Thursday, January 3, 2013

for what it's worth.

it's day two of 2013 and i just submitted my monthly student loan payment, the last of which will be in 3013, or so it seems. a few days ago i read about florida governor rick scott's proposal to raise tuition for liberal arts degrees bc they aren't of great value to the state, as opposed to degrees in law, medicine, and engineering, for example. depends on your definition of value. if we're talking value in terms of straight math, my 50k+ english degree hasn't nearly reaped a return on investment. i graduated cum laude, too. hey, jerks, be impressed and pay me accordingly! nah, that'd be too straightforward; i'm more of a trial-and-error kinda girl. now, if we're talking value in its many other manifestations, the return on my 50k+ english degree has been immeasurable. upon wondering why people do the things they do, i try to remind myself that i'm not them nor are they me; therefore, we will do things differently. however, i can't bring myself to accept rick scott's perspective. he wants to make it harder for the creative soul to feed itself through education. terrible. just plain terrible. i know too many creative souls who make the world so.very.wonderful. so shove your close-minded idea up your puckered cheeks, ricky.

my typing today is accompanied by the gurgle of my nose with every breath. i'm still nursing my not-so-fat-anymore baby, so i can't take medicine for whatever it is i have (not that i would take medicine anyhow, but since i can't i like to pretend i might otherwise). my nose sounds like it's full of water and my body feels like it was beaten with a meat mallet. i remember my mom beating chicken breast with her unshiny metal mallet back in the 80s, in our blink-and-you'll-miss-it kitchen on carpenter street. the same mallet is in her utensil drawer here at our house on the hill. i don't think she's used it in years, though. was tenderizing a fad of the 80s? i wouldn't know, bc i don't eat meat. not since 1994, the summer i left clarksburg for the first time to live in morgantown, on valley view road at the chateau royale apartment complex with my high-school classmates marcie and nicole. when nicole was mad at marcie and me and it was her turn to buy toilet paper, she would hide it in her room and carry it back and forth when she needed it. i'm not sure how marcie and i got by without it. paper towels? chateau was the place i tasted my last bite of meat — a frozen, single-serving, deep-dish pepperoni pizza that my dad got from the schwann's guy. or maybe it was that stringy strand i picked off the roast beef in the black-with-white-speckles roasting pan in the kitchen on carpenter street. who knows exactly. unless captured on video or photograph or on paper at thatverymoment, memory inevitably invites varying degrees of fiction. anyhow, i've been off the flesh for 19-some years. vegetarianism has become faddish. kinda like lesbianism. lots of people try it during college or to be like their friends. however, genuine vegetarians eschew meat regardless of influence. kinda like lesbians. i not only take issue with hitting sweet-eyed, fat-tongued cows with stun guns or hammers (or whatever it was i read in "fast food nation" years ago) but also with the yucky texture of animal flesh, not to mention the fact that i'm ingesting something that was once frolicking happily in a pasture, or in its own crap if we're talking chicken or pig. either way, isn't it surprising to realize that something as pedestrian as a meat mallet is allegorical? it is, allegorical. life can pound us like a mallet does meat. and after the blows, we can find ourselves in a more tender place.

my hope for 2013 is to move toward that place. i want this next year with my son, and with my self, to be joyful and peaceful. i want to forget! cause man, trying to make sense of the hurtful and hateful things people do, it gets under your skin like chiggers. i burned a few bridges last year. sometimes i question it, bc i put effort into those relationships and we had some good times. in retrospect, though, i didn't get a return on my investment. regardless, i want to stop being mad at those people bc, truth is, i can't change who they are. and the other truth is, who they are simply isn't for me. i want people in my life who have the balls to speak the truth even when the truth might make waves, sometimes even tidal waves; who make difficult choices rather than taking the easy way out; who would choose being disliked over being disingenuous; who spend more time discussing all the billions of interesting topics in the universe than they do drinking; who have integrity! i have those friends. i rarely see most of them, but they never forget me, or i them. those kind of friends, they're as good as cupcakes. except they'll last longer.

i'd like to tell rick scott a thing or two about value.

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