Melissa Runs

Sometimes, Melissa runs her legs. Sometimes, she runs her mouth.

Month: February 2009 (page 1 of 2)

Dreams of My Father-

I just finished Barack Obama’s book Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. This book was written in 1995 not long after Mr. Obama became the first African American president and before he even thought about going into politics. As a result, this book is a lot more honest and less self serving than most books written by politicians.

President Obama writes about his life from the time he was born until his first visit to Kenya in the late 80s. OF course, the topics of this book have been covered by the press ad nauseum during his Presidential campaign: his drug use as a teen, his Kenyan father who left his mother when he was young, his childhood in Hawaii and Indonesia, and his time in college and as a youth organizer after graduation.

The thing that I discovered reading this book is that President Obama is a very thoughtful man who analyzes (and possibly overanalyzes) everything in his life. He seeks to understand himself and the world around him. He is emotional but seeks to understand his emotions and attempts to not let those emotions affect his decisions.

For me personally, I got a kick out of the section regarding his visit to Kenya. I visited Kenya during the summer of 1994 to help build a school in the Kenyan highlands. His descriptions of Nairobi and the Nairobi markets, the buildings, the tribal infighting, and the different modes of travel remind me of that time.

The State of Melissa address

Well around the time right after watching Joseph Campbell, I came down with something. I was sleeping and sleeping and MORE SLEEPING! Then when I was awake I was exhausted. I was wondering what the hell is wrong with me? I had visions of thyroid conditions, diabetes, cancer . . . I was starting to get concerned. Then I found out that the flu has been going around. I had a flu shot and so I thought that maybe I just got half of it. Or that my immune system is going to pot.

By the time I thought “oh shit I have to go to the doctor now” I started to get better. WHEW

Work is work. Sometimes it’s good. Sometimes it’s bang my head against a brick wall bad. With that, I can’t complain.

The Little Rock Marathon is in a little over two weeks. I am more than a little nervous about the thing, especially since I haven’t been running lately since I was so freaking tired. So now I’m hoping I haven’t lost enough fitness level to not finish. My only goal is to finish and I am getting kinds of nervous that I won’t do it.

I also realized I haven’t made hotel reservations for this thing.

OOPS!

I’ve been reading Dreams of My Father by Barack Obama.

I also made french toast one day.

Overall, it’s good.

Power of Myth

For the past two days, I have been watching Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth. This is a fascinating interview of Joseph Campbell, scholar of myths, by Bill Moyer.

Campbell manages to know all the myths that surround the world we live in and their explanation of why we are here. He manages to get to the basic core of them and find the similarities.

He also has developed a life philosophy: Follow your bliss. I have to admit I have heard the “follow your bliss” mantra for quite a while but never knew anything of the man who coined the term and the original meaning of it.

The philosophy is very similar to Shakespeare’s quote of “to thine own’s self be true” It’s simply find the one thing that makes you truly happy and do it, no matter what everybody says about it. It sounds very simple but I have learned since moving back to the hometown of my youth that sometimes it’s easier said than done. I find myself doing things solely for the parental approval or more specifically for the lack of parental nagging. Something about the parental nagging sends me into a tizzy and I find myself doing anything to avoid it even if it makes me completely miserable. Part of it is that my father is quite stubborn and sometimes it’s just less time consuming to suck it up than to listen to his bitching and moaning.

I guess in some ways I’m still trying to find my bliss. I know I liked investigating in a larger city more than lawyering in a small town. I’m not sure if the larger city was due to the fact that no one knew me initially and I could be anyone I wanted. I managed to be me and found compadres. Here there’s expectations and my youthful drama queen self being imposed on me even though I’m not sure how much of that is still here. Oh who am I kidding, more of that is here than I want to admit. But sometimes the people who know you through trying times or see you going through trying times who don’t know all the details see you as someone you are not. I was very private about certain incidents and as a result, seem more of a spazz than I was or am. It’s a “you would cry too if it happened to you” sort of instance.

So yeah. I am in the process of figuring out what I want to do and going for it. What makes me happy and why? For some reason, this question seemed simpler when I was a kid. Maybe I don’t need to know the answer of “why?” Maybe I just need to do something.

For whatever reason my biggest skills seems to be finding people and keeping up with their business. People are always asking “whatever happened to so and so?” and for whatever reason, I know where so and so is and what so and so is doing. I’m not sure what jobs are out there that utilize that skill but whatever it is, I would be brilliant at it.

Will probably be the funniest thing I've seen all month.

Lawrence Welk is more modern than I thought. Maybe he’s a NORML member. Oh wait he’s dead.

Better

I do feel better. IT’s amazing what a lot of sleep will do for you. Apparently, I was sleep deprived or something.

oh but now my sleep schedule is still messed up because it’s 2:37.

blargh

I cry. I sleep. I wake up. It’s all better.

Sometimes things really work that way. Somehow the subconscious mind, firing synapses, and all that REM sleep bullshit manage to fix the bug that’s bothering me.

I have a small amount of work to do: enough to keep me busy but not enough to overwhelm me.
I’m nursing the stings of rejection. I’m making concrete plans to move on.

Pretty much every aspect of my life is not working out right now. I’ve got a fucked up sleep schedule (it’s 1:53 a.,m. CST right now), I’ve got a fucked up diet; my small business is lacking and needs help; love life schmove life; and yeah that’s about it. My cats haven’t tried to kill me so as far as kitty mom/cat relationships go, I would consider that one a success.

I’m working on changing it. Change is hard even if it’s good. There’s always an adjustment period of sore muscles (mental, spirital, and physical). So yeah. Cranky pants, here i come.

So yeah not much to tell. I’ll write later.

ramblings on love and whatnot.

I guess my Valentine’s Day blurb was a little bit of a downer. It’s not that I’ve never had a man tell me that he loves me or that I haven’t dated. I’ve even dated one person for quite a while. It’s just that I get this weird dynamic. There’s a line. Of course, no one is perfect and sometimes those flaws cause concern in those that love you. Sometimes the object of your affection mentions his concern about these issues. The problem is when the list of concerns is so long that to change everything would turn you into a totally different person. It is then that the person doesn’t really love you but some figment of his imagination that encompasses the list of things that are supposedly wrong with you. This is especially true when these list of flaws aren’t really flaws but just incompatible personality traits.

Hrm. So yeah. I’ve been in love. Has anyone other than my family ever actually loved me back in that romantic way? I’m not so sure. Probably never.

I haven’t had good luck at all.

  • My first love and longest relationship ended badly–complete with the telling me he never loved me. He later confessed that he cheated on me when we went out: seven times.
  • There was the guy who ended up falling in love with my best friend and began dating her behind my back when he was supposed to be dating me. The part that got me was the sheer numbers of people who knew and didn’t tell me. He had this compulsive lying thing going. We were friends for years. He even told me that he loved me when I moved to DC. Of course, he had lied to me so much about so many other things that I thought he was playing a mind game on me. So either he played the cruelest mind game or I am a bitch who snickered at a man who put himself out there.
  • There was the guy who dumped me the day after I got my period in a pregnancy scare. He dumped me during the Princess Bride. Well he turned off the VCR on the Princess Pride. In the span of a week, he told me that he loved me and wanted to spend his whole life with me, he shouted, “thank god I won’t be poor!’ when I told him I got my period, and then he dumped me during the Princess Bride. Later when he found out I was sexually assaulted in college, he of course decided I was lying and went to a mutual friend and wanted me kicked out of school. Mutual friend talked him down. But yeah I was lying. Kick her out of school. He told me the world would be better off if I would just kill myself. Well. I could go on and on. I know, in theory, there are good points about this person. There has to be something wonderful that attracted me to him in the first place but I don’t remember what they are. Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind would be GREAT FOR THIS DUDE.
  • Date rapist. Enough said.
  • Peruvian car wash dude. He barely spoke English. He wanted a stay at home wife to take care of his babies. I wanted to go to law school. Shortlived as it was, it might be the best healthiest relationship I ever had. Oh and BEST SEX EVER!
  • Turned out to be married
  • Dated a while. Told him I was raped. Never spoke to me again
  • Intern here for the summer. Turned out to be boring.
  • Turned out to be a meth head. Very short lived,

So you see, there’s more than a little bit of heartbreak. For reasons that make no sense, I don’t get the “let’s just be friends.” I get the over the top style rejection.

I wish I had the confidence to just go for it. I hear friends ask the question, “What’s the worst that could happen.” Well I know all too well what the worst actually is.

How often can you get slapped in the face or disappointed until you just give up? How much humiliation can one person take?

And every time I say I’m going to be all adult and high self esteem and it’s not going to bother me but it does. It does bother me. It’s always a kick in the stomach, followed by a little bit of discombobulation, and then the realization that the world is a cold place.

I’ll feel better tomorrow.

Valentine

Love is not a victory march. —- Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen

It’s Valentine’s Day. I’m single. I should be bitter or have some great negative screed about today but I don’t.

It’s not that I don’t believe in love. I think love is great. I just don’t manage to get any of it.

Movie roundup: Towncraft, Supersize Me, and Hubert Selby Jr.:It'll Be Better Tomorrow

TOWNCRAFT

I vividly remember the first time I saw Slingblade. It was a matinee showing in a five screen movie theater in Dupont Circle (Washington DC). I remember scaring the other viewers because of my giggling. The movie itself wasn’t necessarily humorous but there were moments in that movie that were so quintessentially Arkansan and so represented Arkansans and people I knew that I couldn’t help but laugh in recognition.

This feeling of recognition was one I also felt while watching Towncraft.

Towncraft is about the punk scene in the late 80s/early 90s in Little Rock Arkansas. Apparently, one of the cool things to do during that time was start your own punk band or make a zine about the punk bands. Many fourteen and fifteen year old boys and girls began playing in bands. Eventually, venues began to open up for them to play. One guy opened up his own record store. They began making their own records and going on tour —All before they finished high school.

Of course, like all things involving high school kids, the bands break up and the musicians make new bands. This means that each time you see a person talking, s/he has a different band name under his or her face. That was amusing to me.

Several of the bands went to larger cities to try and make it. Some made albums. One guy, Jason White, is now a guitarist for Green Day. This movie is more about people being true to art than actually making. It’s also a nostalgic trip down memory lane for anyone who’s around Arkansas.

Amazingly enough these were my peers. Some of them I have met. Some of the people on the edges on this scene were friends of mine. I’ve seen some of these bands live.

The movie also has a companion website that has all sorts of goodies.

Supersize Me

Holy Shit! This movie scared me. It’s a simple premise. Morgan Spurlock decides that he’s going to eat nothing but McDonald’s food for 30 days. He’s also going to only walk the average number of steps as an “average American.” He manages to gain a truckload of weight. He gets liver damage. He develops heart palpitations and one doctor even demands around day 20 that he stop this diet.

All on McDonald’s burgers, fries, chicken nuggets, and shakes.

Hubert Selby Jr.: It’ll Be Better Tomorrow

Hubert Selby Jr. is known as the author of Requiem for a Dream and Last Exit to Brooklyn. This documentary includes interviews with Selby, his friends, the makers of Requiem for a Dream and Last Exit to Brooklyn, Henry Rollins, and a whole host of other people who have been influenced by the author. Selby, like his characters, endured a life of illness and heroin addiction.

Check out "Let The Right One In"

I so want to see this. I missed it when it was in Little Rock. (living in Deer town sucks!!!!)  so I’m anxiously waiting for this to to come out on video already. 

 It’s called “Let The Right One In.”  Check out the trailer!  It’s the first film to come out from a set of six called the “Six Shooter Film Series.”  It’s from Magnet Releasing. (Magnolia Pictures)

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