Friday, July 31, 2009

Yet one more thing I don't understand . . .

So I've just sat on my arse watching the NCIS marathon - well, not all of it of course - and USA network keeps showing previews starring some girl who just lost her husband, and she keeps saying, "I lovED him". Keep watching every show about a dead person, and they'll continue to say loved in the past tense.

I know that this sounds trite and probably quite silly, but actors and actresses say this all the time in fictitious shows, and it makes me curious as to who feels this way? Think about it.

Jessie, after finding out that her loving and ridiculously sexy husband died in a freak tennis racket accident. For some reason, detectives think the grieving widow had something to do with it, and she gasps with her hand to her chest and says, "but I LOVED him". If I were her sexy dead hubby, I would haunt that bitch's ass in a heartbeat. What the hell does she mean, she looooveeddd me? I'm still lying on a slab, and I haven't even been buried and that shallow hoebag is saying she doesn't love me anymore? Have you ever heard of rigor mortis? (Sorry, bad joke.) Point being, when does love or feeling stop? And who is writing this shit???

And even more to the point, why the hell am I paying attention?? Uh oh.


I finally added a blog specifically for fiction/non fiction/poetry stuff I've written. Some are good, some suck, and some are just silly. But I love them all the same. So peruse, enjoy, and leave comments. ;)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Thousand Directions, None The Same

Ready for stream of consciousness? If not, turn back now. If you've never read the likes of Woolf or Kerouac, you may be unfamiliar with the term 'stream of consciousness'. In that case, let me explain: it's a polite term for the mental shits you get at times. My favorite Virginia Woolf entry is in To The Lighthouse, when time passes from the perspective of the empty house. The title of the chapter? Time Passes. Ironic. Easily the most beautiful thing I read in my undergraduate career. I want to buy Waiting by Ha Jin again, because I let the damn thing get rain soaked. That was another beautiful book. Patience is a virtue I don't really have, but Waiting has an abundance of patience oozing from the main character.

Foster is snoring at the foot of my bed, and I love that dog more'n my luggage. "You know I love you more'n my luggage." - Clairee, Steel Magnolias. Excellent movie. The only time I've seen my grandmother cry is when we watched that movie together. I miss her Christmas cookies - only 5 more months!

Do you know what one of my biggest pet peeves is? When people say, "People that . . . ." People are 'whos' and not 'thats', and that's just common sense - to me anyway.

Tonight I saw the stars. Really stopped and saw them for the first time in a while. It's just the simple things that are the most amazing. The stars watch us as we lead our temporary lives with what I'm sure is infinite, bemused patience. Stars that shine, people who look at the stars. I looked up and stared until my neck hurt. I was sitting at Caribou Coffee on East Blvd. at 11 o'clock p.m. sharing a coffee while the breeze caressed my skin like silk on satin. It was probably 75 degrees outside, with a small baby's breath of breeze. The night critters were singing and serenading anyone willing to listen, and I am listening. It's beautiful, transcendent and timeless. Evenings like tonight are made for people like me who are willing to feel its beauty.

I need to clean my room, but I think that this is probably not constructive at the moment. I should probably sleep, but I'm listening to good music, but I prefer to listen to Foster snore. That's a lot of 'buts' in one sentence. Canine innocence. Adorable. Life affirming. But then there's Jonny Lang and Portishead, which are my music choices for this evening. No idea why, except that they feel good on my ears.

Flibbertigibbets & Portishead

Fact: The book in my bathroom is called Woe Is I, and it's all about grammar and word usage. I love that book, and it's filled with fun facts.
Fact: The book on my nightstand is To Kill A Mockingbird and I'm enjoying the hell out of Harper Lee.
Fact: Foster is sleeping right next to me and I'm listening to Jonny Lang, loving the evening I had. If I ever doubt that I made the wrong decision about moving (which I never do, by the way - but this is theoretical), it's nights like tonight that affirm my place in the world. Beauty is everywhere on evenings like this, when the universe seems to just wrap you in her loving arms and lead.

Yesterday was a complete fucktard-filled fiasco, featuring myself as the lead fucktard of course. Who else? As Jessie goes tripping through life, she's pretty congenial as a rule. But there are times - say, after a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and a bloody Mary, and of course half a dozen or so Fiji Moons, when Jessie becomes a bleeding moron. And I paid for it all day. Oh holy hangover . . . .

But of course, today is a new day and whatnot, so after working from home today, I decided to check out this local band. Although there was an ulterior motive associated with my seeing this band, a pleasant thing happened. (You were wondering when the heck I was going to get to the point, weren't you?) An old friend got in touch with me out of nowhere. We chatted, and he decided to come with me to this dive bar. I hadn't seen him in probably 2 years, and he hadn't cut his hair in about that amount of time, so while his keeps getting longer, mine mysteriously keeps getting shorter. Complete hair role reversal. I love it! Here's the thing that blew my mind, though: we got along so well, it was almost surreal.

That's not to say we had friction before, but it was like a rebirth of friendship, of kinship and an acknowledgement of the thing I needed the most today. I am always amazed at what the world has to offer me in a mere moment. And I guess I should open my eyes to the possibilities a little more often.

Passionate. Stupid, But Passionate . . .

Oh, Jessie. Will there ever be a time when you decide that it's a good idea to hold your cards to your chest? Boy, does that sound like a good idea. But where practicality is - well, practical - I am not.

Hint: Drinks do not help. STOP TALKING after you've had the right amount of drinks, no matter how passionately how you feel about whatever it is you're babbling about. Really, shut up. SHUT UP. Rinse, and repeat.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Infamous Leftie Rogue Fiasco Continues . . .

So after Heather, Angela and I left the Planet Hollywood pool and made our way to our hotel room to change, it seemed I could not live down the rogue leftie experience. Damn you, cannonball!!

That, however, did not last. As it turns out, Ang and Heather both had quite the buzz going, and though I couldn't steer the conversation anywhere else, I of course had to laugh at the international nip show. But as we got into the elevator, swimsuits still dripping with pool water, an amazing thing happened.

The elevator door opened, and one tall and quite handsome guy was standing in the elevator. Alone. Schweet. Then the 3 Stooges enter and push floor 17. The man-stud was on floor 14 or some nonsense. So the three of us chattered and laughed, and my sister looks at Stud and says, "Wow. I feel sorry for you having to ride along with us - " And then she hit the floor.

No, really. As the elevator began to move, my darling sister slipped in her own pool water puddle and landed on the marble elevator floor. Heather laughed so hard that she too fell in her own pool water puddle, and landed next to Angela dear. Jessie somehow remained standing, and just looked at Stud, shrugging my shoulders and laughing like a lunatic on methamphetamine. I had the wherewithal to hold onto that nifty little rail that the elevator men so generously supply, however. Stud laughed uncomfortably and stepped over two bodies and got off on his floor.

Yesss, Jessie remained standing for the remainder of the elevator ride.


We all got ready to go out that evening and Heather put on this adorable one-shouldered black & white shirt over white pants. She looked very cute for a night out on the Vegas strip, and we walked across the street to The Bellagio to watch the water & light show, along with a few thousand other tourists. It was water, and there were lights. Super. But I had an adult beverage riding shotgun with me, and so the show got better as time wore on. At a loss for something to do post light/water show, we decided to run back across the 6 lane street to our hotel for some gambling fun. So, the Walk sign flashes, and Heather, Angela and I jog across the street, when we hear, "Hey!! Nice chest!!" Of course, there are like 3 THOUSAND people in traffic with us, but Heather yells back, "Thanks!!" and keeps running.

I turn around to investigate the commotion, and what sight greets my eyes??? Heather's leftie - swinging outside of her shirt, bobbing up and down with her steps. HAHAHAHAHA! Vengeance is sweet!!

Oh Heather, you'll never live that one down.

Well. Daddy always said that's a deep thought

I hate to sound cliche here, but thank goodness it's Friday. This has been quite the mentally draining week, and for many reasons. I applied to an MBA program here in Charlotte through DeVry University (golf claps or poetry reading snaps here - thanks.), and though I have applied to grad school before, and been accepted thankyouverymuch, I forgot what an inane pain in the arse it is. Can't I just scan my retina somewhere so that my entire academic, personal, and professional history is given and I can finally stop repeating myself, and touting my accomplishments to whomever will listen? How about a pint of blood, while they're at it? Perhaps a strand of my DNA for kicks?

Okay, I'm being slightly overdramatic. I can admit that, but if I've been accepted into one program, wherein lies the difficulty with switching me over? I oversimplify. Eh, oh well. It's my blog, and I can cry if I want to. ;)

Also, it's just been a busy work week, and I'm still not caught up completely. However, I do feel pretty accomplished in that area so I can afford to stop, relax, and breathe a little bit.

It's been a great, busy week! I started a running program, and for those of you who know me personally, I have never claimed to be a runner. But there's something very freeing in the experience and I find myself compelled to run, even on my 'off' days. It forces focus, and pushes every needless issue out of my mind. Also, I am forced to listen to my body, and pay attention to it, and I understand now that I haven't been paying enough heed to it lately. So I am making up for lost time, as it were. Shayla, I understand now why you run, or used to if you don't anymore.

Also new this week: I have a second interview for a finance company - a perfect fit for me, actually, so I am really hoping to dazzle my interviewers on Tuesday. Excellent. Still shopping for that ultimate power suit. ; )

Also in the Jessie Newsreel: I am spending a Friday in a wonderful way. I am babysitting the V-Dub, known as baby Violet to you. She's 7 months old, and the most fascinating kid. She's so expressive and funny, and she's my little darling for the whole day. It's amazing how much babies force you to stop and enjoy the simplicity of life, and of love. Today she grabbed her grandpa's beard and ran her fingers through it, completely mesmerized by this new texture. She grinned and giggled, and fussed a little about it. And now, even though she has her own toy cell phone, she's still in love with mine. I just laugh, because the odds are good that I'll break it way before she does.

With age does not come grace to the hopeless.

Baby V-Dub also loves jeans, and if I look away for a second, she entertains herself by scratching against the grain of my jeans, and by taste testing them at my knees.

All information comes in through the mouth, her grandpa says. And I think he's right.

I have a lot to be thankful for, and even though it's been a banner week on the whole, thank God the weekend is almost here! That's a time to relax, reorganize, and for God's sake, take a breather.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

All Right, FINE!

Everybody keeps telling me to add more funny stories, so let me think of one. DISCLAIMER!!! If you thought little of me before, please keep reading. These embarrassing (and yet hilarious) stories can't possibly make you think more of me. And yet, I fall on the sword.

Picture it: Vegas, 2009. My sister, her friend Heather, and I decided to start drinking at 10 a.m. by the pool. We started with 48 ounce daiquiris . . . or 24 ounce, but who the hell cares after a couple?? The math works out anyway. So it's hot as hell with the oven on, and Ang and Heather decide to take an icy cold dip in the pool. Heather yells, "Come on Jess! Cannonball!!" I debate for ooh, maybe a tenth of a second, and decide 'why the hell not?' So I stand, adjust my bikini, take a running leap, and


I break the surface, my short black hair glistening in the sunlight. I feel glamourous, I feel wonderful, I hear laughter . . . more laughter. And yet, more laughter. And a little hooting. But I'm a little buzzed, and a little slow on the uptake so I look to my loving sister and my trusted friend for the answer.

"You're leftie is hanging out!! Check your top!" It's like slow motion, when you know something is terribly wrong, but you just can't get to it fast enough. One heartbeat - thud - two heartbeats - THUD THUD - yup, that leftie is quite the escape artist, especially post cannonball.

Picture it: YMCA Ballantyne gym, today. I'm warming up on the treadmill while listening to some good, thumping music, mentally prepping for the impending doom of a run. My steps quicken, and the mill treads more quickly as I beat out a cadence of steps and fall into the rhythm and the pace of this run. I'm feeling more confident: my strides are equal and smooth, my form feels good, I'm gaining an understanding of my body as that of a runner. I smile inwardly, and - crack - something else happens outwardly. Thank God nobody else was around. I just hope that everyone else had their earphones in. . . .

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Gigglehood and Refreshment

Obviously gigglehood is made up, but in the Dictionary of Jess, it means the state of laughter and gaiety which results from surrounding yourself with people who appreciate you, and make you laugh. That's gigglehood. I'm in a decently regular state of gigglehood, but refreshment on the other hand is harder to come by.

Once again I read from the Dictionary of Jess: Refreshment is the state of surprise or happy shock that comes with honesty or pleasant behavior from another person. (See also Unexpected.) Even when the truths that you hear may hurt temporarily, the refreshment that comes with honesty is, well, refreshing and unexpected. It's a universal truth; apply it to everyday life. ; )

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

And yet again. . .

I feel that my perspective may make me a selfish person. Who doesn't want to spend time with her family? It's not that I don't, but I'm not sure that I can be completely myself around them. Weird, huh? Or maybe everyone feels that way. Ha! Who knows? I think it's funny as hell, and yet sad as hell. But that's a fault of being human. We don't understand each other completely. And if we did, I'm not sure that would be healthy, either.

But I got to thinking again, about a different aspect of this stagnation that can be involved in having static models of the people around us. I look at my parents - they're divorced, they don't know each other at all anymore. My mom said recently, "Whenever I see him, it's like I'm looking at a stranger." They were best friends when they got married, but something broke. Did they stop looking at each other with a sense of wonder? They stopped learning about each other, and about the new things they learned individually, and about new interests, new dreams, old dreams.

They forgot about each other because they saw each other every day. But then again, did they ever really see each other? I don't think they did, and that makes me sad, but I also take it as a learning experience. I couldn't ever do that to myself. I couldn't be with someone who stopped looking at me with a sense of - I don't want to say awe or wonder because that sounds arrogant - hunger, maybe. Hunger to learn, to understand, to gain new perspective. Because I always want to learn new things about people. New aspects, new facets to the diamond. I guess I'm just anti-static and pro-plastic.

Maybe I should get that printed on a t-shirt. ; )

New Things!

First order of business: I'm adding a new blog that is for my misc. fiction writings only. These are things I haven't attempted to publish, and are in bits and pieces. Read them for what they're worth. Give me comments and FEEDBACK please! They're in pieces for a reason: I haven't showed them in a public forum, so please check them out, and give me honest criticism and perhaps next steps for them. ; )

First & a half order of business: My biggest pet-peeve is when someone says, "people that". People are who's, not that's.

Second order of business: I am probably the happiest I have ever been. I made a new friend today at Dilworth Coffee, and I adore the perspective of new people. He is a middle-aged man named Keith, and he works from coffee shops on his computer. He's self-employed, and comes to network. He is a very interesting person, but he asked me this: "Why did you move back to Charlotte?" The simple answer is that it's my home.

I feel complete here, and I feel like I'm home, and I'm meeting new people and loving it! It's interesting how just one simple shift can change a perspective so completely. It's funny how that works. I can't even expand on it more, though I would like to. It's just a click I feel with the city, with the people I've met, with the area surrounding me. It's a nice fit.

But Keith posed another interesting question: "Do you want your family to move here?" Hmm. That took some intense pondering. I like the distance. I think the distance between my family and myself is really what the doctor ordered because they have preconceived notions of me (and rightfully so; they've known me for, I don't know, ever), but the trappings that come with such a knowledge is a blinder of sorts. I am always learning, discovering, challenging, and understanding new things. My family seems to not respect this, or maybe they don't want to let go of the stock notion. And I'm sure I'm the same way, but i think I have a better understanding of what it is to be plastic (not like a water bottle, but plastic as opposed to static). People don't stay the same, though they may seem to to the people who are closest to them. This is the danger of people who are too close, especially family. So I guess the answer is yes and no. I love the space. I feel like I can blossom without the entanglements of preconceived notions. More in a minute.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Phantom

Last month, the week I moved to Charlotte in fact, I bought one balcony level, center stage ticket to see Phantom of the Opera. I think I spent around $80 for absolutely wonderful seating. Today, weeks later, was the day to watch, to sit in the theatre while actors & actresses dissolved into their characters, weaving an unbreakable spell for me. I sat wedged between two men: the first, a slight, scrawny man who was wearing a suit one size too big. He smelled pleasantly of cologne, heat and the cocktail he held. The man on the other side wore a flannel shirt and khaki pants. There I was in the middle of these two men in a little black dress and spiky heels. Interesting combination all the same. As the stage grew dark and the spotlights clicked on, I realized that the telling of this story could have come from an unlikely source: the chandelier. JD (my roommate) warned me about the chandelier, and to expect fireworks but I wasn't prepared for the pop! of the monstrous lighting fixture, or to watch it begin to fly and swing overhead. I was instantly enchanted by the story.

The artistry of The Phantom is something I haven't been witness to in a long time. The last play/musical I saw was Swing! back in 2002, I think. Is that really true? Thinking back I think so, but I think a lot so let me think about it. Regardless, the sheer mesmerization that occurred immediately was totally worth the money, the wait, the self consciousness of Jess in a little black dress and spiky black heels (which would put me at roughly 6'2". Oh my.), and worth everything. Immediately I was pushed and tugged back into another time, reminiscent of Poe or Shelley, back to the gothic romance of organs, candles, and eerie, disturbing music followed by daunting and haunting laughter of the phantom. In short, I was a kid in a gothic revival candy store. All I was missing was a skull shaped lollipop.

This Phantom was a menagerie of wonder, of creativity, of dark, forbidding love. In truth, I found Phantom to be one of the most truthful romances I've witnessed. I remember being about age 13 when my friend Abby flew to New York to visit her aunt, where they saw the Broadway production of Phantom. She came back singing "Music of the Night", and whenever I find myself humming benignly, I tend to be humming that. It's so melodramatic, tugging at something bittersweet inside. That's beauty, the connection between music and genuine feeling.

As Phantom took Christine past the lake to his home, I was mesmerized. But when he began to sing, a few small, hot tears welled up and slid down my face - I was so hopelessly moved, as though my heart and his were connected. I would venture to say that every person in the audience who was paying attention felt that same sort of tug. It was wonderful.

And when Phantom let Christine go at the end, he was so devastated and heart broken. I cried a few more tears. The romance of it all! Here's the thing: romance novels are stupid. They're unrealistic with their neatly tied happy endings. Stories like this, like Phantom, like Lolita (yes, I would go so far as to add Lolita here) are truth, at the core. There's a sad, sometimes horrible truth that comes with real love. I wanted to comfort the phantom, and to tell him it will all be fine, even though: a.) it wouldn't be fine; and b.) he's a murderous raving lunatic.

In the end, all I can say is that was the best $80 I ever spent, and I am throughly enchanted by the Phantom. Escaping into a dream world even for 2.5 hours was just what the Angel of Music ordered. Those 2+ hours will stay with me indefinitely. Bravo!

I want!

I want to take Foster for a run on the beach.

I want to start a writing group for survivors of abuse.

I want to invite everyone to write for my group, regardless.

I want thighs that could double as a sexy vice.

I want to sleep without waking up at 4 a.m. Two nights in a row is plenty!

I want for my sister's house in Atlanta to be sold.

I want to buy a motorcycle. I want to not die on that motorcycle. Though, I know there are worse things than death. Paralysis.

I want to see Phantom of the Opera again . . . and again after that.

I want to go roller skating with regular skates - not the roller blades that suck.

I want for my roommate to not snore so much.

In lieu of the aforementioned 'want' coming true, I want more ear plugs.

I want to appreciate everything, and not remove myself from the moment.

Mainly, I want everyone I love to know that I do. I think they know, but I guess I'll just have to say it again until I'm sure. Sheesh, that could take quite a while!


I woke up this morning dreading the day. Rather, dreading the upheaval that comes with living an "adult" life. Not many things are simple, the way I would like them to be, but I also think the intricacy of the web we weave has its innate beauty. The smallness of the world is so beautiful, and I think that if we drew upon the intimacy of our surroundings, we would be much happier.

I take a lot of risks, and I do that because I am driven to. I'm driven to actively seek my happiness and my inner sanctity instead of just waiting for it to tap me on the shoulder, buy me a latte and unfold the mysteries of my life for me. My friends say I'm crazy, and they're absolutely right! But it's an awesome kind of crazy. I do things now because I don't want to regret not doing them later. So what if I look back and say, 'damn I probably shouldn't have done that', and believe me, I have said that - many times. And still . . . .

If you know me at all, you have heard me say these things many times before. What makes tonight so different? I'm asking myself the same question. Perhaps that I haven't explained that there's another size to the coin - an equal, profoundly different side that complements the first. Maybe I haven't brought it up because I never thought of myself as one-sided; apparently others do consider that to be the case, so I feel as though I have to explain myself.

Wait, rewind for a moment. Explain myself? Why? I feel like a kid again who was just called on the carpet to explain some shameful action. I have nothing to be ashamed of. But now I feel like a puppy who has just been smacked on the nose for some treachery. I feel shy tonight, and introverted. That happens more often than a casual acquaintance would think when/if they consider me at all. People see what they want to see, but I would like to illustrate the other side of the coin.

"You're definitely a partier." LOL, what a great misconception. Easily remedied. Since I moved to Charlotte I have been out more than ever, getting to know people and as my best friend puts it, "putting myself out there for the first time." When a new acquaintance said that to me, I giggled and felt a little stab of pain as well. I thought, wow, what a funny mistake. For years I battled myself to go out, relax, and have a good time. For a reference, ask Emali, lol. My twenty-second birthday was met by me, lying in bed, while Emali knocked on my door - everyone was going out to celebrate my birthday, but I wanted to stay home and chill out. I didn't want all eyes on me. I wanted safety, comfort.

I do take risks, that's true. But what I want more than anything is safety, comfort, and the knowledge that I have a home and friends, neither of which can be taken from me on a whim. It's so funny, this dichotomy. I can't explain it properly, and so I babble. I want people around me who don't assume they know me, and people who see through the sarcastic shell to find the sweetness inside. I'll go back to a self-description that has worked well for me in recent years: I'm like a pineapple. You've just gotta fight to get past the prickles to get to the real truth of what I am. That's it, that's the only way I know to say it.