On Laughing Right

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The other day, I was online with my gaming group, and apparently we were having a really good time because I was laughing a lot, and when I went downstairs to get a drink, my husband informed me that I have an evil laugh. He didn’t mean it as an insult. He was entertained by it apparently.

I laughed a big manly laugh like my dad even when I was little. I never felt like a little girl. I felt like a grown woman trapped in a small body and forced to play stupid games with little boys. I tried to disguise myself by laughing and squealing and giggling like a little girl. It never sounded right or felt right, but I assumed other people bought it, and I thought I could train myself to laugh right. Until one day my dad said, “Stop that! It sounds weird. That’s not how you laugh. Are you mimicking someone else? Don’t do that.” And that was the end of that.

Laugh your real laugh. Drop the self-consciousness and laugh because really enjoying life has jack shit to do with whether anyone thinks your laugh is cute.

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for one day a very long time from now

It’s 2 a.m. and for some reason I’ve been unable to sleep tonight. I was thinking about this poem I wrote a really long time ago and how I haven’t been able to find a copy of it for years. I decided to go through my old journals to try and find it. I didn’t find the poem, but I did find this:

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Today, Dad gave me a hug. Not just any hug, but a hug to save specifically for a day when I am grown up and feeling lonely. He said, “One day, a very long time from now, you’ll be standing in your kitchen in your own house, and you’ll be feeling lonely, so this is for then.” Then he hugged me and said I should remember that. I hope I never forget it.

Of course, I forgot he did that, but I’m really glad I wrote it down. Apparently 17 year old me was not entirely stupid.

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I Will Only Tweet This Once

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Hello there,

I’ve decided to do an internet experiment. You know me and experiments, especially where the internet is involved — I can’t help myself. This time is special because it’s a disappearing act. For the next few days, I’m going to take myself off the internet as much as possible. This isn’t forever, nor am I committing to even a shot period of total digital abstinence, but for a short while, rather than being on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr all the time, I’ll be interacting with people on the physical plane. You know, like my husband and our friends. And instead of doing my writing on the computer where I am constantly tempted to Google something or message someone or share my every thought, I’ll be writing in my notebook. Longhand. The way I fell in love with writing a long time ago, and the way I still think most clearly.

Meanwhile, I’m letting my pre-scheduled blog posts run as planned, and they’ll be automatically sent to my social media profiles through the wonder of WordPress plugins. And because I don’t know how long I can go without telling The Internet what’s on my mind, I will also write each day about the things I’ve been doing on my side of the screen, in “the real world,” as they say.

For example, today I worked on this dress-making project with my mother-in-law (Chuqui) and her mom (Bueye). That’s them in the picture up top.

I decided for no particular reason that I wanted to make a dress. Chuqui helped me pick out the pattern and the fabric, and we started sewing the other night before dinner. Attempting to finish the dress today, we realized it was a lot smaller than it should’ve been. I usually wear between a size 8 and size 10 (curvy girls, represent!), but because the pattern looked small we cut the fabric for a size 14, and it still didn’t fit. We had no idea what we did wrong, which is why we had to call in the expert. Bueye has been making beautiful things all her life,and though she doesn’t do seamstress work anymore, she appeared to enjoy putting her skills to work and showing us young chicks up.

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I don’t have any lesson to share from this. The dress still isn’t finished, nor do we know what we did wrong exactly, but Bueye helped us fix the darts so my boobs look even and add a pleat so the back will close. I got stuck with a few pins in the process, but I also got free coffee, lunch and a sewing lesson out of it. It’s better than what I would have gained spending the day on Tumblr. (Sorry Tumblr, I love you and all, but I think we have a productivity issue.)

There are lots of other things I’ve been thinking about, but the noise in my head these days is just too much. Being on the internet 24/7 has made me feel trapped by the news cycle, to use a cliche. Especially in the wake of the Texas legislature’s assault on women’s rights and the Zimmerman verdict … I’ve been feeling sortof powerless and sad, and the constant flow of information doesn’t help with that. So, I’m gonna step away for a while until I feel like I have my head on straight again. And I don’t know how long that’ll take. I hope it’s quick because I want to get back to talking with everyone and having a grand old time. But you can’t rush these things, so it’ll take as long as it takes.

Oh, and I will still teach the online yoga class and respond to e-mail because I do want to hear from you and interact with you on a human level. Just not in the intensely public format of social media right this second.

Thanks for understanding.

xoxo~

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Weekly Assignment: Give

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What do you have a lot of? Can you share it?

This week, find something to give to the people around you. It could be your time, a phone call, a cup of coffee, a compliment, a meal, a smile … it could be anything.

Most of us have something we can share. In high school, my friends and I would sit in a little circle on the ground during our lunch break. We’d empty out our lunch boxes and share the food because there was usually someone who forgot to bring food or just didn’t want to buy lunch in the cafeteria. We always had enough, and no one ever went hungry. It wasn’t a huge gesture, and no one’s going to give us a prize for our generosity, but it felt good to share with our friends like that.

My niece who recently turned one likes to give people her toys. When she finds a toy she really likes, she holds it out to show you how cool it is, and she expects you to take it in your hand and share in her joy. Of course, being one, she also expects you to give it back. This natural give and take is a basic part of human interaction. Find something to give to others, and they will instinctively give back. It may be in the form of a simple thank you, or they might share something more — you never know. But most people want to connect and want to share. You can give them the opportunity. You can start the chain reaction.

Whatever is available to you, whatever is abundant in your life, give with an open heart and see what kind of goodness comes from it.

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The Best Mix CD I’ve Ever Received

Feel The Music!

This is the playlist from the best mix CD I’ve ever received. I’ve lost a lot of good mixes over the years, but I managed to hang on to this one from my brother, who has possibly the best musical taste of anyone I know. He gave me this CD in the early 2000s when Modest Mouse was one of those bands you’d mention pseudo-casually to see if anyone noticed how cool you were for knowing about them. I’ve reconstructed the playlist on Youtube in order to share it with you. :)

As I was listening to this CD, I felt compelled to share it for several reasons. First of all, every track on here is pretty stellar. Second, I don’t know anyone else who can put Frank Sinatra and NOFX on the same playlist and make it work. Third, I find it fascinating how music stays with me over the years, and songs somehow take on more meaning. Anyway, I’m utterly in love with this playlist, and I’ve even considered having a listening party in which this CD is the focal point. Give it a listen and see what you think!

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