Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010

Much Needed Song of this Monday: Wait by The Afters

One of my all time favorites. Tears every time.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Am I ready?

It's ten minutes until candle light service and I am not ready. I just finished mopping and making spinach artichoke dip among twenty other things to have people over afterwards. I am sleepy and the parsonage is quiet except for the Christmas Carols I have on in the kitchen. 
All day I have been writing this blog in my head and now I don't have time, which will probably be on my tombstone. She didn't have enough time to write an epic anything or even a decent blog about Christmas and all the happenings that go with it.
Like the surprise Shigeko gave me on Tuesday-girly and fun. My sister getting a new job. The last two weekends of gig, party, party and paint and gig party, party, party, party/gig. And the amazing amounts of good food. And Akemi's testimony, a missionary to Cambodia, and how it fits into all this. 
I am behind 260 emails, but I open one that says prayer in the subject line and keep the prayer for her and her family in my breath as I work all day, cleaning and cooking and thinking-wondering what the Lord is doing. How his victory will come down, for her, for us all, this time. This Christmas. 
And am I even close to ready?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day: Hard Candy Christmas-DOLLY!

I'm not having a hard candy Christmas, but I just found the old fashioned candy at the dollar tree! And I love this song:)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Aww, Sugar, Sugar.

     I am not technically on the Atkins diet, because. well, I can't stay on a diet. But years ago I joined with some friends at work to see who could lose the most weight. Within, the first six weeks,  I went from 162 lbs. to 148 lbs. and I didn't even do it right.
     I was amazed.
     Not just at the weight loss, but at the extent of my addiction to carbs. I usually ate carbs early in the morning-cereal, bagels, yogurts, fruit etc. But by nine, also known as first period as I was teaching middle school at the time, I was gnawing my hand off, forcing myself to wait until second period for the granola bar in my desk drawer and then running over students at 11:25 to get to the lunch waiting for me in the teacher's lounge fridge.
     When we went on the diet, I realized how much more hungry I WASN'T and how my day stopped revolving around snack time. The two year old inside me had matured, although I can still always use a nap.
     Today I was reminded of this. I still don't eat a lot of carbs, but I don't keep track either. If I want cheesecake, I eat it, If I want rice and beans and tortillas, I eat them, but this usually happens in the afternoon or evening. I like a big bowl of cereal before bed, too.
     Today, however,  I ate a bowl of cereal for breakfast. Okay, so it probably added up to three servings and 600 grams of carbs or something, but I love frosted shredded wheat. 
     By noon, I was dizzy, confused and my hands were shaking to high heaven and I was trying to figure out why.
     I was CRASHING.
     I found myself in the middle of the kitchen starting to organize the tupperware, warm up food for lunch, pour myself a soda, load the dishes, but not finishing anything. 
     I was trying hard to not feel like a junkie and open the fridge and devour the last half of the peppermint ice cream I'd been saving for my kids, so instead I grabbed an apple, a huge chunk of cheese and made myself sit down and take deep breaths. I am not exaggerating. 
     Eventually my hands stopped shaking and I could see straight and I felt human again. This used to happen to me all the time when I was pregnant or nursing and is why Chris' modus operandi for dealing with my cranky behavior is food-good food, lots of it. That is what clued me in to the fact that I am majorly affected by food and that somehow, what and how I eat, affects my sanity.
     This time of year doesn't lend itself to sanity, but I have managed to listen to a zillion Christmas carols and still not buy one gift. The parties, though, the parties with the sugar-filled treats and fun friends and wine and music. Oh, well. Maybe sometime around January 3rd, my eyes will stop spinning and my heart will stop racing and I'll take a nap and be back to "normal."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Slacker Blogger

After I lost the epic Thanksgiving Blog, I have been unmotivated to "finish" a new blog. That was brutal. The continuous saving feature on Blogger saved my accidental cut of the whole piece, when I was just trying to cut a piece of a Kahlil Gibran poem. My face went hot, my stomach lurched, and I moved away from the computer fast and dusted something while I thought about the four hours I had taken to write.

It should not take four hours to write a blog. I know this. I just haven't believed it yet.

I hesitate to sit down to write a new entry unless I know I have at least an hour. I have about twenty ideas in my head at all times, so it's not for lack of material, it's for lack of stillness. During the holiday season and the end of the semester, I don't have many whole hours to be still.

My mac battery is dead, so I also have been using that as an excuse for at least some of the reason I have been inconsistent. I can't pull my computer out waiting outside of piano, drum, viola lessons; I have to be plugged in. And it's hard to get the ideas from the journal or zillion scraps of paper to the screen to the post.

Blah, blah, blah.

Either way, they're just excuses.

Be still. Think, write, post.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

Curealities: Drowning in Blue by Chloe Curiel

Drowning in Blue

Wallow in whatever’s coming.
The future is an orb,
the one that floats above
a blue spinning flame in
a locked up room with twenty
guards insuring its safety.
They have cemented every crack
of light, every slit of past
and present, and have made
darkness out of it.
The blue hue is the only shimmer,
the only guide. It is
closely watched and protected.
What is to come is something unseen.
There is a great secret, constantly
hushed to keep it that way.
And a blackness where only drowning in
whatever’s left is permitted,
surrounds this mystery.
And I believe that it is so unknown,
that a tangible being could not think it up.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Payaso de Miercoles: Benigni, reminding me. . .

I lost my tribute to Thanksgiving post that took me way too long to write anyway, among other technical and everyday-life difficulties, so I skipped my Tuesday post again.

This is the clown I like for this day. Clever and brave. Oh, to be so.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Much Needed Song for My Birthday!:Danielson-Good News for the Pus Pickers:)

A little late, but that's how I roll. For those of us who "can't keep our fingers off a sore;)"

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Payaso de Miercoles: Laurel and Hardy-Mostly Laurel:0

     A fellow poet read this at Absinthe the last first Wednesday. I had spent some time watching some Laurel and Hardy clips that day for this weekly post that day and was stoked to hear it! Thanks for letting me share it BA!

The 8 Lancashire Lads quickly realized that to gauge the morals of their lunatic harmonic energies by commonplace standards would be as erroneous as putting a thermometer into a vat of boiling vaseline.

The 8 Lancashire Lads filled the fun factory with boisterous, acrobatic, humor and low knock-about comedy. Sending Krish-Krash vibrations into the unawakened genius of unsuspecting recipiants.

The 8 Lancashire Lads distracted from the pangs of love by discovering new adventures within the realm of the UNKNOWN, found themselves creating musical comedy masterpieces that only made sense if played swiftly backwards.

The 8 Lancashire Lads removed the safety harness in order to quickly raise the adrenaline level of the hearts of the clinically depressed clowns. This was a success. . . . until the curtain fell.

аа а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а Hootenanny Now,
аа а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а а

Brett "BA" Ardoin

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day: Light Bulbs by Mimo Morreale

     I recorded this song over the weekend at the same venue, The Doublewide, but something happened in the middle-crushing.
     Anyway, I love this song and today it is much needed.
     Mimo is local. Check him out when you get a chance or stop by Mokah and buy a CD from him and/or go to Mokah's open mic currently on Tuesday nights.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Curealities: Special Needs KIDS by Chaz Curiel

     We special needs kids live in a small world. Some people think we’re threats or just dumb; people often wonder why God put us special needs kids in the mix. They think they got the power to boss us around. People don’t care whether we have a need or if we’re at the wrong place at the wrong time. And gangs or older people just want to beat the living daylights out of us. If people take on one of the special needs kids, then you take on all of us.
      If a person is ashamed when he has an asthma attack or any kind of need, he shouldn’t be. He should be proud of who he. It doesn’t matter what they say about you; you are perfect just the way you are.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Payaso de Miercoles: Red and Red-Ha!

This Wednesday, I neeeeed two clowns. Two GOOD ones!
Just saying . . .

Balloon/Bridge/Strange Altar

     Years ago, when I was pregnant with Chloe, I had a wreck on a bridge very near where our bus is currently parked. 
     A woman in a government agency was mean to me, so naturally I tore out of the parking lot crying. Bleary eyed and sobbing,  I slid on a patch of ice, bounced off the guardrails and totaled Chris' grandmother's Ford Escort. 
     I was sad and angry at the timing of that wreck: I was trying to finish student teaching;  I had not planned on getting pregnant when Caleb was only five months-old; Chris was battling some hard-core back problems; And we had just finished paying off our credit card and closing the account, but were forced to open it up again to replace the car. I was one hot mess, as my sister likes to say.
     Up until a few weeks ago, I thought about that wreck almost every time I drove over that bridge. Not about how God pulled us through that stressful time in our lives. How I graduated, and our bills were paid and Santa showed up for real and Chris' back was fixed to live-able because of a client.
     Only about the mean lady's face, with her turquoise eye shadow and red nails, the loss of control of the car, me wailing a guttural "NOOOOOO!", the seatbelt bruise and the struggle to get it all straightened out.
    Then a funny thing happened on a late night drive home from a gig. As I drove over the bridge I saw this:


A strange altar reminding me not to revise the blessings out of the catastrophes.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day: Happiest Girl

For my Momma who turned 59 yesterday! We used to sing this in the car all the time! I'm so glad she's happy again!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Let Me Hear Your Battlecry

Heading to Fort Parker in a few minutes for a church retreat. Thought I'd post a much needed song for our body of believers.

Or a much needed song for my cousins and I and where we are in our lives- -don't give up.You're on my heart and in my prayers.

Silly Girl

     I make a movie for the man driving up on his motorcycle, wearing his black backpack and the squirrel running towards me on the telephone wire.
     A silly girl, making up stories that don't even make sense to her.
     And as they go, I feel like I sound too much like someone else and wonder who that someone else sounds like, but I am not well-read or hip enough to know. And why do I  think making movies comes in words when I am thinking in pictures. And can pictures and words be the same?
     Which leads me to think that maybe that three month long stint on Prozac wasn't long enough or maybe a cosmic nap will snap me out of this creating tiny epics on scraps of paper I find in the floorboard of my car. Maybe I should clean my car.
     The leaves on the trees hanging above the alley look up at me and laugh at my looking down on them. My eyelids heavy, I laugh back, right before the dream takes me.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Payaso de Miercoles :Jerry Lewis in Cinderfella

Once Chris said I looked like a clown when I danced. After some deliberation, I decided to take it as a compliment.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mondays Much Needed Song of the Day: Tom Sawyer

Okay, our church retreat theme is "Rouse the Warriors." Even though this is not the exact same kind of warrior, the song's stuck in my brain anyway:)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Curealities:Half-Mass by Caleb Curiel

Treading on sacred eggshells,
keeping a sharp eye for people’s toes,
until a makeshift patriot decides to
keep himself warm with propaganda
of the east.
Some challenge his methods while
others question his motives.
Publicly attempting to force-feed this
so-called enemy their own remedy
has turned him into a bigot instead
of a doctor.
Despite his black suit, white collar he
hasn’t applied the most recent testament.
I presume he would have the world
blind and unable to chew--
waving his rights around as if
they were flags.
Little does he know he has hung
his country at half-mast.   

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Payaso de Miercoles

I'm a sucker for a good clown. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Je Ne Sais Pas

     This was not the blog I planned on posting today, but it won't let me go.
     A dream I had last night. 
     I am in a tall building with a river running through the center. I am a glorified gopher on a small set and Norah Jones is the star. She is wearing too much make-up and thinks it's funny. I think it's funny, too.
     On the streets of downtown Dallas my cousin is looking for me. She is wobbly and disoriented.
     Suddenly I am in Baghdad holding a camera and looking into the sky. Pieces of airplane are falling from the air. I dodge a piece of the engine by ducking into a half covered video game arcade. I crawl into a clear bubble that turns out to be a gyroscope game. 
     "Get the shot! Get the shot!" Someone is screaming at me. Then a button is pushed and I am spinning like a hamster in his toy ball after it has been kicked down the stairs. Finally, jerked to a stop I hear, "Get the shot! Get the shot!' 
     Looking into the sky I see what looks like a dead angel falling from the sky. Then I see a red dot in the palm of the parachute above the angel's head, like he is being hunted, only now I see that he looks like a human, wearing an all white jumpsuit.
     "Stay in the air. Stay in the air," I whisper as machinery lands around me and explodes.
     Then I am back in Dallas filming in a bar and my cousin is still somewhere looking for me.  I can feel it. Norah and the crew drink beer and the make-up artist applies more make-up and I think about how I will lose this job for disappearing, but I slip out the back door anyway. 
      All I can think about is the man/angel in the air falling and the cousin in the streets looking for me and wonder what the two mean. If anything.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day: Roly Poly

     After youth camp out this weekend AND the second or third or something annual Aubin Halloween shin-dig, the Quebe Sister's version of Roly Poly was the choice of the day.  These girls know how to swing it! Of course that's our own Drew Phelps helping 'em out on the bass:)
     We saw these girls at the fair and fell a little bit in love. Even their speaking voices make us SWOON!

Friday, October 29, 2010

CUREALITIES: Check by Chloe Curiel

What if I don’t want to be a writer?
What if my stories are just for me,
and my poems are just poetry?
What if I get gratification
by staring at the checkmark
on your shoe until I feel accomplished?
What if I don’t want to be an artist?
What if I just want to draw,
and what if my paintings are
just color on canvas?
What if I don’t want to be an athlete?
What if I get victory from playing
and what if dirt-smeared smiles are my specialty?
What if I want to make jean cut-offs
and sharpie every piece of white?
What if the days come too early,
and the nights too soon?
What if there is nothing on this earth that I want to do,
and you can never seem to please me?
What if I don’t want to change the world?
What if I want to sit back and watch it change itself,
observe the rebirthing of it all?
What if it’s a new day?
What if doing what runs through the very core of your heart,
starts now?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Reluctant Home-School Momma: Part 2

Why am I doing this? I could be writing the novel that is outlined in a blue spiral in my back pack or finishing that screenplay I've been carrying around in my purse. I could be acting or rehearsing or counseling. I could be having lunch with other women like other women do and I've never done. I could be taking a nap or exercising or reading the eighty million books on my list of yet to reads or visiting or ministering or bringing plants back to life. . . .

     Yet, I am staring at a chore list trying to remember who did what last and dreading the fact that I need to show Chaz how to do this week's particular chore, AGAIN.
     Having a child with a disabilty has had it's challenges, but now I have an adult by year's standards and the last thing an 18-year-old wants to hear all the time is their monther's voice. 
     Especially when it's to the nth degree because he has to be reminded how to do everything so often. I take deep breaths and look out the window as he grows angrier and angrier because he has to change the settings on the washing machine or take the soaking white hoody out so it doesn't turn red or has to stop the dishwasher because he only filled the bottom half, became distracted, and left a sink full of dishes and an empty top rack.
     My daughter, Chloe (aka grade-grubber), the self-appointed fac totem, would like to make sure that everyone in class is on the same page, meaning HER page. When she is corrected, this veil of I don't know what--it's as if she has been color washed in photo shop from sunny skies to a dreary doomsday-- comes over her and she is blegh for at least an hour. My sweetest pea turns on me. 
     And while the landscape of the home school community is becoming more diverse in culture and faith, the co-ops my children attend remain strongly conservative. My son, Caleb,  takes an American History and a speech class from an organization that meets at our church. He has made it his mission to create shock value as often as possible.  
     Oh, not with his appearance or behavior, but by the topics he chooses for assignments. For his editorial piece he took a scathingly sardonic "Ask a Mexican" column from the Dallas Observer. 
     As he walked out the door, I channeled Edward Scissorhands, cut the article out and slipped it into a nice plastic cover,so no children would be harmed by the "want ads" in the back of that particular periodical. He is reading a highly edited Saul Williams poem for his dramatic reading and this is his Halloween pumpkin:

    Getting the picture?

    So when I think about all the ways I could be spending my time, I remember that the reason story structure and character development are inherent to Steven King is because when he was a child he missed a year of school due to illness and stayed home in bed reading everything his mom brought home from the library and that Andy Warhol spent much of a year of school coloring and coloring while home with chorea.   
     Granted those guys were ill at the time and are/were both weird as adults, but they honed in on their passions at home first. 
     Let's face it. There is no way that my children are getting out of adolescence without being a little nicked, but given time and materials and some divine discernment about when to stop "teaching" and start teaching, I am spending my time as an investment into my children's lives. 
     For the first time in their lives they are not totally consumed with results, output, product. The process, the journey counts. Also, their knowledge of the Bible has far surpassed mine at their age. (In tenth grade, Cecily Knobler had to convince me Jesus was Jewish.) 
     Chloe is tied to her sewing machine most of the time and is writing new songs for the piano. Chaz is constantly reading and watching videos to learn new songs for the guitar and harmonica, as well as  writing his life story in a composition book. Caleb created a reading list to rival most college-level humanity classes and is steadily checking them off, as well as deciding he's a minarchist and planning on making a documentary on chastity.
    (Apparently libertarian isn't minimalist enough and God help us all when filming begins.)
    Mostly what they are doing is finding their way and my job is mostly to let them. 
     But, still, if I have to explain adding/subtracting and
multiplying/dividing negative numbers to my brilliant, G/T daughter one more time, I will be outsourcing math next semester and making me a nice, little Saxon bonfire.
(Just kidding Shigeko. I'll give you your books back:) 
    By the way, beginning this Friday the Curiel kids will take turns blogging every week, so you too will get to experience the splendor and wrath that pour forth from their pens. 
     I mean, why should I have all the fun, right?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day

In honor of the concert I didn't get to see this past Friday:

Thousand Foot Krutch, Supafly:

Disciple, Scars Remain:

Some days, rockin' on, is what's best to do.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day:

Sometimes I grow impatient . . .How long, oh, Lord?

And still, unto Thee, do I lift up my soul.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Weren't We?

For the cousins. In all their various 
forms. . . 

We were gonna make kites
from grocery store bags
Fly fast down snowy mountains
Catch fish bigger than us
Munch on strawberries
We stole from a garden
Eat snow ice cream
hold hands while we fell asleep
Weren’t we?

We were gonna swing
Until we were dizzy
And play football at every holiday
And raise chickens, but only eat their eggs
and have babies,
lots of ‘em
name ‘em made up names
Weren’t we?

We were gonna
play spoons
‘til our fingers bled
Dance on picnic tables
 in our cut-offs
And smear our faces
with lightening bug dust
To pretend our Indian blood glowed
Weren’t we?

We were gonna
get nerd tattoos
Drink pomegranate
wine we made ourselves and
lick salt of our wrists
before we snuck a sip
of our momma’s beer
And find out rainbows end at the 
base of our spine
Weren’t we?

We were gonna
Ride waves that
crossed time zones and
speak languages
That only we understood
wrap ourselves in ribbon
Dip our bodies in batter
and bake out on the lawn
And keep hoping
our blood wouldn’t be
trapped forever--

Until one said,
 I’ll take that one. 
And another said
 I’ll have that one
And we knew then,
we’d have to let go.

Wouldn’t we?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Yesterday's meltdown was thwarted by the song of the day and the fact that another member of the family was well on his way to a lava- lavishing conniption. Every mom knows there is only room enough for one meltdown at a time.

However mine was not really thwarted, but postponed. Even though I saved us thirty dollars by using a slim jim to get into Chris' car this morning after he locked his keys in the trunk yesterday, I still couldn't stretch the rest of my dollars. 

As I stood outside the Office Depot by the trash can today, ripping my sales paper in two because I couldn't afford an all in one, make my life easier, fax, copier, color, laser,  printer, I melted. 

Ugh, are you serious? I asked myself as tears started to roll. It's a freaking printer. What day of the month is this? I have food, a free car,  a sort of roof over my head. A family that loves me. Come on. Buck up. 

And I thought about this morning and how I dropped the slim jim down into the door and how Chris and I laughed and laughed and I had to use a butter knife to get it out.

"That's so Pleasant Grove," he said. 
"No. True Grove Rats don't need a Slim Jim at all. They would use the butter knife to get in the car."  

He prayed and finally I unlocked the door. I couldn't get the Slim Jim out though, so he drove away with it sticking out of his window. We just kept laughing going down the highway. 

But now, THREE HOURS LATER, the tears flowed. 

I took deep breaths as I got in the car and drove home. I cried harder at the stop light even though the person beside me could see. This is as private as my meltdowns get. Usually in public, but not in front of anyone I know. Who cares if strangers think I am neurotic and odd because I can't find the peanut butter in the stupid mega store that I hate to go to by myself or because I am swaying from one foot to another with paper work in my hand trying to remember my own phone number and I can't?  

Exactly. Who cares?

Maybe other moms understand the massive loads of paperwork that go along with a child who has special needs. My family,my friends, my lawyers, my case workers,maybe everyone I know, but still, it's not that big of deal and I am ANGRY that I am crying!

Then I remember the list of phrases I say to myself to be my own cheerleader or to calm myself down:

It doesn't matter.
Don't give up.
You are not crazy.
Why are you sleeping?
I will not be destroyed.
Shut up.
The spirit of power, remember?
You are a beloved child of God in whom he delights.

I just have to wait for things and it's inconvenient and makes me have to work harder and I am kind of scattered as it is, but that's how it is. And that's okay.

That's okay.