The Photo I Didn’t Take

We drove home a different way than usual today. Road construction forced us to take the scenic route over the faster more efficient way. We passed the golf course, the city park, the fire station and then the street.

“There it is mom! Remember?”

I remembered. That’s where we walked to in the fall, when we drew pictures on the sidewalk with fallen berries and wilting dandelions. The walk prompted talks about what we both wanted to be when we grew up (she an artist and I, still undecided). We turned down an empty street and walked the inside lip of a cul-de-sac, kicking through piles of leaves, watching them scatter and spread with the wind. We felt like powerful colossuses, stomping through a small village. I filled out my body, I took up the space I wanted. I felt full of life.

Soon I was out of breath and I dropped down to my butt.

“C’mon mom! Let’s keep going, we’re having so much fun!”

“We can have fun on the ground too” I replied.

She kicked through another pile before joining me on the ground of the small hill.

“Now what?” she asked.

“Now this!” I yelled as I crushed a fistful of dried leaves onto the top of her head and watched it break apart into millions of little pieces. I didn’t even let it bother me, thinking about how long it was going to take to get all of those leaves out of her hair. I’d started a war. A few more minutes in, I was aware of a longing for my camera. I wanted to capture this moment. Save it. Freeze it. Keep it up on the fridge forever but I knew that on the other side of the lens I would be out of the moment. I would be directing, forcing, controlling and ultimately losing the joy of the experience.

And sitting with this knowledge, well, it just plain sucks.

I want it both ways. I want to live and be present in the moment and I want to record the moment. What if I forget this day? Forget this happiness? It happens sometimes with depression… but I am capturing it, here and now.

She was wearing soft, black boots. Blue denim jeans and a white sweatshirt. The dried bits of leaves blended in perfectly with her hair, the same brown shade of autumn. Her cheeks had that natural blush that always seems to follow kids when they come in from outside, yet she looked so grown up.

“That’s where you left that huge imprint of your butt, remember mom?”

Yes dear and I hope I never forget.

photography-love

Slapstick Sunday

I’ve decided to add something to the blog this week. From today on, Sundays will be dedicated to silliness!

I want to keep a running list of things that happen during the week that Crack. Me. Up. Individually these moments may not have enough material for their own post but fit in nicely amongst the other miscellaneous material I want to share.

I’m doing this for two reasons. One, to keep you guys entertained! Why else? Oh, that would’ve been funnier if I didn’t actually have another reason… Oh well.

The second reason is because I want to remember to be grateful for the good things that happen in day to day life. Even during the tough times, there are always things that make me smile and that is definitely worth remembering! So, without further dudes- Here is the first edition of Slapstick Sunday!

 

My daughter saw this pic of me and said “Mom! You look like a pastel emo kid!” Ha! Whatever, as long as she said kid, I guess I don’t really care too much about what came before it…

IMG_0875

 

Text from one of the managers, after a mix up at the bank and she tells me the money will go in my account this coming Monday vs this past Friday.

IMG_0986

Um, thanks? Honestly, this totally killed me (in a good way) because I knew she meant there is nothing she can do on the bank end of things but she’d be more than willing to lend me money to get by until the deposit cleared, because she’s uber cool like that!

 

 

FullSizeRender (4)
Her fav animal is the frog, I swear!

 

With Siri’s help, I was trying to send a message to my bff but it got a little lost in translation. What I said: “Hey Siri, I need you to send a text to Shar.” The reply is usually “Ok. What would you like to say to Shar?” But this time, Siri came back with “Ok. What would you like to know about Shar frog face?” It was almost enough to make me pee myself… Better luck next time, Siri!

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

What did you think of the overall content? Don’t like the title? I’m not sure I do either… I have a very short list of other possibilities. Let me know which one you like or feel free to add your own!

*Slapstick Sunday

*Wacky Weekend

*Comedy Corner

*Sunday LoLs.

 

Blood Money 

To say I was a squeamish child would be a vast understatement. I remember in elementary school doing the finger prick to check our blood type. I passed out. We then visited a hospital, specifically the blood bank, I saw one, two, three and floor. I woke up in a hospital bed. Every time I had to have blood drawn for a test, I went down. I started to really wonder how much truth there was to “every time you faint, you lose 1,000 brain cells”… Of course, I’m not sure I would’ve remembered where I’d left them if I hadn’t fainted. That was my early child to teen years.

In my adulthood, I was diagnosed with diabetes and had to give myself a shot everyday, three times a day. You better believe there were times I hit the skin wrong and was sure I was going to bleed out… I say all of this to tell you about the power of the mind.

I am a delivery driver for a sub shop. A few months back, I’m delivering an order to a place called, well, I’ll call it John Smith Plasma.

I see the word plasma and think big screen TVs. What else COULD it be?

So I parked and walked carefree up to the door and into the building only paying mild attention to the paper taped to the glass door. Something about no one under the age of 18 is permitted without an adult? Woah. They must sell some seriously expensive shit in here!

My first few steps into the building… were confusing. Not. A. Single. TV.

How do they expect to sell their product without any display models? These guys have no idea what they’re doing!

I step up to the desk and announce that I have a delivery for John Smith. She pages him and tells me to wait a minute.

This gives me time to look around. However little there was to see.

There were a couple of posters with smiling faces encouraging me to “help save a life by donating plasma today”. Are these guys fuckin’ nuts? You want me to DONATE a plasma tv? You think I could even afford a plasma tv? God, where has society as a whole, decayed to the point of needing a tv to live? I was outraged.

I was about to go off on someone, anyone who would listen, about how ridiculous this whole place was when I heard “Real food. Thank you! You can only survive on cookies & OJ for so long.” As I turned to face Mr. Smith, the light hit me. He was in a lab coat and still wearing his purple plastic gloves when he took the food and pen from my hand.

Thank God for that front desk. I had just enough time to catch the ledge before going down. I was able to steady myself long enough for him to sign a credit card slip before I bolted into the fresh air.

Before I could comprehend the enormity of my stupidity, I thanked my brain for protecting me. I know I wouldn’t have been able to go in if I had actually known what it was.

Ignorance may be bliss but sometimes it’s survival.

Have you ever been in such denial amidst the obvious?

I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

IMG_0985
It could SO be a big box store!

Another Rejection

I got a rejection email yesterday. The second one this week. I know there are authors who save their rejection letters, pinning them to cork board with pride as evidence they are working, creating and determined but I am not one of those people. While I do see the value chronicling your efforts, I know for myself, I’m too sensitive to have that constant reminder hanging, along with my head.

This was a big one. The Nicollet Mall Lantern Project. I really wanted this one. This sucks, I’m obviously not good enough, maybe I should quit. These are some of the thoughts I had as I was reading the standard “thanks but no thanks” form letter that was in my inbox.

Why didn’t I submit something better? Because I didn’t have anything better, I sent my best.

It was some heavy subject matter. Why couldn’t I just have written something new and happy? Fluffy clouds and double rainbows n shit?

Because we write what we know.

I haven’t had a life filled with kittens and candy… bad example, have had seven cats and am a diabetic but you get the idea.

I can’t write from experiences I didn’t have.

Not that my life has been a terrible, awful, no good, very bad day, but I do suffer with depression. It makes it harder to find and see the light, which is literally what the Lantern Project is about. Who appreciates the light more than someone who has spent their life in darkness? Maybe I was focusing too much on the build up and getting to the light vs actual light and happiness. Who knows.

Instead of looking at this rejection as a failure, I’m choosing instead to see it for the light that it is. I can recognize that this is a step in my process and I’m not done growing. Not as a person, not as a writer. I don’t have to be crippled by rejection and self-doubt. I can see that I have more to look forward to and I will have that much more joy when I do get an acceptance,  provided I keep working on my craft.

In the meantime, I am killing it in several other areas:

IMG_0777

 

A Typical Day

*BEEP* *BEEP* *BEEP* Snooze button. “I’ve GOT to change that alarm… in 8 minutes”

*BEEP* *BEEP* *BEEP* Snooze button. God damn it. Snore.

8 minutes later, guess what happens?

“How am I the ONLY ONE who hears this fucking thing?”

Tumbling down the stairs, I can feel something is not right but there is no time to figure out what it is. “Why do my feet feel weird?” I look down and think “how’d I do that?” I have on one shoe and one slipper. My pj’s are sorta tucked in my jeans, I have hair falling out of it’s clippie and Tayla complaining that her pizza is cold…

Back at home I mentally (yet absent mindedly) identify all the characters on my AHS Hotel poster that hangs above the bed. Even Peters, Wes Bentley, Angela Bassett… hound. Angela Bassetthound. Hm. I wonder what other celebrity names I could change to a breed of dog. French Stuart? French Bulldog Stuart. John Lithgow? John Lithbow-wow? Hm, that one is a stretch. Brad Pittbull. Philip Seymour Dachshund. Who else? What else? What the hell am I doing? I have to go. I’m still trying to fix my hair… (Less red, more purple) How the hell did I come home fuchsia? OMG, I can’t adult today… Time to get ready for work.

Jordan Smith. Everyone know of him? Winner of The Voice, season 9. A.MAZE.ING. When listening to him, that’s when I truly feel closer/connected to God. I consider my listening to his music my form of prayer and am having my Dodge Caliber legally declared as a mobile church. That’s a thing, right? Anyway, I was making my first delivery of the day and singing along to “Mary Did You Know”. The lyrics are in part, “Mary did you know that your baby boy would someday walk on water?” I was approaching a stoplight and I always have my phone connected for the maps/directions so what I heard when I got to the light was “Mary did you know that your baby would someday MAKE A RIGHT TURN ON 98TH STREET”. Hahahaha, I did literally LOL.

The rest of the day was very blah, like the sky but, I am grateful for that early laugh to make it a little easier.

Anything funny happen to you today? Or did you have some(one) help you get through the day a little faster?

Me & Celebrities: Famous People I’ve Been Compared To

The first time I was ever compared to anyone famous, it was Julia Roberts. Now don’t get all excited, like I did. We were at the Mall of America (see? Already a lapse in my judgement) and my blood sugars crashed. Not like “oh, I’m starting to feel weird(er), I think I might be going low”, it was more like “Look at this pretty wallpaper… why is it getting longer?” and I was on the ground.

Don ran up to the counter and grabbed a coke. He sat me up and tried to simultaneously  unscrew the cap off the coke bottle, open my mouth, get me to drink AND convince the cashier he wasn’t stealing a soda. A lot of pressure on a guy.

Anyway, I got enough sugar into my system and was good as new (or rather good as I was before the drop) and it wasn’t long before we were joking about that frantic cashier, asking if she should call 9-1-1. I didn’t respond because I wasn’t sure if she was going to call for help or to have Don arrested…

So how does Julia Roberts fit into all of this? Remember the movie “Steel Magnolias”? In the beauty parlor when Shelby was getting her hair done?

11499d1371772702t-guess-movie-quote-shelby

You had to do a double take, didn’t cha.

The second time I struck someone as famous was at the gym and it was me. Uh, I was disgusting. All sweaty and out of breath… Jumped in the shower and it was one of those rare occurrences when I showered AT THE GYM. Not only that, but I stuck around to blow dry my hair. So, here I am, in all my glory (most  of my glory was covered by a towel) and my hair is nearly dry but parted right down the middle. I had no make up on. I didn’t look like myself. I mean I did, but I didn’t- ya know? I was staring into the mirror trying to figure out who I was… at least who I looked like. Then it hit me.

MARLA HOOCH- “What a hitter!”

If you haven’t seen the movie “A league of Their Own”, it’s a great movie- I didn’t even mind that it had a lot of baseball in it! Be sure to look for me on the big screen, I mean my stunt double. Marla Hooch. Laughed til I cried.

Marla Hooch.png   & Me IMG_0757

And rounding off the collection, also a cast member of “A League of Their Own”, Madonna. Seriously. I can almost see this one too… You be the judge:

1994-bedtime-stories

& Me me

Oh, I can’t believe I almost forgot! I have to mention, even before Julia Roberts… way before they were cool… I was often compared to…

THE SMURFS!

Smurf-12

Now there is some debate on WHY I was called a Smurf… Was it because I was short or always wore the same hat, dress and shoes? Was it because I was shopping non-stop for Pseudoephedrine? No, that wasn’t it… That wasn’t even a thing (that I knew about) until I was out of school… Or because I was little & blew? ON MY FLUTE, perverts. 😛

I guess the world may never smurfin’ know.

What about you? Have you ever been compared to anyone famous? If so, I’d love to hear about it!

 

This is MY Voice!

 

I’m not going to lie, I may lose friends over this. I hate Christina Aguilera. HATE HER. I have been in therapy long enough to know that people are not their actions. We can “love the alcoholic” while we “hate their behavior” but in this case, for me, I hate all of it and here’s why:

Once upon a time, there was a girl (ok maybe not so much a girl but a woman in her early 30’s) and she was introduced to a show called The Voice. The Voice was in it’s third season and if memory serves, Bryan Keith was the first contestant. Approximately two seconds into his version of Bruno Mars’ song “It Will Rain”, I started to bawl… I mean she, yeah- that 30 year old girl? BIG CRIER. She can make the emo kids look like Vulcans! (OMG, I just made a Star Trek reference! Never seen the show, so, I’m a little proud of myself!) Anyway, The Voice became a ritual. An obsession, of sorts. All the contestants were so incredibly talented and had stories that tugged on the heartstrings… (Why is THAT a saying? Hearts don’t actually have STRINGS, do they??? Note to self, call cardiologist.) So beautiful and moving you’d think they were handpicked for television or something.

But there is one in particular. This girl/woman’s (ok, confession, it’s me) FAVORITE contestant. Melanie Martinez. Melanie could turn songs I’d previously abhorred into the sound of God’s own serenade. Not only did her voice touch me, her entire being reached me. Engulfed me. Allowed me to put a face on bravery.

She made it far into the competition, she was in the top 6. For whatever reason, her coach Adam Levine picked the song “The Show” for her to sing. It was a departure far from anything she’d done before and while I agree that people should go out of their comfort zones, this was not the time for that. Other contestants had the flashing lights, moving stairways, backup singers etc. While Melanie did a very stripped down version of the song with little instrumental accompaniment.

The performance received a tepid review overall but especially from she who will not be named… fuck that. It was Christina Aguilera. She was criticizing Melanie for a lackluster stage presence and Melanie, visibly shaken, looked away for a moment. “She’s not even LOOKING at me” shrieks Xtina – who I might add, was literally wearing a tiara. Wow. Well WTF are you going to do about it? Stab her with your crown? Make sure there is an eyeball on at least two of your points? NEWS FLASH. IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU. It’s not even really a little about you… So please. STFU already!

Thankfully, we had an Xtina reprieve for season 4.

Season 5 though, she was back with a vengeance. Seriously, I can’t even remember who was singing at the time, only that it was one of the diva’s own artists. I think the sheer rage and horror erased the memory of exactly when it happened but at some point shortly after the team Xtina contestant finished singing, the show’s host Carson Daily asked her what she thought of the performance. “What?” she said “I was just making this list of things I have to pick up at the grocery store real quick…” She recovered quickly, adding it was a “flawless performance” which was given with “such effortlessness”. Barf. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? You weren’t even paying attention? OMG, why did I expect anything more? I’m really to blame for this…

This actually could’ve been season 8… Like I said, stress blocked it out.

Now season 10, like the Theory of a Deadman song says “The Bitch Came Back”.

The struggle to watch has been real. So painfully, achingly real. There is always tons of talent and the banter between coaches is endearing… but God help me, I can hardly take it anymore. This season already has had at least 3 incidents in which she has caused me to make that major vein in my forehead pop… and there have only been 4 episodes… and I haven’t even seen them all!

The first time was when she was clamoring for a contestants attention and Blake Shelton said something. “When I’m here, you don’t run the show” she snapped. Guess what Christina? YOU don’t run the show either.

The second time was when she was debating Pharrell on who was more qualified to coach a particular contestant. “I am all about nurturing” she tells Malik Heard after his performance of “Chains”. Personally, I don’t think she could nurture anything outside of her own ego… (seriously, it could fill the Grand Canyon or she calls it the Ok canyon) but Pharrell jumps in saying he’s been producing records since he was 19, hasn’t lived in the public eye BUT he has produced Justin & Brittany. “Oh, uh oh, uh oh, but I LIVED IT” says big blonde wig, trying to instigate a fight.

“You have the tree and then you have the greenhouse” says Pharrell.

Ohhhh’s from the audience fill the space.

“Then you have the tree that blossoms up and breaks that greenhouse because it’s so BIG” Christina counters as she stands to make her point visually.

Poor sap (get it? Because it comes from trees? Sorry.) chooses team Xtina.

Now, you all KNOW what the third issue I’m going to bring up is, don’t you?

It’s Kata. (Pronounced Kay-da or if you’re Christina, smoochy smoochy, oh sorry I think I lost my gum in your mouth!) I’m not a huge fan of country music but Kata Hay’s rendition of “Redneck Woman” was getting my foot tappin’ and my hips swayin’. She got three of the four coaches to turn (Blake, where the hell were you on that song?! That was ALL YOU!). When talking with the coaches, she admitted that Christina was her first “official” girl crush. “Well, should we just make out right now? Get it over with so we can get to work?” They share a quick kiss to “seal the deal” (meanwhile a horrified girlfriend backstage mutters something about Kata being in big trouble when they get home) and Christina promises “if you pick me, there’s more of that to come”.

Prostitution is still illegal in California, right? Because it looks to me like Xtina is promising to sleep with the contestants who pick her as her coach… Can we throw her in jail yet? PLEASE? What if they just kick her off The Voice? For soliciting?

Sigh, I leave you with this important thought… Where are the cops when you need them?

Ps. Yes, it HAS been brought to my attention that this much anger towards a person I don’t even know is not healthy and for the record, I don’t give a fuck. I channel all of my rage toward something that is safe. So, na. 😛

Pps. I propose we change her name to Christina HAGuilera.

 

Hello & Welcome!

Have a seat… or take a stand… your choice, I’m not here to tell you what to do… I’m here to tell you what I did! Or said! Or thought. Or wished. Or… you get the idea…

Here on this blog I’m going by SpiredOne. Or if you read it another way, SpireDone because WordPress won’t allow spaces or capitalization or symbols… free speech/expression my ass. It brings the phrase “WWJD” to mind and I’ll tell you, Jesus would allow all of those things…He’s totally cool like that.

I digress. I chose the name because I like the word spire~ not just for its meaning (1.The highest point or summit of something 2.End, extreme, limit) but because you can attach so many different prefixes to the word and have a myriad of meanings:

(A)spire

(Con)spire

(In)spire

(Per)spire

See what I mean? This is just the tip of the iceberg with how technical I can get with words. Not just in a blog post but everyday conversation!

Again, I digress. And apologize.

So what IS this blog about? I don’t know yet, but I invite you to come along with me as I discover what’s important to me and hopefully you will find what’s important to you too.

A few fun facts about me (I don’t know what qualifies them as fun per se but “fun fact” is a very common term and I’m in a hurry right now but I promise* not to be so lazy in the future)!

*Promise means I’ll try*

Ok, facts!

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a bit whacky and sometimes go all over the place to make a point, or, a joke. I have performed on stage in a few of the comedy clubs around town and even landed myself amongst the short list of semi-finalists in Acme Comedy Club’s “Twin Cities Funniest Person” contest last year. (2015)

I am a creative nonfiction writer who mainly focuses on personal essay/memoir writing. I have been published in two anthologies, a print publication and a couple of places online as well.

I keep secrets at my desk… not like a secret-secret but a … you know… a thingy of Secret deodorant to remind myself that writing is hard work. (What are those things called?! A tube? A roll? Those aren’t right… a container?)

I get easily sidetracked, but I can focus like a mo-fo when it comes to replaying mistakes or possible mistakes I’ve made during the day, the hour, my entire life…

I swear. A. Fucking. Lot. I’m holding it all in (mostly) for you guys, for now.

If you are easily offended, this is NOT the place for you.

How’d I do? I’d love to hear from you in the comments! Feel free to tell me what you liked or didn’t like & PLEASE for the love of Christ, tell me what that damn deodorant thingy is called!

 

012
Yes, I am already bringing Jesus into this.

 

%d bloggers like this: