Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Things that I miss in regards to you

 I never thought that grilled cheese sandwiches would ever be something that I would miss. I still make them, obviously, but I don't make them for you anymore. There isn't that first slice that you eat--because you want cheese, dammit!--just like there aren't any more apple slices to make while the sandwich is grilling. It's simple, yes, but it's something that I really enjoyed doing because it was for you. Same with massaging your feet. I don't think I have a foot fetish, so it's nothing to do with that, it just made you really happy and you enjoyed it a lot and that was enough for me. It was more than enough.

 Going back to the food side of things, I miss your cooking. Tofu had never been on a list of things that I ever thought I would like, yet there I was, all those times, eating fried cubes of tofu that were absolutely delicious! When you found out that I didn't like broccoli you apologized for using it so much, but damn if you didn't make it delicious and make me forget that I don't like it. You remain the only person that cooks broccoli in a way that I enjoy it. And lest I forget, Slurpees. It was never the Slurpees themselves, but the drive, conversation, and your satisfied expression as you enjoyed your banana flavored ice drink.

 Speaking of driving, I miss having you in the passenger seat, holding my hand. Whenever you gave my hand a squeeze, my smile that followed was genuine. It's like that simple gesture was you telling me, without words, that you were there and you wanted to be. When we were lying in your bed and I was massaging your hands--for what turned out to be the last time--you laid your head on my shoulder. I felt so at peace in that moment that whenever I remember, think, or dream of it, I recapture that feeling. I've got that same goofy smile you like so much right now, this very instant.

 Yep, still got it.

 To be blunt, I miss your face. Not just because it's pretty--because dammit, it is! we've been over this!--but because of everything I could see in it. How expressive your eyes are, the way your brow would furrow in concentration, how your lips would purse if you wanted me to see just how not-really-but-pretending-super-hard-to-be serious you were. As easily as you could see through me, I could just as easily see into you; I still get chills when I see your face and the flashes of brilliance it so easily conveyed.

 This entire entry could so easily devolve into a simple bullet list of things that have to do with you, but it would kind of miss the point; that I miss you. That's what makes all of this never seeing you again stuff so difficult. It's for the best, I know, but god damn if it doesn't make it any less painful. I miss you, Sage.

 I always will.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Like Skywalker and his two bit, two sun life.

 When I attended pre-school, I would occasionally refuse to be known as Kelly. I would be Marty McFly or He-Man or--and this was the best--Luke Skywalker. Being unable to say my R's properly, this last identity switch would come out more Wuke Skywocko which, sadly, isn't considered canon. This was all to the possible detriment of the bus driver who had to call me by my new name if she hoped to get me on the bus. My mom will correct me in the comments on whether or not the driver found this amusing. Aside from enjoying being such awesome people, I think this has a lot to do with me absolutely hating the idea of going to school. They had to go, not me is what I'm saying.

 This isn't really the case anymore. Back in '08 I enrolled at CBC and for three years I had a great time. It kinda petered out there at the end and I took a sabbatical that officially ends tomorrow (9/23) at 9:10 AM. It all came down to math, and that's what the following school year will be about. After that I'll hopefully get accepted to Eastern Washington University. That's been the plan for a while yet, so where I go after CBC might change. We'll see. That's not what this post is about though.

 Going back to being Luke Skywalker, I can really relate to the guy. Before it was just the similar to mine blonde hair and wielding a lightsaber that made me like the character so much, but now I realize how much it can drain somebody to be stuck in the desert/desert planet while your friends go out into the world/galaxy. Luke had massive, external and extenuating circumstances keeping him stuck on Tatooine. While the only thing keeping me here is me. I'm terrified of what's out there. Ashen faced, can't sleep, white knuckled terror. The real problem is I've lost track of that terror's ratio of real to imagined. So I avoid it and believe that it'll eventually go away and I won't need to worry about it anymore.

 Because that's what works, right? Spoilers: it doesn't.

 I'm getting off this damn planet, but not like Luke anymore. I'll be doing it of my own accord and not because some catastrophe forced me to.

 This is me and this is going to be awesome. Allons-y!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A year already? Wow.

A little over a year ago, April 22nd to be specific, I wrote an essay on my life as a dishwasher and how, well, shitty it was. Alright, it wasn't all bad, but I was feeling pretty low. I had finally quit the job in spite of the fact that there were no other prospects lined up. On the day I put in my two weeks I rationalized my decision, saying to myself "I could get a job at Barnes & Noble. Yeah! They'd hire me, wouldn't they? I'm cool. Barnes & Noble... that'd be great!"

The joy strangling voice of reason either felt too sorry for me to speak up or it was drowned in my enthusiasm for a job I really had zero chance of getting (oh, there it is). I followed through and turned in an application there immediately. In the meantime I worked my last two weeks of dish washing and began and finished my essay on the last day, April 22nd. The essay was for the 2011 LitFest Writing Competition under the creative non-fiction category. I submitted a fiction and poetry entry as well, just to cover all my bases.

Less than two weeks later I got the wonderful news that all three of my entries won runners-up. I was ecstatic, to say the least. Even so, a week later I got even better news; a call for an interview at Barnes & Noble! I have to give thanks to my former professor Gwen James for putting a good word in to one of the managers. I honestly can't say what my chances would have been otherwise, having washed dishes for three years. At the competition awards ceremony on May 12th I got to read my poem and excerpts from my fiction and non-fiction entries and announce that I got the job at Barnes & Noble. It was such an incredible day.

On May 15th I went in for orientation and became an actual employee. A year later, I am still thankful to be working there. I'm also really happy to work there, which is an important distinction to be made. I have my bad days (even shitty days occasionally), but when I think back to working in a 125° 99% humidity dishpit, flanked on all sides by dirty dishes, I have a bit of well earned perspective.

It also helps that I am surrounded by friends when I'm there. In fact, I acclimated and opened up faster at B&N than any other job, class or school I've ever had or been to. I fit in. That doesn't normally happen to me. Some of my friends from Red Lion can attest to how closed off and shy I was my first few months, so to be openly conversing and joking around within weeks of starting at B&N is a miracle. I may not have the same comedic outlet I had with Brandon and Mike at Red Lion (spicy fries, dish stacking), but dammit I still have fun!

I also have the benefit of a scheduled day off, that day being Tuesday (today!), that I use to go write at the Starbucks down the street from my house. Thanks have to go to my manager Aaron for enthusiastically accepting the availability change when he learned what it was for. Because of the day off I have a working draft of a novella, a solid foundation for another novella (which may become a novel) and a short story I'll probably finish in the next couple weeks. I've never had this much productivity in writing and I am loving it. I look forward to Tuesday as less of a day off and more of a time to sit down, focus on my computer screen and write.

To say I'm surprised that a year has gone by already would be inaccurate. The time that's passed has been enjoyably weighed down by friends, events and memories I'll remember for years to come. There are still times where I'll bring a book out to the floor from receiving and be amazed that I'm employed where I am. Working at Barnes & Noble represents a new step in my life and it makes me excited for whatever comes next.

That said, if I never hear "I'm looking for a book" or one of its many variants again it will be too soon!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

High School, amirite?

I didn't want to go to sleep last night. The reason? I was too busy rocking out on my awesome guitar to want to! It was pretty sweet. When I finally began to wear myself out it was 3AM, and Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion had started on TBS. It's an alright movie in the way it merges Dumb and Dumber with generic high school fantasy movies, but the scene where the head bitch sticks magnets to Michelle's back brace actually rang true. High school sucked for those of us who stuck out and didn't have enough friends to dissuade bullies.

Thankfully this post won't be a never ending gripe-fest about how miserable I was throughout high school. It isn't true, for one. There were plenty of times when I was genuinely happy and, despite not drowning in them, I had friends. Still, there were assholes that bullied me and teachers that actively despised me (okay, one teacher). Y'know what, though? Just like I just said, I made it out in one piece!

Those Rose Tinted Glasses
If the movies are to be accepted as doctrine then high school is the best and most defining moment of life, stretched out over four years (five years in my case. we'll get to that). Unless you're still pining for those halcyonic glory days as you stand on the showroom floor of an appliance store, that's bullshit. I never went to Homecoming or Prom so I'm a little undereducated, but even those couldn't have possibly made up for slumping through the same boring halls with the same boring people day after day. I spent my time between classes walking to class and not once did I see any theatrics worth putting to film.

I treated that place like World War I, head down and charging forward, my headphones blaring Green Day, Foo Fighters, Blink-182 and Everclear like a sonically induced force field. I have fond memories, but they have more to do with the people and the moments than the location. I have to admit though; it was pretty flippin' awesome to watch our girls basketball team win State. It just was.

I'm not an idiot.
Academically... good lord. I can't quite remember the exact GPA I graduated with, but it was something like 1.42 or less. I just did not want to do the work and I was way too lazy to even give a damn. It frustrated my teachers because they could see I was smart enough to not be scraping by on a low C. The teachers had it easy compared to my parents. My mom especially. Teachers were under the utterly false impression that my parents didn't care or even try to make me do my homework. While I wish that I had done better in that regard, I feel much worse for the stress I put my mom through.

My college GPA and the friendly relationships I have with some of my professors is proof enough that I could have very well kicked some academic ass in high school. If there was any reason to do it again, that would be the only reason. It would have to be one of those weird today-me waking up in 1996 and then-me's body, but one can't be choosy in their time travel escapades. Even then my second senior year was arguably my best, so I don't know if I'd want to give that up.

That bold font is lying. I had friends. What I had more of were friendly acquaintances thanks to whatever classes I had, but I had friends. If this is coming off as defensive, it really shouldn't be. Sure I spent a majority of my lunch hours alone in Mr. Woodford's classroom, but the guy had the internet. The internet! Those other people were suckers for driving to crowded Taco Bells and McDonald's. Some of the journalism crew were there too when I first started going, but they graduated and the next year I had the place to myself. Eventually some dorky underclassmen showed up and refused to leave, but they turned out to be pretty cool. So while I wasn't the social butterfly, and still aren't, I had friends... I totally did.

Lookin' for love in all the wrong places
This will be short. I had a girlfriend my freshman year, and sort of a girlfriend (for two weeks) my senior year. The former broke it off and I ended it with the latter. I think the best way to describe my attempts to "get with" the fairer sex, is simply to ask that you YouTube Michael Scott's most embarrassing/facepalm worthy moments and apply them to a geeky, awkward and severely introverted boy angling for a girlfriend in high school. Done? Cool. If you think that was bad it's even worse on my end. Because that was me. :P

Life moves pretty fast...
Ferris Bueller is a personal hero of mine. He was super popular, but it was because he genuinely did not give a shit about high school. Not in the way that he was unlikely to graduate or get into a good college, but that he was above the politics and drama so commonly associated with it. His was an attitude I tried to adopt for myself with mixed results. In the years since my tenure at Kennewick High I have truly succeeded at not caring about it and moving on. Except for the odd post rambling on about it every now and then that is.

My 10 year reunion will have been two years ago this June. I wasn't sure if I wanted to go or not, so I let my work schedule decide. I worked. I mean no offense and bear no ill will to those that went, but being stuck in a dishpit for four hours was probably a better use of my time than attending my reunion. After all, I was with a friend and got paid to be there. I can't say that for high school.

I had friends, dammit! Why won't anyone believe me?!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Doing what I want.

For those of you that are my friends on facebook and have been paying attention to my posts on Tuesday, I have been coming to the Starbucks close to my house and writing. More importantly, my writing has been focused on a story that's been in the back of my mind for two years now. There are others that have been gestating for even longer than that (War of Time wins that contest), but this has been the most nagging, irrepressible and so far enjoyable one to write out of them all.

As much as I've wanted to write it, the desire to is greatly outweighed by the desire to write in the first place. I love writing, but it's something that I don't do nearly as much as I should. Even now with Tuesday's being singled out primarily for writing, I want to do more of it. I'm sitting in Starbucks right now, on a Friday, writing this, but I want to hurry and finish so I can go back to my story. Writing has become addictive enough that I look forward to Tuesday more than any other day, and even then it's not enough.

This is what I've wanted to do since I was a freshman in high school, and even though it's taken 16 years I'm glad I've finally knuckled down and gotten at least moderately serious about it. I want to be a writer more than most things (wielding a lightsaber while riding a hoverboard wins that contest), and I firmly believe that I have the potential to be one. This little story I'm writing, it's not going to be my best. It will be my most personal, and potentially my most important, but I will always strive to do better.

I plan on publishing it as an e-book when I feel it's finished enough, and I'll be surprised if I make more than a dollar for it. Profit won't be the point, because that way is a congested, potholed mess of a 16 lane freeway. I'll be taking the scenic route, which, while not exactly deserted, is much more enjoyable and will get me where I'm going in due time. I'm very excited to be on my way to where I've wanted to go since I was a kid; a writer.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


There's been an important slip of paper in my wallet for the last few years, a list of sorts, and for whatever reason, I've been worried about it. Beyond losing my wallet I can't honestly say that anything will happen to it, but I have recurring and unnerving thoughts that something may happen to it. It's just a slip of paper at its most basic form, but it represents a memory so potent and vibrant that I could never bear to part with it.

I seem to invest a lot of worth into objects, and I don't see a problem with that. There are a lot of memories that I have tucked away inside my mind, but they can be so buried underneath the years that they're not so easily recalled unless I see a corresponding object. Whenever I come across my old CD player I remember all the times it carried me through the tough times I had in high school. There wasn't much that couldn't be solved by turning the volume up, and I never hesitated to do so.

In the late 90's my favorite thing to do was going to the movies, and I have the ticket stubs to prove it. Since the ink wasn't exactly the highest quality the writing would fade, leaving only the soft pink or green color of the paper behind. I didn't want to have a collection of blank tickets so I bought a pack of plastic sleeves for baseball cards. They worked really well, and even today they read as clear as 11-14 year old ticket stubs rightfully should. I keep them in the top drawer of my dresser, so I see them whenever I root through it for batteries or a credit card I never use.

My guitar is another piece of my life that has memories intricately tied to it, but since I have it next to my bed I tend to forget them. I've had it for over 11 years, and it was the coolest thing I had ever bought with my own money until my truck less than three years later. Next to a car, an electric guitar was what I dreamed of having the most (okay, lightsabers and hoverboards aside), so to actually have one was like fulfilling a life's dream. I'm not as good as I could be, since I'm entirely self taught and I only play for fun, but I know enough to get by.

For all the memories I have that are attached to physical objects, there are immaterial things such as songs that cause the memories to well up. One song in particular stands out, and one particular instance of it playing will always be clear, cherished and kept safe. The moon was so full and bright that I could have driven on that back road with no headlights. It was cold outside, but I didn't notice or care because of who I had next to me, her head on my shoulder, holding onto my arm. That moment would be special to me even if there had been no song, but Whatsername by Green Day was playing, and it made the moment perfect.

I put a lot of significance into things like that slip of paper, so it's not surprising that sometimes I worry about losing them. I know I'll always have the memories, it's not like I can lose them, but I like having the keys to unlock them. It makes them seem more tangible, and less likely to be forgotten.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Taking a drive... somewhere

As I was watching TV earlier tonight, a Taco Bell commercial let me know that their Nachos Supreme are 99¢ for a limited time. To me, cheap, edible and nachos are three words that go really well together, and as I was hungry, I decided I'd go and get me some. Now, a funny thing happens whenever it's the middle of the night and I'm about to make a quick five minute drive.

I get the urge to take a road trip.

If I have a number of days off in front of me the urge is intensified, because I have the time to actually do it. When I unlock my car door I think of how quickly I could pack a bag, toss it in the back and go. It's intoxicating. When I pull out of the neighborhood I look at the moon and imagine driving until it's sunk below the horizon and the sun rises behind it. I'd make sure to call home around 9 or so, and let my family know where I was, what I was doing and that I hadn't lost my mind. I can be fairly persuasive when I'm flying by the seat of my pants.

The only issue would be where I would go on my impromptu (yet prepared for) road trip. Driving down Vancouver or 27th I begin to get a few ideas. I could go to the Seattle area, but I get lost there so easily that I'd spend half the trip trying to find my way out. I could go to Spokane, but it's such a short trip that I wouldn't feel as if I was truly "getting away." Then the inevitable pops into my head, but I'm at the drive-thru so now I need to think about what I want to eat. Cheap, edible nachos of course.

I get my food, get back on the road and resume my thinking. I should explain that my thought processes work much like an old Sony Walkman, in that I remember exactly where I left off and continue exactly from that point on. My friends can confirm this with great enthusiasm. So, anyway, I snap right back to the inevitable place I would direct my road trip ambitions, and that place would be Missouri. Come on, tell me you're not surprised. I dare you.

If you are surprised, I'll happily explain. My friend KaTrina lives there, and I miss her. It'd be great to surprise her by suddenly showing up, and that would make the drive there worth it. The drive back would suck, which tempers to outright erases any and all chances of my ever making that trip. I would need a hell of a souvenir to break even on the investment.

So, as I turn into my neighborhood, my food sitting quietly in the passenger seat, I decide that a road trip, while awesome, wouldn't be the most practical of things to do at 1AM. I instead decide that blogging about it would be enough of a cathartic release, and much, much cheaper. I don't think I could say how many times this scenario has happened (cheap, edible nachos involved or not), but I never actually got around to blogging about it. I guess when I'm standing in the driveway the fancifulness of my daydream ebbs away, and I no longer feel like taking the time to write it out.

Tonight though, as I stood in the driveway, I looked up at the moon just hanging there in the sky, slowly slipping toward the horizon. The excitement of making such a trip sparked again, and I felt the desire to write about it. Maybe one of these days I'll take such a drive, and I'll enjoy to the fullest getting away from it all. Until then, I'll think about it every time I drive somewhere close on a warm summer's night. Some of the best things in my life have happened while driving late at night anyway, so it might not be a bad idea.