Week. End.

October 31st, 2010 § 49

Last week socked me in the stomach.

I fought back.

And now I’m tired.

So I’m putting on my christmas tree pajamas and my easter bunny slipper socks, and hoping to heavens that next week arrives a gentler beast, kinder and less volatile.

A Chore

October 24th, 2010 § 58

Food-4-Less and I are becoming very close friends (you know this to be true when you find yourself humming the Food-4-Less jingle in your spare time).

I am one of two shoppers in the Wesley House, whose weekly chore entails assembling the grocery list that properly feeds sixteen people four nights a week, purchasing these groceries for a hundred forty dollars or less, and making sure they are safely labeled and in their proper places for the coming week.

I know it sounds like a monumental task (never did I imagine the day I would see the charge for twenty-seven bell pepper on a single receipt), but really, I decided I’m exercising important life skills.

I am now a strategic aisle-comber, and I pride myself on the fact that I procure italian sausage, chicken bullion cubes, enchilada sauce, and multi-purpose cleaner faster than your average shopper. Besides, when else would I carve out the time to properly price chedder cheese?

And should my family, through a very extreme turn of events, ever grow to this size, not to worry. I will be most prepared.

Thoughts on Intensity, Embarrassment, and Why Asia Is My Homeland

October 14th, 2010 § 55

So, I’m an intense person.

I know this.

I ‘ve learned this the hard way.

Because, let me tell you, my breed of intensity does not come without an embarrassingly awkward existence.

Exhibit A: I met Maleesa my freshman year of college. Maleesa is both beautiful and brilliant. She has an uncanny amount of wisdom, and she’s all-around a far less embarrassing person than I. The very first time we ever sat down together and shared a meal one-on-one, I seriously began our conversation with this question. “So. (pause) Would you want your parents marriage?” I know, right? She choked on her penne while the all-too-familiar shame of my intensity crept in.

But this is me.

This is my existence.

Some people, they sip at life. Calmly. Cooly. Nonchalantly even.

But I’m a slurper. I gulp at life like a thirsty child.

I know it might sound poetic, but really, I just walk around with a rhetorical milk mustache.

I’ve spent time investigating this ravenous, hyper-consuming hunger I have for all things weighty and depthful and intimate. I’ve asked why it so often leads to embarrassment. And I’ve come to this conclusion: we live in a world that likes to keep things light. A world with a very keen appreciation for the artificial, for the manufactured, for the prettily-packaged.

To carry my intensity in this kind of world is in very poor taste. Because embarrassment, in this constructed reality, is rooted in failure at lightness, remaining continually conscious of your own weight against the rest of the world.

This realization has totally illuminated my deeply-rooted attraction to Asian countries of profoundly high population densities.

I would challenge anyone to travel through China or India or some other such place and not feel swallowed whole. The truth is, my intensity is no match for the reality, often aching and raw, of day-to-day life in these places. And it’s hard to feel heavy amidst the magnitude of one billion people.

So, now, when I need to feel small, when I need to forget the weight of my own intensity, when I long for a place without pretense or intricately-crafted veneers, I shall save my pennies for a ticket to Asia.

I’ve Been Busy…

October 5th, 2010 § 67

(a) Rehearsing for a production impending this fall. (Yep, I found my name on the cast list)

(b) Quelling two-year-old temper tantrums. (Being an expert and all, I’ve decided the second year of life is really just an early form of adolescence—punctuated by frequent emotional outbursts and assertions of independence)

(c) Dropping units like its hot. (Six gone in a single week. “I’m not what I juggle” was most definitely my mantra this past week)

(d) Living my story instead of writing about it. (A good thing)

(e) Reading Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor by the ever-amazing Dr. Paul Farmer (Google him!), and underlining quotes that will blow your mind.

Stuff like this:

“The poor person does not exist as an inescapable fact of destiny. His or her existence is not politically neutral, and it is not ethically innocent. The poor are a by-product of the system in which we live and for which we are responsible. They are marginalized by our social and cultural world. They are the oppressed, exploited proletariat, robbed of the fruit of their labor and despoiled of their humanity. Hence the poverty of the poor is not a call to generous relief action, but a demand that we go and build a different social order.”

And this:

“The resurgence of charity is at once a symptom and a cause of our society’s failure to face up and deal with the erosion of equality. It is a symptom in that it stems, in part at least, from an abandonment of our hopes for the elimination of poverty; it signifies a retreat from the goals as well as the means that characterized the Great Society. It is symptomatic of a pervasive despair about actually solving problems that has turned us toward ways of managing them: damage control, rather than prevention. More significantly, and more controversially, the proliferation of charity contributes to our society’s failure to grapple in meaningful ways with poverty.”

Yay for words that challenge and classes that pluck my heart strings.

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