Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Just My Luck Post #1

I've run into a lot of bad luck in my life (leaving me with a lot of bruises) and always swore I would write a book about all my grace-induced stories one day. Well, if ever I do - this will be Chapter One . . .

Back in high school . . .

--WAIT - screw that, I think I'll write a screenplay instead.--



Main character, Googley (*my real nick name in high school . . . there are many claims as to who came up with the name, what inspired it, and whether malicious intent was involved or not), is walking out to the parking lot at Apopka High School. We see the Darter in the pond and the students walking out at the end of the day. Googley walks towards her Dodge Omni parked in the first space in the Senior Lot - painted with the Handicapped Wheelchair dude.


Oh hey, Kris . . . what's up?


Yo, Googley (did I mention I went to school with a bunch of gansters) are you gonna go to Wendys today?

Don't know - why?

Thought you might want to throw your keys away again. HA HA - snort -

GOOGLEY reaches in to smack KRIS in the head for being such a dimwit.

As she leans in, driver of Green Bronco, DANA (oh yeah, a boy - who's best friends Cary and Kelly were also boys . . .) pulls away to save poor Kris from the solid steel that is GOOGLEY's hand.

The force of the car flips GOOGLEY into the air. She lands on the ground in time to have her left arm be run over by the back tire of the Bronco. She lies on the ground in shock for a couple minutes before she realizes her skirt is flipped over as well and exposing her panties. She starts to giggle along with everyone else and then faints on the asphalt.



GOOGLEY is at home wearing a cast on her left arm.

GOOGLEY (on the phone)
Yeah, we couldn't find Snickers all day yesterday. But I woke up this morning and she was under my bed with her three kittens - and a lovely stain. It was nasty . . . but the kitties are so cute! Butterfinger, KitKat and Oreo. Oreo's the cutest - all black with a white stripe down his back. Oh, wait - I hear them crying upstairs . . .

Hangs up and throws the phone on the couch.

Runs up the stairs and at the 10th step, trips UP the stairs and screams out in pain


GOOGLEY starts to whimper and the sound mixes with the pitiful mewing of the kittens. Frame pans up towards GOOGLEY's room and GOOGLEY's whimpers start to fade as the cats's cries get louder. We are brought under a bed where two young kittens are drinking from their mother's teat and a third one is under its mothers tongue - his death as obvious as the white line down his black back.



KRIS loading a wheelchair into the back of his own truck in GOOGLEY's driveway.

Thanks for taking me to school . . . I only have to be in the wheel chair until my arm is out of the cast - then I can use crutches. And you know how Gangster Googley (my younger sister) is - she's too embarrassed to take me, and her pom pons take up most of her trunk space anyway.

Oh, it's all good in the hood.

CUT TO Parking Lot of school. Kris parks in a space across from Googley's. He helps get the wheelchair out and she gets in. He pushes her through the empty parking spot towards the ramp down to the circle driveway in front of the school.

GOOGLEY (always the funny one . . . )
You know, you can just let me go at the top of the ramp.

KRIS brushes the ash from his jacket as he tries to rub the THC from his eyes.


KRIS, the fucking idiot, lets go of GOOGLEY's wheelchair at the top of the ramp. The wheelchair picks up speed and we see GOOGLEY's face full of fear of being sprung into the nasty lake in the middle of the circle driveway ('scusting!!) but LOE and BEHOLD - what comes to her rescue, but a 1989 silver Volvo wagon waiting in the circle - ready to stop her chair from the nastiness by crushing her knees and eating her lip.



Close up of Vicodin bottle in GOOGLEY's purse - slung on the back of her wheelchair as she is pushed through the hallways by her good friend Kelly - a girl this time - adorned with "Googley Crossing" signs. Her fat lip does not hide the smile on her face.

So, what do you think? I think I have a magical way with dialogue - don't you agree? there's many more of these to come . . .

Friday, September 21, 2007

My argument against Pragmatism

I just got in a fight (okay, heated discussion . . . okay, not even really a discussion) with my favorite professor this semester. Not just this semester I guess, but someone I hold in high regard, someone that has opened new opportunity and knowledge to me and someone who has shaped what my future plans are (at least what my future plans are presently =).
I was in Environmental Justice and my professor, Boris Ricks, was discussing planners' responsibilities in making ethical decisions in regards to the siting of waste disposal plants and other environmental hazards. Which I was totally in line with until he then proceeded to say that we had to be aware that planners and developers are the same in the fact that all they saw was '$' (he drew it on the board). Wherein I interjected, quite passionately - I might add, that planners are not developers. Then, the enviable Professor Ricks resorted to telling me that he is an expert on urban politics, is highly lauded in his research, blah bity blah blah, and that we can just agree to disagree.
I have to start this out by saying I have a grossly out of whack distaste and mistrust of real estate developers. I've never walked away from meeting one, or reading about one or hearing one speak and thought, 'wow - they're really out to do something for the community.' Some of them do really great, cool, wonderful things for the community - but it's just a side effect of their project, or a reflection of its profitability.
I got interested in planning because it blended many of my passions together . . . design, math, community, people, sustainability, and politics. The product of a planners project is a city block, a living community, a neighborhood improvement district, a park, a mixed use development, a thriving downtown. That's what they do - they create it, they make it feasible, they model it, they measure it, they map it.
The product of a developers project is a pro forma, a successful tax credit application, agreeable debt service coverage, positive cash flow. That's what they do - they envision it, they schmooze the banks, they create the spreadsheets, they screw the neighbors, and they HIRE it out.
It's the difference between Raymond Braswell and Kevin Klinkenberg, the difference between profitability and responsibility, the difference between redevelopment and renewal, the difference between condominiums and affordable housing, the difference between community and company; hard to separate fully, but there are choices and outcomes and purpose that act as hard distinctions between the two. Neither one better than the other - but definitely different.
Or maybe I'm just green and naively optimistic that you can put doing good over doing well - and still come out on top.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Time for a pick up line . . .

Wow, is that shirt new? It's very becoming on you.

But if I were on you, I'd be coming, too.

(Just sayin . . . )

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Greg Beck 1958-2007

Greg Beck was mean, drunk, horny and hilarious. His funeral - held at the Baptist Church where his mother belongs - didn't play down his vices and couldn't diminish his ability to bring the people of his life together to share one last toast to this great man. It was an honest and touching ceremony - short to Baptist standards, if I say so myself - full of laughter, loss and realization.
The red dresses were out in full force . . . and the ladies looked hot!! My favorite part of the whole event was little Matthew Sader calling out, 'yes, sir!' in the middle of a prayer. Jesus Camp - here he comes! =D

Last night

I got to see Elle for the first time in 4 days yesterday so the last thing I wanted to do was leave her at home with a sitter last night while I went to Greg Beck's visitation. But I didn't want to miss it, either - even though my red dress I was planning on wearing was in my bag that still hadn't made it from Orlando. So I decided to take Elle with me. She had to go to her first wake sometime . . . and it was easier to talk about death when it was someone that she didn't know. She told me that people didn't really die in this place - it's only on movies (probably something her dad told her when he was watching 300 with her the other night - good one, daddy'o). Needless to say that conversation took a little while . . . she's decided that when she dies she doesn't want to go in the ground under dirt but that she wants to stay 'regular' - even if it means she'll get stinky. She said we can put her in the blue room (you know you are a little paint-happy when your kid identifies rooms in your house by the color on the walls) and read her a book every night. But we got dressed and started our journey . . .

. . . never got there. I followed my googled directions, I asked the 'metro patrol' officer in the entrance of the cemetery, I called the phone number of the place, I drove between the 4600 and 5100 block of Truman like 10 times with Elle in the back seat trying to count all the dead people in the graveyard. I'm really not blind. I'm really not dumb. But it was already 8 by that time and I just wanted to get out of my car. So we headed over to Harry's Country Club in the River Market to see if anyone was over there.

After convincing Elle that we could go to Waldo Pizza some other night, I finally got her to get out of the car. . . but then she gets out and sees the AMC building downtown and decides that she wants to see a movie instead (I have a really bossy kid). But I'm the boss - so we went inside. she was very excited to see the bar . . . she loves sitting on high stools, so she was failed again when I told her we were going outside. Ooooh, but they have a jukebox like Waldo Pizza - she wants to go to Waldo Pizza again.

I go outside and see some red dresses so know I have found the bloggers . . . saw Spyder and XO and MToast and Janet and FileGirl and Dan. Sat next to Dan and Elle was being shy at first . . . but then he offered her french fries. Nothing like some fried, salty veggies to bring my kid out of her shell. She wouldn't stop after that. I have never seen her so animated in front of a group of strangers. Maybe it was the atmosphere ('and if she loves a bar - she loves a bar like her mama') - or maybe it was the Sprite after 8pm - or maybe it was just the people. I think I'll have her start a blog now . . .

Anyway, it was good to see everyone there last night. I didn't know Greg anymore than I know XO or MToast or Spyder . . . but just sitting there on a night that we all said goodbye to someone that was present in our lives - made me realize how connected this little world is. I open my world to anyone that reads this blog and I thank each and every one of you for doing the same. Its very spandex-like . . . as our circles get bigger - it just works harder to keep us together.

After we paid and walked out - Elle still convinced we were on our way to Waldo Pizza - she asked me which one of those people was the dead one. I giggled inside and almost told her that he wasn't there. . . but then realized that he was.

Rest in Peace, Big Guy - give 'em hell.

Monday, September 17, 2007

I'm baaaack!!

Been super busy the last couple weeks, but just got back from Florida so I'm ready to get back to work on, you know - my LSATs which are next weekend!!!! GAH! Not ready . . . not ready . . .

Super fun stuff though, this weekend . . . met Mia Michaels - she signed my dance shoes! She's freakin amazing. I'm like a total dork and in love with her. Took a class with her and my body still hurts today (stretching afterwards is always good - note to self) - but not only is she incredibly amazing as a choreographer, but it's just always so inspiring to hear people who absolutely love their life and are breathing their passions through other people. And she made my body move in ways it never has before and made me love being a dancer even more because of the power I hold to express myself through that medium. Love it!!! I will scan in my signed picture of her when, you know - I learn how to do that. So, next year around this time - be looking for it. =D

I also saw a bunch of my friends from South Florida, and it made me realize how much I miss the close friendships I've always been used to. I live so far away from so many people that I love. I used to have such a hard time with goodbyes when I was younger - and taught myself how to cope by just realizing how much people affect me and change me as a person for knowing them 2 hours or 2 decades. It made me less sad to see people go, but I don't find those connections so much anymore. Is life really too busy to have what I see as the most important thing in it? It's too bad if so, because I'm too far away to really hang on the the ones I have established in the past. I just miss my friends and my family, I think. Very emo today - not a good day to say goodbye to a friend I never got to know. Oh well.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

My Soundtrack

Okay - so I've been sick and not blogging and don't want to blog about my sickness, but I finally checked my myspace today and did a fun little bulletin and thought I would be lazy and just post it here as well. And don't make fun of my music selections . . . or I'll hurt you.

So, here's how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don't lie and try to pretend your cool...!

Opening credits:
Fuck Me Pumps - Amy Winehouse

Waking up:
Freak on a Leash - Richard Cheese

First day of school:
Make a Memory - Bon Jovi

Falling in love:
C.R.U.S.H. - Ciara

First Song:
The Roots (Interlude) - Jill Scott

Fight Song:
Get Loose - T.I.

Breaking Up:
Rehab Remix - Amy Winehouse and Jay Z

Hallelujah - Leonard Cohen

Love Song - The Cure

Mental Breakdown:
Body Language - Queen

I'm Good (Honey Soundtrack) - Blaque

Close My Eyes Forever - Lita Ford and Ozzy Osbourne

Getting back together:
All I Wanna Do is Have Some Fun - Sheryl Crowe

Go - Common

Birth of child:
Jeremy - Pearl Jam

Death Scene:
Muevete Pa Ca - Zumba CD

Funeral Song:
Abraham, Martin, and John - Jerry Vale

End Credits:
Here Comes the Sun (Live in New York) - Jewel and Rob Thomas

I'm taking in all the happenings in Kansas City and saving you all the trouble . . . I'll let you know whether to soak it up or squeeze it out!!