Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My Shows

Here's a post about television. I love television. I have always loved television. For about five years I never watched television but that was in the late eighties, early nineties era. I missed out on Beverly Hills 90210 and Twin Peaks. Who cares.

Here are my shows right now. They are the best shows ever:

Friday Night Lights: This show is SO TRUE about working in a high school. I love Coach Taylor. He reminds me of my husband and the other few grown men I admire. I am reasonably sure that 94% of the reason I teach at my job at a sporty high school is because of this show.

Sons of Anarchy: Remember how I just said that Friday Night Lights is why I chose my current job? I'm feeling similarly influenced right now to get an enormous back tattoo because of Sons of Anarchy. I'm talking a tattoo so big it would kill me if you tried to remove it with a blowtorch. If you watch this awesome show, then you understand what I mean.

Big Love:
Fundamental LDS are my favorites. I just can't get over that whole concept. Sister wives are awesome. Every time I try to wrap my brain around it, the concept of sharing one husband amongst three women (or more!) just gets bigger and more impossible like a wet marshmallow. Great show.

Enlightened: This is the only comedy on the list. Most of the time when I watch it I'm not really laughing because the main lady is too much like me and it makes me nervous. I start to laugh when she starts trying to fix things on other people who just want to be left alone then I go wait a minute, that's not funny. I just did that very thing today.

Maybe somebody is following me around and making a show of stuff I do. Didn't you think that was a possibility when you were a kid? You did if you were obsessed with television.

Walking Dead:
Maybe it is because daily life has grown so difficult for me that I actually would not mind a zombie apocalypse. A zombie apocalypse would at least be honest. Sometimes I think I would prefer it to the slow torture of the current apocalypse of closing my school, then the neighborhood pool, then the library, then the community center. The characters in The Walking Dead have to deal with all hell breaking loose at once. All the cards are on the table right off the bat. I mean how refreshing.

I have friends who are way better hippies than me who never watch television except maybe NOVA once in a while. That's cool. But the great thing about being 41 is that I am through trying to change myself for the better. I'm right back to being five years old and begging my mom to let me watch Underdog. I love television and I don't care.

Football-playing, reformed stress case sister wives in a motorcycle club on the run from zombies would be awesome. I would totally watch that, just in case anybody who writes for television reads this.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Stuff I Like

White shirts: T-shirts, button downs, eyelet. I like white shirts. Ironed crisp with starch and steam.

Black pen ink on white paper.

Sharp pencils, apple cider, old-fashioned chalk and chalkboards, fountain pens, Djembe drums, old-fashioned suitcases with straps, records on record players, a tattoo of the name of someone you love.

Silver over gold, cash over credit, truth over lies.

Dr. Pepper Lip Smacker, Dove bar soap, Cocoa Butter lotion, Booth's bath oil.

Eggs from my own chickens, fruit off my own trees and veggies out of my own garden.

Paying bills on time, going without instead of paying on credit, composting instead of landfilling, making instead of shopping, listening instead of talking.

High heels, pencil skirts, the smell of books, the word "homework", the word "loyal", the word "friendship".

People who still send handwritten letters, people who laugh at the same things at the same time with me, people who like to learn things.

Going to bed by 9:30 on a school night.

Getting up before dawn to work out.

Meeting the day with courage. And if not courage then with anger enough to stand in for it. And enough to go around for my students as well.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

It's Better To Be Lonely

I was banking on being more successful socially in college than I was in high school. Nobody got me in high school. I was goofy and weird and had too much energy for the wrong things. I had no taste for alcohol and no money or desire for drugs. Surely college would be better, I thought. Surely in college I would be able to find people to be my friends.

Yeah, not so much. Maybe it was because I was a full year younger than everybody else. Maybe it was because I had missed orientation. Maybe it was because I had no taste for the alcohol, no money or desire for the drugs, and no self-loathing required for the sexual musical chairs that almost everyone else was playing.

Maybe it was because I'd already met my true love at fifteen and he lived three hundred miles away and I was perpetually low grade sad.

Maybe it was because I was goofy and weird with my penchant for Kate Bush and drawing doodley pictures of faeries. I could never get past the irony police. They were everywhere in the late eighties.

I was lonely most of the time. I was not usually tempted to do the things that would make me not lonely, at least temporarily. Yet I did have the hollow and scary feeling that I would be lonely forever. That loneliness would be my lot.

I had two friends in college who didn't mind living with me. They even liked me. They were Laura and Evan, a beautiful couple in love since the first day of orientation. They were generous and brilliant and stylish. I loved them and we lived together for two years before they fled to Leeds to finish college. I was lonely when they left but they wrote letters and postcards and sent me black and white photographs of candles they lit in cathedrals just for me.

Laura and Evan are two of my most important friends still. They graduated, got married, built lives based on family and art and music and love. I graduated college, earned a teaching credential, married that true love soulmate. I made many more beautiful, sparkling and inspiring friends and I've also built a life on love. As for everyone else I knew in college, we're not even facebook friends. It doesn't feel like any kind of loss.

I wish I could go back in time and tell my seventeen-year-old self that I wouldn't be lonely forever. In fact, someday I would be so surrounded by love that sometimes I'd wish for solitude. Just a little bit of it.

But I can't do that so instead I say to my former students who are struggling to make their way as authentic and sparkling individuals in the gooey morass that is the social scene in most college dorms: It's better to be lonely than surrounded by jerks. My dad told me this when I was young and it was helpful. It released me from the responsibility of trying to make friends with people who were always drunk or high or who just wanted to have sex with me.

It really was better to be lonely. Because lonely doesn't last forever. Loneliness is in fact a good thing because it creates a great sucking vacuum which will (if it hasn't already) absolutely attract friends like Laura and Evan who will buoy you and inspire you and bring out your best self. Hold out for those friends.

They might be closer than you think.

Friday, November 25, 2011

6 Thousand Words

I wrote 6 thousand words of my novel today. I also rewrote the outline, and I wrote a journal entry and now I'm writing this.

I spent today doing what I am supposed to be doing. I mean Supposed to be doing. It is an odd conundrum that my life usually conspires totally against its purpose. I know this is my fault but I don't know how to untie the knots.

Maybe if I just keep writing. Maybe that will be enough to loosen the little devils.

Maybe when I sell something for enough to unite Life and Purpose, I will remember this as the time I crawled through the desert without water and made it through anyway.

What resilience I had, I will say of myself. What persistence. Persistence is key to writing, I will say by way of advice to other up and comers. Persistence is key.

Deep down I'll know that persistence is key is a stupid thing to say. Deep down I'll know that some days I wrote a thousand words. Some days I wrote six thousand. Some days I made a living for my family instead and my stories languished along with my thirsty, crawling soul.

Persistence? What else am I Supposed to do if not write? What else but dry up and become sand? I'm not just persisting. I'm insisting on my own survival.