Saturday, November 19, 2011

Dear Diary,

During the month of November,

everyone is fair game.

If I see you, am reminded of you, notice you in any way, you become permanently part of me. Of my novel. Whether this novel is something I ever look at again, or anyone else will look at, you are a part of my repertoire. The description of you I used, the characteristics I found fascinating, these will remain with me always. There is no one in the background.

You cannot be a wallflower in my life if I am writing. Today, I am writing.

I find you beautiful. I find your dress absurd, but your face, your hair--nothing goes unobserved. I love your braid. I don't like your lip color. I like the way you shape your words with your mouth.

I like the pattern on the sole of your shoe, the volume of your voice, the look on your face while you think about the person on the other end of the cell phone call. I like your kid, though he needs a haircut, because his smile is stunning.

I especially like your boyfriend. But my character is looking for a woman. So I don't have much to do with your boyfriend; at least, I promise I won't say anything too nice about him.

I like the sound that's made when the mug you bumped hit the floor, and the nervousness that's in your voice while you clean it up and people walk in looking down at you.

I like the shrill condescension in your voice as you talk to the girl behind the counter as if her coworkers are her pets.

I like the look you gave your husband after he watches the girl in the tights, high boots, and tiny skirt walk by.

So if you want to talk to me, or show up in my vicinity, behave yourself. Because if you don't, your antics may stay forever as an extension of my imagination.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Dear Diary,

I would blow this up and print it on huge banners and post it everywhere:

I was just talking about this with my niece, as we're driving around trying to figure out what we're doing with her life. Pretty much we're sure what the goal is for her, but we're also talking about how awesome my life is and how I got here.

I started homeschooling my niece in June. We're just about done with her Freshman year (or so I believe...I have yet to tally up the hours and make an evaluation). We're trying to get her to audition for a Korean pop-music company before she's 17, which means we have to finish high school shortly after she turns 16. This is pretty easy, but I'm also trying to make sure she can actually be a pop star.

Things a Korean pop star from America needs to know:
How to dance
How to sing
How to write music
How to audition
How to choreograph
How to design costumes
How to read Korean
How to speak Korean
How to write Korean
How to get around Korea
How to defend herself physically
How to get into a Korean college
How to defend herself verbally (so she doesn't get taken advantage of)
How to get back to America, should it be necessary
How to make money

So if you've ever thought about learning all these things in two years, ask me for the full story. It's not easy, and on top of that, there are legal requirements that she has to meet to get her high school diploma, otherwise known as academics.

I target the whole curriculum towards this goal. She's doing well.

But we're talking about what it's like being her dance instructor, and what it's like being me. How the people she's meeting have made a life for themselves without being trampled by "the man" or even "Uncle Sam." People like us, we're kicking butt. Her dance instructor is teaching a class of Hip Hop to adults. When I was a kid, I guarantee you couldn't find that class available anywhere.

See, we're adults now. WE get to decide what we do for a living, and WE get to choose what is considered "grown-up."

Grown-ups dance Hip Hop!
Grown-ups dress up and sit in coffee shops pretending to be from the future!
Grown-ups bring their typewriters to write-ins!
Grown-ups get to sit on the floor and play with kids who are afraid of getting smarter!
Grown-ups go caroling!
Grown-ups throw parties and turn out the lights and light candles!
Grown-ups can pour the whole bottle of bubbles into the bath!
Grown-ups stay up all night and shoot Zombies on the xbox!
Grown-ups can eat all the cookie dough before baking a single cookie!
Grown-ups can choose to spend all their money on play pit balls!
Grown-ups can paint Animal on the back of their car!

I love my job.
I love what my job affords me.

I get to play.
I get to get up in the morning to a phone call of a friend in distress and drive 2 hours to go rescue him and his family in the snowy mountains.
I get paid in cash and can go grocery shopping.
I set my own hours, and I can cancel and play hooky and my job is still there when I get back.
I have time to write and draw and knit and do all sorts of hobbies.
I can call my friends and they can come over, whenever I want.