Wednesday, August 31, 2011


It was the first day of Kindergarten and I couldn’t have been more excited. Brand new things to learn and new people to meet. Energy leaked out of me with every bounce.

We all mingled in the first room, taking in the toys and books and tables and carpets and SO MANY THINGS! Some kids cried, while I physically pushed my parents away. “You can go now!”

And then I saw the prettiest girl I’d ever seen in my life. What else could I notice first but her pile of espresso curls upon curls upon curls? That many curls a girl could only pray for, especially a girl like me with ashy brown, pin-straight hair. Nobody would die for my hair. But hers?

She was dark and beautiful with huge brown eyes and a bashful smile. I wanted to be just like her, I just knew it.

I don’t recall how I approached her, but I must have pounced. Eventually, or suddenly, I said, “Let’s be best friends.” To which she smiled and replied, “Okay!”

And then we were.

We were completely opposite, yet joined at the hip. One of us shy, the other precocious, both of us quick to giggle. We both wanted the other’s hair. I was sure she was insane for wanting mine, naturally not understanding the challenge of such a mass of curl.

Yet while I had always thought we were poor (and by most standards, we were), her family lived in near poverty. They moved often, between trailers and hotel rooms and even unfinished houses her father was building. She often stayed over and her family spent many holidays with mine.

I was too young to understand how much older than me her life made her. All I knew was I wanted her to be happy and, over the years, I did my best, constantly hamming it up to make her laugh.

My childhood is a blur of memories with her. Sitting next to each other on field trips as we whisper back and forth. Sleepovers where we cackle late into the night, waking my mother over and over and over.  Getting our faces painted. Sharing clothes. Endless games and make believe. Cheeks pressed together for a photo.

About the sixth or seventh grade, she pulled away. Who knows why? Maybe I wasn’t cool enough for her anymore or she found new friends or maybe I just knew her too well. I mourned our friendship for far too long. Such losses are devastating, let alone in junior high where even the smallest snub meant the end of the world.

I see her now on Facebook, her children with the same big eyes and gorgeous curls. She looks happy. That's all I could ask for.

This was a post for the RemembeRED prompt: Your assignment for this week is to write about a memory of yourself WITH someone else. Remember, it’s MEMOIR, so it needs to be about YOUR experience with this person and it needs to be TRUE. Let’s keep it to 600 words or less.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


I'm scared of lots of things and I'm not scared of much. Little things? Piece of cake. I'll probably jump out of an airplane one day (finances willing) or off a cliff into the Mediterranean or whatever. I get a little thrill of the typically scary things.

But the big things? Terrify me. Terrify me to the point that I worry these fears dictate my decisions or freeze me to the point where I make no decisions at all.

However, there are exceptions. I'll give myself that. I did quit my steady job to move a gathousand miles (okay, not quite that much) to live somewhere new where I only knew maybe 4 people. I was chasing happiness but it was definitely scary beyond my normal comfort zone.

And I do love learning new things. Things are awesome right now at le job because I'm getting so much new stuff thrown at me. I just eat that right up.

But my fears are deep, deep, deep. I'm so scared of becoming someone I don't want to be. I'm scared that because I try so hard to not be that person. To not be crazy, to not be a burden on others, that I might become its equally destructive opposite.

I'm scared of becoming my mom. I'm scared of drug addiction and inviting addiction into my life. I'm scared of her crazy, of it infecting me, of losing my mind. I'm scared of being cruel and narcissistic.

What if she's made it impossible for me to be a good mother?

"For a mother to be expected to show up sane and reliable is the least any kid deserves."

I read that in a book the other day and it slew me. I started bawling, in between bites of salad, sitting outside next to all the other workers on their lunch breaks, I just cried at the truth of my life.

But I'm also scared that I blame everything on her. I'm scared that it's impossible for me to be an adult because I can't get over this huge thing of my past. At what point can I just let it go and just be ME? Who am I even really? How much of me is my past anyway?

And what if I can't ever move past this? What if I'm so damaged that I can't ever conduct myself normally in a relationship or be a mother or what have you? I have no idea what I'm doing half the time. I'm just bumbling through hoping I don't fuck myself over yet again and again.

What if I just go the other way and end up this pathetic doormat to life? Afraid to ask for or take what I want because that would be too narcissistic right?  I'm afraid of not finding that balance. Of not knowing the difference between what's important to stand firm on and what I should just let go.

In short? I'm just damned afraid. And I'm damned afraid that I don't have the skills to be the person I want to be or even think I'm capable of being or deserve to be.

In my professional life? I can kick ass. I'm confident and brilliant and can take whatever is thrown at me with gusto.

In my personal life? I have no clue what the fuck I'm doing. Ever really. Winging it. Constantly.

But I don't know how else to be. Don't know who else to be.

But at the end of the day, these are just fears and I know that. It doesn't make them any less scary, though. Nevertheless, I'm nothing if not stubborn as all fuck. Lots of people have given up on me, so I figure someone should stick around. Might as well be me.

Monday, August 22, 2011

the kind of girl

I’ll admit that I was beginning to have feelings even though I’d told myself I wouldn’t.

He really wasn’t my type and we really didn’t have anything in common, including a common city. The 2 hour drive definitely made things difficult, but I was just beginning to feel it was worth it.

I’d held back as long as I could but was beginning to crack, to let him in, to really care.

He’d been in town the weekend before, which had been good. Blissful even.

I went for a run and came back sweaty and happy. Sprawled out on my living room floor, my head pulled to my knees, really deep into the stretch, my phone rang.

A smile immediately found me. “Hey, you.”


We shot the shit for a few minutes. Talked about our days, work, the weather.

“Sooo when will I see you next?” Flirty, yes.

“Look. Things are getting busy at work and I don’t think you understand how demanding my job is. I’m a busy guy and you work a lot too, I know. You’re a lot of fun though. It’s just...”

It suddenly dawned on me what was happening. This wasn’t my first rodeo. “Are you dumping me?”

“I guess I am.”

“Over the phone? Seriously?”


“I just thought I deserved a little more than that. You were just here and you waited until now?”

“Look, don’t get crazy. I thought we were really getting along.”

“Um. Yeah. I thought so too. So I don't understand...”

“You’re a cool chick, totally fun. But you’re not the kind of girl you have feelings for.”

Despite my best efforts, a small gasp escaped me. Not the kind of girl you have feelings for? How does anyone hear that and respond?

In that instant, he stripped away from me my worth and tossed it aside like a dirty rag. Left me naked and broken. 

He spoke finally. “Look...”

I sucked up every last bit of strength and dignity. “I’m done here.” And pressed end with my thumb. End indeed.
Not the kind of girl you have feelings for. Two years later, it still haunts me.

This was a post for the RemembeRED prompt: We all have them. Memories that we wish we could forget…things that we wish we could banish from our minds. Imagine that writing down your worst memory will free you of it. What is it? Why does it haunt you? What could you have done differently?
Write it down and let it go. Let’s keep it to 600 words or less.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

This Week at Sprocket Ink

It's Sunday and I'm just getting around to wrapping up the week. That's how much I fail today. I was sitting here, rueing my headache and feeling cranky beyond cranky, reading blogs and I suddenly remembered (!), oh yeah. I didn't write that post. I fail.

Anyway, here are my posts at Sprocket Ink LAST week:

Survey Says: Pretty People are More Selfish

New Extreme Sport: Naked Fishing

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Photo of the Day: Pretty Flower

I haven't done a photo of the day in a long while. In fact, I hadn't even taken new photos since the Fourth of July. I know! Who am I? Anyway, my roomie got some gorgeous lilies the other day and I was suddenly inspired to photograph again and I just went to town.

I like how soft and slightly out of focus this is. Gentle bokeh. Lovely late afternoon light. Le sigh.

Friday, August 12, 2011

This Week at Sprocket Ink

Nothing but fluff from me this week. I know I usually write about more serious fare, but for some reason (maybe my snot addled brain), I took on entertainment. I know. Who am I?

Just go with it.

This week, go read:

10 Celebs Who Just Need to Go Away Already
Celebs and pseudo celebs who top my list of most annoying annoyers who annoy me and who must go away now by any means necessary

Why Must Hollywood Ruin Everything?
Dirty Dancing remake? Somebody should have left this baby in the corner.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Wish List

Would you believe it? My birthday is in less than a month. I mean, honestly, how does that happen?

I have been enjoying 30 and then suddenly 31 is upon me.

However, as little time as I have left being 30, you have just as little time to all buy me gifts. Just kidding. Or am I?

Anyways, here's my lists of crap I'd want if there were such a thing as a birthday fairy (don't pretend like you won't want a birthday fairy!). All the photos link to the product pages.
Vulvalicious pillow

I have wanted this pillow since I discovered it last year. It's deliciously awesome. Plus with all Hot Pants' cocks (long story), I feel like I need more vaginas around. I mean, can you ever really have enough vagina? No. The answer is no. 

Frida Kahlo Uterus
"Complete with uni-brow and an unyielding creative presence Frida proves that a woman doesn't need to pro-create to be fertile. Modeled after the feminist icon and artist Frida Kahlo: this plush features a braided floral hair-do, full and serious lips, her signature uni brow, large colorful earrings, two golden necklaces and a Spanish style skirt. This plush is made of soft vegan fleece and she measures about 11 1/2" from fallopian tube to fallopian tube."

In other words? Awesome.

Recycled Tee Scarf
I can't decide if I just want this or I want to learn how to make it. Either way, maybe. Or both! Instructions on how to make it are at the link

Junk Mail Portraits
I want. I want. I want. So damn cool.

Lelo Mona
Because while Goldie is awesome, I'm hankering for someone new to keep my G spot company while Hot Pants works 5 thousand hours a week. Plus, her name is Mona. Mona! 

Ithaa Restaurant
I don't want this as much as I just want to eat here. Maybe for my birthday dinner. I kind of don't even care what kind of food they serve because THEY SERVE IT UNDERWATER! How fucking cool is THAT? And, oh yeah, it's in the Maldives, so not exactly convenient for a dinner trip.

Four Seasons Hotel, Bora Bora
Again, I don't want to own the hotel, just stay there. I mean, honestly, how utterly cool would that be?

Birthday fairy? Hello?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Portrait of a Strong Woman

We Are All Strong, Blogger Body CalendarToday, I'm once again over at Blogger Body Calendar, telling the story of a strong woman in my life.

Thanks so much for reading and for supporting this wonderful project!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

On Gender Politics and Feminism

There has been something bothering me of late, swirling around in this insane, manic head of mine.

I feel I must apologize now for the highly political, unapologetically opinionated (as I apologize. heh.), and entirely too cerebral post for a blog that is to follow. I just can't help myself.

It bothers me that there seems to be a new brand of "feminism" which isn't feminism at all, but because it parades as such, it carries an air of authority it shouldn't have. It tells you that if you disagree, you're not femisnist, or something. Which, frankly, is bullshit.

It's specious rhetoric at its worst.

I'm talking about the rise of conservative feminism, which I see as matriarchal feminism. But I'll get to that.

Then I heard a sound bite the other day from, wait for it, Fox news. Surprise surprise. Which I couldn't find anywhere online so I know I'll butcher. But it was something like, "the last frontier of misogyny is the hatred of conservative women."

To which the fury of a thousand suns rose up from the depths of my soul and if I could breathe fire, I would have.

First of all, misogyny, I think, is really about the hatred of all women, despite or regardless of type. So let's just take that word off the table since I think it was completely misused., no. Just no. You can't just say that the hatred of conservative women in such a blanket way as to take away any sort of logic at all and make any liberal man or woman (or, I guess, conservative men, or even moderates for that matter) look like hateful monsters.

"Communism is just a red herring." Uh huh. Exactlty my point.

I don't think anyone hates conservative women, individually or collectively. I have serious problems with their politics and their logic, however, and that is not the same thing.

I have a problem with calling yourself a feminist and not listening to the needs of women (and men) as a whole. When you ignore gender issues in politics or you fight against gender equality or gender freedom, you just cannot call yourself a feminist. You just cannot.

Which brings me back to matriarchal feminism. This is what the majority, this trading of patriarchy for matriarchy (and it's not just conservative or liberals or whatever. this is a big trend, I think, right now) is touting.

We wanted to overthrow the patriarchy and achieve freedom for the genders (and I won't even get into gender studies and the looseness of that word and the implications for the GLBTQ community and civil rights) but we just traded one for another just as oppressive.

Gloria Steinem said that feminism was supposed to free both sexes and what we're seeing is not freedom, but simply a shifting. 

Instead of strict gender roles prescribed by the male dominating class, we're seeing a female dominating class which prescribes just as strict gender roles for females (and males too I suppose). It's not okay for men to tell us what to do, but it is okay for women to tell women what to do? How does that make sense?

 That's not the feminism I subscribe to at any rate.

I don't expect to achieve some genderless utopia where we all enjoy life free of any gender roles or normatives, but I would like us to wake up and see that we're not really achieving anything this way.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Blogger Body Calendar: Survival

We Are All Strong, Blogger Body CalendarToday, I'm once again honored to be posting over at Blogger Body Calendar, talking about a time of survival.

Writing this story was incredibly cathartic. I only hope my sharing helps other too.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, August 5, 2011

This Week at Sprocket Ink

All sorts of snark and awe (get it? shock and awe? womp womp) this week over at Sprocket Ink. What can I say? Nothing but the best for you, my lovely minions.

Now go read, slaves!

Free Birth Control For All? Piece of Cake.
Official guidelines will force nearly all health insurance plans to fully cover the cost of birth control, but the mandate makes an exception for religious organizations...

As If Childbirth & The Bar Exam Aren’t Hard Enough Already
Pregnant woman goes into labor while taking the bar, finishes the test, then gives birth. See also: rock star.

Me love you long time!

Raw Photos People WINNER!

Wellllll, after mucho mucho deliberation, Sun and I have selected a winner. It wasn't easy. And we loved each photo for very, very different reasons. It was a tough decision, but somebody had to make it. It is a contest after all.

But before we announce the winner...the runner up!

By psychmamma
People Under the Chicago Bean 
This photo is so unbelievably excellent. I honestly want it printed in a huge size and hung on my wall. I lurve it HARD. It's so unique and creative, well framed too. Plus I love how it fits the theme while breaking the mold. Well done, psychmamma!

 And now. Without further ado. Well, maybe just a little ado. We all love a smidge of ado, admit it.

I am so excited to announce.....

The winner is....

By nonspleen
Venice Beach Skateboarder This is so well captured. Not only is this such a hard shot to get (think of the patience!), but it's well composed, so sharp and clean. Plus look at the backrgound! So awesome.

Congratulations, nonspleen! You're a Raw Photos maven!

 raw photo maven

Email awesomecrazylady at gmail dot com to collect your badge.

Don't put away your cameras just yet!

The next contest opens in September. 

Get creative. 
Maybe it's light painting or fireworks or a carnival. Maybe it's the sunset or sunrise.
Maybe it's the way the sun lights up your living room or a certain light at dusk.
Maybe it's artificial light.
Use your imagination and keep it raw!

Good luck!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Raw Photos People Finalists

Holy hell was this round difficult!

Not only did you all bring such amazing shots, but this was a true testament to why we have two judges. Sun had her faves and I had mine and they didn't necessarily match up all the time. Art is SO subjective! Don't you love it?

So we deliberated and deliberated and settled on these four finalists. Remember that we mostly paid attention to the quality of the shot and how it fits the theme, but we also liked other things like creativity, etc.

In no particular order, here are the finalists:

By braceball5
Germany 2011 049
I just love the perspective and how crisp the foreground is with the main subject slightly blurred.

By nonspleen
Venice Beach Skateboarder
Oh man what a capture! So sharp. And look at the action in the background!

By jensch1288
So well done. Love the light, the vibrant colors, the perspective, and the rule of thirds.

By psychmamma
People Under the Chicago Bean
SO COOL! It's like modern art. So trippy. So creative.

Good luck to all the wonderful finalists! Winner announced tomorrow!

Which one is your fave?

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Pee Strikes Back

Have you ever had a bladder infection? I guess it's technically a urinary tract infection. But I don't really care what they're called. No matter the name, they're utter misery.

I'm prone to them, who knows why. Maybe it's due to all those years in leotards and tights (did you know you can get them from non-breathable undergarments?), though I haven't had one in a while because I'm pretty diligent about preventing them. You know, peeing after sex, drinking lots of cranberry juice, wearing breathable undies, etc.

And I usually feel them coming on and can stop one before it gets evil. But today? Oh today. It came on like a neon light in Vegas after the apocalypse. Or maybe it was announcing the apocalypse. Either way? Pain. So much pain.

I lasted a couple hours at work, actually, though I don't know how much work I actually accomplished in between jogs to the restroom, where I'd get about 2 seconds of reprieve, glorious reprieve, then go back to my desk in pain. Then I threw in the towel and went home.

You can take antibiotics for a UTI, but I try not to pump full of the antis since my childhood was spent on too many and my immune system is doing its best to become the tough bastard I know it can be. But sometimes it's unavoidable. My plan leaving work was to go home, pump full of cranberry juice, and hope I can flush it out without having to see a doctor.

Plan is as yet still in effect.

The drive home? Utter misery. I pee before I leave the office, but then 8 floors down in an elevator, trying to escape the chatty front desk (whom I normally delight chatting with, but desperate times yo), walk to the parking lot, trying to get my key from the parking attendant, and the ensuing traffic all the way is. completely. torturous.

Fuck speed limits. The pain is so bad and all I want to do is just pee. Peeing sounds like heaven. Even though I know only a dribble will come, right then, peeing is better than anything I could or would ever do ever in the history of doing things. Ever. EVER. As I'm driving, I'm concocting plans that if I get pulled over, I'll just pee on the cop. That'll teach him to pull over a woman with a bladder infection. If it's a woman, she'll simply understand.

And I have to stop at the store to get my juice (happy, happy juice). But of course the parking lot is a clusterfuck (as always) and then (of course) this 157 year old woman in a landyacht hoopdy cuts me off to get into the parking lot before me (as if I'd still her handycapable spot anyway.) (not that I didn't consider it.) (but I do have SOME scruples.) and then slows down to a pace so slow that I'm pretty sure snails could beat. At this point, I'm in so much pain that if I don't pee, I'll yank granny from her boat and knock out every one of her fake teeth and pee on her face.

I finally park and run into the grocery store, suddenly developing the superhuman ability to locate the restroom purely on instinct. I could have closed my eyes and been able to find it, dodging the carts and screaming miniature humans and walkers. I could have leapt over the entire bank of cash registers if that had been necessary. You've heard of mothers pulling cars of their children? If the toilet had been crushed by a car, I would have lifted it off and tossed it onto a child. That's how bad I had to pee.

I finally pee, shoving aside a germaphobe mother with two kids who is deliberating which stall is the least teaming with potential plagues, because I would pee in a whole in the ground in Calcutta at this point. Fuck germs. What are they gonna do anyway? I already HAVE the infection! HAH! So there.

Tiny reprieve. Grab my juice. Remember to pay for my juice. Sprint back to my car. As I'm leaving the parking lot, I wait for the slowest jeep on the planet to pass all the while shouting from my car, "GOOOOOOOOOO!" and he slows down and stares at me as he passes, all serial killer-like, never losing eye contact, like those busts in the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland.

Normally, the serial killer uber creepy stare would freak me the fuck out, but I'm so manic at this point that I could peel his skin back from his creepy skull, pluck out his eyeballs, and pee on his face. Apparently peeing on people is my ultimate revenge today. However, he doesn't appear to be scared of me. His mistake.

The short drive from the store to my house is a blur. It's excruciatingly long yet I don't remember any of it. For all I know, I don't even have my car. I just floated home dreaming of pee and cranberry juice, clutching my burning abdomen for all its life.

Screwing my assigned spot and taking a visitor spot near the door, I sprint up the stairs to my apartment (in heels), making a mental note that if there is ever an Olympic event for heeled stair sprinting, I'd win the gold.

Rushing into the downstairs bathroom, I scare the shit out of my working-from-home roomie, pee the most glorious 5 seconds of my life, then prepare myself for a day of pain.

Which is where you'll most likely find me right now. Unless you're reading this several days from posting. If that's the case, and I'm still peeing like an old man with a prostate the size of Montana, just shoot me. 

Crazy Lady's tips for surviving a UTI:
  • Get yourself a crapton of cranberry juice. Not juice cocktail. Not from concentrate. You need 100% cranberry juice. Just go straight to the organcic or health food section of your store. You'll die a little inside when you see the price, but when you think about how little juice you actually get in those juice cocktails, you'll see you're getting your money's worth. 
  • Drink said cranberry juice. I like to cut the tart a little with club soda, though. But that means I just have to drink more. I like to keep the whole bottle of juice near me so I don't have to waste any time in between cup fills. 
  •  Drinking tons of fluids is good. I know you don't want to pee anymore, but you want to have something to pee out right? Right. Plus, you're flushing that asshole infection out.
  • If you can be home, awesome. You'll want to be close to the bathroom and have the freedom to bitch and moan without anyone around running in fear. Also: making happy moans while peeing makes it feel even that much better. 
  • If you have to work, hope to hell your workspace is next to the bathroom. All I'm sayin'. 
  • Another point for staying home is you won't want to fiddle with extraneous and silly things like locking doors and undoing zippers and/or buttons. Waste of time. 
  • Write a snarky blog post full of hyperbole to make yourself feel better. Works every time.

Her Namesake

She had a reputation for her brilliance, so the first day she did her best to scare as many of us off as she could. That way, only the best would stay.

I knew instantly that I liked her, would eat up every word she taught, would learn more than I’d ever learned in my young life thus far.  She was the quintessential feminist hippie, in her broom skirts, long hair wavy hair, and large glasses. She used words like specious and tremulous and prescient in her everyday speech. She had a laugh that filled the room and infected all within. I was smitten.
Turned out, she had the same name as me, Andrea.

I’d landed in community college heaven.

I knew she’d challenge how I thought, what I knew, but she’d also challenge my skills, my words, my writing. Over the next two years, I took every class of hers I could, from literature to writing courses. She’d joke that soon I’d have a degree in her.

She began calling me her namesake.

In her rhetoric class, I sponged up every morsel of argumentative writing and debate technique. My own ideals were challenged fiercely as I learned to sway others to my side with a well constructed argument. I relished loud classroom debates despite to whom victory went. She pushed me to learn the rules of writing so that I could properly break them. On a piece about Indian gaming, she gave me the third perfect score she’d given out in her teaching career. I was over the moon.

I began calling myself a writer.

She convinced me to be a writing tutor.

I was devastated when her World Literature 1 class conflicted with a class I needed to graduate. Math, I think. But the next semester, my last at the college, I was the first to sign up for World Literature 2, which would be my introduction to some of the most powerful pieces of literature and began my love of writers like Dostoyevsky, Baudelaire, and Borges.

As a graduation gift, she gave me her personal copy of a world literature anthology which she used to teach her World Literature 1 class, the one which I had missed. It was full of her own notes and dog-eared pages, which I read voraciously and lovingly.

For two years, I was nurtured and stretched, pushed to the limits of my abilities and then pushed to grow even more. I was praised and rewarded and learned to appreciate my talents.

I was changed wholly and irreversibly.

This was a post for the RemembeRED prompt: Everyone remembers that first inspiration or mentor in their lives that made them want to be or do something in their lives, whether you actually followed through with it or not. Tell us about that inspiration/mentor. How did they affect or change your life!
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