The Crappy Poet

I'm a twenty-something edging past newlywed and new dog owner. I run, write, I work. What else is there besides the struggle to overcome all of that and make something of myself...


Miss Doxie was Right

I have been reading a blog by Miss Doxie recently because this Christmas I became co-owner of this:

a nine week old miniature dachund. Besides learning to spell Dachund, it has taught me alot about being a parent that I am sure I will need someday. Such as the fact that under certain circumstances, the clipping of fingernails can be a violation of the Geneva convention. Also, that baths are not a good thing. And that body size does not correspond to the size of one's poop.

Do not be fooled by the Target sock sweater and disarming expression. This small dog is capable of some very large poop. You see, dachunds are made to chase small mammals down holes. Therefore, in the absence of small mammals and holes, they are somewhat out of their element. And when an animal is out of it's element, they tend to develop defense mechanisms. This one's is poop. And yet, he also uses excrement as a greeting. As in, "Dad is home! Let me run over to him, flip over so he can pet me, and then pee on him!"

For some reason, this fountain impersonation has become the choice greeting for my husband. The dog doesn't do it to me. And at first, I was glad. But now I am kind of feeling left out. I mean, amI not worthy of sphincter malfunction? Does my presence not inspire such joy as to render one incontinent? And this sort of thinking is what makes me think that I am becoming prepared for parenthood. Because it is the sort of batshit crazy thinking that only a mother could rationalize.


Rodeo Gone Wrong

So yesterday, we are down at the Tucson Rodeo Parade handing out items in connection with the TV station where I work. We handed out everything we had, and then waited for the Parade to begin. This is not just any parade, mind you. This is the World's Longest Non-Motorized Parade. In the word's of a coworker's son, "Does that make it a Guiness Book World Record?" Maybe not yet. But we might qualify for World's Longest Parade Drawn by Psychotic Horses. Why? Keep Reading.

We stand around and watch the first few floats go by, and by floats I mean people in horse drawn carriages and wagons. Not especially decorated, either. Followed by more Guys on Horses. Also, not even dressed alike. BORING. Since the Child was not amused, we decided to leave. We weren't watching it for our own entertainment.

But when I got back to the office, everyone was crowded around the TV in my boss's office, right next to mine. "You missed it!" They say. "Our float just crashed into the Mayor's" What? They explained what happened, but it wasn't until I saw our footage from inside the runaway float that I fully understood.

The KOLD float was actually a wagon. A wagon with five anchors in it, and two of them had children riding in it. Adults and children waving happily to the crowd until something spooked the horses. All of a sudden, the horses take off. And I mean they take off like they thought ET was going to guide the wagon up into the sky. The wagon is now barreling down the street, passing the other floats. They began 14th in the parade, and now the are closing in on number seven. The parade marshals notice. They catch up to the runaway wagon and grab on from their horses, trying to slow it. It breaks away. A city councilwoman (?) steers her horse toward the oncoming horses to try to scare them into slowing down. Nothing. They take a corner and everyone in the wagon is holding on, hoping it won't flip. The sports anchor has his baby daughter like a football, trying to cover her for when they inevitably crash. Another anchor is sheltering the other kids. They are baring down on the first wagon in the parade, a handsome cab. Once they pass it, they are in empty street, and maybe the horses will feel out of harm's way. But as they close in on the cab, they are headed right for it. They ram it, and the horses buck. People are yelling. The mayor is almost hit in the head by a horse hoof, and his wife is nearly impaled when the pole connecting the horses to the runaway wagon punched through their wagon right between them. As it was, the mayors wife suffered whiplash and was taken away in an ambulance. As soon as the runaway wagon came to a stop, paradegoers rushed it and quickly got the children and anchors off the wagon, in case it should take off again.

One of the anchors who was on the float said she didn't even wear makeup for the newscast that day. "I was shaking so hard, I would have poked out my eye with the mascara wand! I only wore lipstick." At 3pm that afternoon, she was still shaking from the ordeal.

And of course, when the wagon took off? One of the anchors immediately whipped out his camcorder and got the whole thing on tape. Good newsanchor. Good boy.


Let Me Set You Straight

Okay, so I can't figure out why I have not lost my newlywed nine. Let me set this up for you: young, thin girl gets to fittest in her life after running first half marathon. Girl gets married, begins night job during which time she becomes horribly depressed and quits all physical activity. Also, since now married, she eats a MEAL EVERY NIGHT! Not soup, not salads, not cereal. A REAL MEAL. Now she is heavier than she has ever been. Girl gets new job, reforms bad eating habits, trains for another half marathon, joins a soccer team, does yoga twice a week, and has new dog she walks a mile and half every night. Girl loses just 5 pounds over 1 year.

And while I will admit I am a little overzealous about all things weight-loss related, it is not without cause. I present my case:

1. I have never been pudgy or chunky. I was a skinny baby. Just around the time I should have entered my "baby fat" stage, I got my tonsils out and couldn't eat for weeks. In middle school, when girls typically gain weight before their last growth spurt, I had a dentist who was hooked on painkillers. Everytime he tightened my braces I had to go on a liquid diet for a week. (Obviously we didn't know how normal braces worked until after the lawsuit, thanks!) All of this means I am stellar at maintaining weight, but bad at losing any once gained.

2. My mother. This is really every girl's excuse for being neurotic. But my mother was anorexic in college, as well as apathetic about exercise later in life. This formula equals mother who drags her children into the dressing room at Dillard's and tries on many outfits, all the while commenting on how fat and disgusting she is, and also telling the children not to look at her.

3. I am short. This means that bulge has nowhere to hide. There is a reason you are supposed to weigh more if you are tall. You have more places to hide it. I like to compare it to living in a 3 bedroom apartment as opposed to a studio. Studio=short people. We have no closet space, no neat little storage areas. Everything is stuffed under the bed until it starts sticking out, and then we have to clean house.

4. I have an undeniable sweet tooth. I can't pass on a sugar cookie. Or cupcake. Or ice cream. Or pizookie. Or pie. It rules my life. My diet is much healthier than it used to be, but man, the sugar tooth is crazy. It's like the voice of a fallen crack whore inside my head trying to get me to get her a fix. Just one more, baby, come on. You know it will taste so good...

So now? MORTAL FEAR OF FAT. Scared to be fat. And I know it's coming. I still have Child Bearing in front of me. I still have Regular Age-Related Slowing of Metabolism. I still have Menopause. How am I going to fight it forever? Every year I see pictures of myself and think I am too big. Every year I look at pictures of myself in the past and think, "I looked so good! WHy did I think I was fat?" I don't know how to end this neurotic cycle of neurosis. Just get fat and get it over with? Become a personal trainer? Start running marathons? Give up sugar cookies?
I am out of ideas. I think the most important lesson to come out of my neurosis has been to realize that people (including myself) think that anyone smaller, prettier, with thicker hair, etc., than them don't worry about that particular problem. But people thinner than you are made to feel fat by people thinner than they are! The girl with perfect skin thinks her nose is too big. The girl with the great abs thinks she has tree stump legs. And so on and so on. I am not going to be a better person if I lose that weight. I should focus on whether I am making healthy food choices (not only in content, but in quality) and on keeping myself in good health through exercize, and not let things veer into the obsessive catagory.

And never read magazines. Or watch TV. Or movies. Or look at celebrities on the internet. GAH!

The World Parade of Bad Hair

Okay, so first off, let's set this straight in terms of effort = accomplishment. Olympic figure skaters train 6 hours a day, 5 days a week. I get off the couch to run for nearly one hour three or four times a week. They have won numerous junior and world championships, whereas I can only really say that I have managed to never come in last in a local race of no consequence. BUT, all that aside, there was some really bad hair in the women's figure skating competition last night. It ranged from several Evita buns to bizarre medusa tendrills to just really bad haircuts period, the viewing of which can only lead me to assume that there is not a decent hairstylist in all of the Russian Federation. Also, no decent do it yourself hair dye, either. I mean, is the Olympics not a big enough even in a young woman's life that she can't touch up her roots? How could the Italians, of all people, allow that kind of style to go uncorrected. Weren't there designer gowns worn at the opening ceremonies as a tribute to their country's contribution to style? And yet, we let the Russians go on and skate an entire program--probably the biggest event of their life--with black roots showing through a bad Sun-In job? It just doesn't make sense to me.


Bring on the 'Tussin

So, in the midst of a dehabilitating illness, I sit at the kitchen table, staring down my childhood disgust of cough medicine. I have in front of me a tiny shooter of Robutussin, along with my Sprite chaser. My husband asks why don't I just take it, and I tell him that I have to work up to it.

"How did I ever do shots in college?" I ask him, staring at the thick, red stuff, knowing in advance that it will taste bad.

"Well, it's a whole different atmosphere," He says. I think about this.

"Can you sit here with me and pound the table and scream, 'DRINK!DRINK!DRINK!' while I take it?"


Faced with Incompetence Yet Again

So last night we went to the Halestorm/Flyleaf/Seether/Shinedown concert in Phoenix. We had to leave during Shinedown because we had a 1 1/2 hour drive home to make and it was already late, but I wanted to stay because it was an awesome show at a smallish venue, so you really felt a part of the action. I would totally recommend seeing any of the latter three live. If you like mp3's, check out Seether's "Remedy," Flyleaf's "Fully Alive," and Shinedown's latest release, which has "fly" in the title. Fly on down, or something like that.

However, being around all the live music reminded me of a story idea that I have been working on since college but have never managed to finish. It was a story that started off about one thing, and ended up being about a guy who writes songs for a garage band that becomes famous. I don't have any experience with garage bands, or touring, and I don't even know how people go about about reconciling words with music in the creative process, so I am at a stalemate. But when I get around music that I connect with, it takes me to a soulful place that makes me want to retreat into the plot line in my head and just write. I know that it's always there, more visible when I am not content with my life than not, and that makes it somewhat harder to tap into, maybe because I am fine with existing in the real world and don't have to escape into my head. I need to figure out a way to keep that world accessible at all times, but I don't know how to do that yet. Due to this shitty state of happiness as of late, I haven't even been writing crappy poetry. I got nothing. Which makes me wonder: is happiness my writer's block?


My Date with Brian

I am so excited because this week, I get to attend a kick-ass yoga workshop with longtime yoga idol, Brian Kest. This is Brian Kest, people! Pictured here with his Michael Bolton-esque locks and fancy leggings. Now he has a more chic shaved head and lost the leggings, but I am excited all the same. This is Brian Kest, who coined such phrases as "Open your a WING! Like a WING!" and "Get into one of the best shoulder stretches in ALL of yoga!" Clearly, he is a visionary. This would not be possible, as my best friend of all time knows, if I did not live in Tucson, land of 1000 yoga studios. She is stuck in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and although SHE can see her family ANYTIME she wants, no Brian Kest for her. But I digress. How did we happen upon His Kestness? It was a long, long, time ago, in a college dorm far, far away...

Kristin and I ran together (on the very same campus where we were once honked at because we were running and also were not fat pigs, a very high collegiate standard) in college, and with lots of running you need lots of stretching. And since Kristin was the closest thing I had ever known to a hippie, she introduced me to yoga. Our first video was Rodney Yee's (sorry, Brian) Yoga for Athletes. We would do it in the living room after a long run. We were too broke for classes, so we learned from our videos. The first time I tried Brian's video I was working overnight shifts at the battered women's' shelter. I was supposed to clean house all night, but I was too scared to leave the safety of the living room. I just knew the minute I walked into the kitchen, someone's drunken, crazed husband would beat the front door down and kill us all. So I watched TV all night (and made hemp jewelry for the women there, leading to my eventual firing) and sometimes did yoga, to calm myself. Brian's video was by far the hardest and Kristin and I didn't do it together very often because we were too competitive. But it was our benchmark of success, as in "I did Brian 3 times this week!" Or, "I couldn't even make it through half of Brian I am so weak."

Now I have all 3 of his "videos" on DVD and still do them even though I can afford real classes now. I still feel very accomplished after making it through one of his sessions. So, of course, I can't wait to attend an actual class of his. I don't know how many other yoga people know of him, and if anyone will care, or if I will be the only one asking for a picture with him. But I owe it to Kristin!


I Must be Getting Old

Despite the fact that it's now 2006, it feels like just last spring my best friend and I were students frequenting the gym at the University of Oklahoma and beginning to run the campus square again after the last freeze of the winter. We would run a 2 mile square around campus 3 times a week, right after 30 minutes at the gym, and 2 days a week, we ran 4 miles.

Our motivation, and hence, our indication of how well we were doing was counted in honks. Car honks. We would count each time a car honked at us as they drove by, hopefully because they thought we were hot, and not because we wandered into traffic. I would come home and talk to friends or a boyfriend on the phone, and they would ask how was your run? I would say something like, Okay, we got 3 honks. Or Great! We got 6 honks! If girls honked at us, they counted for two. We never paid that much attention to our time, because we only had to look like we were going fast. We agreed that runners got more honks than joggers did.

Eventually we moved off-campus, and although we continued to run, we didn't count honks anymore. The absence of oversexed college guys made running in a regular neighborhood somewhat less accomplished. So eventually we quit counting. But we never stopped noting that still, sometimes a passer by was moved to action by the fact that we were not fat. (How much else can you really tell about a person while passing them 40 mphmph?) That never escaped me.

Until the other day (years later) when I was enjoying a nice 5 mile run in the University area (of a different campus in a different state, but again, oversexed college students + someplace to drive = honking at girls). I sailed along, feeling energetic due to a laundry list of items to mull over in my head and some new tunes on the mp3, and then, HONK!

Did I smile and wave like a dewy starlet who has just been recognized for the first time? Did I wink and speed up to superhuman pace just to show off? Did I toss my flowing locks and ignore them? Did I flip them off for being sexist pigs? NO.

I leaped into the air mid-stride in abject terror, and came down and rolled my duck-footed ankle. That's right. Over the same honk I once coveted and knew exactly how to return. And now? I fall down in the dirt and twist my ankle in fear. You don't have to know how old I am to know that it means I'm getting old.