Monday, January 28, 2008

vanity [un]fair

so the other day i went to the dmv to get my washington driver's license. technically, i don't have to get it renewed for awhile but i had a free saturday and i wanted to get it early so i'd have plenty of time to register to vote [woop woop!] without pushing the deadline like i usually do. i made sure to spend a lil extra time getting ready and all cute so i could take the best picture possible [ladies, you know you do it too. shoot, so do you fellas - don't even front!]. i anticipated a hefty wait so i plugged in the ol' ipod, let the juno soundtrack fill my heart with glee and finished a couple chapters of this delicious book. finally, after TWO-AND-A-HALF arduous hours of waiting, my number [#530] finally got called. i stepped up to the counter and handed the dmv dude my tennessee license and proof of address.

"hong, huh?", he said.
"yep.", i replied.
"uh, yep."

-- sidenote: why did bro feel it necessary to point out that i was korean too? is it really that relevant? i mean forrealz, homie... you're renewing my license right now. c'mon. --

anywho, he leafs through my paperwork and says, "what else you got?" i'm all, "saywha?" he proceeds to pull out a brochure [a different brochure, may i note, than the one in the lobby] that ennumerates the fifteen-thousand pieces of identification needed to transfer a license. nevermind that he was able to pull up my old washington license and openly chuckled at the sight of my chubby sixteen-year-old face [i still remember the red 3/4-sleeve v-neck gap sweater i was wearing that day. it was my fave.]. needless to say, i was taken aback and notably agitated when confronted with the harsh reality that the last two-and-a-half hours of waiting was for NOTHING. add to that the fact that bro was talking to me like i was twelve ["now, what are you going to be bringing next time?" to which i wanted to respond "a blunt object with which to impale that smug grin off your big fat face."]. add to THAT the fact that this condescending lil so-and-so kept calling me "jess" like he knew me or something [i don't mind when my friends call me jess but YO, DUDE! YOU-ARE-RE-NEW-ING-MY-LI-CENSE-RIGHT-NOW! C'MON!].

it goes with out saying, but i was QUITE perturbed. i may or may not have given dude a divalicious neck roll complete with a trifecta of snaps [*snap* *snap* *snap*] from the safety of the parking lot. aaaaaaand i may or may not have called up a couple of confidantes and unleashed an expletive or fifteen [God bless my friends and they're unwavering patience with me]. if i'm gonna be really honest, it wasn't the waiting that made me so mad because i had great music and a GREAT book to read. it wasn't even the dude that made me mad because really, it wasn't his fault that i didn't have my stuff together - it was mine. what REALLY made me mad if i'm REALLY being honest, was the fact that i had taken SO much time getting cute. and dangit, i was lookin CUTE.

i'm not a high-maintenance chick. i know a lotta ladies claim that, but like forrealz-FORREALZ, i'm really not. i don't spend a whole lot of time getting ready in the morning. i MIGHT throw a dash of make-up on my face once or twice a week - tops. so when i DO take the time to get all cute, i wanna freakin milk it for all it's worth! the same frugal waste-not-want-not attitude i have towards my money, i apply to [what i like to call] my "good face" days. if i'm gonna take the time to get my face did up, i want it to be appreciated by as many people as possible goshdarnit. in other words, i'm a vain lil sand-on-da-beach.

but for all my vanity, i'm also quite rational and when i analyzed [hyper-analyzed, more like] what was at the root of my frustrations, i felt like quite the a-hole. i mean, for realz? i'm mad cuz nobody's validating my sense of cuteness? i'm mad cuz i don't have the superficial approval of strangers that i have no real desire to know and who don't have the capacity to appreciate more than my exterior? FOR REALZ? awesome, jess. really cool. the same vanity that had me all mad has me posting my blogs both here and here to maximize the exposure so that i can be validated in comment form [*ahem* blatant-comment-plug *cough* *cough*]. and yet even despite that shameless plea for attention, i can clearly see the flaws in my pursuit.

there's a fine line between self-confidence [which i got] and vanity [guilty as charged]. i found myself on the wrong side of the line last saturday; i can't say it was the first time and if i'm honest, it probably won't be the last either. as a girl, it can be quite a frustrating paradox to acknowledge the fleeting value of superficial attention and yet crave it nonetheless.

balance. i think it's my word for 2008.

wait, hold up.

it's my word for 200GR8!!


Wednesday, January 16, 2008


i sometimes feel like there should be a soundtrack accompanying these blogs. maybe it's the result of a childhood saturated by sitcoms but i feel like there should be a button that my readers [all four of you] press right as you start to read the last couple paragraphs. it would be like that moment when danny tanner sits stephanie down on the couch and says "listen steph..." and then you hear those delicious warm synth string pads flavored by sprinkings of artificial piano that signal the onset of a pivotal life lesson. i don't know why i get so sappy and after-school-special-y and i'm not sure i'll ever be able to teach a lesson quite like danny tanner did but gosh dang it, ima try.

last quarter i took a poetry class that had a profound effect on my life. i had never really attempted poetry before and found that it was an entirely different process than writing lyrics. melody can be a little more forgiving when it comes to word choice while poetry, at least when you scrutinize your stuff the way that i do, can be made or broken by every word, every line break... even font choices can change your reaction to any given set of words.

the hardest part of the process for me is always revision. i've never had a problem picking apart the prose i write [including but certainly not limited to these blogs], but i've always had a terrible time revising lyrics and it seems the same struggle applies to poetry. i get married to every word and divorce is just not an option.

in this particular instance, the revision process was made infinitely more difficult with the passing of my cousin. i missed the last week of the quarter and had the very difficult decision of whether or not to finish my school work. i decided to finish out the final chapbook for my poetry class and the end result was incredibly cathartic. it was an opportunity to work through some very painful and confusing feelings and although i'm still working though them, revision was an opportunity to turn that introspection into something constructive.

i've posted a couple poems on this blog before but i've since made some revisions both to the pieces themselves and to my life in general. here they are and here i am, revised.


i’m going to try to keep from saying more
i’m sorry secrets aren’t my forte
i haven’t got the power to ignore
the things my heart keeps wanting me to say

i’m sorry secrets aren’t my forte
i’ve other strengths designed to compensate
to hide the things my heart wants me to say
fueling constant heart and mind debate

i’ve other strengths designed to compensate
to overcome my overactive mouth
fuel for constant heart and mind debate
somehow shutting both and neither out

i’m overcome by overactive mouth
it keeps my heart from saying what i mean
somehow shutting both and neither out
and losing purpose somewhere in between

my heart keeps me from saying what i mean
but i don’t have the power to ignore
the pain of losing purpose in between
i’m going to try to keep from saying more


I was once told that the best way to defend yourself when you’re about to be raped is to defecate and rub it all over your body, thus rendering yourself undesirable and your assailant flaccid. I should note however, this advice was given to me by the type of woman who constantly forwards those email horror stories, the kind you’re supposed to PASS ON TO ALL THE STRONG INDEPENDENT WOMEN YOU KNOW. Tales of sickos that sneak up in your back seat when you’re pumping your gas and so they can slash your Achilles heel when you least expect it and frightening first-hand accounts of predators that prey on unsuspecting women who didn’t check their email that day. Stories that up pepper spray sales and add paranoia to the preemptive fear that that type of woman already feels so that now when she walks to her car at night, the purse she already clutched close contains a can of mace alongside her tube of lip gloss and now the two can click together in time as said woman walks confidently with keys like claws between her fingers. However, I am not said woman and though the image has never left me, I’ve never been tempted to carry laxatives in my purse much less mace. My defenses are meant for offences far less violent but violations none the less so that when I feel threatened, when I fear my heart is about to be intruded upon, I’ve been known to say the wrong things on purpose or say the right things with purpose, to say too little but more often too much to effectively cover myself in poo.

crazy is a cutting word the connotation kills
the way it’s wielded like a weapon wounding me at will
floods of insecurity flow in while blood is spilled
to fill the void that dignity once but no longer filled

crazy is dismissive in its limited portrayal
the way it keeps me hidden thickly underneath its veil
cruelly compensating where compassion often fails
confining me unwillingly in ignorance’s jails

crazy is a dirty word defiling what is pure
a verbal masturbation pleasing tongues of the demure
tools of mastication used to mangle and obscure
effectively dismembering what stomachs can’t endure

crazy is so circular it works without intrusion
it sneaks into my psyche without warning of confusion
collaboration clean and quick in seamless execution
prophetically condemning me in my own persecution

a pain and pleasure to explain
why crazy is my given name

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

thank you, friends.

this may come as a shocker, but i'm a bit of a thinker [does it show?]. i tend to think through every possible possibility for every scenario that i may or may not ever face in real life and in within the confines of my overactive imagination. my mind is a veritable 'choose your own adventure' book taken to a grotesque other level. as a result, not only am i ape-[poop] bananas sometimes, but when i am, i'm very hard to console.

i can be a pretty stubborn, proud beeotch. i'm very hard to give advice to as i'm usually five steps ahead of anyone that tries to give it. i begin just about every response with three incredibly irritating words: i know, but...

i've shut-down many a well-meaning friend. i've left many speechless and exasperated. in my arrogance, i've rejected advice that probably could've saved me a lot of heartache. and for what? what do i have to show for it? my pride?? in the end, i lose that anyway, whether i like it or not.

i've wasted a lot of time trying to be a know-it-all when i know very VERY little. recent events and recent introspection have proved beyond any doubt that i know nothing. seriously, nothing. as much as i know myself and i consider myself to be self-aware, i'm only now beginning to get to know me. and i'm not all that smart, to be honest.

so to all my friends who have endured my ridiculousness, who have patiently [or justifiably impatiently] tolerated my rantings, who have offered wise council despite my rejection of it and who have lovingly stood by me in the midst of my craziness --- thank you, from the bottom of my big dumb heart.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

daydream believer

so i dreamed that a volcano erupted and lava was flowing all over the place and i was running away from it. at one point i had to jump out of my car as my car went tumbling down a steep hill. according to the online dream dictionary i consulted:

To see a volcano in your dream, indicates that you are unable to control emotions, particularly if the volcano is erupting. The end result may be damaging and hurtful.

To see lava in your dream, signifies an expression of anger which you have kept inside for awhile.

To dream that you are running away from someone, indicates an issue that you are trying to avoid. You are not taking or accepting responsibility for your actions. In particular, if you are running from an attacker or any danger, then it suggests that you are not facing and confronting your fears.

According to biblical interpretations, dreams about falling have a negative overtone and suggest that man is acting and walking according to his own way of thinking and not those of the Lord. Falling dreams also often reflect a sense of failure or inferiority in some circumstance or situation. It may be the fear of failing in your job/school, loss of status, or failure in love.

so to recap, apparently i'm uncontrollably pissed about someone or something, i'm not facing it, and my car needs to repent and get over its inferiority complex.

watch out, kiddos. it looks like i might claw your eyes out or something.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

careful what you wish for [a year's resolution]

every passing year seems to zip by a little faster than the one before and 2007 was no exception. it has been without competition the strangest year of my life.

last year found me on my worst behavior. the vast majority of my life has been spent erring on side of caution so i suppose my momentary departures from goody-goodydom are still relatively harmless. nevertheless, for the most part my "bad" experiences have only left me with every cliche feeling sunday school said it would: guilt, dissatisfaction, needless questioning of self-worth and inconsequential attempts at reclaiming it. i've had little bits of fun along the way but the ends never really justified the idiotic means. thankfully, even my poor decisions were made fruitful in the end as they have equipped me with some much needed humility. it seems that even goody-two-shoes need to be spit-shined with grace sometimes and i know now more than ever, that any good behavior on my part can only be credited to God's goodness, not mine.

yet despite the obvious and sometimes trite silver lining, this year has had more than its fair share of hard times. although my burdens have never been outweighed by my blessings, it certainly hasn't been an easy road. i never could've expected that i would have to deal with the things i've had to deal with this year, but looking at last year's little retrospective blog and it seems that perhaps i should've:

[1.11.07] my hopes for the new year:

* to learn how to shut off my brain long enough to feel at least a little something. i grew up being a very emotionally driven girl but somehow along the years, i've trained myself to be driven almost exclusively by rational thought which has proved to be both helpful and hurtful. i feel like there's a happy medium i've yet to find...

- i'm not sure if i found the medium i was hoping for but i have CERTAINLY found my feelings. i've probably cried more and cried harder in the last few months than i have in a very, very long time [not to say that tears are the end all be all of emotion]. i have felt more deeply than i ever have towards circumstances both positive and tragically negative and through it all, i've come to the conclusion that it wasn't a medium i needed after all. i can be wholly rational and still wholly in touch with the groaning of my own heart. the command is not to love with one-fourth heart, one-fourth soul, one-fourth strength and one-fourth mind -- but with all of each, all of the time.

* to be truly appreciated. i'm not really lacking in self-confidence [by the grace of God] so i figured out that it's not really validation i seek from the opposite sex so much as appreciation. i just want someone else to acknowledge what i already know about myself. and if that someone could also cook a gourmet meal and keep it gangsta, that would be pretty cool too. :)
- ummm... i'm gonna go ahead and leave this as an almost check. [cryptic, eh?] ;)

* to do something real with my life. i have all these goals and all these ambitions and all this talent and yet for the past 23 years, i haven't done much more than just talk about my goals, my ambitions and my talent. and where has that talk got me? not very far. i should probably DO something about that.
- i'm still mostly talk, but i'm hoping 2008 will for real [i mean, for REAL for real] be the year that i start DOING. feel free to hold me to that and nag me all the day long. i'll probably need it.

i don't really have any resolutions in the way of resolves for the new year. my only resolutions are the conclusions i've come to in 2007. the greatest and most significant of these has been my conclusion that i am who i am and there is no use apologizing for that. i can't regret my past decisions [good or bad], i can't deny who i am in my heart of hearts, and i can't avoid who it is i am purposed to be. actually, i'm capable of avoiding that last one but it's time that i simply refuse. life is fragile and sometimes unfairly short. i have got to make the most of every moment that i have and the only way that i can do that is by being wholly myself and wholly resigned to the amazing grace of God.

happy new year, kiddos.

p.s. if you haven't heard, i'm blonde now or something. woop woop!