Month: September 2013

A Wildness Within

There is a wild place. Untouched by life, yet very much alive, this place sits at the base of a mountain on the edge of a vast grassland. Experience tells me to look toward the sun. Its brightness, coupled with the flatness of the land, ensures an unobstructed view for miles on end. No hills to climb. Nothing to fear. There is plenty of time to seek shelter when storms approach. My body tells me I am meant for warmth. But in this wild place where sunlight abruptly stops, shadows whisper, “What if?” I respond by pointing my gaze toward the West, away from the warmth of the rising sun, to find my individual story. My restlessness drives me to madness, and in this wild place, I will either find greatness or fall. “No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.” —Martha Graham Source: Image by David DeHetre (cc)

Coffee Shop Etiquette that Really Should be Common Sense But Still Happens Waaaay Too Often

This was originally published as part of yesterday’s The Moka-Lattay-Cheeno-Presso Writer, but I decided to make it a standalone post instead. Mondays are made for humorous rants (and coffee). Believe it or not, the events below are things I’ve actually seen happen. So, here we go. Coffee Shop Etiquette that Really Should be Common Sense I don’t care how nicely manicured your feet are. Please do not take your shoes off. While sitting on a shared wall seat, don’t shake your leg. We can all feel the seat move. A single should not sit at a table large enough to accommodate four or six or even eight. I don’t care how many books you have. Don’t hog bandwidth by playing Starcraft or watching porn. Support your local coffee shop. Buy something. Don’t bring fast food into the establishment then get huffy when you’re asked to leave. Use the outlet by your table. Not the one on the other side of the store. Don’t let your children run around screaming like banshees. Their toys do not belong all over the floor. …

The Moka-Lattay-Cheeno-Presso Writer

There are two things I like to do at a new city: go for a run and write in a coffee shop. Bad knees ruined the first, so I rely on the second to ground me to unfamiliar places. This was inconceivable five years ago. If there’s a coffee noob equivalent to the 40-year-old virgin still living with her parents, that would’ve been me. We’re talking big geeky glasses (coffee can be served cold?!), socially awkward (there’s no coffee in coffee cake?!), and forever alone (coffee comes from beans?!). I walked into a Starbucks once and ordered water. My college coffee experience involved mixing ten sugar packets and ten itty-bitty plastic containers of cream into one small cup of coffee. I used (and totally abused) that concoction during finals like some students used adderall. When I graduated, I never wanted to drink coffee again. Fast forward to today. There are five coffee shops near my house. My favorite seat is the one with its back to the wall, a nicely padded cushion, and a view out …

Groupon Adventures: Acting Class (Part I)

If life experience is the hormone pumping up the beefy meat of my writing then I’ve got a helluva long way to go. I may have enough white hairs to respectably pull off the GET-OFF-MY-LAWN rant, but not enough to be a wizened old woman. I blame it on having had to move every two years while growing up, but the inexplicable BOREDOM washing over me every few years typically results in me shaving off all my hair then running away to some “exotic” destination. By exotic, I mean any place out of my comfort zone. The adrenaline bump I get from a dose of New Experience (henceforth to be written with capital N and capital E to signify overwhelming importance) is freaking addictive. The excitement from starting a new project, before my risk-adverse and commitment-phobic brain kicks in, is the only thing that stops me from continually ruining my hairstyle and savings account. This time, I decide to buy the first thing I see on Groupon. The first thing after botox and traffic school, …

On Depression

If I were to use words to describe depression, I would leave the page blank. Words have power; they hold meaning, evoke emotion, inspire change; but depression takes it all away. Even though you never forget how to say individual words, you forget the meaning behind them. Conversations go much like the first day of a language class. You recite your words and respond to questions with proper answers learned by rote. “Hello.” “How are you?” “Good. You?” But if you’re depressed long enough, you stop speaking because words take too much effort. You stop seeing people because pretending takes too much effort. You stop doing anything because the silence in your head, this emptiness of spirit, offers relief from the absolute knowledge that you are worthless. The only thing sharp enough to cut through this numbness is physical pain, but you hate it. You hate your body’s stubborn ability to keep on living when you’re so tired of being alive. And no one sees what I’m going through.  I mean, it’s not like there’s anything anyone can …

On Scrotum Tickling (an update on current work in progress)

I don’t have a scrotum but the words “labia” and “tickling” don’t have quite the same feel to them. I am extremely ticklish though so even the thought of tickling a non-existent scrotum makes me wince. (Thank you, Cards Against Humanity, for yet another fascinating lesson on pairing verbs with body parts. You’re sort of like fuzzy sex dice except you’re not at all fuzzy or in the shape of a dice.) I’m getting to the point. Give me a sec. So I read this short story once about some kids learning how to fish with their bare hands. You wade out to the calmest part of a river, wait until a fish swims within arm’s reach, then you oh-so-slowly slide your hand beneath it and oh-so-slowly tickle its belly. The idea being that your fingers mimic the flow of water to lull said fish into a relaxed stupor. Then (if you’re REALLY good at this tickling thing) you’ll be able to dig your fingers into its gills, scoop it into the air, and toss it …