Thursday, May 24, 2007
Certain nights when either the thunder would be roaring outside our bedroom windows or an extra frightening nightmare had awaken my little brother from his slumber, I would crawl into my brother's bed beside him and place the red parachute over his big comforter.
Together his bed would become a jeep, riding through the bumpy dirt roads of Africa on a wild safari or a spaceship taking us up into orbit around the moon. There would be dark cold nights where the room was pitch black, the moon's glow hidden behind dark clouds.
These were the nights where we would grip our red parachute's edges together, and curl underneath the layers of sheets, knowing that no matter what - be it tiger, comets, or hungry wolves in the forest - attacking us the red parachute would protect us both.
Now, 15 years later, I wish I had that magic red parachute back. I wish that I could wrap my baby brother in the red parachute to ward away the disease that is infesting his blood stream. I have this sudden urge to run home to my parent's house, and climb into my brother's bed next to him and wrap my arms around him. I would give anything to take away his pain. I would give anything to be able to give him my white blood cells. To give him my good health.
I would give anything to become his red parachute.
Friday, May 18, 2007
In other news: I am a Notary Public!
(and for $61.00 you could be one, too.)
It's nothing spectacular but I had to become one for my job. Already my friends have been calling me and asking me to notarize stuff. I never knew there were that many documents (besides deeds of trust, mortgage loan documents, etc.) that needed to be notarized but I guess there are.
Summer is fast approaching - the month of June is going to be awesome for me. I am really looking forward to the vacation time and the plans that I have already set.
Friday is here...and I'm pooped. Can't wait to go home and sleep.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Good job to Salon.com! Made my morning bright and happy. :-)
It's Thursday and it's the middle of finals week! I have mine tonight, and have made the executive decision not to go to the gym today but to take the time and make sure I know exactly all the ins and outs of Marbury v. Madison, Gibbons v. Ogden, & McCulloch v. Maryland.
Also - the life of Frederick Douglass, the Missouri Compromise, Compromise of 1850 and the Dred Scott Decision.
With any luck, I'll have it down pat by noon, and we should be good as golden for tonight.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Today is Mother's Day. And it has probably become one of the most difficult "holidays" to think about for me. I say "holidays" because technically, it is a ruse from the CEOs at Hallmark to market (or shall I say guilt) the consumers into purchasing pretty pink and laced up pieces of paper with matching envelopes to say on one day of the year how much we love and adore our mothers. I personally feel that if you truly love your Mom, you wouldn't wait until some Sunday in May to tell her - you'd tell her every chance you got. Perhaps my views of this holiday will change (in fact, I am praying that they will...) once I bear children, and have my two-year old come scrambling into the kitchen with a Crayola masterpiece that includes green for grass, a picture of me with an obscenely larger than life head, and a bouquet of flowers. But for now, it has become a very depressing day for me.
It's sad to say that despite my strong opinions of what I posted above in regards to Hallmark - that society has eaten this stuff up like gravy. We have Mother's Day sales, and Mother's Day commercial seasons. Suddenly on May 1st, not only do we have a commercial for Rice Krispies, but we have a mother, and her daughters making rice kripies treats together in the kitchen with the uber-sentimental tag line of "The only thing wrong with making Rice Krispie Treats - is that it doesn't take that long" Or something to that nature. I am not attempting to be the Scrouge of Mother's Day - I'm just saying - that damn commercial makes me tear up every time.
'Cause here I am - sitting in my room in Dumb-dalk, while the rest of my family went to the ocean for the day. The entire family. I don't feel left out, per say. I think really what this day helps target is the lack of a strong relationship with my mother. The fact that as much as she didn't want to invite me or have me be there on their mini-getaway is just as much as I don't want to be there. And that truly saddens me. I really wish things were different between us. But I have long given up that dream of us being the mother-daughter friendly type through my long and emotionally draining struggle to be "the good daughter" for years with no acknowledgement or avail.
I mean, I buy her a gift every year and a card. And in that sense, the more I look at it, the more I am just like her in some ways - trying to save face for the good of everyone. I am a chump, because I see everyone else buying their mothers something - and I feel guilty. But what for? Why do I feel guilty that I don't want to buy her a gift? Or is guilty really the right word? I notice that when I bought her her gift with LP, I got into gift mode. I got into the giving mentality. Regardless of who it was I was buying it for, I called my mom up and asked her what type of purse she was looking for. I think for a second I just wished that I could just give to her a gift out of love rather than out of necessity. I wasn't truly "guilted" into it rather than me, myself feeling this overwhelming need again to please her. As if buying her a gift on the day that you're supposed to love your mother is going to erase all the hurt and pain she has caused me.
I was over at my parent's house this weekend for a day and a half and walked by her room to see the purse I got her just sitting there in her bed. I had tried to share with her my excitement over my purse, and thought we could at least share that simple moment together. But she immediately shrugged me off, and told me that she didn't have time to be excited about it - she had other things to worry about - like making a list for this or that.
And then even worse, I found out she wants to try and medicate my 7-year old brother. I am completely against this and it just...frustrates me from inside all the way out to no end. For the first time in my life, I can't do anything about it. In him I see all of my qualities as a person whether that be bad or good. In him I see all the inner struggles that I dealt with when dealing with her. It's one thing to grow up myself, fighting her, and overcoming the obstacles she placed in front of me. It's a completely different thing to sit back and watch it happen to another sibling. I can't even begin to describe how it made me feel to see him burst into tears on Saturday morning once she shut the door to go out after yelling at him all morning.
"Emmy, Emmy ...I can't take it anymore! She always picks on me...she's always picking on me and I don't know what to do."
It scared me so much to hear my own words just three years ago coming from my 7-year old brother. The same frightened, frustrated and confused tone. The same tears.
I am struggling inside so much right now, knowing that there really isn't much that I can do - and yet feeling like there has got to be something. What do you do when you know the future for someone so small because you lived it yourself?
Friday, May 11, 2007
I have a ton of studying to do this weekend for my History final exam. He gave us a bunch of packets last night as well as a list of questions that we had to know detailed answers for in order to pick three as our personal final. I guess that's a benefit - to be able to choose the questions beforehand, and being able to prepare myself fully to answer the questions to the best of my ability.
Beyond that, I have to strategize this weekend. I have overviewed some of my prospectives and realized that I was a little off. Books, cost of vacations, cost of the car... I know that it can work - it's just a matter of making it work. So Sunday is going to be my "Crunch Numbers" day!
I have a lot of fun stuff to look forward to this year - and as much as I complained about the year 2007 being a bummer, I think it all depended on what I made of it. As opposed to last year's "everything-good-is-just-going-to-fall-right-into-my-lap" theme. This year I had to prove to myself that I was determined enough to get the things done that I wanted to get done.
One thing is down: my education. I told myself I wanted to go back to school. Give it another try - and make sure this time there were no mistakes if I could help it. And with a little extra push, some breakdowns, and such - I got my financial aid back and I am ripped and raring to go for the fall. I am super excited even though I know Chemistry is going to bore me to tears. At least I'll be learning something instead of watching reruns of "Scrubs" on UPN (although that is one of the best shows out there, EVER!).
Next stop - driver's license. And that's making headway too. Except for the weird left foot accelerator lady who never calls me back and keeps changing times on me. But we'll get over that. Or else I'll beat her with my shoe.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
I found all sorts of random pictures - they were always just pictures of just me and Ads. For a while there, it was just me and him - our older brother being ten years my senior and fifteen years his - we hardly ever saw him but for brief moments at the end of the day or on weekends.
Ads and I are kindred spirits. From the very day that I saw his picture in the package that my parents brought home from the adoption agency, I knew that that was to be my new baby brother. I just had a feeling.
That feeling transpired all throughout the waiting process. And then finally, on that fateful night at BWI, my baby brother arrived.
There had been a lot of commotion about Ads' arrival. (A precursor for the amount of attention that my brother would eventually draw to himself and all the underlining political issues that he stood for at a very young age.) I was six at the time of his arrival, and although I don't remember the exact details, I remember that the flight for my brother was being delayed for government reasons - some sort of mix-up or delay in processing his adoption paperwork. And although normally it would be a minor technicality that the flight would be delayed - this time it was much more urgent. Ads had been diagnosed by the medical doctors with acute hydrocelphalus. Somehow or other it had missed the attentions of the Korean doctors at the orphanage, they had said. Anyone who knows the story of an adoptee knows better. Regardless of how it went undetected, it did, and the water pressure on my baby brother's brain had worsened. No matter what - his flight could not get delayed tonight, otherwise he might not live.
It was suggested that my parents call some superintendant or delegate in our district. And so they did.
At the age of 13 months - my little brother got his first stint on television. He was the top story in the 6 o' clock local news report on WJZ 13.
The delegate that my parents had called was inspired by my little brother - and soon pulled the necessary strings to insure his arrival into BWI. The wait was excrutiating for everyone, and for me, at age six, it was more nerve-racking than anything. I was wearing my very best purple dress with the frilly lace (Thanks to the 80's dressmakers of children's clothes) and my black patent shoes.
Person after person passed through the door of the airport gate - but none of them were Adam. The anticipation was overwhelming, and became increasingly so as the cameras kept rolling and the bright light from the video camera and production crew was making everyone sweat.
After at least 100 or so people walked through, all of a sudden there were none. I remember hearing the cameraman whisper behind his lens, "Maybe the kid never came after all."
Even at my young age, I felt my heart stop and I just held my breath. Everyone squinted their eyes, peering down the long gate way to see if there was a view of any other life form coming off that plane. There had to be. There just had to be.
And then finally, there appeared to be the movement of two wheels maneuvering along the metal gateway, and then two feet, legs...and the image of a tiny boy in a stroller, clinging onto his teething rattle and staring with wide-open eyes.
Adam was finally home.
Of course there were tears, and an embrace of his foster mother who had taken the journey with him, and then of him. Oh yes, hugs and kisses all over the place on this precious little kid.
But it was short lived. At the first sight of his head, my mother gasped, and started to cry out of fear. My brother's forehead was so enlarged from fluid that he was on the brink of explosion.
No sooner than we had greeted the new edition to our family did we have to rush him off to Johns Hopkins to have Dr. Carson place a shunt in his brain.
My little brother's first ten hours into the U.S., he was introduced to his new family, placed under heavy sedition and anesthetics and operated on for four hours. Welcome to the U.S.A.
But it was all for well and good. I have to say that if there is anyone I admire more out of my family, or anyone that I feel tremendously close to - it would be Ads. We are, after all, kindred spirits. No matter how many twists and turns I have made in my life, or mistakes I have fallen from - I know that my brother loves me. And I would give my life for him, in an instant.
So happy birthday, lil Bro! I love you so much. You have been a never-ending source of strength for me over the years whether you knew it or not.
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
The acceptance letter: You got into your choice college, you got that job you wanted, or that internship you've been waiting months for.
And now I am proud to add a new one to my own personal list:
The reinstatement of financial aid letter.
Which I received yesterday in the mail!! I am so siked. This means that it's one less financial burden that I have to worry about now that I have the car as my main source of P.I.T.A. (Pain In The Ass) syndrome. I qualify now for (hopefully) some grants, and of course, student loans. And this time I am going to do it right. Pay them on time, make sure that I understand the terms and conditions of the loans that I sign for (my parents never really went over the paperwork with me, and even if they did, I don't think they understood any of the terms and conditions either) and get my credit back into good standing once again.
It also means that it's a positive GO for me for the fall of 2007. I am officially back into school and making my way to good grades and on a fast track to transferring to a four-year in the next year or so.
Finally, things are starting to look up.
Now I just have to get my license straightened out and I'll be good to go.
Monday, May 7, 2007
We clearly believe that these outlets are run by some covert operation company because A. we'd never heard of them before (and damn, were they awesome...totally worth the trip) and B. there weren't any large signs on the highway that said "Leesburg Premium Outlets". In fact, the actal exit that you took was rather complicated and a by-pass semi-circle kind of thing to which you could barely make out the outlets in the distance.
But we finally made it. And yet not before stopping at one of the ghetto-est (yes, it is now a word in my book) McDonald's on this side of the coast.
As LP and I pull up into the parking lot of the McDonald's (all the way licking our lips and feeling ourselves starving a little more each minute), LP walked towards the door of the McD's and paused.
"What?! They aren't open?! How can a McDonald's NOT BE OPEN?" LP said loudly.
I had just shut the car door. "You mean they're closed?"
"Yes. The sign says they aren't open because there aren't any employees," she said laughing out of pure disbelief.
I started laughing, too. "Are you kidding me? No one showed up for work?"
So we climbed back into the car, and started to drive off when we noticed a huge line of cars pulled in the drive-thru.
"I guess the drive-thru is open," LP said as she reversed the car and pulled us into the back of the line.
Waiting, waiting, waiting.
Our stomachs were growling at us at this point, and the intensity of anticipation was making it that much worse. Finally, as our car was next in line, LP throttled the car forward to align with the drive-thru menu.
"What do you want -," she began to ask me. Just then she was abruptly cut off.
"The drive-thru is closed," came this haughty voice over the speaker.
"Excuse me?" LP asked, incredulously.
"I said, the drive-thru is closed. You're gonna have to come inside to order."
"But we just were inside and were told to go through the drive-thru," LP said loudly, either in order for her voice to travel the distance to the drive-thru speaker, or out of annoyance - more than likely both.
At this point, there was this unsettling in my stomach. The kind of tense feeling I get when I am in a tense moment. Seems fitting, right?
"The drive-thru is closed," came the voice with an attitude.
"Ugh!!! I cannot believe this!!" LP exclaimed, turning the steering wheel and parking the car in front of the McDonald's entrance.
"This is a very ghetto McDonald's," I said.
"Very ghetto," LP agreed.
Thirty minutes later of indecisive workers and standing in a crowd of fellow impatient McDonald's patrons, LP and I were armed with full bellies and ready to shop till we dropped.
Overall, it was a fantastic day. I had a lot of fun. Thanks for inviting me, LP.
BTW, my Coach purse(s) love me. (To make a footnote, these are only my 2nd and 3rd Coach purses ever. Anyone who knows me knows that before, I would admire them, but I could never really afford them for myself, and I used to think that it wasn't really worth the trouble or the money. But I realize now that for all the dumb purses I buy and beat up - it's worth buying one good one is going to last me forever, and as long as I take care of it, it'll look fabulous for a long time.)
Happy pre-Birthday LP!
Thursday, May 3, 2007
My horoscope for the week read:
The Full Moon in Scorpio on Wednesday will occur in your mysterious twelfth
house. This may mean that your dreams are very powerful and perhaps quite wild.
You may see very clearly those areas of your life where you have sabotaged
yourself, and this is your chance to begin the process of healing. You need to
ground your energy, and be sure that you do not spend most of the day
fantasizing and daydreaming.
Nothing is more clear than staring at a transcript that is less than stellar. It was more painful scrolling down that line of F's than mentally accepting it like I had been doing. It became a sort of dialogue I made up in my head when meeting someone new, or catching up with old friends: "Oh 2005? It wasn't a good year for me. That fall I flunked out of my classes terribly...I just had a lot going on."
And I did have a lot going on. I was a misguided, confused, unloved (from the mouth of the woman herself), on-the-cusp-of-being-a-young-adult girl. When I look back at what I was
putting myself through because of it: the anguish, the partying, the drinking, the constant escaping...I can see where my mother began the chaos - and where I ultimately ended it. Sure, you know, the situation was crappy, and no one wants to hear that their parents don't love
them, or that they are unwanted by their family. I just look back now and wonder - could I have done anything any differently? I don't think that I would want to - knowing what I know now - and knowing the people that I know now...I don't think that it could have happened any other way.
And yet somehow, I felt like kicking myself in the ass while sitting there, dumbfounded in the student advisor's office, staring at all those F's.
"Do you know where you want to transfer to?" the lady with the jade earrings asked.
"I haven't really even thought about that yet. Should I be thinking about that?" I feel like I am fifty trying to go back and earn my degree. Has it really only been two years?
"Well, yes you should. You know you can't join a P.A. Graduate program unless you have a degree from a four-year institution. And you're coming up to having the full 30 credits you need in order to transfer...your transcript just doesn't show your efforts very well," she was thinking to herself and trying to transmit her thoughts to me at the same time.
My ESP was working wonders. Between her nicely put sentence was, "My goodness...you have a looong way to go before you're ready to submit this transcript to a school for a transfer."
I knew this. So when I sat down to register for classes, I tried to pick two or three classes that balanced themselves out. I didn't want to get overwhelmed and set myself up for failure. I promised myself when I started back to school last fall semester that there would be no F's on that transcript ever again. Unless of course, the F stood for "Fantastic".
To digress - I have been in this long ongoing battle with my body and its overreaction to the new chemicals and elements all around: basically, my body hates pollen, and pollen hates my body.
I clearly don't remember it being this bad last year. I remember at most it was a sneeze here and there, and a lot of itchy eyes - and that it lasted the first month of spring and then poof! it was gone.
But now I have this sore throat given to me by the kind graces of my post-nasal drip. I also have a bout of chills that come and go - accompanied by a fever in its place. I have lost all signs of itchy eyes - but I kind of want them back because this other stuff is just plain nonsense.
I cracked the window open last night to let some fresh air in, tried to prop my head onto two pillows and wrapped myself in my blankets to keep from getting too chilly. It was the first night that I have slept fully in a week.
So tonight is the paper due night at class. I also expect that he will be handing out something for the final exam review - which is to follow next week. I am slightly nervous. I hate this class. The teacher is amazing, but the subject is plain bloody boring. I stopped reading diligently about the fifth or sixth week (I lasted longer than I expected) and only read enough for me to understand the lectures in class or to answer the questions on the quiz. (Although this last quiz was a doozy and I expect that I will walk in tonight welcomed by a nice big D on the Constitution quiz)
Ahh, okay, back to work. I really want to be asleep right now though.
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
I know it sounds corny, but for the past few months, whenever I hit another bump in the road, I have turned to my iPod for comfort, and sifting through the thousands of songs to find the ones that truly have helped me through the worst of times, or have helped remind me of the sweetest memories to make the darker ones fade away.
There are three songs that I listened to over and over again on the train coming home from Virginia almost a full month ago that I want to share: "Colors" by Amos Lee, "Caged Bird" by Alicia Keys and this one...