inside on the outside

Regina: But you’re, like, really pretty.
Cady: Thank you.
Regina: So you agree?
Cady: What?
Regina: You think you’re really pretty?
Cady: Oh… I don’t know

~ Mean Girls

Yes, when I find myself in times of trouble sometimes the only thing that makes sense of it all is to quote Mean Girls…if quoting Lennon and McCartney doesn’t work especially in what appears to be a shitty world full of some sometimes pretty shitty people…pretty, shitty people included.

Forgive me, I might be whining a little as I see beautiful people showing the hollow, ugly core that is on the inside. The most perfectly beautiful of people can sometimes be the meanest, the cruelest, the ugliest; and thanks to their social media and their desire to remind us all just how awesome and cool and hardcore bitchy they are, we get to see the ugly on the inside.

When I was trying desperately to survive the cruel awkward that is adolescence coming to terms with the reality that I wasn’t pretty…in the eyes of equally insecure peers…I wasn’t lucky to have social media to reinforce what the adults in my life then were trying to teach me…that the prettiest of people actually were super ugly assholes. How that would have helped me then.

You’re like really pretty but thanks to what you share on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Snapchat, we can see what’s really inside whether your mocking, shaming or celebrating bad choices because I mean…u gotta do it sometimes. Trust me, we see it. It is forever, yes, even if it’s Snapchat. Karma will one way or another come back to you. It has to.

In the meantime, I will try be more like this beautiful person because no beauty shines brighter than that of a kind heart.

How our family got so lucky to have someone as beautiful as him, in our lives I will never know but I will give thanks for such a wonderful gift that always inspires and compells me to be better.

love in the neighborhood

Excuse me people but lately I am having some serious mad love for my neighborhood.

It’s quiet uptown, I know. But it is so much more and I am really, really, really coming to appreciate it lately.

I’m not at all mad to admit that the gorgeous and unseasonable super-pleasant weather we have been enjoying has influenced me at all as I have been indulging in morning runs/walks after dropping the favorite son off to school. I mean, come on you guys…this is pretty amazing and it’s my neighborhood.

It’s different here. And yet we are literally just 5 miles uptown…east of the Dust Bowl-like dust storms and the flies and and everything else that sub-divisions that border farms offer.  Running errands on the west side, as I sometimes do, I find myself smiling to myself as I think, I don’t miss almost any of this at all.

It’s quiet uptown.

It’s cleaner uptown. The homes are older but still it is cleaner…and shadier.

And, much to my surprise, it is friendlier uptown. No, absolutely no disrespect to former neighbors who have become and remained friends and those who, well, who stalk you on social media but wouldn’t dare to reach out to say hello…

Hi! I see you there!!!!

Walking and running in a 5K plus loop around what has to be the best park in this city and the neighborhood, I m struck by the fact that people actually smile, nod, wave and call out hello to you as you pass them by. Even better, they stop and talk and invite you to sit on their porch and enjoy a cold one…as the neighborhood watch around here does.

They offer to help you with an electrical problem you’re having in the garage because they know exactly what to do being a retired electrician, you know. And they invite your son to practice putting golf balls in their yard because he shyly offers that he kind of likes golf. As the last of the boxes are unpacked, you find yourself enjoying the long summer nights shared together on each other’s front porches in a way that you have not known since the grown circus clowns were small back in San Jose, back on Amelia Drive. Without you even thinking to ask, they offer you their truck when they hear you have your eye on a sectional at Costco that would be perfect for the new Big Top so your daughter and roommate can take the old, broken down well-lived in set for their own first apartment.

I know!

Furniture from Costco!

Seriously, the sectional is that wonderful and so is the neighbor down the street who let us use his truck…and who did a good portion of the heavy lifting to get it inside the new Big Top.

And yes, even more so, the neighborhood where the new Big Top is now pitched is even more wonderful because it is a whole lot quieter and less dusty and even more friendlier uptown. Hashtag, feeling blessed.

mourning, but with all the hope

I know that I am not the only one crying and screaming on the inside what the actual fuck right now.

Baton Rouge…Alton Sterling…”he should have just complied”…Falcon Heights…Philando Castile…”but he complied; he followed the officer’s orders”…Black Lives Matter…Dallas…Dallas PD…Ballwin…Ballwin PD…Blue Lives Matter…“All Lives Matter”…

I can’t. I just can’t.

Moments that words don’t reach; suffering too terrible to name. And in these moments this week I just want to hold the ones I love the most as tight as I can and push away the unimaginable. All of it. But I can’t. I just can’t.

I am at work and I distract myself with work. I walk into the break room and one of the news channels is on. It’s not Fox News…THANK YOU…but I just can’t. I distract myself with work, with my patients’ conditions and parents’ bedside vigils because I just can’t imagine.

Coffee is delivered by my current favorite child, and I give thanks for the happy distraction it brings.

It’s the little things. Acts of kindness. Warm hugs. Parents holding their precious new babies as close as they can taking in all the promises of future hope that they represent. Moments that words don’t reach; grace too powerful to understand. My heart hurts right now. The hearts of most everyone else I know hurt right now. Sad, mad, all the outrage, all the helplessness, all the tears and fears are happening right now and I know that I am not alone. But through the night at work last night there was for me a promise of hope that no matter how small is potentially powerful enough to rise above the unimaginable. I’m keeping that hope close to my heart and last night, all night, and today, right now I am happy for the tiny warmth it radiates deep within my broken heart.

A baby is god’s opinion that the world should go on.

Carl Sandburg

celebrating life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness

We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal & independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness; …

Thomas Jefferson’s original rough draught on display at The Library of Congress

Wise words quoted much. Quoted much the past few days in defense of blowing up all the fireworks all the days and nights leading up to our Independence Day; and likely the days and nights after because ‘murica is great y’all! Quoted much also in defense of the right to enjoy a quiet evening in your own home without the pets freaking out or to just enjoy an uninterrupted, good night’s sleep before rising at 4AM to start one’s work day. Spoken out loud in celebration of a day to camp by the lake or boat on the Dirty Delta or float in the pool…and of course drink all the beer…followed by blowing up all the fireworks….again, because ‘murica y’all.

I wonder if, 240 years later, would John Adams approve? After all he did say, It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more. But he first said, It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. 

I’m rambling, I know. But I will make no apology because it’s my life, my liberty and my pursuit of happiness too.

Happy Independence Day!

Adams, remarking the difficulty for which the resolution for independence was passed, said it was like getting thirteen clocks to strike at the same instant.

Garry Wills

I’m tired

I worked the last couple nights; so one would assume that I am tired right about now. I am. I am tired; but not because of Vampira night shift nurse problems that is resetting my body clock back to daytime life.

No.

I’m tired because so many other reasons.

  • I’m tired of the bullshit that is life right now where my kids must keep tucked into the back of their minds that they aren’t really safe in places like their school campuses or movie theaters or churches or shopping malls or night clubs.
  • I’m tired that they must accept the reality that mass shootings happen and, eventually, it will be the city where they live’s turn…because apparently we now take turns with this.
  • I’m tired of thoughts and prayers being our call to action every. damn. time. Thoughts and prayers are good. The victims of these horrific acts of violence do need our thoughts and prayers but so much more than thoughts and prayers are needed. After our pauses for moments of silence, we need to take action. Shout it out if we have to. No, we are not being disrespectful of the dead and their mourning loved ones. What is disrespectful is to stop and pray, say amen, shake our heads over the “godless world we live in” and move on to the next task at hand like “what’s for lunch?” We need to do much more than pray.
  • I’m tired of people’s need to be right. One can no longer agree to disagree. Opinions and feelings over something like a call to action beyond thoughts and prayers for victims of mass shootings is met with broad strokes that assume much too much of a person’s values, thought processes and oh so sheltered life. To argue back is met with apples and oranges arguments or taunts and jeers. A difference of opinion is yesterday’s black. Conform! We all must conform. I don’t want to conform. “Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy.That won’t change…and it shouldn’t These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty. We can never forget that as we speak people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter, the chance to cast their ballots.”
    We don’t have to agree and that’s fundamentally okay as we were created to be unique individuals. But hurray for noise, the mess and the complications that has been US for 240 years. At least that’s how I see it!” ~ President Barack Obama
  • In the words of the super amazing Amy “Just a reminder, guys, that as the gun debate heats up, most of us gals (especially the ones from the south and west) don’t need you to mansplain weaponry to us.
    So if your first comment when jumping into a debate is to school us little ol’ prissies on the differences between types of guns, or on how magazines or ammo works, maybe just sit back, take a sip of your scotch, and zip it for a bit. We’ll work it out without you in due time, so thanks but no thanks.”
    Guys, I promise you that just because I have a problem with this god-given right to arms ourselves with as much mass killing weaponry that we should be able to purchase  as humanly possible because it is the blessed Second Amendment Right y’all, I am NOT here to take away all of your guns! I might lean a little to the pacifist side but it is not because I have never seen a gun or touched a gun or fired a gun or cleaned a gun. You dumb fool, you don’t need to pat me on the head and explain these things to me so that I will understand that guns don’t kill people…people kill, fertilizer bombs kill, cars kill, box cutters kill, knives kill, alligators kill…and I bet Build-A-Bear teddy bears can kill too because smothering.
    Don’t explain this to me. I’m tired of it!
  • And speaking of alligators, I’m tired of the sanctimommies and daddies and people who have never had children sitting back sipping their green tea whilst judging others on what has to be the worst days of their lives ever.
    Don’t.
    Just don’t.
    I know it is so much more easy to do it because, hurray interwebs and all the social media. But don’t.
    Do you know how much of an asshole you come off as when you do it? Trust me, while trying to survive a parent’s worst nightmare, a parent is doing a good enough job of eviscerating theirselves all on their very own, thank you very much.

So yeah, I’m tired. Aren’t you glad that you asked how am I right now? Yeah, I’m tired.