Monday, November 30, 2009

rush hour

lost light
nonsensical timing
and the cat
keeps rubbing
on my life
there is nothing
but everything
I'm trying to
and there is
but the nothing
I crave
its like taking
a turn
but cutting in
to a line
that wasn't there
I think if I know
I'll be fine
but its a lie
I do that
to myself
oh white on rice
my stop and go life
until its dark again

And just when you think you know what you're doing... porn

I keep statistics on this blog. That is to say I have this code I put in the body so that I can see how many people read my mental breakdowns. One part of the program is set up to show how people find me, and my favorite section are the "search words" that lead people here.

Would you like to guess what the top searches are (after my name)?

They are as follows:
- baroness naked
- ordinary girl
- naked ordinary girls
- hot ordinary girls
- ordinary girl naked
- ordinary girl porn

ah... yes! I knew I should have just committed to it when I was writing erotica - but no.

See world of porn! People just want to see ordinary girls naked! And G.I. Joe's Baroness naked - or they want to see Sienna Miller naked and with that I'd say just google her name or see Factory Girl, but that may be creepy cuz I think its around the time her character is strung - which is never pretty.

Mostly it just makes me laugh.

anyhow... I'm supposed to be doing my homework so I think I'll go do that. BUT to all you people that keep ending up on my blog searching for porn... good luck on your hunt and happy holidays.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Crazy little life

It's late, but I'm not that tired, which is weird because I barely had any sleep last night.
Today has mostly been a blur. I slept on the couch and then when I woke I played with my son, decorated for the holidays and studied... a lot.

Now here I sit.

I spent a very long part of my life just doing things to do them. Never really having any sort of depth, I never had to worry about anything. That made things so simple it was unreal! BUT! If there is one thing about life, the moment it's just too easy, everything changes.

The carpet is pulled out from under your feet and you suddenly do nothing but curse the heavens for their dismissal.

What did YOU do?
How could this happen to YOU!??

When my life began to move forward and I noticed, when I finally realized that I had built my life on a foundation of sand, I was so surprised that I was having any sort of realization at all.
The best way to describe it was I was dead.
Because I was.

I spent so much time trying to BE something that I wasn't I never had a chance to explore being me. The real me. And you know what? I'm pretty cool.

Okay... so now I'm having body issues - which is totally absurd seeing that I'm in 10,000x better shape now than I was then - but sobriety takes away the crutch for way too long. Yes, I still drink - but not like before. Two years ago I could pound a 12 pack on my own and walk away, now I have four (in one month) and I'm crawling to my bed.

And I really like that about me.

Quantity is just quantity. Just because I had a lot of something didn't mean it was a lot of anything good.

With every tired step, moment of worry, and moments of desperation for something stable I exhale knowing that these moments when life is so hard, these are the real moments. The ones that change you.

I do things now, yes, to do them - but my appreciation is very different, because tomorrow I may not have the same chances as I do right now, and yesterday is so gone all I can see is a line of the horizon. I know that one day all the things I've always dreamed of will now FOR SURE come true, just as I know tomorrow my son will lie in my arms and then the sun will rise. It's all part of the plan.

I'm glad the detour is over. It was one hell of a trip, but you - yes you tomorrow... I'll be seeing you soon and when I do, I'll be the one squealing like a sorority girl at the airport seeing her long lost sister. (who left only two days before.)

Now, go give yourself a hug - because your time is here now too.
Have a wonderful night.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

I don't know...

I don't know why

I don't know why there are certain things I just can't let go of
Maybe it's because one of the "things" is actually a person
Maybe it's because I prefer to use gluttony in conjunction with self inflicted pain

One can not be too sure (I hope it's because it's a person... not sure yet thought)

I don't know why I can forgive the same people over and over and over
But I can't seem to forgive myself
Maybe it's due to the extensive lesson in self depreciation I learned as a roman catholic
Maybe it's due to low self esteem

But maybe those two things are the same...

I don't know why I insist on eating dairy even though I know my body will hate me for it
Or why I hate myself
Or why I call myself names in my head

When I talk about this out loud I'm met with shock
When I think about it in my head I'm met with mass confusion

I tell myself that one day it will all be fine, my feet will be planted on solid ground and I will be the woman I want to be. I AM that woman now.

I'm a writer
a yogi
a wife and a mother
I am charismatic
and fun
and worth those five minutes
I'm smart
and funny
and I have a big heart

I'm worth it

the grass is always greener
their lives are always much more glamorous
and they are the luckiest - until you get to know them
and then you realize we're all just messed up in the head

I don't know why that I can look at this life
and know that it will be over
but still be lazy
take short cuts
look at the shitty side

I just don't know.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

things that I'm grateful for

the only thing you can do in life is hope that the people who have touched your heart and have helped mold you into the person you are will always be with you, and if they can't be - all you have is the hope that one day they will...

Things I'm thankful for:

  • that I didn't think about all the reasons I shouldn't get pregnant and then did, because if I would have thought it through I probably wouldn't have my son today.
  • last years bout of depression, because if I hadn't fallen that low I probably wouldn't have started re-connecting with people on facebook - which means I probably wouldn't have this blog. Because the only reason I stuck with this blog is because a old friend said he'd read it.
  • I probably wouldn't be a yogi either, back to the depression comment. Because another friend picked me up and said, "try this" and I did and I love it.
  • Mistakes
  • The scene in "Home For the Holidays" when Dylan McDermott sings to Holly Hunter, "You pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again." Because I sing that in my head when I need that extra boost to keep moving. 9 years, I've been doing that.
  • Getting over myself
  • Meditation
  • Everyone I have ever met, good and bad.
  • Learning and living that the past is in the past. You can't change it, so why ruin the present trying?
  • Chaos theory and the butterfly effect, because there have been so many cross roads that I've been at and thought I should go one way, when something happens and it changes my perspective forever. 
  • Learning that what people say behind your back isn't really about you, it's about them dealing with you how they see fit.
  • My friends. The ones I see all the time. The new ones I've made through school. My blogging friends. You.
  • Love. Sounds cheesy and cliche but among the things I've come to terms one is that I "love" to easily. I used to put a big red slash through this fact about me but I now choose to embrace it. Does it mean people love me back, no. Does it mean I'm happy all the time, no. But it's who I am and I'd rather love and have my heart broken 1,000x over than being so dead inside that I look like a vacant painting.
  • Tuesdays Gone With the Wind
  • Gerald Finzi
  • Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Being slightly insane
  • tattoos
  • red nail polish
  • amazing memories and passion
  • age and wisdom
I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday, even if you're not from around here. It's easy to concentrate on all the shitty things in this world. But it's hard to look at those shitty things and make them into something great.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tattoo session #3 and a HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU TOO!

The third stage of my tattoo is complete.

Yes. It hurt. I think my pain threshold has reached its limits. I will be waiting till next March to finish it, and I'm not joking even a little.

I'm going to go to be, because right now I don't have much to say. I keep starting and deleting blogs because I feel preaching and I'm not in a very preachy mood.

All I will say is this - tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I plan on watching the parade with my son, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and that you can be with the ones you love.

And even if you're not from the US - go celebrate being alive tomorrow - just for the hell of it. In my opinion every day should be a holiday. Why do we wait till we're told it's okay to celebrate?

I don't know either.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


sometimes nothing is just nothing
and something isn't important

sometimes it is black and white
gray isn't an issue

sometimes I just want words to roll off my tongue
and thoughts off my mind
I want to see the beauty of it
wrap it around me like a soft warm blanket

sometimes it smells better than it tastes
and it doesn't bother you

sometimes the deceptive looks
just invigorates

but at the end
because there is always one
it doesn't matter

we put so much into the little nothings
and forget everything else
we forget more than we ever remember
but its so easy to remember 

sometimes you should just smile
and nod



speaks more than 


Friday, November 20, 2009

You wanna bet?!

I think one of the easiest things to do in this life is to hide from it and fear it, but when you do that you never really get to live it.

If there has ever been something you've ever though you were BORN to do, just go for it. STOP with the excuses and go for it.

10 years passes in a blink of an eye and when they do, would you rather be the one who tired, or the one that hide in fear.

Need motivation? I'll race you there...

On your mark!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Just another day...

I've been studying my butt off all week, attempting to memorize things that I probably don't need to, singing things that I do need to.

We, my class, has to sing two different mantras in front of our very one class this weekend. You may think this isn't an issue for me seeing I've sang on stage before, but lets be honest... I'm sure my teacher will find it a bit tacky when I do a shot of jack before I sit on a meditation pillow and chant words in sanskrit that translate to:
I offer myself to the Light, the Auspicious Lord. Who is the True Teacher within and without. Who assumes the forms of reality (truth) and Bliss.
Who is never absent and is full of peace. Independent in His existence.
He is the vital essence of illumination.
See, hard drinking only works with singing when you're in the right forum. Plus, I don't drink jack - and I gave up beer the other day.

Yup - another thing to add to the "vices removed" list:
- cigarettes
- beer
- porn
- cabana boys

my world sucks


In the end it's made me a better person. I'm calmer, which is reflected in the world around me - the world I CREATED around me, so I only complain in jest because honestly - those were all good things to give up.

Granted my husband is attempting to revive the porn habit.

Great support system I have - HA!

Moving on... the holidays are here. Its crazy to me. I feel as thought they snuck up me. I've been so engrossed in my studies, having a nervous breakdown due to my lack of a job, selling things on ebay, and writing a bunch of drivel on here - I think a Gay Pride parade could have snuck up on me... but you know what? I'd probably have more fun at the parade...


And things are good again.

The lack of job thing... I'm trying to just look at it from a different perspective. Didn't I always say if I had a lot of time on my hands I'd write that "book" I started 15 times?

I want to tell you something - all of you. In advance I'm picked on for what I'm about to say - but I don't care. The more I work on this little project, the more I work on me... all these crazy good things have started happening. People being wonderful, STRANGERS being nice, and even when it's scary and bad (due to money) it's not.

Next week - even if they annoy the effin hell out of you - remember that you love your family for a reason. Your whole family, not only the family that's obligated to give you a kidney.

I have to go chant now.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

102 Days. CRAP! That means only 263 left.

In our lives we accomplish a lot of things, from having children to writing books to finding a cure for certain diseases to helping the world enter what may be the next American Renaissance. (I have theories for everything)
We, as Americans, work - work - work - until one day we REACH OUR GOAL, which would be "retirement" and then most of the time we don't know what the hell to do with ourselves...

"I know what I'm going to do! NOTHING!"

I've  heard that a lot of times from different people, but let's be honest, doing nothing is a fine way to get inside your head and one of the scariest places you can ever be is inside your head. Especially if you have one iota of doubt tuck away in there.

Doubt is like a time bomb placed inside your very own brain by your very own person. Yes, you are the suicide bomber of your own mental stability (and life) and it's just something that we don't take notice too.
I have doubt. Actually I have so many doubts in my life, ABOUT my life, that my doubt is a bit more like an itchy hair shroud I like to don around 4 am every morning when my body tells me it was a really bad idea to shotgun that glass of water just before bed.
"-A. It's gonna make you pee, yet you do it every night!"
"I know. I know... but I feel so parched! I must drink this 16oz of water before I retire for the night!"
"Just skip the water -A, because you know who will invade your brain when you wake up to facilitate and then what? You know what will'll lay in bed, frustrated, again as your mind races and all those doubts are pointed out until all you can see are things that are really nothing more than little blips on the radar of your life."
~sigh~ my body is so metaphorical. It's beautiful.

When you don't know what's up there, those little tidbits you hide away in your brain, it's very easy to let the doubt attack you where you lay.

Enter meditation.

People like to tell me how they can't meditate. It's "too hard" to just sit there and do nothing. But that's the point. AND that's why it's call practice. You practice meditation. You do it over and over and over and over and hope that at some point you'll find that little bit of insight you've been looking for.

Since I've started meditating I have cried, I lost my mind one day - that was scary - I've been frustrated and over all I've been happier about a lot of things.

What is meditation? It's finding all of those time bombs and defusing them NOW rather than waiting for them to ruin every thing later.

You think you're ready for death - but most of us aren't. We UNDERSTAND that we're going to die. We KNOW that this body is just a temporary housing for our consciousness, but we haven't accepted the big picture.

Myself included.

A few months back I did this "death meditation." And it's just what you may think it is.

You lay down and close your eyes. In your mind's eye you visualize yourself dead as a door nail and buried six feet under the ground. As the days pass this body you know so well begins to bloat and the liquids begin to release as nature takes its course. Little bugs start crawling on you, eating your decaying flesh.

Detached. You just read that and thought, "Wow. That's gross." But if you let go of that detachment, that numbing we've all allowed to happen to our brain where we can see 500 people slaughtered in a movie and not blink an eye, you suddenly realize that there is no coming back from that.

One day I'll be dead. No do over. No second chance. My body will rot, I will be no more. People will forget me. People will never know I existed.

Enter panic attack.

No. I'm not saying I want to be immortal - but the finality of the whole thing...

I cried a lot that night. I cried because I'm human and no matter how giving we can be we are all overly attached to ourselves - even if we don't like ourselves 100%.

I have 263 days left and I don't want to be forgotten. I don't want people to see my life as a flash in a pan that was so worthless they can just move on and pretend that I never existed. There is a side of me that is yelling at me as I write this down. "Don't be vain." But I don't think I'm being vain. Not all of me at least.

When it's the truth is it that bad of a thing?

Yes, I suppose it can be.

I know I'm no Mother Teresa. I know my vanity is an issue at times. I know that I'm pigheaded and I can be crude. I know I've done things in this little life of mine that I'm not proud of. I know that I grew used to my short life on stage that screamed LOOK AT ME YOU MOTHER F***ER! YEAH!

I don't want to be remember for that either.

I have 263 days to become someone worth remembering.

When you put a number on things - be it the amount of time you have left or till you're out of a job, the day your child should be born, when you are to be married/divorced - when you find that finality <-there's that word again... all it can do is make you think.



when you do that you can move forward.

When you meditate and you have to sit there, perfectly still for 5 minutes or 60 minutes and do NOTHING but be with YOURSELF, learn about YOURSELF - when you can do that, it won't matter because all those bombs will be gone and the person you see in that mirror will be someone you're proud of...

And then you can really live.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Today in the life a middle aged house wife...

Most days, generally speaking, I do find life to be rather amusing. Yes, on here it may seem all fists and glory, but there are so many levels to a day I normally attempt to pick what I think is the most interesting - and being pissy or passing my opinion off to the world are my two favorite things to post.

But I have to say, the one thing I've learned over the time I've invested in blogging, the posts that I find most compelling, my BEST WORK EVER, are normally the posts that are totally passed up on. (as far as I can tell. my stats program isn't the greatest thing...)

So today I think I'm just going to go for the narrative affect of nothingness that is the true reality of most of our lives. No, we are not nothing but the routine seems to sink it's claws in and before we know it we're just moving, ever so quickly, on auto pilot - here's hoping we don't miss our exit...

AAAhhuuummm! <-clearing my throat

Today has been filled with all sorts of fun things from cleaning toilets to changing poopy diapers to washing all the items in the bathroom - my sons new very favorite place to play - and all of this I need to get accomplished before he wakes up from his nap. BECAUSE when he wakes up I need to drop him off at my mother's and when that happens I have to use that time to run to the grocery store and study my ass off.

The mixture of normal life, the fact that I'm jobless (and just L-O-V-I-N-G it <-sarcasm) in school and have so much homework I'm not sure what to do, plus my "lady's holiday" is evidently taking a holiday of its own and rearing it's ugly head whenever it sees fit, all combined, has now moved my normal emotional "ebbing and flowing" to resemble that of a beach just about to be hit by a tsunami.

"Bob is that... no... that can't be the ocean floor? OH MY GOD! IT'S THE OCEAN FLOOR!"

See - you get it.

I find that I have to do things in a very certain order, for if I do not I forget to do certain things and then it's suddenly 10pm and I want to go to bed to read all relaxed like, but I can't because I STILL HAVE CRAP TO DO! Which needs to get done before I sleep or the next day will be even more chaotic.

It's all a puzzle. Like how I just remembered I should go get the car out of the garage BEFORE he wakes up so I can toss his stinky little bottom in the back and zip him over to my mom's thus allowing me not to have to play the role of Luke Skywalker  with my boy strapped to my back as I flip and crawl my way through the dagobah that is my backyard and garage.

Yes - these are the mundane things that most will raise an eyebrow to thinking, "you didn't see that as something obviously easier than waiting to carry precious cargo?"

I do - but the mundane "obvious" things are normally the first things to go out of this overly cramped head of mine. Mostly I'm thinking, "why can't I find a coupon online for quorn? there has to ONE somewhere that I'm missing." & "OK. Post office, Library, and the grocery store.... you know, I'll skip the post office and go there Thursday - so that's just the library and the store... hmm... here's hoping I have enough time to memorize that mantra and type out the rest of my notes before the day is through."

As my heart pounds faster and faster in my chest I try to take this moment to come here and amuse myself with my lame attempt at wit and my keen fashion sense. Sorry. Buffy.



I need two things: More coffee and More advil.
Pain killers and speed

See, I told you life is mostly just amusing - just like only a 34 year old house wife who is studying to become a yoga instructor and fulfill her dream to be a writer can be.

To be continued...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Womans lib or just another reason to ignore everything else and pretend we're better than the rest of the world.

Over the weekend it came to light that the mystifying Belle De Jour - the infamous Call Girl in London - is none other than Dr Brooke Magnanti, a research scientist in Bristol.

Yes. She's an educated woman who needed money to obtain her PhD and did so on her back. Well… according to her book and show, she did so in a number of other positions too.

The world gasps! How could someone such as she be... be a... PROSTITUE?!!!

One article I read even stated she set back the woman’s movement. That's right. The only way to keep the 'Woman’s Movement' moving forward is by being another “cog” in the machine.

Personally I think that people are just plain shocked because most believe to become a call girl you must have either been abused as a child, from the gutter or you're just too plain stupid to get a “real” job.

Because a real job isn't like taking it uncomfortably from the man...

In relating news:

On Friday a bunch of Food Network Stars visited my little town, one of them being Sandra Lee, of Semi-Homemade fame. 

She is probably most appalled by these developments. In an interviewed by a local radio station, Lee commented that girls these days don't have anyone to look up to.

"What about Michelle Obama?"
"I mean real role models like June Cleaver."

Yes because there is nothing more positive for young girls to look up to than fictional female character that was created by a man.

(she also commented that... girls look up to these pop stars that have their boobs hanging out all the time... watch her show or just google "sandra lee cleavage" - her's are always out)

I'm sure she's confused by these developments across the pond and is somewhere currently muttering something about how Dr Magnanti's demise is directly related to BBC’s airing Fawlty Towers. “John Cleese is not a positive female role model! What did they expect?!”

Because we've all learned the only way to get super smart is by watching TV. Just ask the Baby Einstein company. The showed us good!

I suppose the only way to be a real 'stand up' woman is to lie there or just don't do 'it' at all. I remember when one chick I kind of knew found out she was pregnant. Her BF said to me, "I was so surprised! She never sleeps with her husband and then I remembered the holidays. She must have been drunk."

That's how real women deal with sex. They don't.

Now don’t you feel silly if you're like me, someone who's a fan? I mean I’m a big fan of the old “sexual relations.” I think that it’s a darn fun past time and hey! If you’re good at it and you love it, don’t they always tell us to “do what you love and the money will follow?”

See. It’s not that difficult.
I really don’t think that Magnanti is over glorifying prostitution any more than Sandra Lee is over glorifying being a nimrod that thinks TV personalities are real.

Mostly I say congrats to the fine Doctor. You have a bigger set than most people I know. But in the end it comes down to this.

The only thing the general public is interested in are fluffy controversies, and better yet if they're of the sexual nature. God only knows if we used this much energy on helping people who needed disaster relief, feeding children, building homes for the homeless, bailing out people who DON’T have billions in the bank, finding a cure for cancer, providing health insurance for families that need it, finding jobs for the unemployed, giving money to schools so our kids can get an actual education, brining back our men and women from war – we may actually be able to accomplish something and save a few lives.

But why do that when there’s a Doctor in England who’s doing research on how to save children from cancer who was a call girl once?

Yes. We should use our spare time on calling her a whore. What else is there to do that's just that fun?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

sigh... sigh... FREAKIN SIGH... sigh

mostly irritated
generally pissed
and I don't know why I try

I hate when this happens
when I get like this
this feeling
I hate it

but here I am again

I sit here seething
fuming about things
about everything
and I don't know why

Its like water torture on my brain
can I just have the guillotine
a sharp one

its just some sort of game I play with myself

people who don't matter
people who don't matter
people who don't matter

maybe if I write it enough
it'll stick
you know, like that teacher on TV
that make the kid
write the same things over
and over
and over
and over again
on the board

think that will help?

so I seethe
and I stew
and I grow angry
at myself

I want cheese cake
and coffee
and chocolate
and cheese
and my brain to shut off

mostly I'm thinking lobotomy

it just makes sense

like warm apple pie and vanilla ice cream

stupid brain
time to shut you off

Friday, November 13, 2009

my 5 minute blog about life

I've been busy and every time I think I have TIME I find I don't. What I mean is that I'm having problems juggling my blogs, my school work, my family the 7 books I'm reading, the one I'm listening to and breathing.

Thank god I don't have to do that consciously.

But sleep has prevailed as the winner as of late. Which means that soon, too soon, I'm going to have to start NOT sleeping to catch up - or GASP - stop watching TV.

As for my "death march" I'm still on point - but most of my dynamic posts have been in pen form seeing I can do that in the living room as I play with my son at the same time. If he see the computer it's just a worlds of chaos that normally ends in a 3 hour period of my fixing things that he some how set out of sorts.

That said.

If I knew I only had 9 months left to live I suppose I should come to terms with my past relationships. Both romantic and friend - because honestly how can anyone be at peace with themselves when they refuse to look at themselves.

Yes. It's uncomfortable.
Yes. It's not easy.

But I'm betting the peace of mind, when it's over is worth it.

NOW! I have to get my son before he accidently sets the house on fire. He's a very creative 1 year old.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

ISSUE 2 - Letters to the Government

It's been over a week since Issue 2 passed in Ohio and I'm here to remind you to send a letter to the Ohio government about how we do not WANT Issue 2 and how we are angry about the wording they used on the ballot to confuse their people about what was REALLY going on.

I you don't think you can articulate your own letter - feel free to download this letter and mail it off.

I suggest "snail mail" because it means more when you take that extra time to stick it to the man.

Now! If you're not from Ohio that doesn't mean you shouldn't send a letter - that means you REALLY REALLY should because it will show the Ohio government that this hasn't gone unnoticed by the rest of the country and if you don't live in USA - EVEN BETTER!

Because then we're taking this globally and to be honest at some point this will affect you too.

Issues like Issue 2 are some of the reasons for the rise of meat related illnesses. You don't need to be a scientist to see that. Think back 20-30 years and tell me what you knew about e boli or mad cow then. You didn't because it didn't exist - at least not on this level.

So I implore you and I BEG you to take a moment to tell them that we want Issue 2 reversed and we're pissed off as all hell that it passed in the first place.

Do it for your kids, for you, for your family - it's the right thing to do and I can't do it without you.

Just follow this LINK and it will download the letter to you. (I saved it in MS Word)

Veterans Day

I had fully intended on coming on here yesterday and writing an homage to all the men and woman who have sacrificed their lives under the veil of our American Flag.

World War I - the first war to "end all wars" ended on November 11th 1918 (at 11:11... I think...?).

Anyway - I've been going to bed super freaking early. Turns out when you work out close to 7 days a week, having  nice 8 hours of sleep is a good thing. Plus, this whole "accepting meditation" into my life has really cleared my head.

No joke.

All those nights of laying awake and over thinking things is almost gone so when I go to bed, I tend to fall asleep - which means I'm not up till 1am and it means I'm not here blogging at 1am... and I kinda think that's just okay.


I don't want to neglect Veterans Day.

What I find is that some people don't feel the need to say thank you to these people, these soldiers, that have dedicated their lives to keeping us safe. Yes - September 11, 2001 happened, but when you weight the fact that the last time a foreign enemy attached us on American soil was December 7th 1941 - some 60 years earlier - you need to realize just how good we have it.

I am not a fan of war, just like many other "peace" people out there. Some how people mistake not WANTING war in our world as an invitation to tell these men and women that we don't want them.

What is that?

One of the hardest lessons we all have to learn in life is that yes, peace is beautiful and you really should strive for it - but war is there for a reason too. And fighting that war may be against the grain of your body - but sometimes you have to stand up for yourself.

SOMETIMES our country needs to stand up for us and other people on this big rock we call home.

It's not an easy thing - but there are too many layers. Yes, feel free to use the "onion" metaphor here.

There is this story told in the Vedas about ahimsa (peace) about a monk and a town that is being harassed by this over sized snake.

The gist is this:

This wondering monk stops in this village and the villagers beg him to help them.

So the monk heads out and finds this snake. He is big. He is scary, and the monk tells him that he needs to live in peace with the villagers. He taught him how to live peacefully.

A year went by before the monk made it back to the village and when he did he found the snake. Once large and beautiful, he was now beaten, bloodied and battered.

"What happened?" Asked the monk.
"I did what you said and all the kids now hunt  me down and torture me and throw rocks at me." The monk smiled and looked at the creature and replied,
"I advised you against violence but never told you not to hiss."

Yesterday was Veterans Day, one of the few days of the year we are asked to make recognition of these people that keep hissing at our enemies to keep us safe and so we don't have to. Every day should be when we say thank you - even if you don't agree with the politics behind the war they fought, in the end it was for you and me and everyone we know.

This country was built on our need to stand up for ourselves - we're a big stir-fry of all these other beautiful countries filled with history and knowledge and so much to give to the world.

And the next time you're out - tell a Vet thank you. They're reason you have the chance to do so.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

what can you find in patience?

I've been told that I'm not the most patience person alive, and you know what? They're right - but still, I try every day. Just like 1,000 other things that I've been attempting to put into rotation into my life - patience is one of them.

Flawed, yes - but still - I'm finding all these revelations and transformations seem to be like sex. The whole experience has heightened my awareness of so many other things.
How I feel.
How things tastes.
How I look at things.
Its very interesting to myself how much I've changed internally over the last year.

It has been like a diet of sorts.
I finally shed that 50lbs off my ass after 15 years of trying - but it wasn't my ass, it was my internal self that was so heavy it was suffocating under the weight of my own denial and hatred.

Hindsight helped. This I can not deny, but at the same time it has brought to the surface some things that I felt were unimportant and fleeting and here I am, a year after the fall from my last life and still they persist me like a stalker following it's prey.

These things only open my mind up more to where I'm going. They make me think, maybe a little too deeply, but still - I'd much rather delve into the folds of the darkness recesses of a persons life than sit by and talk about superficial mumbo jumbo that will only numb my brian for 15 minutes longer.

This feeling only pushes me further from my past - because the term "skin deep" was created for a reason and no, it doesn't make the past a bad thing - but just not where I need to be any more.

How can you move forward if you hold on so tight to something that is gone?
You can't.

I find conversation and deep rationalizations seem to help me be even more at peace with myself - pointing out my own flaws, like impatience, and helping me to become that patient person I want to be. And I have, on certain levels and with certain people.
I'll be so patient you may even forget I was standing next to you, but I'm there. Yes, that may be more for me, but at the same time - its for them too, because what I've found is that certain people are worth waiting for.

Even if that number is super low.

In the last month I've had 2 people tell me how quiet I am - I suppose that's a sign that it's working, because sitting and watching the world is sometimes the best way to learn about it, and to learn about yourself.

If you're always talking - you'll probably miss something and I'm tired of missing things because my voice it the loudest in the room. The only thing I can be is myself - a self I will one day truly love and I hope that is accomplished before August 9th 2010.

I really, really do.

Monday, November 9, 2009

We can only be ourselves in the best way possible, but still I keep trying to put that square peg in the round hole...

At some point in life you need to resolve to do certain things. These things are the corner stones in our lives - the push up to grow - to be more.

I sat at my desk for a long while today, working on too many things at once, just assessing everything I could. Trying to find that "moment" that did this or that to me.

I have a lot of "moments" that I remember.
Watching the sunset under a pier on Lake Erie
Seeing the Eiffel Tower all lit up on a warm Parisian night
Kissing the right someone just at the right moment and that warm feeling that followed

I can list these moments for hours, because I'm not 12 and because - even in my stupidest moments - I've really tried to live my life, and I mean really LIVE it.

Here's a moment:
I was young, maybe in high school, and I decided that I needed to live as many different lives as I could so that I could be a well rounded writer.
Knowing that, how can I be regretful of any portion of my life?

I can't, because every moment that I've lived I've tried to learn from and I can then use those things to have a better story to tell.

A story about knights and princesses, robots and space ships, monsters and heroes, P.I.s and dames in distress, or even the story of a 30 something woman who lives in a suburban town and wants nothing more than to stand on top of the tallest mountain, building, bridge - scare shitless - but so alive that people 4,000 miles away can feel my heart pounding against my ribcage.

I've done the "why" portion of this journey.
Why did this happen
Why did that
Why is this person such a jerk to me now, when once we were so close

or even what

What happens when we die
What's gonna happen next...

When we die our physical bodies are dropped into the ground and we become a human compose heap and the earth breathes us in through all of it's grandeur and glory. Spiritually I couldn't tell you.
Is there a God? I just don't know.
Why are we here? Probably the nachos - nachos are delicious

But the real question is why do I feel the need to get so caught up on the whys and whats?

When I was driving in my car earlier, making the pilgrimage to Trader Joes in order to buy food that isn't strait death in a box... I was listening to one of my books. I smiled and I laughed and I nodded my head as the author read their words to me, so eloquently, so precise and I wished that I was them.

I wished that I could verbalize how they did
Sound how they did
Put together the metaphors that they did - because to me, in them, I found perfection

Perfection - it's like the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus, it's a good idea but in the end the idea of a gigantic bunny or a old fat dude standing in your living room at midnight really doesn't bring the joy you would think it would.


It would lead you to call animal control (and Ripley's Believe it or Not) and/ or the police.
"9-1-1 what's your emergency?"

...and I know this about perfection.
I know it's not real. I know that it's my Utopia and that I am it's Thomas More - but I still want it.

I want it, so bad.

Then as I was walking around Trader Joe's with a plastic basket on my arm, cutting off the circulation to my hand because I always feel the need to over fill the damn thing and I wondered if maybe I'm missing it.

Missing something.

I miss things. It's what I do. I'm the biggest candidate for "Forest Here" and "Trees Here". I just can't see it. I see the burnt out woods, and the dilapidated trees. I don't see that 140 old Pine that is just beyond beautiful or how the canopy makes the forest floor so lush and like midnight at noon.

When I got to my car and was nearly run over by an 70+ year old woman, I smiled and started listening again.

I have no answers for you outside of, "This too shall pass."
I know it will because time waits for no one, least of all me and now that all the "Whys &Whats" are no longer an issue - this dance with perfection has only two out comes.

I can embrace that it doesn't mean what I'm pretending it does
Or I can just crawl into my bed, pull the covers up over my head and cry because I'm not good enough.

Not good enough.

Every day I want to give up. Every day I want to throw the towel in. Every day I want to FINALLY have all those people who told me I was to stupid, ugly, repressed, jaded, narrow minded, selfish, or ignorant, I want to gather them all into a room and tell them how right they are.

Even though they're not

I suppose this is just another one of those corner stones. One of those moments that I will later look back on as a moment that defined me into who I am, or helped change me into becoming the someone that I really want to be.

You know what I want?
I want to be able to stand in a line for 20+ minutes and not fidget. I want to be able to look around the room and see someone looking at me and not assume the absolute worse.

I want nachos, with extra toppings
And I want to go to bed...

Secret Admirer!


Sunday, November 8, 2009

When all else fails - wine is all the insight I really need!

When I got home, after doing the slew of things that needed to be taken care of due to neglect from a weekend of yoga school fun, I dragged my ass on over to here and sat down.
My fingers posed over the key board I stared blankly at the screen realizing I had nothing profound to say...

This really bothered me...
I mean I was JUST IN CLASS I should have something profound to say...

But no.  My brain was drawing a blank and I decided to just turn off this lovely little machine that puts me in touch with everyone and everything ever known to man! (and then some)

And then I opened a bottle of wine. So now, I'm SO FILLED with insight. Honestly, if you're not sitting you should.  I may blow your socks off. Or worse, your feet.


I spend a lot of time telling my self how much I suck. TURNS OUT, not that healthy of a thing to do... lol... but hey, kicking yourself in the gut is much easier to deal with than waiting for the people you meet over time to let you down.

There are two very flawed things about that statement.

#1 - I shit on myself. Why? EXACTLY!
#2 - not all people suck.

Flaws are some of the most beautiful things in this world.
When a diamond is flawed you see this extra facet of color, sparkling at you - but the jeweler tries to get you to buy the "flawless" one that is more boring than those NOVA films we were forced to watch as children in grade school.

Flaws rock. Flaws are AWESOME! Flaws are the very things that make this world spin around and around and around...

Those idiosyncrasies that I yell at myself about are my special thing.


So in closing.

I feel preachy when I come on here, but I figure if I'm being preachy I should at least tell you to like yourself. You're awesome. The reason your friends and family love you shows you just how awesome you are!

Don't take it for granted, like I have for so many years. Learn from other mistakes - don't be the dip wad that can't figure it out.

Don't be the "No I really see things Half-Full!" when you see things half empty - LIKE ME!

OH WINE... how you make me drool randomness on the computer...

And now... I'm going to bed where I plan to dream of fairies and dew drops!
(cuz I'm a girl and that's what we do...)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I lost count a while ago but I'm about 1/4 of the way there...

There are days I can't figure anything out and this would be one of them.

I've attempted to study all day and am at a loss - yes, I've accomplished some things but it never seems enough. I always feel like I fall short, in every aspect of my life...

Yes, no one said life was easy, but mostly I just wish they would have said something rather than complaining all the time about how much it sucks...

Sorta like I'm doing right now...

I was doing well and then this week just flew by - now my energy is scattered and I'm almost out of time, but I keep telling myself to look towards the future because 4.5 months I'll be done. I do have other diplomas but this one means the most to me.

Little known fact - I've taken film classes and have completed them - meaning I can edit, shoot, etc. Never did anything with it... hmmm... I always said it was because I was poor (movies cost money) but that's not it. In the end I'd rather write the movie than shoot it.

But now I'm just rambling...

I was mostly depressed all day so I went for the route of distraction:

I made some pumpkin butter, pumpkin bread, pumpkin and cranberry bread. Learned the Anasura Invocation (mostly) and taught my husband the sun salutation. I also translated both A & B salutations into my own words. I read and then I played with my son.

I did learn something today. Two years ago I could barely walk up a flight of stairs without getting out of breath, tonight I ran laps around my dinning room table for about 15 minutes (because my son kept laughing at me) and then finished up with a half hour game of "Chase the Baby!" and I wasn't out of breath.

Never really smoke, hardly drink, workout almost every day, try to eat healthy... and all those years I made fun of people like me... don't I feel silly! LOL!

Oh well, you can't change the past so why the hell should you dwell on it?

I feel like I should read, but I need to write, so that's what I'm going to do.

But before I go, here's one more thing I started doing to further this quest I'm on.
Every day when I wake up I try to find something good to concentrate on for that day.

An intention.

After nights like last night, when I woke up at 3:30 and every bad thing in the world flooded into my head, I need to find something that resembles a silver lining or I'd probably do something bad like try to kick someone's butt.

Some days it's a person who I think needs extra love in their life. (they may be someone I know and love, know and hate or maybe that nice man that helped me unload my groceries today while my hands where filled with one-year-old...)
Some days it's something I want to do - like make 40 variations of pumpkin good that I can dole out to people.
Some days, it's just a smile in my heart - because even the bad days have their purpose.

They make the good days shine just a little bit brighter.

Good night

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Individuality, life and how we just screwed ourselves by passing Issue 2 in Ohio

Back in 2000 I remember sitting in my living room watching the big map of the old US of A light up red and blue.

Florida light up all blue - Al Gore was our next president!! Excited and ecstatic, I went to bed and then I woke up to the news papers head lines "GEORGE W. BUSH! PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!"

How? And on top of that... WTF?!!

And that is when I began to watch how politics really work. How our government really runs and how it really doesn't matter - as long as the idiot with all the money is the one in charge of the TV and all other media. (clearwater... blurg)

Over the last few years I felt we, as a nation, was making progress in the food industry. With movies like "Super Size Me" the awareness of how unhealthy it is to eat fast food daily was brought to the forefront of our culture. Then this year "Food, Inc" (which was released on DVD yesterday) took it one step farther tell us how the food industry, like ALL industry in the United States, is a business.

Just like those widgets and toy factories - we mass produce "food."

But people just don't get "it." They don't or are not willing to see the bigger picture. This was evident last night when Chris Gore announced on G4's DVDuesday that "Food, Inc" was out and that we should rent it - even though it made him leave the room a few times due to what he had to see - how our FOOD is made. He then commented that there is CORN IN EVERYTHING (which isn't normal or natural) and Olivia Munn squeaked, "Oh! That's good right?! I love corn."

Here is a woman who isn't stupid. She's bright, intelligent, funny and extremely charismatic and even she doesn't know how bad this is for all of us.

What does that say about us as a country in a whole?

Over here in Ohio we had an Issue on the ballot about Farming. This Issue would affect the out come of Farming for the WHOLE COUNTRY!! The commercials made it seem like it was a good thing. If we passed "Issue 2" we would "SAVE" these animals...

Wrong again. Issue 2 now makes it legal for the mass production of animals, just like those widgets in that toy factory.

"Don't be so mad A! People didn't understand!" <- that's what I've been told, but here's the thing. You know that woman, man, teenager that came to your house that one night with the Issue 2 flyer? They came to YOUR house to help you UNDERSTAND and you just got angry because how DARE they interrupt your down time. How DARE they bother you after a long day at work, with your kids, doing what you do... What a bunch of ungrateful jerks...

They work jobs too, you know. They also have families and they decided to take time out of their busy lives to help you out so this wouldn't happen.

And we shut the door in their faces as we curse their existence.

So no, I will be mad. I will be mad because no one reads the fine print, or takes the time to find out what the issues are about. We are angry that people want our "hard earned money" to better our schools. We are angry that people interrupt our "well deserved down time" because they want to help us understand what is on the ballot.

We vote for leaders on single issues.

We judge the book by its cover.

And now we have put people out of jobs. We've destroyed entire towns. We have killed the American dream because we were too busy to find out the facts. We were too tired voting on American Idol to take the time to educated ourselves on voting for the REAL America.

Issue 2 lowered the regulations on animal care. Issue 2 said it's "OK" for big business to take over farming.

Yes, I understand that is sounds like a good idea - but 13 people are now in control of everything.

These animals will be confined in cages and barrels no being able to move around. When animals are kept in these conditions they poop and pee on themselves - this ups the chances of contamination, and that means more e coli and other meat related illnesses spreading faster and farther throughout our country.

This also means an issue with the environment because the air regulations in these "factories" well, they're not - if we're gonna shove'em in cages, why would we make sure the air they breathe is clean?

Europe and 7 American states have banned these ideas over the years - but not us! No, we're going backwards. Setting a new standard so low it suddenly makes that ex-boyfriend/girlfriend of yours look like a real gem.

And to bring it all together - here is a list of organizations that were against Issue 2:
- The Humane Society of the United States
- The Capital Area Humane Society
- the Cleveland Animal Protective League
- the Toledo Area Humane Society
- the Ohio Farmers Union
- Ohio Environmental Stewardship Alliance
- Progress Ohio
- League of Women Voters Ohio
- Center for Food Safety
- Ohio Sierra Club
- Ohio Ecological Food and Farming Association
- The Columbus Dispatch, The Cleveland Plain Dealer & the Dayton Daily News

Ohio Farmers Union is that place that puts together all of those Farmers Markets we love so much. They ARE FARMERS and they're even against this...

So now what?

Yes, I can sit here and seethe, rant, rave and just be so angry I start spitting flames from my eyes - but what is that going to solve? Nothing.

Now we need to fix this. We need to write our congressmen, they work for us, we need to take a stand - because just like with everything else in this world, there is no "good time" there is only now - so maybe now is the moment we stop making excuses and start making some change.

When did we become this passive?
I don't know, but it really breaks my heart...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Clarity and the meaning of life. All of those things in the bottom of that Cracker Jack Box.

Clarity is one of those things in life that seem to fall into my lap.
For months I'll do nothing but seek it out, leaving no rock unturned, hoping the meaning of it all will just simply jump out at me in the middle of the night - scaring me half to death - as it yells, "HERE I AM!"

It's kinda like that moment when you were a teenager, for one moment, life ACTUALLY made sense.

I still look for it every day - both the meaning of my life and the clarity to live that life right. I think the moment that I stop searching is the moment I'm truly dead, even if I'm physically standing before you.

These "Please God! Oh PLEASE tell me what to do!" moments, I have to say, are sprinkled throughout my life. Not that I'm proud of them, but, especially lately, when I've felt battered and beaten to the point I plainly crave someone or something else taking the reigns so I can just become the pile of mushy goo on my bedroom floor I so want to be.

Worthless and messy
Listless and exhausted

But in those moments, the moments I've wanted to just pack it all in, those are the moments I always find clarity.

I pick myself up
I dust myself off
& I start all over again

Two quotes I live by:
#1 - One step forward, two steps back - V.I. Lenin
#2 - You may have to fight the battle more than once to win - Margaret Thatcher

The second one I just learned and I'm putting it into the rotation of my life as of this moment.

They both mean the same thing to me. Sometimes you have to work harder for what you want and you can't let those moments you feel like a failure kick you so far down you're not willing to ever get back up. AND you can't let other people make you feel that way either!

I've done that. I think we all have.

It's one of those "things" that are on all of our life lists:
- Fall in love - CHECK!
- Heartbreak - CHECK!
- Beat yourself up for not being perfect - CHECH! AND CHECK! ANNNND CHECK!!

The myriad of events in our lives define us... or do they?

I think that when we begin to label ourselves and subject others to those same lables we automatically deplete the worth of ourselves. Didn't our parents tell us we could do or be anything? (if they didn't they should have) Isn't that still true?

Yes.  You can do anything if you're willing to work, bleed, sleep, eat, breathe all of it into your heart and then reach for it with all of your might.

We lose clarity over time.

It's like we're a jug of milk - "Expires 12-21-2012"

No. That's not true.

(by the way, the explosion of the "worlds gonna end on 12-21-2012" is a myth. The Mayan calendar has prophecies that go out as far as the 4,000. I think that the planets will align that day in a way that no one has ever or will ever see again. Here's an article more about it.)

Yes. We all die.
Yet another little thing we ALL have in common - but our worth is greater than that.

YOU are special.
YOU are important.

I AM special.
I AM important.

We are two peas in a pod.
All of us are.

We breath the same air, get scared of silly things, cry, laugh, eat, sleep, poop.
We bottle things up until we can't hold it in any longer and then we learn how to do just that - hold it until we feel like we may explode...

Finally, we find ourselves clinging to the words of anything, anyone, even the billboard we pass every day to work, or the monologue of the nightly anchorman/woman - just to find...


All you need to do is stop.
& sigh... <- let it out. give it to the cosmos. let that burden not be yours any more.

The meaning of life is different to every person alive but the clarity to see it can be muddled by all those things we think we need to have to be happy.

I'm sure if you looked you would see you already have everything you've ever needed. In the end we have no choice, but right now you do. Lots of choices.

There is never a good time - so there is no time like the present

Now go live your life and stop letting your life live you and know that clarity will always be there when you need it. Just like chocolate chip cookies or an extra blanket.

It really is something you can count on.
I promise you that.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Being crazy has never been this much fun...

As you all know, I like to come on here an write every day. EVERY DAY! Good or bad, but life has a funny way of making that not happen.

School has a funny way of making that not happen.

But last night I dragged my tired butt up the steps to my "office" and finally hit the little button on the back of this white box of streaming information and mozied on over here.

After 2 1/2 days of sun salutations, meditations, examinations, adjustments, and blocked emotions, it's hard to come onto here and write about anything that would at all resemble a cohesive thought. I mean, yes, it amuses me to use sanskrit words - to dot them through out a post simply because I have to remember them and because, as stated in the great movie, PCU "Sanskrit? You're majoring in a 5,000 year old dead language? Hmm... Latin's the best I can do. NEXT!"
But honestly, my head is swimming mostly with mantras and chants that I do, in fact love, but couldn't (at this moment) tell you what they mean, unless I just went and got my notes.

My point is simple - even if getting to it isn't.
I don't want to give up on my goals - even when I feel run down and as though I'm climbing up a mountain.

Throughout this whole journey I've embarked on I've made some realizations (my goals):
#1 - I want to write
#2 - I want to change
#3 - I want to grow

And sometimes growth is tiring.

So today arrived and I had this grand plans all laid out for me:
Yoga class this morning (because the 7+ on the mat over the weekend just wasn't enough), then I was going to cut down the pumpkins and make them into mush for cooking, clean, go to the library, work on a book project that I've been neglecting, laundry, watch SGU (my new favorite TV show) and all of this before 4pm.

I didn't make it to yoga.
I realized at 4 am, as I was lying on my couch half nauseous from lack of sleep and from listening to my son cry because BOY did we break him from that "sleeping through the night" habit that the world finds so convenient, and last night was the first night of fixing that.
At one point, with one eye open, I was surfing the internet - reading blogs from some good fellow yogi's about life, meditation, balance and I felt tears roll down my cheeks. No, I wasn't crying - my eyes were watering because I'm blind and I didn't have my contacts or glasses on - instead my hand was poised about an inch from my face - my iPhone a little too bright.

I knew that yoga was gonna have to take a day off. And I hated it.

So I started compiling a list of other things I needed to do. I could do some research on yoga items I wanted to know for our next weekend of learning:
- see if I can find an adequate posture assisting book
- look for chair modifications for older, not as mobile students (seniors)
- update my notes

and on and on and on...

Now it's half past 3 and I've done a little bit of reading, made it to the library, washed my yoga mat, straightened the house, ate a little food, and loaded the audiobook I snatched up at the library (and another CD) onto my iTunes.

(and you even believe there was a time that this couldn't happen in our lives? craziness...)

Most days I'm against audiobooks - too many years working in a book store - too many years writing - I've been left jaded with this image of Jo in "Little Women." I just want my words on dead tree and I want you to read them.

You know... like you are right now... yyeeeeeuuuuup!

After the hypocrisy sank in, I said yes to audio. Plus I look at it this way. There is a part of the day when I'm too tired to read, but too awake to sleep - so this little gem known as an "audiobook" may just be the salvation I've been looking for!

Yes, I used to use this time to meditate - but I had an experience (all that freaky deeky stuff you normally want to happen... when you're not ready  for it... kinda scary) so right now I need a little time off from meditation. I will still practice the concepts of it, but luring myself into a deep meditation is something I'm putting on hold - I'm not ready, not right now.

So here I am, watching the sun set at 3 in the afternoon (WTF?), my house seems to be in order, my family should be home soon - that means starting a big project is a bad idea. I could nap, but thats a bad idea too seen then I won't be able to sleep tonight - and I see my iPhone staring at me saying, "you have an audiobook... YOU HAVE AN AUDIOBOOK!!! LISSSTENNNN TOOO THE AUDDDIOOOOBOOOOOOK!!!"


Lesson learned. Audiobooks are like manna from heaven.
You can clean your whole house as your are amused by the words of a talented writer. You can laugh and say out loud, "Preaching to the choir sister!" As you scrub bottles and sweep floors.

The book is Eat. Pray. Love. by Elizabeth Gilbert.

I've had about 20 people tell me I need to read this book, but I don't have time and I normally don't like to read New Age life altering, autobiographical types of books - which this book is. So to fix that little issue, I joined this book group that only picks this type of spiritual life altering books - and here we are!

Why am I the most judgmental idiot on this blessed rock?

I'm a walking stigma! I can't do this because of that. Can't do that because of this.
Can't live a fun life without gipping myself of some wonderful things because... ??
I have no reason.
Because I think too much.

Which would be why I was meditating... oh what an evil web I've weaved myself into...

But that's not the funny part.
The funny part is that when I listen to my iPhone, normally, I listen to the music on shuffle.
Which I can't seem to turn off - so the whole first disk of Eat. Pray. Love. I heard out of order and you know what - it still made sense.

And now I sit here knowing that I only have moments of silence left and that if I want more silence in my life I will have to wait till later tonight when both of my men are asleep and I think about those days when I'm so tired that I go to bed at 9:30 on a Saturday night and I know that next time I'm just gonna drag my but here first because my life is running out and this is something I need to do for me - and you know what? It really is working.
And the next time someone makes a suggestion, maybe before I get all "I would NEVER do that!" judgmental in their faces, maybe I should stop and see what they're peddling...

But for now - Eat. Pray. Love. - E. Gilbert.