31 October 2013

We All Scream For Cauliflower

I ain't no damn smarter.
Birthdays are a scam.

So, out and around along the way, I've found a few things to be worthy of my scorn. Like shoes. Don't know why society insists I cover my adorable feet, first of all. But mostly I just plain don't like to wear shoes. If given the choice between hot sand on top of a gravel walkway and putting on a dumb 'ol pair of sneakers, I'm already running away from your foot locker.
Nope, no shoes.
Can't fucking stand 'em.

Footwear fussiness aside, my ire has also recently been aimed at ice cream.
Yep, ice cream.
Don't like it, don't need it, don't want it.
A devious process, freezing milk and feeding it to kids as a treat. And them sorry sunsabitches just eat that junk right up. Chasing after the Ice Cream Man, lapping up the "flavors." I'VE GOT YOUR FLAVOR RIGHT HERE, JUNIOR, AND IT'S COW TIT.

Ima take a minute here, so you can quit sputtering like a dickweed and we can move on.

Shoes and ice cream.
Two of the biggest evils that I am faced with.
There was something else, what was it again?
Oh yes, a tendency for incredibly destructive behavior caused by deeply ingrained insecurity and a side of self-loathing topped with an inability to process emotion or feeling.
But that's a mouthful, so I just call it "being Joleen Doreen."

Look, it's just NOT a snack, ok? You've expunged the fluid from the mammaries of sweet bovine Bessie and covered it in fudge. If you did that to any other mammal, you would be a freak. HOW THEM SPRINKLES TASTE, JUNIOR? A LITTLE LIKE COW TIT?

I hate ice cream.
Cold. Distant. All smug in it's churned-ness.
Ice cream know you want it. It KNOWS. Ice cream is fully aware that you're not going to get that ice cream taste from anywhere else. Whataya gonna do? Eat frozen yogurt? Pfffftttt. Nope, you're going to have ice cream and ICE CREAM KNOWS IT.

Ick. Got all metaphory in here.
Stupid ice cream.
Well, just so you guys know, there are other things out there. It doesn't have to be the arctic incubation of a farm animal's teet. Dessert options are all around us. I've recently found some wonderful new things. Purple cauliflower, for example.
Oh, it's real.

See, hear. (Sea, here? C, ear?)
I may be a little outside the "norm;" and, yes, it may be that I'm not socially "competent." Also, I am not a fan of "people," I don't like "happiness," I have deep "trust" and "commitment" issues, I think "men" are fucking ruining "everything," and I might not know how to use "quotes."
But I understand the things in life that appeal to me are not the same as what others desire. And vice versa.
As with ice creama.
Ice cream just isn't for me. It freezes my brain and wreaks havoc on my guts. And more importantly, it tastes like I'm getting the raw end of a cow's tit. Hell, ever since I was knee-high to a grasshopper I've known a broad who was being milked for your fanciful indulgence.
They should name the flavor after the cow it came from. 
Buttercup's Butterscotch. 
Daisy's Dark Chocolate. 
Soon-to-be-steak's Sinful Cinnamon.

I'm not a vegetable-lover. More just a free-milk-hater. Back home, it was easy to spot who was trying to pay for the cow and who was looking to be handsy just to score an instant treat. Round these parts it seems like every Vinny, Tony, and Donnie is trying to sell you frozen water and call it dessert. Hell, I'm not much on ice cream to begin with, let alone this twisted amalgamation that sweets have become.

Ugh. Brain freeze.

I don't know where I always go so wrong. But I know I'm probably not wearing shoes when it happens.

24 October 2013

18 October 2013

'Nother Year Wiser*

T-minus 4 until my birthday.
I hope there's cake.
I bought a lot of cake.
There's going to be cake.
Cake is the only damn reason I have a birthday.

It's been a long while since my birthday was anything more than the day before my kid's birthday. And before that it was just considered the month before brother Jimmy's birthday. It used to piss me off, but now that I refuse to get any older, I don't mind missing out on a birthday so much. Don't get me wrong, there will still be cake. And probably ice cream. But it's mostly just for the kiddo now. I wish I could freeze her birthdays too. Soon she's going to be as old as me.

Teenagers are awesome. Fifteen is an incredible age. Teaching her to drive a stick shift pickup truck in the city is going to be a real hoot. 

(Is she gone? Ok. This is about as far as the kid would read so we can speak freely now. She mostly skims the middle of the instructions anyway. Did ya'll see all that sarcasm up there? I thought it would start dripping from the letters if those words were any more full of it. Hell, I almost snorted myself to death writing it. Shit, she'll probably start reading again soon, back to it. Good talk.)

I can say, with a good deal of unsarcastic certainty that I am looking forward to the adventure of the next year, as getting this far has been the experience of my life. 'Course, I am a little nervous. She's too damn pretty for me to be comfortable with the city's shotgun ordinance. But she's smart too, so she knows my temper is bigger than the law. (Also the by-line for my Walker, Texas Ranger musical adaptation. My kid's composing the original score.)
Fucking kid anyway. All growing up and shit. There's got to be something I can do to stop that, right? Like an orange peel in hot ginger brandy? Or at least slow it down with a satchel of lavender in the underwear drawer? It's pretty much bullshit that I'm watching her grow up when I don't freaking want to. Ugh.

Despite the injustice of time, I've always loved the fact that her birthday is the day after mine. Like I got the ultimate gift that keeps on giving. Plus, double the cake. 

Life beats the shit out of us all, every damn day.
Can't say it simpler than that.
Sometimes we all need something to bring us back from whatever dark edge we run to when the day gets scary. I've been out there lately. In no-man's land. Wandering around with Aaron Lewis in a very Blue October. (take 5 points a piece if you understood those references.) Lost a good soul and I'm letting grief cloud my opinion of the living. Buncha fucking ungrateful douchebags.
Shaking off the misery ain't so easy when things are heavy on your heart.

So glad am I that I have the sunshine of my night.
Plus, it's our birthday.

I'm trying to grow.. I want to say "up" but I think it's safer to leave it at just "grow." Maybe I'll figure out how to control my emotional reactions this year, now that I'm thirtygrumble-NONEOFYOURFUCKINGBUSINESS!-somethingish.
Hey, it could happen.

Hell at this point I'll settle for a few days of NOT sobbing my eyes out in a work bathroom. That would be swell. Happy Birthday to me!

*Joleen Doreen's Awkward-English Dictionary™ definition. Wiser: abbrev. Short for WiseASSier.

14 October 2013

Please Stop Being Surprised When I Pull Cheese From My Pocket

Above and before but probably not since.
I come from a place where you're only just "his."
Too full of resentment for nothing you did.
There's not much room in there for being a kid.

The past can be tense.

Skipped by tomorrow along my way.
Stopped to wonder where I left today.
Giggled to think it would all be okay.
Gave up thinking I knew what to say.

Perspective is hard to see.

Alight with darkness; watching, waiting.
The lines of laughter slowly fraying.
Coming aboard with the might of the sea,
The understanding that I can be ME.

10 October 2013

Death is a Whore

Dying. Sucks.
I don't care much for Death, so selfish in her agenda. All take and no give, that Angel of Darkness. I met her once, on a dark road in the middle of life. Thankfully I was too drunk to walk all the way to the gates of hell, and Death doesn't seem much for carrying people. Some places you got to get to on your own.

Like a sloppy blowjob, Death sucks. She doesn't seem very logical in her choices. It's how I know Death is a woman. Conclusively and without question. Ain't no way those random decisions are coming from a man. To say nothing of her efficiency. Why, she's been known to wipe out entire species on a whim! Annihilation to that degree feels like female frustration. I've been angry enough to extinct a Neanderthal or two in my time.

Hell, I reckon Death has the intake capability of a twin-turbo. That's a lot of high-pressure suck. (dear gearheads, I KNOW.) Still, just as soon as a thrown rod will ruin your day, Death will knock without warning. (I don't know why I wrote to the gearheads. Everyone knows they can't read*. Please do your part to improve the life of a gearhead by reading them my hilarious puns. It'll get your motor running.)
*(editor's note: my ex-husband informs me that I am wrong. More on how much I don't fucking care as the story develops.) 

Back to you, Death.
Death probably gives road head. But in a Dodge Omni. With hand-crank windows. She only half pays attention because she's trying to program a pop station on the staticy radio. In the end everyone is horny and thinking about the fuckability of former Disney stars. (I'm looking at you, Jimmie Dodd)
S-U-C... See you real soon..
K-&-S... Es a damn shame you died.

It's inevitable, you know. Road head. Happens to everyone. No, I mean death, of course. Doesn't make it any easier to deal with. There's an unbelievable sadness that follows Death around. If she could be any one thing, it would be a Death Cab for Cutie album. On cassette. Stuck in the radio of a teal T-top Camaro. But a mid-80's Camaro. And not even the V8.

Grief is contagious. When you die it spreads to everyone you know.

Death can be sneaky. Sometimes that bitch will snatch someone from your life so fast; the Ninja of the Afterlife. Didn't know you needed to say goodbye so you didn't. Suddenly they're gone and you still don't understand where they went. Death watches you falter from the shadows, having stealthily extracted a tiny pillar from your life.
I must have turned in a hundred circles today, looking at a spot that's empty. It sure is going to be hard to adjust to not having Pockets.

Goodbye feels like bullshit.

06 October 2013

Fall, in love

Growing to die; but don't we all?
It's not like I can resist the fall.
Ablaze with the hue of fiery change,
erased what I knew- emptied the page.

Along the way the wind did blow casting aside the warmth of light.
Breaking a branch by the rattle and chill of the darkest night.
Clinging to life like the hope I feel; holding on with all its might.
Sigh with a gust- Oh! My whimper of disbelief falls out of sight.

Cursed to decay, it seems we are.
"Fuck it," I say, feelings ajar.
The last foliage drops from the tree.
And then my rage falls like a leaf.

04 October 2013

That's Sweet

'Tis that time of year.
When Joleen Doreen gets all giddy.

The air is streaked with wisps of change. The nights get cooler and all my favorite bands release new albums. Books become a thing again; no longer blinded by the summer sun, the eyes can read anew. School is back in session; the need for education only slightly overshadowed by the joy of someone else listening to my teenager's mood swings.
The leaves sway in the breeze, falling ever so slowly to the ground. One by one they fall, each marking a moment passed and thought of not again. The whack of an acorn on the neighbor's car roof; the chatter of the squirrel who I paid to throw nuts at my neighbor's vehicle. Every once in awhile the thud of a crab apple hitting the yellowing grass reminds me of the best of the season yet to come.
And come, they do.
By the bushel.

(refusing a Good Will Hunting reference with all my Affleck might.)

Yes, apples.
Shiny and bright, picked from the trees. Dull and ripe, fell with the leaves. Baskets and baskets of mighty fruit begging to be hauled. Filling my kitchen with the tart smell of the Autumn air, apples cover every inch of my counter. Peeled and cored to naked imperfection; striped bare and sliced to pieces.
In the pot they go.
Boiled with rage and simmered back down.
Bubbles until it stops.

Fragrance so sweet, like the blossom of a million possibilities. With notes of hope and tones of home. Just a hint of drunken antics mixed with a 'lil Hell Yeah. And a whole heap-load of That's Gonna Hurt Tomorrow.

The beauty of Autumn.
I was born in October, you see. As was my daughter, the day after me (Albeit, twenty-some VERY odd years later). The entire month is technically considered "OUR Birthday" from October 1st until the day after, when it's just "the week of Halloween."
Halloween! Another favorite! I'm going to be Harry Potter this year. Tenth year running. Think I'll mix shit up a little and be Harry Potter from the third movie instead of the any of the books. Nobody will see that coming! That's as different as oranges and apples!
Holy shit, Apples!

I'll be jarring it up soon. Fixin' to get about a dozen quarts from this batch. (All ya gotta do is ask, if you know how.) It should keep pretty well over the winter. 190 proof makes a good preservative. I'll need to ration myself. Once October's over the best apples won't be back again until next year. According to my calculations, at the rate I've been drinking, I have enough to last until next week.

Apples. October. Happy Hillbilly.
Too Small, Too Green, Too Soon, and Just Right are this girl's seasons.
And right now is Just Right.

02 October 2013


So full.
The night. The moon. My dreams.
Doubt be the villain who brings about my fears.

So cold.
The frost. Your eyes. My screams.
Decay be the root of my trailing tears.

Picked apart and held aside; a display of emotional color.
How inclined to run and hide; yet I'll have no other?
This is what I have to give; this is my attention.
Why do I choose to live wrapped in apprehension?

So good.
The fruit. The feelings. The fun.
Sprinkled among the weeds of insecurity.

Sow nice.
The hurt. The laugh. The sun.
Funny how a garden can grow in the city.

01 October 2013


Did you hear that?
The high-pitched whining punctuated by hollow sobs?
Sounds like my daughter's childhood is rushing by at incredible speeds; it stops only every here and there to land a kick at my solar plexis. Usually accompanied by a request for money.
There it is again. That cry, ever-so quiet; yet I hear it in every syllable of the words Carnegie School of Music.

Every time I look down my kid has grown up another inch.
I remember all the giggles gone by. Her laughter was a fountain of youth, making me feel vibrant and alive. Her cheeks, so tiny, always flushed red with the excitement of life. Her voice, so small, carried the volume of great things. As a young'in she was made from sugar and spice and everything nice, as a little girl is s'posed to be.
Mostly sugar though.
So much sugar.

I know you heard it that time.
It was faint, but it had the crescendo of fifteen years of forceful yearning to be an adult.

Such a beautiful girl, that daughter of mine.
Wanna buy her?
(editor's note: The kid just informed me that it is apparently not only "illegal" to sell children, but also "creepy" once they are teenagers. Who knew.)
Such a smart beauty, that daughter of mine.
I could really use the money though. To buy back all the lost time that I refuse to let go of. To repay the gift of a glorious child. To afford Carnegie School of Music.


The tiny version of my teenager was pretty damn hilarious. I kind of wish I had her around now, to sit on my lap like a ventriloquist puppet. I could poke her in the ribs to make her say funny things and we could pretend that the day when she was eight inches taller than me would never come.
But alas, now she pronounces words right and gets all snippy when I make her kneel in public. She corrects my gram'er and does fancy math. Hell, last week I caught her singing all the correct lyrics to a pop song like I didn't raise her no better.

If we're really quiet I think we can catch the chorus. It's just a list of things she wants for her birthday but it sounds lyrically expensive.

We used to walk, hand in hand, down Main Street in my tiny hometown. Her in her Nelly t-shirt; me in my self-absorbed bullshit grown-up false sense of importance. She would make up a song for the moment, for EVERY moment, and she would belt it out. One finger in the air, confidence higher than any note she could hit. She would toss her hat in the air and drop to her knees, her passionate ballad to a cheese sandwich barely registering to my inner-directed attention. I hardly heard the 'musmic' I was so focused on the walk.
Oh, I have excuses. You want a couple?
Fuck you.
Read my other blog.

I sure hear it now.
♪cheesey sandwich, I'll never let you go. Nooooo mayonaise♫

Would you pay for that hit single?
No, really, would you?
Because, Carnegie School of Music.
Act now and I'll throw in "I Like To Color" for no extra charge.
There are times when I wish I had been me back then, but that's before I got to be who I am, so I don't know if I would've known who I was and then where would I be? Damn lost, that's who. 
It's just a shame that she didn't know me now back then.
I ain't afraid to say it, the old younger me was a bitch. I had no idea of how to raise a daughter and I did it in the strictest way possible. And then the brother died and I got cancer and moved to a city 200 miles from home all in the same year. It's a pretty safe bet that the period was as "rocky" for my kid as it was "fucked up like a motherfucker" for me. Second grade should be easier than that, I s'pose. When our heads came above water years later we both spent a time figuring out how to walk on land. It took some time to find our footing.
Plus, eleven year olds are assholes.

We finally began singing the same tune. 
It was an Anberlin song. 

When I looked up from myself, there she was, still singing. With a flute. And a flag. And a weird haircut. But how she plays that flute, it so does make you feel harmony. In fact, nearly any instrument she picks up plays a melody from my heart. 
It's almost enough to overlook the ukulele.

We're going to our ninth Anberlin show on her fifteenth birthday. I hope they play that one song where someone else pays for college.
Stupid Carnegie.