26 December 2008

A crumb of nirvana, fed to the dogs.

I've reached an important moment in my emotional development (but does it really count if I can acknowledge it as it occurs?), but this time is incredibly difficult to describe. It's more of a state of being, not like a stage of development and more like a new level of awareness. Buddhist-style.

I am absolutely in love with life. Not just my life, which is pretty damn awesome, but life. Komodo dragons, oak trees, baby foxes, wheat fields, rice paddies, mushrooms. Life. Sometimes I can feel my heart swelling with adoration of everything if I, a human being, am literally absorbing the richness of being from our Mother. The closest image I can formulate to present my state of being is this - me, lying in a field of grass (the frolicking kind), just simply being. Becoming the grass. [And no, I'm not talking about that kind of grass, you freaks.]

But that reminds me of other times in my life when I've had this feeling. None of those times were natural, if you catch my drift, and each time was followed by a period of disconnection. I had felt connected to the world around me but I wasn't part of it in the end. In fact, afterwards when I was myself again, I just felt empty, as if the joy that had puffed me up had been slowly and painfully extracted from my heart, leaving my soul with a gaping wound that nothing could fill.

Anyways, back to my whole connection to life. The more aware I am of the beauty of life, the more in love I become with being alive. And, then, the more in love I am with being alive, the more scared I am to die. I once heard lyrics to some Boy Least Likely To song where the singer says something like, "If I didn't like living so much, I wouldn't be so afraid to die." Before, I sang to this song without much thought...and now I completely understand. I am terrified of dying. Although I believe that I will return once again, I love my life, this life.

Also, the more I am in love with life, the more I find life-affirming things to reflect on. Currently, I am madly in love with La Blogotheque's Take Away Shows. La Blogotheque is a production group based in France that gets some of today's most awesome musical artists and gets them to perform in streets, in elevators, in apartments, in bathrooms, wherever their music takes them, and records it. The resulting film is usually not edited or simply edited for time, meaning that the music is raw and real. No overdubbing or retakes, just pure, simple music. Naked. Beautiful.

They've been doing this for a few years, so there's plenty to choose from. Here are my favorites, in no particular order.

  1. Man Man. There's a lot of build up to the final video, but it's totally worthwhile to watch all of them. They get these kids from the street to help them make music and it's purely genius. It's completely the spirit of La Blogotheque - to remember the human love of music, to hear, to create, and perform it, together.
  2. Bon Iver, parts I and II. Now, I have to admit that this was my introduction to Bon Iver (boo Laura for being behind on her music!), but I can't get enough. There's this simplicity to his music that touches my spirit. It's so sad, but it's honest. It's human. There's also a really good story behind his music (bad breakup, poor health, etc. led him to spend three months in a cabin in Wisconsin - I think - and voila - brilliant music!). Anyways, be sure to watch the one for "For Emma, Forever Ago" because it's some great acapella.
  3. Yeasayer. By far, one of my favorite Take Away Shows ever, ever, ever. They're a great band to begin with, but their Redcave on the subway is phenomenal. Plus, listen to the lyrics at the end of it...completely how I'm feeling these days.
  4. Sound Team. An Austin band, filmed in Austin. No more explanation needed. (Oh, they also sing in front of an immigration rally, with a ton of Mexican flags. Que bueno!)
  5. Andrew Bird. I. Fucking. Love. Andrew. Bird.
  6. Arcade Fire. The first ever video I saw from La Blogotheque, and I just read that Take Away Shows were created for Arcade Fire. Anyways, it's just a big fucking wow. Ripping a magazine with the beat? Talk about a musical orgasm!
Side note: Because I love Andrew Bird so much, I'm going to give you EVEN MORE videos to watch of him! Aren't you lucky?
I think part of my previous melancholy was because I wasn't into anything. I dabbled a bit in this, a little in that, but I was never really in it. Always taking a taste but never a full bite. But now that I have time and I'm swallowing music whole...I just want to cry from the beauty of it all. I really wish I had kept at the violin when I was growing up. I know, I know, it's never too late...but when you have so many things to do, some things are just implausible. Besides, I'm happy to delve into other peoples' music to find myself. I'm within someone's instrument at any point of time. Right now I'm split between Bon Iver and Andrew Bird. epic struggle! But my money's on Andrew Bird winning in the end. Nevertheless, we shall see.

Anyways, before I forget, back to the whole life thing. Next semester I want to embark on a journey of epic proportions (I like the word "epic" tonight, apparently). Since I love life so much, I want to confront death head-on. I either want to volunteer at a hospice for AIDS victims or at a nursing home, just being with the people there. I don't know which I'd prefer...AIDS would be good for my resume to join the Peace Corps, but I would also really like to learn from the older generations. They have so much wisdom to give us young, impressionable ones and they deserve to have their voices heard. But I am also deathly afraid of elderly people ever since my grandma was in a nursing home for the last years of her life. Hmm. Dilemmas.

A closing image. My grandmother was a vegetable for the last few years of her life. She had horrible, horrible Alzheimer's, which caused her to lose everything - not just her memories, but also her ability to eat, speak, or walk. For years she could only scream and moan to communicate, and at times she seemed just like a child, unaware of the world around her and only present to her pain.

Visiting her was so hard and I was so young. Sometimes I could have sworn that I saw some recognition in her eyes, some vague remembrance that yes, I was her granddaughter and that she loved me dearly. But those moments were fleeting. I remember the smell of the home, not that it was a poorly managed one, but just the smell of age. I connect that smell to sadness now, and loss.

When she died...well, when she died, I didn't really feel a sense of loss. I felt relief. She wasn't dependent on people to do everything for her. She didn't need diapers or a feeding tube. She was free. But looking at her in her casket was, as they say, like seeing a shell of a person. It wasn't my grandmother in that grave, it was simply a body. But I could barely look at that body anyhow.

A year or so later I found a picture of my grandmother somewhere, the place and time escape me. But she was younger, though not "young," smiling and standing on a deck next to a lake surrounded by evergreens. And though she had wrinkles, unsightly glasses, and short, curly, thinning, gray and white hair, she was beautiful. She was happy. She was alive, and not just in the biological sense. She was alive.

That is how I remember her, now.

I know I will die someday, but I hope that I will live in the way she did that day on the dock.

[Sorry for the excessive use of italics and was just an italicized link kind of day.]

Oh crap, a post script! Here is something that affirms life. The trailer for Earth, the movie they're making from the Planet Earth series, which totally blew my socks off. I almost cried when I saw the trailer for the first time (maybe because I was PMS-ing hard core), but it's just beautiful. And then they just had to choose the most perfect Sigur Ros song to go with it.

Dude, I just cried when I made sure it was the full trailer...oh, life.

22 December 2008

Cynicism's Vulgar Resurrection

[Disclaimer: I probably won't be this upset, cynical, or vulgar this time tomorrow. This was written in anger, frustration, and despair. I should probably keep this to myself, but I wouldn't want to disappoint you stalkers. And I just cut out the cruelest part of the's probably better not online.]

An interesting development tonight in the S situation furthered my romantic cynicism. I had softened up a bit in my lack of relationships, forgotten how much bullshit you have to put up with. I forgot how to read through the crap to understand what's really going on. When you're with someone, you have to learn to hold their words up to the light at that perfect angle so you can see what they really mean.

I won't make the situation any stickier than what it already is. I know I shouldn't be writing about it so soon after the fact (or at least so soon after I found out), but I need to cope. To make a story as succinct as necessary, S moved on much too quickly for his words of love. And it hurt.

(This is where I said "fuck" about twenty fucking times. Oh, self-censorship!)

Okay, now for why it hurt.

Lately it seems like any relationship I am in (or near-relationship) ends with the guy saying, "Well I like you, but there's someone else that I want to see." Only once did this happen (this summer) when I wasn't upset. That was under special circumstances, but every single other time hurt me incredibly. I wish I could be the other woman but I'm always the one who gets fucked over. Why do guys feel like I'm good...but not as good as X?

To top it off, I'm sick and fucking tired of guys saying stupid shit like, "I love you," "You're amazing," "You make me so happy," "I need you." Hey gentlemen, news flash - I'm onto you. You don't fucking love me and you don't fucking need me. Whatever hormones you have flowing through your veins just makes you want to screw me, not marry me and have babies with me and get that house with the picket fence. Don't give me bullshit about how awesome I am and how amazing you feel when you're with me because you will get over it. Wait a few goddamn months and then if you feel the same way, okay, we'll talk. Until then...well, shut the hell up. I don't want to hear any of the crap you think you feel or you think you need to say.

Most of the time if I heard a girl saying stuff like this I'd tell her that the guys are probably just trying to get into her pants. But if you could have seen the looks in some of their faces...Jesus Christ, they all think that whatever we had was monumental, once-in-a-lifetime awesomeness. I tell all of them that I'm not into that romantic crap, but they all say they can't help it. They're just dying to tell me about this thing called love that they found with me. Whatever. Besides, they're much more likely to get into my pants if they don't mess around with all that crap.

So maybe I should be happy that S reminded me about all this. I had grown so soft and malleable thinking that maybe his love really was real, and even though I couldn't just made me feel better about life in general. Oh Laura, such a simple mistake shouldn't have been made by a woman like you!

Now, before anyone gives my words the wrong meaning, let me get this straight - I believe in "love." Quotations because there are so many kinds of love, but the romantic type is the first one thought of when the word is mentioned. I have loved before and will always love that person for as long as I live. I think I've written about this before, about how it's very, very rare and very, very precious, blablabla.

But now for the addition to my theory. People are so ready to fall in love because we are all so painfully lonely and scared of solitude. Sometimes loneliness in people is almost tangible. I remember this girl in my biology class this year who was very lovely but very lonely. I could sense it, but that sadness strangely made her beautiful to me. But most times that loneliness sits beneath the surface, threatening to raise its ugly head with the slightest provocation - an insult, a meeting stood-up, an eventless weekend. And when we feel this innate human tendency toward loneliness, we crave romantic love.

This is dangerous. Sad people clinging to others for affirmation of their desirability...not healthy.

So these lonely people want to be loved in all the ways they could never love themselves, so they give their "love" freely. They will love whatever loves them. It's not a selfish aspect, just a human one. We like to feel needed. (I am guilty of this.)

I remember hearing a long time ago that you can never truly love someone unless you love yourself first. This makes complete sense to me now. If you're not longing to be wanted, you can love someone for who they are, not for how they make you feel. Now that I think of it, that summer that I first loved was the first time I had been in a relationship while feeling good about myself. I was young and loved the world at my feet and myself as I walked it. I was able to give of myself to him without needing anything in return. Ever since then (and before then too), I have been at odds with myself, unsure of my feelings about who I am. I dislike my body, feel inadequate in class, and hate how I treat people. (I'll get into how I'm going to fix this in another blog, but it's quite good and I'm aching to write about it...just not now.)

But once in a while, two self-loving people find one another and truly love.

And it is beautiful.

But most times, they're just two sad, lonely fucks.

[After about 20 minutes of music-searching, I finally settled on Bert Jansch's "Needle of Death" to write this to. Somehow Vivaldi, Damien Rice, Joe Purdy, and Isobel Campbell just didn't work out.]

20 December 2008

The Great Leap Forward (minus China)

I haven't really seen anyone so far this break (three days? four? five?) and have become quite the recluse. It's not that I want to break off ties from my Corpus's just that I want to be alone right now. I'm simply reflecting, reflecting on myself, my life, those around me, the world before and behind me. I sound quite narcissistic contemplating all these vague concepts surrounding only myself...but what else are we to know?

I am not who I thought I was.

In my sociology class this year, we talked about how the West emphasizes finding oneself (as opposed to doing all those other things in life, like think about it in general). We are so disconnected, our minds and our bodies, that we feel that we must rediscover both of them. And we do, we must. That is what college is for, reconnecting the two halves of the self that was torn asunder by The System (which created college as well, in that mindfucking irony). Right now, I'm attempting to restore my mind what? Maybe restore isn't the best verb. I'm no English major.

I find it odd that I missed him when I wrote that last sentence. It was something I would have said with that smirk on my face that I knew made him mad (for me). He would have responded with his personal adage, "Laura, you know I'm not a good English major. I fucking hate grammar." And I would have rolled my eyes (and hated that I did so).

I had a rare conversation with my mom today, rare in that we spoke of life on the personal level. We're good at the philosophical level, the hypothetical level, but we generally fail at anything personal simply because we do not try to talk personally. But today I took a leap and landed on my feet, her hand guiding me.

I told her about the situation with S (you know who I'm talking about, but I like to pretend to be mysterious), minus the painful details about the true nature of our relationship. I told her that we were just friends but that he wanted more, and when I told him it wouldn't happen, he said he could not be my friend anymore. I was upset, telling her that it was childish of him to respond that way. Why couldn't he just give it up and let things be the way they could be?

But she reminded me that once that leap is taken, neither can go back up to where they jumped from. If one of the two wants to go back to the way things were and the other doesn't, they simply cannot sync any longer. It would be too imbalanced, too painful, too unnecessary. Not worth it for either involved. And she reminded me that I probably (definitely) hurt him and shouldn't think that just because I wasn't hurt that he too would be fine.

But maybe I am hurt. (?)

He asked me to take a leap and I couldn't. What does that say about me?

I don't know. I really just want to have a conversation with him now, ex post facto. Our last conversation...I just cut him off. I wrote before about why I was upset, but that didn't give me a reason to thrust my anger out into the open like that. He grabbed my arm before I left, tried to say something, but I pulled away from him. I pulled away from him. And then I left.

Anyways, I didn't start out writing this as (another) post-relationship blog. I really wanted to talk about something else even more depressing.

So I saw Seven Pounds today, you know, that remake of the Pursuit of Happ(y)ness, but more depressing. It was generally good, minus how contrived it was in the end (and how much that ruined the mood) and how many tears I had to stifle.

It made me think about death and life, in that order. I imagined what I would feel like if I knew I only had a month or so to live, depending on when my heart decided it was time. We all pretend to understand that we will die someday, but inside we believe ourselves to be immortal. To have that crushed, to have a time limit on your survival that you can hear if you quiet your world down and listen to the beat...unimaginable. I imagined how I would spend time with everyone I love, how I would memorize each movement, each word, each detail of every moment just to live life more abundantly. Make up for lost time, ahead of time.

And thinking of that makes me want to cry...(I am). I think of certain people - my parents, my sister, J, DD, C - and instead of thinking of dying, I think of how much I love them. I really am so full of love it hurts.

I've done a certain kind of meditation a couple of times before where I think of a certain person I care about and then think only positive thoughts toward him/her. In this meditation, you concentrate all your positive energy on that person (and if any negative energy emerges, like from a past fight let's say, then I reabsorb it into myself so as to not taint that positive flow...then I convert it to positivity). Although I haven't become very advanced at this method, in theory you are supposed to work your way to larger groups, including people you don't know, until eventually you only have good feelings for everyone and everything in the universe. A lofty goal, indeed, but it makes you feel so much better afterwards. Giving is receiving.

I think life is beautiful, and that beauty generally outweighs the ugly. (I stole that from someone who was much too wise for me at the time.) There is so much majesty to behold - a smile, a couple's love, a plastic bag dancing in the wind - that the perfection of it all...well, that perfection trumps any suffering. Yes, I sound anti-Buddhist, but that's not my angle. Life is suffering until you can see the beauty (and liberate yourself from desire, blablabla).

I found something beautiful today, something old but something lovely. Andrew Bird singing Weather Systems and Spare-Ohs through the streets of a French town...just amazing...filmed by the same lovely people (La Blogotheque) who brought us the downright epic film of Arcade Fire singing Neon Bible in the elevator. Yeah, I know, I'm still in awe of the very mainstream of "indie," but I'm branching out. Thanks!

(See how much beautiful music raised my spirits? That's the beauty

16 December 2008

Air for G String

Apparently huge cinder blocks hold in the heat better than my 20-year old house. I'm back in Corpus, freezing in my room upstairs that never seemed to get quite warm enough during the winters of my childhood (oh, those horrid Texas winters!). As a kid, I always wanted to have that white Christmas and those elusive snow days, but now that I'm a semi-adult I can see why grown-ups hate cold weather. It sucks. The snow is fun until it melts, the ice is funny until someone gets hurt, and the pain in your joints during the changing weather is crappy until, well, the weather changes.

I'm happy to be in Texas right now.

So another development in my life - the ending of a mutually understood heterosexual arrangement. While he asked me not to write about it, I will in a very responsible way. I have nothing bad to say about him and neither do I want to hurt him in any way. I hope, if he reads this, he will understand that writing is my way of coping with these distasteful developments in life and that I am incapable of restraining myself from it.

And here. We. Go.

In the beginning of round two, we decided not to go out with each other but to keep some of the advantages of a formal relationship. Interpret as you will. That was phase one, which last a whole of a week or so.

Phase two lasted a week for me and until last night for him. This was when we discovered some feelings that had been lodged in our throats since round one. We had a discussion about it, during which I understood that we were going to keep things as they were. He's leaving in May, after all, and we were happy at that moment, so why bother messing it up with the expectations of a relationship? After this conversation, I dislodged the remaining feelings from my trachea and returned to phase one.

We framed our relationship to each other differently. I framed it as a mutualistic relationship where we both used each other, both benefited, and were both protected from emotional damage. He framed it as a Relationship. That's right, capital R.

I should have said something earlier when I first realized this disparity in definition. But my mouth stayed closed. I was still getting what I wanted, he was delighting in his delusion, so why bother that?

Because it's hurtful.

It's so hurtful that he can't be my friend if there is no "girl" in front of it. I took so long that by the time I blew the whistle, he was already framing himself to my contours. Now he's hurt and either can't see me at all or must be "seeing" me.

I became angry when he told me this last night. Selfishly. I was so overcome with disgust that he couldn't cordon off his emotions like I did, angry that he had ruined a perfectly good arrangement. He was kind enough to drop me off at my room in the freezing weather, but I still wanted to leave my hand print on his cheek.

And that was The End.

I don't know why I have become so disillusioned with love that I can drop my feelings more quickly than my pants. I haven't had any more heartache than most women my age. I haven't had an evil, psychotic boyfriend since my junior year of high school. But then, neither have I had someone I truly wanted to love.

No, I don't believe that you have to want to love someone in order to fall in love with him/her, because then forbidden love would be mythical. You love whomever you love, but when you want to love that person on top of I've just been at a loss for wows lately.

Not that he's a bad guy, either. He's a great person. He's intelligent, kind, and gentle. He always listens, never complains, and tries to understand you to your innermost core. He's a steady man, flawed with too much generosity, unwavering in his ardent outpouring of affection.

But free spirits like me (he used that term) can't even feel like they're being tied down. Although we agreed to cap the relationship at May, it felt like everything had ended. I had already lived every day of us that I could. So, yes, the flaw of the agreement was me. You can't make two incongruous puzzle pieces fit together, try as you might. And yes, I accept the responsibility and apologize for remaining silent so long.

Now, I know some people (guys) might be reading this thinking, "Holy cow, Laura's fucking single! Now's the time to make the move!" But gee whiz, people, I'm obviously not looking for that right now. I'm just looking for air. I need to breathe and clear all the smoke from past relationships/arrangements/crushes that I've had since puberty. My mind needs rest, my body needs solitude.

[Call me in a month or so...]

13 December 2008

Coke Zero

I'm coming down from two weeks of hyperactivity, but this kind of hangover has no good memories to laugh about while you're puking your guts up. I only have glimpses of information learned - the implications of the NWICO, the basics of structuration theory - dry pieces to keep me fueled. I always try to water down these pieces with savory liquids, but once my body empties itself...well, I'm empty.

Nah, I'm just exhausted.

Since I was still in hyper-mode last night, I got the brilliant idea to redecorate/clean my room. Now I'm swimming in a sea of Laura refuse. Old course packets. A half-empty/full Coke Zero bottle. A tipped-over trashcan. An assortment of hair ties and bands.

I'm lying next to a damp towel and my feet are cold. I need a nap.

11 December 2008

The Globalization of Love

I'm looking through my notes on the Reuters Factor here at Starbucks and just happened to glance up a few seconds ago at this couple across the room. They're probably in their early 50s, but they show as much interest in each other as a young child who doesn't know its impolite to stare at strangers. There's only a little more than a foot between their faces and it seems that as time goes on, they only want to get closer. Are they paying attention to what they're saying, or are they so entranced with each other that they're not concerned about the words coming out of their mouths but about the taste of each others' lips?

And then they kiss, and they remember that musical taste they get when they sip their mochas together, more in love than an innocent child with his mother.

09 December 2008


In my dream last night, I saw a huge wasp-like insect in my formal dining room in Corpus. For some odd reason I reached out and touched it, and it began to fly around the room. Suddenly fear filled me and I tried to bat away/kill it, but my hands were sloppy. It landed on the palm of my right hand, which I could not move, and I tried calling to my mom for help. But my voice was shattered. She couldn't hear me.

I woke clutching my hand, alone.

07 December 2008

[Cyber]space, the final frontier.

I'm running on highs and lows. Ess told me the other day that I'm more stable than I was when he knew me before, but that just confuses me. If he's right, then I must have been riding in elevators non-stop a few months ago.

I'm on a high right now. [Note: not "I'm high right now."]

I've been going through a little hipster phase lately, as in I'm getting into the whole blogging/online scene. I started a Twitter account this morning and have no idea what all the fuss is about - I mean, a site just for Facebook statuses? Sounds kind of lame, but I'll give it a try just to be in the scene. I've also been stumbling a lot lately and have found some pretty rad sites.

My favorite two:

  1. Aurgasm - a collaboration between some really cool people who know all the music you won't find out about for months/years to come. You get to sample music very easily on the site, plus it has a never-ending scroll feature that let's you scroll scroll scroll your way to a auditory orgasm, no matter how long it takes. My favorite find on the site so far include Robert Francis' Little Girl and RF and Lili De La Mora's Eleven Continents.
  2. Music-Map - ever wanted to find artists similar to the ones you already know but didn't know where to look? Ever get stuck in a rut listening to the same shit and just want to branch out with some new shit on your iPod? Well, the answers to all your questions is in this little bottle - Music-Map creates a map of whatever artist you want along with all the artists who are similar. The closer the new artists are to yours, the more similar they are (and the more likely you are to enjoy it). Quite the scandal.
I have one exam, one final, and one group project left to do, but my mind is in space. Not the final frontier, but cyberspace...

03 December 2008

Romance Languages

A heartfelt thanks to everyone who responded to my last post, whether online or in person. It really helps to know that other people are either going through the same things I am or are just willing to try to understand what's going on. I find that I still can't talk to people about it in person, so it's awesome to be able to get the support I need after reaching out online. Call it the downfall of Western society, but wireless relationships can sometimes be the most influential.


I find that I'm not nearly as stressed out as I "should" be right now. Yeah, I have three tests and a 8-10 page paper due this week, but somehow I'm not freaking out about it. I thought I was getting sick on Monday, but after a good dose of Airborne, a few extra hours of sleep, and some positive thinking, I feel good as new. I know that if I had been stressed out, I'd be coughing up my lungs/sneezing out my trachea/barfing up my guts right now, so let's give a hoo-ha for the mind-body connection!

But seriously, I have no idea why I'm not feeling overwhelmed at the moment. But I'm not complaining.

Something's on my mind, though, but it's not troubling me. I'll try to be very vague right now, but it seems like in the past when I thought I was being elusive, I was actually painting big red arrows to what was going on. So here's my try.

I thought I could separate my body and my mind, but I failed miserably. I told someone that I could easily do so and advised him to do the same, and now I want to say everything I never thought I would feel. I talked to Dee about this today, and just thinking about it made me want to cry. Not a sad cry, but perhaps a happy one? It was almost impossible to trace, like a three-second phone was there and then it wasn't. So much time has passed since the last time I was this vulnerable, so forgive me if I'm rusty in these areas. This language tastes foreign to my tongue, my native tongue bitter.

It possesses me and I want it all the more. When do I speak up?

27 November 2008

Lola, the extremely disappointing problem.

On days when most people celebrate family, what about those of us whose familial relationships are rocky? Or worse, what about those whose families are no longer? It's days like these that make it no wonder why so many people become depressed during the holidays.

I was supposed to go to Bandera today for Thanksgiving with my Mexican side of the family, but things got off to a bad start in this house. It was a stupid fight I had with my mom over serious issues. It basically boils down to this - she can't handle the idea that I am not the daughter she meant to have.

I could have been the good daughter like my sister. Go to law school, get a decent boyfriend, be at least a political moderate. But my path differs from that predictable, parental-endorsed one. I'm the "problem," as my mother nicely puts it - smoking in the backyard, running away to a boy's bed, getting my nose pierced (and a tattoo!), fighting for gay rights (why couldn't I just fight for civil rights like my sister, she asks...because gay rights are civil rights, you imbecile!), shedding light on her blind faith. Oh, blow it...I am "extremely disappointing."

Extremely disappointing.

She called me that when I told her about my tattoo. Excuse me, Mrs. C, but since when are tattoos the sign of Satan? Do I not have a 4.0? Did I not just get accepted into the Ghana Maymester? Are graduate schools not already knocking on my door? Do I not plan on joining the Peace Corps when I graduate? Should she not be proud of me?

Why will I never be good enough?

I lie to everyone who asks me if it bothers me that my parents will never approve of me or my lifestyle. I was talking to a good friend of mine the other day and he asked if it upset me when my mom called me disappointing. As I told him no, it's not that big of a deal, I could hear the pain in my own voice. It was so apparent, but he was a dear and didn't push it. But once I discovered that hurt was still clogging my arteries, I finally understood that deep sadness that constantly resides within me.

I'm typically a light-hearted gal, but those close to me probably know that an element of melancholy pervades my being. I'm not usually aware of its presence, but at moments it releases into my veins and I can feel its poison numbing me to the simple joy of being alive. I become ponderous, softly spoken but on-edge. And at certain moments, it releases itself through maybe a crack in my voice or an escaped, forgotten tear.

Not all of this sadness comes from my relationship with my parents. Some comes from the simple fact of being alive, the shock of death and the pains of love. Some of it comes from society's injustice - a woman's voice silenced or a people destroyed. And then some of it emerges from an indescribable area within my spirit. Maybe it remembers past lifetimes full of sorrow and bittersweet joy, or maybe it's simply a genome prone to melancholy.

I suppose the good advice to me would be to live for myself and discount my parents' harsh judgment, while attempting to reconcile my relationship with them. But however much I desire to live independently, free of their insurmountable expectations, I cannot. Instilled during my childhood was a fierce desire to please them, a desire impossible to delete from my profile. And since they are so set in their ways, they will never learn to accept me. Their kind of Christian doesn't accept strong women. It doesn't accept equal rights or freedom of expression. It doesn't accept difference, and therefore it doesn't accept me. They cannot accept a daughter who they believe is destined for hell.

Try as I might to stay positive to religion, I keep blaming their close-mindedness on their fierce devotion to a strict sect of Christianity. They only know half of my "sinfulness," so what will they do when they discover the rest? The worst would be for them to pull financial support and disown me...and my father's Mexican machismo combined with his religion completely makes that possible. Mexicans defend their daughters' virtue with guns and Christians treat "blemished" girls like the plague.

I'm thinking of returning to Austin tomorrow and spending the weekend in sinful embrace. For now, I'll watch Iron & Wine on a taped episode of ACL and ponder.

26 November 2008


How interesting - this post starts one minute until Thanksgiving. So here's something I'm not thankful for - term papers. I should be researching China's evil treatment of Tibet and the media coverage surrounding it, then writing a paper about how different media theories can be applied to the situation and make equal sense, even though they are competing paradigms. It all makes sense in my head and I could probably bullshit most of it, minus the gazillion documentations I'll have to make. And in order for documentations, there must be research...and that I am lacking.

But now it's well into the Day of Thanks for 2008. I begin it by sitting here using this old PC that still works remarkably well for being a PC and trying to sit comfortably, even though my too-soft bed gives me back spasms. I'm listening to music on this computer, and all of it is relatively old. Old Damien Rice, old Death Cab (wow, how I've changed), even some old Pretty Girls Make Graves (so high school). Some of it I'm glad to recover, some of it should be left to the dark areas of this antiquated computer.

I spent today doing pretty much nothing. In all, I watched about five episodes of Star Trek: Voyager. And now that I'm reminded of that, I just realized that new (old) episodes of Voyager come on at midnight. Since I'm addicted (and since I'm too ashamed to watch it in the room with roommate and Clinton in tow), I'm off to watch it. More of my musings later.

I learned how to insert links!

So I'm on this online Ghanaian forum on homosexuality and I found this hilarious thread.

Best line ever by a homophobe - "Listen! You skirt wearing Prince of Wales. You wink my way and you will have an all out war declaration on your hands. I won't even do a woman in the wrong end. There is no funny bone in this bone, Period!"

I know Ghana is much, much more conservative than the US, but in the end all bigots are the same (plus we know that all bigots want it in the same end...). And since when do women have a "wrong end"? Obviously this dude has no idea how "straight" it is for males to bang a woman up the anus.
If I had his address, I'd drop off some hardcore anal sex porn at his place during my Maymester. He's totally missing out.

As a side note, no "funny bone in his bone"? How sad...humor during sex is almost as important as a condom. Almost.

22 November 2008


I miss him and
it's 10:30pm

it all went wrong -
his knowing blue eyes
reflected teary beauty
into mine and
pointing at his sadness
I prodded my own tender
chasm and covered
my mirrors in blood

I drown in mortality
and why didn't he stop
when I said yes?
he carved his sound onto my skin with
pretty words and wordy promises
that taste devilish at nineteen
divine at twenty

I thirst for him and
it's 10:50pm

21 November 2008

Karma Kilimanjaro

My day hasn't ended yet, but I already know what the most fulfilling moment of it was. (Don't laugh) - it was feeding a sparrow outside the PCL. I had sat outside for a few minutes to take in the cool weather [and buy Broken Social Scene tickets] when this little bird started bobbing around my feet. I looked at her, she looked at me, and somehow I knew she wanted food. Okay, okay, maybe it wasn't some spiritual connection and I just read between the lines - "Oh, look, a friendly bird. Must have been trained to like people because they give her food." But no matter the reason, I understood.

So I fed her my snack, a Quaker Oatmeal-to-go. I hadn't really planned on eating it (the oatmeal I mean, not the bird, although you could say I'm planning on never eating another bird so long as it's healthy and possible) so it wasn't some huge sacrifice or anything, but I'm typically stingy when it comes to packaged food.

Anyways, I sat there, breaking up the snack into pieces small enough for her to eat. It's amazing how small their mouths are, how even when I broke it into the smallest pieces my fingers could manage, she still struggled. I worried that she might be allergic, or it would get stuck in her throat, or that I was completely fucking up her ability to live in the "wild" of Austin, but mostly I just sat there. I don't know how long I watched her or how silly I looked to other people.

Tibetans have this awesome idea. Every creature you encounter, you must view her or him as your mother in a previous lifetime. That sparrow could have nourished me as a newborn thousands of years ago or a generation ago. Feeding her was like feeding myself. It is like eye for an eye, but instead of poking the shit out of someone else's eyes you give them yours.

This will sound silly to most people, but I'm reading this amazing book called Cunt, in which the author urges women to take back the term "cunt" as a positive reflection on womanhood. She asks women to get in touch with their spiritual side that is intricately tied to their sexuality in ways such as becomming more aware of one's menstrual cycle. Seeing as I'm due for a good period soon, it's striking to me that I'm also much more spiritual in this part of my cycle. Biologists might say that I'm simply experiencing hormonal fluctuations, but I know I'm taking part in a much deeper aspect of my womanhood.

Seeing beauty in feeding birds is spiritual, which explains a lot why older people like to feed them in parks. They are much more aware of their mortality and, in turn, their spirituality. Giving back to the Mother who breathed life into their nostrils is only fitting.

On a side note, Ann Curry did not make it up Kilimanjaro, which greatly disappoints me. She was climbing the mountain as part of NBC's publicity stunt about the environment, to show how soon enough the snows of Kilimanjaro will be no more. Watching clips from the mountain - seeing the terrain, the porters, the misty fog - brought up this deep nostalgia within me. I hated being on that damn mountain almost every minute I was there, but now I understand the connection I have with it. I miss the frigidity of the mornings, the selfless smiles of the porters, the tasteless food, the connection with my body and its connection with nature.

While part of me wants to say, "BOOYA ANN CURRY! I MADE IT UP KILI AND YOU DIDN'T!!!" I really feel bad for her. Making it to the top was the most self-satisfying feeling I have ever experienced. She missed out this time, but maybe she will recognize her connection to Africa's highest and most beautiful mountain and try again. If not, maybe she can interview me for the Today Show. You never know...

[Side note: Right after I fed the bird, I got free cookies in Jester. Karma much?]

16 November 2008

life without the callouses

she almost came last night
when my fingers nudged her lips
o p e n
and the kisses she wanted
to give the world
spilled onto my skin
like melted chocolate

neither of us wanted
that timeless embrace
but we welcomed it
like an old friend with
a bottle of wine

as she sleeps
I trace her outline with my eyes
and remember life
without the callouses

I was her,

[Spur of the moment, forgive the skeleton of a poem.]

12 November 2008

100m Hurdles

I miss writing like I used to. When issues aren't buzzing around my head like a female mosquito in heat (the things you learn in biology!), the words leave me. I am the classic tormented artist, secure in my passion only when my other loves leave me cold and barren. Words warm me in these times.

So here they are.

I am emerging from two months of slumber just in time for winter, a seasonally dyslexic bear. Despite all my impassioned arguments and hardheaded opinions, I was numb this semester, resorting to weekend frivolities and intensive study sessions to feel once again. This has not stopped and will not for the time being, I know this, but I want to feel.

I have already lived this week and the next week and every week until winter break. I have everything planned. I know when I will study for my finals and write my term paper for RTF. I know what day I will go home for Thanksgiving, what day I will return, and exactly what I will do on my "vacation" days. But it's not a real vacation if you have already experienced it in your mind.

Sometimes I think I need to get away from it, but what is it? Not Austin. Not UT. Not friends. Maybe myself?

It's funny. I have two sides - one that is always surrounded my friends and dear ones, another that is always alone. The friend-filled side longs to be alone while the lonely one longs to for touch. This is the best I can explain it. I want those late night phone conversations that force me to open up to another solitary individual, or those long conversations that leave you feeling both exposed and understood. I can ask people all the time how they are, how class was, and what they're doing this weekend, but I can't ask how they really feel about...anything.

What prevents me from opening the floodgates of intimacy with others? There are plenty of people in my life who want to hear me but I cannot raise my voice loud enough to be heard. I speak at a different frequency than what most people can interpret.

I invited someone back into my life this week who I know desperately wants to understand me. He is a good person with all the right intentions, but his eagerness unnerves me. I feel like it's Christmas Eve and he wants to open all the presents before midnight and wait for Santa at the chimney. I can't say if there is a Santa for him or not, if I can bring myself to bestow that hidden part to him.

I can shut myself off like I did last time, but that means that I would be forgoing any chance of relieving this pressure from within. Or could I just set up the boundary with words?

Meanwhile his feelings are in the mix. I could end up using him. I can't force myself to love him, so I won't try.

I want to leave all the memories of the people I have loved who have hurt me, but I can't. I remember how perfect and special all those moments were, so why shouldn't I try to obtain that once more?

Ugh, I'm not making sense anymore and I'm jumping subjects like hurdles. But there is no finish line.

06 November 2008

A Plea For Rationality

Plenty to write about, but what to choose? The obvious choice would be the election, but seeing as everyone is pretty much electioned out, I'll give it a rest. Besides, I haven't been able to take it all in yet. Watching the headlines is like watching a dream, a good dream that I don't want to stop. When the fuzziness is over, I'll write.

But now, on to the title of this blog - A Plea For Rationality. I stole the idea from an article that I read for one of my sex classes ("A Plea For Eros"), but this has basically nothing to do with that. Except the sex part.

So I've been listening to some of my friends lately on their relationship/lack of relationship issues. I'm personally in the latter grouping, so I'm biased. My apologies. Anywho, here is what I have decided:

Relationships at the college age should not be taken too seriously.

Now for the explanation.

I know a few people, all females, who believe that their boyfriends at the moment are "THE ONE"s. They plan on getting married right out of college (or sooner), plopping out a few kids, and getting that elusive American Dream. While this may be okay for some select couples (as in very select, as in very, very select), the general college population cannot handle the pressure or expectations that go along with such plans, and neither is the general population mature enough for the enormity of this decision. After all, by the time we graduate most people would have just finalized their decision on which major to choose, art history or English. Then, most recent graduates don't even know what they want to do in life or where they will someday end up. Dragging another person into your personal identity crisis is not fair to them or to you.

Furthermore, college kids need to give each other the freedom to choose. It's difficult enough to decide what I'm going to do over summer break by myself, let alone with someone else. Do you move to their hometown for the break? Do you try for internships in the same city? Do both of you just do nothing? Or must one person sacrifice?

In my experience, I have always seen one person sacrifice. Then, given the chances that the relationship will actually "succeed," that person has thrown away any golden opportunities they may have had. And the other person gets away unscathed. Talk about love.

Speaking of love, this is not a call to end romance. I believe in romance just as I believe in love. Fall in love with whomever your body's chemicals tell you to fall in love with. But be responsible. At this age, it is not selfish to put yourself first. Plan your lives separately - if you end up being able to reconcile those lives without major sacrifices, you win. If not, you can still win...with someone else. You can love many people throughout your life and, for all that is good and holy, do not settle for your first boyfriend/girlfriend. That's buying without browsing.

I'm not necessarily speaking of ending all kinds of relationships either. Have a significant other if you wish. But I think the best arrangement, for most college students, is the whole "special friend" kind of thing. You have the benefits and maybe even some of the emotion without the trickiness of heartache and the intrigue of a formal relationship. This won't work for everyone, so don't give me shit, but I see it as the ideal.

And, finally, no one needs a relationship. I know I may seem like a hypocrite, what with all of my bitching about wanting a boyfriend/special friend, but most of this is just idle talk. Relationships bring a lot of baggage. You worry if you made the wrong impression when you said you prefer hummus over bean dip. You feel hurt when s/he says that their past partner gave great head. You feel as if you're putting more into the relationship than the other person. This can all be avoided simply by abstaining from a formalized relationship.

Now, there are some benefits to having a significant other. You always have someone to hang out with. You get your "needs" fulfilled on a regular basis (although this is perfectly possibly for the more attractive of us to do without a relationship). You form a deep bond with someone else and feel understood. You are always wanted. Until you start fighting. Then it gets fun.

My argument against these said benefits is that any truly deep relationship can give you this, i.e. a best friend. Well, maybe not the sex part (unless your friends with benefits), but that's what God created masturbation for. Best friends are cool to have too because you don't have to shape your life around them. If your lives lead you in the same direction, yay! And if not, you will always have the memory. That is love.

25 October 2008

On Deadlines and BAMF-ness

My life has been all about procrastination lately. Here's some things on my plate (not that you should really care, because they're quite mundane):

  • My application for the Ghana Maymester.
  • My application to be a FIG mentor next semester.
  • My sociology paper due next week that I've barely started researching.
Now these three things may seem like nothing, but here's what each of them entail.

  • Ghana Maymester - Two essays with prompts so generic that it's almost impossible to write something original. Why should I go to Ghana? Because I'm Laura-fuckin'-Covarrubias and I will eradicate AIDS from this God-forsaken planet, that's why. Then I have to make sure that my letter of recommendation gets in without seeming like an impatient bitch - "How's that letter coming, dear instructor? You know, no pressure, but the future of the world hangs in the balance while you twiddle your thumbs."
  • FIG Shit - Very generic questions that made me want to barf - What is a FIG mentor? Why would you be a good one? Blablabla toot your own horn while we pretend to care. Then two letters of reference and a resume. Come on, it's not like I'm a registered sex offender. Besides, they're not minors anymore.
  • Soc paper - I chose to write about the sociology of traffic and how culture partially determines how people drive. It's pretty interesting, but try narrowing this topic down to something that will have many sources. It's not like twenty researchers are interested in the role cows play in Indian traffic. Due Thursday, so I will be polishing it until three a.m. that day. College.

To top this all off, I have no idea what I'm doing for Halloween. I'm kinda sick about hearing about it, especially since I'm not one of those insanely lucky girls with a size two waist and a C cup. None of my ideas are sexy, which is what girls are expected to be for the occassion, so now I'm just thinking about wearing a wig and a cheap dress and saying I'm a crack whore. Except I'm not skinny, so maybe I'm a pot whore?

Oh, yeah, by the way, I had my cartilage impaled with a metal stick yesterday because I felt like I needed some kind of rite of passage into official un-teenage-dom. Actually, that's what I'm planning on doing on my real birthday on Tuesday with my first tattoo. Yeah, my parents are going to kill me when they discover it someday. But whatevs, right? My body, my right, my fetus!

Anyways, now I have to take iron supplements because I bled everywhere when he removed the whatever it was that was inserted through my skin. It was pretty cool because I finally got to know what it feels like to have a nose bleed - very warm and wet - and I was officially labeled a badass motherfucker. Then I got to go to HEB with a bloody nose and blood stains down my front. Very bamf.

And Miss Devon House did it with me, so she's a bamf too, even though she eats meat and didn't have the whole iron-deficiency problem. But she's a trooper. A sexi trooper.

14 October 2008


Life is good again.

Something changed in me this weekend. Whether it be my hormones rebalancing themselves or a spiritual alteration, I don't know. What I do know is that I feel free from myself and yet intimately intertwined with everyone else.

Driving gives you a lot of time to think alone. People forget that they need time to ponder their life and their universe by themselves - too often this is done at a coffeeshop, where you're still putting on an act, or in the presence of others, like in a dorm room or library. Complete privacy is pertinent, and while I guess you can argue that other people can see you in your car if they really want to, cars count as alone time. This is why people like driving long distances alone so much. Sure, the scenery is nice, but the resulting relaxation is all about the meditation you perform with or without knowing it.

I thought a lot about Matt, this guy I went to high school with who just died of cancer. I don't know if I ever spoke to him and if I did it was something stupid like "Hey, can I borrow a pencil?" or "What's the imperative tense?" We had Spanish together sophomore year (for clarification). He seemed like a nice enough kid, cute, athletic, and daringly flirtacious with Mrs. Salinas. I might have thought he was too cocky for my taste at one time, but now I think of it more as self-assurance, a confidence that other guys his age had not yet mastered, and probably will never.

I learned that he died on Facebook, of all places, and for some reason it hit me really hard. I knew he had cancer and had overheard from a few people that he was looking kind of bad before we graduated, but I figured that he wouldn't die. We are too young to die.

Seeing his obituary was otherworldly. I'm about to turn 20, and seeing the two and zero next to his name forced me to confront my own mortality.

I drove home from Corpus very carefully.

Thinking of this now, I feel like I'm sober for the first time in my life. Putting things into perspective, I should be more considerate of myself. After all these years of trying not to hurt anyone else's feelings, of putting others before myself and thinking of their wellbeing, shouldn't I watch my own footing? Maybe I shouldn't drink so much. Maybe I should never smoke another cigarette. Maybe I should work out more often and eat right. Maybe I should drive more carefully and check the street before I cross it. Maybe I shouldn't put myself into compromising situations.

I am alive, but not for long.

To top this all off, I have no idea what happens after death. I've kinda kicked that whole heaven and hell idea, but what does that leave me? I want to believe in reincarnation, but I need a foundation. Now, more than ever, I am drawn to the spiritual.

We are alive, but not for long.

11 October 2008


I ran away this afternoon.

I haven't been myself lately. Or, rather, I haven't had a self lately. I've just been existing, trying to make meaning where I could find none, failing. This is unlike me...I usually have some idea where I'm headed but here I am, 200 miles away from where I should be, pretending everything is fine with swelling eyes, knowing that only hearts are meant to swell.

I didn't tell many people that I left, just my roommate and those I had plans with this weekend. I didn't tell anyone here that I was coming and I'm not going to. I don't consider this antisocial; rather, it is a proactive way of silencing the static.

I got a rather interesting text today - "Hello i need you here cause i feel empty." I don't know who it was and just looked up the area code (Dallas). I don't think I know anyone in Dallas who should be missing me right now, in that way. I responded and asked who it was...the (lame) response - "The past the present and the future." Later (he?) said my name but I was too creeped out to affirm that it was me and so (he?) apologized for having the wrong number. Now it's killing me - who could it have been? Was it me being safe when I didn't say it was me, or was that me, yet again, running from potential? The thing that kills me is that I know that someone gave me his number the other day and it started with a 991 after the area code and I remember saying "Dude, I bet a lot of people dial 911 on accident" like the retard I am. And now I can't remember. Fuck me with a spoon.

Anyways, that whole number thing is incredibly unimportant and poorly written, but I'm slightly (very) intrigued...and half wanting to text back the truth to find out who it is.