Welcome to My Living Novel

In my world, the plot is always thickening.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

My 24 Hour Crush

Last weekend, I was hit hard by the most violent crush I’ve ever experienced in my lifetime. This crush included sudden uncontrollable muscle spasms and a complete lack of productivity at work that caused me to miscode nearly every file I touched. I know that most people consider crushes to be an elementary distraction, but I take my crushes very seriously. I love how they awaken emotions that come so few and far between, and help me forget the nauseating pains of relationships past.

It is truth universally acknowledged that there are three types of crushes. First you have the celebrity crush, which is always a lot of fun to gossip about and to which there are entire magazines devoted. However, to succeed in obtaining a celebrity crush is as probable as winning the lottery, so I think it’s one of the most frustrating types to have. Second, we have the secret crush that you may have on a friend or associate, but you never confess it because you’re too afraid of rejection. These crushes are painful because they could last for years and may never be resolved. My advice on these is just to get it out in the open because all that beating around the bush in maddening. Finally we have my personal favorite, the stranger crush, which I frequently have on complete strangers walking down the street for inexplicable reasons. What’s amazing about stranger crushes is that the attraction is almost instantaneous but very fleeting, so you get all the excitement of an new intrigue without actually dealing with any of the relationship drama.

Normally, my stranger crushes last only a few hours, coming and going just as quickly as the image of the person fades from my mind. However, last week there was one particular gentleman who stayed in my thoughts for a full 24 hours. That has to be some type of record in Kendra crush time. I saw him at a writing seminar last week and was instantly charmed. He had a way of seeing the world and talking about his writing that was so refreshing and so sincere that I couldn’t stop thinking about him the rest of the day, repeating his words over and over again in my head. Even though I’m almost certain that I will never see him again, I will happily store him away in my cluttered crush closet perhaps using him as a muse for a short story or two.

It is always such an expected gift to feel such an inspiring connection to another human being, because so often I find myself so tightly wrapped up in my own thoughts that I fail to see all the lovely possibilities that are right in front of me. So, I just have to thank all of my stranger crushes, from the security guard at the library, to my waiter at Waffle House for the small roles that you’ve played in my life, inspiring emotions and fantasies that would otherwise lay dormant.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Trivial Details of My Death

The micro-seconds of my existence slowed down to a standstill earlier today as I almost got into a car accident, and though I'm sure the accident would not have been fatal, thoughts of death consumed me for quite a while afterwards.

Everyone always says that your life flashes in front of your eyes in near death experiences, but that's not what happened to me. The first thing I asked myself was if all of my affairs were in order, and they were so I was able to rest easy on that one. Then, of course, I had to ask myself the infamous do I have on clean underwear question, and once again that was taken care of. However, the third question that I asked myself truly surprised me because it was both trivial and poetic at the same time. I asked myself if I was listening to the best music selection for my death, and the answer to that question was no. I was not willing to die listening to Fiona Apple. I mean I love you Fiona, but the moment of my death is sacred and I'm sure that I could find a better storyteller to play the soundtrack.

I wasn't worried about my music selection solely for myself either. I was also thinking about my family and friends who may find meaning in the details. I remember hearing a poem once by Big Poppa E called, "There's a Hole in My Heart in the Shape of Her Smile that Will Never Be Filled," which is about a friend of his who was instantaneously killed in a very violent car crash. He made a big deal about the CD that was playing in the stereo at the time of the crash, guessing the lyrics she might have been singing along to when she died. To me adding that extra detail to the poem made all the difference in the world. It made her crash less of a statistic and more of the heartbreaking tragedy it truly was. And though once I publish this entry, I will probably never think these morbid thoughts again, I just hope that should I ever die in a car crash that the universe at least let it happen to a good song.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Career Concerns

Finding an enjoyable career must be one of the greatest trials in life, and it's so rare for anyone to get it right on the first try. I am no different. I am currently in the underachieving liminal state, not knowing which path to take and unsure of how to find the job that suits my tastes and will eventually build to a respectable income. I spend my days and nights tossing and turning over the dilemma and I'm bit overwhelmed with all of my choices. I really am a clean slate. I could do practically anything, so it's beyond me why it's so freaking hard to choose.

Even once I shake the idea of me becoming an Academy Award winning actress out of my head, I'm still left with a very diverse list of options that seems to shift everyday, if not every hour. First of all we have my major, cultural anthropology, which I could develop further by going to grad school. However, I really don't want to be a professor, and I'm getting a little tried of doing research. Second there is becoming a lawyer, but I'm afraid that law would bore me to tears, and I'm not exactly sure if I want to spend my days and nights reading legal briefs. Plus does the world really need another lawyer?

My current hope is becoming some type of freelance writer if not novelists because I love the creativity that it involves and I love that I wouldn't have to leave my house to do it (I'm becoming such a homebody). Only problem with writing is that I'm not quite sure if I'm talented enough and I'm completely lost when it comes to submitting my work. Lastly, we have a new possibility of becoming a nurse. I like this option because it definitely wouldn't be boring and I would not have a problem finding a position somewhere because every hospital website that I look at has at least 20 postings for an RN. My only question is should a hypochrondriac become a nurse? I mean, it's not like I'm severely paranoid about my sudden death from an extremely rare flesh eating disease, but the voices in my head are loud enough that I should consider their delicate feelings and concerns. Plus, being a nurse is very serious business. There are people's lives at stake. Do I really want to take on all of that responsibility?

These questions keep dancing insistently in my head, waving flags of pros and cons but without revealing any clear cut answers. I hate being so indecisive, but I don't think there's any way around it. Finding a career is a rite of passage that takes many people a lifetime to pass, if I can get through it in as little as 5 more years, then I think that I'll be doing big things.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Las Vegas Here I Come

The hotel has been booked and the plane tickets purchased. It is official. In two short months, I will be frolicking in Sin City and causing all sorts of mischief. On my honor, I promise not to sleep with any prostitutes, but other than that I make no guarantees.

I'm going to Vegas for a mini class reunion with two of my college friends. I'm especially excited to see my hubby again. When we were sophomores, we pretend to get married in front of one of the chapels on the strip and have been play man and wife ever since. Although our return to Vegas is completely coincidental, I'd like to believe that we are returning to celebrate our fourth anniversary and reconfirming our imaginary love to the world, but who am I kidding. I'm probably destined to go temporarily insane while salsa dancing and run off with someone named Pablo so if you don't hear from me for a while just know that I'm in a better place.

I, of course, plan to gamble as well, but I will make no grandiose assumptions about how much money I will win. Considering the fact that I'm still a new born baby when it comes to gambling, I don't even expect to give the house a run for their money. I just want to take some gambling lessons, so I can build up the courage to sit at a table that does not have electric lights and flashing buttons, and play nicely with others. I'm not asking for much, so please universe answer this one request.

All of the other things such as the eating, drinking, dancing, and the having of scandalous liaisons I can pretty much take care of myself. I just hope that my eyes don't get bigger than my wallet.

(If you have any favorite spots in Vegas to eat, gamble, or go dancing, please let me know. I might add them to my list.)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

How to Steal the Meaning of Life

Everyone is a safe to be cracked
Filled with scriptures and treasures too fragile
To bounce gaily in the crowd
Much more accustomed to winding
Whirlpooled circles of quiet deliberate darkness
Locked and padded in depth that
Swings my puzzler open
And throws me a taste of the elementary wisdoms
Thought natural by the gods.

To possess even their childish knowledge
I would play the theft
Drilling, cracking, prying for the truth
Risking Eden and embracing Hades to learn
Why are we here?
What is it all for?
This enigma deposited microscopic inch
By inch in every sapien skull
Can only be extracted by the experienced
Twist of fingers clicking in place
The combination of questions
Unapologetically large
Forever forgetting possibility of talk ever being small.

This poem was inspired from the realization that each one of us has a fascinating story to tell and that each of us holds a little microscopic piece to the solution of the mystery of life. In the past, I'd throw both friendships and relationships away because the person didn't interest me any longer and I resented them for not having one experience that I could learn from. But now, I'm beginning to wonder if the problem exists in me. Maybe the reason why I thought these people so commonplace was because I didn't know how to ask the right questions.

I was watching Taxicab Confessions of HBO the other night, and I was impressed by how much depth existed beneath the surface of every passenger. And I envied the taxi drivers because they truly have an amazing skill of being able to read their passengers and come up with questions that will tap into the most intimate details of their lives. They can take very personal questions, such as "How's the sex?" and make them sound as harmless and as natural as asking, "So what do you do for a living?" It's not that I'm particularly interested in the intimate details of people's sex lives, I just want to get around the meaningless small talk and go straight to the heart of what's important. I want to get the most out of every acquaintance I make and try my best to gain some wisdom from their experiences.

I'm also starting to understand why documentaries like Taxicab Confessions and reality shows like The Real World are getting more and more popular as the years progress. It's as if we've gotten tired of the well polished, well worked pieces of fiction that we watch on sitcoms and soap operas, and the better the writing is, the less we feel like it mirrors our lives. Sometimes, I don't what to see the mystery solved in an hour. Sometimes, I don't want the jokes to link up and work together. Sometimes, it's comforting to watch a show that is raw, and doesn't have the pretension of having a beginning, middle, and end. The characters just are, and that's enough because our day to day lives rarely take the form of a well-revised television series.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Did the Confederacy Ever Fight Against Terrorism?

I always try my best to understand how other people think, but sometimes I can't help but feel dumbfounded by those hard core Confederates. Living in the South, I hear frequent discussion on the news and in the papers about whether the Confederate flag should be displayed in the Mississippi State flag and what the flag truly symbolizes to different groups of people. To tell you the truth, seeing the flag has never bothered me all that much because it's a part of America's history that should not be forgotten. Today, however, I saw the Confederate flag in a context that I truly did not understand, and I'm still trying to grasp the concept.

While I was sitting in the Arby's drive thru, the truck in front of me had a Tennessee license plate with a Confederate flag on it that said, "Sons of Confederate Veterans," and a bumper sticker that said, "The Confederacy, Fighting Terrorism Since 1861." Now, I've heard a lot of interpretations of the Confederate flag before, but I never heard of it being used in the fight against terrorism. I just can not understand how anyone could ever believe that the Confederacy, an institution that promoted terror in the lives of nearly every minority and minority supporter, fought against terrorism.

Searching for an answer to this mystery, I went home and asked my all knowing, all powerful mother what the bumper sticker meant her. Sometimes it's amazing to get the opinion of the older generation, because to her the bumper made complete sense. She said without even batting an eye that the supporters of the Confederacy believed that the United States government and it's officials were terrorists that unjustly tried to change the Southern way of life and their culture.

I am still so frustrated by this idea, because it makes sense how Confederate lovers mourn the lost of true Southern culture, but can they really expect any sympathy from anyone. When your beloved way of life condones inhumane acts such as slavery and lynching, I don't believe you have the right to tell the enforcer of human rights that they are terrorists.

It's hard to believe that people still have the balls to put their own skewed spin on the civil war. Haven't we all decided that morally speaking that the Union was right and the Confederacy was wrong? Clearly, it's an issue that's still up for debate as evidenced by the tailgate propaganda of my fellow American.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

I Have a Dream I'm Just Not Sure What It Means

I love having dreams. To me they are like watching mini, action-packed movies while you're sleeping and sometimes the drama is so real and vivid, all that's missing is a tub of popcorn. Besides their entertainment value, I'm convinced that dreams do have some meaning. A friend told me once that he thought dreams were merely random flashes of things that are in our subconscious mind, which makes sense but is not a very satisfying answer to me. What about those few times when your dreams are about the future. On a least a dozen occasions, I've had dreams that come true within a year or two. This makes me wonder when a dream does come true if this means that I'm on the right track and that I'm following the right path, or that I'm repeating the same mistakes I did in a previous life and I still haven't learned my lesson.

Regardless of whether this dega vue is a good or a bad occurrence, I definitely don't have to worry about my dream from last night coming true in a few years. It was more symbolic than anything else and trying to figure out it's meaning kept me up for an hour after I had it. In my dream, I was racing a bicycle up a hill with some kids from my elementary school. I'm not an experienced biker so the climb was a bit of a challenge for me and I was busy shifting gears to see if I could find a gear that would make the climb a bit easier on my legs when all of a sudden these long thick earthworms start to appear in the road and I swerve to miss them while all my friends are using their bikes to jump on the earthworms and send worm pieces flying everywhere. There's only one other girl that is trying to avoid touching the earthworms, but she eventually gets hit in the head by one because for some reason after a while the earthworms start flying at anything that moves. I'm the only one who makes it out the the earthworm battlefield without getting hit, and as I'm sitting on the side of the rode trying to catch my breathe I wake up.

I thought this dream was so interesting because I've never had a dream about worms before. I mostly have dreams involving huge black anacondas, and angry green serpents flashing there fangs, but never relatively small red and white earth worms. So today I searched to find an interpretation of what my dream could mean and I found one that made a lot of sense on dreammoods.com. They said that "To dream that you are riding a bicycle, signifies your desires to attain a balance in your life. You need to balance work and pleasure in order to succeed in your current undertakings. If you have difficulties riding the bicycle, then it suggests that you are experiencing anxieties about making it on your own." I was blown away by this interpretation of my dream because it's so right on that it's frightening. My struggle on the bike represents my struggle to make it independently and the worms flying at my head represents weakness and negativity of other people around me but I never allow them to touch me. It's so refreshing to figure out what my subconscious mind is trying to tell me. It's like having all aspects of who you are finally working together and communicating properly. I must continue to try to remember my dreams and search for their interpretation. Who knows, maybe the answer to world peace and cancer exists in my dreams.