How I Deal with Life.....

How I Deal with Life.....

Monday, October 21, 2013

More TERI'S LIFE RULES To Ponder



In my vast wisdom that comes with age, as well as having royally screwed up, or as I like to call it “experienced life” a time or two, I can offer the following pieces of advice without hesitation.

 DISCLAIMER:: There is no money back guarantee. You aren't spending any money reading this, except maybe your internet bill, and I am not responsible for that shit. If the following advice proves faulty do not hire a fancy sue-happy attorney thinking you will win some stone-cold easy cash. 
I am a teacher. You will get nothing.

BLOW UP MONKEYS
1. After my five-year-old granddaughter got all pouty because some kid wrote on her blow up plastic toy monkey with a marker, I told her, "Miley, you are going to find that a whole lot of people are going to write on your monkey in this life. You just gotta let it go".  
 So if someone is writing on your monkey, let it go.

ROCKS
2. And those rocks? You know the ones you keep picking up throughout the day that in no way belong to you? Stop picking them up. They aren’t yours, and after you have picked up about six and seven good sized ones and placed them in your pockets those bastards can become quite heavy. They ain’t your rocks. Don’t pick them up.

HAIR
3. It doesn’t matter if you have a bad hair day.  It’s just freaking hair. Don’t let the state of a bunch of keratin ruin an entire day. It's KERATIN, people. Google it. Kinda gross, so prepare yourself.

MARRIAGE
4. Don’t even THINK about marrying someone that you known for less than one year. And by “known” I mean that the lust has cooled to an even 50 degrees F , you have experienced a bad stomach virus or food poisoning together, and you have seen one another mindlessly clipping toenails while watching television. Then, and only then, can you even begin to consider spending the rest of your lives with one another. Not before. Trust me on this. 
Plus, I read on the news the other day that 90% of all dust that we inhale consists of the dead skin of our family members. Marry someone you don't mind inhaling into your body on a regular basis.

MAKING PEOPLE INVISIBLE
5. Everyone makes stupid remarks that can hurt your feelings. If it only happens once in a while it means that person is human. Forgive them. If it happens on a regular basis it means that person is an asshole and you should cut them out of your life permanently. You don’t have to trash talk them. You don’t have to hate them.  You don’t even have to tell them you are cutting them out of your life or why. Just relegate them to the “Don’t think about it” portion of your brain. You know, that part of the brain where you have tucked away the memories of all those past medical gynecological exams? Then after you have tucked that person far away in your subconscious, get on with your life.  You will be happier. They will be confused for a bit. It’s a personal win/win.

HEART FRIENDS
6. I know you get busy. So do I. Work, errands, family, it all gets in the way sometimes, as real life tends to do. But you must phone or write your closest friends at least every two months and say “I love you”. Do it just because you can.

INEXPENSIVE ENTERTAINMENT
7.  People watching is a highly undervalued and enjoyable pastime. Especially when enjoying said activity in a shopping mall or water park, and especially when you are “people watching” those under the age of twenty-five or over the age of eighty, and especially while sipping on a Coke Slurpee. Think of those nameless strangers as human cat toys. And it’s mostly free to people watch. The Slupree will cost under $3.00. What a deal.

PARENTING 101
8. Everyone else’s child is a brat except yours. You will always know instinctively how to parent other people’s children better than your own.  And you will voice that fact loudly. It’s a parent rule. You are not an exception.

POLITICIANS
9. For well over two hundred years United States career politicians have been greedy, power-hungry, and had their hot little hands jammed deep in the pockets of corporate America and lobbyists. Again, it’s a rule. A politician rule. There are no exceptions.
 
 LISTS
10. Creating written itemized lists is a perfectly valid way to pass the time.

PACIFISM
11. Sometimes I am smart as hell. 
And, contrary to popular belief, I am not a pacifist. There is a time and a place to kick ass and take names. You just have to be intelligent enough to know when to kick ass, and when to say "fuck it" and go plant a shrubbery.

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Voices In My Head Are Back

The below, "Chapter Nine", is a long overdue chapter to my little novella, "No One Gets Out of Here Alive".  The last time I wrote a chapter was back in April of this past year. In May I got a new job, started the process of moving and settling into a new school, and around the same time dad's Alzheimer's and Parkinston's took a sudden downward spiral..

When dad died on August 15 I found that all desire to write was gone. I didn't know where the stories went. I could no longer hear my story telling voice. All was silent in my head. The fictional voices were gone.

One friend kept messaging me, asking me for another chapter. I kept promising, but when I would sit down to write, the characters would refuse to talk to me. I kept telling myself, "Tomorrow I will write". As the days spread themselves like fog, I still couldn't hear the stories. The voices had gone completely silent.

"Tomorrow" became more and more elusive.  My sleep suffered. I was spending every spare moment at work trying not to think about dad, about the weight like rocks inside of my chest, about writing.  Thinking I could ignore it all if I completely exhausted myself at work, I'd work eleven and twelve hours, long after all the other teachers had left the school. Even so, I still spent two or three hours trying to fall asleep at night. My thoughts were becoming tangled from sleep deprivation. Every time my brain started recalling dad's smile or the sound of his voice I'd push the memory aside. I'd berate myself not to cry, not to think- just work, work, work.  And the voices inside grew fainter and fainter.

A week ago my persistent friend again messaged asking when I was going to write more of Matthew's story. Again I promised her, "This weekend". Two nights ago as I was trying to fall asleep I heard a voice, clear as a silver bell, in my head. Behind my closed eyelids in the dark of the night I saw the words appear fresh and crisp against a bright white background. I  heard and saw the beginnings of, "Matthew is my big brother..". 
Last night I wrote.

I have found the voices again, or they have found me. They are jostling for attention, crowding my brain, speaking to me every second. They are joyous and they are back. Hell, yeah, they are back.

I owe you a debt, Jo.  You were the swift kick that wouldn't let the voices just die.
Thank you.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Chapter Nine: No One Gets Out of Here Alive



Chapter Ten
Brendan Royal
 I don’t know where the angels live, but it must be real pretty if Matthew wants to live there. Matthew is my big brother. Once I seen him in a picture that dad keeps in his drawer.  In the picture Matthew is squatted down on a beach that has lots of sand. He’s grinning at the camera and his eyes are squinted  like the sun is hurting. He has on green swim trunks and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle shirt.
             
          Dad caught me looking at the picture and he cried. He wasn’t mad at me though. He told me all about Matthew, how he liked to draw, and how Matthew had hair like mine; thick, black and curly, He also had that gap between his front teeth like I do.  I wonder if Matthew hated that gap as much as I do? If he was here I’d ask him that. I’d also ask him what his Mom is like. Matthew and I have different Moms. My Mom is named Gretchen. I don’t  know what Matthew’s Mom is named. Dad didn’t tell me and I thought if I asked it might make him cry worse.
             
          I was just a little kid when I found the picture by accident. I was looking for some quarters so I could buy an ice cream from the ice cream man when he drove by. The ice cream man always comes by in the summer. Daddy was still at work and Mom was on the phone. I tried to ask her for some quarters, but she covered the phone with her hand, told me to “Ssshhh”, and pointed for me to go away. I had seen some quarters on dad’s dresser the day before, but when I went in Mom and Dad’s room and looked, they were gone. I thought they might be in his top drawer. I opened the drawer and pushed aside Dad’s socks. Under the socks was a small wooden box. I twisted the lid off and inside was a round silver medal with a baseball on it and the word “Cougars”, a small white baby tooth ( I knew that because I had lost two teeth by then), and a tiny little bracelet with the words “BABY ROYAL” written on it. The picture was under the bracelet. I looked and looked at it because at first I thought the kid in the picture was me, but he looked older than me, so it couldn’t be me. Plus I never had a Mutant Ninja Turtle t-shirt.  I was still looking at it when I heard Dad walk in. I didn’t get scared or nothing. Dad never spanks me, but when dad took the picture from me and started crying I was wishing he had spanked me.
             
          Dad told me about Matthew and how he was with the angels, and how he had been his first boy, but now I was dad’s boy. Dad put the picture back in the box and put the lid back on. He pushed the box back under the socks and closed the drawer. He leaned down, picked me up, even though I was getting too big to pick up, and hugged me so hard I thought he was going to break my ribs.  I didn’t say “Ow” or anything. I just let Dad hug me until he stopped crying.         
           
          When the ice cream man came later I didn’t have a quarter, so Johnny let me have a few licks of his ice cream. I didn’t tell Mom about the picture. I don’t know if Dad did or not. I sometimes sneak in their room and take the picture out of Dad's drawer when I know they won't catch me, like when they're watching the news after dinner.  I've looked at the picture so much that it's painted on my brain. Sometimes before I go to sleep I talk to Matthew. No one knows I talk to him, but it’s like I always got someone around and I’m never alone.  I sometimes get the feeling that he listens to me, but he’s with the angels and can’t answer back.
            
           When I grow up I’m going to find heaven and ask Matthew to come back.

The Kettle is Almost Boiling.

What with all the Chicken Littles running around D.C at the moment, I should be entertained, but I'm not..

Just for the record I am not a Republican or a Democrat.
 I am PRO choice, PRO legalization of marijuana, PRO Gay Rights, and ANTI Federal Department of Education and so called "Federal education standardized tests" that attempt to corral all children in one little homogeneous box (I am, after all, a teacher).

 I am also PRO universal health care in America WHEN a viable one can be found (I don't think the ACA as written is workable or will set out to do what it was meant to do: provide affordable healthcare for every American).

I am ANTI 1% (big Corporations and and Banking) who are just getting richer richer while the rest of Americans are simply struggling to pay the mortgage and put food on the table. And the struggle is becoming harder and harder with each passing year, and that 1% just keeps fatter than a pig before slaughter time.

I am that ever growing segment of Americans who doesn't fit into either party's rhetoric or political platform.

 Right now Obama, Pelosi, Boehner, Cruz, Reid, Chambliss & Ikason (two Republican senators from my state of Georgia) and all the rest of the Senators and State Representatives are pissing me off.  And I don't think I am the only one who feels this way.

THEY shut down the government, but their paychecks aren't affected? They furlough federal workers without even a nod of sympathy or empathy? They put the nation at risk of defaulting on loans due to their unwillingness to approve a budget? (Don't even get me started on the debt ceiling issue; we're screwed if we do, we're screwed if we don't).

THEY pass a health care law that they don't have to be a part of, but the rest of Americans do? And eventually we all will (except our lawmakers). My employer will not continue to insure me if they can get me into an exchange and save themselves money. But I will have to pay higher premiums and my deductibles will also increase. I will be approved even though I have a pre-existing condition, but how will that help me if I can't afford the premiums or the deductibles?

Most Americans are like me: not well versed in the ways of Constitutional law, but I'll bet you a  dime to a dollar we can smell something rotten in the state of Denmark. We don't have to pry the tinfoil off the bowl on the top shelf of the fridge and actually view the green mold to know that something is decaying.
Well, Washington stinks, folks.
Smells like rotten eggs and forgotten cantalopes left to fester in the July heat . Oh, the sky is going to fall, all right, but not in the way the D.C Chicken Littles are cluckling about.

It won't end with a bang, but a whimper.

We're all frogs sitting in a kettle full of water on a lit stove while we allow our elected officials, big corporations and their share holders (Wal Mart, Apple, Procter Gamble, Coca Cola, General Electric, etc), banks (J P Morgan, Chase Manhattan, Wells Fargo, etc); special interest groups (real estate, retired, banking, oil and gas, pharmacy. etc); lobbyists (Cory Alexander, United Health Group; Bryan Anderson, Southern Company; Sid Ashworth, Northrop Grumann; Abigail Blunt, Kraft Food; etc); and pork barrel spending (old energy sources continuing to profit as opposed to new energy sources, corporations profiting from unnecessary Defense spending as opposed to necessary ones) to turn the heat up slowly and cook us alive. We won't even notice until it's too late.

Stupid us for siding with the Republicans or the Democrats over OUR nation. They divide and conquer. We allow it. And other nations are watching. They see us growing weak with division. Not exactly a good time for us to appear weak on the international front.

Do something. Write your Congressman, write your President.
 http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml 

Write editorials for your local and state newspapers for publication.  Blast BOTH sides of this insanity. Raise a little hell. Climb out of the kettle of water while you still can. And next election vote every last one of them OUT who participated in this circus. Let's rename it the EJECTIONS and eject them all out of office.


Either that or shut up and allow it all to happen.