Chaos Ala Carte

"You'll become embroiled in a vicious conflict between those who feel Queens of the Stone Age are overrated and those who want control of the cocaine trade on the Eastern Seaboard. "

Yesterday was one of many lows in my recent, albeit unreliable, memory. I quite literally broke down in tears on the shoulder of a poor, unsuspecting tow truck driver. This gentleman was simply there to drop off a few forklifts, a skid loader and a tractor in the hopes of obtaining a simple signature for the expense. The icing on the cake? He hadn't even uttered a word when this all occurred. I exited the door of our building to meet the man and made a b-line for the aforementioned shoulder. Had the roles been reversed, I probably would have darted off into the forest in the hopes of averting disaster. To his credit, he was quite empathetic - if not vaguely amused.

I don't proclaim to be a pillar of strength, here - or even stable enough to maintain accreditation among the sane. But for god's sake, woman! Pull it together! As eluded to previously, there has been a whirlwind of upheaval around this Popsicle stand as of late.... and by "late", let's go ahead and toss in the 5 years I've been here for good measure. At the moment, we all find ourselves without leadership, direction, or frankly a bloody clue.

This statement ought to sum up the apparent apocalypse at hand: People from all the various departments are coming to me for guidance. I know. Things are THAT bad! Don't get me wrong, I can bullshit my way around the instructions to construct a wooden box.... but that is about the extent of it - additionally providing wiggle room regarding the actual functionality of the box..... And once again, I digress.

I have known for months that March of 2011 promised to be tumultuous. The metaphorical arrival of hell on earth. The countdown to going live in a new software system, the end of our fiscal year, the closure of one of my favorite projects, a government inventory, a new insurance policy year, the renewal date for our HazMat permits.... But wait! There's more! And truly, if given the time, I would fancifully and dramatically exaggerate this all until every last one of you three were downright dazzled at my superhero abilities. Alas, normal people most likely deal with this sort of thing on a daily basis. One of my MANY faults? I take it all far too seriously, and personally.

Akin to that grungy, moldy sponge that reeks of something approaching cabbage or an equally pungent residue - I absorb it all until I'm a festering mess. I care too damn much. I toss myself into the depths of despair if I don't respond to business emails in under 3 minutes. I declare myself a loser if I can't listen to (and solve) the problems of each and every person who wanders into my office each day. Sooner than admit I can't recall the first 10 minutes of that Excel class I took 7 years ago, I will toil late into the night Googling suggestions for the formulas, macros and crosswalks which lay before me. Clearly, I even forget to duct tape my mouth before blurting out "YES! I would be HAPPY to help you!" while already in the midst of a deadline. What some call work ethic, I'm going to totally and completely blame on Catholic guilt.

It angers me that people can simply blow things off or (really convincingly) feign ignorance to get out of taking on so much as their OWN responsibilities. Then again, is it really anger I feel or the epitome of jealousy? This carries over far beyond the boundaries of the working world. I often find myself envying those who are content in aloofnessocity (spell-check THAT, bitch! :) ). Envious of apathy.

Then I come to my senses.

Things are tough all over the world. Everyone has problems. Everyone has stresses. Many think their trials top those of the next guy or gal. Not this broad. At the end of the day - even when I sense I couldn't have screwed things up more royally and I'm getting ready to have a complete and utter nervous breakdown (thanks and apologies go to far too many people to list here, for diffusing THAT bomb!)... I find myself blessed beyond belief. I have a phenomenal family. Simply extraordinary friends. Love it or lump it - a job. My legs aren't painted on. This list goes on and on....

 It's not the end of the world..... BUT! It's almost the end of March of 2011. And for that, in particular, I will soon (yes, that's my story) be raising my glass in a deliciously intoxicating middle finger of farewell.

Ciao for now,
-A

Playing Leap-Frog With Faith

"Everyone needs to believe in something. You, for instance, believe in a omnipotent man who lives in the sky, and that you'll have another beer."
Disclaimer: This shan't be quite like the obtuse posts previously scribbled crudely whilst approaching the pinnacle of some fantastical roller coaster. Rather, the larger picture represents a subject very close to my heart. It wouldn't be a product of Annie if it didn't still meander this way and that, but bear with me, (if you choose) and you will catch a brief glimpse of the gooey core of this lollipop.

My father "is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life." What would normally be a snarky remark is spoken with a deep amount of respect and new understanding of the man. Further, it was only through a written exchange with a new and wonderful friend of mine, Misty, that I was fully able to digest and process the impact he had on me - and the potential we all hold to change the course of things. I shall set this sentiment aside for a moment while I mentally explore the best way to arrive at the expression I hold conceptually in my fragile mind.

Sexuality. Curious how this translates into such varied meanings depending on the audience. At one moment: raw unadulterated emotion, yet the very next: intense (and often hateful)  political/religious/scientific/philosophical debate. The latter - A ticking time bomb and the unsteady hands working methodically as possible to disarm it.

My father was born in a small town outside of Boston. The son of a butcher. Grandson of a butcher. Great-Grandson of a butcher. A long line of humble, charismatic and hard-working Pollocks who happen to be devout Catholics. My father was 12 when his mother passed away and a decision was made to send him to a military boarding school for boys. I believe every decision my Dziadek made in this regard was out of love and wanting better for his son. My father grew up in a very traditional and orthodox era. A brilliant and well educated man. His faith and belief in Catholicism is a very personal, conscious and committed decision.

So we have established the general character traits surrounding the subject at hand. Flash back 14 years: It is a bright, sunny day - or it could have been frigid and snowing - I'm also taking a stab at the general timeline - not really important. I was sporting a bit of a pixie cut fashioned into short, thick spirals. My locks have been freshly dyed flamingo pink, each spiral fading into a delicious purple tip. I select "7" in the elevator contained within a tall brownstone building on the edge of the campus and walk the familiar and entirely non-descript corridor until I reach my father's office. From behind the desk (as well as piles upon piles of pressing deadlines and geological maps), my father meets my arrival with a kind smile and motions for me to take a seat.

"So.... you're gay".

Once I stopped laughing from shock, something dawned on me: Those few words were not uttered with so much as a hint of judgement, prejudice or disdain. Before me sits a religious man. An upstanding and well respected member of society. This same man beams with pride at his little girl (the youngest of his 3 children and his only daughter) who he mistakenly understood was here to come out of the closet in a rather flamboyant manner. I was most likely there to either beg for gas money, or apologize for (once again) not putting oil in "Bessie", his 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon. That was all irrelevant now. As is typical of his zen-like personality, he was providing an opening for an honest conversation with the understanding that I would be loved unconditionally and accepted in my entirety.

I often muse at the notion that, had I known "then", what I know now - Well, I'd probably be a different person and no one has put a time machine on the open market yet. Regardless, we all have the choice to be far more than "tolerant" (although I still respectfully reserve the right to dislike The Ignorant). We have the ability to love and accept others UNCONDITIONALLY. We have the right to love whomever our hearts feel love for. To elaborate on that last one would be akin to opening Pandora's box, but my thoughts/opinions are simple - In theory, you must know someone to love them. If you love them, all the silly labels, religious misconceptions, stereotypes and public opinion should melt away, no?


Finally, Misty, My Darling - I look very forward to meeting you. You are a beautiful inspiration and mentor to me. It is my highest honor to call you my friend and I dedicate this to you!

-Annie

L'Eggo My Ego

 "You will gain a much greater understanding of what makes women tick when you take one apart and study her in minute detail."

It may come as no surprise, but I chewed through the restraints and decided to press forward with the ramblings. In the name of prudence, I have additionally obtained extra insurance coverage against beer truck fatalities. :)  Now that we have all the petty details addressed, let's move along, shall we?

Every morning, around 3-ish, I awake with the resolve to be a better person. That's a lie - first, I get my bearings to ensure I'm not still hanging from a tree branch - over a sea of ravenous garden gnomes in the pits of hell - by one ankle....then I fight through the blind haze in the hopes of locating some coffee post-haste, THEN, I resolve to be a better person. It seems one must first clarify and define "better person" before packing up the 'ol knapsack on a stick and setting off on that path.

For me, it's ringing increasingly truer by the day that we all must love ourselves before we can truly and deeply love anyone else. Those nagging little bits of negativity bring to mind this lyric I adore: "If you place a thing into the center of your life that lacks the power to nourish, it will eventually poison everything that you are and destroy you. A simple a thing as an idea. Or your perspective on yourself of the world. No one can be the source of your contempt. It lies within, in the center..."

Just as we are all our own worst enemy, we are similarly the only REAL obstruction on that backwoods trail to a better place. My better place is one where I don't feel pressured to "tone down" my personality or endure the muddy soles of all those headed up the nearby ladder I'm too afraid to climb. (***Quick Note From The Author: Are you as entertained as I by my sense of empowerment one moment and my weepy pity tea parties the next? Yes? Sweet - thought so! :)***)

I fondly recall an evening I had dinner with my father, stepmother, and a colleague guest of theirs. The guest (her name sadly escapes me) was a marvelous woman. Her character and charisma could light a stadium. I can only imagine the silly stars in my eyes as I hung on her every word with eager fascination. And it was not a one way lecture or seminar of a conversation - she was so engaging and genuinely interested in my responses to her inquiries. One moment, in particular, shall be forever etched in my memory (by now, you surely realize what a rare gem THAT one is!): She asked how I viewed myself.

Such a vague and shocking question. How does one answer something like that? "Ummm 5' 6" single [at the time, I was] blond who enjoys long walks on the beach and the occasional adult beverage...."  No, I actually responded without hesitation in one word: "Misfit". A bit to my dismay, she was appalled at my response. But as she explained further, a myriad of rays of sunlight poked pinholes in the dark cloud over my head. "NEVER, AND I MEAN NEVER EVER SAY THAT ABOUT YOURSELF AGAIN!" Mind you, I still stumble from time to time and throw that little label in, but the message was crystal clear: The most seemingly insignificant words uttered aloud have the power to alter the very cells in your body. As it turns out, she was a scientist and had spent much of her life studying this theory at length.

If you think yourself worthless and small, that is all you ever shall be. Have you ever noticed that when you walk with an air of confidence and a spring in your step, there is little that can get in your way? (The bruises suggest that brick walls don't figure into that statement, by the by) No matter how insecure the little girl within is, if I make an effort to overcome that, I can quite possibly take on the world. Add 6" heels to that, and I can even flavor the new found confidence w/ a sprinkling of a Napoleanesque attitude :)

The facts are these: I will never have the figure of a Barbie Doll, I will never be a culinary genius, I will never be a "natural" blond again, I will never be a gifted an artist like my brother, I will always have a protruding jawline, I will never win the lottery, my eyebrows will never grow back and without heels, I will probably only shrink from my current 5'4" stature...... And you know what?..... That's OK! I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME ROAR, GODDAMNIT! If I allow it, I can be that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I have worth, I have something to offer, and darnit, some people like me hee hee!

Once I'm done burning my bra then promptly slipping into that '50's era June Cleaver house dress, I should probably get back to reality (and back to work *ick*). But in my quest for that Holy Grail of a better person, my first step is to love myself a little more each day. Turns out a little selfishness can, in fact, contribute to being a better person to all those around me.

Who knew?

-The Slightly New & Improved Ninja Kitty Extraordinaire


A Wire Wastebasket Of Crumpled Thoughts

"Your family will react to your declaration that you don't want a fancy, overblown funeral with relief and increased murder attempts."

Dear Diary,
Today, I toyed with the notion of deleting this blog and all it's contents. "Why?" You ask? To which I calmly reply: "Why not?". I have began a grand total of 11 diaries/journals/laundry lists/doodle pads/MadLibs (call it what you wish) in my life to date. Notice the key word: Began.

Approaching a maximum page count of roughly 27 or so, I would visualize being hit by a beer truck on my next outing to the mailbox (I do ever so enjoy these dramatic scenarios). At that precise moment, there would be no going back. All those deep dark (translation: "lame") secrets would be committed to paper for eternity. My poor mother would have no choice but boycott my funeral based on all the stupid shit I not only DID as a kid, but actually recalled in one entry or another. A time capsule of naivete. To this day, she has mentally blocked out the actions she KNOWS I'm guilty of.... so... yeah.

Anyhoo - as the floodgate of exaggerated imagery would open, I would seek out the nearest Sharpie.... As it turns out, the good folks at the subsidiary of the subsidiary of the Newell Rubbermaid company make an inferior product. It doesn't effectively erase the frazzled outpourings previously scribbled in ball point. Hell, even the felt-tip moments would be seemingly etched in the annals of history. Hmmmm....In desperation, I'd reach for a canister of my old faithful Aquanet and that rusty Zippo I found on the street somewhere near 21st and 13th... After all, I only "socially" smoked back in the day.......

............*FWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!!!* Ahhh! Problem solved! On second glance, it also appears I no longer have any use for tweezers.....Two birds with one stone!

Clearly, I have an entirely unreliable memory as a few months/years would pass and I'd get the whim to begin anew. To be perfectly frank, 9 times out of 11, this was based upon nothing more than some sort of universal aligning of the stars.... The unlikely union of happening across a deliciously decorated journal on clearance at the local bookstore coupled with the neat-o .3mm pen I just procured for no known reason.

Do I have a lot to hide? You bet your sweet ass, I do. We're not talking government secrets, here... or even those of the particularly juicy variety. Rather, my mind is quite simply the fruitcake that time forgot. Not even so much as the courtesy to be catapulted across Manitou in annual celebration. I will forever maintain (and I can rightly say "forever", given my self-proclaimed immortality) that people like me until they get to know me. As the stunning Miss Monroe once stated: "I am not interested in money. I just want to be wonderful."  

This stretches far beyond vanity (with a somewhat elusive admission of the very same).... it's not that I must be liked at the sacrifice of all that truly lies within. Rather, I don't readily invite many people into the inner workings of my mind. I find great amusement in the labels placed on me with such certainty, additionally relishing being underestimated. Previously, many of my most intimate, embarrassing or simply raw emotions would be vomited on those pages. It was between myself and "Bernard". For his eyes only... or at least until the sudden appearance of aforementioned beer truck.

Alas, I shall keep this frivolous dream alive for the time being. So much to say and pet rocks and such, no? My affair with FB has already come to a close, so off I go to another depository.

Until next time, My Pets... Or is this all she wrote? :)
-A.

A Tale of Two Snicks... And Related Misadventures of King Van

 "It's important, as Kipling said, to treat triumph and disaster both the same, but it seems all you ever get are mild satisfaction and vague disappointment."

I feel I must begin today's rant with the disclaimer that I, quite simply, have the two coolest muthafukin' kids on the planet. When they wake up in the morning, they piss excellence.

That said, let's hop on the slide down to the Kingdom of Rants, shall we? My youngest son, the esteemed Dr. Snicks, while miniature in stature is gigantic in personality. He is the happiest, most hilariously insane little creature I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. Confident, assertive, optimistically jovial. All the things I aspire to be. I suppose it is, then, in the spirit of universal balance that there must be a Jekyll to his Hyde. In the case of poor Dax, it is not a mood swing or sinister (and slightly homicidal) temper that lurks in the shadows. Rather, the apparent and complete lack of immunity to all the illnesses stagnating around the hell that is daycare.

To his credit, he tries his damnedest to smile sweetly through all the fevers, vomiting, coughing and blue-lipped episodes of late. He takes medicine like a champ, and his threshold for pain is nothing short of miraculous. But for this overly concerned Mama, the exhaustion associated with all of it sours the joy a stronger human might exhibit.... I'm also of the opinion that toddler beds are simply not constructed to withstand the weight of this Ninja Kitty.

Be careful what you wish for, as the old saying goes. I seem to recall having to sleep in the room with the good Doctor previously to keep an eye on his breathing after concerns of seizures mounted. When the crisis was somewhat averted and I returned to my own cozy lair, I experienced the dramatic onset of a heartache. I felt out of sync with his breathing patterns and almost lost without that little muppet snore emanating out of those teensy little nostrils.... I missed it. Not sure if I verbalized this, but I missed it. By the by, King Van would no doubt trade places with me in a more permanent arrangement as he rather enjoys the luxuries of a king size bed (fitting for a King, as it seems) and assorted cartoons blazing delightfully into the night.

Alas, the ongoing adventures of Dr. Snicks have now transpired to a level which puts my employment in direct jeopardy. Finding some sort of balance in a life full of work stresses amidst that ever-pending threat of unemployment and being the model Mama who's ready at a moment's notice with a reassuring hug & oodles of ice cream - well... so far eludes me. I'm an often short tempered and bloodshot-eye'd pirate with a litany of her own pesky health blunders. Through it all, one would find it more than understandable that the older legend in his spare time, King Vanaloons, would exhibit signs of extreme jealousy or distaste with the young Doctor. Such is not the case - the elder Mr. Voorhies is an angel, albeit somewhat withdrawn from time to time.

***Remind me to keep an eye on all the imaginary friends he's amassed in my attentive absence - their actions can be exceedingly suspicious as they no doubt shoulder the blame for everything from the crayon on the walls to the clogged toilet which caused a flood.....***

Ups and downs and ins and outs. A spiral of challenges and tests - barely passing thanks to the nerdy kid to my immediate left. It's not a crime if you don't get caught, right? Seems as good a time as any to circle back to my earlier affirmation that I'm still blessed with the two coolest muthafukin' kids on the planet. The same kids who throw birthday parties for snails and draw cupcakes for each other when their mean 'ol Mama fails to procure such treats for them on the way home from work. They're sweet and sassy. Brilliant yet exceedingly deaf. Violent and artistic. Blissfully unaware of my evil plots to bottle and promptly sell the secrets of their endless energy to the general cash-wielding public. *sigh* Through all the grief, I will fight to the death battling the child-napping gypsy lurking outside their window with long grabby claws and a bottomless patchwork bag waiting to snag them in the night.

Back off, creeps, they're all mine and I loves 'em :)

*Giggle* Surely, It's A New Year SOMEWHERE...

Before I Kill You, Mr. Bond.....

 "You've never encountered a problem that can't be solved by the combined mental and spiritual resources of the enlightened people of the galaxy or by swinging from the doorframe and kicking people in the gut."... Eureka! This is true!

So I sit at my desk wondering what it is about this whole "technology" marvel that makes me emotionally vomit without a second thought or editing mark. Is it that, quite simply, my reputation precedes me in such a manner that very little will come as a surprise anyhow? I previously mentioned the shitty conversationalist that was my pet rock.... Alas, I don't even OWN a pet rock, so perhaps that was a metaphor for the stuffed cthulhu hanging immediately to my right. He's shooting me quite the dagger-filled glare at the moment, but I think we all know he's to blame.

Could it be, I've gotten so entertainingly used to finding, mid-conversation, that my "audience" possesses little more than glazed-over look, that I feel a need to toss in bits of inappropriate content in the name of self-entertainment? Ahhhh.... I think we've stumbled upon something, here. I hold no preconceptions that I am fascinating or even worth so much as general acknowledgement. After all, if you keep your expectations disgustingly low, you'll always be pleasantly surprised, no? Oh no, these words are no longer spoken from the depths of pity or sorrow. Rather, I find it's less damning to meander through life less affected by the reactions or judgements of others. The words I speak and the actions I flamboyantly exhibit are done solely for Yours Truly. In the grand scheme of things, very few will understand my passions, pet-peeves, ponderings or preferences. And that's OK. In support of my new findings, the wrapper on the small and delightful chocolate I just consumed advises "It's OK to be fabulous AND flawed"!

Having spent far too many years as an obedient and frivolous doormat, I'm slowly learning to rely less and less on the approvals of others (keep in mind, there is one hell of a learning curve to this one). On a smaller and more insignificant scale, approval is a bit of my proverbial white whale. Only when I stopped trying to impress my family, did I achieve a weird sort of honorable status in their eyes. The less I give a f*ck, the more I unwittingly demand respect. There appears to be some credibility in this pesky "confidence" notion. I still respectfully refuse to label it as such, but I'm so far willing to accept the similarities.

So there you have it. I have decided I'm an organic sort of fungus. In fact, I put the "fun" in fungus, goddamnit! I will continue on my little path... blabbering at illuminated screens and people on the streets alike.... and if the general public is appalled by my ticker-tape parades and melodramatic nonsensery,  they are free to subscribe to another newsletter entirely (translation: stick THAT in your pipe and smoke it!). :) And A Very Happy Monday To ALL!

Affectionately Yours,
-Mrs. W.I.P. (Work In Progress)


*Yawn*

 "Although it's true you can successfully hide certain things in plain sight without anyone noticing, it turns out not to be true of a whole Girl Scout troop's worth of corpses."


Fear not, the paint fumes are bound to spark some inspiration later.
Ciao for Now,
-N.K.

*Smile*

Bluntcard.com

Saucer of Milk, Table for One.

"An unusual series of events will teach you to never underestimate the abilities of a master Ninja or pastry chef. "

In typical Annie fashion, I immediately follow a "get over yourself and buck up" post with a bit of a pity party post. Feel free to glaze over this one, but I find that writing helps me work through the jumbled mess that is my brain.

No need to go into great detail, but I'm sitting here, in my office, feeling immensely hollow and lonely. If memory serves me (which it rarely does), the last time I felt this exact feeling - my mom gave me a kiss on the cheek, got in her car, and headed back for Portland. I stood in the doorway of my house with my little Dax snuggled on my shoulder- who was all of 2 weeks old - ....and sobbed. Even with all the frustrations, which are par for the course during family visits, she helped me more than she'd ever know. And now I was alone.

For introverts, such as Yours Truly, loneliness is a very common feeling. Whether you are physically alone - sitting on a park bench wondering why the hell you didn't think to bring a loaf of bread for the ducks, or gazing around you at a sea of acquaintances - contemplating crossing through the crowd to the open bar at the other end of the room. It's not that I'm uncomfortable being alone. It's far from an alien feeling and I tend to amuse myself thoroughly (which has added pleasure realizing there's no one around to heckle you in all your silliness). Rather, there are just those moments when you feel like you're standing at the edge of the ocean - imagining that just beyond the horizon, the earth ends. That's all there is.

"There are pills for that", you say in an uninterested tone. I don't doubt that there are. But why silence raw emotions simply because they aren't of the positive variety? I fully believe everyone needs a good cry now and again. For me, it helps me feel human. It's not going to be the easiest of hikes out of this sudden rut, but all I can do is put one foot in front of the other.

***ALERT: The train of thought derails in 5....4....3....2.....*** I remember taking a similar hike with my family, when I was still wet behind the ears. 11 miles up a steep mountainside in Canada to the chalet where we were to sleep that evening. If you didn't make it up, you were likely to be devoured by a bear in the wee hours of the night (or at least, that's what my dad told us). It was cold and rainy. My mom tried to cheer us up with promises of wine and cheese at the end. Don't judge, I grew up in a Catholic family that was all for sharing the good 'ol blood of christ with the masses. Besides, SOMETHING had to make up for the Catholic guilt that was sure to follow, no? As it turns out, she mistakenly left the wine & cheese in the trunk of the car and damn near sacrificed us to the bears in a blind rage. I did get some M&M's out of the deal, though, so all wasn't lost.

See? I feel better already. No, not really. It tops the (ever-growing) list of phrases Annie f*cking despises: "It is what it is."  *sigh* I think I need some chocolate.
***You'll be astounded to learn this week that, in certain less-than-legitimate circumstances, monkeys do come in barrels, but they are no fun whatsoever.... ***

Luck 'O The Irish...

" Experience is a great teacher. This week, it will teach you your Miranda rights, the difference between a polecat and a skunk, and what a sucker punch is. "

...Is not something this Broad genetically possesses. In fact, I grew up in a particularly paranoid habitat  - there was frequent mention of the damned luck surrounding my maiden name coupled with that of my mother's. When I got married, I quickly found there is an apparent curse associated with my new name as well. As an on-again-off-again superstitious individual, I thought it kosher to hide under a rock anytime the going got tough. Well, what better day than today to rid the 'ol shoulder of such a pesky little chip? The sky is falling, a black cat crossed my path this morning, I walked under a ladder to get to my car keys (Seems I have an unusual taste for decor) and that woodland creature just looked at me with sinister intent. Tis all entirely possible. But so what? I'm all for holding onto those little security blankies in the name of "luck". PETA already revoked my membership when news surfaced of the doll clothes I used to force poor Spooky into - so hell, if a rabbit's foot is your cup 'o tea and helps you sleep at night - Why not? (Totally kidding, Thumper... Please don't come back and haunt me from beyond the grave for not cleaning your cage often enough). There is no grave harm in boosting one's own confidence based on inanimate objects so long as at some point, there is a sprinkling of healthy realism thrown in there for taste.

"Did you see what GOD just did to us man!?""God didn't do that, you did! You're a fucking narcotics agent, I knew it!" - I always think of this scene when imagining those who helplessly hide behind a perceived and sealed fate. They're further so completely convinced of this, they may as well throw their hands up and submit to the gov't wire tapping obviously at hand. Are there a lot of shady people out there? No doubt about it. Is there much you can do about it? Not likely.

We will never have complete control of all the ups and downs life throws at us. But we ARE active participants. There is a silly little intangible thing called taking responsibility for your own actions. Akin to a Choose Your Own Adventure book (Man, I miss those), you pick what's behind Door #1 (***Note the part where YOU chose that door***) and off you go on the next adventure. If you're reading this right now, chances are you've been given another day above ground. So whatcha going to do with it?  Pour another cup of tea for your pity party, or make the most of it?

I shall randomly end on this note - seems it was my horoscope:
Cancer
Remember, a bend in the road isn't the end of the road. While we're on the subject, the circular device on the dashboard can be used to turn your car. (hee hee)

P.S. On a side tangent, my son told me he'd "punch" me if I didn't wear green today. I chose not to wear green to test that theory.... wish the poor boy luck in the upcoming brawl ;)

It's All A Matter Of Opinion....

"Your whole life is thrown into a terrible new perspective when you learn that Enter The Dragon is not intended to be a romantic comedy"... Hmph. I respectfully disagree :).

Ever since my oldest spawn was "blessed" with the gift of gab, he has been questioning everything around him. No doubt about it - this can be an admirable trait. OR, this could be the basic foundation for a new anarchist movement. I've certainly been convinced that kid will form a cult someday, but I'm also REALLY trying to provide him with the most basic tools of survival (you know, aside from mentally torturing victims). I'll throw a little bit of back story in here for some frame of reference: I speak of my 4 year old King Van: Virgo, red head, co-conspirator with a pack of Muppets, legend in his spare time, and deviously brilliant. That last one isn't uttered so much from the perspective of an overly gushing Mama, but rather fear. This kid is clever... the sort of clever where he isn't likely to use his powers for good and may even give you pause on things you always knew to be factual.

Ever seen Gaslight? No? Excellent Flick. 1944? Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer, Angela Lansbury? Wow. One of us needs to get out more. But I digress, despite a far more involved and brilliant plot, the main thing I took away from it was the ease with which someone could drive another to the brink of insanity. The parallel is eerie between this and my relationship w/ my uncoordinated midget (And I choose to stoop to a childish level by heckling him over his height as he is only about one year away from surpassing me vertically).

Beyond my general amusement wrapped in a blanket of frustration over a 4 year old having homework assignments, I really struggle with getting past his brilliant facade and ensuring he is, in fact, learning something. Even the tiniest "fact" explodes into a furious debate. Ever argued with yourself and lost? Then you may be able to relate. At the end of the day, I'm no longer confident I can distinguish between basic colors or shapes - in fact, I'm hesitant to say I'm quite sure of anything. "Darling, trust me, that is a triangle" "Is it, Mama? Or is it possible that it's the only visible portion of a square or perhaps even an octagon?" Me thinks it's a sign to go straight for the box of wine in the garage when he fires back with such sound logic supporting his skewed reality.

I read somewhere that serial killers start off from similar roots....

In general, I do take a step back and marvel at the brain of a child. After all, a similar experience during a "Creativity and Education" course I took in college is what convinced me to drop out and never look back. That kid will go places. He has expressed interest in being a penguin when he grows up. Seems he has more figured out in his 55 months on this planet than I will have over the course of my lifetime. Who knows? He may just figure out the secrets of reincarnation by the time he hits high school.

I Wouldn't Call Them Voices.....

....More like hyenas scratching at the walls of my brain. For several days now, I have had this continual and deafening chatter occupying the void between my ears. Dozens upon dozens of trains of thought derailing every which way. An old friend of mine once likened this to the awakening of an imaginary Scientist ...A "gentleman" who took up residence in his head and would awaken from his coma at the most inopportune times... Questioning the most mundane logic and resulting in miserable insomnia. To that end, I suppose I'm fortunate in that my sleep has been uninterrupted as of late. But those pesky thoughts - everything from the looming deadlines and tasks to the baffling mystery of how a sewing machine works. Health concerns and mortality playing a trivial game of badminton against zombie flicks and tarot card readings.

I often muse at those under the false impression that I have a good head on my shoulders. I came across a quote last night that dazzled me to that end: "It would be interesting to find out what goes on in that moment when someone looks at you and draws all sorts of conclusions." On the other hand, some things are probably best left unsaid.

The trouble with the mutterings? They present one hell of an obstacle during the structured hours of my existence. There is a good probability I will need to seek other employment in the coming months. Once upon a time, I would have been able to smile in the face of adversity... After all, whether we whittle away our hours entrenched in worry, or sit back and ride the wave, the end result is bound to be the same, no? This is certainly true within reason. As of late, I've found my memory slipping away and that fine line between fantasy and reality unraveling like the threads of an old sweater. I'm not even entirely sure how I got here this morning. (It may not be a bad idea to pray for all those who will be on the road during my adventure back home again)

I tend to believe all of this frizzle-frazzle is my mind's feeble attempt at averting a complete meltdown. Not the most brilliant plan of attack, to be sure. But this would not be the first time I've reacted to everyday crisis in unconventional ways. The more I struggle to focus, the louder the elevator music grows. I fantasize of grabbing my family and running away to a small town nestled on the coast of Italy - or suddenly coming into despicable sums of money and living in a sort of uncharted oblivion. The reality is that I'm 30-40 years away from retirement and at some point I may need to consider growing up.

Whatever happened to those magical days of running away to join the circus?

Clearly, The Elephant In The Room Ain't Much For Small Talk

"Tourists will travel from far and wide to see the famous "torture cubicle" in which you slaved away for years, wishing for a quick and merciful death. "

Before I continue, I must relay that I'm laughing inside at the visual of those of you in my immediate audience cringing at the grammatical error in my subject line. Frankly, I'm shocked and perhaps a tad aroused you wouldn't have previously noted my fetish for run-on sentences.....

OK - I believe I let that soak in long enough :). Even in it's infancy, at some point one of the two of you will observe that, although I truly do write from the heart, I don't often divulge private details. In this case, I need to make an exception. I have been delicately waltzing around a simultaneously heartbreaking and enraging scenario going on in the paradise that is my work. The dreaded "L" word. And if your first thought was "Lesbian", you may as well find another blog to read as I am a Fruit Fly to the Nth degree. No, My Darlings, LAY OFFS. Without logic, let alone much in the way of careful business consideration, the fate of 22 people (many of whom I hold dear to my heart) has been decided. Corporate America at it's very finest. The bar is so disgustingly low I can't help but wretch at the thought.

Will they be OK? It's not one of those things one can even approach measuring. Even the monetarily wealthiest of humans can't help but be affected by something like this. And there was a very important word in that last sentence that I must repeat: HUMANS. Contrary to popular belief, we are not just zeroes in a sea of binary code from days gone by. We all have something to offer. Even the loneliest of us are something special to someone. Often we don't even realize all those we affect and touch in a positive way as we hurry about our hectic existence. For the first time, yesterday, I met the postal carrier (Phyllis) assigned to our neck of the woods. She positively glowed at what an apparent joy it is to be met with the smiling faces of some of the damn good folks I am surrounded by. I was initially & naively stunned. Some days, I'm lucky to get a "You're #1!" in the form of an Italian hand gesture - but in all honesty, I am immeasurably fortunate to have met each and every one of the people in the aforementioned lot.

A few hours ago, one adorable gentleman, who was not among those 22, was in my office gathering information to take on some of the PLETHORA of tasks left behind. His remark that he's been screwed before but at least previously with the courtesy of a kiss (or for Pete's sake, a nice dinner)... It's a two-fold wave of aftershocks. Those of us left behind are aching for the fate of the 22. "Why wasn't it me?" "What now?" "What the f*ck?" are among common mutterings... putting all the selfishness of our primal survival needs aside, I believe the light at the end of the tunnel isn't necessarily an oncoming train. I believe in my heart that every last one of those people will be monumentally successful in the adventures that lay ahead. And for the rest of us, perhaps we just answered that wake up call on the Bat Phone. Some much needed motivation sparked by fear or anger? Many of the greatest feats of mankind arrived on the tails of that straw that broke the camel's back.

I shall end with this: Of all the times in my life I've uttered the phrase "Promise me you'll keep in touch", never before was I at the necessary maturity level to mean every last word of it with the sincerest intent. To all those I am lucky enough to call friends and additionally adding a "shout out" to all those out there going through something similar - Good luck, godspeed and GO GET 'EM, TIGER!

XOXO

P.S. Is that a piano in your pants or.....

Never quite did get over the awesomeness of this ad... Enjoy!
http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/nyc/1598225097.html



The Ice Queen Needs A Latte

Ahhhh The roller coaster of personality traits that is Ninja Kitty. It seems not so long ago I was trying to break myself of the habit of Elaine-ish behavior. Don't play coy with me.... you know that automatic response of unwittingly shoving someone halfway across a crowded room in the midst of maniacal laughter... Poking someone affectionately in the arm for a smile. Hugging a complete stranger who looks in need of one (in lieu of suggesting a proctology exam or the company of a blow up doll, perhaps). I used to be nice. Yes, I will wait patiently for you to stop guffawing...

... Done yet? Sheesh. It seems I am, in fact, entering the Surly Old Tart phase of my life. I've grown increasingly cynical, sarcastic and.... well... bitchy. But beyond becoming a ray of goddamned sunshine, I'm suddenly cold. So very... very.... cold. Seasonal depression? Perhaps. The simple product of the hostile corporate environment? Would certainly be understandable. No... It's something more. It's the baffled shock I suddenly notice I exhibit in response to a hug or a kind word. And I can't, for a moment, imagine how this all came about. I have always thought myself a pretty happy & snuggly sort of creature. On the bright side, admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery, no?

It pains me to admit this, but I most certainly hid behind a bedazzled wall of sorts. In my quest for resilience and decreased hypersensitivity, I passed GO, blew the $200 on smokes, and jumped off that cliff all those silly lemmings were headed for. Fear not - there is still an ounce of humanity left in me. I credit schizophrenic hormones for that one. I sob pitifully at commercials featuring baby animals and the mere notion that my 4 year old gets to wear a cap & gown to his "graduation" from Pre-Kindergarten (and truly, the two are related, as dressing up a 4 year old is damn close to the hilariousness of dressing up animals in my eyes - "Look! He thinks he's people!"). But then there are those moments where one of the little munchkins hugs me and it's met with a look of confused horror.

I'm relatively aware that my anti-social behavior as of late isn't much of a remedy - so what then? More coffee? A heat rock? Will I grow a tail that can be cut off w/ a butcher's knife and then promptly regenerate? Am I alone in finding that last one a bloody cool thought?

I believe the answer is in being more true to myself. I currently smile despite being in mental or physical agony as I wasn't thrilled upon discovering the vast majority of the population is not nearly as empathetic as I. The show must go on, or something to that effect. When the exhaustion of the public persona washes over me, I inadvertently take it all out on those I love and cherish beyond belief. I shall liken this semi-conscious activity to the boiling frog syndrome. Frankly, it's high time I put an end to this behavior. Which is more important? Being liked or being real?

The Day The Earth Stood Still

Note: By "Day", I mean Era and by "Earth", I mean Ninja Kitty's world. Ever feel like you're stuck in 1983? OK, so that still wouldn't encompass the bits and pieces since then that my feeble brain has somehow managed to retain, but bear with me for a moment. First of all, I only recently (read: this morning) realized that it's no longer cool to pull up to a traffic light blaring Ice-Cube (sweet merciful jesus, he has the neatest angry eyebrows) and smoking a menthol barbie tampon (Misty brand, for those of you interested). Who dropped the ball on sending me that memo?

As I sit here taking an irresponsible trip down memory lane, it dawns on me that every last song playing on my iPod is pre-1996 or so. Coincidentally or not, that's the year I graduated high school. Yeah, yeah, still wet behind the f*cking ears and such - but it makes me wonder why the hell time seemingly froze for me at that point. Was it some sort of traumatic head injury? Perhaps my dabblings with illegal substances? ***Speaking of memos - as your attorney, I advise you to warn your loved ones against the apparent dangers of snorting crushed up Smarties off elementary school carpet!***

Try not to misunderstand me, I love where I am in my life - mostly, anyway. It seems corporate America ain't worth crossing an ocean for, but I have a phenomenal family and a super fantastic support network of friends and acquaintances. I've come a long way, Baby. And yet, somewhere in that Summer of 1996, my brain took a mental picture and shelled out beau coup bucks bronzing, then framing the damn thing. With the exception of the occasional flashback to, say, January of 2006, everything else is a blur. Remind me to write a letter to Congress expressing my discontent with an article I happened upon stating coffee drinkers are less likely to fall into the depths of Alzheimer's. Have I already entered into my "Golden Years"? Is this a common phenomenon?...... OR...... genetics?

A.... *cough*.... friend of a friend of a friend of mine who I may or may not be related to (Spoiler Alert: By the end of this rambling nonsense, Annie will most likely reveal it is, in fact, her uncle ;) ) is quite literally frozen in 1952. He or she... oh wait, I already gave that part away and he hasn't had a sex change that I've been notified of.... quite literally can remember every face, name, event and specific detail of that year. The dilemma? Not much since. Day in and day out he goes through the motions of existing. Clearly, much has happened in the almost 60 years since then. His mind can process the new people (such as Yours Truly) who have touched down on the planet in the meantime, and yet they simply overcrowd his 1952 residence. I've lost sleep on more than one occasion with the fear that this may be my destiny. Luckily, I surround myself with those who possess enough testicular fortitude to slap me around a bit when it becomes apparent I may be mentally slipping off into the cosmos. *SLAP*! Incidentally, I've also heard tasty little rumors that taking showers of unicorn tears is a handy deterrent....

Ahhh the mind. What a terrible thing to waste, no? Well, I raise my glass (which The Suits, here at work, no doubt frown upon) to memories, and those sane enough to leave them in the past. Cheers!

Identity Crisis Du Jour

"The question of whether human consciousness can exist outside the body remains unanswered, but at least you and your trusty Thermos gave it a good try."

Where to begin, where to begin....Isn't it peculiar how most phrases have that extra je ne sais pas when repeated? So there I was (I also rather enjoy beginning a sentence as though I were continuing a previous conversation ;) ), it's 2am - I have just put Dr. Snicks back to bed after fetching him the 2nd or so beverage to further encourage his peeing on me with great delight - and something occurs to me....I have no idea who I am. It's one of those peskily awkward moments akin to reaching for a response to "What do you do for a living?" while riding an elevator to the 22nd floor. Come now, I'm sure I'm not the only one that happens to....

A happy-go-lucky girl always dressed in black? Hmmm... and yet I juggle this description around the simple fact that I am a kaleidoscope-loving-drag-queen-wanna-be. I giggle at memories of boldly stating I was born in the wrong place & time... "I was meant to be of legal drinking age in 1920's Cuba", I proudly blurt out. Mind you, this was based on little more research than a quick snippet about the "Roaring 20's" in some shabby history book coupled with a strange fascination with Desi Arnaz and his bongo-playing antics. For all I knew, this could have been a horribly oppressive tick along that ever-fluid timeline.

I'm sure many of you also recall my declaration that when (if) I grow up, I shall play bongos on the beach in the nude and live on my love for the land. In my head, I was apparently the very cartoon that adorns my upper arm - and about as anatomically correct as a Snork... all that sand and seawater washing into unmentionable places hardly sounds like a fantasy.....Additionally, these visions clearly contained the convenience of not needing any real sustenance to survive.

The cornucopial epitome of all the bits & pieces influencing my life to date. Aren't we all? And yet, I'm perplexed.... Am I a tiger mom, or simply a short-fused pile of exhaustion at the end of a hectic day? An introvert or misunderstood and hypersensitive? Unique or simply alien to those I'm surrounded by? Need I go on?

Purely rhetorical, My Pets :). I've been "called out" more than once on the quirky notions I've clung to (I still maintain I'm 5'6" and I've never danced on a table while intoxicated). On one hand, I am blessed with the attention span/memory retention of a hummingbird so I can always plead the 5th and/or insanity (and boy, do I ever). ***On a quick side note, this leads me to believe I'd make a brilliant politician***....However, it is becoming evident that I simply choose a stance with about as much effort as throwing a dart in the general direction of the board. I decided to believe in the existence of imps immediately after procuring a book about goblins based on Labyrinth (which, not so coincidentally marked the beginning of an unhealthy attachment to David Bowie). I now keep an eye out for forest spirits thanks to the brilliant works of Miyazaki....

Where is this all going? Fear not, my train of thought derailed somewhere back around the second sentence... Oddly enough I do have a bit of a summary for all the rambling, though - I'm beginning to be comfortable in my own skin. Odd, yet unique. Whoever Annie turns into tomorrow, I'm confident she'll still laugh hysterically at shadow puppets, adore all things glitter, and answer to "HEY, BITCH!" :)

So much to say and My Pet Rock has grown apathetic!

"You're easy to talk to once people get to know you, but holding your personal audiences on a throne of bloody skulls tends to put them off at first. "

Once upon a time, in an overcrowded military town on the cusp of the bible belt, there lived a surly little bottle-blond with a thirst for gin and a hankering for the variety of socialization that could be terminated with the click of a mouse. As it turns out, the aforementioned shut-in of a misfit couldn't handle two-way communication and opted for airing her dirty laundry on a blogatiary (feel free to use that :) ) forum instead. So what you have unwittingly stumbled upon is the beginning of an ambitious little adventure played out solely inside the wee brain of Yours Truly.

Fasten your seat belts and hold on to your teeth, it promises to be a delectably bumpy ride! And remember, if you ever don't like what you see, you are always welcome to exercise that little red "x" in the corner of the screen. I promise not to be insulted as I will remain blissfully unaware :)

Yours In Christ,
Ninja Kitty AKA Little Orphan Awesome

P.S.... Fine, for those of you with no sense of adventure or flair for the dramatic, you may refer to me as simply Annie :)

Kitty

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Chaos Ala Carte

"You'll become embroiled in a vicious conflict between those who feel Queens of the Stone Age are overrated and those who want control of the cocaine trade on the Eastern Seaboard. "

Yesterday was one of many lows in my recent, albeit unreliable, memory. I quite literally broke down in tears on the shoulder of a poor, unsuspecting tow truck driver. This gentleman was simply there to drop off a few forklifts, a skid loader and a tractor in the hopes of obtaining a simple signature for the expense. The icing on the cake? He hadn't even uttered a word when this all occurred. I exited the door of our building to meet the man and made a b-line for the aforementioned shoulder. Had the roles been reversed, I probably would have darted off into the forest in the hopes of averting disaster. To his credit, he was quite empathetic - if not vaguely amused.

I don't proclaim to be a pillar of strength, here - or even stable enough to maintain accreditation among the sane. But for god's sake, woman! Pull it together! As eluded to previously, there has been a whirlwind of upheaval around this Popsicle stand as of late.... and by "late", let's go ahead and toss in the 5 years I've been here for good measure. At the moment, we all find ourselves without leadership, direction, or frankly a bloody clue.

This statement ought to sum up the apparent apocalypse at hand: People from all the various departments are coming to me for guidance. I know. Things are THAT bad! Don't get me wrong, I can bullshit my way around the instructions to construct a wooden box.... but that is about the extent of it - additionally providing wiggle room regarding the actual functionality of the box..... And once again, I digress.

I have known for months that March of 2011 promised to be tumultuous. The metaphorical arrival of hell on earth. The countdown to going live in a new software system, the end of our fiscal year, the closure of one of my favorite projects, a government inventory, a new insurance policy year, the renewal date for our HazMat permits.... But wait! There's more! And truly, if given the time, I would fancifully and dramatically exaggerate this all until every last one of you three were downright dazzled at my superhero abilities. Alas, normal people most likely deal with this sort of thing on a daily basis. One of my MANY faults? I take it all far too seriously, and personally.

Akin to that grungy, moldy sponge that reeks of something approaching cabbage or an equally pungent residue - I absorb it all until I'm a festering mess. I care too damn much. I toss myself into the depths of despair if I don't respond to business emails in under 3 minutes. I declare myself a loser if I can't listen to (and solve) the problems of each and every person who wanders into my office each day. Sooner than admit I can't recall the first 10 minutes of that Excel class I took 7 years ago, I will toil late into the night Googling suggestions for the formulas, macros and crosswalks which lay before me. Clearly, I even forget to duct tape my mouth before blurting out "YES! I would be HAPPY to help you!" while already in the midst of a deadline. What some call work ethic, I'm going to totally and completely blame on Catholic guilt.

It angers me that people can simply blow things off or (really convincingly) feign ignorance to get out of taking on so much as their OWN responsibilities. Then again, is it really anger I feel or the epitome of jealousy? This carries over far beyond the boundaries of the working world. I often find myself envying those who are content in aloofnessocity (spell-check THAT, bitch! :) ). Envious of apathy.

Then I come to my senses.

Things are tough all over the world. Everyone has problems. Everyone has stresses. Many think their trials top those of the next guy or gal. Not this broad. At the end of the day - even when I sense I couldn't have screwed things up more royally and I'm getting ready to have a complete and utter nervous breakdown (thanks and apologies go to far too many people to list here, for diffusing THAT bomb!)... I find myself blessed beyond belief. I have a phenomenal family. Simply extraordinary friends. Love it or lump it - a job. My legs aren't painted on. This list goes on and on....

 It's not the end of the world..... BUT! It's almost the end of March of 2011. And for that, in particular, I will soon (yes, that's my story) be raising my glass in a deliciously intoxicating middle finger of farewell.

Ciao for now,
-A

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Playing Leap-Frog With Faith

"Everyone needs to believe in something. You, for instance, believe in a omnipotent man who lives in the sky, and that you'll have another beer."
Disclaimer: This shan't be quite like the obtuse posts previously scribbled crudely whilst approaching the pinnacle of some fantastical roller coaster. Rather, the larger picture represents a subject very close to my heart. It wouldn't be a product of Annie if it didn't still meander this way and that, but bear with me, (if you choose) and you will catch a brief glimpse of the gooey core of this lollipop.

My father "is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life." What would normally be a snarky remark is spoken with a deep amount of respect and new understanding of the man. Further, it was only through a written exchange with a new and wonderful friend of mine, Misty, that I was fully able to digest and process the impact he had on me - and the potential we all hold to change the course of things. I shall set this sentiment aside for a moment while I mentally explore the best way to arrive at the expression I hold conceptually in my fragile mind.

Sexuality. Curious how this translates into such varied meanings depending on the audience. At one moment: raw unadulterated emotion, yet the very next: intense (and often hateful)  political/religious/scientific/philosophical debate. The latter - A ticking time bomb and the unsteady hands working methodically as possible to disarm it.

My father was born in a small town outside of Boston. The son of a butcher. Grandson of a butcher. Great-Grandson of a butcher. A long line of humble, charismatic and hard-working Pollocks who happen to be devout Catholics. My father was 12 when his mother passed away and a decision was made to send him to a military boarding school for boys. I believe every decision my Dziadek made in this regard was out of love and wanting better for his son. My father grew up in a very traditional and orthodox era. A brilliant and well educated man. His faith and belief in Catholicism is a very personal, conscious and committed decision.

So we have established the general character traits surrounding the subject at hand. Flash back 14 years: It is a bright, sunny day - or it could have been frigid and snowing - I'm also taking a stab at the general timeline - not really important. I was sporting a bit of a pixie cut fashioned into short, thick spirals. My locks have been freshly dyed flamingo pink, each spiral fading into a delicious purple tip. I select "7" in the elevator contained within a tall brownstone building on the edge of the campus and walk the familiar and entirely non-descript corridor until I reach my father's office. From behind the desk (as well as piles upon piles of pressing deadlines and geological maps), my father meets my arrival with a kind smile and motions for me to take a seat.

"So.... you're gay".

Once I stopped laughing from shock, something dawned on me: Those few words were not uttered with so much as a hint of judgement, prejudice or disdain. Before me sits a religious man. An upstanding and well respected member of society. This same man beams with pride at his little girl (the youngest of his 3 children and his only daughter) who he mistakenly understood was here to come out of the closet in a rather flamboyant manner. I was most likely there to either beg for gas money, or apologize for (once again) not putting oil in "Bessie", his 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon. That was all irrelevant now. As is typical of his zen-like personality, he was providing an opening for an honest conversation with the understanding that I would be loved unconditionally and accepted in my entirety.

I often muse at the notion that, had I known "then", what I know now - Well, I'd probably be a different person and no one has put a time machine on the open market yet. Regardless, we all have the choice to be far more than "tolerant" (although I still respectfully reserve the right to dislike The Ignorant). We have the ability to love and accept others UNCONDITIONALLY. We have the right to love whomever our hearts feel love for. To elaborate on that last one would be akin to opening Pandora's box, but my thoughts/opinions are simple - In theory, you must know someone to love them. If you love them, all the silly labels, religious misconceptions, stereotypes and public opinion should melt away, no?


Finally, Misty, My Darling - I look very forward to meeting you. You are a beautiful inspiration and mentor to me. It is my highest honor to call you my friend and I dedicate this to you!

-Annie

Monday, March 28, 2011

L'Eggo My Ego

 "You will gain a much greater understanding of what makes women tick when you take one apart and study her in minute detail."

It may come as no surprise, but I chewed through the restraints and decided to press forward with the ramblings. In the name of prudence, I have additionally obtained extra insurance coverage against beer truck fatalities. :)  Now that we have all the petty details addressed, let's move along, shall we?

Every morning, around 3-ish, I awake with the resolve to be a better person. That's a lie - first, I get my bearings to ensure I'm not still hanging from a tree branch - over a sea of ravenous garden gnomes in the pits of hell - by one ankle....then I fight through the blind haze in the hopes of locating some coffee post-haste, THEN, I resolve to be a better person. It seems one must first clarify and define "better person" before packing up the 'ol knapsack on a stick and setting off on that path.

For me, it's ringing increasingly truer by the day that we all must love ourselves before we can truly and deeply love anyone else. Those nagging little bits of negativity bring to mind this lyric I adore: "If you place a thing into the center of your life that lacks the power to nourish, it will eventually poison everything that you are and destroy you. A simple a thing as an idea. Or your perspective on yourself of the world. No one can be the source of your contempt. It lies within, in the center..."

Just as we are all our own worst enemy, we are similarly the only REAL obstruction on that backwoods trail to a better place. My better place is one where I don't feel pressured to "tone down" my personality or endure the muddy soles of all those headed up the nearby ladder I'm too afraid to climb. (***Quick Note From The Author: Are you as entertained as I by my sense of empowerment one moment and my weepy pity tea parties the next? Yes? Sweet - thought so! :)***)

I fondly recall an evening I had dinner with my father, stepmother, and a colleague guest of theirs. The guest (her name sadly escapes me) was a marvelous woman. Her character and charisma could light a stadium. I can only imagine the silly stars in my eyes as I hung on her every word with eager fascination. And it was not a one way lecture or seminar of a conversation - she was so engaging and genuinely interested in my responses to her inquiries. One moment, in particular, shall be forever etched in my memory (by now, you surely realize what a rare gem THAT one is!): She asked how I viewed myself.

Such a vague and shocking question. How does one answer something like that? "Ummm 5' 6" single [at the time, I was] blond who enjoys long walks on the beach and the occasional adult beverage...."  No, I actually responded without hesitation in one word: "Misfit". A bit to my dismay, she was appalled at my response. But as she explained further, a myriad of rays of sunlight poked pinholes in the dark cloud over my head. "NEVER, AND I MEAN NEVER EVER SAY THAT ABOUT YOURSELF AGAIN!" Mind you, I still stumble from time to time and throw that little label in, but the message was crystal clear: The most seemingly insignificant words uttered aloud have the power to alter the very cells in your body. As it turns out, she was a scientist and had spent much of her life studying this theory at length.

If you think yourself worthless and small, that is all you ever shall be. Have you ever noticed that when you walk with an air of confidence and a spring in your step, there is little that can get in your way? (The bruises suggest that brick walls don't figure into that statement, by the by) No matter how insecure the little girl within is, if I make an effort to overcome that, I can quite possibly take on the world. Add 6" heels to that, and I can even flavor the new found confidence w/ a sprinkling of a Napoleanesque attitude :)

The facts are these: I will never have the figure of a Barbie Doll, I will never be a culinary genius, I will never be a "natural" blond again, I will never be a gifted an artist like my brother, I will always have a protruding jawline, I will never win the lottery, my eyebrows will never grow back and without heels, I will probably only shrink from my current 5'4" stature...... And you know what?..... That's OK! I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME ROAR, GODDAMNIT! If I allow it, I can be that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I have worth, I have something to offer, and darnit, some people like me hee hee!

Once I'm done burning my bra then promptly slipping into that '50's era June Cleaver house dress, I should probably get back to reality (and back to work *ick*). But in my quest for that Holy Grail of a better person, my first step is to love myself a little more each day. Turns out a little selfishness can, in fact, contribute to being a better person to all those around me.

Who knew?

-The Slightly New & Improved Ninja Kitty Extraordinaire


Friday, March 25, 2011

A Wire Wastebasket Of Crumpled Thoughts

"Your family will react to your declaration that you don't want a fancy, overblown funeral with relief and increased murder attempts."

Dear Diary,
Today, I toyed with the notion of deleting this blog and all it's contents. "Why?" You ask? To which I calmly reply: "Why not?". I have began a grand total of 11 diaries/journals/laundry lists/doodle pads/MadLibs (call it what you wish) in my life to date. Notice the key word: Began.

Approaching a maximum page count of roughly 27 or so, I would visualize being hit by a beer truck on my next outing to the mailbox (I do ever so enjoy these dramatic scenarios). At that precise moment, there would be no going back. All those deep dark (translation: "lame") secrets would be committed to paper for eternity. My poor mother would have no choice but boycott my funeral based on all the stupid shit I not only DID as a kid, but actually recalled in one entry or another. A time capsule of naivete. To this day, she has mentally blocked out the actions she KNOWS I'm guilty of.... so... yeah.

Anyhoo - as the floodgate of exaggerated imagery would open, I would seek out the nearest Sharpie.... As it turns out, the good folks at the subsidiary of the subsidiary of the Newell Rubbermaid company make an inferior product. It doesn't effectively erase the frazzled outpourings previously scribbled in ball point. Hell, even the felt-tip moments would be seemingly etched in the annals of history. Hmmmm....In desperation, I'd reach for a canister of my old faithful Aquanet and that rusty Zippo I found on the street somewhere near 21st and 13th... After all, I only "socially" smoked back in the day.......

............*FWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!!!* Ahhh! Problem solved! On second glance, it also appears I no longer have any use for tweezers.....Two birds with one stone!

Clearly, I have an entirely unreliable memory as a few months/years would pass and I'd get the whim to begin anew. To be perfectly frank, 9 times out of 11, this was based upon nothing more than some sort of universal aligning of the stars.... The unlikely union of happening across a deliciously decorated journal on clearance at the local bookstore coupled with the neat-o .3mm pen I just procured for no known reason.

Do I have a lot to hide? You bet your sweet ass, I do. We're not talking government secrets, here... or even those of the particularly juicy variety. Rather, my mind is quite simply the fruitcake that time forgot. Not even so much as the courtesy to be catapulted across Manitou in annual celebration. I will forever maintain (and I can rightly say "forever", given my self-proclaimed immortality) that people like me until they get to know me. As the stunning Miss Monroe once stated: "I am not interested in money. I just want to be wonderful."  

This stretches far beyond vanity (with a somewhat elusive admission of the very same).... it's not that I must be liked at the sacrifice of all that truly lies within. Rather, I don't readily invite many people into the inner workings of my mind. I find great amusement in the labels placed on me with such certainty, additionally relishing being underestimated. Previously, many of my most intimate, embarrassing or simply raw emotions would be vomited on those pages. It was between myself and "Bernard". For his eyes only... or at least until the sudden appearance of aforementioned beer truck.

Alas, I shall keep this frivolous dream alive for the time being. So much to say and pet rocks and such, no? My affair with FB has already come to a close, so off I go to another depository.

Until next time, My Pets... Or is this all she wrote? :)
-A.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Tale of Two Snicks... And Related Misadventures of King Van

 "It's important, as Kipling said, to treat triumph and disaster both the same, but it seems all you ever get are mild satisfaction and vague disappointment."

I feel I must begin today's rant with the disclaimer that I, quite simply, have the two coolest muthafukin' kids on the planet. When they wake up in the morning, they piss excellence.

That said, let's hop on the slide down to the Kingdom of Rants, shall we? My youngest son, the esteemed Dr. Snicks, while miniature in stature is gigantic in personality. He is the happiest, most hilariously insane little creature I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. Confident, assertive, optimistically jovial. All the things I aspire to be. I suppose it is, then, in the spirit of universal balance that there must be a Jekyll to his Hyde. In the case of poor Dax, it is not a mood swing or sinister (and slightly homicidal) temper that lurks in the shadows. Rather, the apparent and complete lack of immunity to all the illnesses stagnating around the hell that is daycare.

To his credit, he tries his damnedest to smile sweetly through all the fevers, vomiting, coughing and blue-lipped episodes of late. He takes medicine like a champ, and his threshold for pain is nothing short of miraculous. But for this overly concerned Mama, the exhaustion associated with all of it sours the joy a stronger human might exhibit.... I'm also of the opinion that toddler beds are simply not constructed to withstand the weight of this Ninja Kitty.

Be careful what you wish for, as the old saying goes. I seem to recall having to sleep in the room with the good Doctor previously to keep an eye on his breathing after concerns of seizures mounted. When the crisis was somewhat averted and I returned to my own cozy lair, I experienced the dramatic onset of a heartache. I felt out of sync with his breathing patterns and almost lost without that little muppet snore emanating out of those teensy little nostrils.... I missed it. Not sure if I verbalized this, but I missed it. By the by, King Van would no doubt trade places with me in a more permanent arrangement as he rather enjoys the luxuries of a king size bed (fitting for a King, as it seems) and assorted cartoons blazing delightfully into the night.

Alas, the ongoing adventures of Dr. Snicks have now transpired to a level which puts my employment in direct jeopardy. Finding some sort of balance in a life full of work stresses amidst that ever-pending threat of unemployment and being the model Mama who's ready at a moment's notice with a reassuring hug & oodles of ice cream - well... so far eludes me. I'm an often short tempered and bloodshot-eye'd pirate with a litany of her own pesky health blunders. Through it all, one would find it more than understandable that the older legend in his spare time, King Vanaloons, would exhibit signs of extreme jealousy or distaste with the young Doctor. Such is not the case - the elder Mr. Voorhies is an angel, albeit somewhat withdrawn from time to time.

***Remind me to keep an eye on all the imaginary friends he's amassed in my attentive absence - their actions can be exceedingly suspicious as they no doubt shoulder the blame for everything from the crayon on the walls to the clogged toilet which caused a flood.....***

Ups and downs and ins and outs. A spiral of challenges and tests - barely passing thanks to the nerdy kid to my immediate left. It's not a crime if you don't get caught, right? Seems as good a time as any to circle back to my earlier affirmation that I'm still blessed with the two coolest muthafukin' kids on the planet. The same kids who throw birthday parties for snails and draw cupcakes for each other when their mean 'ol Mama fails to procure such treats for them on the way home from work. They're sweet and sassy. Brilliant yet exceedingly deaf. Violent and artistic. Blissfully unaware of my evil plots to bottle and promptly sell the secrets of their endless energy to the general cash-wielding public. *sigh* Through all the grief, I will fight to the death battling the child-napping gypsy lurking outside their window with long grabby claws and a bottomless patchwork bag waiting to snag them in the night.

Back off, creeps, they're all mine and I loves 'em :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

*Giggle* Surely, It's A New Year SOMEWHERE...

Before I Kill You, Mr. Bond.....

 "You've never encountered a problem that can't be solved by the combined mental and spiritual resources of the enlightened people of the galaxy or by swinging from the doorframe and kicking people in the gut."... Eureka! This is true!

So I sit at my desk wondering what it is about this whole "technology" marvel that makes me emotionally vomit without a second thought or editing mark. Is it that, quite simply, my reputation precedes me in such a manner that very little will come as a surprise anyhow? I previously mentioned the shitty conversationalist that was my pet rock.... Alas, I don't even OWN a pet rock, so perhaps that was a metaphor for the stuffed cthulhu hanging immediately to my right. He's shooting me quite the dagger-filled glare at the moment, but I think we all know he's to blame.

Could it be, I've gotten so entertainingly used to finding, mid-conversation, that my "audience" possesses little more than glazed-over look, that I feel a need to toss in bits of inappropriate content in the name of self-entertainment? Ahhhh.... I think we've stumbled upon something, here. I hold no preconceptions that I am fascinating or even worth so much as general acknowledgement. After all, if you keep your expectations disgustingly low, you'll always be pleasantly surprised, no? Oh no, these words are no longer spoken from the depths of pity or sorrow. Rather, I find it's less damning to meander through life less affected by the reactions or judgements of others. The words I speak and the actions I flamboyantly exhibit are done solely for Yours Truly. In the grand scheme of things, very few will understand my passions, pet-peeves, ponderings or preferences. And that's OK. In support of my new findings, the wrapper on the small and delightful chocolate I just consumed advises "It's OK to be fabulous AND flawed"!

Having spent far too many years as an obedient and frivolous doormat, I'm slowly learning to rely less and less on the approvals of others (keep in mind, there is one hell of a learning curve to this one). On a smaller and more insignificant scale, approval is a bit of my proverbial white whale. Only when I stopped trying to impress my family, did I achieve a weird sort of honorable status in their eyes. The less I give a f*ck, the more I unwittingly demand respect. There appears to be some credibility in this pesky "confidence" notion. I still respectfully refuse to label it as such, but I'm so far willing to accept the similarities.

So there you have it. I have decided I'm an organic sort of fungus. In fact, I put the "fun" in fungus, goddamnit! I will continue on my little path... blabbering at illuminated screens and people on the streets alike.... and if the general public is appalled by my ticker-tape parades and melodramatic nonsensery,  they are free to subscribe to another newsletter entirely (translation: stick THAT in your pipe and smoke it!). :) And A Very Happy Monday To ALL!

Affectionately Yours,
-Mrs. W.I.P. (Work In Progress)


Friday, March 18, 2011

*Yawn*

 "Although it's true you can successfully hide certain things in plain sight without anyone noticing, it turns out not to be true of a whole Girl Scout troop's worth of corpses."


Fear not, the paint fumes are bound to spark some inspiration later.
Ciao for Now,
-N.K.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

*Smile*

Bluntcard.com

Saucer of Milk, Table for One.

"An unusual series of events will teach you to never underestimate the abilities of a master Ninja or pastry chef. "

In typical Annie fashion, I immediately follow a "get over yourself and buck up" post with a bit of a pity party post. Feel free to glaze over this one, but I find that writing helps me work through the jumbled mess that is my brain.

No need to go into great detail, but I'm sitting here, in my office, feeling immensely hollow and lonely. If memory serves me (which it rarely does), the last time I felt this exact feeling - my mom gave me a kiss on the cheek, got in her car, and headed back for Portland. I stood in the doorway of my house with my little Dax snuggled on my shoulder- who was all of 2 weeks old - ....and sobbed. Even with all the frustrations, which are par for the course during family visits, she helped me more than she'd ever know. And now I was alone.

For introverts, such as Yours Truly, loneliness is a very common feeling. Whether you are physically alone - sitting on a park bench wondering why the hell you didn't think to bring a loaf of bread for the ducks, or gazing around you at a sea of acquaintances - contemplating crossing through the crowd to the open bar at the other end of the room. It's not that I'm uncomfortable being alone. It's far from an alien feeling and I tend to amuse myself thoroughly (which has added pleasure realizing there's no one around to heckle you in all your silliness). Rather, there are just those moments when you feel like you're standing at the edge of the ocean - imagining that just beyond the horizon, the earth ends. That's all there is.

"There are pills for that", you say in an uninterested tone. I don't doubt that there are. But why silence raw emotions simply because they aren't of the positive variety? I fully believe everyone needs a good cry now and again. For me, it helps me feel human. It's not going to be the easiest of hikes out of this sudden rut, but all I can do is put one foot in front of the other.

***ALERT: The train of thought derails in 5....4....3....2.....*** I remember taking a similar hike with my family, when I was still wet behind the ears. 11 miles up a steep mountainside in Canada to the chalet where we were to sleep that evening. If you didn't make it up, you were likely to be devoured by a bear in the wee hours of the night (or at least, that's what my dad told us). It was cold and rainy. My mom tried to cheer us up with promises of wine and cheese at the end. Don't judge, I grew up in a Catholic family that was all for sharing the good 'ol blood of christ with the masses. Besides, SOMETHING had to make up for the Catholic guilt that was sure to follow, no? As it turns out, she mistakenly left the wine & cheese in the trunk of the car and damn near sacrificed us to the bears in a blind rage. I did get some M&M's out of the deal, though, so all wasn't lost.

See? I feel better already. No, not really. It tops the (ever-growing) list of phrases Annie f*cking despises: "It is what it is."  *sigh* I think I need some chocolate.
***You'll be astounded to learn this week that, in certain less-than-legitimate circumstances, monkeys do come in barrels, but they are no fun whatsoever.... ***

Luck 'O The Irish...

" Experience is a great teacher. This week, it will teach you your Miranda rights, the difference between a polecat and a skunk, and what a sucker punch is. "

...Is not something this Broad genetically possesses. In fact, I grew up in a particularly paranoid habitat  - there was frequent mention of the damned luck surrounding my maiden name coupled with that of my mother's. When I got married, I quickly found there is an apparent curse associated with my new name as well. As an on-again-off-again superstitious individual, I thought it kosher to hide under a rock anytime the going got tough. Well, what better day than today to rid the 'ol shoulder of such a pesky little chip? The sky is falling, a black cat crossed my path this morning, I walked under a ladder to get to my car keys (Seems I have an unusual taste for decor) and that woodland creature just looked at me with sinister intent. Tis all entirely possible. But so what? I'm all for holding onto those little security blankies in the name of "luck". PETA already revoked my membership when news surfaced of the doll clothes I used to force poor Spooky into - so hell, if a rabbit's foot is your cup 'o tea and helps you sleep at night - Why not? (Totally kidding, Thumper... Please don't come back and haunt me from beyond the grave for not cleaning your cage often enough). There is no grave harm in boosting one's own confidence based on inanimate objects so long as at some point, there is a sprinkling of healthy realism thrown in there for taste.

"Did you see what GOD just did to us man!?""God didn't do that, you did! You're a fucking narcotics agent, I knew it!" - I always think of this scene when imagining those who helplessly hide behind a perceived and sealed fate. They're further so completely convinced of this, they may as well throw their hands up and submit to the gov't wire tapping obviously at hand. Are there a lot of shady people out there? No doubt about it. Is there much you can do about it? Not likely.

We will never have complete control of all the ups and downs life throws at us. But we ARE active participants. There is a silly little intangible thing called taking responsibility for your own actions. Akin to a Choose Your Own Adventure book (Man, I miss those), you pick what's behind Door #1 (***Note the part where YOU chose that door***) and off you go on the next adventure. If you're reading this right now, chances are you've been given another day above ground. So whatcha going to do with it?  Pour another cup of tea for your pity party, or make the most of it?

I shall randomly end on this note - seems it was my horoscope:
Cancer
Remember, a bend in the road isn't the end of the road. While we're on the subject, the circular device on the dashboard can be used to turn your car. (hee hee)

P.S. On a side tangent, my son told me he'd "punch" me if I didn't wear green today. I chose not to wear green to test that theory.... wish the poor boy luck in the upcoming brawl ;)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It's All A Matter Of Opinion....

"Your whole life is thrown into a terrible new perspective when you learn that Enter The Dragon is not intended to be a romantic comedy"... Hmph. I respectfully disagree :).

Ever since my oldest spawn was "blessed" with the gift of gab, he has been questioning everything around him. No doubt about it - this can be an admirable trait. OR, this could be the basic foundation for a new anarchist movement. I've certainly been convinced that kid will form a cult someday, but I'm also REALLY trying to provide him with the most basic tools of survival (you know, aside from mentally torturing victims). I'll throw a little bit of back story in here for some frame of reference: I speak of my 4 year old King Van: Virgo, red head, co-conspirator with a pack of Muppets, legend in his spare time, and deviously brilliant. That last one isn't uttered so much from the perspective of an overly gushing Mama, but rather fear. This kid is clever... the sort of clever where he isn't likely to use his powers for good and may even give you pause on things you always knew to be factual.

Ever seen Gaslight? No? Excellent Flick. 1944? Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer, Angela Lansbury? Wow. One of us needs to get out more. But I digress, despite a far more involved and brilliant plot, the main thing I took away from it was the ease with which someone could drive another to the brink of insanity. The parallel is eerie between this and my relationship w/ my uncoordinated midget (And I choose to stoop to a childish level by heckling him over his height as he is only about one year away from surpassing me vertically).

Beyond my general amusement wrapped in a blanket of frustration over a 4 year old having homework assignments, I really struggle with getting past his brilliant facade and ensuring he is, in fact, learning something. Even the tiniest "fact" explodes into a furious debate. Ever argued with yourself and lost? Then you may be able to relate. At the end of the day, I'm no longer confident I can distinguish between basic colors or shapes - in fact, I'm hesitant to say I'm quite sure of anything. "Darling, trust me, that is a triangle" "Is it, Mama? Or is it possible that it's the only visible portion of a square or perhaps even an octagon?" Me thinks it's a sign to go straight for the box of wine in the garage when he fires back with such sound logic supporting his skewed reality.

I read somewhere that serial killers start off from similar roots....

In general, I do take a step back and marvel at the brain of a child. After all, a similar experience during a "Creativity and Education" course I took in college is what convinced me to drop out and never look back. That kid will go places. He has expressed interest in being a penguin when he grows up. Seems he has more figured out in his 55 months on this planet than I will have over the course of my lifetime. Who knows? He may just figure out the secrets of reincarnation by the time he hits high school.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I Wouldn't Call Them Voices.....

....More like hyenas scratching at the walls of my brain. For several days now, I have had this continual and deafening chatter occupying the void between my ears. Dozens upon dozens of trains of thought derailing every which way. An old friend of mine once likened this to the awakening of an imaginary Scientist ...A "gentleman" who took up residence in his head and would awaken from his coma at the most inopportune times... Questioning the most mundane logic and resulting in miserable insomnia. To that end, I suppose I'm fortunate in that my sleep has been uninterrupted as of late. But those pesky thoughts - everything from the looming deadlines and tasks to the baffling mystery of how a sewing machine works. Health concerns and mortality playing a trivial game of badminton against zombie flicks and tarot card readings.

I often muse at those under the false impression that I have a good head on my shoulders. I came across a quote last night that dazzled me to that end: "It would be interesting to find out what goes on in that moment when someone looks at you and draws all sorts of conclusions." On the other hand, some things are probably best left unsaid.

The trouble with the mutterings? They present one hell of an obstacle during the structured hours of my existence. There is a good probability I will need to seek other employment in the coming months. Once upon a time, I would have been able to smile in the face of adversity... After all, whether we whittle away our hours entrenched in worry, or sit back and ride the wave, the end result is bound to be the same, no? This is certainly true within reason. As of late, I've found my memory slipping away and that fine line between fantasy and reality unraveling like the threads of an old sweater. I'm not even entirely sure how I got here this morning. (It may not be a bad idea to pray for all those who will be on the road during my adventure back home again)

I tend to believe all of this frizzle-frazzle is my mind's feeble attempt at averting a complete meltdown. Not the most brilliant plan of attack, to be sure. But this would not be the first time I've reacted to everyday crisis in unconventional ways. The more I struggle to focus, the louder the elevator music grows. I fantasize of grabbing my family and running away to a small town nestled on the coast of Italy - or suddenly coming into despicable sums of money and living in a sort of uncharted oblivion. The reality is that I'm 30-40 years away from retirement and at some point I may need to consider growing up.

Whatever happened to those magical days of running away to join the circus?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Clearly, The Elephant In The Room Ain't Much For Small Talk

"Tourists will travel from far and wide to see the famous "torture cubicle" in which you slaved away for years, wishing for a quick and merciful death. "

Before I continue, I must relay that I'm laughing inside at the visual of those of you in my immediate audience cringing at the grammatical error in my subject line. Frankly, I'm shocked and perhaps a tad aroused you wouldn't have previously noted my fetish for run-on sentences.....

OK - I believe I let that soak in long enough :). Even in it's infancy, at some point one of the two of you will observe that, although I truly do write from the heart, I don't often divulge private details. In this case, I need to make an exception. I have been delicately waltzing around a simultaneously heartbreaking and enraging scenario going on in the paradise that is my work. The dreaded "L" word. And if your first thought was "Lesbian", you may as well find another blog to read as I am a Fruit Fly to the Nth degree. No, My Darlings, LAY OFFS. Without logic, let alone much in the way of careful business consideration, the fate of 22 people (many of whom I hold dear to my heart) has been decided. Corporate America at it's very finest. The bar is so disgustingly low I can't help but wretch at the thought.

Will they be OK? It's not one of those things one can even approach measuring. Even the monetarily wealthiest of humans can't help but be affected by something like this. And there was a very important word in that last sentence that I must repeat: HUMANS. Contrary to popular belief, we are not just zeroes in a sea of binary code from days gone by. We all have something to offer. Even the loneliest of us are something special to someone. Often we don't even realize all those we affect and touch in a positive way as we hurry about our hectic existence. For the first time, yesterday, I met the postal carrier (Phyllis) assigned to our neck of the woods. She positively glowed at what an apparent joy it is to be met with the smiling faces of some of the damn good folks I am surrounded by. I was initially & naively stunned. Some days, I'm lucky to get a "You're #1!" in the form of an Italian hand gesture - but in all honesty, I am immeasurably fortunate to have met each and every one of the people in the aforementioned lot.

A few hours ago, one adorable gentleman, who was not among those 22, was in my office gathering information to take on some of the PLETHORA of tasks left behind. His remark that he's been screwed before but at least previously with the courtesy of a kiss (or for Pete's sake, a nice dinner)... It's a two-fold wave of aftershocks. Those of us left behind are aching for the fate of the 22. "Why wasn't it me?" "What now?" "What the f*ck?" are among common mutterings... putting all the selfishness of our primal survival needs aside, I believe the light at the end of the tunnel isn't necessarily an oncoming train. I believe in my heart that every last one of those people will be monumentally successful in the adventures that lay ahead. And for the rest of us, perhaps we just answered that wake up call on the Bat Phone. Some much needed motivation sparked by fear or anger? Many of the greatest feats of mankind arrived on the tails of that straw that broke the camel's back.

I shall end with this: Of all the times in my life I've uttered the phrase "Promise me you'll keep in touch", never before was I at the necessary maturity level to mean every last word of it with the sincerest intent. To all those I am lucky enough to call friends and additionally adding a "shout out" to all those out there going through something similar - Good luck, godspeed and GO GET 'EM, TIGER!

XOXO

Thursday, March 10, 2011

P.S. Is that a piano in your pants or.....

Never quite did get over the awesomeness of this ad... Enjoy!
http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/nyc/1598225097.html



The Ice Queen Needs A Latte

Ahhhh The roller coaster of personality traits that is Ninja Kitty. It seems not so long ago I was trying to break myself of the habit of Elaine-ish behavior. Don't play coy with me.... you know that automatic response of unwittingly shoving someone halfway across a crowded room in the midst of maniacal laughter... Poking someone affectionately in the arm for a smile. Hugging a complete stranger who looks in need of one (in lieu of suggesting a proctology exam or the company of a blow up doll, perhaps). I used to be nice. Yes, I will wait patiently for you to stop guffawing...

... Done yet? Sheesh. It seems I am, in fact, entering the Surly Old Tart phase of my life. I've grown increasingly cynical, sarcastic and.... well... bitchy. But beyond becoming a ray of goddamned sunshine, I'm suddenly cold. So very... very.... cold. Seasonal depression? Perhaps. The simple product of the hostile corporate environment? Would certainly be understandable. No... It's something more. It's the baffled shock I suddenly notice I exhibit in response to a hug or a kind word. And I can't, for a moment, imagine how this all came about. I have always thought myself a pretty happy & snuggly sort of creature. On the bright side, admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery, no?

It pains me to admit this, but I most certainly hid behind a bedazzled wall of sorts. In my quest for resilience and decreased hypersensitivity, I passed GO, blew the $200 on smokes, and jumped off that cliff all those silly lemmings were headed for. Fear not - there is still an ounce of humanity left in me. I credit schizophrenic hormones for that one. I sob pitifully at commercials featuring baby animals and the mere notion that my 4 year old gets to wear a cap & gown to his "graduation" from Pre-Kindergarten (and truly, the two are related, as dressing up a 4 year old is damn close to the hilariousness of dressing up animals in my eyes - "Look! He thinks he's people!"). But then there are those moments where one of the little munchkins hugs me and it's met with a look of confused horror.

I'm relatively aware that my anti-social behavior as of late isn't much of a remedy - so what then? More coffee? A heat rock? Will I grow a tail that can be cut off w/ a butcher's knife and then promptly regenerate? Am I alone in finding that last one a bloody cool thought?

I believe the answer is in being more true to myself. I currently smile despite being in mental or physical agony as I wasn't thrilled upon discovering the vast majority of the population is not nearly as empathetic as I. The show must go on, or something to that effect. When the exhaustion of the public persona washes over me, I inadvertently take it all out on those I love and cherish beyond belief. I shall liken this semi-conscious activity to the boiling frog syndrome. Frankly, it's high time I put an end to this behavior. Which is more important? Being liked or being real?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Day The Earth Stood Still

Note: By "Day", I mean Era and by "Earth", I mean Ninja Kitty's world. Ever feel like you're stuck in 1983? OK, so that still wouldn't encompass the bits and pieces since then that my feeble brain has somehow managed to retain, but bear with me for a moment. First of all, I only recently (read: this morning) realized that it's no longer cool to pull up to a traffic light blaring Ice-Cube (sweet merciful jesus, he has the neatest angry eyebrows) and smoking a menthol barbie tampon (Misty brand, for those of you interested). Who dropped the ball on sending me that memo?

As I sit here taking an irresponsible trip down memory lane, it dawns on me that every last song playing on my iPod is pre-1996 or so. Coincidentally or not, that's the year I graduated high school. Yeah, yeah, still wet behind the f*cking ears and such - but it makes me wonder why the hell time seemingly froze for me at that point. Was it some sort of traumatic head injury? Perhaps my dabblings with illegal substances? ***Speaking of memos - as your attorney, I advise you to warn your loved ones against the apparent dangers of snorting crushed up Smarties off elementary school carpet!***

Try not to misunderstand me, I love where I am in my life - mostly, anyway. It seems corporate America ain't worth crossing an ocean for, but I have a phenomenal family and a super fantastic support network of friends and acquaintances. I've come a long way, Baby. And yet, somewhere in that Summer of 1996, my brain took a mental picture and shelled out beau coup bucks bronzing, then framing the damn thing. With the exception of the occasional flashback to, say, January of 2006, everything else is a blur. Remind me to write a letter to Congress expressing my discontent with an article I happened upon stating coffee drinkers are less likely to fall into the depths of Alzheimer's. Have I already entered into my "Golden Years"? Is this a common phenomenon?...... OR...... genetics?

A.... *cough*.... friend of a friend of a friend of mine who I may or may not be related to (Spoiler Alert: By the end of this rambling nonsense, Annie will most likely reveal it is, in fact, her uncle ;) ) is quite literally frozen in 1952. He or she... oh wait, I already gave that part away and he hasn't had a sex change that I've been notified of.... quite literally can remember every face, name, event and specific detail of that year. The dilemma? Not much since. Day in and day out he goes through the motions of existing. Clearly, much has happened in the almost 60 years since then. His mind can process the new people (such as Yours Truly) who have touched down on the planet in the meantime, and yet they simply overcrowd his 1952 residence. I've lost sleep on more than one occasion with the fear that this may be my destiny. Luckily, I surround myself with those who possess enough testicular fortitude to slap me around a bit when it becomes apparent I may be mentally slipping off into the cosmos. *SLAP*! Incidentally, I've also heard tasty little rumors that taking showers of unicorn tears is a handy deterrent....

Ahhh the mind. What a terrible thing to waste, no? Well, I raise my glass (which The Suits, here at work, no doubt frown upon) to memories, and those sane enough to leave them in the past. Cheers!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Identity Crisis Du Jour

"The question of whether human consciousness can exist outside the body remains unanswered, but at least you and your trusty Thermos gave it a good try."

Where to begin, where to begin....Isn't it peculiar how most phrases have that extra je ne sais pas when repeated? So there I was (I also rather enjoy beginning a sentence as though I were continuing a previous conversation ;) ), it's 2am - I have just put Dr. Snicks back to bed after fetching him the 2nd or so beverage to further encourage his peeing on me with great delight - and something occurs to me....I have no idea who I am. It's one of those peskily awkward moments akin to reaching for a response to "What do you do for a living?" while riding an elevator to the 22nd floor. Come now, I'm sure I'm not the only one that happens to....

A happy-go-lucky girl always dressed in black? Hmmm... and yet I juggle this description around the simple fact that I am a kaleidoscope-loving-drag-queen-wanna-be. I giggle at memories of boldly stating I was born in the wrong place & time... "I was meant to be of legal drinking age in 1920's Cuba", I proudly blurt out. Mind you, this was based on little more research than a quick snippet about the "Roaring 20's" in some shabby history book coupled with a strange fascination with Desi Arnaz and his bongo-playing antics. For all I knew, this could have been a horribly oppressive tick along that ever-fluid timeline.

I'm sure many of you also recall my declaration that when (if) I grow up, I shall play bongos on the beach in the nude and live on my love for the land. In my head, I was apparently the very cartoon that adorns my upper arm - and about as anatomically correct as a Snork... all that sand and seawater washing into unmentionable places hardly sounds like a fantasy.....Additionally, these visions clearly contained the convenience of not needing any real sustenance to survive.

The cornucopial epitome of all the bits & pieces influencing my life to date. Aren't we all? And yet, I'm perplexed.... Am I a tiger mom, or simply a short-fused pile of exhaustion at the end of a hectic day? An introvert or misunderstood and hypersensitive? Unique or simply alien to those I'm surrounded by? Need I go on?

Purely rhetorical, My Pets :). I've been "called out" more than once on the quirky notions I've clung to (I still maintain I'm 5'6" and I've never danced on a table while intoxicated). On one hand, I am blessed with the attention span/memory retention of a hummingbird so I can always plead the 5th and/or insanity (and boy, do I ever). ***On a quick side note, this leads me to believe I'd make a brilliant politician***....However, it is becoming evident that I simply choose a stance with about as much effort as throwing a dart in the general direction of the board. I decided to believe in the existence of imps immediately after procuring a book about goblins based on Labyrinth (which, not so coincidentally marked the beginning of an unhealthy attachment to David Bowie). I now keep an eye out for forest spirits thanks to the brilliant works of Miyazaki....

Where is this all going? Fear not, my train of thought derailed somewhere back around the second sentence... Oddly enough I do have a bit of a summary for all the rambling, though - I'm beginning to be comfortable in my own skin. Odd, yet unique. Whoever Annie turns into tomorrow, I'm confident she'll still laugh hysterically at shadow puppets, adore all things glitter, and answer to "HEY, BITCH!" :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

So much to say and My Pet Rock has grown apathetic!

"You're easy to talk to once people get to know you, but holding your personal audiences on a throne of bloody skulls tends to put them off at first. "

Once upon a time, in an overcrowded military town on the cusp of the bible belt, there lived a surly little bottle-blond with a thirst for gin and a hankering for the variety of socialization that could be terminated with the click of a mouse. As it turns out, the aforementioned shut-in of a misfit couldn't handle two-way communication and opted for airing her dirty laundry on a blogatiary (feel free to use that :) ) forum instead. So what you have unwittingly stumbled upon is the beginning of an ambitious little adventure played out solely inside the wee brain of Yours Truly.

Fasten your seat belts and hold on to your teeth, it promises to be a delectably bumpy ride! And remember, if you ever don't like what you see, you are always welcome to exercise that little red "x" in the corner of the screen. I promise not to be insulted as I will remain blissfully unaware :)

Yours In Christ,
Ninja Kitty AKA Little Orphan Awesome

P.S.... Fine, for those of you with no sense of adventure or flair for the dramatic, you may refer to me as simply Annie :)