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Dec. 28th, 2014

Dad is sick today and Christina is mad at him. That's not nice of her.

Dec. 28th, 2014

Packing, packing, and more packing. We leave on the fourth. Seb is pouting already.
It's quiet in the house and almost cool enough for a fire in our fireplace, so I've got a small one going. I'm just ... sitting here in the living room with my guitar and my journals ... I pulled out one from when I was 18 and newly in love with astar_isborn, discovering these powerful emotions for the first time, learning that there was more to my heart than fog and pain and questioning. It was seven years ago, which feels so crazy and far away and yet just as close as a heartbeat. Our desperate need to connect to each other, my new found joy in life, my utter fear that his family was going to hate me as much as I hated myself in so many ways. It's a fear I still have, actually. (Not just about him still, but about anyone that I date.) It's funny what stays with us as humans, even while everything changes.

But I spent today in rehearsal, getting ready to head out again, and we were early, so I got to listen to the opening band run through their set. They're good. New and raw, but god they are good. There's this pain in their music, this emotion that reaches out from the soul of their lead singer, but still this promise that he's going to be there with you when you're done going on the journey of the music with them. He's still going to be holding our hands, ready and willing. I'm looking forward to getting to know him better.

There's this one song though ... and it's been with me all day. It's what got me thinking about those times when I was younger - the good and the bad. It's got me tracing hearts over the tattoos and scars on my wrists. It's got me running my fingers over the fading words on these slightly yellowed pages, wondering if these droplets I keep finding are water or tears or condensation from the nights when I snuck a tumbler from my mother's liquor cabinet and dropped in three ice cubes and sipped at her favorite drink, feeling the vodka seeping into my system, imagining I was so adult when really, I was just this scared but excited little girl, playing at being a grownup while stepping into adulthood and I can't help but think that's all we do every day, play at being more adult than we really are, all the while taking those steps that bring us into a more terrifying but exciting world. One that's overwhelming but never too much to handle ... even for those of us who walk along cliffs that could crumble under each step at any moment. Honestly, I think all of us do. Walk along those cliffs I mean. It doesn't take much for everything to crumble down around us. It's how we find ourselves again that keeps defining our lives over and over and over again. Because it isn't just one time that we're going to slip. We always can and do.

...I'm not going to sail on the wings of the damned
I won't ride the wave that I don't understand
It's not my belief it will come to an end
It's just water
And it won't drown me ...

Made it through

You'd think after so many years it would be easier. But every Boxing Day I remember why I loved those bloody pills. I drink to go to sleep on Christmas night. Wake up from the same nightmare. Every year. Alcohol doesn't numb it the same way. It's the hardest time to stay clean. I'm lucky to be surrounded by family, kept occupied by obligations and traditions. With the twins coming soon I'll have even more distractions. Maybe I'm not supposed to have an empty house. I made the mistake of saying that to Eddie though. She's so uncomfortable she just went on a rant about how this was a bit extreme just because I've got one day of the year I don't want to be left to my own devices.

It has been so nice having Marshall and Caleb here. But I see Andy in both of them. Actions, appearances. I think of him as an uncle. It's almost too much.

oh it's good to be home ...

Don't get me wrong, Wellington is so beautiful and I love the people I work with down there, but being pounced on by my dogs and kissed to death by two pits and a corgi just feels great. The only thing missing is a sexy guitar player who likes to wake me up with Irish coffee and ... well .... ;)

On today's agenda: getting my hair extensions taken out and returning to my Preston Shaw look. But there needs to be coffee and possibly a cupcake first.

Existential Nihilism - 3

September
Fourteenth

- What the fuck is this?
I am looking at my desk, which is covered with flowers. As if there’s a dead person buried beneath.
The class, mostly freshmen, but as fresh as dead fish can be, stare at me. In sheer confusion and idiocy, disguised behind the convenient mask of young minds’ curiosity.
- Who brought the flowers, I am asking? I hate flowers. I am ALLERGIC to flowers.
Still quiet. Rage seizes me by the throat. And I was fooling myself just two hours ago, while masturbating in my bed (modestly, with two fingers, nothing elaborated because Siri had already put the espresso machine on) that it was going to be a wonderful, wonderful day at school! But it’s just my luck. Instead of a wonderful day I get flowers.
- So you know nothing about the flowers?
I clear a spot with one hand and place my laptop and my purse among the pile of disgusting purple cosmos. You see my tragedy – I am perfectly, and when I say it, I mean it – I am perfectly dressed, wearing Sonia Rykiel black gloves to match my silky pleated knee length skirt, and this beautiful 1970’s cream-colored blouse with Bandana inspired print, which simply cost me a fortune… and I have this airflash Dior foundation subtly applied on my fair skin… and on the top of all that grandeur I start sneezing like a damn cow…and I’m not even sure if a cow can sneeze like that! But simply imagining a cow doing it is already offensive. So, yes, I imagine the cow to be me.
The kids are now not only embarrassed, they are in awe. Do they deserve Sartre? Do they deserve ME?
- OK, I’m sorry. This was…this was a little over the top, I guess. Well, - I force a smile on my face while I am trying not to focus on any other face in the classroom, - I DO hate flowers though. I cannot drink a flower, can I?
That was supposed to be a joke, which apparently nobody got, and I felt sick to my stomach. Not because I thought I screwed up but because I felt that I was going to hate this entire group of youngsters – an impatient flock of geese that is just …well…another flock of geese. What am I thinking? That someday I will step into a classroom that, for a change, is full of brainiacs, and I can actually see a divine sparkle… no, not a divine, but THE divine sparkle in their eyes – the one and only sparkle that distinguishes humans from, let’s say, suricates. And all the other animal species, for that matter. But this never happens. Has never happened for the 12 years of teaching. First, it was the small college where they hired me to teach 17th century philosophy, which didn’t interest me at all, but the money was good for someone who had just got out of the university and had never been on the other side of the teaching desk. The kids back then, however, didn’t seem that dumb as they are now. Something must have happened meanwhile… An evil bacterium of stupidity of some kind must have colonized men’s sperm during the years of generation change.
When I turned 34, I applied for my current position at the Department of Philosophy at the University of Copenhagen. My resume was so impressive (with a PhD degree obtained at Cambridge) that they couldn’t believe their luck to have me. A couple of months later the head of the Søren Kierkegaard Research Center died of cancer and they made me his substitute. The money was now pouring into my bank account. I was very much into this work in the beginning; very enthusiastic indeed. I kicked many asses in ferocious determination, so that by 2009 we succeeded to complete Kierkegaard’s writings containing 55 volumes. Since then they’ve been translated into German, French, Spanish, and now some brainy small-dick ching chongs have been translating them into Chinese.
Six years ago not only the Faculty had me, but also Dr. Luca Incurvati did. Although for only a short period of time. Dr. Incurvati, 57 at that time, was so bright that at dusk one could see his brain glow from behind his shaven skull. And, seriously, can you imagine anything sexier about a man than his brain! I would happily fuck with one’s intelligent brain, no matter male or female, if only that was physically possible. Actually I hardly noticed that I dated a fellow colleague. I imagined that I was dating a metaphysical creature (although he wasn’t bad looking at all – reminded me of late Stanley Tucci). But then one day, I was done reading all the books he had written on epistemology and philosophy of language, and also I was pretty much done listening to his clever but insipid jokes, so I broke up with him. And not only that, I also broke his leg! That wasn’t exactly the intention when I kicked him, only that had forgotten I was wearing Black Diamond Swift ski boots. (I was just trying them on in a sports store, for fun, I’d never go skiing though! I am too afraid not to break a leg myself). When his bone healed, and that took almost five months because, well, he wasn’t 27, Dr. Incurvati transferred as far away from me as possible – to some redneckish, farmyard university in Idaho, or wherever. He sure still teaches epistemology to farm sheep and chicken!
I haven’t dated anyone since then. Some years ago something clicked inside my 100-million dollar brain and I started fancying people I don’t know personally, famous people usually and far way smarter than I am, some of them dead, others terminally ill, and a big percentage recently deceased, and pretended I marry them and we live in a total bliss in a society where they put you in jail or even execute you if your intelligence quotient is less than 130.
- Professor, do you want me to throw the flowers away?
A feeble female voice from behind brings me back to the reality of the auditorium.
- Are you…I’m sorry, can’t see you from here, but are you that good at throwing bouquets? Have you tossed one at a wedding already?
I guess, the flowers are from the faculty management, “with complements” that I have accepted to teach this course for two semesters in a row. Before submitting the syllabus, I explicitly pointed out in a mail to the management that I am willing to take on the course on condition that I will be given the full freedom to put a special emphasis in my lectures on Michel Foucault, because “for the time being I find the ideas of antihumanism very much correlative to the present state of our modern society”. First, they hesitated, considered it “tricky” because the young minds of the freshmen may confuse antihumanism with misanthropy, and besides, is it wise anyway to introduce to them an idea that they ALL know I cherish passionately myself so much that I have it tattooed on my back? They meant of course my MAN IS DEAD tattoo, about the existence of which ill talks and rumors have been spreading right after one of the young assistants accidentally spotted me in my black bikini on the almost empty Bellevue Beach, near Bakken, on a cloudy summer afternoon two years ago.
Man is dead. Were you not aware of that? It is obvious.
Then, in a state of severe provocation, I sent another mail, in which I wrote: “Dear Prof. Drewes and Prof. Gundersen (the latter is the bitch who hates me for getting all the academic credits and all the men’s erections),
I believe that it is OUR job to expose students to all kind of philosophical ideas without being judgmental, or hypocritical, or too scared to be provocative in order to be politically correct or faithful to the academic snobbism. And it is MY job in this particular case to make them understand the difference between the two terms…if that will be necessary at all.
Sincerely,
I.F. “
Eventually, the Grand Jury decided to unleash me and here I am, in this spacious auditorium on the second floor, the blinds are drawn up, so that the early autumn sun can light fires in the blond hair of the freshmen (except for those two of Nigerian and Pakistani origin who have only their white lunch boxes to glitter at the wonderful sunbeams). And here they are – those cheap purple flowers, which must have cost no more than 50 Crowns to whomever lower-rank assistant they have assigned the task to buy them for me.
- Well, Miss? I had a question for you. Could you rise, please?
A mawkish looking pale girl hesitantly stands up. She mutters something indistinctly.
- Can’t hear you!
She clears her throat and this time says it louder.
- No, Professor, I haven’t.
- That’s what I thought. – I take off my gloves, finger by finger, which happens to be an entertainingly long activity if there’s a girl standing in the lecture hall waiting for your permission to sit down.
– You may sit down, I‘ll call for the janitor in the break to get them out of here. And now… let us properly introduce ourselves to one another. I understand you are in your first year of study at this university. Any exceptions?
A couple of hands in the air.

- Second year? No? Transfers? Ah yes, and exchanges too. The usual academic and ethnic concoction. As you all know, I believe, from your curriculums, my name is Ira Franic and I definitely …
I was that close to say “need a drink” but changed the course of the sentence just on time.
- … definitely
“…don’t want to be here”
“… like none of you”
“… would rather cut one of my fingers than share Sartre with you. “
- I am definitely happy to be able to share with you the thoughts and aspirations of some of the greatest visionaries of the 20th century. Although, to be honest, I very much doubt that this can be done in a few months’ time. In the meantime, who has seen an interesting movie recently?

fat. happy. spoiled.

It isn't like we celebrate for the religious side of it. For us, it's all about family. At least, for the immediate side of it. We did have a round of the annual "take your daughter to church" discussion between papi and my abuela, which is always amusing because it isn't going to happen any time soon but I understand why she gets so stressed out and I know there's a part of her that really believes if I went to church, I'd stop trying to kill myself. (and no, I'm not making light of it)

But beyond that, it's been a day of tamales and guac and tequila and way too much other food and oh my god ... fucking cheesecake. Dear God. And my abuela tormenting jaggedjared in Spanish because she doesn't believe any boy is good enough for me. Any my parents being amazing and Micah being adorable and God ... just a good day.

I love Christmas, I really do.

Mami found something ...Collapse )

Dec. 25th, 2014

Feliz Navidad from my family to yours.

I'm thankful I get to be home with my girl and my kids. I'm not driving. I'm not in jail. My son and daughters are all healthy. And I am leaps and bounds ahead of where I was this time last year. My parents flew in from Puerto Rico on Tuesday. Chris's parents drove down yesterday. And Christina came home with a nice Christmas bonus yesterday that we're just going to dump right into our savings account. We had to dip into it to pay for presents for the kids.

PHI 101 Existential Nihilism - 2

September
Thirteenth

When I was little, I wanted my Mom to get me a suricate. I had seen a documentary on these squirrel-sized adorably sociable animals on Animal Planet and thought I could raise one myself. As my baby, you see. I didn’t play with dolls. Dolls seemed boring, first of all because they resembled humans. If you want to nourish your fantasy and grow to be something else beside a breathing- bleeding-breeding mechanism, you definitely have to start the conscious years of your childhood by keeping away from all the objects that imitate your environment. Don’t play hide-and-seek, but play aliens. Don’t brush and braid the hair of your doll, but disfigure it. Don’t boil an egg, but use it as a vagina stimulator. So, if you’re riding already on the right train, doing all the wrong stuff and enjoying it, how can you simply not want to have a suricate as a pet!
- A what?
Mom turned around from the kitchen stove and stared at me.
- A suricate!
- I thought you wanted French toast for breakfast.
- I do. But I want a suricate more.
- Is it in the cookbook?
- No, - I rolled my eyes. – It’s in the Kalahari Desert in Botswana.
- Go play with your… with whatever you’re playing those days.
On this particular day, when I was 6 and a half and it was summer in our kitchen, I wondered for the first time in my life how is that possible that one can be that beautiful and that stupid at the same time.
I stop thinking about my suricate dream 34 years ago, put my reading glasses on and go back to the lecture I have to deliver tomorrow in class. It’s a beautiful afternoon out there and I can’t stand the thought of wasting an entire hour, or two, getting ready to stand up in front of a bunch of curly, wind-blown, slender, yet brainless cunts who’ll only pretend to be taking notes about Sartre on their laptops, but will be checking their Facebook statuses instead. Whenever I have to face a conflicting body–and-mind condition of such intensity, I do one thing that helps as a rule. I take a quick cold shower, wrap up my hair with a towel in a maharaja style and sit crossed-legged totally naked on the cool sheets covering the thick, 800-Euro mattress. By removing the clothing crust which converts my carcass into the solid me as we know it from the classrooms, the scientific magazines and the deli behind the corner from where I live, I actually am capable of addressing the greatest philosophical minds of the previous century without feeling sorry for them. I mean, for feeding them to the brainless cunts the next morning.
Now, where was I?
Typing: … consciousness because it is nothingness, makes us aware of the possibility of choosing what we will be. This is the condition of human freedom. The choice of action is also a choice of oneself. By choosing oneself one does not choose to exist: existence is given and one has to exist in order to choose. From this analysis Sartre derives a famous slogan of existentialism: 'existence precedes and commands essence'. He maintains that there is no re…
A knock on the door.
- Siri, WHAT?
- May I come in?
- No, you may not.
- Please! Ira?
I hate that girl.
Not bothering to cover myself, I open the door, block the entrance to my bedroom with my bare flesh and wait for my niece to articulate what the emergency could possibly be.
- Are you naked!?
- No, I am not.
- You ARE naked! Last time when Veronica and Casey came here to study you were naked AGAIN. While boiling pasta! Why do you always have to be like that?
- Well, I’ll tell you why, Siri. Because this is MY APARTMENT, remember?
- I didn’t kill my mother, so that I have to live with you, - she is on the verge of becoming hysterical, which doesn’t actually worries me because at that age troubled girls are unstable more often than you can imagine. They can burst out over a blackhead. Or a ruined top because somebody vomited on it in a jam-packed club.
- As I see it, you don’t have anything in particular to share, just the usual shit about your misfortune to have a cuckoo mother. So, good bye.
I am about to close the door in her face but she’s faster and blocks it with her foot.
- Siri, I am working here and you’re about to piss me off!
- I need to borrow your car.
- No.
- Please!
- No. Take the bus.
- Not possible. I have to be somewhere out of town.
She probably thinks I’m going to ask her where she is going, whom with, are there going to be drugs involved, when she’ll be back and if she’ll be pregnant by then. However, I personally don’t care. I am only the woman, the unlucky relative who’s managing Siri’s allowance after her mother’s death last August. Siri still thinks she hanged herself. The truth is that her death was accidental and resulted from an erotic asphyxiation game that went wrong.
- Please. Auntie?
- No. Release the door!
- Bitch!
- Cunt!
So much for nice family relations!
Back to typing. My hair feels almost dry.
Sartre's most famous example is that of a waiter:
'… ason for choosing as one does. Let us consider this waiter in the cafe. His movement is quick and forward, a little too precise, a little too rapid. He comes towards the patrons with a step a little too quick .. his voice, his eyes express an interest a little too solicitous for the order of the customer .. he gives himself the quickness and pitiless rapidity of things .. the waiter in the cafe plays with his condition in order to realize it.' (Sartre, 1943)
What is eating me though is that Siri is, as a matter of fact, a good kid. Too good. And at the age of 17 she’s still a virgin, which, let’s be honest, is like a pink elephant living in a glass house.

Dec. 25th, 2014

T'was the night before Christmas and all through the house, everyone was quietly suffering, including the mouse.

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