Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wingin' It

I realized I hadn't written in my blog in a while. I mean, I posted a story but that's it. I've been so lazy lately and I discovered Twitter which hasn't been much fun cause I only know two people on it, and the rest of the people I follow are celebrities - which is also fun because I get to read all the funny and sometimes embarrassing things they write on there. Some stuff I'm just like.. "What the hell? Why would they write something like that?" I find the funniest person on there is Kathy Griffin. She calls everyone "fellow twatters." I like that...twatter.
Anyway, so enough about that, so I was just reflecting on how stinky the apartment is at this moment. It's either something one of our neighbors is cooking or perhaps it is my boxer Bo sitting next to me. Not sure...he usually doesn't stink!
Well, folks, I'm anxiously awaiting my final grades to return so that I can finally send my transcript to UNCW. Jordan and I took a day trip to Wilmington the other day (Which, by the way, don't ever do if you don't want to spend 6 hours in a car in one day). We would have stayed somewhere, but we had to come back because I was supposed to get our husky puppy spayed the next morning. Well, it turns out we COULD have stayed in Wilmington because we didn't even get it done yesterday. We accidentally fed her and gave her water after 9pm the night before the surgery, so I had to call the next morning. They told me it was better to be safe that sorry and that we should reschedule. So now she's getting spayed three days before Christmas. What they said could happen was that what was ever in her stomach might be upset by the anesthesia and she could suffocate in her sleep. OMG! Glad I didn't let them do the surgery.
Well anyway, back to the Wilmington thing. Well, we went by the school just to check on things, and the lady told me that they had everything on file for me except my final transcript. She said as soon as they had that transcript, they would go ahead and make a decision on me. So hopefully that was positive. I see no reason why I shouldn't get in...my grades are good. So we will just have to see. I just need to get that transcript in!!! I want to know by January.
So the deal about that, since the two of you who are reading this were wondering, is that we are, given that I get into UNCW, moving down to Wilmington probably in May or June. That depends on how long it takes us to find a decent place that will allow us to have our dogs. As far as our apartment here in Greensboro goes, apparently Alex wants to take over our lease with his sister. So if they do that, although I doubt it at this point, we should be able to go as early as May. (If they dont do it, we'll find someone else). So the good news about that is that I get to spend all summer long at the beach! All I will be doing is working and hanging out at the beach, and I think that is very appealing!
Jordan doesn't know what he is going to do. He wants to look into go to Cape Fear CC to do a criminal justice associates or the BLET. I feel bad making him leave Greensboro, but I think we've both had it with this place and need a change!
I DO know that when I move I sure as hell am not going to work for Starbucks. There's nothing wrong with the company but: 1. Wilmington is the hometown of Port City Java and it would be a slap in Wilmington's face to work for Starbucks (although Wilmington allowed four Starbuckes to open in the area, except in the downtown sector which belongs solely to PCJ), and 2. If I work at a restaurant all summer (in a vacation town, no less) think of the money I'd rake in??
Anyway, that's the plan. I don't even know if we are officially going at this point. But I hope to God we get to! I think its just something I gotta do and if it's meant to be it's meant to be!
In other news, the puppy Lola is growing up so fast! She had some roundworm problems several weeks ago but we got that promptly taken care of and she is better! I freaked out about it sooo much, but now I know that roundworms are the most common problem in puppies and almost all dogs are born with them! We also have been having flea problems with her. Our older Boxer, Bo, doesn't have any fleas on him, and she had large adult fleas living on her. However, she came with fleas when we bought her from Jordan's parents' neighbor. So we bought her some Comfortis today, and I gave it to her and within a few hours all the fleas that had been on her had hopped off and died in the floor. I had to sweep them all up when I got home. I counted ten, but there could have been more! I also brushed her and searched for remaining fleas but found none. I am really excited and I am going to keep her on that stuff so that they don't ever come back to bother her again. I have given the Boxer Comfortis before, and he has done well with it, although he's never had nearly as many fleas on him as I saw on her! It was ridiculous! But I guess with all that hair on her there were plenty of places for them to hide!
Well besides all that, Christmas is coming soon! My friend and I are going shopping tomorrow and also are having a girl's night. I'm excited also because tomorrow is my last exam and I am done for the holidays! I've just been winging my exams. I haven't even sat down to study, not once! However, I feel I have done very good on all the exams I have taken thus far. I already have one final grade back..I made an A- in History of Rock Music! Hells yeah! I'm gonna try to pass my last Bio Psy quiz (he never set up a final..all we did was take quizzes as semester) tomorrow and then I will be done with it all and never have to think about it again!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Masterpiece

The day the Germans thundered into Vienna, Eva Berger was ponderously gazing upon a half-finished painting that she had been working on for nearly three months. To an ordinary person, the painting might have seemed somewhat simple, but hour after hour she stood there, her head crooked to the side, silently debating where to place the right amount of contrast, where to shade, where to center the focal point, what colors to use and mix. It was certainly mind-numbing work, and she felt ill at ease - not to mention she was somewhat distracted by the clamor coming from the streets. Her studio, however stimulating of an atmosphere she had tried to create, was helping little to calm her nerves enough to wield a paintbrush. In her mind’s eye, she was creating the image of a lush landscape with just the stroke of her fingertips - so beautiful and untouched by the ills of this world. Eva and her mother had spent countless summers in the Austrian hinterland, and memories of such unspoiled land inspired her to mostly paint landscapes. However, she was determined to create a masterpiece by portraying Paradise, far superior than any view found in Austria or elsewhere. If only she could be inspired just then!
Her work was finally interrupted by her younger brother Herschel, who whisked her down to the city centre to view the procession of Wehrmacht soldiers flooding the city. Like a tidal wave they poured in, their gunmetal gray uniforms flowing past in a melancholy blur. Their trucks and motorcycles sounded like distant thunder echoing off barren hills, and the planes that whizzed by kept close watch over the scene like vultures. Some people seemed happy to welcome their liberators, their arms raised in a disturbing salute, with wicked smiles spread across their faces. The Germans did not return their enthusiasm per se, but they only stared on, like puppets on strings, without the comedic gestures of an affable children’s puppet show. Herschel jittered uneasily next to his sister, and grabbed for her hand: “Eva,” he said, “What will happen now?”
“I do not know Herschel,” Eva replied. She only knew that war had come to Vienna, but she did not yet know that they were the enemies.
When the Nazis annexed Austria in 1938, the horrors began right away. First, Jews were not allowed to go to certain public places, like a café that Herschel and Eva frequented, the cinema, or the opera house. Even certain parts of the city were shut to them.
And then there were the curfews, the patrolling of streets and the random arrests, the white armband with the blue Star of David that they were forced to wear on their overcoats. Every commodity and privilege they had once known was taken from them. Many Jewish-owned businesses and factories were confiscated and closed, or sold to the highest Aryan bidder. Eva’s one room studio where she worked above an array of both Aryan and Jewish-owned offices, was taken from her, and so she had to relocate her paintings to her uncle’s bakery, where they hung proudly for a short time, until November, when his bakery was destroyed during a Nazi pogrom called Kristallnacht.
Eva, her mother, and her brother would have left the country, but they could not afford to pay for outrageous exit visas. They would have gone into hiding when they learned that Jews were being deported, but they knew no one who would be willing to hide them. When the S.S. came for them in late 1941, the Berger's assumed that the war could not go on much longer, and the Allies would find victory soon. They had much hope for the future, because they did not know anything else.
Herschel, Mrs. Berger and Eva were rounded up with all of the other unfortunate souls and were sent to Theresienstadt. Upon arriving, they found a prison - completely surrounded by fences and walls, and guarded by Nazis and their ferocious dogs. They decided to try to make do with the situation, however difficult, and Eva was able to at least garner some paper and pencils so that she could draw. They worked during the day, and were permitted to their own devices at night. Instead of sleeping, Eva sat awake vigorously drawing by the moonlight. She did not have any variation of colors to work with, but it did not matter since everything about the camp was so very gray. Her drawings were of people, were of the camp, were of the guards…anything she was inspired to record as an image rather than a paragraph, since she hadn’t the mind to keep a diary. Her art is what kept her going. It is what kept her sane.
The Germans attempted to make the prisoners seem like highly privileged inmates to the outsider, but in reality they were very much in suffering. Mrs. Berger grew wretchedly hungry, so hungry that Eva was sure her ribs would burst through her near translucent skin. Herschel returned to his sister and mother day after day warning them of possible deportations to other unknown destinations, many of them in the East. Friends they had made were growing thin as more were selected for transfers. Eva worried that Herschel or her mother would be sent without her, or she would be sent without them.
Mrs. Berger died in late 1942, almost a year after they had arrived. Night after night, and sometimes during the day, Eva plunged herself even further into her drawings. Some mornings she would wake to find that her creation from the night before was nothing more than a dark circle that she had drawn numerous times over and over again, like a black hole. It was the representation of her misery.
Eva knew there were other artists within the camp, and she was witness to some of the many interesting works they had created, all obviously related to life at Theresienstadt. Some of the Czechs called the place Terezin, and they said that “nothing grows in Terezin.” They said, “I do not see birds in Terezin.” They painted and drew pictures, and wrote songs and poems about how life ceases to thrive in Terezin - that they were existing in a lifeless void, awaiting an inescapable fate that would surely come.
In late 1943, Herschel and Eva were sent to Auschwitz. After the grueling train ride to the camp, they arrived under cover of night to the sound of shouting and barking dogs. The siblings were immediately pulled off the car without the chance to grab what little belongings they had brought. Eva tried to hold onto Herschel, but he was torn away from her. She tried to fight her way back to him but the baton of an unseen S.S. guard was bludgeoning her so hard that she had no choice but to turn away and run with the current. She never saw Herschel again.
Instead of being selected to die, Eva was sent to be washed, her head was shaved, her arm tattooed with an identification number and her body sheathed in itchy prison garb. They transferred her to Buna, in another section of Auschwitz, where she would work in a synthetic rubber factory and would live in barracks with other women laborers. She did not have any paper or pencil and had no outlet for her suffering. But she now had a new habit of keeping herself going every day. At night she laid awake, painting imaginary murals upon the otherwise lifeless ceiling and walls. The images were so vivid and the colors were so bright.
As the Red Army drew near in January, 1945, the SS began to move the prisoners, some, like Eva, were sent to other forced labor camps. On one of the coldest days Eva could remember, she was sent back to her birth place of Austria, to the camp Mauthausen, where she served again as forced labor. She was able to secure some paper and a bit of chalk but found that she could not conjure anything to memory - the ideas she had fabricated before her long ordeal at Auschwitz had begun to fade as the days grew longer and her body was growing weaker. All around her, people were starving and dying. It was like a cemetery but the corpses were upright, moving in slow motion. It was a living hell. Even the most beauteous scenes of Paradise could not erase the evil and the misery that Eva witnessed, and she was greatly changed by it.
In May, 1945, Mauthausen was liberated by the Americans. Never before had Eva seen more jubilant sick people. Many of them were so excited they leapt off of their cots and went to welcome to the victors, only to be found a short while later dead from mere exhaustion. By this time, Eva had retired to her barracks indefinitely, waiting for a miracle or death, whichever one came first. Had the Americans been any later, she may have not survived.
After weeks of waiting for any sign of Herschel, she finally received confirmation that he had been killed at Auschwitz upon their arrival from Theresienstadt. She no longer had any family, and for the first time in seven years she wanted to die.
Some months later in Britain, Eva bought a blank canvas, and looked upon it, struggling to remember how she had once envisioned Paradise. But she found that she could not. She knew then that even though art had saved her during those long years of tribulation, it had now passed away and she was left with a story to tell, in speech, in writing, but no longer in paintings or drawings. She was left with a hollow mind in which no liveliness, no color, no hope existed. She wished then that art had never been a part of her life during those years. She wished that she would have been killed, one way or another, because nothing in this world could replace Herschel, her most beloved brother. Eva was alone, and she could not escape loneliness.
She never picked up a paintbrush again.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Wilmington

So here's the deal. I think me and Jordan are moving to Wilmington this upcoming summer. There are several reasons actually. Here's why. I am not liking UNCG like I previously thought I would. It has nothing to do with the school itself per se; my classes are interesting and the instructors are very intelligent and know how to teach. It's not that it's too hard or too easy or what have you, I just don't enjoy the idea that I am going to college in Greensboro, a town that leaves a lot to be desired. I feel like maybe I am selling myself a little short - that I could have a better time elsewhere, and get the full college experience. Even though I live in an apartment I'm still technically "at home" since I've lived here for the past three years already. I'm so tired of this town and even though the campus is very lovely, it all seems a little stagnant to me. These are not very good thoughts to be having my first semester in at UNCG, right? So I want to try to go to UNCW. I think I would like it there (not for the parties, although those can't hurt, right?) but just to have a change in scenery. Plus, I will be at the coast and since I am very much a beach/coastal person I would really dig that. I know I know, I will probably end up hating anywhere I go, especially since my last trip to UNCW left me with a bad taste in my mouth (but maybe that was because I was hanging around my friend who had suddenly changed since she started going there?). However, it can't be any worse than here, y'know? I'm sure there are plenty of decent people there just like there are decent people here and anywhere else you'd go. I'd make friends all the same but it'd be hard starting out, definitely!
Here's the other reason why we're trying to move. Jordan doesn't know if he will be able to finish at UNCG. Since it took him so long to decide what he would major in, he lost valuable time to get in required general credits. So now, his sociology degree is gonna take him at least another two and half years. Ridiculous I know, especially when he has to take shit that has nothing to do with what he wants to do in life. He wants to apply to Wilmington Police Department as soon as they start accepting applications again. If he gets the job, he will start making $34,000 per year, which is $3,000 more than Greensboro. I think he may try to get a Criminal Justice Associates degree, which wouldn't take him nearly as long and as expensive as finishing out his bachelors. As much as I want him too, I don't want him or his parents to just be throwing money away at something while he could technically enter the job force and start making money right away. So if he doesn't get financial aid for the rest of this school year, he said he is not returning for the next year.
We've been talking a lot about what we need to do to prepare for Wilmington. I told him I needed to know what was going on before March 1, because then I would need to submit my application to UNCW, in hopes that they accept my transfer. I would then need to try to transfer to a Wilmington Starbucks and start searching for a house to rent. Jordan would hopefully by then apply to the police force, perhaps hearing back from them in about six months. But we have to wait a couple of months to see what happens before making any hasty decisions!!
I hope it all works out for the best, God willing, of course!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

If I don't get to the beach soon I'm gonna die...

I am a coastal person. I grew up in tidewater VA near many rivers and estuaries. There were awesome seafood places, and even though the beach was far away, at least we had the Chesapeake Bay to give us a hint that we were close to the shore. Seagulls mulling around in parking lots were an everyday sight. Here in Piedmont NC, I don't even see gulls. I have to decorate my house beach-y or nautically theme just to find some relaxation. I go to Red Lobster when I want to feel like I'm sitting at an overpriced seafood joint on vacation. It sucks. I have to be near the coast. I have to!
Ugh..
In other news, I'm still enjoying myself in school. It's fun, mostly, except when I have to study. I'm not behind in any class, and I'm making good grades. I kind of slacked off this past week in Bio Psy by not reading all of the chapter and consequentially bombing the quiz (I think) unless I just got lucky and picked all the right answers at random. That would be amazing. I'm not too worried about it. I have a Hinduism test tomorrow; boy that's gonna be a blast!
Anyway, so I'm pretty sure, like 99.9% sure I'm transferring to another SBUX. I sent the request in on Monday, and haven't heard anything yet, but the other manager pretty much said she could take me on her crew. So hopefully there will be NO MORE MALL for me! Woot! But we will have to see what happens with it in the next week. If they deny me I will cry! And scream!
I guess that's all right now. I'm not in the best mood right now. I'll write more when I am in a good mood.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

It's Getting Easier

Every time I ride my bike to school it gets easier. It takes me less and less time, and I don't get so winded when I am going up big hills. Today it took me 15 minutes, which is not bad. The things that suck about riding it (and what I really dread) is 1. Fear of running over people walking at UNCG - They just won't get out of the way, not for anything. It's really annoying when you are trying to ride and you have to keep riding around the people because they will just keep coming at you. I have told some people to get out of the way already, and even held my tongue a couple of times when I was about to yell out "You morons!" They don't just walk in straight lines, they walk every which damn way - diagonally, horizontally, backwards, frontwards, goofy footed, you name it.
2. I hate hills. Period.
3. I hate being sweaty and worn out. Fortunately, today it was cold outside so I didn't sweat but this afternoon might be worse.
I assume as I go along it will become much easier on me than it is now, and that I will probably prefer it to be my method of transportation, since I'm trying to lose weight.
I know that I have lost inches off of my waist, because I was able to squeeze my butt into some flared jeans I hadn't been able to wear in a loooong time!
Finally, Bo, my boxer dog, is coming to live with us soon, when I can pay the security deposit to have him! I'm really excited about it. He stayed with us for four days this week and he seemed happy (other than he didn't eat that much) but I think after he stays a while he will get used to it. Well anyway, I believe that's it for now!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Oh la la

Well school has started and it's been about as hectic as I had imagined. Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays I have only two classes, with a break in between, during which I go to my awesome work-study job (which is where I am at this exact moment - on the internet!), and on tuesdays and thursdays I have my work-study job first thing, then three classes! It's hard to get to Starbucks after school, especially since I am either biking, walking, or waiting for the HEAT bus to pick me up. I think the fastest way to get home right now is to ride the bike, but I get so tired and it's been seriously hot outside, so I am going to wait until it gets cooler before I make the bike my primary transportation. The thing is, I really don't want to make my availability at Starbucks any later than it is now. If so, I may lose hours per week. I'm sure everyone is going through this too: I think Ryan said his Starbucks in Chicago closed at like 8pm, so that makes it harder to get hours. Sometimes, I wish we closed later, but then again, I don't want to be up so late. Getting enough sleep is scarce now.
My instructors are pretty good, and all they assign is reading (which, by the way, I am NOT so good at, because it bores me to death and they usually assign like 50 pages to read!)
On a happier note, I got a haircut! It's just above my shoulders and it is super cute! I will take a picture and put it up on facebook soon. It's probably one of the cuter haircuts I've had.

Okay, I'm going to put up something now that I will do with every post. It's sort of a way to document the phases I go through, like music, movies, fashion style, etc. Just random things that I like at the time, (or continue to like) or discovered that I like. I don't know what to call this section of my blog, but perhaps I should call it: Theresa's Findings and Phases. I will seek out a better title soon, if I can think of one. Perhaps someone can give me a few ideas?

Theresa's Findings and Phases

Entertainment:

Music: Yo La Tengo
Songs to Download from this amazing group right now are:
The Summer - quirky guitar part
Autumn Sweater - awesome drum beat
They sort of remind me of some kind of European trance/discotecque group, with indie pop thrown in the mix. They are just amazing, and really chill, with cool technology induced sounds and beats.

GO SEE GO SEE GO SEE!: Inglourious Basterds, Quentin Tarantino film, starring Brad Pitt, Melanie Laurent, Diane Kruger, Eli Roth. Amazing and hilarious movie. The acting was superb, the writing - magnifique! It's a movie I want to see again (and again and again and again).
Television: True Blood This series gets the blood pumping if you know what I mean. Where will you find me Sunday evening? At home, watching what Bill, Sookie, Eric, Tara and Sam will do next!

Fashion:

High waisted skirt dress (I think that's what it's called)

They are so cute. I just want one!




That's it for now, unless I think of something else. Thanks for reading!




Tuesday, July 28, 2009

4 days until moving day!

Well I only have four more sleeps in my aunt's house and then we are moving into our new apartment. I'm really excited but a little apprehensive. It's my first place, and I'm just worried about all the rapid changes, but I know it'll be for the better!
I've been packing stuff up all day long, and Jordan and I spray painted a little newspaper stand/end table. We started with white, then allowed it to dry. We then bought stencils of palm trees and taped it to the table and began painting with acryllic colors. It looks really good! I really like to paint (even though I'm not the greatest painter ever!). It helps take the stress off, and makes me feel good about something I've created. Jordan likes it too!




It looks so good!

Friday, July 24, 2009

WE GOT AN APARTMENT!

Two good things have happened since I last wrote (before White Lake). Jordan and I got back together after spending some time apart, and we found that having our own space for a while really did our relationship good. We now know that we don't have to be together 24/7 to be "together," but we enjoy the time that we also get to spend by ourselves doing other things, or with our own friends. I'm really happy and I just have a fresh outlook on our life together..it feels brand new, yet we have such a wonderful history together with many precious memories! So we continue to write new exciting chapters! Like getting an apartment!
Today we signed the lease for our apartment! It's not the same one I was talking about before. We got a better deal on this one. It's on Spring Garden St. and is a 2 br/ 1 bath with a medium sized kitchen and a VERY large living room. The living room is so large I don't know what we would do with half of it. The best part about it is that cable, electricity, and water are all included in the rent, and we split everything 50/50. We signed separate leases too! And it's total electric, which means no gas heat! Our bedrooms are medium sized, and I'm going to put a twin bed in mine, and Jordan is putting his full sized bed in his. He gave me the bedroom with the largest closets, I guess because I'm a girl! It's going to be nice having our own rooms to go to, and at any rate it makes the apartment seem bigger! The good news is that we have either been given or already had most of the stuff needed to make our apartment a home. We are going to buy various things, but are being given a kitchen table and chairs, recliner, microwave, coffee and end tables, lamps, dressers, toaster, pots and pans, plates, bowls, and other things we might need. Jordan and I went today to Walmart and bought silverware, a pizza pan, a trash can and some cups. All we need now is a sofa, a TV stand, some more lamps and I need a twin bed and mattress. Jordan might buy a new mattress, I'm not sure yet. We are going to an estate auction tomorrow so we might pick up a few things for cheap. Then we are going to Dollar General to get some cleaning supplies on the cheapside.
Well we get the keys next friday and move in next Saturday. I'm so excited but I got the daunting tasks of going through everything in my room and throwing out things I don't need and packing up stuff I do need. I have to work next Saturday night so I'm moving my things in in the morning, and Jordan gets works Saturday morning, and will move his things that afternoon. So by Saturday night we should be sleeping in our new home!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Taking a break from packing..and thinking...

Well, I'm packing up for my week long vacation to White Lake, and I feel a little overwhelmed. I'm pretty sure I'm going to forget something. Sigh, happens everytime, but I'll make sure I don't forget money at least! I got most of my packing done, now I am just deciding what leisure items I want to take with me ie: books, music, guitar, etc. I think I will more than likely take Maja (the acoustic guitar). I was thinking about taking B.B. (AKA Black and Beautiful, my electric) and Fred the Amp, but I will probably leave them at home because I'm sure everyone wouldn't quite appreciate the noise, both the folks in our house and the entire neighborhood! I WISH I COULD TAKE THE BIKE! But alas I do not have a bike rack and I would probably not ride it once I got down there anyway! I'll be too busy loafing around. Next year, when I get a new bike, hopefully I'll bring it with me (if I go to WL next year, that is..).
On to other news. My best friend has decided to be my roommate so now we are looking for a place next to the school to rent out. I'm psyched it's him, mostly because he's my best friend and I can trust him. I think he is happy about it too, because finding a roommate is hard work, and both of us really wouldn't feel comfortable living with strangers (at least I wouldn't). So we're gonna try it for a year and see where we end up.
The other day we were at UNCG and walking up and down the streets near the school, and found a house that had a 2-3 bedroom apartment in the upstairs with ALL UTILITIES INCLUDED. This means electric, gas, water, high speed internet, washer/dryer on site, and cable are all included in the price. So I called the number on the sign and the guy answered and started telling me about the property. Only thing is, its $900/month! So basically, $450 each. Which is not exactly what I wanted to pay, but when I started thinking about it, that's what I will end up paying each month anyway, regardless of where I live. The lowest rent you can find in the area is probably around $350, and that is not including what you would pay in regards to utilities. The problem with having your rent and utilities separate is many times you have to deal with the power companies and other utility companies on your own. It's just less of a hassle if you write one check a month. The landlord also seemed pretty cool. He talked to me for the longest time! He said that we could actually fit another person in there, so my friend is thinking about asking his friend if he wants to go in with us. Then it would be $300 each. And that is a f**king STEAL!!! The landlord said that we can paint the walls any color we want and just as long as we aren't disruptive, he wants us to enjoy being in college. And the location could not be any better. You literally take 10 steps off the front porch and you are on campus!! So I told the guy we would get in touch with him sometime this next week, and that we would like to come see it after we get back from White Lake. I just pray to God no one snatches up the apartment before then. It's not even on Craigslist (I checked) so hopefully not too many people are looking on McIver st. for a house! I will keep my fingers crossed though! We both have a good feeling about it, now we just need to see the inside, and learn if there is an application fee/security deposit, and if I can possibly adopt a cat!
Another thing, I am trying to get transferred to the Shoppes at Battleground Starbucks store! I went up there the other day to get a drink, and the girl remembered me from last time (when I asked the manager if she was accepting transfers) and she told me to call ASAP, because a girl had just quit. So I called yesterday, and the manager said it was a possibility but that she couldn't talk about it right at that moment, and asked me to called back on Monday. So I'm going to call Monday morning and talk to her. This is the closest store to the McIver st. apartment at only 1.8 miles, and I have several routes I can take if I want to bike up there. I was suprised to see the mall was 5 miles away! I never thought it was that far from UNCG. But I am praying and hoping that she accepts me, if not now than hopefully keep me in mind for the future should she need to hire anyone. If I'm going to live on McIver, I need to be making more money and need more hours, and the mall's hours just don't cut it, son!
So that's all that's been going on lately. I'm glad I'm going on vacation, but I just wish it was a week later so I can see what's going to happen with the apartment and with Starbucks. But no need to rush into things just yet, I suppose! I will just try to relax and keep praying, cause I know something good is going to come to me. It has to, sooner or later, right? I hope so!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Jesus Christo

So it's less than a week until my big vacation to White Lake, NC, which is a natural lake near the coast. Last week was the slowest week ever, and this one will probably go even slower. What sucks the most is that before I go down, I have to get a few things taken care of, including getting my car serviced and inspected. The engine light is on for some crazy reason. I checked the oil, and we put water in the radiator, but still the light is on, so I have to take it to the shop to see what's wrong with it. They won't inspect the car unless that light goes off, which sucks because that's what I need to get done before we leave for vacation. If it's something serious that's going to cost big bucks, I'm going to have to wait until after White Lake, which means the car is getting left at home and I'll hitch a ride with someone else. That part would really blow because I like to have my own car down there so that I can come and go as I please, and don't have to wait on everyone else. I also like to go down to Wilmington and the beach at least once, since it's only 45 minutes away. But whatever is wrong with my car, I doubt it's very serious, otherwise, the car would have broken down or something. The light's purpose is to just warn the driver that certain fluids need to be checked. We'll see what happens tomorrow though.
Also I have to call my insurance agent. I was supposed to drop my full coverage and just have liability, but the insurance company hasn't complied with that yet. They sent me the bill anyway. What happened was the monthly payments are way too high and I can't afford it anymore. Plus, if I move close to UNCG, I won't need a car as badly and I can just ride my bike to most places I need to go. So the need for full coverage will be less relevant. I will probably get insurance on my bike though! But what is that? Like $5 a month? ;) So I got to get that taken care of (once again). It really is a pain in the ass.
Other than that, I am so bored! I pretty much worked every single day this week, and actually have worked everyday since last Friday (not this past Friday but the one before that! Eight days straight!) so I always had somewhere to be during the day. This is my first day off and with absolutely nowhere to be - what do I do with myself?! It's a weird feeling! I can't really go out to eat or anything like that because I'm saving money for White Lake ($160 plus $77 to board my dog at a kennel for a week!), and also whatever I need to get done to my car, plus gas. All I do really is just get online, or play guitar, or come up with songs, or watch television or lounge around. I like to ride the bike too, but sometimes its entirely too hot to go outside. Lately it's been decent, so I may ride today. All I wish for, however, is an EMPTY house! Think of how relaxing that would be!
I've really just been a homebody lately. I like to go and hang with friends you know, but I've been a little socially shy lately. I also am starting to feel like crap, but I should feel better next week. I only really look forward to having band practice with Turtle Paw and playing music, and of course going away for a week. I'm also looking forward to school starting up in the fall. I'm pretty apprehensive about it, and although I have a good idea what to expect (this is my third year in college) I'm still worried about how I am going to manage getting to all my classes on time and managing school work with my job. I will also have a work study job, so I have to factor that into my schedule. I honestly won't be able to find time for anything else! So that's what I'm worried about mostly.
Now, on the topic of moving. I need to figure out what I am going to do by August. Am I going to stay at home at Jean's house, and commute to school, probably leaving the house earlier than usual to find a parking space, and also spending tons of money on gas? Or am I going to move close to the school and spend tons of money on rent and bills? But get to bike to school? What's it gonna be. Both options are equally expensive and equally inconvenient. It's a tough decision to make!
But I will try to think about that stuff when I get back! Right now I just have to keep myself entertained and get my car stuff worked out, both insurance and the issue with the engine light. And I have to tell myself that things will get better! I just have to keep my head up!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Conformity Is In

Women want a hero,
Men want a movie star,
Nobody wants to be a zero,
Nobody's happy the way they are.

Women want to look younger,
Spend thousands on surgery and creams,
Men want to look stronger,
Outdo each other, even on the same teams.

Not many men look like Clooney,
Not many women look like Gisele,
We're living in the movies,
Reveal a secret, and someone will tell.

Everyone has to be a liar,
the liar is the one you trust now,
"Does this make me look fatter?"
"No dear, you don't look like a cow."

Turn on the television, let's see,
what lessons we can learn today,
Everybody is better than me,
Everybody's got to be one way.

So let's knock the absurd notion,
of being an individual person,
one day they'll make a magic potion,
so we can all enjoy being the same.

Am I not the right size?
Oh damn it must be a sin!
Am I not buying into these lies?
Conformity is in!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

In the Cemetery at St. John's

People gather, whispering,
the rain drops fall,
someone's cellphone ringing,
isn't natural at all,
I'm not surprised,
so many familiar faces here,
the dead and the alive,
not a scowl not a tear,
you forced me to be sincere,
sincerity at its best,
I try to appear,
I mirror the rest,
the memories I carry,
in my slightly affected heart,
linger over me as they bury,
the dead, forced to depart,
the names, the dates,
the lonely prayers, the stones,
we are summoned to wait,
in the meadow of bones.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Music in the City

The night falls.
A baby awakes.
Down two flights.
A mother sings.

The blinds are uneven.
You're just the same.
Your favorite song is playing,
With the roar of the subway train.

And he's all alone,
in a beat-up hotel room,
He's given his money,
to the sirens of the night.

The man in the lobby,
Floats up to the 2nd floor.
His eyes remain empty.
His heart remains torn.

You cannot ignore
the face in the mirror.
Someday you'll say
It wasn't you at all.

Come to my place.
I'll tell you the truth.
Life moves on slowly,
But you stay just the same.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Spanish Moss



Here beneath the spanish moss,
in the shade of cypress trees,
the ship I made out of popsicle sticks,
is ready to claim the high seas.

There's a boat cruising along,
somewhere out on the misty lake,
the storm has come and gone,
and calm has taken it's place.

I fear I may sink my boat,
How many popsicle sticks does it take,
to keep her afloat,
upon the purple lake?

The night grows near,
the sun sets with ease,
the scent of mixed drinks and beer,
dances on the breeze.

Finally the twilight hush,
the people get off their feet,
forgetting the work week rush,
and enjoy their company and eat.

This is all we can afford,
but we love this place,
all the boats are moored,
the water becomes still on the lake.

Faintly music floats,
in on the summer wind,
and laughter along with the notes,
come from another pier.

We happily sit on the dock,
and admire the stars,
that reflect in the lake water,
and feel so small, and yet so glad.






I'm working on setting this to music....


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Speechless

I cannot speak for fear
you in your highest place can
with the sway of your hand
pass me by without a glance
as if you hadn't for years
been so kind and so warm
perhaps you were only leading me on
I do not know what strength
it would require to speak freely,
as my heart begs, my mind warns
if you were to deny me
I would retreat to my own place
and would later emerge the same girl
but one who guards her heart
more carefully than before
I'd rather remain speechless
and dream and dream, the perfect
scenes belonging to the realm of
slumber; a place where everything
goes my way, and nightmares only
occur by day,
I shall never know, but it is better
not to know; perhaps knowing
will crack the mirror and rip the seams
You are perfect in your
unattainable state,
as I continue to love you from afar.

-Theresa Mattiello

Monday, June 1, 2009

Lately

I've been complaining a lot about my job and I probably need to shut up because there are plenty of people who would love to have my job. I think that I just have low tolerance for stupid and angry people. Although I would generally prefer to transfer to another store, I'm still going to run into stupid, angry people...And the hours thing is an issue at almost every store, so anyway I look at it, things will be equally bad...or equally good...but nevermind the silly squabble about my job...
What I am most excited about right now is starting school at UNCG. I know that classes just ended and I should be enjoying the time I have off right now, but its going to be exciting to start up at a new school with new faces.
I also have sort of a plan for when I am finished with college in a few years. I really want to try to look into the Peace Corps. I was at Katie's house the other day and she was showing me a booklet that had all of the PC programs that I could get into depending on my major and experience. I could do something within all sectors, but I am mostly interested in either Education, Agriculture, or Environmental Awareness...Then after the Peace Corps I was thinking maybe look into working for cruise lines??? My plan of course isn't definite (nothing ever is at my age) but I think these are good options since the economy might still be struggling when I graduate, not to mention I want to do a lot of traveling, A LOT of traveling, when I get out of college. The Peace Corps will allow me to connect to people in another country. It's an amazing experience to submerge yourself into an entirely different culture, I know...I went to the Philippines when I was 16 and had the biggest culture shock of my life, but I also did a lot of maturing in that period of time. It's definately worth it...you don't look at the US or yourself or the life you had ever again. Things change dramatically, but in a good way. You become more humble and understanding of others, especially in third world and developing countries, where people do not have the things we take for granted everyday!
At any rate, I just need to breathe and take every day at a time, and not try to get so worked up over trivial incidents at work or at home, because that stuff doesn't matter in the long run!

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Quest for Canada


I have a yearning; I want to go north where the air is cold and crisp, and in the summer is humid but not hot. I want to go to a place where sight will replace mystery, for mystery is all it ever seems to be. I want to see the wild as if I were the only person left to roam on earth, I want to sway to the music beating through me. The vast wilderness ahead of me, as I scan city lights. A large tower before me, and the people saying "EH!" around me. Gorgeous men with hockey sticks and furry countenances. A taste of Europe but still on the same continent. Speak textbook french with people that I do not understand (and I doubt they understand me), get caught up in Indian names, for rivers, for peaks, for landscapes, for lakes, for towns. Open my mind up for adventure, and leave all else behind. Be serenaded by the owls at night, and hear the percussion of water as it falls into the misty unknown. Swim in the Great Lakes, soar over mountains like an eagle, and only right over the border, between here and there. I will be gone but not too far away. I want to go north where the ice melts halfway in May, and returns again in September. I want to feel cold like no other, and never feel it again. I want to build a fire, and watch the auroras dance in the sky, while the wolf howls and the snow softly falls. Behind me is the United States of America, set in her ways, before me, is nothing, pure and true. And I want to go there before I die.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Updates on Life, Goals, Future, Everything

Well as many of you know I will be going to UNCG next semester, and getting my college education out the of way before I start my long and (hopefully) interesting life. I have no earthly idea what I will do after I graduate, but I really want to travel for a while, or do something completely spontaneous. Perhaps I will do something with the Peace Corps, like my good friend Katie, perhaps I will get a writing internship somewhere, or I will move to Wilmington and start life fresh and get some job doing kayak tours on the intercoastal waterway. Who knows? I can't be worried about what course my life will take after school because there's a million and one possibilities, and if I even pretend to have a clue what I will be doing, I'll be misleading myself. I must keep an open mind about everything.

Right now, however, I have found myself in a rut. I'm not making enough money at my current job to afford to live on my own, so I am still at my aunt's house, which is nice for the time being, but I am going to need to figure out something soon. I'm 20 and I need to be on my own so I know what it is really like being an adult. I asked my manager today if she would consider promoting me, and she said, "it won't be right away, but maybe in three or four months" even though we are losing two shift supervisors in the next couple of months. So I don't know what's going to happen. I really need to get another job if I can't get promoted. But I cannot just work anywhere, it has to be a place that would fit well within my school schedule.

Overall, I'm just getting fed up with the types of personalities I have to deal with on a day to day basis, both at work and at home, and pretty much everywhere I go. At Starbucks we have the absolute worse customers ever. Many of them are ignorant, impatient, and downright mean, although we do have some nice ones that show up every now and then. Working with the public really blows though, and it affects us employees too. While most of us that work together are awesome friends outside of work, when we're at work, things can get a little hectic at times. Mostly I am just tired of people gossiping behind each others' backs and always having ulterior motives against others. Not everyone, but some. And our manager really is oblivious to a lot of the stuff that goes on. She fails to reprimand anyone.

And I'm tired of having to deal with my family's issues and quarrels. My mother has caused quite an uproar amongst my aunts and cousins, and I'm really ashamed to say she's my mother sometimes. She's a prescription drug addict, first of all, so she hasn't been right in her mind for a while, and she's just so ignorant. But I really stopped caring about her a long time ago, when she stopped caring about her children. It's always been about her. So my family is urging me to have her committed, but I do not think its my responsibility. The woman will only change when she wants to change.

On a good note, I'm learning to play to banjo, and have already learned to pick the song "Red River Valley." I play it clawhammer style, because the bluegrass styles are entirely too difficult! Jeremiah's banjo is really cool, and I will have to ask him how much he got it for, and where I could get one just like it. I think I could learn to really do this. It seems simple enough. You pick the notes for the song, and use a pattern to make it have a melody. I guess the same goes for guitar, but I haven't practiced much picking notes on guitar yet. Perhaps banjo will help me become better on guitar?

I have also brough my violin out again, and tuned it. It may be a little flat, but I have been playing a little and so far so good! I also wrote a few songs, and put them to guitar and recorded them on Jeremiah's tape recorder. Hopefully we can work on adding some other instruments to the mix (including banjo?) so that maybe I will have my first ep album?? We will have to see!

I've also registered for fall classes. I am taking Non-Western Religions, American Authors Colonial-Romantic, History of Rock Music, Cultural Anthropology, and Biological Psychology. Sure hope they are good classes!

Well I am really sad that Katie Caldwell is leaving for Africa on June 2, but at the same time I'm so happy for her, and I know it will change her life, and she will really make a difference in someone else's life! I haven't known Katie that long, but it doesn't matter, she's an awesome friend and she's going to be missed dearly!

Well I will just have to keep telling myself that this summer I am going to have a good time, despite any worries that I still harbor in my mind. I'm going to learn the banjo, jam with Turtle Paw, go to White Lake, camp out on the beach, hang with friends and just thoroughly enjoy myself!


Monday, May 18, 2009

Bayou d'Etienne


Bayou d'Etienne: A Short Story

My 14th birthday present from Aunt Pauline came by way of my cousin Henry St. Clair who lived in the next parish near Bayou d'Etienne. Aunt Pauline often sent someone else along - anybody she could find, in this case Henry St. Clair, her nephew - to pass along news and letters and presents, since she rarely left her home. I hadn't seen her in a few months myself.

The present was wrapped in shiny purple paper, reminiscent of the Mardi Gras season, and was further concealed in a tiny chestnut box that I found quite appealing. Inside was a small silver brooch and in the inset of this brooch was a white silhouette of a young woman on a black background. It was a nice and rather unexpected gift from Aunt Pauline, and I am sure I had never received anything like that from her before. I placed it upon my chest of drawers, and it looked quite elegant there propped up on the chestnut box in which it had come.

I retrieved a thank-you note; I had a box of them, all framed by gold filigree and printed on heavy parchment paper. I hoped to send the note back to my aunt's house with Henry St. Clair, who was lingering outside talking with my older brother Jerome, no doubt about the upcoming summer vacation. It was only April, but it was sweltering hot and we felt like we should already be out of school and down at the river cooling off. I wiped perspiration from my forehead as I penned a simple note to my Aunt Pauline.

I slipped the note into its proper envelope, licked the edges and sealed it, and then went to hand it off to my cousin. When I got out to the porch, Henry had gone, and Jerome was in the yard playing fetch with the dog.

"Henry go home?" I asked him, despite the obvious.
"Yeah."
"I wanted him to take this to Pauline."
"Well he's gone, Noelle, can't you see?"
"Well, I guess I will go down there today and thank her in person."
"Why?" Jerome asked, giving me a puzzled look.
"Because she sent me a really nice gift and you're supposed to thank people when they give you things."
"You're not going all the way down there," Jerome said.
"Yes I am, and you're comin' with me."
"No I ain't," he spat.
"Yes you are. Come on. We won't stay long."

Jerome was hesitant but I knew as soon as he saw how serious I was about going he'd come along too. He wasn't going to let me roam around town by myself.
We got our bikes out of Daddy's shed and started down the road that went all the way to Bayou d'Etienne, about three or four miles south.

Like my brother, I particularly did not want to go, but Southern girls always thanked people for gifts or acts of kindness or otherwise. I could have simply mailed her the card, but that seemed rather pointless since the card would be postmarked Bayou d'Etienne and sent to her address within the same town. Also, our mother had been hounding Jerome and I for months to go down and see our eldest aunt, so it seemed like an appropriate time.

My mother went down there about once or twice a week to visit with her half-sister, although Pauline never made the effort to visit our home. She was twelve years older than Mama, but if you stood the two sisters next to each other, they appeared thirty years apart. After all, Mama had always looked so young, as if she routinely bathed in the Fountain of Youth, and Pauline; well, Pauline was certainly not haggard looking (she always seemed to keep up appearances in public) but she had never been particularly attractive either, and her hair had been turning rapidly gray in recent years.

She kept to herself mostly but did attend church every Sunday and sometimes on Wednesday nights. She was either a born-again Baptist or Evangelist, I could never be sure which, and most of her conversations with others were about the fires of Hell, and how the devil himself lurked everywhere, especially down in Bayou d'Etienne, where there were several bars and what she called "hoochie coochies," frequented mostly, or so she claimed, by Catholics. We were Catholic however - my family and I - so when we went to see her we were often offended at her claim that we were subscribing to the "wrong religion." Sometimes when we were walking out of mass at St. Bernadette's we'd see her roll by in her father's banana-colored Cadillac, and she'd honk her horn and tell us she was going to the Promised Land, and we'd better hop in quick to save our souls.

She often said terrible things about our Parish priest Father Devereux, naming his shameful antics outside of the church doors that she herself had witnessed. There was never any proof or justification for anything she ever said. "And to think you tell that man your sins every week in a box!" She'd often say hatefully. Mama told us she said these things because she was getting more spiteful with age. It was Mama's best attempt at excusing her sister's shortcomings.

She lived at the very edge of Bayou d'Etienne town limits in a big old house that was starting to sink in with age. The outside looked downright terrible, but she kept the inside decent enough, despite the mounds of junk she stowed away, making some rooms inaccessible. We dropped our bikes next to the porch overgrown with weeds. "Let's make this quick," Jerome said.

Aunt Pauline met us at the door. She unlatched the storm door that had been locked from the inside and opened it just wide enough so that we could slide in.
"Come on in," she said with a sigh as if we were selfishly taking up her time.

Inside we found a horrifically cluttered hallway. There were paintings propped up along the walls, dust clouding their images. There were hats and coats and other clothes resting on the stairs, and a large grandfather clock stood ticking furiously, but displaying the wrong time. Whatever pictures or mirrors she had hanging on the wall had been removed, leaving behind their ghostly impressions on the stained wallpaper. The floor creaked loudly, and was probably starting to rot under her runners and carpets. There was a strong odor of cat urine, and as I took a quick peek into the kitchen I spotted black ants crawling all over the the countertops and the stove.

We were afraid to touch anything as we mechanically followed Pauline into her parlor. She told us to sit down, and we looked around for a place to sit where we wouldn't be on top of old clothes or sleeping cats.

"Your mama said y'all might come down," Pauline began, sitting down into an Edwardian style armchair, a once nice piece of furniture but was now torn up by cats' claws. Pauline was wearing a dress and shoes, as if she had just been ready to go out. But we knew she wouldn't be going anywhere today. It was not Sunday and it was a rare occasion that she went out into town except to get some things from the grocery store. She was as skinny as a rail. Her hair was long and curly, and steel colored strands were starting to conquer its original auburn hue.

"Are you both doin' alright in school?" she asked us.
"Yes ma'am," we both said.
"Well, good. You know, I wasn't lucky enough to stay in school. My father got sick and I had to help Mama take care of him. And I just never went back. But it was better. I couldn't stand Sister Mary Agnes..."
We stayed quiet and waited for her to go on, but she didn't, so Jerome said:
"It sure is musty in here, Aunt Pauline."
"You think so?" She replied, "I always thought it was quite airy myself."
I shifted in my seat. Her small talk was making me nervous.

"I remember," she continued, her voice slicing the still air like a knife. "I remember when Father Henry Canton came to give my daddy his last rites. Well, my Daddy was a Catholic after all," she said, a hint of disdain lingering in her voice. "And you know that priest said the same thing to me? 'It's quite musty in this living room' he had the nerve to tell me. As if my home was not good enough for him. The air was not quite good enough. It was too stale for his own Catholic taste. Stale like their wafers. Humph!"

Jerome glared at her. 'Don't say anything,' I said to him in my mind. He remained silent, as the old woman went on.
"At any rate, no one comes down here to see me anymore. I'm forgotten most days."

I cleared my throat awkwardly, and did not know how to respond to such a statement.
"Well I wouldn't visit me either," she said sadly, "Your mama comes down here at least once a week. To see if I'm still breathing I reckon. Though, I feel sorry for her."
"Why?" I asked.
"Oh...well," she paused, "No. I shouldn't talk about that sort of stuff around you two."
"Mama's happy," Jerome said abruptly, sounding more like a grown man than a 16 year old boy, "We're all very happy."
"Mais oui, I'm certain you are, but you do not know everything that goes on."
"Like what?" I asked.
Pauline shrugged and looked at us with a glint in her eye like she knew something that we did not.
"It's unfortunate that you two are now old enough to notice these things, and yet you turn a blind eye to it. You see what you wanna see. But the truth is what unbinds you."
"You're talkin' in riddles," Jerome said.
"You haven't wondered what's been bothering your mother lately, Noelle?"
"Mama is happy," Jerome said again. I looked from my brother to Pauline and back to my brother again. I realized that they both knew something I did not.
"You know that she is not, Jerome. How could anybody be happy after that?"
"You're talkin' nonsense again like you always do," Jerome said.
"What's going on?" I asked, my voice quavering. Pauline looked at me, her mouth open like she was about to say something, but held back.
"Nothing Noelle," Jerome said quickly, "C'mon, let's get back to the house."
"Your Daddy is a cheater, Noelle," Pauline said, "He's a lying cheater."
"Pauline, you stop that!" Jerome cried, his finger in her face as she sat there, her bony legs crossed, her wrinkled mouth pursed into a straight line.
"What?" I grasped onto my skirt, and struggled to comprehend what was quickly unfolding before me. I looked at Jerome. His face was flushed and his eyes glistened with stubborn tears. I tried to look for reassurance in him - Pauline was just talking foolishly, as she always did - but he glared at her as if she had betrayed him.
"I said c'mon," Jerome turned to me. He grabbed my elbow and began leading me towards the hall.
I refused to go and stood over Pauline, "How could you say any of that!? You're lying and I know it! Tell her Jerome! She's lying!"
"No, darling. You ask your brother. He caught him in the act."
Jerome's face was redder than a beet. "Goddamit, you always have to ruin everything!" He said viciously through clenched teeth.
"The girl deserves to know," Pauline leapt from her chair and stood erect. She was proud of what she had done.
Jerome wouldn't let go of my arm. I began to cry.
"I'll bet you've told God and everyone by now," he said. "You can't keep nothin' to yourself."
"I knew what he was up to," Pauline said, "I saw him down there. He was in them bars. Mon Dieu! What was I supposed to do? I told your Mama so that she'd know him for who he really was."
"You're lying," I heard myself saw again, "Why would you say that about my Daddy? All you do is lie and the devil hates liars."
"Your Daddy is the liar. Ton pere est le diable!" She said hatefully.

I jerked myself away from my brother's grasp and rushed quickly by her, shoving her out of my path with my elbow. Pauline went tumbling to the floor, and her head caught the edge of the coffee table.
"Jesus Noelle!" Jerome hollered as I got to the front door. I stood on the threshold, holding the storm door half open as I listened for sounds coming from my aunt. She was silent, and I turned slowly to see Jerome standing over her, and calling to her, imploring her to wake up.
"Jerome, is she alright?"
"I don't know, "Jerome bent down over her and listened for breathing.
"Jerome!" I cried, hot tears coming quickly to my eyes as I rushed back into the living room,
"Well, is she alright?"
"She ain't breathin'," he said. My eyes wandered all over the darkening room in desperation. The sun was setting and the shadows had begun to grow along the walls. I quietly prayed she wasn't dead.
"Cut on some lights in here," Jerome ordered and with shaking hands I managed to turn on a lamp next to the sofa. He bent over her and listened to her heart.
"Nothing," he said. He looked up at me with his sorrowful gray eyes, "I think she's dead."
"Oh God no!" I cried and collapsed onto the floor next to her. I heaved wretched sobs, nearly choking myself in grief and fear. I had killed my Aunt.
"It was an accident," Jerome said quietly. "It was just an accident."
I could not breathe. My stomach churned and my skin crawled.
"I'm gonna call an ambulance," Jerome said, his voice far away, "And I will tell them that she fell. And we found her this way."
"I killed her!" I cried frantically. I couldn't get a hold of myself, "I killed her and I will have to pay for it!"
Jerome came to me and began to shake me by the shoulders, "Shut up Noelle, shut up! It was an accident, you hear me?"

He went for the phone in the kitchen. I heard him wind the rotary for the operator. I sat still on the floor, my legs folded beneath me, my arms hugging my waist. I looked over Pauline who lied there motionless. Her head was turned away from me, and her bony body was twisted grotesquely in the opposite direction. I had never seen a dead person before but I had not imagined it would look like this. She appeared as though she were merely asleep, but I dared not touch her.

Jerome and I waited quietly on the front porch. I stood leaning on a chipped pillar, my eyes all swollen with tears.
"Now, when they get here, don't you say anything. I'll take care of it," he said.
I did not reply, but listened to the crickets' loud refrain and the bullfrogs bellowing and the poule d'eaus barking as they flew over the bayou. They were all witnesses to the truth, but could never speak of it. The truth was unbearable.
The idea that my father had cheated still weighed so heavily on my soul, despite what had happened to Pauline. I could not fathom it; my father, who was so loving towards us and who worked so hard to see us through all the good times and bad, who seemed to adore my mother, was a cheater. How could that be possible?
"Jerome," I said finally after what had seemed like an eternity, "Is it true?"
Jerome didn't answer at first, but he finally said, "Yes. It is true."
I began to sob again. Pauline had for once told the truth, and I had refused to believe her.

"Mama and I had noticed he didn't come home right after work some nights," Jerome said, steadily, "And then Pauline told Mama she saw Daddy down in Bayou d'Etienne one night as she was leaving church. You know nothing escaped that woman's eyes. So one night Mama made me go into town to try to find him, while you were asleep. That was the same night we told you he was down at Uncle Ben's helping him fix his truck."
"Did you find him?" I asked, already assuming what the answer would be.
"Yes. I looked all over and finally found his truck down near the river. And he was in it, with a woman. I did not confront him. I went home. Mama wouldn't leave me alone. She knew I had found him but I tried to pretend like I hadn't seen him. But she pried it out of me. And then she must have told Pauline. And...damn it, that woman couldn't keep her mouth shut! We wanted to keep it from you as long as we could. I know how much you adore Daddy."
"What's Mama gonna do?" I asked. I turned to see that my brother was sitting on the steps, looking out over the muddy front lawn overgrown with kudzu vines and weeds.
"Nothing. She ain't gonna do nothing, Noelle. What can she do? It's better if she never knew what he was doin in the first place."
"The truth is what unbinds you."
"So they say."

I sat down next to him and laid my head on his shoulder. I felt like crying, but knew that I couldn't. Everything had fallen apart right in front of me, in such a short time. My brother was the only person who I could trust, and now we were caught in over our heads. I was responsible for Pauline's death, and we were planning to lie to get away with it, and we could get away with it, but it didn't seem fair.
"We have to tell the truth, Jerome. It was an accident, but we must tell the truth."
"I know," he said quietly.

I latched onto his arm. We sat quietly as night enclosed around us, and the mosquitoes started to bite. The lightning bugs danced over the lawn and in the trees. The porch light flickered on, and moths and gnats began to gather. Out of the humid air came the sirens of an ambulance coming down Rue de Chapelle. As I heard them my heart threatened to leap out of my chest. I came to an awful realization.
"I never thanked her for my present," I whispered into the still night, but the animals of the world did not care to listen.




*Bayou d'Etienne is a fictional town...

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Island


Island, a short story by Theresa Mattiello
Clyde woke extra early on a Tuesday, and silently slipped on his work shirt and a pair of worn out jeans. Every morning before he left for his trip he opened the drawer and stared at the new pair of Wrangler’s his wife had given him last Christmas. But he always ended up wearing the same old pair that were fraying around the seams and were so faded they had turned the color of an October sky.
He noticed something about his outfit was missing. His name tag must have fallen off in the dryer. He retrieved the old banged up thing, and pinned it to his shirt. It was oval shaped, and in red cursive letters his name was spelled out, reminding him of a Coca-Cola label: Clyde.
He whistled as he went into the kitchen. He opened every cabinet, although he knew the cereal was in a small cupboard next to the stove. It was as if he was expecting a Denny’s Grand Slam breakfast to pop out of the cabinet, and he’d surely have the best breakfast ever.
But he made do with a bowl of Raisin Bran and a glass of cold milk. Although there was already milk in his cereal he always needed extra on the side to wash it all down. He took a seat in his easy chair. The old thing creaked beneath his weight. He watched the morning silently arrive through his living room window. A hummingbird danced around the nectar feeder Louise had put out. He was always amused that those little birds could always be so quick and productive.
A low grunt came from the corner of the living room. Charlie, the old Bassett Hound wobbled out of his hiding place and went up to meet Clyde. “Hello ol’ boy,” he said, petting the dog on the head and stroking his ears. He glanced at the clock. It was time to leave.
He packed up a few things to eat while on the road, but he knew for dinner he’d end up eating fast food. He would be back in only a few days, and Louise would cook something special on Thursday night in lieu of his arrival. She always did.
He headed out the door, not pausing to go to the bedroom to wake his wife and tell her goodbye. She had already had a rough night anyway. Five times, maybe more, she woke him up to tell him to quit snoring. He was surprised to find that she was still sleeping beside him when he woke up. She often tiptoed into Davy’s room – now the guest room – to get some uninterrupted sleep. Clyde tried everything, even those nose strips, but nothing seemed to work out just yet. Lord knows he couldn’t afford to see a doctor about it.
The drive to the truck yard was quiet. He left the radio off and put the window down so he could feel the cool spring breeze filter into the car. He hoped that when he got there everything would be ready to go and he wouldn’t have to wait around.
Upon arriving, he spotted his truck, a black rig with “Riley & Sons Trucking Inc.” painted in white sparkly paint on the doors. But there wasn’t a trailer attached as he had hoped. Looks like I’m gonna have to do all this today, he thought.
He pulled into the yard but couldn’t drive in. The gate was locked. He called out from his car: “Open the gate, Pete!”
Pete Riley’s head peaked around the corner inside the office, disappeared, then reappeared again. He came to the front door.
“Open the gate, Pete!” Clyde called again.
“You’re gonna have to come inside, Clyde.”
Clyde backed up and parked in the lot next to the office and went in. Something just wasn’t right, and he could feel it.
“Come on in, sit down,” Pete said in his slow drawl.
“What’s goin’ on Pete?”
Pete Riley looked at Clyde over his glasses and said, “Clyde, I was meaning to call you but I knew you’d get here early enough. I don’t – I don’t have anything for you today…”
Clyde was confused, and after a short pause said, “You let me drive all the way up here to tell me that?”
Pete furrowed his brow, “No, Clyde, what I mean to say is…I don’t have anything for you to haul – ever. I have to…let you go.”
Clyde felt Raisin Bran rise to the back of his throat. “Pete,” he croaked, “I need this job.”
“I know, Clyde, I know. Times are rough on everybody. We had to let someone go.”
“Did I do something wrong, Pete?” Clyde asked, his face all flushed as if someone had whacked him across the face with a hot iron. He was a one million miles safe driver. He attended all of the safety meetings. He was always the first to the yard in the morning, and the first to come in after a long haul. He took good care of his truck. He filled the logbooks out accurately. He always arrived at his destinations on time, and frequently with time to spare. Trucking was his life.
“Clyde, you didn’t do a damn thing wrong. The other guys got seniority on you. That’s all they got. You’re a great driver. And we’re gonna miss havin’ you on the crew. There’s other trucking companies – big companies – that are hiring in Durham, some in Greenville, not too far from here. I can get you a list…”
But Clyde was done listening.
He arrived home only an hour and a half after he had left. Louise was outside in her garden next to the house. He wondered how he would tell her and what she would say.
“You’re back early,” she said as he got out and slammed the door shut. He walked past her into the house.
“Clyde,” she went inside behind him, her tiny frame dominated by his massive size in their cramped hallway. He went straight to their bedroom, and sat on the bed, slowly removing his shoes.
Louise stood nervously in the doorway. She had already guessed without him needing to say anything.
“You got fired?”
Clyde nodded, “Caught me by surprise.”
She began to wring her hands.
“Well what are you gonna do?”
“Let me be depressed today Louise. Then I’ll wake up early tomorrow and drive to Durham.”
“What’s in Durham?”
“A list. Pete gave me a list. Somebody’s gotta hire me, right?”
Louise sighed heavily, “Lord, I pray someone does. My disability ain’t enough to cover both of us.”
Clyde stared at his face in the mirror, “You ever just…wish you lived on an island somewhere. And you always had food and shelter and never had to work for nothin’?”
“I dream that a lot,” Louise said, sitting down on the edge of the bed next to her husband of almost 35 years. “Only that island would be Topsail Island and I would spend all day looking for seashells.”
“I would spend all day fishing,” Clyde added.
“We’d walk on the beach every night,” said Louise.
“Eat oysters and crab legs at that one seafood place just off the bridge there. Remember that place?”
“Oh of course,” Louise replied.
Clyde pulled her to him. “My God what a time we’d have. Remember on our honey moon…”
“Yes I do, Clyde.”
They sat in silence in their bright bedroom and the minutes crawled by like hours. The cookoo bird left its roost to signal the passing of one hour to the next, and the loud churning of the clock’s gears broke the silence.
“Are you thinking about me getting a new job?” Clyde asked her.
“No,” she said, “I was thinking about that island.”

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Casey's Ward - The First Paragraphs

Casey’s Ward

In town there was a scaffold and from the scaffold hung a rope, with a large loop that was fit over a man’s head and tightened around a man’s neck and they called it the law. Christian McIver eyed the scaffold each time he and his uncle, John Casey, rode into town on business and he knew what it meant. He had once faced the noose, when he was around 15 years old. His mother, John Casey’s sister, had died, and his father was gone. Casey rode all day and all night, a hard ride, to reach his nephew. He bargained with the law there in Buxton, where the boy was held, and brought him back to his ranch 90 miles northwest to start new. In Cerillos, no one knew Christian, but his Uncle had built up such a mighty reputation for him, that Christian was beginning to forget those long months of stealing for food, and hiding from the Deputy in folks’ barns.
But he saw the noose and saw it for what it was; a symbol of power over the misfortunate and the misdirected; the thieves and the murderers; the rapists and the lechers; and unfortunately, over people like him, who seemed to always be caught in the thick of it. He never saw himself as a bad man, he just did what was right by him – to survive. They had come and taken his father’s ranch and all the livestock. Every last penny was stripped from his name, and yet they had wanted to hang him for shooting a man in defense of it? Casey had to have bribed them a hefty sum to get them to let the boy go. That dead man was so beloved in Buxton.
And now Christian revered his uncle. He worshipped his every word and his every move. For no one Christian had ever known was as good of a man as John Casey.


*Just the first couple paragraphs...tell me what you think *

Sunday, February 22, 2009

My Favorite Bearded Fellows











HONORING THE BEARD: A Tribute to Facial Hair's Finest Contributers



Okay, here's my belated beard blog!


I love beards. I love men who can sport a beard. Beards are not meant for everyone, but for those few that it actually compliments, there are women like us to appreciate them!



But, I feel it is necessary to pay homage to some fellows who I feel would be lost without their scruffy manes! So here we go, the top ten bearded fellows! (Well I know some GREAT beards in real life, but these are all famous or semi-famous guys!)

10. Emile Hirsch







While he hardly ever sports a beard in other movies or on the red carpet, I have to say, his beard in Into the Wild was very hot. Although he never allowed it to get too wild and shaggy, it still was a beard, and that's all that mattered. Actually, I don't care too much for Hirsch when he is beardless...I really think the beard adds to his appeal. But then again, I am not his girlfriend, and I cannot tell him what to do with his facial hair! So be it Emile, you land at number 10!
9. Ashton Kutcher



Again, here's another "pretty boy" who rarely pays homage to the beard. Although, he seems to sport one pretty believably. His beard reminds me of my boyfriend's beard...not a lot growing between the bottom lip and the chin, but still a thick and thriving mane around the frame of the face. I think Ashton would look good wearing this look more often - although he is quite handsome clean shaven as well, as seen in The Guardian.






8. Tony Dekker


Tony Dekker is the lead singer and guitar player for the Canadian band Great Lake Swimmers. His poetic lyrics and ethereal, almost melancoly voice is what first caught my attention. His beard is not too shabby either. When I think of Canadian men, I'm always expecting them to be proud wearers of beards, so Tony Dekker is no exception. Though, he does keep it awfully short, it has no effect whatsoever on his tremendous talent, and his love affair with music that almost transcends reality!





7. Robert Redford (as Jeremiah Johnson)




Well, although Robert Redford has aged tremendously (yes, I know he is old enough to be my grandfather), his protrayal of Jeremiah Jones in The Ballad of Jeremiah Jones called for him to wear a very becoming beard! There's something thrilling in witnessing a man denoucing society and wandering off into the wilderness, becoming "wild" in appearance as a result. Makes you wonder what all he has seen and done...what stories could he tell? Not only is his beard full and crazy but he has the 70's shag haircut to go along with it! It's simply awesome.






6. Ryan Malone
Ryan Malone used to play for the NHL Pittsburgh Penguins, and now plays for Tampa Bay. Although he always seems to have some kind of facial stubble going on, he can grow a nice thick (and red) beard! This is why I say playoff season is the best in time in NHL hockey..because of the playoff beards of course!! Players like poor old Sidney Crosby can only grow a thin moustache, but he's trying! But Ryan can sport the whole thing, and make it look good as hell! Too bad his team didn't win the Stanley Cup last year, though!

5. Gerard Butler








Gerard Butler is best known for his protrayal of King Leonidas in 300, in which he is also know for having that wicked awesome beard! But in real life, Gerard does like to sport the beard, and it looks very good on him, even if it is speckled with a few gray hairs here and there. But he's aging beautifully! The Scotsman is still a rising star in Hollywood, but don't think you've seen the last of him, and his sexy beard!




4. Ryan Reynolds

I can remember seeing only one Ryan Reynolds film, and that was National Lampoon's Van Wilder, which I thought was only mildly funny. However, this guy is an absolute hunk when it comes to sporting a beard! To be able to grow a beard like that, he must be Canadian. *Goes to check IMDB.com* Wow, I'm right! He's from Vancouver, British Columbia! What are the odds of that? Well I might have to check out the remake of the Amityville Horror, in which he protrays good ol George Lutz and a dark and sexy beard!
3. Brad Pitt








I don't really care too much about Brad, but I do like that beard he had back when he was married to Jen Aniston. Am I the only girl who likes that beard?







2. Ryan Gosling







What could I say about this Canadian hunk? What I will say is that he should be tied up and beaten if he ever truly thinks he looks better clean shaven! I mean, Rachel McAdams might think he's cuter with a smooth babyface, but I don't, and I'm sure most of his female fans don't either! Just want to say, in the Notebook, he was HOOOOTTT...and the way he was all hurt and pining inside...made it all the better!



1. AND....YOU CANNOT FORGET...









Grizzly Adams!











Come on! Did you think I'd end this countdown without including him?! Grizzly Adams did have a beard!!

AND THE FINALE!

HERE IS THE HONORARY BEST BEARD IN THERESA'S ACTUAL REAL LIFE....



Jeremiah Paddock! Awesome beard dude!













I have a few more guys in Greensboro that I seriously could add, but alas I do not have their pictures and/or permission to use their names on here. But they should know who they are!









The End!





























Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Where the Spice Is

In April of 2003 my Dad and I took a trip to New Mexico. By the time we had reached Albuquerque, we were absolutely starving. Being in the spirit of arriving in a new and unfamiliar place, we decided to venture down to the old part of town to find some authentic Southwestern food, said to be the best of all Latin cuisine, and by far the spiciest. Dad and I are the type of people who would bet each other to consume whole jalapeno or habanera peppers without seeking the refuge of a glass of water. So we were up for anything.
We found an interesting restaurant flanking the old square; its walls were made of mostly adobe and it was painted a light pink hue, like many of the buildings in town. We entered and were greeted by friendly waiters, who quickly had us seated.
We had only a brief moment to scan the dining room. It was under low light, and on the tables were blood hued glass candleholders, like those seen in a church. There were murals and paintings on the walls depicting Southwestern life, obviously influenced heavily by the Spanish.
I figured I couldn’t go wrong with quesadillas since I am a huge fan of them, and I assumed my lunch would represent Mexican food as we know it on this side of the border. I expected mild spiciness, however what I did receive was something more scorching hot than I could have imagined.
The dish was in fact not your typical Mexican plate, in which ingredients appear to be haphazardly thrown together in a careless fashion. The chefs had made art in how they situated the quesadilla halves, and the rice that came along with it. The smell was spicy and inviting, and as my stomach began to rumble even louder, I couldn’t wait to dig in.
First bite, I entered into a realm of bursting flavor. Every bit of the dish – the meat, the tortilla, the cheese, the onions – was perfectly seasoned and required no further “aid” from salt or pepper or hot sauce. And then, as I chewed, an intense fire began to grow in my mouth. I quickly reached for the glass of water waiting patiently before me.
With every bite, my sinuses began to open and my eyes watered and my tongue burned. I went through eight glasses of water at least! However, what might actually surprise you is that I absolutely enjoyed the food, and it was without a doubt some of the best cuisine I have ever tasted! So kudos to the Southwest for having eye-popping, hell-raising, ultimately delicious food! You can bet that we had a fantastic time in the Enchanted State!