Archive for January, 2011

Okay, it’s confession time!

(Who doesn’t love confession time?)

Actually, it’s even better than confession time.  It’s time for a series of confessions:

1) Like many Americans, I am addicted to twitter.

2) Like many twitter users, I claim not to care how many people follow me.

3) Like many twitter users who claim not to how many people follow me, I very much care how many people follow me.

4) That I take rejection personally shouldn’t come as a big shock because most people do.  I take no shame in that nor do I feel like I should pretend like I don’t feel that I’m worth knowing.  However, what’s odd is that I actually find myself more offended when I’m rejected online than when I’m rejected in the real world (for lack of a better term).

Why is this?

Why is it that I can usually recover from real-life rejection in a day or two yet, if someone unfollows me on twitter, I’ll can carry a grudge against them for 1 year, 6 months, and counting?

I think it’s because, in real life, we can make up excuses for the rejection.  We can say, “I bet he has a girlfriend,” or “Maybe he just got really busy at work.”  We can say, “Maybe he lost my number,” or “Maybe he’s lying in a ditch dead somewhere.”  And deep down, we know that chances are, he’s alive, single, unemployed. and highly organized.  But what’s important is that we still know he might be dead.

Whereas, if you get rejected on twitter, it’s because someone specifically went to your homepage and clicked unfollow.  It takes more than one step to reject someone on twitter. 

Morbid as it may be to acknowledge, the dead can continue to follow you on twitter without you ever realizing that there’s no longer anybody around to read what you’re writing. 

Rejection may hurt but being unfollowed — now that’s pain.

I love examining and analyzing and obsessing over blog stats.  Earlier today, I took a look to see what search terms have led people to this blog ever since I first started it last summer.

Here’s the 10 phrases, names, and search terms that have most frequently led people to this blog. 

1) Tim Gunn — 77 views

2) Lisa Marie Bowman boobs — 63 views

3) girl groped in theater — 54 views

4) Lisa Marie Bowman — 49 views

5) Katy Perry boobs — 35 views

6) Gabrielle Giffords Got What She Deserved — 29 views (Hopefully, those 29 people will never visit this site again.  Seriously, I find this to be a hundred times more disturbing than the idea of 63 people trying to look up my boobs on google.)

7) Gabrielle Giffords — 23 views

8 ) my stutter — 20 views

9) Groped in theater — 18 views

10) boobs Lisa Marie Bowman — 15 views

So, what can I gather from these results? 

Well, I’ve already previously stated my reaction to the 6th most popular search term. 

It would seem that quite a few people came here hoping to find a story about getting groped in a theater and I suspect my blog post probably wasn’t what they were looking for.

78 people came here looking for Lisa Marie Bowman’s boobs.  Now, admittedly, I share my name with a few others (including a singer in the UK) but still, I can’t help but take some pride in the possibility that my boobs are more popular than both Tim Gunn and Katy Perry.

Sad to say but very few people have come here looking for information of Victoria Woodhull.

(Right before I started to post this, the story on Yahoo was updated to report that Gabrielle Giffords might not be dead, that she may indeed be alive and in surgery.  So, I’m posting what I originally wrote but I’m just going to say that details are still coming out.  Here’s the latest version of the story, or, at least, the latest as of my posting this.)

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, a Democrat from Arizona, was shot in the head and, it was initially reported, killed a few hours ago.  She was in Tuscon, doing some sort of constituent event.  The guy who shot her — described as being either in his teen or early 20s — was arrested after attempting to flee.

Not surprisingly, details are pretty sketchy right now but already, you can either go on twitter or read the comments left on Yahoo (or any of the news services) and you can find the usual gang of asshole zealots from both sides of the political divide.

The left-wingers are going. “Tea Party!  Palin!  Tea Party!” with such gleeful abandon that it almost seems as if they’ve been waiting for something like this to happen so they could go, “I told you so…”

Meanwhile, the right-wingers are going, “No, it was a liberal who shot her because she was a moderate…” and again, I have the same reaction to them that I have to the left-wingers.

And then, you’ve got the nuts who are saying that she deserved to die because she was in politics and all the rest.

Meanwhile, never mind the fact that a human being might be dead.  Never mind the fact that her husband may have just lost his wife.  Never mind the fact that her parents may have just lost a daughter.  Never mind the fact that 6 other human beings were killed by the same shooter and that others were wounded.  No, never mind any of that.

Who needs respect for the dead when there’s a bunch of empty rhetoric to be shouted out by a bunch of people who know nothing beyond their own prejudices?

And before I start having to deal with any asshole zealots accusing me of being a right-winger or being a left-wing or anything else, let me say that this has nothing to do with what Giffords’ politics may have been or whether or not I agreed with them.  Nothing.  I know next to nothing about her beyond what happened today.  I don’t know who she is as a person but I do know that nobody deserves to be shot in the head.  Murder is murder, whether the victim is good or bad and whether it’s being carried out by the individual or the state.

This is one reason why I hate dealing with self-annoited political activists.  So many of them think that they can use a bunch of slogans and posturing to cover up their own deficiencies as human beings.  Not one word of sympathy for Giffords’ family from the online zealots on both sides of the political spectrum.  Instead, just a bunch of “See, I told you so!” bullshit.  I don’t care how any one of them may have voted in November, it’s disgusting.

(This is one of the couple of thousand poems I’ve written about being bipolar.   Out of those thousands, this one is probably the least TMI. This one was an attempt, on my part, to explain why I decided to stop medicating myself.)

I have no more 2 a.m. demons

pushing words through my soul

No madness to create poetry

on sheet after page of escape

No more hours of contemplation or

freedom wrapped between my thighs

Nothing to purge into metaphor

And nothing left to say

I love tracking down and watching those old, amazingly sexist TV commercials from the 1960s.  You know the type — these are the commercials where a smug male narrator says stuff like, “For today’s modern girl, staying presentable and ladylike is even more important than it was in the past…”  or “Today’s modern woman knows that when her husband gets home from the office, only Farmer’s House Coffee will do.”

Of course, the main reason that these commercials interest me is that they’re not all that different from their modern counterparts.  For the most part, the commercials have become a bit more flashy and the men act a lot more stupid but the message of “If you want to be a real woman, buy our product and stop thinking so much” remains the same.

Here’s an old one from Pepsi that deals with the importance of remaining “beautiful, slim, and attractive.”  From the patronising tone of the narrator to the “ha-ha-women-love-to-shop” punchline, this is just so 1960s.

(I’ve always found it interesting that a woman shopping is somehow irrational while a man who spends his life savings on decorations for his car is considered to be perfectly normal.)

Today, as I sit here typing this, I am incredibly proud of myself and it’s for the silliest of reasons.  Still, pride is pride.

It’s been a running joke in my family that “Lisa Can Not Cook.”  And, to be honest, most of the jokes started with me.  All of my life, I’ve been convinced that I am incapable of cooking.  My mom was a great cook.  My three sisters are all great cooks.  My aunts are all great cooks.  But me, I couldn’t cook.  Put me in a kitchen and you’re going to have a fire.  If the recipe says a table spoon of salt, then you know that means Lisa Marie is going to dump an entire cannister into it. 

As one of my older cousins once told me, “It’s a lucky thing you’re pretty, Lisa, because nobody’s going to marry you for the food.”

(Strangely enough, hearing that said didn’t make me feel particularly pretty or lucky.)

But last night, I wanted to cook for my friend Jeff because 1) he was out of town for the holidays and I missed him a lot, 2) every time we’ve ever gone out, he’s paid for me and I suspect like he’d probably be a millionaire by now if not for me, and 3) when I told him about what happened on Monday, he was there for me without a second of hesitation, complaint, or doubt.  Because of his job and the fact that we’re always going out to eat, he doesn’t get many home-cooked meals.  So, I wanted him to have one and I wanted to make it for him myself.

But I can’t cook, right?

Turns out, apparently, I can.  Now, I’m not saying that I’m ready to be on TV competing for my own restaurant or anything like that and I did have to get my sister Erin to help me out a little bit so I can’t really say that I deserve that much credit for it but still, dinner last night turned out to be pretty good.

Or, at the very least, edible.  And edible is a lot more than I thought I was capable of doing.

As for what Erin and I made, it was Chicken Risotto using one of my mom’s old recipes and I know that Chicken Risotto really isn’t a big deal or anything (because on Hell’s Kitchen, they’re always saying, “Who can’t make a risotto!?”) but I was still so incredibly proud when I saw it being successfully moved from the stove to the counter to eventually the kitchen table.

I guess you could say that chicken risotto was my mom’s signature dish.  It was what everyone always asked her to make if the family was getting together.  And, I’ll be honest — I’m not a gourmet.  I’m not a “foodie” or whatever you call them.  I don’t know if everyone in the world can make a chicken risotto.  For all I know, it could be the simplest dish to prepare ever.  I know my mom always acted like it wasn’t a big deal to make but I always loved it and so did everyone else.  And, even more importantly, I could tell that she always took a lot of pleasure and personal pride out of seeing how much everyone else loved it.

So, I don’t know if making Chicken Risotto is a huge accomplishment.  All I know is that I did it, I’m proud of myself, Jeff enjoyed his meal, and I think my mom would be proud of me.

Though, I also think, she would probably have noticed that I put in a little bit too much salt.  I noticed and I’m sure Jeff and Erin noticed but they were too nice to say. 

And for that, I love them.

Long and Luscious

Slow and slick

Growing Desire

Love and Passion

Light and flicker

You are my favorite sin

(Last night, I had a dream where I saw myself walking down a foggy street in Victorian-era London.  I eventually reached the run-down boarding house where I lived and I stepped inside and it was only as I stepped inside that I realized that in my dream, I was Mary Kelly, the final victim of Jack the Ripper, and that, by stepping into that house, I was essentially walking to my death.  Anyway, needless to say, that was enough to wake me up.

As for the historical Mary Kelly, she was a 25 year-old, redheaded, Irish Catholic, just like me.  She died on November 9th, 1888.  97 years later, I was born on November 9th, 1985.  Mary haunts me because she was so brutally murdered yet her murderer — to the best of our knowledge — was never captured and never punished.  Like far too many women who have failed to live up to the standards of her society, she wasn’t given justice and she’ll never receive it.  Instead, the man (or woman) who victimized her is a household name yet Mary Kelly remains forgotten.

Anyway, spending time thinking about this dream led to me jotting down the words below.)

Mary Kelly

A disengaged mind

Walking dark streets

Preying on us all

Listening for sounds

Of softly muffled cries

Hanging in the air

The dying of the light

You opened Pandora’s Box

You pulled out all I had

I lay on top of my bed

Lost in my sanctuary

The world entered my room

And stared inside of me

Groped At The Movies

Yes, that’s right. Earlier today, I got felt up by a stranger at the movies. Now, admitedly, this not the first time that I’ve gotten groped at the movies and I’ll even admit that this is not the first time that I’ve been groped in a dark theater by someone I didn’t really know. The difference here is that, unlike those times in the past, I had no say in the matter.

I went to a dollar theater earlier today to see the movie Red. I went alone, which is unusual for me but I’m off work this week and I was bored so I decided to go see a cheap movie in the afternoon. The movie started at 2:30 so, as usual, I showed up at 2:10, bought my ticket, and got into the theater a good five minutes before the movie was scheduled to begin.

Well, even though I arrived early, the theater was packed with people. I was shocked to see how many people were packed into that theater and, as I’m a bit claustrophobic, I nearly turned around and left.

But then I spotted two empty seats at the very back of the theater, apparently the only two empty seats left. They weren’t a part of an aisle, instead they were just two separate seats that sat at the very back of the theater, one located next to the entrance and one agaisnt the wall. I settled into the seat against the wall and the lights slowly went down until the theater was dark.

As always happens, people continued to step into the theater even after the movie began. One of them grabbed the last empty seat. The rest would simply come in, stand at the back of theater, loudly discuss if there were any empty seats, and then debate what they were going to do. A few ended up standing in the back of the theater while the majority left.

And one dark shadow, spotting the previously empty seat next to the door, decided to search the dark for any more empty ones. Out of the corner of my eyes, I watched this shadow as it slowly approached my seat, vainly moving his hands behind him as he searched for seats that were not there.

(I say “he” just because the shadow was tall and heavy-set and it moved with a determinedly masculine gait.)

As the shadow grew closer, I whispered (because the movie had started), “I’m sorry, there aren’t any seats here.”

Yet the shadow continued his approach, still fumbling in the dark, and I thought to myself, Damn, he didn’t hear me. If I’m in a room full of people (especially a room full of strangers), I get shy and my voice get much softer. It takes more effort for me to form my words, largely because I’m scared I’ll slip up and my stammer will come out and then some stranger will delight in repeating my words back to me with an exagerrated stutter.

So, it’s probable he did not hear me the first time I spoke. And it’s just as likely that he didn’t hear me when, as I realized he was about to be standing directly in front of me, I repeated myself a second time.

As he reached me, I felt his searching hand brush against my shoulder. As I tried to shift over to the other side of my seat in order to avoid his touch, I started, “I’m sorry–”

I lost my words as his hand suddenly cupped my breast.

I wish I could say that this was a moment that I kicked ass. I wish I could say that, at this moment, I said something so witty and so clever and so brilliant that the man dissolved into a pathetic puddle of insecurity. I wish I could say that I screamed so loud that everyone else in the theater turned and stared before then jumping up and coming to my rescue. I wish I could say that my left leg immediately went up and, in a dazzling display of self-defence, I quickly turned this man into a eunuch.

But that’s not what happened.

Instead, like many before me, I said, “Excuse me, there’s somebody here.” because I wanted to believe that this was all just a misunderstanding, an accident. I said that because I wanted to believe that the man was just making a mistake, that he was still just searching for his seat, that he would be red-faced with shame when he heard my voice.

And he could have been. I don’t know. All I know is that, without a word, the shadow removed his hand and then left the theater.

And I watched the movie, feeling numb and unsure as to what had just happened. At first, I just silently cured the man for being such a dumbass and I thought to myself, He could have at least apologized. I was so happy that the situation was over that I decided to forget about it and enjoyed the movie.

About 90 minutes into the movie, I realized that, as much as I kept telling myself that I wasn’t thinking about it, it was actually the only thing on my mind. I kept telling myself that it was just something that happened. I’m a D-cup and whenever I’m in a crowded space, I know that there’s a chance that someone’s going to brush up against them accidentally. It’s something that I usually joke about. It’s a fact of life and I’ve always prided myself on the fact that I’m not one of those large-breasted women who tries to hide her boobs or who acts all offended whenever she catches someone looking at them.

C’mon, Lisa, I told myself, it was just an accident.

Except it didn’t feel like an accident. I sat there and tried to convince myself that his hand hadn’t grabbed my breast, that it had instead just accidentally fallen on it. But if that was the case, why did his hand seem to linger? Why didn’t he immediately pull away? Or had he pulled away? Was I just imagining things now, letting my paranoid mind get the better of me? And, I wondered, why hadn’t he apologized? Why did he respond by just silently walking out of the theater? At first, I thought it was because he was embarressed but the more I thought about it, the more I realized how silly and niave that was on my part. That was wishful thinking. I wanted him to be embarressed because if he was embarressed, then it would just be an accident. Or was I just being paranoid again? These are the questions that haunted me in that theater and they’re the questions that are still haunting me hours later.

And, as I replayed the incident in my mind over and over again, I kept telling myself, “Just because something happened in the past, that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen again. Just because some men are bad , that doesn’t make all men bad.” That’s something that, if you’re like me, you tell yourself and you try to believe but that doubt and fear will always be in the back of your mind. That doubt and fear is the price too many women pay for being survivors.

After the movie ended, I sat there in my seat until the entire theater was empty. I sunk down low into my seat, trying not to be seen and wondering if any of the strangers passing in front of me was that dark shadow that groped me in the dark. When I did leave the theater, I walked very quickly to my car, my eyes darting back and forth in a fruitless search for any dark shadows waiting for me in the parking lot.

And now, as I sit here, I wonder: am I being paranoid or should I have sceamed and kicked? The incident itself is not what continues to gnaw at me.

It’s the doubt that fires up and makes you search for hidden evils behind every accident.

So now, the question becomes: what are you going to do? Me, I’m going to keep on living my life and doing the things — like going to the movies on a whim — that make me happy.

Because, in the end, what else can you do?

These bruises have lasted

now 24 some years just

below the concealment of

skin like an infection so

near eruption they fester

with your words that still

ricochet in my head and

kill my soul

leaving memories

that are like your hands

always there

but never with love

I’ve given you too much blood

Year after year

You have taken pint after pint

Those pints taking all

my iron and protein

Today I can barely walk

White dizziness cloud my eyes

My lungs burn and suffer

Cold, scarred veins sucking

not pushing and my

muscles clench in anger

I scream

awake from a waking sleep

grabbing for something

to grab onto

Trying not to hit the ground

Bleeding away the terror in my legs

Hush little girl she’ll say

It was only a dream

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