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.