Blink and it’s Gone

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See, I am a sappy, free-to-love, free-to-break-up kind of girl…emotional, so stupid when it comes to the heart, and totally predictable (if you’re sleeping with me).

       “You know what you need, a night off. You need a night to just take your mind off of things and relax, have ice cream, listen to good music. You need [me to take you out on] a date.”

So, what is it about the real world that leaves us all, pretty much, suffering?

Am I the “Adam” or am I the “Kristina”… the space between us seems to literally get smaller, every day. Yet, I don’t really care because the further I feel from the “whom” that I am, the closer I seem to the “what” I want to be.

Free. Is what I want to be.

Shouldn’t Word 2010 be  cooler than 2007? One might think, but every time I click on the Microsoft Word (Trial) I expect to see an incredible display of words, themes…notes on a page.

Only…

I don’t.  

Do you want to know what I do see? If not, click the ‘fuck you’ button because, well, fuck you.

Microsoft Word 2010 is like the past three years of my life repeating in my head. It’s the memories that make me sick; it’s the time I have spent cleaning up this mess. It is my other half!

Only…

Fuck that.

I am further from the rest than anyone else.

I am the solver of the problem who won’t invest in herself.

“Braver-man.”

But, I am not.

Not a man, not brave, not either part.

Can’t figure out how to let go of the rest of the life I thought we might have, together.

Gave with such a huge part of myself but

This is not my storybook and clearly I don’t need to relax… don’t need ice-cream, or good music.

“and how is it my responsibility?”

So folks, can you take one guess where I HAVE found myself?

HOME.

No relaxing,

No food and no fucking ice-cream

No night off and no taking my mind off

Of anything                                        

But I don’t really need the calories…

I was always alone but see, now I know,

Alone is enough (for me).

Dreams of a Ne’er-do-well

“How does desolate sound tonight?”

It must be the future that seems so grim

I ask, “what could warrant such isolation?”

She flashes a wintry grin.

 

It’s do or die, my friend, I’m dead!

I have done nothing to suffice-

A contribution so utterly bleak-

It leaves me without a voice!

 

Maybe the translation will fend

Better in my head…

But my ego snarls, so I will wait until tomorrow-

To hear from her again.

 

How quickly I can walk away;

How hard it is to stay apart-

If only she could see the letters

I’ve got scoured upon my heart.

 

Perhaps I’m innocent- an overall victim;

Perhaps I happened onto that scene.

A last minute accident, I placed that call,

Now the number one suspect is me.

 

I’ve got my hands above my head-

Shipped out my own heart in a body bag.

I must have confessed when I passed that test,

But it’s ‘do or die’ now, my friend.

 

She must have believed I wasn’t serious,

My desires an impulsive whim.

But God knows I desire- with my entire-

And all I’ve got left now is Him.

 

I wish I could reach out and pull her,

Into my lap again…

To feel her linger, her physical demeanor,

Wavering above my skin.

 

I wish I could climb into her thick-head,

Flip through her most private-thoughts.

But perhaps now I’m dreaming- peaceful & sleeping,

Not long till she wakes me up…

 

A kiss in the face, she moves me to wake,

With perfectly embellished lips-

If I am a suspect, then place me in prison;

God knows that I’m already trapped.

Snow-boarding Bedlam

After a few failed attempts to make the long trip up to the mountain, I was finally able to go boarding for the first time this season with my annoyingly athletic Snow-bunny. We were super excited to hit the slopes using the new gear that we bought at the end of last year.

We spent several weeks gearing up for the first outing of the season and although I was a bundle of grumpy estrogen this morning, my bunny was rearing and ready to go at day break.

I’ve been riding for three years now and I honestly love going with her, as painful as it is the next day when I  haven’t been in a while. During the winter months we go a lot and by the end of March, I usually find myself in peak condition to ride the bigger, much more difficult trails. But in the beginning of the year, it almost feels like starting anew, with little memory of last season’s trials and tribulations.

Most times, we use the first few days of the season to warm up and to get readjusted to using muscles that I never even knew existed three years ago. But as the years go by, my snow-bunny is increasingly more persistent that l abandon my love affair with the bunny slope and the ditzy doodle, in order to spend more time tumbling head over board down the bigger trails. Lord knows I love broken bones and bloody noses as much as the next girl, but I told her that since we just spent a lot of money on new gear, we ought to test it out on the novice trails first.

After much deliberation and some fussing over the new binding’s at the bottom of the hill, she agreed to accompany down the beloved bunny slope to test out our boards.

We climbed into the ski lift chair and exchanged excited smiles on our way up the hill. I felt like I might pee my pants, a sensation I feel at the beginning of every new season . I took out my ever trusty flask to alleviate my “head on ice” jitters.

Once we made it to the top, I knew something was terribly wrong when I floated effortlessly off the ski lift and my bunny tumbled past me.
I screamed, “ahh, it’s a sniper!’ Oh wait, that’s another story. Sorry, inside joke.

She crashed into a snow drift and was laid out, face first in the snow. I scooted over to her to offer a hand, check for a pulse, whatever medical attention she required.

She was ok, but startled that she had fumbled off the ski lift- a move she mastered many years ago.

Moments later we were sitting at the top of the hill and (once again) battling our new boots and bindings. I was beginning to grow more confident with my gear but I knew she was in trouble  when she began to clutch her foot in extreme pain before we even started down the mountain. She was kicking and screaming in full  tantrum mode upon the realization that her left boot did not fit her (slightly larger) left foot (I’ve had that problem w bra’s before).

I immediately shifted into mom mode and while hundreds of 10 year olds whizzed past us, I proceeded to remove my boot to swap with her.

Honestly, I felt like the Mother Theresa of snow boarder’s for a minute there, but was amazed to find that after all these years, I have been wearing the wrong size shoe/ boot. Ladies and gentlemen, I kid u not, as soon as I dawned the left, slightly smaller boot, it was like the heavens opened up  and I went gliding down that hill like a semi- pro. I only fell once- and that wasn’t my fault! Really!

My bunny, bless her snow- boarding soul, was suddenly hopeful w her new slightly larger left boot! And I was suddenly a professional snow boarder with my slightly smaller left boot.

But of course, this is where the story takes a fateful turn. It wasn’t long before she realized that her new board is too long.  She spent the entire trip down the mountain crying out and complaining that she felt like she was either doing a split or giving birth. She looked to me as if she may be doing a little of both.

Leave it to my bunny to give birth while doing a split, on a snow board. When I reached the bottom of the hill, I turned right on my toes as if I were Sean- freaking- White, flinging snow at all the many, many (about 2) onlookers who were clapping at my perfect 10 toe-stop.

I looked up to see if my snow bunny was clapping too but I felt a sudden pang of sadness when I saw her walking down the hill with an obvious limp. She had pulled a muscle from riding her misfit board and doing yoga down the hill. She was ready to go home and I was ready to go to the Olympics!

So if u catch my drift, my snow bunny and I, ended up driving 2-1/2 hours to enjoy a bowl of 68$ french onion soup.

Lift tickets- 60$
French onion soup- 8$
Driving 2-1/2 hours just to go down the slope once, and hang out at an over priced ski resort with mediocre french onion soup- priceless.

Bad joke, I know. But I had to go there. And that was my snow-boarding bedlam. Sigh. As for Sean White, I’ll be seeing you in 2014 with my new (slightly smaller) left boot!

New Board

El Chancho

Ay Mami. It sometimes feels like my life is fit for the pages of a Hemmingway novel, like the story takes place in “A Clean Well Lighted Place.” The familiar voices around me come out in different languages, ‘no hablo español bien.’

Either way, I find it interesting that by trade I am a writer, an avid communicator, and yet I can’t communicate with my closest companions. Suffice to say, I’m also part Greek so I have mastered the art of body language & hand gestures.

Have you ever noticed that when people are trying to over-come a language barrier they revert to the same techniques used by children who are learning to speak? There is always the initial tendency to point and grunt but upon further development, most people use a “charades- like” tactic to get their point across, acting out words and phrases in fragments.
I have recently started spending my time with a little old Spanish lady, appropriately nicknamed Mamita. Although our communication is minimal, I visit her often.
As the self-professed “Grandma’s girl” of two recently deceased “Abuelitas,” the emotional satisfaction I get from spending time with her far outweighs the immense amount of time I’ve spent learning to speak and comprehend conversational Spanish.

The process of learning the language actually began several years ago, when I started a career teaching high school in Baltimore City; I received a call from a school that needed a Spanish teacher and although my degree is in English, the school was “desperate” and I was “the best candidate for the job.”
Needless to say, it was a freight train of a first experience and I spent more time teaching my students to conjugate verbs in English than I did teaching them to conjugate them in Spanish. I liked to think I ended my six month stint as a Spanish teacher with the fluency of a first grader but now looking back on it, I missed out on a fundamental part of the learning process.

When I accepted the daunting task of teaching a language that I did not speak, I spent hours at home reading a text-book every night and then hours teaching what I learned the next day. I learned to conjugate verbs like a pro, and four years later I can still conjugate a verb in Spanish better than most of my Spanish-speaking friends. But herein lies the problem, in learning to change verb-endings like a mathematical process, I failed to develop a relationship with the words I had memorized. What’s the point of memorizing all the parts of car when you have no idea how and when to put them together?

I realize now that what I missed out on was the childish process of associating words with sounds, images, and physical actions. With out  learning to attach words to meanings, nothing I say in Spanish will ever have any real significance. Every vocabulary word I have ever learned has been only by memory and I have never developed a real correlation between a simple noun and verb.

When children learn to speak, the process is guided by an innate tendency to put two or more meanings together. Hasn’t your mother ever told you that “the duck goes QUACK, QUACK,” or that “the cat says MEOW!”
Both are phrases that children learn to associate with a specific person, place, or thing. Having missed the opportunity to experience the actual significance of a Spanish word, has left me sort of static and stuck in this language-limbo.

The result:
I find myself telling Mamita things like,” as en mi cuerno…” (It’s in my horn) instead of the intended phrase, “es en mi cuerta” (it’s in my room).

Eh, I suppose it is true when they say “no harm, no foul.”
That is, until the day that I go to a foreign Country and offend a local with my choice of poorly translated words. Then again, I suppose that experience would only solidify the relationship between words and action (or better yet, an unforgettable experience with a total stranger, in a foreign place.)

But I always have Mamita around to teach me the correct way to speak her native language, proving that she was right when she said, “All I’ve ever needed to know in my life, I learned in El Salvador.”

Either way, Mamita is determined to help me ‘aprendar hablar espanol’. We have even devoted an entire day to practicing my tongue roll and I am not ashamed to admit that we have often spent  hours making “pig-nose faces” and laughing uncontrollably while making “Oinking” noises at each other. I suppose that is one language everyone can speak…

The only sad part is that I still don’t remember the Spanish word for pig. But I will look it up  and I’d bet a hundred peso’s that this will help me to remember.

This is Mamita with her oldest son, Armando