Monday, July 22, 2013
My Grandfather coached me in the art of being a good tomboy. He took me to the dirt track races and the rodeos. We'd go to the fairgrounds and he'd let me ride as many of those rickety carny rides as I wanted, time didn't matter, we went home when the sun went down. He caught me a "pet" armadillo, showed me how to shoot beer bottles off a fence post and taught me to drive his red and white El Camino, while I sat on his lap, steering the wheel, while he worked the pedals. Had we ever gotten into some kind of accident, I'm sure he would have just brushed me off and told me that was God's way of toughening me up.
My Grandmother, she was strong as nails, but as close to a genuine southern belle as I've ever seen. She was glamorous, with the perfect Texas drawl, it sounded like melted butter and brown sugar. She always smelled amazing, I can't describe it, but I'd know that scent anywhere. She taught me the pretty side of being a girl. When I wasn't allowed to keep a wild armadillo as a pet, she gave me a kitten. I caught frogs in the backyard all dolled up like a little debutante in sundresses and pig tails. Every time we drove through a yellow light, she'd kiss the palm of her hand and press it to the ceiling of the car for good luck, something I still do to this day.
In me they instilled a wicked combination of elegance, brawn, brains, good solid Texas roots and an appreciation for great music.
Long before I worked in a record store, I learned about music from an old radio that sat on a nightstand between two twin beds at my grandparents house. By day it was all Country. Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynette, George Jones, all the greats. I heard of Elvis Presley's death on that radio one hot August afternoon. By night it was tuned to a Big Band/Jazz station, that is the music that I can still hear when I drift off to sleep. It was the perfect soundtrack for slumber.
The radio sat directly under a mounted deer head. The glow of dial lit up the six-point buck's face in a gentle, calming way. My Grandfather told me that the rest of the deer lived behind the wall. As a child, I imagined it watching over my sister and me as we slept. Nothing could hurt us, if any potential harm came our way, I just knew that brave deer would bust through the wall and save us all. As a child it made perfect sense. That glass-eyed stag was my hero and every night before getting under the covers, I'd stand on my bed and kiss it on the nose in a gesture of thanks for keeping us safe.
Summers in Waco, that is where it all began. Tomboys, girlie girls and fine, fine music.
Soundtrack: Volume Five July 22, 2013
Destination Moon - Dina Washington
Let's Get Lost - Chet Baker
Knock Me a Kiss - Louis Jordan
It's Raining - Irma Thomas
Got My Own Thing Now - Squirrel Nut Zippers
Miserlou - Dick Dale
Feeling Good - Nina Simone
What'll I Do - Rosemary Clooney
Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered - Ella Fitzgerald
Begin the Beguine - Sheryl Crow
Someone to Watch Over Me - Ella Fitzgerald
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes - The Platters
Me and Mrs. Jones - Billy Paul
Night and Day - Ray Charles
A Kiss to Build a Dream On - Louis Armstrong
The Girl From Ipanema - Astrud Gilberto/Stan Getz
De-Lovely - Robbie Williams
Too Marvelous for Words - Frank Sinatra
Melodie d'Amour - Dean Martin
Beyond the Sea - Bobby Darin
Mr. Sandman - The Chordettes
Que Sera Sera - Doris Day
Wishin' and Hopin' - Ani DeFranco
Let's Do It - Alanis Morissette
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Of course not! Who does that?!
I do, a girl who put off college to work in a Record Store, because not only was that quite possibly the coolest job in the world right out of high school, but that is just how much music influenced and continues to influence my entire life. The sounds, the beats, the instruments, the voices, the dissection of the lyrics, I cherish it all. That job was no summer fling, it was true love! I ended up working there for 14 years as a store manager.
"How can you just leave me standing
Alone in a world that's so cold
Maybe I'm just too demanding
Maybe I'm just like my father, too bold
Maybe you're just like my mother
She's never satisfied..."
It was a first. I'd never challenged anyone to a first date mix tape before, but with this one, it felt like the the right thing to do. And it was, I got two pretty solid mixed CDs out of it... on date number two. To be fair, mine weren't ready on the first date either, only because the date itself took place sooner than I had expected.
Long story short, we didn't go the distance. Don't be sad, we're still cool, just not cool "like that." And I have some pretty great souvenirs to show for it. His musical taste was almost, almost as good as mine and that's pretty swell in my book.
I'm old school, I grew up in the age where we actually painstakingly made mixed tapes. And even now, in this day of iPods, I still prefer a mix CD to a playlist. Anyone can throw a playlist together, but making a mix CD with limited space, getting the perfect playlist in 20 songs or less is a lost art and takes some serious thought and skill. It's an amazing gift to get and receive.
As a music lover, if you haven't read "Love is a Mix Tape" by Rob Sheffield, you're missing out. It's a book that I've actually highlighted passages in, because his thoughts on music so closely reflect mine.
In it he writes, "There are all kinds of mix tapes. There is always a reason to make one."
"I have built my entire life around loving music, and I surround myself with it. I'm always racing to catch up on my next favorite song. But I never stop playing my mixes. Every fan makes them. The times you've lived through, the people you shared those times with - nothing brings it all to life like an old mix tape. It does a better job of storing up memories than actual brain tissue can do. Every mix tape tells a story. Put them together, and they add up to the story of life."
Seriously, how perfect a paragraph is that? I wish that I had written it before Rob did!
"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end..."
Some things take pause, but the music never stops. You get over yourself and move on.
Soundtrack: Volume Three 06/20/13
Just Like Honey - The Jesus and Mary Chain
Darlin' One - The Replacements
We've Been Had - The Walkmen
Miss Misery - Elliott Smith
It's All Alright - fun.
Better Be Home Soon - Crowded House
Everybody Here Wants You - Jeff Buckley
Aint' That Lonely Yet - Dwight Yoakam
If I Had a Boat - Lyle Lovett
Bad Things - Jace Everett
Creepy Jackalope Eye - Steve Earle
I Saw You First - John Mellencamp
You Belong to My Heart - Old 97's
You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb - Spoon
Idiot Kings - Soul Coughing
Someday I Suppose - The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover - Sophie B. Hawkins
Boys of Summer - Don Henley
Feel the Pain - Dinosaur Jr.
What is Life - George Harrison
Closing Time - Semisonic
Soundtrack: Volume Four 07/04/13
The Galway Girl - Steve Earle
Stubborn Love - The Lumineers
Pulling Back the Reins - kd Lang
First Glimmer - Paul Westerberg
Every Day is Like Sunday - Morrissey
Black Coffee in Bed - Squeeze
Take it on the Run - REO Speedwagon
Crime Scene, Part One - Afghan Whigs
Remedy - The Black Crowes
You Got Lucky - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Landslide - Fleetwood Mac
6th Avenue Heartbreak - The Wallflowers
All the Young Dudes - World Party
The Whole of the Moon - The Waterboys
Change - Churchill
Special - Garbage
So Much For the Afterglow - Everclear
Here's Where the Story Ends - The Sundays
Sunday, July 7, 2013
She has jumped out of airplanes, raced stock cars, climbed mountains, rode rapids, plunged into the deep end more than once and puts her innermost thoughts out here in cyberspace for all to see, without giving it a second thought.
She is a little warrior.
She is fearless.
She is fierce.
Ehh, so that's not entirely true. While she is indeed all of the things (and more) in most aspects of her life, matters of the heart aren't so carefree and open minded.
Her life love story is no different than anyone else. She has loved and she has lost, Her heart has been broken and she's broken a few. She has experienced happiest of highs and the gut wrenching lows.
The good memories far outweigh the bad, but why is it always that little bit of pain and uncertainty, lying dormant most of the time, that prevents her from moving forward?
Why does she allow her past to dictate her future? When is it worth the risk? When will she stop living like a fucking Paramore song was written with her thoughts in mind? When will she figure it all out and stop second guessing it all?
Unlike all of those other adventurous things, love is something, that even at her age, she hasn't quite figured out how to do properly. It's one of the few things that she finds herself apprehensive about. Like a dumb, doe-eyed deer, she just stands there in the headlights unable to move.
Why can't she find the words to tell you what she really thinks and feels? Where is that brave little girl? The girl with the personality the size of Mt Everest, the one who is always smiling and laughing. She is confident and true, she is amazing! But in a matter of moments, when her heart beats just so, that girl is reduced to an awkward wallflower, stumbling around trying to get it right. Surrounded by some unseen barricade that she can't figure out how to get over. So comfortable at keeping a certain distance between her and her tell-tale heart.
Who is that girl?
How does that little darling dispense advice, good advice to anyone who will listen, but can't be bothered with listening to her own thoughts?
What she needs a better approach. Instead of living with the anxiety that it will all crash and burn, how about concentrating on actually taking flight first. Worry about the loose ends later, carry them with, but don't let them tie you down.
Someone needs to tell that bitch to chill. Seriously, bitch be cool. Oh, and stop talking about yourself in third person and figure shit out.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
As it turns out, I don't do "Poor me" very well and to all those that have had to put up with it by offering up their own kind of "what works for me is..." kind of advice, I know you mean well, but deep down you hate saying it as much as I hate hearing it and wish that I was the last person on earth that you had to try to give advice to.
Because here is the thing, I'm gonna take it and then I'm gonna break it. You know, fuck up any semblance of what you told me I "should" do. I know your intent is good and I appreciate you caring enough about me to even consider advising me, it's what we do for the ones we love. We hate to see anyone hurt or misguided, I do the same thing. Every. Single. Day.
If you know me, then you know that I am a long-winded, loud-mouthed, "fixer of others," it's like I'm advising my friends from the floor of the Stock Exchange, he who speaks the loudest and longest wins, right? I also LOVE to hear myself talk, but guess what, I'm not actually listening.
All I do is talk, talk.
As it would seem, the only so-called "expert" on my life is me, and somewhere along the line I stopped listening to my own expert advice, most likely because I didn't want to hear what I actually had to say. See, if you tune out yourself and follow the advice of others, when everything falls apart, "you" aren't to blame.
"Well, if only I hadn't followed your stupid advice, then none of this would have happened."
Oh. My. Geezers, do I adore saying that, but it's time to start the weaning process.
My expert advisor, just stated that I should, and I quote,
"Man the fuck up Martin, if you are going to be truly kick ass, then you have to learn to balance out the ratio a little more evenly. Not work with the 90% protective armor, 10% "sugar and spice and everything nice" on the inside model that you've been rolling with. Oh and by the way, how's that been working out for you?"
Fuck you, when did you get to be so smart, Selfie?! And how is it that you've finally caught up with me? I've been evading you with great success for years. I figured the case went cold by now or you found something better to do with your time, but no, here we meet again. You're sneaky. Sneaky like a snake!
Alright, alright already. I'm listening, no really, I hear ya!
I feel like I'm coming out of the closet, but instead of giving some sort of statement about my sexual orientation, I'm saying "Hey, guess what guys, I am not as tough as I think I am!" But the reply is still the same, a collective "Duh, we know!"
Oh hello there, pleased to meet me.
I think I get it. Like for reals get it! Let's do this, Ms. Martin F.T.W.!
*If you'd like to know more about the jackalope species, please read Getting to Know Your Inner Killer Rabbit.
Sunday, June 23, 2013
However, this life is a bit of a prankster. There you are functioning out in the world, doing your thang and everything is fine, perfectly status quo, happy as a clam...then bam, just like that the rug is pulled out from under you and everything changes on a dime.
What. The. Fuck. Life?! Why you got to be such a cruel bitch at times?
I sometimes actually fantasize about living a life less extraordinary. Don't get me wrong, I'm not living this incredible, lush, glamorous lifestyle, not by a long shot! What I mean is, I wonder what life would be like if I didn't think so much and analyze every fucking little detail of every fucking little thing so fucking much, you know, actually let my brain have a day off now and again. Or what if I had a way less stressful job, a job where people's lives weren't on the line.
How would it be if I slept like the normal people of the world, during the night instead of trying to keep my body upright from sundown to sunrise with copious amounts of caffeine. And would I freaking die if I didn't have to be the life of the party every single time?! What if my bark weren't actually worse than my bite and I had the courage to recognize and accept that about myself? What if I stopped using humor as a coping mechanism and for once faced my problems like a serious adult should. What if I had a heart that was incapable of being beaten up and bruised?
I'd be like a one man cast of Wizard of Oz characters, but hey, I sure would look cute in those ruby slippers!
Faults, I have 'em, that's a fact. There are many that I have come to terms with over the years, but what I can't seem to shed is this godammed armor that I've been wearing for years. You can't see it because it's that awesome Wonder Woman kind, but my true friends know it's there, they tell me when it clashes with my outfits and accessories. Those bastards will call me out in a minute, because they know what is underneath all of that heavy metal and fucking loud-assed, over the top personality of mine. I ain't fooling them, not for a minute! They know that ordinary girl exists, and guess what, they still love her for exactly who she is, the one that they have seen completely defenseless and weak and vulnerable and even pathetic at times, but they've never left my side, not for a second.
Turns out that perhaps I have not made enough peace with my past and am allowing it to fuck up my present. I've got to reign that shit in for reals, I mean someone that I met exactly four weeks ago recently told me that he too could see right through my "so called" tough girl facade. If my friends can see it and someone that I just met figured it out right away, why the fuck can't I?
For the record, this isn't meant to read as some self-loathing bullshit, it is just me admitting that I have a problem.
"Hi, my name is Kara and I like dressing up in suits of armor because I'm afraid of being susceptible to being wounded or hurt."
First step is admitting it, right? So I'm off to AA (Armor Anonymous) with the hopes of coming to terms with my addiction.
1. I admit that I am powerless over my addition. - Seriously, wearing this metal breastplate has become unmanageable.
2. I believe in a power greater than myself, can restore my sanity. - Well hello Sir Lancelot, where you been hiding all these years, I really could have used your armor wearing advice long ago!
3. I will make a decision to turn my will and life over to the care of God in the way that I understand Him. - For me, that means chocolate.
4. Make a searching and moral inventory of myself. - Like finally unpacking those boxes marked "hot mess" that are still buried in the back of my closet.
5. Admit to myself and other human beings the exact nature of my wrongs. - This is a tough one because, come on, am I truly ever wrong? Ok, ok...maybe so wrong, I'm right!
6. I'm entirely ready for God to remove all of my defects of character. - If I believed for a second that I could pray my armor away, I'd start praying the second I finish this blog post!
7. Humbly ask Him to remove my shortcomings. - Second verse, same as the first.
8. Make a list of the persons that I have harmed and become willing to make amends with all of them. - This could take a while, but okay.
9. Make direct amends to such people as much as possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. - I took an oath years ago in my profession to "Do No Harm," so I'm not about to start senseless injuries to those I care about.
10. Continue to take personal inventory, and when I am wrong, promptly admit it. - Gotcha, this I can do!
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as I understand Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. - No joke, I'm signing up for some yoga classes right up the street from me this week. I could use a good, healthy dose of zen!
12. Have a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps and practice these principles in all my affairs. -Yep, I'll be fine once I get it, I'll be good.
"It's never too late to be happy. But it's all up to you and no one else!"
Saturday, June 22, 2013
So, You're Telling Me There's a Chance? A blog that picks apart the online dating world as seen through my eyes. It kind of fit into the theme of that blog, but at the same time, much too poignant and personal to not be shared here.
Writing, for as long as I can remember, has always been something very cathartic for me, it calms me, lets me put things into perspective, pick apart things and move ahead. That being said, why the hell haven't I done it in over a year?
This blog in particular (So, Your Telling Me There's a Chance) is touchy, it reached an oogy point for me last year where I thought that perhaps I was sending out nothing but bad karma into the world and in return, nothing good would come my way.
I mean, I'd like to think that I'm a good person, who deserves good things, but you get what you give, right? If I am writing a blog with for the sole reason of "making fun" of the online dating world, do I really deserve to be happy for not giving it a fair shot? Will I die a creepy old spinster cat lady?
Who freaking knows, but today I'm going to write, damn the consequences, because I need some purgative, humorous bullshit to get me through. You see, I got the shaft today from someone that I was beginning to like very much. He was kinda, sorta just like me with facial hair and cute checkered boy shirts.
I knew all of the rules up front. He wasn't ready for a commitment, the ball was left in my court and I chose to play through. I'm a big girl, I knew what I was getting into. I accepted knowing that if I could deal with the "What's the worst thing that could happen" scenario, that I'd go all in.
You see, I take my advice from movie characters and just like Danny Ocean said, "You're either in or your out, right now."
Bam, I'm in!
I'm not sure that it was truly a break up per se, since we were just "dating" after all, but it was indeed a let down. Perhaps actually one of the saddest, yet inimitable that I have encountered in my life's work of dating. He didn't do anything wrong, He didn't hurt me intentionally. He was gentle and kind, took the time to give it some closure without leading me on further. I guess this is growing up, but it never gets any easier to take.
He said I "was the coolest girl he'd ever met." Followed of course by a big "but..."
There wasn't the "spark" that he needed to take it to the next level, the was "something missing" in his feelings towards me. A classic case of "it's not you, it's me, blah, blah, blah..."
It still felt like taking a bullet, even though I saw it coming five days ago. I felt him pulling back, kind of putting me in my place through his responses. I saw that our hours of texting and emailing were dwindling. Suddenly he was "too exhausted from a long day" and couldn't chat until 1:00 am like we did for nights on end or "rushing to get to a meeting" in the morning when once again, we would chat after I got off my night shift. Yeah, I saw this shit coming, the fucking writing on the wall, perhaps even before he did. I think it's called "a women's intuition." That shit is for real, like a god dammed sixth sense. We woman are like soothsayers when it comes to that kind of clairvoyance.
I was even making a mixed CD in the middle of the night, long before the dreaded "break up" took place and now to go back and listen to it after the fact is downright creepy. I subconsciously chose songs that foreshadowed the events of what was to come during the disassembling of what we had tried to build over the last four weeks. It's weird, it is like I chose the music in advance that would be playing in the background during our final curtain call.
Seriously, what the fuck though? How can I be the "coolest girl" that someone has ever met, but still not cool enough, or sexy enough, or smart enough, or just whatever. My thoughts on what we had going on versus his own feelings towards "us" got all kinds of mad lost in translation and I was the one left with the broken heart.
Sigh. What can you do? I can only be me myself and if the other person isn't down with that or just not attracted to me on some physical, emotional level, then what is the point of trying to force it to work?
Granted, I still feel burned that he only gave me a such a small amount of time to make such a judgement on where this was or wasn't headed, there is so much more beyond the surface, that quite frankly is his loss for not getting to know. I suspect that he met someone else in the dating world that better suited his needs. Maybe I can't really blame him. I mean, who can stand being around a loud mouth, always on the go, sarcastic prick like me? That's quite a handful to put up with, even for the strongest of men.
I'm not going to bad mouth him at all though, I have much respect for him and he is one of the coolest people that I have ever met. I am hoping that we can build a friendship out of the foundation that began to get us here in the first place. He is one of the easiest people to talk and laugh with.
Who knows, maybe I put too much out there too soon, I might never know. Maybe he recognized all of my quirky little flaws and decided they weren't worth it to him to deal with.
The truth is I don't really know, I am just going to have to accept it for what it is and move on. Everyone deserves their own happiness and if I am the one who is not making him happy, then he have every right to go find someone who can.
He is a genuinely great guy and yeah, I admit it, I thought this was going to be all super delicious and stuff. After all I am a girl, we hope and dream, and plan, it's what we do! It was astonishing to me how we had SO much in common and could talk/text/email for hours about anything and everything. I hope for the best, but had been bracing myself for the very moment he asked if we could talk this morning.
We were unable to talk face to face, because we live about 90 minutes from one another, but we did talk "face time to face time," oh technology, I guess that's the way of getting it done in this day and age, beats getting a text I suppose. My eyes welled up with tears before I could even pick up the phone. I really hate the girlie girl squishy center of my hard candy exterior.
I wish him nothing but the best and do hope that we can eventually reach a level where we can be BFFs! Even though at the moment I've got noting left in side of my chest, I'm going to be alright eventually. He is truly one of the good ones. That is what makes it almost worse. If he had been a true prick, today would have been a brighter day for sure. Yeah, I'd be angry at the bad behavior, but at least I'd have a reason to hate him and want him out of my life, but there was no concrete information given, so I'm still a little in the weeds I guess. A little sad, a tad bit annoyed, a smidgen of fury, and a whole lot of disappointment.
I honestly thought that this was gonna be great, our personalities seemed to mesh so incredibly well and complement each other's, we literally could openly talk about anything thrown out on the table. Hell, I'm just waxing poetic now about the "what ifs," because I'm a girl, and again it's what we do, it's in the blood.
Maybe I rushed to emotion too soon. Maybe my sarcasm was too much. Maybe I laid too low and didn't say what I needed to say, when I needed to say it. Maybe it's my aversion, versus his love of all seafood was the worst turnoff ever. I dunno.
So much for the afterglow...
Now prepare yourselves, instant karma's gonna get me, because the next installment of this blog entry is going to be just as ridiculously out of control as it was last year around this time. I've got some real doozies just sitting in online dating site inboxes to share!
Let the next chapter begin, I'm back in the saddle!