniature Kiernan. This is what you grew up to be, instead:

This is what happens when you stop reading books, kids.

I think things changed when I started college and I was forced to read things in a short span of time, only to regurgitate and thereby forget the info I had consumed while cramming for a test. But no more, I say! No more. I am slightly tempted to become a hermit and lock myself up and just read all the time. I shall be a well-read hermit.

Now that would be some drama fit for a Bronte. Verily.

.....In other news, my hibiscus bloomed!

Meet Edgar. Edgar the Hibiscus.

Damn thing is like a pheonix: it blooms, then it dies. Then it blooms and dies again. It finally managed to bloom long enough for me to admire it before dying again.  

Way to go, Edgar!

Monday, May 23, 2011

I never claimed to be Camus...

It's sad, really--my inability to post on a regualr basis. Regrettably, the marvelous journey of the magical, banana-eating panda has not yet been completed, but please--do stay tuned. I'm sittin' on a gem here with this one, folks. It'll be worth the wait.

In the meantime, my thoughts have drifted elsewhere.

This weekend marked my one year since I graduated from college. As I still consider myself a freshly hatched post-graduate something-or-other, I feel that i must reflect upon my forays into the adult world, which have produced many challenges, responsibilties, changes, and a host of other things I never quite expected.

The one challenge that is proving to be the most difficult, however, is learning how to be joyful in my daily life.

And I'm talking real joy. Not the grumbling and the griping and the occasional gasps of frustration that can be often heard from my corner of the office on a particular day.

No, I mean the joy that comes from the freedom of offering up your day with all of its inconveniences and sanctifying your work for the glory of God.

I used to think of saints in terms of all the great, heroic things they would do for God--martyrdom at the hands of persecutors, following His call into unknown lands to preach the Gospel, abadoning all comfort and familiarity for His sake, all the while leaving behind inspiring words of wisdom, penance, and prophesy for future generations to live by.

I realize now as an adult that these things are not the only requirements for sainthood. That being said, I truly admire those people who can live their lives with joy. Those people who, when faced with a frustrating person, react with patience and love and do not speak about him behind his back. Those people who, even when sick, radiate a calm happiness in the realization that this is the state God has allowed for them at that time.

I was stuck in traffic one time after a particularly grueling day. I was sitting there, nearly to the point of tears, not moving and wanting more than anything to just get home. I cannot describe my frustration and what seemed like hopelessness of the situation. And then I saw the moon.

That lovely, white orb was just ascending into the dusky crown of evening, beckoning me to persevere.  I was so struck by its otherwordly beauty, that I couldn't help but feel better.

It sounds slightly dramatic, I know, but I realized then that God puts beautiful things in our paths to alleviate the drudgery, to make us forget the weariness we might be experiencing, even if it is just for a moment.

I once read that the sign of an immature man is one who says he is willing to die for something and the true test of manhood is whether a man can live for something or not. As I get older and life progresses along the inevitable path of difficulty, I now see the true challenge of living a life according to God's will; namely, to accept what He gives me with joy and happiness because it is what He intends. That is the truest test of maturity.

And then I realize, how much happier would life be if my own grumpiness and ingratitude did not get in the way.

So now, as I lay here, I take comfort in knowing that beyond my frail and pallid earthly existence, something much greater than my feeble mind could ever fathom awaits. Perhaps that is why God gives us the moon every evening.

Monday, April 25, 2011

late night thoughts (a poem)

There is something so sublime about the rain.

Especially now that spring comes tip-toeing warmly in,

its as if i can see the flowers coyly emerging from the earth.

i love how its pitter-patter upon my window beckons softly for me to sleep,

as if to say, dream well, for when you awake the world will be reborn again.

O, comfort is the distant sound of cars

rushing through the street after a rainstorm.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Why, Yes, This Car Does Come in Crazy Woman Driver.

Few things infuriate me.

Sure, many things annoy me: my amazingly talented dog Pepper peeing my bed the day I wash the sheets, my lunch falling splat on the floor, the cancellation of 'Pushing Daisies' (that one still gets my goat two years later). These are the sorts of things that I can brush off.

But truly, it takes great skill to make me uncontrollably, blusteringly angry; among them, hypocrisy, intolerance, and Lady Gaga's "Born This Way."

Oh yes, brava, Lady Gaga. Brava.

There are times, however, in which my own anger will lash out with a great dragon lady furor that surprises even me. Might I add that this sort of anger fails to intimidate. People usually laugh.

My display this evening is a great example of both these things.

As I was driving home this evening, "dee dee dee" blithely minding my own business, I find myself pulling up next to a tin lunch box of a truck. Suddenly, in one of those moments when you nearly soil yourself because you forsee the doom that is about to occur, that little metal truck veers sharply into my lane out of nowhere, forcing me to wrench my precious ass off the road. And then off he goes, ZOOM!

I was infuriated. Sonofagun nearly killed me for no apparent reason. And dammit, I told myself, am I going to give him a piece of my mind.

So I floored the gas pedal and sped up next to him, rationalizing the whole way with feverish intensity that this poor excuse of a driver needed to know what he had done. My plan was to honk and to yell at him through my closed, sound-proof window. He would heed my anger and repent.

I pulled up next to him, laid on the horn with my mighty hand, and, without even thinking, flipped him the bird.

Ladies & Gents, let me assure you that me giving you a solid "F--- you" with my rather bony and angular finger would make you laugh, given the intensity with which I would mean it. I think once you would get over the shock of ME flipping you off you would laugh heartily. Typically, this is why I avoid using such a gesture. It's laughable, awkward, and a tad shocking.

Dude wasn't even looking.

So not only was my anger completely pointless, as most anger generally is, but then I was left with the guilt of maliciously making an obscene gesture towards my fellow man, as initially unintentional as it was.

I think the severity of flipping the bird tends to be lost on my generation. My thoughts immediately drifted to an episode of "Law and Order: SVU" in which an elderly lady enters a confessional to tell the priest that, among her sins, she was guilty of "flipping my neighbor the boid." Then, of course, when the priest doesn't answer she looks over and finds him dead in the confessional booth. Grim, I know.

For some reason, I think that scene has always kept me from giving the finger willy nilly until now. Not because a priest died but know what? Nevermind.  It left an impression.

No more "flipping the boid" for me, folks.

So if that reckless driver who almost killed me but didn't could know one thing right now, it would be this: Thanks for making me look like a crazy woman driver.

I think Jo Koy says it best:

'Nuff said.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Welcome to the Snowpocalypse

As Captain Obvious would point out, Kansas has been hit by a blizzard, the likes of which have not been seen since 1982.

I would know. I had to dig myself out of it this morning.

And while I very much enjoyed watching it poop snow all evening; and while, with slightly perverse humor, I admit I kinda enjoy watching people getting stuck attempting to enter my street, I have realized that, dammit, I'm stranded, too. I literally cannot leave my block. Consequently, I have not left the vicinity of my house in two days.

I would like to think that i am immune to cabin fever. After all, I am happily enjoying my snow days and have been amazingly productive.

But now I'm starting to notice things.

I caught myself wearing a pair of red faux-bans in the house. A strange dog was running around in the backyard, but then he suddenly disappeared. Now I find myself writing a story about a magical, hibernating, banana-eating panda, cast out of his judgemental panda community for his strange ways.

It is an epic, tragically comic tale.

Needless to say, I have never been more ready for spring.

Punxsutawney Phil--you better not deceive me, you little fart.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

...And the Battle Begun.

Beginnings are one of the most difficult things to start with.

To be honest, the whole reason I've delayed writing my own blog is simply because I didn't know how to begin it. But, lo and behold, here I am. I bit the proverbial bullet of my own procrastination and am now dragging you all in with me. It can only get better from here. 

Truly, it all began with a splat. 

And let me tell you, it was a magnificent splat, indeed. 

I was hungry (as I often am) and it was lunchtime. I am not ashamed to admit that like some strange gastronomical solar system, most of my day revolves around food and when I am going to eat it. True to form, I had been looking forward to my lunch of leftover roast beef and potatoes all morning and by 11:30 am--BAM! that sucker was in the microwave. Suddenly, however, it all went awry.

As I was pulling my lovely roast and potatoes out of the microwave, the ziplock container suddenly wasn't in my hands anymore. 

It was one of the moments when your mind slows everything down and yet your body is still unable to react quickly enough to stop what you already know is going to happen. It was a bonafide "Aw, shee-it," moment.

SPLAT. Container burst asunder with mashed roast beef and potatoes all over the floor. My lunch. Gone. 

Normally, I would have gone all Hulk-Smash on that container's ass, but there were people around. Plus,   I realized that, of course, only I would manage to ruin my own lunch in such a dramatic fashion. The delicious smell of curried roast even seemed to mock me from down below on the dirty floor. Sonofahamster. 

Despite it all, and getting to the point of all this rambling, is that my clumsiest and most awkward moments seem to be my best. Like yesterday, when I bought some tea but proceeded to spray it all over myself and my car trying to open it. These sorts of things seem to happen all the time and there's nothing I can do to stop them. 

So here's what I say: I'm going to share these moments with you as often as I can in the most poetic way possible because that's who I am and that's what I do. 

Of course there will be other things, too. But for today, be content in knowing that, even though your day may not have been the greatest, at least you didn't lose your lunch to the floor.