Hot Cheetos and Takis (Orange Is the New Black)

**SMALL, INFINITESIMAL PLOT POINT SPOILER ALERT FOR OITNB**

So. I’m white. As if you didn’t know. I’m an old, white lady who don’t know what Takis is.


(Ya burnt! is my favorite saying now.)


Or I didn’t until this season of Orange Is the New Black. I’m sorry if my watching OITNB is offensive to anyone, but it’s such a good show. The stories. Ugh, the stories. It makes me cry multiple times during the season. I’m hooked. I often wonder if I could make it on the inside and what compromises I would have to make to my ideology or person to survive.

Sometimes, I wish I was one of the ladies. Until I see a bathroom scene and then I go worship my very clean toilet and shower and bathtub. What I really wish is to be an actress on this show. It would so totally rock. Dream job. So juicy.

But I think if I identify with a character, it would be Red. Most people would say I’m the nun that left the show. But inside? I’m a Red. She’s kicking it! Love her. So spicy. Just like Takis!

After watching this season (small spoiler alert), I had to try Takis. What the hell is a Taki? I found them at the store, here in Florida. Never seen them before, but as of late, haven’t been looking at fried corn snacks for nourishment. But I had to at least taste them to see what all the fuss is about.

I would riot for Takis. Jus’ sayin’. They are delicious. Guy and I split a small bag.

I think I’m going to make a Chex Mix-Taki trail mix. Does that sound super white? Sorry. But as I said, I am an old, white lady. So what else would be good with Cheddar Chex Mix and Takis all jumbled together? Any suggestions? Can’t wait to hear what your ideas are. In honor of OITNB, I could make a watch party mix with Hot Cheetos in there as well.

Hit me with your Taki takes!

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Tips for Online Artists

I know I’ve been reblogging PenPrin alot lately, but she’s my daughter and this article is actually really thoughtful. Just thought I would share because these are good reminders. The fact that a 13 yo could write this is cool. Good job, Lil.

Pencil Princess

I may be new to art blogging, but I have picked up a few tips by observing other artists and looking back at my own experiences with online art. Today, I wanted to write something that could be helpful to others who are considering becoming art bloggers, or maybe already have an art blog. I tried to think about mistakes I have made as well as other things I have struggled with as an artist. Let me know if these tips are helpful, or if I have missed anything important!


Inspiration is okay. Copying isn’t.

If someone has an art style you enjoy, it’s okay to take a few things from it. I like LavenderTowne’s way of drawing cute creatures, I like the way artists from Steven Universe draw faces and bodies, and I adapted my way of drawing hands from cartoons like Adventure Time. Looking at the…

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Vrooooom!

Just thought I would check in on the weight loss. I weigh 326.4 today. So that’s almost two pounds down from where I was. It’s been about a week. So that’s totally normal!

Feeling pretty good. My husband just got a job and started today! He looks handsome in his uniform.

I just found a job, too. I start training Monday. I’m going to be a car service driver. Yikes! I hope no one gets sick in my car. 🙂 I’m going to be working overnight on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so I’m a little nervous, but it will help me continue with my blog and other creative endeavors. Gotta pay the bills on this little condo by the beach.

I’ll try anything at this point! Plus, this neck of the woods is pretty low on crime. I’ll figure it out. I think I will start carrying a stun gun or mace though. I’m allowed to turn down rides, so I think I’ll be safe.

Need a ride?? LOL

Unequipped

I don’t have a map.
I didn’t bring supplies.
I don’t have any answers
To why a relationship dies.

I don’t have instincts.
I don’t have a guide.
I never had a compass.
If they said I did, they lied.

I’m lost, just the same as you.
Please don’t let me lead.
If you choose to follow me,
You’re going to find yourself in need.

I don’t know why you lost
The most important thing you ever had.
I can tell you one thing,
It’s not because you’re bad.

We are often unprepared
To navigate the trip.
Don’t worry about the end.
Start walking unequipped.

We’d never go a single place
If we waited until we’re good.
Successful people find their way
And don’t ask permission if they should.

Do what you want.
Let control and circumstance go.
If people choose to stay?
Those are the ones to know.

Loving-Kindness

According to Wikipedia‘s article regarding loving-kindness in Judaism:

Loving-kindness is used as an English translation for the Hebrew word חסד (chesed). This term is used often in the book of Psalms, and refers to acts of kindness, motivated by love. It is used primarily in reference to God, rather than people. One example is found in Psalm 107, where verse 43 reads:

“Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the loving-kindness of the LORD.” [11]

The term is also used in Pirkei Avot, with the quote “The world stands on three things: Torah, the service of God, and deeds of loving-kindness.”


I’m not a very kind person sometimes. I am downright irascible (easily angered).

I love the word irascible. It reminds me of a word that Mark Twain would utter about Pap.

I love words. No matter their meaning, good or bad. Especially when they perfectly define an attitude, feeling or experience.

I mumbled yesterday morning about applying my makeup for an interview. “Best apply a modicum of makeup, so as not to look a fright.”

Who talks like that? I do. Mostly. Enough to confuse and irritate the natives. Much to the cringe and chagrin of my associates.

“Who are you?” question my befuddled, and mildly-impressed, acquaintances.

A writer.

But I found another person who loves words and their sounds as much as I do and I married him. And together we sound like a ridiculous Noel Coward play. But some people like that.

As much as I love words, I don’t love people. I am not full of loving-kindness. I cling to loving-kindness with desperate fingers, but cannot claim it. I want to love others but I so often fail. Strange. Because I think, at the core, writers do love people. Maybe from afar? I have to love people to love words because the words are describing the lovely people. What the people are doing, where they are going, how they are loving or not loving.

Maybe I should write about animals. LOL

Loving-kindness, as a theory, is often a writer’s goal. How often they achieve loving-kindness IRL is a Hemingwayan mystery. We write about the ideal, but do we live it? I don’t usually. But, in my writing and in life, I strive for it. Is that enough though?

I do tend to write about my successes of loving-kindness and not my failures. I try to be fair in that, but writing can often be the Facebook of experience. We only see the shining examples of behavior and not the gritty underbelly of daily meanderings.

Well, in the interest of writing fair, I fail at loving others, especially my husband, on almost a daily basis. That’s the truth. I snap and snip at the slightest pressure, but mainly because…no. I won’t make excuses.

I can be a ripe jerk.

I’m an alligator. Waiting. And if you trip? I attack.

If you trigger my snap warning, I’ll eat you alive. Once an alligator bites, he can’t let go. Even if he wanted to. And why would he want to? Those jaws are locked. And loaded. Clamps down on your neck, thrashes around, and down you go. Drowned. Ground into a fine hamburger. If you whimper, complain, or try to negotiate? It’ll just take longer.

I don’t want to be an alligator. But when you grow up in a swamp, do you have a choice?

I’m evolving. At least I feel guilty about it now.

I have brilliant moments of loving-kindness shine through and save me. For others and from others. But maybe that’s most people’s experience. Those are the moments we live for. And when there’s not enough of those moments, sometimes, what we die for.

In a world of growing hate and difference of opinion, we most certainly need loving-kindness. Certainly. But if I can’t succeed in my own daily life, what hope does the world have?

We’re evolving. Let’s drain the swamp and love others. Simply and completely.

I can’t eat another alligator. Someone I recognize as being my kind. So we just have to look for the human. How can you hate someone who looks and acts and thinks like you? We all have eyeballs. We all have fur. We all have 2 arms, 2 legs, a brain and a heart. Usually. 🙂

With all my anger, flaws and ugliness, I still want to be loved. So I need to love. Even unlovables in their anger, flaws and ugliness. And do so out of kindness. It requires vulnerability and humility. Being open and humble.

Who are you?

Soap and Cigarettes

His office smells like:
vinyl
soap
and cigarettes.
Like a dentist with a habit.

He shares a building with a lawyer who is never in.
Yellow legal pads
On top of a big desk
In a dark/cluttered/slightly-open-doored room.

Everything a-soak in cigarette smoke.
Even the paintings.
The open area that could be construed as a tiny lobby is neat, but dim.
Ashtray on every surface.

Perfumed with solace and solemnity.
I stare at a picture of a stream inside a wood.
Looking for any sign of reason, beauty or good.
Radio softly plays country music.

It’s cold outside.
Wet snow.
But it’s warm and dusty here.
The fabric on the chairs is stiff and speckled.

I’m waiting in the waiting room
For nothing but myself
I simply want to be around
Spending minutes off the shelf.

There are old editions of:
Field & Stream
Highlights
National Geographic
Something tells me
I’m outside his demographic.

No. I’m waiting for him.
Just for a friendly face.
When he sees me, he says, “Hi!”
He seems like he likes me.
That’s unusual.

When you grow up in a rural area,
Any excuse to see people,
Whether you need their services or not,
Is a reason to put clothes on and be seen.

I want to be seen.

He’s like a dad.
The kind of dad you want your dad to be.
But he isn’t.
But it’s enough.

“I’m fine, Doc. Thanks for asking.”

Grad-geeated

I don’t always spell things korrectly. Or punctuate! “in the right place”. or capitalize. But dammit, I’m a college graduate!!

I have 2 two-year degrees now from Metropolitan Community College. A very liberal arts degree from the 90s. LOL And I’m very proud of this most recent degree–graphic design, an applied science! (sounds so awesome, Imma scientist! lol)

It was hard to go back to school at 36. To be surrounded by people half my age. To relearn art. To move from Photoshop User to Artist. To embrace my creativity and hone my skills.

Everyone gambled on me. And I wanted to succeed.

I finally did.

I got sick just after finishing my classes. I never applied for graduation. I tried to follow up with the school about completion and transferring some classes from UMKC, but trying to find an actual job and getting very sick just left graduation simmering on the stove. For 6 years! UGH!

Embarrassing. But I knew I had my skills. I didn’t need a piece of paper.

Well. Yes. I did. LOL But when you’re sick? Just getting out of bed is an accomplishment.

Thank you to my prof who helped me grad-geeate. I was sick for so long and to have this is healing. It’s my cap and gown, it’s my walk down the aisle, it’s my handshake. Thank you.

Me-rror

I catch my reflection
In the shiny laptop screen.
I threw away the girl I was
In being just a teen.

Skin gone slack.
Life off track.
Stark and dark.
Taken aback.

But the eyes.
She’s still there.
The care and thought of
My singe-tinged stare.

And my smile.
Still turned.
In spite of all
The bridges I’ve burned.

You can’t stop the fire
And stomp in the ashes.
When you’re the one
Playing with matches.

Burnt to the ground,
My youth is gone.
Rising from what remains
Is the sun on the dawn.

Exuberance escapes
And with it my verve.
But age brings wisdom
And strong-willed nerve.

Do I have enough guts
To follow a dream?
When life is pulling
Apart at the seam.

So what if my chin
Is sagging a bit?
It’s not a question of beauty
But taking a hit.

Is that jaw strong?
Enough for a blow?
Sticking my neck out–
The only way to know.

So. I’m older. But bolder.
And I’ll just say thank you.
Age is a privelege
Achieved by so few.

Am Found

Thrown down
Lost my crown

Body broken
Shame unspoken

Face in the dirt
Badly hurt

I’m wrong
I failed
Mercy, please
Grace unveiled

Foot of the cross
Feet of the Christ

Unworthy to touch
Owe too much

Can’t even stand
Quivering hand

Reach out for charity
Bittersweet disparity

Hard to swallow
Hard to follow

Honey for the healing
Grace feels like stealing

I stumbled
Am humbled

Belly on the ground
Forgiveness is found

And I stand on the power of Christ alone.

Lois the Lion

i made this helmet princess several years ago after my friend died. it’s the dark eyes that remind me of her, i added those.

i didn’t draw the helmet, but i did everything else. i found it and manipulated it in photoshop. it was a royalty-free image, like a drawing from an old book.

and i wrote this poem. i revised and published here because it makes me happy to think of her.


i didn’t know you as well as i could, but i knew u were:
funny as hell
wispy like a princess
and the-heart-of-a-lion mother

life is a stain, full of blood and pain
an un-removable mark

indelible, undeniable, irreversible
irrevocably absolute

life is crazy and messy and amazing
impossible to erase

ur mark can never,
will never, fade
ur remarkable and beautiful
uniquely made

ur body is broken
ur life is undone
but ur spirit is alive
you have overcome

ur daughter is here
ur love is around
ur there in her eyes
angel come down

ur the lucky one
now u will rest
u endured the worst,
enjoy the best