I am a raging hypocrite.
I don't know exactly why, but I don't share my problems. Oh, day-to-day little annoyances, I can bitch and moan about those until the cows come home. But when it comes to my actual problems... I get so uncomfortable, and achy, and terrified. I feel, and know, that many of my more serious problems are of my own making, and therefor have no right to complain about them. I can't share them. I won't. I feel guilty about them, like it's not fair for me to burden someone else with them when so many people in my life have problems brought on by their environment than by themselves.
I'm not getting in to school this semester. I thought I was but then I wasn't and so made a last minute scramble for another school. I thought, "It sucks if it doesn't happen, but the second I can, I'll sign up for winter-mester, or spring semester. I have a job that I love, and while the pay isn't phenomenal, it is steady. I get to spend my days with a beautiful, sweet baby; and when she sleeps, I get to read, and write, and forget, just for a little while, about all my other problems." And my mom was actually pretty calm about the whole thing. I had a plan.
My employer is a girl I grew up with, eight years my senior; more of a cousin than a family friend. She used to take care of me, and now I take care of her little girl; it's a great big wonderful circle. But since the original plan was for me to go back to school, and be only able to take care of Sarah Grace a few days a week, she started casually looking for another sitter, which I completely understood. Her brother lost, or is in the process of losing his job, so they decided that he would take over for me when I started classes. As of Monday, I will have no job. Hopefully for just a couple of weeks, but still. Instead of letting me know sooner, she mentioned the possibility to me yesterday afternoon, and just a few minutes ago, the possibility became a reality.
I understand that she has to take care of her, and that Jonathan really needs the money right now. I get that, I do. But what am I supposed to do with just a moment's notice? Why couldn't Jonathan and I switch off days? One week, he's Monday, Wednesday, Friday; and I'm Tuesday and Thursday, and we just switch off from week to week while he looks for another job? He'd have a couple of days a week when he wouldn't have to worry about Sarah Grace and can set up interviews if needs be without having Sarah or Tim stay home while he does it He's known for a while now that his job was ending, he's had time to start putting out feelers; why do I have to get the short end of the stick?
God, that's so petty and bitter and such a bitch thing to say. But with classes supposed to start Monday, and the fact that I still haven't heard back from CSCC, I know I'm not getting in this semester. So I will have no school, no job, and possibly no home once my mom finds out. And I honestly feel like there is no one I can talk to about this.
My sister is getting married in a few weeks. She and my mom are both stressing about that, and I am honestly terrified of just how much my mother is going to freak. Because it won't be just about my situation; it will be the frustration of everything going on right now, and it will all end up being directed at me.
My cousin Melissa, who I might normally turn to in a situation like this, has enough problems of her own. Her husband might be losing his job (we don't know yet), and they are both struggling with the fact that their son, Seth, has Friedreich's Ataxia, which is a disease that causes the degeneration of nerve tissue in the spinal cord. This is also weighing heavily on my mom, because Melissa is like a daughter to her, and Seth like a grandson.
Another person I would normally turn to is Barbara, who is practically my aunt. Wonderfully fantastic Barbara. But Barbara is Sarah and Jonathan's mother, and how am I supposed to go to her with my "woe is me" spiel? Even if she is completely sympathetic... I don't know.
And that is the most terrifying thing to me. I DON"T KNOW.
I'm not stupid. I know that you can't plan your future with 100% accuracy; you can't accurately predict what's going to happen to you in the next few hours, let alone the next few years. But you can ignore that kind of not-knowing; it's easy. This kind, this feeling of "the axe is about to fall any time now"...
I don't know.
I almost wish that I could just feel numb right now. I never thought I would want to feel that way again. But this fear and dread, and the anxiety building up and up and pushing at my chest and closing up my throat and making my head spin and cloud? I can't stand it. I had a plan, but now...
I don't know.
Spicy Chicken Empenadas
Tay's Hot and Spicy Salsa
French Onion Soup
Chocolate-Banana filled Crepes
Cheesy Broccoli Bake
Shrimp and Scallop Lasagna
Fresh Fruit Tart
Low Country Cuisine
Shore Is Good Seeafood Dip
Low Country Cookies
Hail to the Chief
Smothered Quail with Creamy Grits
Mini Lemon Pork Sandwiches with Tarragon Lemon Mayo
Grits Toast with Creamy Mushrooms
Chocolate Raspberry Cookies with Raspberry Glaze
Mixed Berry Bellini
Caramel Birthday Cake
Mini-Phyllo Cups Filled with Creamy Shrimp Salad
Spicy Jerk Chicken
Golden Coconut Fried Shrimp
Key Lime Pie
Pina Colada Smoothies
Shrimp Gumbo Casserole
Roasted Beet Salad
Boston Fudge Cake with Fudge Sauce
Cream Cheese-Stuffed New Potatoes
Stuffed Red Snapper
Garden Get Together
Chicken Fettuccine Salad
Avocado-Goat Cheese Dip
Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream Dessert
Chicken Georgia with Mozzarella
Three Cheese Hot Artichoke Dip with Cheese Straws
The Lady's Mac & Cheese Fried
Cherry-Cream Cheese Pie
Orange Brownies with Cream Cheese-Orange Frosting
White Chocolate-Coconut Cookies
Rainy Day Picnic
Santa Fe Wraps
We'll go in order, starting with Frankenweenie. I love Frankenweenie. I have loved it forever, it ranks up there with Ernest Scared Stupid for me when it comes to "horror" movies for the kiddies. But, in all honesty, Frankenweenie is an adaptation of Frankenstein, and while it's very cute and a very clever twist on an old story, it's not original.
Originals: 0 ////// Adaptations: 1
Next, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. Pee-wee had his own TV show a couple of years before the movie came out, so another adaptation.
Originals: 0 ////// Adaptations: 2
We're gonna skip the TV stuff, because I honestly have never seen it, and while one of them is an adaptation of Aladdin, I'm not going to count it.
Now we have Beetlejuice. Love it, watch it every time it comes on TV. Totally awesome, totally started the wonderful Burton-Keaton romancing of the crazy eyebrows.
Originals: 1 ////// Adaptations: 2
Then we have Batman. Totally love it, own VHS, DVD, & Blu-Ray versions. We're actually gonna go ahead and lump Batman Returns in with this one, and I love it even more than I love Batman because Michelle Pfeiffer plays awesome crazy-bitch. Both movies are adaptations of the comics.
Originals: 1 ////// Adaptations: 4
Edward Scissorhands. If I loved it a little less, I would be forced to throw it in as a weird mixed-up adaptation of Frankenstein and Beauty & the Beast. But it had enough originality that it squeaks by.
Originals: 2 ////// Adaptations: 4
Then he had two originals in a row: Ed Wood and Mars Attacks!, and while not a big fan of the former, I do get quite a few chuckles out of the latter. Something about Jack Nicholson is just hi-freaking-larious! Those crazy eyebrows, I'm thinking.
Originals: 4 ////// Adaptations: 4
Oh, Sleepy Hollow, you were just a wonderful excuse to give me Johnny Depp. I do thank Tim Burton for his wonderful usage of one of my favorite people. But, much as I love it, what with the beautiful gore and Christopher Walken at his most Christopher-Walken-on-PCP-ness, it's still an adaptation.
Originals: 4 ////// Adaptations: 5
Now, the thing about The World of Stainboy (which I have seen, thank you very much), is that it falls into a weird in-between place. It is an adaptation, but the adaptation is of Tim Burton's own book of short stories (which I haven't gotten around to buying, again, after I lost my copy a few years ago). I'm pretty nit-picky, but I honestly can't decide. So, I'm not counting, I'm simply giving it an honorable mention as it is both, and doesn't get enough attention for being wonderfully macabre.
Planet of the Apes? Previously both a book and a movie (several of them, in fact).
Originals: 4 ////// Adaptations: 6
Big Fish? This was a book first, and no, the book was not written for the movie. It is actually a very good book, and everyone should read it at least once.
Originals: 4 ////// Adaptations: 7
Then there was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Thank you, Timmy B, for making Johnny Depp creepy. While he managed to still remain somewhat attractive in Scissorhands, you managed to kill my soul a little. Two books and a movie before it.
Originals: 4 ////// Adaptations: 8
Next came Corpse Bride, which I love very much. But Corpse Bride is an adaptation of a fairy tale, it follows almost to the last detail. If you don't believe, look it up. In the fairy tale, Victor is actually a young Jewish man who is practicing a wedding dance.
Originals: 4 ////// Adaptations: 9
There was the Cinema16 Short Films thing, or whatever, and apparently he used his short film Vincent from 1982. It is an original, and we will allow it.
Originals: 5 ////// Adaptations: 9
Sweeny Todd is not my favorite, but it's still pretty entertaining and I like Stephen Sondheim (love me some Into the Woods). But still, adaptation.
Originals: 5 ////// Adaptations: 10
Alice in Wonderland? Um, I think we all know where that falls.
Originals: 5 ////// Adaptations: 11
He's actually redoing Frankenweenie. He's remaking his own movie. That... I... Well, it was his movie so it's his to remake... but it was an adaptation in the first place... we're just gonna stick with the original ruling.
Originals: 5 ////// Adaptations: 12
Now, according to the press and IMBD, TB's got two movies in the wings: Dark Shadows, and Maleficent. Dark Shadows is based on an old TV show and this will apparently be reuniting him Johnny Depp (HOORAY!!!!!!!!). Maleficent is gonna be a lot like Wicked; it's gonna be Sleeping Beauty from the bad bitch's point of view. Obviously both are adaptations.
Originals: 5 ////// Adaptations: 14
So, technically, Tim Burton hasn't made an original film in about 14 years and doesn't seem to be breaking that trend. So, Katherine's little tweaker friend and all the others out there like you, don't bother me about how awesomely original Timmy B is. Just stop. I like him too, he's wonderfully weird and is a conceptual genius, but he is obviously comfortable in adapting other people's works to his vision, and I'm okay with that.
P.S. For anyone who wants to argue over Nightmare Before Christmas, or James and the Giant Peach, or 9, he produced those. He did not direct them. They still have his stamp of brilliant creep-factor, but he only produced. Now that I have vented, me and my fading migraine are going to bed. Thank you.
P.P.S. My fading migraine and I. So sorry.
Grilled Salmon with Key-Lime Butter
Asparagus in a Citrus-Sesame Sauce
Hurry-Up Chicken Pot Pie
Poppy Seed Pinwheels
Vegetable Crudites with Dip
Low-Fat Lemon Cheesecake
Spicy Blackened Tilapia Sandwich with Cilantro-Lime Mayo
Baked Rice Pudding
Mixed Fruit Cider
Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Sweet Asian Glaze
Asparagus with Lemon Butter
Tomato with Bleu Cheese Salad
Peanut Butter Cookies
Paula's Light Delights
Grilled Red-Pepper Scallops
Tomatoes Stuffed with Chicken Salad
I lied for my sister because I loved her. I lied to my mother when I told her that my sister didn't leave me home alone, or that she was just a few houses down at her friend's, that she didn't have people over when Mom wasn't home, that I must have been asleep when my sister took the car. The car thing was a big deal. She took it out one night and it rained, leaving a previously clean car covered in water spots and mud, smelling faintly of cigarettes on the inside. I fixed that, rubbing down the car and cleaning the mud from the tires; I covered the cigarette smell with vinegar, and then vanilla, and then we vacuumed the interior. When Mom came home, we presented as a gift to her, because she had been working so hard between her job and school, and we just wanted to do something nice for her. The random nice thing wasn't new to her because sometimes we would pick her flowers and have a bath waiting for her when she got home, just because, so a clean car wasn't too suspicious. But then it all caught up with my sister one particular joy ride when she was arrested: Driving recklessly and without a licence. This wouldn't be the last time she took the car, but I never told on her because she was my sister. Eventually her behavior became too much for my mom to handle, and my sister was bounced around from some juvenile delinquent attitude adjustment place in Alabama, to my dad's, and into another facility for troubled teens (which no one knew he had done until months later). So I could stop lying now, right? Nothing left to lie about.
But then there was a new school, the fifth school I'd been to in five years between rezoning and moving. It was a great private school with terrific programs, but I didn't know anyone, and that combined with a sudden weight gain (thank you, hormones), and the sudden loss of contact from my sister and the sense of security I found with her, it made for some pretty bad depression. My teachers noticed pretty quickly, and a good portion of my time was spent in the guidance counselor's office. Depression is a terrible thing for anyone to go through, but an eleven-year-old? Most of the time with the pretty, young counselor was spent in tears, the rest in a sullen silence. My aggression was inching towards it's peak, and once where I had been faster and stronger than the boys, hormones and emptiness had stripped it all away, leaving me with a kind of impotent rage that I didn't know what to do with. My mom, thinking I was just unhappy at that school, moved me to the public school we were zoned for. But I wouldn't be going to school with my classmates from the year before because we had moved again; I would, instead, be going to school with kids who, if I had ever known them at all, I hadn't seen in almost two years. This is when the lies meant just for me started.
The first, and really the only, friend I made was a girl sort of like me: lonely, a little angry, and a little sad. We latched on to each other, because here was someone who understood what it was like to feel hopeless and alone. My grades started to slip because I wouldn't do the homework, and no homework meant demerits, and demerits meant in-school suspension. When the teachers would send home my demerit sheet to be signed, Tiffany signed it for me, and I did the same for her. I enjoyed ISS: it was quiet, no one bothered me or called me names, and the teacher favored me. If I didn't finish all of the make-up work, he would tell the teacher that he had put it in their box and it wasn't his problem; I was allowed snacks and trips to the library and he had no problem with me just sitting there doing nothing all day. He was a really wonderful man. I did enough homework to get by, and aced all the tests and extra-credit work, so I passed my classes. The high point of that year was getting in the talent show; I sang Selena's "Dreaming of You," and placed third, and was pleasantly surprised at the compliments I received (they didn't last long). The lowest point was sneaking handfuls of vitamins behind my mother's back because I knew that it could make me sick; it never did but that probably had more to do with the fact that they were mostly water pills and St. John's Wort.
The next year wasn't any better. I stayed in the same school, but I was in a different "cell" than the kids from the year before, so I was back to square one. On top of everything else, the kids I was now in class with knew who my sister was, and her reputation preceded her... and me; there were kids who wouldn't even speak to me because of that reputation. To make matters worse, being a 12-year-old who is overweight and can fill out a C-Cup isn't exactly the best thing ever; add depression to that mix and it ain't pretty. I became slovenly and lazy, you could barely tug me away from the TV, and if I wasn't watching the idiot box I was holed up in my room. I made a few more friends than the year before, and my grades were a little better but not by much. The school had me tested for A.D.D., as well as my IQ. No A.D.D., and my IQ was just fine, so they made me promise I would work harder, "You have so much potential! Just think of what you could do if you applied yourself!" That kind of stuff gets old fast, so I did my homework more often. Gym was where the lies were. I had the unfortunate luck of being dubbed "Basketballs," which certain pubescent assholes thought was funny. They would never really call me that directly to my face because my quickfire rage was a thing of renown, we're talking desks being flipped and chairs being thrown, never while a teacher was present of course. I was so humiliated in gym that I told my super-nice gym teacher that my therapist (that I didn't have) had put me on a new drug for my depression, and she didn't want me to do any strenuous exercises until we were sure how I would react to it, and I would totally remember my doctor's note next time. That lasted for about two weeks before my other teachers caught wind and called my mom, who ratted me out. After that, there was a lot of time spent in the guidance counselor's office; she was nice, kinda hippie-ish, and she made me a privacy sign for my door at home, which was pretty cool.
We moved that July. Not just across town this time, but a couple of counties over. New town, new school (#7). Dammit all. I began seeing a psychiatrist soon after.
The town we moved to was almost the exact opposite from what I knew: no major stores, one grocery, almost no fast food locations, anything worth doing was twenty to thirty minutes away; fifteen churches, only one video store. You get the idea. The neighborhood we moved to was nice, just being built, and we were the third family in, so no kids to play or hangout with. The school Mom sent me to was private. A private Christian school. A private Southern Baptist Christian school. Now, I wasn't raised incredibly liberal, but I had grown up surrounded by a diverse group of races and religions, so I definitely had a few problems to adjusting to a teacher that told me that Catholics were going to Hell, as were all non-Christians and non-Southern Baptists, as was I for having pagan friendships. Art was good, as were History and English; Science and Math were the real problems, which I told my mother nothing about because I honestly didn't care. I was making up stories about boyfriends, and worst of all, cutting myself. I fuzzily remember the actual cutting, standing in front of the mirror and watching the knife slice my forearms and shoulders, but I was so numb that it barely registered. When I was asked about them at school, I told people that I had just woken up with the marks. I skipped a lot of days because my mom went to work before my ride came, and I would just hole up in my room like before. This led to my mother and uncle taking my locking doorknob and replacing it with one that wouldn't afford me nearly the same amount of privacy. My mom finally saw the cuts, and she understandably freaked out, and I begged her not to tell my doctor, who had thought we were making progress. She told the doctor at the next available opportunity. I failed seventh grade, which nobody told us that until it was too late for summer school. Fucking MJCA. By then, though, I had made friends with a girl in the neighborhood who was my age and we were pretty inseparable, so it bothered me a little less than it could have. Elise helped pull me out of my funk more than my doctor did. We are actually still friends to this day.
I changed to the public school (#8) which was right next to the hell that is MJCA, and it wasn't so bad. I made decent grades, not great but decent, and made really good friends, mostly through band. The lying really slacked off, and the only thing I really remember lying about was where my lunch money was going (which was to pay for a math book that I had lost because I was really stupid). This lasted for two years, the not-really-lying-about-anything, not the paying for the math book.
Then came high school. High school sucks for everybody, and don't let anyone tell you different because they're lying to you and you should beat them with a sock full of nickels. It started off really well, and I had choir which was awesome and my teachers were all pretty nice, and my fellow students were just as much a source of sunshine and joy as ever. No real problem with lying my freshman year. Sophomore year was a little different: I failed Honors English 2. She was a great teacher and it was a fun class, but it was our final project that kicked me in the ass. I started losing sleep, and my appetite, and having fantasies about pizza slicers and throwing myself out of a moving car on the interstate. So, I went to my guidance counselor, Mrs. MacPherson, and Miss Mac was one of the best parts of my high school experience. She talked to my teacher, who I was too embarrassed and intimidated by to deal with directly, who was unhappily willing to give me a second chance (which I blew), and she called my mom. I don't know exactly what was said since I was sitting outside of her office, but whatever my mom's response was to being told that I was having suicidal thoughts and having trouble in school, it wasn't what Miss Mac was expecting. After that she was wonderfully sympathetic and open with me. When I told her that I thought my overeating and procrastination was my being passive-aggressive towards my mother for having expectations for me that I felt were too high and for being a source of insecurity to my already low self-esteem, and I told her that I didn't know how to break past that, she was kind enough to say, "I've been there with my mother. She and I had all kinds of problems while I was growing up, but I finally got past them." "How'd you do that?" "She died two years ago. That kind of helped resolve the resentment." "And how old were you?" "Fifty." "So, I'm not going to get past this until she's dead and I've probably screwed up my own kids' lives?" "Pretty much." Thanks, Miss Mac. The rest of high school went along the same lines, with a few bumps and jolts that aren't really worth mentioning.
And on to college. Which started off great; I liked my classes, liked my roommate (who was a photojournalism major and almost never there), and enjoyed the sense of being kinda out on my own. But I wasn't really happy, and started holing up in my room again. I went home on the weekends, and never really made an effort. By the next summer I was miserable, but when I broached the subject of changing schools to Mom, I was shot down, told I wouldn't get any help from her and that I'd have to deal with everything (including my dad) by myself. So I stayed at my school, getting more bogged down and letting everything slip through my fingers, and telling everybody that everything was fine, never letting on that anything might be wrong. I would try to fix things, start off strong and then fall apart because most of the time I couldn't bring myself to care. And when I could, I was too terrified to let anyone in my life know what was happening to me. As you might guess, it didn't end well. My lies finally came to a head, and I had to deal with the fallout. Said fallout included screaming and disappointed speeches, and nothing has been the same.
Lying is almost like an addiction: easy to start, hard as hell to stop. I'm not a compulsive liar. I don't feel the need to lie about every situation, or to make up wild stories to get attention. The stories thing, that's a habit that lasted for a few months but it wasn't worth it. Now, the habit is lying to meet people's expectations and then trying to make the lie a reality, such as: "Yes, I called that adviser at Acme University. I have an appointment with her next week." A lie at the time, but not the next day. But it all catches up, and even when you tell the truth there's that grain of doubt in the listener. It's not worth it.
My New Year's Resolution? Be more honest, even when it terrifies me.
Sweet Potato Biscuits
New Orleans Jambalaya
Ragin Cajun Seafood Balls
Italian Chicken and Vegetable Soup
Creamy Creole Shrimp and Lobster Bisque
Fresh Fruit Soup
Parmesan Puff Pastry
Spicy Black-Eyed Peas
Braised Turkey Shanks
Hash Brown Quiche
Omelette for a Crowd
Breakfast in a Cup
White Hot Chocolate
Ultimate Coffee Cake
Mississippi Mud Cake
Georgia Cookie Candy
Vanilla Chocolate Chip Root-Beer Float
Sweet and Savory Sugar and Nut Glazed Brie
Pork Tenderloin with Root Vegetables
White Chocolate Cherry Chunkies
Creamy Macaroni and Cheese
Dutch-Oven Peach Cobbler
Check out the
Nike Zoom Structure Triax+ 12 iD Running Shoe
I designed at NIKEiD.com
Check out the
Nike Shox Navina+ iD Running Shoe
I designed at NIKEiD.com
Check out the
Nike Zoom Victory+ iD Running Shoe
I designed at NIKEiD.com
Check out the
Nike Air Pegasus+ 26 iD Running Shoe
I designed at NIKEiD.com
Check out the
Nike Air Max+ 2009 iD Running Shoe
I designed at NIKEiD.com