The Color Of Hunger

Posts Tagged ‘friends

Wow. Today my blog has reached the 1,000 views milestone. This, is pretty fucking awesome considering I write about only once a month. And when I do it’s usually nonsense. Like that last sentence. And this one. And this one as well. Haha.

Hmmm, what’s new in my life? Absolutely nothing. Haha, just kidding. About a month ago I purchased my very first car. A red 1995 Chrysler LeBaron convertible. 118,500 miles. $2,300 cash.

I LOVE IT.


On the 20th of August, my two best friends and I took a road trip down to Oregon to visit a friend of ours who’s gonna be a freshman this year at Portland State University. Was the funniest trip EVER.


Saturday morning, we rode the MAX down to the street markets taking place in the heart of downtown Portland. It’s rather strange how the bigger the city gets, the meaner the people become. Everybody is always in everybody else’s way. All the time. And then you got SO many different personalities. The artists, the pessimists, the shy people, the confident. It’s incredible.


There was this artist on one of the corners who drew all of her pictures with numbers. Millions of different sizes of numbers. All blended together to create one huge image. It reminded me of pixels on a TV. I can only imagine how patient/dedicated/passionate you’d hafta be to finish just ONE of her pieces. The creativity behind ’em was very inspiring.


Sunday afternoon, we headed out to Cannon Beach. I cannot describe in words how fucking awesome it is to drive the 101 in a convertible. The weather couldn’t have been better either. When we got to the beach it was low 80’s with no wind and clear skies as far as the eye could see. The sun made the humidity almost unnoticeable. The ocean was still hella cold tho. HELLA cold. But that didn’t stop us from getting in. Of course not, duh.


Halibut was dinner, salt water taffy was dessert. After the sun disappeared, we grabbed sleeping bags from the trunk and slept right on the sand. Under hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of shiny white stars. T’was amazing. You know those moments in life where time is no longer a factor and nothing troublesome exists anymore, nothing bad can happen anywhere remotely close to where you are? Hakuna matata? Well, that night was my moment. Replay it a thousand times and it STILL would be just as exciting as the first.


However, all good things must come to an end. Mr. Reality must return sometime, right? Haha. So we took a final stroll down the beach and headed home. Eastbound Spokane, 350 miles. Amen.

=]

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I’m about as comfortable with myself as I will ever be. I like the way I look, the way I talk, the way I think, the way I live my life. I’m comfortable in my own skin. However, I can always be better. I can ALWAYS be better. Although, I never wanna pull off perfection. I wanna be the passionate one who fights to get somewhere, but I never wanna get there. I cherish the struggle. I want the impossible dream so that I never become like a majority of society and settle for average. I’d rather try super hard to reach an unachievable goal. Enjoying life in the meanwhile as it happens in the present. The great stuff is right now, not twenty years down the line.

I feel compelled to follow my conscience and my heart wherever it leads me, even if that means pain. I’m not scared of pain. These days I embrace the pain. Pain exists so that when pleasure comes, it seems that much more intense. Certain things must exist in this world in order for other things to coexist. I don’t need the unexplainable explained to me to feel good about life. I just feel good about life not knowing everything there is to know. If we never went without, we’d never appreciate what we have. I get nostalgic for the good ol’ days, but look forward for the ones to come. I don’t live in the past; I just visit on occasion. I like not knowing. I like not having everything explained to me. I like having to learn more. I like questioning things. I like pondering life. I’m prolly a bit excessive sometimes, but that’s just me. That’s just who I am.

I love unconditionally. I forgive people like you wouldn’t believe (some of them I probably shouldn’t forgive) and never forget. But I can move past. I don’t judge based on who you were, I judge based on who you are. I never lose interest in people. Mi casa es su casa; what’s mine is yours. I’m a giver like that. If you don’t feel love in yer life, it’s cuz you don’t let it in. I figure sharing is what makes a difference. Never sharing yerself, yer life, yer shit? Well, that just closes you off in a closet somewhere, huddled in the dark cold all by yerself. My life is way too precious not to share it with others, not to truly love and laugh and enjoy all it has to offer. I can’t NOT tell you how it really is, I can’t censor what I’m really feeling.

I believe everything I do every single day is my own fault. Everything that happens to me is cuz I did something that caused it to happen. If someone feels too much drama in their life, it’s cuz they like that drama or they’re not ready to let it go on some level. Life is all about choices. I don’t understand how anyone can hate anyone else. Hate is an emotional response. It’s not based in reason and logic. If someone hurts me, of course I wanna hurt them back. Duh. But I do that by moving on and becoming better than they could ever hope to be. Don’t waste yer time and energy on people and their problems. I try my best, but I’m sure as hell not perfect. I just learn from my mistakes really well.

I love emotion, feeling, words, music, colors, freedom, sex, beauty. Anything that tantalizes and makes me take a second look. I want the body, the mind, and all the in-betweens. I’m a very sexual human being. I imagine everybody naked all the time. Sometimes I wish I could shut off the x-ray vision (it’s not always a pretty sight). My favorite thing about sex is that part right before. The nervous part. The not knowing part. It’s almost more naked than actually BEING naked. It’s the mystery behind the clothes that radiates sexuality for me. There’s just so many combinations, so many sensations. The shallow part of him pulling me in, the deeper part of him pushing me away, the way I want so badly to feel him around me, all around me, every bit of him, to be lost inside of him. It’s acquisition without the burden of possessions. That’s the magic of sex. No matter how lost you get in the moment, storage is never an issue.

However, I will never, EVER give up on love. Love exists and I know it’s out there somewhere. Even if it hurts more than anything in the world. It’s such a subjective thing, such a submissive part of life. But when it’s there, you just know. I also know that love can exist outside of sex and vice-versa. Almost all the time, you tell yerself yer loving somebody when yer just using them to fill some need. This only looks like love. Love takes, but it has to give as well. I know the difference and have gotten considerably better at separating the two.

I drink sometimes. I’ll smoke the occasional cigar/’special’ cigar. I don’t mind being sober or chemically imbalanced. I like to party just as much as the next girl, but’ll strip down and run around naked for no reason at all if the mood strikes. I don’t think I’m a nut. I just stopped caring what people think about me. I love to laugh and have a great sense of humor. I’m fun and compassionate and can enjoy myself anywhere. I don’t hafta leave the house to have fun. I don’t hafta stay at home to have fun. I’m spontaneous, confident, outgoing, and full of life. I’m certainly not stupid, but on the same note, I’m not afraid to be a fool. I don’t hide behind a mask of insecurity. I always intellectualize, but that never stops me from jumping out of a plane or doing something that could potentially kill me.

I love pleasure. I love pain. I’m selfish yet modest, shy yet extroverted. I have intense mental concentration. I zone out and go places inside my head where no one can find me. I dance to music sometimes and nobody understands why I’m dancing. I love to express myself with movement and love music of all varieties. I’m not afraid to cry or share my feelings in a way that leaves me vulnerable. If you can’t tell already, I love to write and learn and imagine. I wanna influence minds and spark thoughts. I take away information instead of just images from a screen; the occasional memorization of the spoken word replaced with real genuine thought process. I can walk around a book store for hours and never get bored. I could prolly do that for days even.

To me, words are like life. Words mean everything. They express the inexpressible, they help me understand myself and the world around me. They express what I’m feeling in ways much like an artist with paint would express himself or herself or itself or whatever. I write to move people, to move myself, to see where I’ve been, where I’m going, to observe and learn, to experience the joy and pain again and again, to experience how relentless life can be, how bittersweet and full of fury it really is. I need for people to understand, to WANT to understand, to WANT to know me, whether or not they’ll like what they get.

I dream cuz I’m a dreamer. I think of how much I rely on my sense of touch, how much a feeling stimulates me and the feelings of things around me. The way the skin feels, running fingers through hair, a soft pair of lips, the curve of an ear, a neck, a back, etc. I find the experience of losing it all very exhilarating. To lose my senses, to lose my beliefs, to lose my life, to lose myself totally; a great beginning to something else. A freedom from a world of unattainable desires.

I think of streams and rivers, tall trees, mossy nooks, greens and browns, the branches high above me as I stand in the middle of a forest lost and confused. I find myself looking with other people’s eyes all the time. Looking through someone else’s pupils, encountering their lives as they do, living loosely through a series of past experiences seen in the present. Think of a movie, think of love scenes, think of watching yerself fuck, think of seeing yerself through yer own eyes, except not. Sometimes I find stuff I’m not even looking for. Sometimes I find nothing. Sometimes I just do what I do.

I ramble a lot. But I’m simply stirred, not shaken. My life is blasted all over this page cuz I can’t help but be me. I HAVE to share myself. I HAVE to be me. I’ll look at an object and I see a million things you don’t see. You see a couch. I see it being made, who sat on it, who fucked on it, what animal died to make it. I’m not full of myself but I know I got what a lot of people want. I don’t generalize often and don’t judge books by covers, but without covers, why would I even buy the book to begin with? Everything is like that. First glance means EVERYTHING. Most of you see my pictures and they draw you in. Yes, those pictures are one hundred percent me. Or at least the outside visual me. Most people don’t seem to care about what’s on the inside anymore. I hope you do. Shit, I’d like to think if you’ve read this far, you must care at least a LITTLE more than the next guy. Either way, I’ve still got yer attention.

Laying flat on the bed, my muscles feel sore. The thermostat reads 77 degrees and it’s hot even with the window open. Something is distracting me, something leads me to something else, so I sit and write and try to make sense of it. Right now I feel like a shooting star that no one knows is falling. Like a tree in the woods that makes lots of sound and ruckus, but no one is there to witness it even if it never falls. I have to obey certain, yu know, laws of the universe, but I never know where I’m gonna end up. I just fall and fall and go boom and smack! Then I hit the earth.

Sometimes writing is all I have. Everything else is just doing stuff for the sake of doing stuff. I’ll get to points where I do things for no reason. Losing logic and reason based on adrenaline and hormones. Some days I wake up with desires unquenched. There are so many things I want, but only so much I can do in a day. Urges seem to come up inside of me out of nowhere. I’m a bit of a compulsive person. Spontaneous even. I like spontaneity. I like doing what feels good. About matters of sex and life and activity and friends and food and just everything. I have no destination, it’s not a journey. I’m just enjoying the trip.

The getting of life is hard. It makes no difference how things get started. What matters is how they end up. In someplace, somewhere, with someone, calling out to be saved. Lost, but never wavering. Take the search for love and the meaning of life for example. How does something or someone I can’t touch or see or define make me so miserably wonderful? Why do I look at thoughts and get mesmerized for hours? I honestly don’t know. I love the way I think, though. I do. I’ll see the words in my mind before I actually say them out loud. I’ll play with each letter before it even touches my lips to be used and abused. I contemplate things before they happen, before I make a move. Weigh my actions on imaginary scales that only exist in so much that I MAKE them exist. I don’t deny myself, I just ignore myself sometimes. I redirect my feelings towards other things.

The power of night turns me on, more so than the day. When the sun no longer shines and the moon rules my mind, my feelings begin to blur and dissolve leaving me stranded on an island of lost love and reinvigorated desire. The tenderness I feel for him is overwhelming, the times I think he’s out there feeling the same way. I stress the word think. I don’t know as much as I may believe cuz I really just don’t know. If that makes any sense at all. I can hope and believe and have faith all day long, but placing trust in something or someone I don’t entirely understand, have never really met, always feels like a risk. And maybe that’s part of the high of being with them or not. The not knowing, the gamble, the fact that I’ll never gain anything until I lose everything.

I would lose it all for some people, but I don’t think they’d lose much of anything for me. I would jump off a cliff for those select few. Whereas they might buy me an orange juice with some booze in it only to be angry about the price and end up keeping the receipt to hold over my head years from now. It’s a crazy sort of feeling that I just don’t know how to quit. Some people say and believe they’re positive people. And sometimes they are. But a lot of the time they’re nothing but doom and gloom disguised beneath fake smiles and tainted kindness.

Days stretching into weeks. All the night clubs and bars I passed tonight downtown, full to capacity on a Thursday night. People searching for sex, searching to become numb, searching for a way not to feel, not to experience. Searching and not even knowing they’re searching. What about tomorrow? The day after? Is it all about just making money so you can spend the money you made? Yup, I’m just rambling now. Fuck. Nothing good could ever come of this.

Man, I loved hogging the drinking fountain in elementary school. There was only one too, in the ENTIRE school. (Great Northern – it was a two-story brick building, housing give-or-take forty kids, K-6th.) “Neiner, neiner, neeeeiner.” Drink, drink, drink. Then I’d do that thing where I’d fake like I was finished, wipe my sleeve across my mouth even, for added effect, just to bend down and drink some more. Haha! That was the best. Especially when I’d get the kids I didn’t like waiting behind me. They wouldn’t say anything. Of course not. That meant defeat and losing when yer twelve years old is simply not acceptable.
 
So twenty seconds would go by, and then ten more, and then twenty seconds after that, until finally they’d get so impatient, they’d go to the bathroom and drink from the sink faucet. I’d get to a point where I couldn’t swallow anymore cuz I was choking on the water from laughing so hard. It’s tough enough trying to muffle laughter when yer a fifth grader, but when kids start resorting to the bathroom sink because you currently hold all access to the water fountain, shit just gets soooo much funnier. I guess it’s the equivalent of asking for a water cup at Mickey D’s and in turn, filling it up with Mountain Dew. And then giggling quietly in the corner booth with the rest of yer friends because, dude, you just scored a free cup of pop. Take that Ronald! Mwahahaha!
 
Karma would always find a way to bite me in the ass though. I’d get back to the classroom after the pass over period to find my spelling test on my desk, a big red ‘F’ smeared across the front of it.
 
“What the hell is this!? I don’t deserve this!”
“Yer right, you deserve an F minus. But unfortunately they haven’t put that into the grading scale yet.”
 
I’d look to my friends for help with that sad frowny face, you know the one. Mouth open, nostrils flared, eyebrows resembling upside down pinball flippers. Like when the heating bill’s a hundred bucks more than last month. (“That’s it honey, we’re switchin’ ta blankets and bonfires. Blankets and bonfires!”) Haha. My friends would always side with the teacher though. Always. It never failed. I suppose power in numbers is a little less effective when yer in elementary school, but come on, I was all for trying new things.
 
“Huhu, you spelled ‘green’ wrong? How do you spell ‘green’ wrong? Huhu.”
“Don’t give me crap, Davey. I mixed up the past and present, okay.”
“Green’s not a verb, Bree.”
“Damnit Davey!”
 
The teacher would write that ‘F’ in the darkest shade of red he could find, too. Just for me. All the other kids’ letters would be perfectly placed in the left corner of the page, all pretty and fancy and cursive and sparkly. Some a playful blue, others a happy orange. Shit, even the D’s were written with one of those nifty purple highlighters. Then you’d get to mine and it would look like something just got murdered. (You’d search for caution tape and a body, but come back with pieces of soggy marker paper and a guilty Sharpie.) All you’d see was red. A page of red. And the ‘F’ was like, fucking CARVED into the paper. It took up the entire page, so you knew it was mine from like eighty feet away. I could hear kids whisper from the back seats.
 
“There’s Bree’s. So much for a writing career. Huhu.”
“Huhu, true that. What a loser. Hey could I get a drink of yer water, man? What? It’s not my fault the line was long.”
 
Actually, I was a pretty good student in my younger years. Didn’t talk very much, kept to myself a lot, got my shit and got out. Kinda like Wal-Mart’s motto, but personified. Haha. However, despite being a goody two shoes, I was constantly assigned the front desk. (Come on now Teach, aren’t the bad kids supposed to be sitting where I am?) But no. Even if the seating arrangement was alphabetical, I’d STILL end up in the front of the classroom. Usually by some stupid chart the teacher printed off. I guess to make it easier for substitutes to take attendance? Whatever the reason, I absolutely hated it. It pissed me off too, cuz I knew I had no power to change it. Can’t say I didn’t learn anything though. Haha.
 
I can honestly sit here and tell you, without hesitation, that I was the BEST cheater in the ENTIRE fifth grade. Sure, there may have been only six of us, but I’ll take credit where it’s due. Haha. Seriously though. I wouldn’t even refer to it is as cheating. I called it ‘adaptation’ and I was damn good at it. Of course, I had to be. I sat in the front desk for Christ’s sake. Standard cheating procedures were way too hard to pull off when yer front and center and texting wasn’t an option cuz I had no phone back then.
 
So I experimented here and there, found some things that worked, found some things that didn’t (writing notes on my palms in ballpoint pen before lunch had its downfalls), and eventually came across a creative little method known to most as “The Pop Bottle Label Switch”. It’s genius. You’ll need a color printer and the process is rather time consuming, yet very VERY effective in the long run.
  1. Buy the biggest plastic Mountain Dew bottle you can find. (It doesn’t hafta be Mountain Dew, anything light in color will do just fine.)
  2. Peel the label off gently, making sure not to rip or bend any part of it.
  3. Scan the label with the printer and open it with Photoshop or any program that allows you to add text to yer image.
  4. Smudge out the ingredients section and replace them with yer notes.
  5. Print off yer ‘new and improved’ label and re-stick it in the same spot it was before. (I always used a small piece of double-sided scotch tape. It looked the best cuz it fit perfectly and I wouldn’t have any excess tape hanging off the sides.)
When you take yer test, don’t bring the ‘notes’ out right away cuz it’s too suspicious. Wait for like a good five minutes and then take a casual drink, leaving yer drink on the corner of the desk when finished. I cannot tell you how many times this has worked for me. The results are too good to feel guilty for. Haha.
 
=]
(Originally written the night of my 19th birthday – January 24th, 2010.)

BEFORE

Feelings emerge now, that weren’t there before. A sense of calmness comes over me. My heart stops racing, I’m consumed by experience. I long to put you in this picture so badly, to put you in MY picture. I wanna savor this right here with the world. I feel like I’m in a tropical rainforest of floating trees and swinging monkeys. And they all connect through the branches. And they’re eating chicken nuggets. Jesus.

This music feels like the DJ’s got saw blades for fingers. Patterned saw blades though, so they align perfectly atop the record. He free lances the spinning black disk, shadows left lingering as the volume knob goes up. It keeps my head so far underwater. I’m drowning in FACE and eighth notes. These sounds are on fire, aflame, full of heat, burning on my eardrums. This beat is popping brain cells like bubble wrap. I can hear them explode in plasticity. Or whatever the hell they’re made of. I try to pull away, but this music twirks my mind. Twirkage of the mind.

Coloring in colors is so underrated. Why haven’t I come to this conclusion before? Drawings are so deceptive right now. Like, I’ll have my mind set on drawing a certain thing, and then just totally lose my concentration and move on to a segment of the paper that’s brighter or that has more leeway. I’ve noticed this a lot in the past two hours. I’ll leave myself lots of leeway, just in case my mind vacates halfway through my original drawing. I’ve noticed, also, that drawing things without looking down at what I’m drawing is surprisingly entertaining. It’s even better when I do look down and everything turns out okay. And then there’s all that leeway everywhere. That’s the best.

Streaming lines of fluctuating colors litter my inner eyelids. Shooting stars, and I’m sitting inside. I stretch triangles to form non-polygons. Detached at the vertex, my base serves no purpose. I poke out my angles and bend sideways at the fulcrum. As I try recapturing moments, I stutter. My mind’s not responding, my mouth begins to water. (This shit’s so good, it’s crooked.) I look down through the clear glass and Red Bull leftovers. It’s blocking my view, but I’ve still got my perspective. Ahhh, my perspective.

My eyes float in Capricorns, my ears rest on Saturn. The moon is so bright tonight, I can’t help but stare. My imagination visits angels, catching up on old times and past recollections. I’ve been up here before, too. But I’m always still amazed at how beautiful it is. God hand delivers Hawaiian blankets to my cloud and ESPN comes in clearly on the television. It’s awesome. It’s like vacation without the turbulence or sunburns.

Everything sort of all just blends together now. Like my hands. Oh man, my hands. I find them sculpting cartoons in blank pieces of wall. Whoa. I’m tingling at the fingertips in a sensation I never thought possible. You know that feeling, you know the one. Where you pop yer neck in just the right spot, so it numbs the entire upper portion of yer spinal cord. I’m feeling that feeling, but in a good tingly feeling instead of pain. (It hurts so good.)

Lava is oozing from his brain and her clouds melt together to create one big one. Coughing non-stop, their lungs are constantly flexing. They’re mouth washing air. They’re stuck at a standstill. Oh so high. So very very high. What a rush; exhilarating, exciting. I feel so pure, I can’t possibly feel guilty for doing this. My writing makes no sense, but it’s fun that way. I don’t know how much longer I can keep this up, though. Creativity falters to lack of sleep. Residues of thoughts. Too bad the closest I’ll get to a brain storm tonight is a light drizzle. Dayum, dayum, dayum.

AFTER

Words can’t explain it, they just can’t. But by God, I’ll try.

I felt like I was a live wire, like I HAD to be doing something, whether it was talking or walking or ANYTHING. My mind and body were in super fast mode, but nothing I did made me satisfied. No matter what I was doing, I felt like I HAD to be doing something else. I wanted to be able to lie in my bed, to just stare at shit in my room and get lost in deep thoughts and crazy visuals (which I did get a decent amount of), but I kept finding myself unable to sit still and just think. God, it was so weird.

The closed eye visuals were absolutely incredible. They were always changing and complexifying, but most of the time I’d end up with a mix of rotating shapes and random strands of light surrounding those shapes. I remember looking at it and thinking how cool it would be to draw the thing, but I realized it was impossible because it was multi-dimensional and constantly changing its structure.

I think shrooms prove challenging to artists and writers in particular. Because as a writer, I’m always trying to grab hold of themes and always trying to provide basis on whatever it is I’m writing about. When I’m fryin’, there’s nothing to grab. And it messes with me. There’s no reality crutch – reality’s missing her crutches. EVERYTHING is swarming with life, and I just can’t grab EVERYTHING.

At one point, I couldn’t feel my body anymore. I knew I was lying on my back somewhere on the floor, but I couldn’t feel it. My consciousness was an independent person within me, which simultaneously had no start or end. It just WAS. I felt so connected to that floor, too. If I were to have gotten up while still feeling this, I’d have lost a part of me. That’s how connected I was.

I remember being on the phone with one of my good friends at the peak of my trip. Kaneeka I think it was. I don’t really recall the conversation, but I remember repeating things 3 or 4 times back to back because for some strange reason, I thought my vowels were stuck in the receiver. Like they were prohibited from entering the phone line or something. I would try talking louder, but my throat was too sore from laughing earlier. It was so unreal.

When my trip started slowing down, I started visiting different places in some sort of realm that I could only perceive through emotional feelings. (They radiated feels that had color.) The ceiling beams spoke to me in gorgeous forms of Italian and it was so frustrating because I wanted to understand them, but I wasn’t fluent in Italian. And so I stood there mesmerized by their accents for close to twenty minutes, hoping maybe, just maybe they’d switch to English. But they never did.

It’s funny how every high I’ve experienced has some sort of a thematic element wrapped inside of it. This time my theme was “Combining Worlds; Do You See What I See?”. Because every room had a unique vibe to it. Some were kinda scary, like the laundry room. (It was so small and cluttered; I felt trapped and claustrophobic there.) But others, like my room and the bathroom, were so incredible. It felt like I was discovering new territory every time I walked in. The rooms were the ‘worlds’ and by combining them, I was constantly absorbing new information.

And then I’d try explaining this to all my fellow shroomers (there were 6 of us). Like, do you see/feel/hear what I’m currently seeing/hearing/feeling. And most of the time it would be a lost cause, but every now and then, I’d be on the same wavelength as somebody else. And it was so exciting for me when this happened. I got that ‘I belong here’ feeling and it made me feel like less of a loony because I wasn’t the only one experiencing what I was experiencing. If that makes any sense at all.

It seems like every day now people are losing their jobs. From hosting important business meetings at Itron to emptying the greaser behind the counter of downtown Burger King, America’s job market has taken a turn for the worst. Keeping a steady job in the US today is almost as slim as finding one in the first place. As the outsider looking in (considering the fact that I’ve never held a job), I find myself quite puzzled. Where have all these job openings gone? Why are these companies cutting employees? And maybe the most confusing of them all…why aren’t we able to fix it, whatever that ‘it’ may be?
..

Approximately five and a half months ago, I was just stepping into the realm of becoming a senior at Cheney High School. I can honestly sit here (it’s currently 9:34 pm, the night before this paper is due) and type close to around two hundred pages of ridiculous anecdotes, stories, lessons, rumors, experiences, and pretty much anything else randomly random that doesn’t relate worth a damn to this paper. But of course, Father Time is a huge barrier in my current dilemma of having this paper finished, and besides, I wouldn’t want to bore anybody with tales from the past when the real focus on hand is facts from the future. Anywho, I had just blown out the eighteen candles on my Maggie Moo’s Ice Cream Cake, and getting a job was the farthest thing from my mind. It’s not the fact that getting a job is hard in any sense, but moreover that I have so many things that currently come before that.
..

Friends and sports top that list. I guess that’s not really what a teacher reading this wants to hear (maybe Stralz puts it best; “You are a student-athlete and not vice versa.”), but academics were (and still pretty much are) just not ‘high priority’ in my mind. Even though parents don’t want to admit it, school isn’t about what you absorb while sitting at that cramped desk in the front row, but what happens around and in spite of that. I think I may have caught that ‘senioritis’ bug that all the anxious twelfth graders talk about. However, throughout my senior year (so far), I have managed to maintain a 3.33 GPA, my lowest letter grade in any class not dropping below a ‘C’. Which brings up the whole overwhelming process of getting a job once again.
..
“C’s aren’t going to get you anywhere in this world, Bree. They’re average. What’s gonna happen when you apply for a job, huh? Do employers want ‘average’ people to fill their positions? Do they?” I just want to yell at the top of my lungs whenever our conversation gets to this point. “No, DAD! Rhetorical question, DAD! I’m working on it, DAD!” But of course, I can never say this to his face. I’ll always respond calmly with one, two or even a combination of all three of the excuses provided below.

A. “Nobody’s gonna wanna hire a senior in high school with absolutely no flexibility in her schedule to work for them. It’ll be best for us all if I just wait it out until summer, Dad.”

B. “There’s no possible way for me to juggle school, sports, and a job all at once. It’s hard enough already, Dad.”

C. “Even if I did find some rare company who hired people with my crazy schedule, you would be the one having to drive me there every day because you seem to overlook the fact that I don’t have a car, Dad.”

Usually Excuse ‘C’ provides all the cushioning I need to override his side of the argument. I know it does. I know for a fact that my father is way too busy to become my little taxi service overnight. Or at least was too busy.
..
You see, at the time, which was only but a few months ago, he held two well-paying occupations. On one side he was the head produce buyer eight years running for Charlie’s Produce. And on the other, being a realtor for Kestell Company Realty had yet to let him down. I guess you could say I had it pretty well off. I still do. No job, little to no serious responsibilities, about fifteen bucks a week via allowance, and a roof over my head with free food is livin’ the dream in my eyes. How could I contest to that, yu know? So you can only imagine the cold sensation of shock that shot through my body when Dad came home that idle Tuesday afternoon (five weeks ago today) and uttered those five ugly words…
“I lost my job today.”

Those words mocked me for the rest of the week. They still manage to send a chill down my spine whenever I start reading the ghastly sentence looming at the top of this page. Bold and CAPITILIZATION fail to expose the seriousness that settle behind them. “How did this happen?!?” I exclaimed, half expecting the words ‘Just kidding!’ to tag along. But before he had a chance to answer my question, I let my emotions get the best of me. My tears pierced the shoulder of his polo shirt as he pulled me close, hugging me and saying that everything would be okay in the end, and that if it wasn’t okay, it wasn’t the end.
..

It’s actually quite scary writing about that today. Not scary I guess, but it makes me think of all the things that could happen next. It’s amazing when you get to that point in your life where you realize how lucky you really are, and how much you depend on your salary as a means of survival. I mean, of course my dad is just another statistic in all these unemployment percentages nowadays, but getting into the cause and effects of not having a steady income really puts things in perspective.
..
For an excellent example, take the Chicago-based company of Boeing. Not even a month ago, their headquarters announced on national news that they were going to be cutting 4,500 jobs in 2009 just in the state of Washington. 4,500 jobs?!? That’s insane. Boeing as a whole employs 160,000 people, 76,000 of those who work in Washington alone. Taking higher mathematics and applying them to this current world issue makes you not help but raise an eyebrow. Take a look. à 4,500(divided by)76,000(equals).0509 and so on and so forth which turns out to be 6%. So three out of every fifty employees working for Boeing in Washington State were dropped, just in the month of January. Wow. I can’t imagine all the hate mail and other negative vibes that franchise gets from laid-off workers, their wives, their husbands, their extended families, their friends, etc.

(The following letter is NOT REAL. It’s a very bad dramatization of what my hate mail will sound like if my husband ever loses his job due to layoffs and what not. Please do not try this at home… )
..
To Whomever Fired My Husband At Work Last Week;

I hate you. I hate you, hate you, hate you. Do you have any idea how much time my husband wastes lying around the house like a lethargic bum? He has yet to empty Fluffy’s litter box. The poor cat has to climb to the top of ‘Turd Mountain’ every time she has to go #2 anymore. And to hell if I’m layin’ a finger even near that wretched thing. Ugh. How could you fire a man who has provided you with 25 years of nothing but back-breaking labor and unpaid overtime shifts? It’s all your fault. You want to know what he accomplished today? Nothing. Oh wait, no. Moving from one chair to another has to account for something right? Even if the reason behind it was because he can’t fit in his blue recliner any longer. Twenty pounds in twelve days. TWENTY POUNDS IN TWELVE DAYS! How does that even work?!? I honestly think he can’t feel feelings anymore. The other day, I caught him having a heated argument about whether or not Jesus was black with a half eaten chocolate Twinkie. I ask you now before I go absolutely insane and leave the love of my life behind me. Okay, screw asking; I’m telling. Take him back! Do it. Please.

With Hope And Faith For The Future,

Ivuh Gawn Maad

 

 

P.S. “Meow, deeper meow, short hiss, right paw swipe, long hiss, followed by a shrill MEOW at the end.” (Fluffy says she hates you, too.) xoxo
..

So, I’ve officially found excuse ‘D’ to put on my list. “Ummm…Daddy?…I’ve analyzed through and through the job market today, and I’ve come to a conclusion. I am currently not able to find a job because people who are supposed to be taking jobs like yours are now coming down to jobs like mine and taking those instead.” This actually would not be that far from the truth. Just the other day, I submitted my perfectly filled out application to the Iron Skillet and couldn’t help but notice the stacks of other applicants’ applications underneath mine. I swear to God, there must have been at least forty other forms there. Think about that for a second or two. Forty people battling for one job. Hell, go back to last summer and you don’t even have half the stack of paper you have now. Desperation from unemployment has legitimately blinded our country.
..

Approaching this economic crisis in an optimistic view takes some courage, I’ll admit it. But approaching this economic crisis in an optimistic view and using it to your advantage is a whole other concept. Maybe that’s why I have an overbearing sense of pride for my dad. Losing his job didn’t mean the end at all. It meant a new beginning. Because now, he’s going to school to become an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician). It’s weird in the sense that when I’m going to attend college someday, he will be, too. His will be for a completely different career of course, but none the less, I was very surprised at his decision in choosing this.
..

According to him, the economy will end up fixing itself with Obama leading the pack. According to me, that’s a bunch of sugar-coated crap. I believe our world consists of two kinds of political stereotypes; the blind and the deaf. The blind being the ones who constantly overlook the little things that could be important pieces to our ‘puzzle of prosperity’, and the deaf being those who do pay attention to the little things, but choose to take no action towards them. So in most cases, it’s the deaf leading the blind. If that makes any sense at all.
..
I guess what I’m trying to get at is that this economy is in an enormous whirlwind of debt, unemployment, and foreclosures, and that we, the people, are swept up in it all without ever having a chance to brace ourselves in the first place. However, suppose everyone forgot about this huge obstacle we face today. Suppose unemployment rates drastically fall from that dreadful 7.3% and creep down into a comfy zone of 4.4% – 5% instead. Gas prices magically pulled off this feat didn’t they? Of course I know we’re dealing with jobs here, but still. I can almost guarantee that if you were to pull someone aside, off the streets of New York per say, and ask them the simple question of “What do you think about the current unemployment rate of America?”, they would have something specific to say, mostly complaints and endless rants. But turn around and ask that same person what they would do to help the global economy and how, and you find yourself back to square one again. “Ummm…let’s see…ummm…I would…recycle more?…ummm…” And thus the vicious cycle starts all over again.
..
Looking back upon this paper, I realize that yes, America is in a struggle for their lives. Literally. Yet, I also realize that contributing to the problem instead of helping to destroy it is one very dire weakness, we as a country portray. So as I sit here, a jobless senior whose biggest current worry is finding out who ate the last piece of my birthday cake, I find myself lost in thought over what will become of America as I know it, and have known it for the past eighteen years of my life. Will we ever make enough progress as to fixing our billion dollar debts? Will our countries unemployment rate ever go back to where it was prior to the Iraq War? And maybe the most important question of them all. Will any of this happen within my lifetime?

“I have 59 days left until school is done with. Forever.”

You have absolutely no idea the glee it gives me to finally be able to say that. Letting those eleven words slip off the tip of my tongue with the greatest of ease, without even having to tag along ‘just kidding’ at the end of them. The burly black doors of freedom have just burst open, revealing infinite fields of caramel kettle corn, orange popsicle trees, and smiling wisps of cumulus clouds that transform into Swedish Fish when you snap yer fingers. Although, I’ll have to admit, being a senior at Cheney High School has been quite an exciting and rewarding journey. Let’s rewind to the golden years for a paragraph or two.

I began my educational pathway at a tiny little brick schoolhouse out in the middle of nowhere. Ahhh, Great Northern. I believe my graduating class (6th grade) had five of us in it. Quite a turnout if I may say so myself, considering the whole school (K-6th) housed approximately 32 students in total. Despite the limited number of kids to become ‘besties’ with, Great Northern is, and always will be, my most memorable school. And since it was so small, you really got to know your teachers and vice versa. One particular individual, who will always be remembered in my book, is my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Kathy Vela. I was always the shy kid in the corner, you know the one. Where anything and everything I said triggered a dark shade of red to sneak its way across my chubby white cheeks. Well, being the understanding mentor she was, Mrs. Vela managed to coax me out of my anti-social habits, slowly but surely. To tell you the truth, she was one of the first people (besides the good ol’ rents of course) that I felt I could fully trust. This was awesome for me, because I was a very self-conscious kid back then, (I sported double-row braces, leopard framed glasses, and insanely curly blond hair) and she provided that safety barrier which I knew I could always fall back upon.

After saying goodbye to Great Northern and all the unforgettable memories I had created there, I moved on up to Cheney Middle School. For me, this was a huge, crazy, overwhelming change. To put it in simplest terms, everything that was going great for me was violently sucked up into a giant gray cloud, never to be seen again. Imagine if Earth was just an enormous, dirty dust ball and the Milky Way was a top-of-the-line Hoover with incredible dust ball GPS built into it. SLLLLURP! Total disaster, right? Well, that pretty much described my life as a 7th grader. That is, until I met music.

Music has always provided me with an outlet from the stresses of everyday life. I believe, where words fail, music speaks. If I woke up one idle Thursday morning to find out I had lost my hearing I could not fathom what I would do. It would be the ‘deaf’ of me. For example, when two of my best friends are arguing, and I know they’re both wrong, the ability for me to remain silent is almost as hard as falling asleep on Christmas Eve. So to play it safe, I just pop in my earphones, and trade their heated words in for a much needed daily dose of Chris Martin’s (Coldplay) incredible British accent. Works every time.

But anywho, back to my reflection, 7th grade continued to 8th and that’s when I discovered I had an itch to snatch a spot on the team of dancing, jiving, and all but boring Show Stoppers. These guys were breathtaking in my eyes. I want to be up there so bad, I’d tell myself day after day. But it was more than just a ‘want’; it was a ‘need’. I needed to showcase my soprano voice, needed to represent my fellow Nighthawks, and most of all, needed that sense of pride that came with performing alongside the best of the best. And so one chilly September morning, I swallowed my doubts and uncertainties and tried out.

Two weeks full of worry, baggy eyes, and stubby nails had finally come to an end as I anxiously read my results off the little metal bulletin hanging in the cafeteria. I had made it! Engulfed in happiness and satisfaction, I had finally found my place. Soon after my euphoric moment by the little metal bulletin board, life seemed a lot more enjoyable. Classes were easier, aiming distance for that 4.0 didn’t appear half as far, and Mr. Waud had to have been one of the most down-to-Earth teachers to make a difference in my life.

My favorite piece of middle school (besides choir) would easily have to have been the Fridays. Every Friday, rain or shine, my two best friends and I would dress up in a theme that we ourselves had created. I don’t even know how we thought of this idea, or the reasoning behind it. It was just ‘one of those little things’, that eventually evolved into ‘one of those big things’ by the end of the school year. I suppose you could have called it our mid-life crisis, but instead of blowing $30,000 towards a brand new Mustang convertible, we transformed our Fridays into (and these are just to list a few) Disney Day, Nerd Day, Backwards Day, Indian Day, Dress-Like-Your-Dad-For-A-Day Day, Superhero Day, Goth Day, Gangsta Day, 70’s Day, Hick Day, Pajamas Day, Beach Day, and just so many more. Everybody always thought we had literally lost our minds, but I guess they were right in a way. However, to me, middle school Fridays were always too far away, but when they finally did get here, they made school so much more worth going for.

Although our Fridays were extremely entertaining, Britney, Kaneeka, and I had to leave them with the Nighthawks. Despite the I-don’t-care-what-anybody-thinks-of-us attitudes we had once possessed, being a freshman was a scary thought. Plus, atomic wedgies, wet willies, and all the other senior pranks that were supposedly going to happen to us always managed to leave quite a sour taste in my mouth. So that was that, sad but true.

Prior to contray belief, freshman year proved to be an outstanding one. Closed campus didn’t really affect me because when yer a freshman cafeteria food is part of a normal/consistent food source. I don’t know what it is about being a senior, and I still can’t explain it to this day, but going out to eat means something more than just grabbing some dollar fries and a Big Mac. It’s like a rite; a passage. When you have the ability to leave school grounds, be it by friends with cars or maybe even your own car, there’s that ‘cool factor’ that comes along with it. Automatically, you become that much cooler. It’s honestly one of those labels that will never get old.

But enough about the food part. (I’m hungry can you tell.) I flew through my freshman year holding steady a solid 3.6 cumulative GPA. This was quite a feat for me, looking back now and knowing that I wasn’t the sharpest crayon in the box, nor did I have the attention span to make up for it. I met many irreplaceable people along the way. One of them being my volleyball coach, Cherie Gwinn. She was one of the most enthusiastic people I’ve ever been coached by. Staying after practice to improve her players’ skills didn’t bother her in the least bit. “Are you sure you wanna stay, Coach? Cuz I totally understand if you don’t.” She’d always respond back to me telling me how ‘practice makes perfect’ and how she was here to help me out in that little saying. Thanks to her, I shocked everybody (including myself) and made varsity my sophomore and junior year. It was just such an awesome feeling; one of my high points in life so far.

Since we’re on the subject, let’s talk sports. My whole life, whether it be bush or competitive leagues, summer or in-season, sports have always been there for me. Perseverance and determination are big factors, but are also big learning curves. Take track as an example.

I absolutely fell in love with track and field. The atmosphere was awesome, I was actually excelling at what I did (high jump + javelin) and I had Stralser to keep me going and to help pick me up when I was down. Sophomore year was kind of a bummer because I missed going to State by a mere 4 feet for javelin. That hurt, it really did. However, my junior year, I decided to venture outside the box, and tried my luck as a pole-vaulter, working harder and more determined than I ever had in the past. Turns out, hard work pays off. My height masked my faulty drop step, and I ended up going to State with an 8’6’’. To make things even more perfect, I threw a 112’6’’ the next day for javelin and beat out the two Pullman girls, thus sending me to State in my second event as well. I was ecstatic. Perseverance, determination, and an open attitude to embrace/try something new had struck gold for me.

I can not explain to you, within a two sentence radius, or even an eight paragraph essay what all of my educational experiences have taught me. First of all, there’s just too much to list, and secondly, my words would not be enthusiastic enough to represent my past. I can tell you this though; I am a very independent learner. Don’t get me wrong, I love meeting new people. Taking differences between my attitude and beliefs and accepting someone else’s is one of life’s simple pleasures. But when it comes to learning, being stuck in a group is definitely not leaning towards my ‘educational benefits’. I’m not sure how to reason with you on how, or why that is. It’s just who I am as a learner. It’s kind of unique in a way, because if you take my outside-of-school activities and then try to match them with my inside-of-school activities, you’d find that opposites attract, considering I’ve been in team sports my whole life. Funny how that works.

To further my education, I am planning to attend college, but don’t know where or when. To be completely honest, I have no idea what I want to do with my life. Freshman year I had my mind set on becoming the most well-known veterinarian in the history of Cheney. Hah! The following year, my choices narrowed down to a sharp tie between any job having to do with animals, and/or a field in sports broadcasting. Like I’ve said before, I love sports. I always have. Put me in almost any game situation and I will perform to the best of my abilities. But get me in front of a camera, and the whole room seems to spin, leaving me totally speechless with maybe a few ‘ums, uhs, and hmms,’ here and there. Therefore, broadcasting live in front of hundreds of people on a daily basis is out of the question.

About halfway through my junior year, I realized that I didn’t really mind what I ended up doing, so long as each day of my job was unique and different and preferably took place outside. I mean, I could never ever be one of those people who do the same thing over and over again, hour after hour, day after day. Take a Wal-mart greeter for an excellent example. “Hello, how are you? How’s yer day going today? Welcome to Wally World, I’d rather be knitting purple elephant sweaters with Grandma Rosey, but enough about me, what’s up with you?” Okay, maybe I exaggerated a bit on the last one, but I needed to make my point. Point being; repetition = not exciting = boring = not me. So once again, I still have no clue what I want to be.

However, I do believe that the skills I’ve developed over the years, in and out of school, will provide me with a huge ingredient in impacting my future dreams and career stepping stones in whatever I end up doing. They will also allow me to learn from my mistakes in the past, and correct them in the future. Or even better; not even make them at all.

Writing this senior reflection paper has opened my eyes in many ways, and makes me realize how lucky I really am. Throughout my experiences, K-12th, I’ve found that life can be a journey to nowhere and everywhere, all at the same time. Meeting new people is always something you should be encouraged to do because you never know where they might lead you in life. I’ve also learned that before things get better, they have to get worse first. Which sucks in the short perspective of things, but pays off to a tee in the long run. Before I end this masterpiece, I want to thank all of the people who’ve made a difference on my outlook of life and say one last thing. I may have no idea where I’m going, how I’m getting there, or what I’ll end up doing, but by God I promise it’ll be everything but boring.


Spokane, WA. 26 years young. Aquarius, of course. I am a very optimistic individual driven by passion and creativity. Music is my inspiration to everything. I dig the nightlife. I enjoy discovering new craft beers and breweries. I like animals more than humans. The ocean is amazing. I have no idea what I wanna do with my life and prolly never will. But I'm going to succeed because I'm crazy enough to think I can.
September 2019
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