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Brassica napobrassica: Public Enemy Number One's Journal

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Sunday, July 14th, 2013
11:40 am - Bastille Day 2013
Yep, once a year.

Last night, I told Evan I'd been reading old LJ entries. He replied, "I'm so glad I deleted mine." I couldn't imagine willfully erasing any record of my life into which I had put any amount of time--particularly this one. I'm a slacker now in LJ department, but I have so much fun going back to see what ridiculous shit I said ten years ago today. But yesterday, I wasn't looking at old entries that brought back fun memories. I was reading things I'd written about Evan, early on in our relationship--and knowing how things have worked out five years later, I'm regretful I didn't see it sooner.

I am moving out of our apartment on August first.

Our Canadian friends, most of whom we hold in common friendship, have responded strangely to the news. Most have said they're sorry, as if I weren't the one who's chosen to leave. I guess they still can be sorry, but I find it odd. Several have cried, citing the appearance of how well he and I get along, and how very sad they are.

I think Evan, too, doesn't believe there's a problem if we're not at each other's necks. I have spent so many hours attempting to explain that a couple doesn't need to fight 24/7 for there to be serious issues with no apparent means for resolution--that I can still laugh at his terrible puns, call to ask if he needs anything from the store, and do his laundry while desperately feeling there's no option but to end our marriage.

My friends from home have reacted very differently. Most of my pre-Evan friends expressed weird forms of relief upon receipt of the news. Lesley said she was coming to see me and had texted me several ticket prices a minute after we hung up the phone. When I called Clinton and told her I was leaving, she jumped on the offensive. Incredibly, she who's been in California and the Virgin Islands for the past four years, was able to accurately describe the situation based entirely upon her prior experience with our early relationship. It was terrifyingly amazing, and I was stunned the same problems had been in existence and obvious to Clinton as early as 2008.

He says I didn't give him warning that I was feeling this way, as if me asking to see a marriage counselor in 2011 wasn't the first of many, "Hey, we've got problems that will get worse if we don't deal with them now" conversations. NOW he wants to see a counselor, NOW he wants to give his unsolicited assistance with my problems, NOW he wants to stay in Canada ...

I'm sure there will be more later. Just barfing up some stuff for now.

current mood: serious

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Monday, May 14th, 2012
11:08 am
I find myself coming back to this stupid old thing once a year. I should come more often, as not writing for fun has seriously impaired my ability to write for not-fun. I really need practice stringing together thoughts to produce some coherent piece of writing, if it is born of bitchiness.

I feel so old most of the time--which is to say, I don't let myself have an ounce of fun anymore. I just fuck around on Facebook--playing Words With Friends and stalking people I haven't seen in over ten years--and somehow convince myself I've had a good time. I ought to just go out and get tipsy and feel semi-guilty, rather than accomplish ABSOLUTELY NOTHING and still manage to wonder how I got nothing done. At least going out is a good excuse.

My boss, with whom Evan and I are extracurricularly friendly, ran into Evan at the bus stop this morning. I don't know the context, but knowing my boss, this was apropos of nothing: "I'm worried about Lacey. I think she's burning the candle at both ends again. Please tell her it's OK to take some time off if she needs it." This is on the heels of him telling me I looked haggard last week. Evan told him not to worry--that this is the only way I can operate, and that I'd get through it and be fine. Normally I'd say he's correct, but when I've got friends going to him about me, maybe there's something awful Evan and I aren't seeing.

"Again" is referencing the week when I was trying to finish the first draft of my thesis back in May. I didn't eat, couldn't sleep, and was trying to ignore the growing pit of doom in my stomach. I showed up at work because it seemed like the only thing I could do. I was a zombie, and I must have been a sight to behold. I'm not as bad off at the moment as I was then, but I'll have to get back to you once I meet with my supervisor tomorrow afternoon. Or not get back to you, as the case likely will be.

Did I say I felt old? On my end, it's only because I'm working/fucking around too much. I have environmental reasons enough to feel that way, as work is creating other strange anxieties in this vein. With the exception of a single male co-worker aged 26, I pretty much have nothing in common with my counterparts, the rest of whom are female and all under 21. In fact, male co-worker told me the girls don't know what I'm talking about most of the time--not that I didn't already have many clues to this effect. Nearly every story I tell or conversational contribution I make has to be prefaced by a history lesson. I wish I could say I felt like I educated them, but I know they don't give a shit. Even I don't give a shit, except that I often spout off things that sound bizarre and tangential, then feel the need to contextualize them. Today, I explained to a bunch of Canadians who weren't even alive in the 80s who Mary Lou Retton was, and they still didn't understand how awful it was of my mother to make me get my hair cut like hers. So I managed only to waste my time and theirs. Other recent disconnects: Edward Scissorhands and Keds.

I hope they don't think I'm trying to lord my age over them, as I do a fine job of it completely inadvertently. Maybe this would explain why one co-worker in particular likes to drop not-so-subtle hints that I might be going through menopause ("Oh, you're hot? Maybe it's menopause."). Man, I wish. I want to Kathy Bates at life so much lately. I wish I could say to her, "Well, I'm smarter than you and got into grad school on the first try." But not because I have Old-Lady-Hormone-Deficiency Rage. I just have Fuck-You-Asshole-Licking-Keener Rage, but that's another story.

So when the same girl said she feels "so old" when she hears Tokyo Police Club on the radio, of course I interpreted it as a bitchy invitation to best her at the age game. I silently declined. (I just told Evan what she said, to which he commented, "Tokyo Police Club? Didn't they come out four years ago?" According to Wikipedia, they've been around since 2005. But all its members are younger than us, so I guess it's relative.)

Is it any wonder I have more in common with our boss? Actually, it kind of is. He's 12 years older than me, but the gap in terms of life lived seems less. Maybe it's because I've at least got an ounce of experience for his pounds of it. I think a likelier explanation is that I'm a weirdo.

Here's my argument: as an only child, for the first ten years of my life, I was stuck in the world of adults. Of course I interacted with kids my age at preschool, and then at school--but from a very early age, I perceived a strangeness about myself. I got plenty of attention at home, but not all those hours could have been filled entirely with parent-child interaction. I learned early on to amuse myself, or to at least to avoid doing anything that would invoke the wrath of Daddy. Often, this meant being a quiet visitor to the adult world. I guess I started to enjoy it at some point. For example, I have yet to meet another person who, at the age of six, hid behind the dresser in her parents' room to watch MASH when she was supposed to be asleep.

My aunt recently described me as a precocious child. Now I'm starting to think it was because it was the only way I knew to conduct myself. This is not to say I'm a better person. Rather, I'm one not entirely in touch with the way normal people of a certain age act. My interests and preferences, while somewhat in my own time period, also draw heavily from my parents' era.

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Saturday, December 10th, 2011
11:51 pm - Another decade passed, and other assorted maudlin crap.
December 10, 2001

Dear Lacey,

You're a piece of shit right now. I know you know, and I know you aren't going to do anything about it just yet. So keep waiting tables and blowing your tips on booze on trips to Wal-Mart, then asking your mother for next month's rent. You're not going to start going to class anytime in the next two years, either, so continue to enjoy slacking off for a long while yet. I also know how deeply anxious you are, and you fucking around is partly to cover up the truth: you can't handle being completely on your own in the world. In eight year's time, you will relish your independence.

Possibly the only semi-intelligent thing you've done in the past year is to move out of your mother's house, though you will continue to spend more time there than you now believe. Ultimately, moving to Murfreesboro will be a good decision, but it will be another five years before you realize it. Until then, you'll spend an inordinate amount of time in Nashville, and it won't be for another year that you manage to spend a full twenty-four hours in the Boro. Horrifying prospect, I know. Even more terrifying is that you'll cry the day you move back to Nashville in 2008.

On Christmas Eve, your mother is going to tell you she thinks you're manic-depressive. She's wrong, though you'll certainly act the part for another year or so. A decade from now, you'll see it was the beginning of her own downward spiral. When your grandmother dies in June 2002, your mother will completely lose her shit. She won't be able to keep a job because she'll have actually lost her mind. The house and car will follow. Your relationship with her will be the last to go. You will be at the same time extremely upset and completely vindicated.

I know you have conflicting feelings about your father, but eventually it will dawn on you that you're more like him than anyone else. As your relationship with your mother declines, the one you have with your father will pick up. You will stop being afraid of him. You will enjoy calling him out for being a racist prick (among other things), and you'll be delighted when he responds with an insecure cackle instead of telling you you're too young to understand. (Even he knows the I'm-older-than-you card doesn't work past a certain point.) Most importantly, you'll enjoy talking to and spending time with him, and you'll genuinely feel awful when you don't see him for two years because life gets in the way.

And what about Adam? I'm sorry to tell you he doesn't go anywhere in the next five years--which is to say, not out of your life or anywhere in his own. I wish you would leave him, but you won't for quite a while. I know he's safe, and I know his family is good to you--probably better than they ought. You're going to break his heart, but it will be good for him in the end. He'll even get married. And so will you, for that matter. The first neighbor you meet after you move out of Adam's apartment and into your very own will introduce you to your husband.

No, you won't ever be the marrying type. Neither will your husband, Evan. But you do love each other very much. Within a week of finding out you've been accepted to grad school in Canada, you will be married to him, if only so he can come with you.

Don't worry that those dreams you have are delusional impossibilities. You will start going to class, and you'll somehow manage to hold that expensive piece of paper in your hand five and half years from now.

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Saturday, June 4th, 2011
6:23 pm - Tennessee Homesick Blues--a therapeutic rant.
My adolescence and early twenties were marked by a complete hatred of the state of Tennessee, and the south as a whole. This afternoon, I'm thinking about and verbalizing why this was so. I'm certainly not engaging in these activities for the first time ever, so perhaps I should say that I'm trying to figure out why, despite my fierce love of Canada, I still miss the place I'm from--and how I even managed to arrive at feeling as though I had a homeland. Also, I'm two-thirds into a bottle of wine. Though I'm certain my audience is nonexistent at this point in time, I beg potential readers to bear with me.

So, why did I hate Tennessee? In a neat package, it was due to intolerance and hypocrisy, but more specifically and in no particular order of importance:

Racism, conservative politics, and fundamentalist or quasi-fundamentalist Christianity (which itself presents myriad issues, such as abortion and heterosexuality).

For my first years of high school, I yearned and looked for ways out. I spoke disparagingly of the south at every opportunity. I was frequently the butt of family jokes, but at least my friends seemed to be in agreement with my sentiments. The fam kept asking what I was, then, if I was refusing to acknowledge my deep and undeniably southern roots. To them, lacking a geospatial identity was an entirely foreign concept. I didn't have an answer then, and I still don't. At the time, I chalked it up to the southern fear of outsiders and interlopers, despite whatever social niceties southerners make when a stranger comes to call.

I will say that I found myself incapable of reconciling my ways of knowing and being with those of southern extremism. Nearly always having felt my current ran exactly 180 degrees to the southern status quo, I believed that loving the place whence I came necessarily made me a traitor to other things I held dear. I couldn't willfully insert myself into the grey area of both shame and pride, could I? My world even then was far from being black and white, but embodying those particular polar feelings was extremely unattractive to me at the time. So I went with what I felt was more a popular response elsewhere in the U.S. and the world, which was hating the shit out of the south. At least I could say I abhorred country music--if anyone would ever get so far as asking instead of assuming. Even if they assumed, I imagined I put forth a cosmopolitan image that would dispel presuppositions about myself. It would be many years before I learned why that facade was a complete farce, and why the apparent hatred of my home was only reinforcing what a lot of people thought about it.

When it became evident the only universities that would deign to have me and my poor academic record were in my homeland, I refused to attend them. Manifested was a clinical depression. I suspect that's apparent from my LJ entries of yore--just go back ten years. My feelings of being completely out of place were writ large at the time. So I dated a southern Jew for seven years and worked in an Irish pub for much of that time. I drank myself into oblivion as often as possible and imagined it all sufficed as atonement. I look back on those years with zero regret--I absolutely needed them. I can't say all my problems were the result of a southern identity problem, but looking back, not knowing who I was or should be was a major contributor to all the fucking around I did circa 1999 to 2003.

In the years leading up to my departure from Tennessee, I actually acquired a fondness for the place, and by twenty-seven I had to admit I quite liked it. I had fallen in with a group of incredible friends (nearly all anthropology majors) at MTSU, had become completely enamored of Tennessee archaeology, met the love of my life, and acknowledged that my ancestral past was far from being plain old whitey. I proclaimed my love of barbecue, corn, and tomatoes. I accepted that ticks were an unfortunate parasite of human existence. Maybe it was that I finally realized I couldn't pretend to be from any other place? I gleefully drank moonshine, and failing that, Jack. Or bourbon. (I'm still not picky, though it's in greater moderation these days.) I couldn't deny the etymological links between the Irish and Scottish music I loved so well and country music. Same for step dancing and clogging/square dancing.

There were also questions. What about my shovel-shaped incisors? Did my requirement of a daily bath and the importance placed upon it get passed down from my great-great-grandmother going to water ? And even less scientifically, where did I get this massive forehead? I began to realize and acknowledge that my ancestry didn't neatly belong to the British Isles, and that if my North American ancestors acknowledged the presence of English/Irish/Scottish chicks/dudes for a handful of generations, then perhaps I should ridden myself less with western European guilt. It's a stretch, I know--I majored in Anthropology and minored in Native American Studies, after all, and am completely aware of the deleterious effect (to put it most mildly) of Europeans in North America. But perhaps the love of my homeland was more ingrained and explicable than I had previously believed?

It really should come as no surprise to you that, deep down, I loved Tennessee--even if it did to me. (Especially the mountains, from where all my family hailed.) I had wasted so many years hating the people my ancestors never were--the slave-holding plantation owner, for one--that I never bothered to believe my genetic and cultural past could be richer (and less elitist) than what I had gathered from my twenty-odd years on this earth.

I think this was supposed to be far more insightful than it's turned out to be, but I've consumed the entire bottle of wine and now all I want to do is take a shower.

Drunk Cherokee, indeed.

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Saturday, August 28th, 2010
10:53 am - Seditious relationship flotsam.
I was talking to a friend in Colorado on Gmail chat the other afternoon. She's one of my more recent best friends. We met in 2006, but I didn't really get to know here until 2007, when I was her internship supervisor at Big South Fork.

Anyway, we were talking about relationship issues. She started her terminal Ph.D. program at UC Santa Barbara last fall, just about the time her boyfriend of two years was writing his thesis at American. Their original plan was for him to move to California and hang out for a year or so, picking up CRM jobs as available. Needless to say, she was pretty hurt when he decided to go ahead and do his Ph.D.--in Texas. In discussions about the change of plans, she asked, "What about me?" His response was more depressing than his decision to begin his Ph.D. He said, "Why would you factor in to any decision I made about my future?"

Crack.Collapse )

current mood: sad

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Saturday, August 21st, 2010
10:59 pm - My choice?
I didn't choose to be conceived by a twenty-one year old U.S. citizen in 1981.

I didn't choose to be conceived by a woman who, despite her meager means by western standards, had access to adequate prenatal care.

I didn't choose a woman who knew breastfeeding was better than not.

I didn't choose to be raised by parents who were able to give their child clean water, nutritious food, clothing, and a house.

I didn't choose to be raised by a woman who didn't work full-time so that she could spend most of the day with her baby.

I didn't choose a mother who had the luxury of choice--to go without so that her child might have.

I didn't choose a mother whose family would offer their assistance when needed.


I could go on, but I think it goes without saying that I didn't choose a lot of important shit in my life, if only because I wasn't alive and/or sentient. I'm really, really sick of people thinking they're fucking special because of this or that. THEY'RE NOT. The American Dream is very nearly the least of my concern these days--American Exceptionalism seems to have assumed primacy in this sick, sad modern life. Why do Americans think they're better than someone else who was born in the same year, in the same month, on the same day, even, just not in the same place? What fucking choice was it of theirs, or yours?

I have more to say on the subject, but it's late. I just wanted to get a starting point down before I went to bed.

current mood: angry

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Thursday, August 19th, 2010
11:48 pm - If I knew any songs about Irkutsk, I guess a line would go here.
There's probably several hundred to choose from in the Russian language, but I guess I'll have to content myself with western ignorance for the time being.

What the fuck am I doing in Siberia? The short answer is, "Collecting data for my thesis." The long answer, is, well, too long, but I don't think a sampling will hurt:

Having severe, almost debilitating, allergic reactions to mold in the lab? Yes.
Pretending like I don't know my advisor and his Ph.D. student are fucking? Check.
Getting strange looks from everyone on the street and getting into fights with bus drivers who just want to go on their lunch breaks? Oh, yeah.
Hoping I haven't just picked out a cheese that will make me not want to eat any kind of cheese for the next five years? It's a near-daily hazard.

I have, in fact, gone through my entire artifact assemblage. I was nearly through with the analysis within a week of arriving, but various changes of plans and the like (along with the aforementioned mold) dragged it out into a second week. Today marks the beginning of week three here in cold, wet Irkutsk. I might bitch about the weather, but it actually reminds me more of home than the weather in Edmonton does. And it's humid here, so that's another thing to enjoy.

Last year's trip to Irkutsk, though brief, was hell for me. I was staying with another student who goes to the University of Saskatchewan, which was OK at first. I quickly learned she was the Canadian version of the obnoxious "MERICA!" type: irritatingly healthy, hatred of firearms, believed the United States has zero good qualities and "couldn't believe" someone like me was from there ... (I know the type pretty well now). I also had intermittent internet access, which meant I mostly spoke to Evan through email--not to mention that wasting hours online was completely out of the question. My level of boredom was through the roof. When I was summoned to the lab, I spent a lot of time doing nothing, and when I was doing something, felt totally inadequate. I cried myself to sleep most nights when I was here, wondering what the hell I'd gotten us into, what with moving to Edmonton and travelling halfway around the world to do research.

This year has been very different. Oh, I bitched and whined about having to be here for an entire month. And this time I was going to be completely alone, with nobody anywhere near my age to hang out with. And what about the internet? These were the only complaints I was sure I would have, and I thought they were completely legitmate. Had I really become that co-dependent?

Upon my 2010 arrival in Irkutsk, I was quickly and unceremoniously dumped at my month-long cell apartment. On the way across town, aforementioned advisor and Ph.D. student prattled on about the feast her mother was preparing--for them. I was told I could find a grocery store one bus stop up the road.

The second everyone left, I locked the door and began to sob. I even took stupid emo pictures of myself in the mirror to commemorate the occasion. After an hour, I decided I had better take a shower. I had go to the store, at least for a few small things to munch on. And I had no idea when it would be dark, or when the store would close, or any other combination of terrible, terrifying things that might happen. When I turned on the faucet in the tub, the hot water came out rusty brown and smelled like day-old piss. The cold water was dark grey. This set me off again. It took another hour for me to regain some semblance of composure. (As luck would have it, that's about how long it took for the water to clear.)

That was the last time I cried because I was certain my life sucked. Though I've been working and have spent an incredible amount of time alone, it's actually been really awesome. It's been a vacation away from me, or my normal life, or something along those lines. And though I miss Evan to a ridiculous degree, it's been refreshing to spend some time with myself.

I've filled my evenings with playing catch-up with old friends on Gmail video chat (which is way better than Skype, by the way). I've had time to follow links people post to FB. I'm not concerned if my meat's still cooking when the potatoes are done (fuck, am I so old--to be worried about that?). I've been reading true-crime serial killer books of dubious quality. I finished watching all of Twin Peaks (it got too stupid for Evan's taste). And I'm not worried about who I'm hanging out with Friday night, because there IS no one to hang out with on Friday night. I've discovered amazing foods, like smetlana (high-fat sour cream) and pel'meni (meat dumplings, most like ravioli but not really like them), and bought cookies just because I fucking felt like it.

So that's the unabridged version of what I've been doing here. But I guess it could be summed up neatly by the phrase "chilling out." And I suppose I am a little more co-dependent than I used to be, but at least I can blame that on the internet being awesome.

current mood: content

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10:02 pm - Time to resurrect this thing.
Logging into LJ just a minute ago, I felt as though I was walking into a bar I haven't been to in ten years. It feels right, but something is wrong. I've made at least one post a year since 2005, which is roughly when I stopped composing LJ entries in my head to amuse myself throughout the day. And what a shame. This LJ has been therapeutic on so many occasions in the past nine years, even if it was just rambling and bitching and whining to no one, or at least to anyone who cared.

I've still had plenty of crazy floating around for the past five years, but I guess I thought I was too busy. I fell in love--actually fell in love--and stopped coming home to either myself or someone too busy with their video game du jour to pay me any mind. Suddenly, my evenings were devoted to Evan (in theory, anyway). But never more. Blame it on being in Russia and having a ton of free time on my hands (at least for the next two weeks), but I miss documenting the comings and goings of my life.

Now I'm in grad school in Canada, and I find myself full of piss and venom that only Evan is subjected to--which is unfair, seeing as he is rarely the source of it, and extra unfair because he often agrees with me (just doesn't want to complain ad nauseum as I do). So there's another layer of necessity, even if it's just building on the whole therapy thing.

So, instead of entering data on Phoca sibirica, I will make a post. I hope I can remember all the HTML I'll need.

current mood: bored

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Wednesday, March 18th, 2009
11:44 pm - Non, je ne regrette rien. En particulier, les femmes dans ma vie!
For what am I grateful? Well, with a well intentioned suggestion (aka advertisment) from Nature Made Bakeries, I guess I'm supposed to say bread. But since they asked, selflessness--a quality I rarely, if ever, possess.

On that note, a few things occurred to me as I smoked a fag out the window of my non-smoking room. At the age of 27, my ...

... mother had an annoying four-and-one-half-year-old (1986).
... aunt was eagerly awaiting her firstborn, particularly since her younger sister had already produced the first grandchild (not the same year my mother had the annoying four-year-old, mind you ... there's a four and one-half year age difference between the two--1982).
... my maternal grandmother had two daughters: my aunt was seven; my mother was three (1962).
... my paternal grandmother had one son--my father, who was one year old (1949).

Clearly, I am much better off than the two generations before me. But if it's a contest, my paternal grandmother was the best in terms of putting off the firstborn as long as possible--though, oddly enough, she had more children than anyone else in my family on either side.

On the occasion of my cousin Jennifer's wedding in 2003, Grandmother Vivian told me that, given another chance, she was sure she wouldn't have four children, and possibly not even one. She was born in 1922--clearly not a member of a generation that hoped to put off children as long as possible (though was sort of forced to, what with WWII going on and all). Even still, both grandmothers had careers: Baba was a nurse, and Grandmother Vivian was a teacher. The former was a product of east Tennessee near-poverty; the latter, a product of east Tennessee privilege. The births of their children were but short interruptions to their lives' work. Even my mother, who resumed her college education when I was seven, brought herself out of semi-hausfrauitude to obtain jobs that have greater than seven words in their titles. And most recently: while pregnant, Dr. Peres tempered every sentence about her then-unborn son with at least two sentences about her career. Dr. Altman, while rightfully proud of her genius progeny, sometimes claimed she didn't know how she ended up with a seven-year-old who had the mind and demeanor of a fifty-year-old (Dalton desired nothing more than to meet Garrison Keillor in person before the age of ten--I'm not exaggerating).

I guess some women might argue that there was something amiss with those I have just admired. With perhaps the exception of Grandmother Vivian, all these children were/are adored--WITHOUT being the be all/end all of each mother's identity. Please don't get me wrong: I have no contempt for women who raise their children and desire nothing more. However, I do hold a special place in my heart for women who have done exactly as they wanted--WITH children.

So, knowing that having a career and children are NOT mutually exclusive, why might I desire the former but not the latter? If you ask me, I'm a genetic fuckup. Though I still pride myself on my childhood attempts to build Lego structures for my impossibly tall Barbies, I can't deny that I was very much a girl in spirit and heart--and that this has much to do with my upbringing. Even at the late age of eighteen, I claimed I would stop smoking when I fell pregnant with my first child--with little concern for whether or not I actually WANTED such a thing to happen. At the time, not having children was something that had not crossed my mind. Though I obviously was not prepared for such an arrival at eighteen, I harbored little doubt that, one day, babies would shoot out of my vagina. I needed an additional six years to vow that I, Lacey Fleming, cared too deeply about the health and emotional well-being of children to ever bring a single one into this world. Why? Simply put, I am very, very selfish.

I like children, believe it or not. I pride myself on being one of the few habitual babysitters who actually plays with her charges--and enjoys it. (If anything, most kids have yet to realize that I relate to them so well because I'm as "immature" as they are.) I just couldn't endure one of my own for the bare minimum of eighteen years. Balls to the wall 24/7 isn't my style.

At the age of twenty-four, I vowed to become the Cool Aunt. Being an only child, this desire presented a particular problem. My cousin, who is practically my sister, will have children. I hope they will know me as Aunt Lacey. My dearest friends have--or will have--children. I hope they will tell their children there is a woman who loves them very much despite the fact she isn't related to them--I hope that they too will know me as Aunt Lacey (or just Lacey--if they prefer). I"m not that particular. I'm only particular on the subject of having any of my own.

Je suis enivre a la moment, donc je me ferme la bouche. Bonne nuit.

current mood: pensive

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11:44 pm - Non, je ne regrette rien. articularement les femmes dans ma vie!
For what am I grateful? Well, with a well intentioned suggestion (aka advertisment) from Nature Made Bakeries, I guess I'm supposed to say bread. But since they asked, selflessness--a quality I rarely, if ever, possess.

On that note, a few things occurred to me as I smoked a fag out the window of my non-smoking room. At the age of 27, my ...

... mother had an annoying four-and-one-half-year-old (1986).
... aunt was eagerly awaiting her firstborn, particularly since her younger sister had already produced the first grandchild (not the same year my mother had the annoying four-year-old, mind you ... there's a four and one-half year age difference between the two--1982).
... my maternal grandmother had two daughters: my aunt was seven; my mother was three (1962).
... my paternal grandmother had one son--my father, who was one year old (1949).

Clearly, I am much better off than the two generations before me. But if it's a contest, my paternal grandmother was the best in terms of putting off the firstborn as long as possible--though, oddly enough, she had more children than anyone else in my family on either side.

On the occasion of my cousin Jennifer's wedding in 2003, Grandmother Vivian told me that, given another chance, she was sure she wouldn't have four children, and possibly not even one. She was born in 1922--clearly not a member of a generation that hoped to put off children as long as possible (though was sort of forced to, what with WWII going on and all). Even still, both grandmothers had careers: Baba was a nurse, and Grandmother Vivian was a teacher. The former was a product of east Tennessee near-poverty; the latter, a product of east Tennessee privilege. The births of their children were but short interruptions to their lives' work. Even my mother, who resumed her college education when I was seven, brought herself out of semi-hausfrauitude to obtain jobs that have greater than seven words in their titles. And most recently: while pregnant, Dr. Peres tempered every sentence about her then-unborn son with at least two sentences about her career. Dr. Altman, while rightfully proud of her genius progeny, sometimes claimed she didn't know how she ended up with a seven-year-old who had the mind and demeanor of a fifty-year-old (Dalton desired nothing more than to meet Garrison Keillor in person before the age of ten--I'm not exaggerating).

I guess some women might argue that there was something amiss with those I have just admired. With perhaps the exception of Grandmother Vivian, all these children were/are adored--WITHOUT being the be all/end all of each mother's identity. Please don't get me wrong: I have no contempt for women who raise their children and desire nothing more. However, I do hold a special place in my heart for women who have done exactly as they wanted--WITH children.

So, knowing that having a career and children are NOT mutually exclusive, why might I desire the former but not the latter? If you ask me, I'm a genetic fuckup. Though I still pride myself on my childhood attempts to build Lego structures for my impossibly tall Barbies, I can't deny that I was very much a girl in spirit and heart--and that this has much to do with my upbringing. Even at the late age of eighteen, I claimed I would stop smoking when I fell pregnant with my first child--with little concern for whether or not I actually WANTED such a thing to happen. At the time, not having children was something that had not crossed my mind. Though I obviously was not prepared for such an arrival at eighteen, I harbored little doubt that, one day, babies would shoot out of my vagina. I needed an additional six years to vow that I, Lacey Fleming, cared too deeply about the health and emotional well-being of children to ever bring a single one into this world. Why? Simply put, I am very, very selfish.

I like children, believe it or not. I pride myself on being one of the few habitual babysitters who actually plays with her charges--and enjoys it. (If anything, most kids have yet to realize that I relate to them so well because I'm as "immature" as they are.) I just couldn't endure one of my own for the bare minimum of eighteen years. Balls to the wall 24/7 isn't my style.

At the age of twenty-four, I vowed to become the Cool Aunt. Being an only child, this desire presented a particular problem. My cousin, who is practically my sister, will have children. I hope they will know me as Aunt Lacey. My dearest friends have--or will have--children. I hope they will tell their children there is a woman who loves them very much despite the fact she isn't related to them--I hope that they too will know me as Aunt Lacey (or just Lacey--if they prefer). I"m not that particular. I'm only particular on the subject of having any of my own.

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11:44 pm - How do I define greatness?
Well, with a well intentioned suggestion (aka advertisment) from Nature Made Bakeries, I guess I'm supposed to say bread. But since they asked, selflessnes--a quality I rarely possess.

On that note, a few things occurred to me as I smoked a fag out the window of my non-smoking room. At the age of 27, my ...

... mother had an annoying four-year-old.
... aunt was eagerly awaiting her firstborn, particularly since her younger sister had already produced the first grandchild (not the same year my mother had the annoying four-year-old, mind you ... there's a four year age difference between the two).
... my grandmother had two daughters; my aunt was seven; my mother was three.

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3:58 pm - In a Taco Hell coma.
I've made myself sick thinking about what's coming up in the next few months. Upon discovery of my admission to the U of A last Saturday, I just wanted to barf. I did experience a certain degree of happiness and accomplishment, but it was quickly overshadowed by everything that must be done before we even pack up our shit. There's the question of whether or not Evan and I will have to be joined in a legally recognized union, or if Canada will even let me cross the border with a friggin' misdemeanor on my record. Even if I get a LOT of funding, large sums of money need to be saved--we're not planning to take a whole lot of anything with us (which, in some cases, will need to be replaced upon arrival), and we'll probably have to sell our cars and get something that was made for eight months of bitterly cold weather. A $175 CAN housing deposit needs to be mailed off. Visas have to be obtained and paid for.

In having typed out my most major concerns about the whole affair, I'm no longer wondering why my confidence is flagging. Doing well is the least of my worries--after all, I have to make it up there first.

I'm all gloom and doom at the moment, but just a few hours ago, I was feeling very positive and upbeat. I've always said I wanted to live a life that was bit more than ordinary. While going to school in Canada is far from extraordinary, it will require me to move far, far away

current mood: crampy

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Tuesday, March 17th, 2009
1:27 am - Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes ...
It's damn near farcical to maintain my lj at this point in time ... whereas I used to update several times a day, now I can't arse myself to do it even once a month. I used to be so angry ... I'm still angry, actually, but I suppose I've found better ways to channel my fury over the past eight years.

Lately, it seems like I only update when I have some sort of announcement, and this morning is no exception. I received admission approval from the University of Alberta this past Saturday. I will be moving there by the end of the summer--most likely in August.

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Sunday, January 18th, 2009
1:03 am - 2009 State of the Union
I sometimes put on the local government channel for background noise that I can completely ignore if I choose ... but on occasion, I'm rewarded for being the odd bird who actually watches it. Right now, I'm getting peeks of select Nashville residents' untamed lawns. Let me explain:

Do you know who owns the property at 122 23rd Avenue South?
[insert photograph of the house/offending lawn]
This is a violation of Metro Codes.
SHAME ON THIS PROPERTY OWNER!
To report violators or provide information, call the Metropolitan Health Department at ###-####. Let's work together to stop this SHAMEFUL behavior!


Since when was not mowing your grass a shameful thing? Yes, it looks ugly, and yes, it attracts wildlife that MIGHT have rabies and MIGHT bite your perfect neighbors' annoying three-year-old kid ... but I don't think that gets filed under "shameful." Their efforts might be better directed at drawing people's attention to the big, nasty fine the Metro HD wants to dump on them. If someone's not maintaining their yard to even the smallest degree, chances are that they're already the object of scorn and hatred. Something like:

Hate that neighbor who won't mow his friggin' yard? Report his ass to the Metropolitan Health Department! We'll fine them, and you'll have the satisfaction of being the one who made the call.


Mmmmm ... that was meant to be more amusing. I guess I don't have it in me tonight. So, on to what this post is REALLY about.


PERSONAL HEALTH
I have a cold. I have a cold Evan gave me. Evan gave me the cold despite many pleas to not kiss me or otherwise "get in my face." Colds don't debilitate Evan like they do me. That's why he's at a friend's house in Clarksville and I'm bored at the apartment

I quit smoking. Smoking is supposed to depress your immune system. So, how in the hell did I catch a cold more easily and quickly than I would have as a smoker?

I now have premenstrual symptoms for a full three weeks out of a month. I shouldn't have to explain what's going on during the fourth week. At any rate, I'm getting no reprieve--there should be two weeks out of every month that I'm NOT suffering for a uterus I'm never going to use. This shit is getting really old, and I wouldn't be having issues like this if all were well in the reproductive viscera department (and no, I'm not preggers). Without health insurance, I suppose I should be lining up a trip to the good ol' Planned Parenthood.

EVAN
Despite giving me the aforementioned cold, Evan is good.
Evan and I are also good. (At least in my opinion.)

WORK
My tenure as assistant director of Girls Raised In Tennessee Science ended on December 1, 2008. I have been unemployed since then, but I haven't really enjoyed my time off. In that time, I took the GRE, moved to Nashville, spent hours on grad school applications, sent my CV to a million CRM firms, and worked in the zooarch lab at MTSU ... yet I was spiraling into insanity because I didn't have a job. It's not like I sat on my ass for the entire month and a half, but I felt like a waste of space all the same.

The feelings of complete uselessness ended on Thursday, when Carmen from Weaver and Associates called me. Since they called/emailed me for years after spending a mere month on their 2004 project, I figured I'd drop them a CV and let them know that I was FINALLY available (i.e., not in school, not stuck in a crap job I hate). I'm now going to Dyersburg Monday morning. The project is only supposed to last three weeks, but I'm hoping they have more jobs come up and will need to keep me on. I don't like the idea of being away from Evan Monday through Friday for weeks on end, but I have to make and save some money for grad school. I also couldn't let him pay all our bills by himself (never mind that he did just that for nine months).

LOCATION
After three shootings in November just yards away from our Murfreesboro apartment, Evan and I decided to move to Hermitage. Besides, with the GRITS job over, and Evan's current job in Mount Juliet, there was no reason for us to continue living in my tiny, craptastic apartment across the street from campus. I guess the shootings just tipped us over the edge--we were already uber pissed off at the new University Terrace owners/management, who did nothing but raise rent and let the place go to shit.

MISCELLANEOUS
Despite our political allegiance to socialism, Evan and I are NOT gun-hating leftist liberals. In fact, so concerned were we about personal safety in the worsening economic situation, we decided to get our carry permits. Actually, I shouldn't speak for him--I don't know specifically what his reasons were. The concern is mine alone. Any-fucking-way, when his parents invited us to take a handgun safety class with them, we both jumped at it. My dad was so excited, he gave me his Smith and Wesson .38 Special. With the class planned for the second weekend of December, he made a special trip to Murfreesboro to give me the gun, as well as to take Evan and me shooting.

You wouldn't know it by looking at him, but my dad is a gun nut. When he came, he brought his entire gun arsenal--which he totes around in a HUGE duffel bag. (This collection excluded all the shotguns and rifles he has.) Since I spent part of my childhood in a house with guns on the periphery, I've never been afraid to hold them or inspect them, but ... problem was, my firearm education and appreciation was cut short when my parents divorced. I had never shot anything more than a BB gun before. (No matter. I probably would have refused to shoot anything for half of my teenage years, so "hippie" was I ...)

Daddy didn't factor in my inexperience, nor did he consider that I, as a first-time shooter, might be unnerved by the very hot and very loud indoor range. I squeezed off five bullets before the tears came in. I didn't know what I was doing, I was wobbling all over the place, and I was sure I'd accidentally shoot someone--hell, I wasn't even hitting the target, which was a measly three yards away. Daddy seemed perplexed. Evan hugged me. Neither could figure out why I was crying.

I later equated the experience to driving a car for the first time--as in, I had my learner's permit and I was actually driving on the road with other cars around me. The knowledge that I was in control of something very powerful was terrifying, and it made me feel queasy and strung out on adrenaline. I didn't cry then because I was too excited about the prospect of having my license and being mobile. I decided the only way to get over my fear of the gun was to look forward to the day when I had my carry permit. Evan and I also got a BB gun so I could practice my aim ... and get familiar with using something that shoots small bits of metal into the air.

The day we took our class, I was excited. (I also had an audience of Evan, Evan's parents, and one of Evan's brothers, so I was going to be hella embarrassed if I chickened out AGAIN.) I knew we would be shooting that day, but I didn't realize that proving you could hit the damn target would be a major part of the carry permit test. Stupid me. But I think my aim was better the second time around because I DIDN'T know we were going to be tested on it. Really, my main goal was to avoid tears.

I did myself proud. Not only did I not cry, but I passed the shooting test with 92% (I missed four shots). Evan, of course, got a 100, but I was damn happy to get what I did--and only my second time shooting!

I've filled out my application for the carry permit, and today we drove to Greenbrier to have my fingerprints taken. I have to pass a background check (please ... I've passed an FBI background check), but it seems I'll have my permit in a few weeks.

OK, I should get some rest. I won't even promise to write more soon--I never keep that promise. Besides, it's not like people still read this thing.

current mood: sick

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Saturday, September 20th, 2008
12:46 am - WTF, Sir Paul? (Or, Why John Is My Favorite Beatle, and, By the Way, I Hate Starbucks)
On 21 March 2007, McCartney left EMI to become the first artist signed to Starbucks's new record label, Los Angeles-based Hear Music, to be distributed by Concord Music Group. He made an appearance via a video-feed from London at the company's annual meeting.

OK. I'll admit that, once upon a time (fourteen years ago, to be exact), I touted myself as the biggest Beatles fan ever. However ... even then, I cared little for the current comings and goings of the remaining Beatles, as my favorite was already dead. It's really no surprise that I haven't kept up on any Beatles-related newsbits in the intervening years, except that George died and Paul divorced that gold-digging cuntface. (And I can't be arsed to give a shit about Ringo. Sorry, dude. You just never brought anything to the table.)

So, imagine my horror upon discovery of:

1) Paul selling out yet again. (Really, man? You can only sell out so many times before you own the fuckin' place. Start your own goddamn label--it's not like you haven't done it before.)

2) Starbucks Coffee having its own music label.

This is horrific news, even if it's a year and half old. Lest I present it as "news," and not a disgusting decision Paul made under his own recognizance, be assured I only accept the latter as a valid interpretation. Beyond giving a nod to his genius when paired with John, I've never much liked him. Fuck this shit about Yoko breaking up the band. She might have been a no-musical-talent ass clown, but it was Paul trying to transfer legal management of the band to his father-in-law's law firm, as well as the larger cut of the band's income he was trying to take for himself, that really did the Beatles in.

(To continue with the tangential babble, I'm willing to admit that the breakup was inevitable and necessary. They all wanted to do different things; in most cases, they pursued those things while maintaining the image that they were still a band. The demise of the Beatles was far from ridiculous--no farcically premeditated farewell album, no farewell world tour ... However, if they had tried their damnedest to keep it up, they would have crashed and burned. Collectively, they went out in an eternal flame of glory.)

So, now on to bitching about Starbucks. Though I once proclaimed that "nary a drop of their evil liquid has crossed my lips," I had a moment of weakness about ten months ago. What I can tell you is that I did not pay for that moment of weakness--as a favor to me, someone else went to get coffee and returned with Satan's steaming, black, watery seed. Oh, digressing again. Anyway, I'm about 1/4 guilty.

On a less personal level, they represent all that is awful and bad with capitalism. They glut local markets with their shit-in-a-paper-cup omnipotence, then "downsize" after they've managed to push every other contender out of business. Fair trade, you say? Bullshit. A mere SIX percent of their beans can be considered such.

A quick Google search for Starbucks fair trade returns a website concerned with "campaigning" the corporation to adopt full fair trade policies. WOW. They're purveyors of coffee and brainwashing. Instead of advocating a boycott that could, conceivably, put Starbucks out of business, these devotees think they'll just beg for a more socially responsible agenda as they suck down their venti-sized iced half-caf soy Americanos through green straws. Yay, internet activism! (At least the members of Anonymous get out on the street in V masks and fro wigs to protest detestable things.)

I realize I have lost sight of one-half my original gripe, which was that Starbucks has its own music label, aptly (and stupidly) titled Hear Music. What, did "Feel Music," "See Music," "Smell Music," or "Taste Music" sound too ridiculous? Not enough pretense? Didn't want to offend those with synesthesia? Would any other sense-related verb, in conjunction with "music," have presumed a certain degree of intelligent abstraction that most of your customers do not possess?

Fuck you, Paul McCartney. I might side with you on the Heather Mills divorce settlement debacle, but you're still a hypocritical douchebag. Oh, those poor animals! How about those poor people who toil in the fucking coffee fields? I don't wish to imply that we should care less about one or the other (though some animals are fucking delicious, I'm sure some people are, too), but your support-by-association of such a heinous corporation is reprehensible. I never thought I'd reach the point of speaking ill of a former Beatle. You win!

At least John had Working Class Hero. Funny, that--wasn't your family once considered working class, so much that John's family thought yours might be a "bad" influence on him?

current mood: weird

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Tuesday, September 9th, 2008
1:57 am - A great man: 2.15.37-09.07.08
I only met him once.

When I first heard him speak, my back was to him, and my knees dug into the glazed brick floor. His Yorkie, Scout, sat in my lap. I feigned complete interest in the dog and dared not look at him.

"You must be Lacey. Don't bother getting up--you're already on your knees."

Such an utterance commanded a peek. His comment was presumptuous and awesome, and I immediately liked him. I had heard stories, and the socks rolled up over the legs of his sweatpants meant one thing: this was definitely Farmer McGregor. (This was not his real name, yet I was so taken by the nickname given to him by his stepson that I still can't help but use it.)

I'll freely admit that I was intimidated by him. A Harvard graduate ... a successful journalist and author ... not to mention a family member of the guy I was dating at the time. The sum was terrifying enough, but I still think the latter was what concerned me most.

Words fail me now as they did then. I smiled and nodded and gazed out the window. My then-boyfriend's extended family was conducting a lawnmower race in a field across the road. I gazed out the window, making polite conversation when appropriate.

Dogs were walked. Old houses were shown to me. On the ride to the restaurant, I was told that Farmer McGregor had availed himself of a large bottle of liquor the night before and was not his "usual" self. I was also told that, on occasion, Farmer McGregor forgot the stepson was speaking about his girlfriend and instead remembered a young man at Harvard (known as Lacey) who once stole McGregor's Thanksgiving turkey. Many years after the fact, Farmer McGregor still spewed venom at the mere mention of his name. I could relate.

Dinner was a somewhat quiet affair. Ashamedly, most questions revolved around me--though, to be fair, I was a recent addition to the table. And I was trying my damnedest to pretend I didn't know who sat across the table from me.

"I've been to Machu Picchu. Are you jealous?"
"Quite," I responded, as I slurped some French onion soup.

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Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008
12:18 am - Adulthood, or, Tipsy musings
When in a relationship, I sometimes delude myself by thinking how much better off I'd be alone. In some cases, that was true. Actually, this relationship marks the first time I haven't been completely miserable about something crucial. Evan now has a job, my good job finally started paying worth a damn, and though we should be saving, money isn't a dominant theme in my life. Or so I thought.

Last Friday at midnight, I received the largest paycheck I have ever earned in ten years. I had almost forgotten I had been working for that long--that is, until I got my Social Security statement in the mail this afternoon. It's not something to which I give much consideration on a daily basis, but it filled me with a sense of accomplishment I have never before experienced. Even though the statement told me I could "look forward" to $997 a month if I work up to the age of seventy (which tells me I'm never seeing a dime), I felt proud. And also justified, as I went on a veritable shopping binge last week (at least by my low, low standards). The candle, the sheets, and the Labor Day cookout I financed last week were the only unnecessary things I purchased. Oh, and those sheets? They were intended to replace a menstrual blood-stained set I bought over six years ago. Yes, I got a $300 laptop last week, but I really did need something that could reliably access the internet. As for the clothes, I had to stop looking so ratty for "professional" meetings (not to mention that most of my clothes don't fit anymore, thanks to a rapidly expanding ass and stomach). And the books? I surely could have done without them, but I had wanted Marx's Ghosts: Conversations with Archaeologists and Archaeology and Capitalism for MONTHS.

In those months, I didn't allow myself to buy them, or anything else that smacked of frivolity. Why? Because, in addition to taking care of myyself, I also knew I would be paying for Evan. Not for little things, but big things like rent, utilties, and food. Though I would have had those expenses without him, the fact that he didn't have a job put everything in a different perspective.

However unconsciously, I was attempting to celebrate the largest-ever amount of money I've possessed at one time. So tonight, I got an innocent, yet pointed "We need to be saving."

I love Evan with every bit of my being, but his comment stung. Who was he to tell me I should be saving when he was out of work for six and a half months? Though he has a job now, he won't be paid for another week, and I'm likely to have to help him with gas money. I'm willing to admit he hadn't really considered the words coming out of his mouth, but I was pissed all the same.

More later.

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12:07 am
Here at work: my grown-up, considerably-more-than-minimum-wage job. I have an office. I have keys to that office, as well as keys to the building in which my office is located. I can make executive decisions, like what color paper we should use to print off bookmarks. I always pick green--my boss is getting sick of it, I think. I can give scutwork to the student employee. But she often evades my phone calls, preferring to contact me via email--as though I can't see the time stamp on it and know that she was sitting on her ass when I called her to come get something to do. I come and go as I please. I usually come early and stay late. And I get to play online when the mood strikes me. Like right now.

Much to my chagrin, Evan still doesn't have a job ... to be somewhat fair, most of the crappy ones he could get here in Murfreesboro wouldn't be worth the gas it would take to get there (even those in town), so he's looking at an environmental testing company in Mount Juliet. I had hoped he would have a job long before now, seeing as he's definitely known since the beginning of March that he wasn't leaving. Even threats of "We're not moving to Minneapolis if you don't get a job!" have not had the desired effect. I had to pull out the screaming and the tears last Tuesday night. I hate doing that shit, but sometimes, it gets the job done. (Incidentally, I was suffering from PMS that evening.)

Evan and I went to Mississippi this weekend. We squabbled the whole week leading up to the trip, mainly because I was drunk and hanging out with friends when he decided to go. I, being in an inebriated state, forgot everything about it. The next time it came up was last Wednesday. I was pissed because I had planned to go with him if he went--but since I didn't know he was going, I volunteered myself for a GPS project at the Stones River Battlefield that Saturday. We finally agreed to leave Saturday afternoon, as the project was supposed to wrap up at one that afternoon. Why couldn't we have come to this arrangement before last Friday?

Well. If I'd known how things would have turned out, I would have kept my bitchy mouth shut.

I decided to have a few drinks while I cleaned the apartment Friday night. "Few" turned into me emptying half a bottle of Bacardi into my stomach by ten pm. I could have stopped then, but then Evan wanted some more.


I began the above entry some time ago, in late July. I have no recollection about the fight I'm sure I was about to describe, but I'm always interested by the themes that crop up time and again.

Tonight, Evan and I spent a tame evening with Clinton and Jesse at the apartment.He spent most of that

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Wednesday, June 4th, 2008
10:34 pm - Wow. That's all I can fucking say.
Lately, when I start off a post, I don't know how long my writing mood is going to last, which means I don't know how much information I'll get across. Per usual, it's me wanting to bitch and whine about something that's happened to me, but sometimes it's interesting. I hasten to add that nobody who might care does the LJ thing anymore. With that said:

1. On the evening of March 6, 2008, I was arrested for failure to appear in court five years ago. How did they catch me, you ask, since I had unknowingly evaded arrest all these years? Well, it was as easy as pulling E over for a cracked tail light. (See my MySpace page for a link to the blow-by-blow blog.) I was given a shiny, brand-new court date of April 11th after E and my mother bailed me out. I fully expected the judge to throw out the charge. Actually, I had hoped I was unnecessarily arrested and that I'd be able to sue all law enforcement agencies involved in the debacle--particularly owing to the age of the ticket that lead to the court date I missed, in addition to the fact that I had paid the ticket AND paid an astronomical sum of cash to have my license reinstated in 2005. (I'd like to mention that my license was suspended because I was unable to pay my first-ever speeding ticket, not because I'd indulged in vehicular homicide or similar. Looking back, that might have made my jail time more worthwhile ...)

In Tennessee, driving on a suspended license is considered a class C misdemeanor, which I assume is code for "Let's criminalize a harmless act to generate profit!" And profit they made. While my actual fine for DOS was a $2 steal, the court costs were a whopping $438. In addition to that, I was sentenced to 30 days of probation, which included a set-up cost of $51. I paid my court costs right before I marched into my first probation meeting. The woman seemed genuinely sad that she wouldn't be able to charge me more weekly fees for the "privilege" of paying my court costs incrementally. And the fucking cherry on top? Three days in the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center, affectionately known as "940" by its habitues. I spent a whole month pumping myself up for three days' worth of bodily harm at the hands of prison guards and raving jail lesbians: beatings, gang rapings, anal insertion of objects ... with a couple of mindfucks thrown in for the hell of it.

My probation officer, possibly sensing that I was a first-time and never-again offender, attempted to allay my fears. She claimed to have taken a tour of the "facility" several weeks before, and said there was a separate area for very short-term inmates that resembled a run-down dorm (I thought, Had I ever lived on the MTSU campus, I might have felt right at home). She invited me to think of it as a "fucked-up vacation" (her words, not mine), and suggested I bring some books to read. I desperately wanted to believe her, but my newly acquired distrust of probation officers told me otherwise. Having recounted my experiences made people talk about theirs--and they'd tell me, time and again, that all POs spew lies from every possible orifice and do everything their power to fuck people over more than they already have been.

The day before I turned myself in, I decided to call booking at the RCADC. I asked if the speaker had a few minutes to answer some questions for me about my imminent jail time. "Sure, shoot," he replied. Seemed decent enough. This followed (paraphrased):

me: "Will I be able to bring anything with me?"
pig: "Well, you can start off by bringing yourself."
me: "I was planning on that. But no books ...?"
pig: "Nope, nothing. There are books back in the pods, anyway."
me: "Okay, another question. Is there a separate area for people who will only be there a few days?"
pig: "Naw, you'll be thrown in with the murderers and rapists ..."
me: "Oh."
pig: "Just kidding. Yeah, you'll be in general population, but the women aren't bad. The men aren't either,
actually."
me: "OK. One more thing. I am concerned my menstrual cycle will begin while I'm there. Do I need to
have someone drop off hygiene products for me?"
pig: "Nope. We've got stuff that'll get you through. You probably won't like what we give you, but it'll
work."

I was glad I called. He did more to ease my fears than anyone else had.

Evan dropped me off at the RCADC at4 p.m. on May 9th. He walked back as far as he could with me. I was determined not to cry--not about leaving him for three days, but for the retardedness of my situation.

I have just discovered the whereabouts of my MIA boyfriend. Excuse me while I track him down. More to come.

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Wednesday, February 27th, 2008
8:48 pm
E is not leaving. I'm excited.

Must work.

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