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Wednesday Workshop: Take That, Mr. Cowell

January 21, 2009 3 comments

Hey, it’s that time again folks!

This week’s assignment from Mama Kat goes as follows:

Other than the birth of a child or your wedding, write about a joyous moment.

I kind of subverted this but you’ll understand what I mean by the end. And here we go in 5…4…3…2…1…

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For as long as I can remember, music has been a part of my life. From learning how to dance standing between my great-grandparents in their kitchen as a little boy to my grandpa teaching me how to sing as he would strum his guitar along to the words. I guess you could say that music was in my blood.

I could feel the heat of the lights as they beat down on me atop that stage, they didn’t matter. I could feel the crowd cheering as I took a deep breath. Years of singing and an additional year of practice in preparation of this moment were about to be put to the test. You would think I’d have been happy just to win the competition but I have always been the kind of person that if you really want something, no reason to half-ass it.

The Nokia Theater was packed as people had crowded in to watch the final round live with millions more watching from their homes. I gathered the adrenaline, the joy, and let it carry into my voice as I sung my “Contestant’s Choice” pick of the final.

She was staring out the window of their SUV
Complaning, saying “I can’t wait to turn 18”
She said “I’ll make my own money, and I’ll make my own rules”
Mamma put the car in park out there in front of the school
Then she kissed her head and said “I was just like you”

You’re gonna miss this
You’re gonna want this back
You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you’re gonna miss this

Before she knows it she’s a brand new bride
In a one-bedroom apartment, and her daddy stops by
He tells her “It’s a nice place”
She says “It’ll do for now”
Starts talking about babies and buying a house
Daddy shakes his head and says “Baby, just slow down”

Cause you’re gonna miss this
You’re gonna want this back
You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you’re gonna miss this

Five years later there’s a plumber workin’ on the water heater
Dog’s barkin’, phone’s ringin’
One kid’s cryin’, one kid’s screamin’
And she keeps apologizin’
He says “They don’t bother me.
I’ve got 2 babies of my own.
One’s 36, one’s 23.
Huh, it’s hard to believe, but…

You’re gonna miss this
You’re gonna want this back
You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you’re gonna miss this…

The final note dies as the crowd roars their approval. I stood beside my opponent, a woman a few years older than me with curly brown hair, while we waited for Ryan Seacrest to share the results. We give each other anxious smiles as we soak up the cheering.

“And the winner of American Idol 2010 is…Kendall A–!”

The air leaves my lungs as I see my friends and family in the audience get to their feet. Before I can make a sound, there is a beeping noise in my ears.

The dream is over.

Back to reality now.

Although I now know what my next goal is.

After all, a dream is a wish the heart makes.

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Wednesday Workshop: As I See You

January 14, 2009 17 comments

Hi everyone, it’s the glorious Miss Eva reporting for duty! As Kendall has a bit too much on his plate today he has let me (letting me doesn’t necessarily mean he had a choice does it?) take over his blog and allow me to pop my Wednesday Workshop cherry. Ooh, so exciting.

PROMPT: Describe your significant other’s most attractive quality (on the inside).

Were it not for that little add-on, there are so many ways I could have fun with this. In both dirty and non-dirty ways. But I suppose I shall simply have to be serious. Kendall had better appreciate this is all I’ve got to say.

Ahem.

If I had to pick out one characteristic as his most attractive, I might as well use the one that attracted me to him in the first place and made him hard not to fall in love with.

From the stories he’s shared with you, some of you might have realized something about the teddy bear I call my boyfriend. He seems to be pretty dang near incapable of not caring about people. This includes people who have done him wrong, people he has never met in real life, people he barely knows, and even people who he has never heard of before.

It’s as if he is drawn to people who need help and does whatever they need him to whether that’s just listening, making them laugh, giving a hug, or completely changing the subject. He is easily one of the most kindhearted people it has ever been my pleasure to meet.

Me and Kendall (as well as The Bait, The Spawn, and Pippi) went to the same high school and despite the fact that me and him shared a lot of the same friends we never really had the opportunity to become friends ourselves. Now as I’m sure most of you know, I gave birth to baby Daybreak a few months after my 17th birthday when I was in my junior year. Her father, the ex, dumped me about three weeks before my due date.

So here I am, a heavily pregnant teenager whose boyfriend had left her after saying throughout that he would stand by her. I was sitting on one of these tables we had in the student parking lot and trying my very best not to start sobbing. When someone put a tissue in front of my face, saying it might help. And sure enough, there was Kendall with one hand outstretched to me and the other holding a half-full box of Kleenex. This boy, who I only knew peripherally, skipped that full period with me, just listening to me rant about the world in general.

It’s just who he is.

I’ve watched him smile and say “hello” to random people on the street whom I ask if he knows. So very often the answer is that he has never seen them in his life but everyone deserves something as simple as a smile.

Whenever me and him take Daybreak to the park, God forbid he sees one child being picked on. The last time this happened, Kendall helped the boy out of the puddle he had been pushed into and after speaking to his mother for a moment, sent him over to the jungle gym where Daybreak was trying to emulate a pretzel.

Then there are the other things…

…making jokes and generally being silly until a frowning person can’t help but laugh.

…even when he’s sick, he will get out of bed and in his car, driving to pick someone up in the middle of the night after their car broke down.

…standing up for someone he personally dislikes merely because he thought it was right.

…leaving little notes for people telling them to have a nice day.

…or one of my personal favorites, when I feel like utter crap from menstrual cramps he’s ready with a hot water bottle and those wonderful hands.

He’s extremely polite, intelligent, humble to an almost disturbing degree, and such a goofball you can’t not be happy around him, but his kindness is still my favorite.

Don’t ever change, Amore.

XOXO Eva

Wednesday Workshop: For the Love of a Puppy

January 7, 2009 14 comments

It’s that time again folks! My assignment from Mama Kat this week goes as follows:

“Tell us about your pet! If you have a weird infatuation with your dog or cat we want to hear about it (or if they just plain drive you crazy) But please don’t compare them to children, it’s just not the same.”

5…4…3…2…1…

Back in September 2008, me, Marilyn, and Scarlett visited the local animal shelter as they were looking to adopt a kitten. I found myself wandering over to the puppies when I heard a high-pitched bark. My gaze traveled down and my eyes locked onto this tiny chocolate lab puppy. She nudged a nearby rubber pall to the edge of her pen then looked back up at me with her tail just waving away.

I would spend the next half hour playing with her. It was like playing with a chipmunk on speed. Then once she was napping on her side, tuckered out from all the excitement, I talked to the volunteer working about how much it would be to adopt her.

The next day, I came home with about 10 pounds of hyped-up puppy. Later that night, it would be Tinkerbell who suggested the name Faith for her.

While I had had dogs my entire life with the exception of when I lived in a dorm, this was the first time I had ever owned a dog that was inside a majority of the time. Paper training has been an ordeal but she’s getting there even if there are still accidents on occasion. Like the one on the kitchen floor last night.

I’ve taught her to sit, stay, roll over, play dead, shake, and come to me.

And I’ve noticed in the months she’s been here that Faith has developed a list of rather funny personality quirks.

Whenever she smells me cooking food, she will hop from the floor, to a chair to watch. The chair that oh so conveniently happens to face her food and water bowls. As if saying, ‘when are you going to stop being a selfish bastard and feed the important one here?’

A phone ringing scares the hell out of her. I’m not even exaggerating. Normally I have my cell phone on vibrate as I don’t feel like paying for a ringtone and I had the ones this phone came with. So when The Bait’s rings or mine does, Faith will start to roll all over the place. If the phone is actually near her, she’ll approach it, put a paw out, and then jump back like it’s about to bite her on the nose.

In Faith’s eyes, ANYTHING PURPLE MUST DIE. I had bought her two pillows for her bed/basket that were a deep purple colour right before Christmas. They were ripped to shreds before the week was out. I bought another of the same colour that met a similar fate. I think I’ve learned the lesson. No Purple. Ever.

Like most Labradors, Faith is very friendly. When she meets a new person she will follow this formula without fail. One, pace around the legs, sniffing and making little -yip- noises. Two, if they meet her approval she’ll cozy up against them. Most people at this point reach down to pet her and as they do she will reach a paw up for them to shake while tilting her head. It’s adorable.

On the other hand, she also seems to get a perverse sense of pleasure out of annoying The Bait. Things she has done off the top of my head include stealing his shoes, waking him up by licking inside his ear, decided that the mopped kitchen floor was a great slide and using it to slide-tackle him, and as he puts it “just being a nuisance”. Despite how much he claims to dislike Faith and petition me to get her exorcised (not seriously), he does care about her as evidenced by the fact that he bought her a new pillow for her bed and a rubber penguin to play with. Said penguin has since been humped, wrestled with, and chewed six ways from Sunday.

Despite Faith having always loved Daybreak, as said child will feed her table scraps when she thinks me and her mom aren’t looking, there was a period of time where Faith did not like Eva. Well maybe not so much as disliking her as her acting jealous. If me and Eva ever tried to kiss, Faith would rocket her little legs to nip that moment in the bud. She has since gotten over this issue thankfully.

My puppy is a weird little thing, at which I wonder whether she was always that way or if I just rubbed off on her. She may be exasperating at times but like pretty much every woman in my life has me totally wrapped around her finger…or paw in this case.

I learned that this puppy, who liked me upon sight, had been rather horribly abused by her previous owners. She was slowly recovering from malnourishment (and still is) and her left hind leg had been so injured that it limps. This is the same puppy who gave me the most sorrowful look when I left. The same puppy who barrels into my legs when I get home because she is so happy to see me walk through that door.

I don’t regret giving her a home for a moment.

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Wednesday Workshop: Pushing My Mom’s Buttons…Well? Like So.

December 31, 2008 8 comments

It’s that time again folks! My assignment from Mama Kat this week goes as follows:

– What do you do that drives your mother crazy?

Oh, let me count the ways.

Word of warning: I do use the n-word in this post just to give you a heads-up.

5…4…3…2…1…

My mom can’t stand sarcasm. The fact that I almost perpetually ooze it does not sit well with her. Along with my habit of finishing her sentences when it’s something obvious.

“Kendall, can you…”

“Take the trash out for you? Sure.”

“I told you not to do that.”

I think this may be way I enjoy annoying people so much, I’ve had years of practice with it.

Whenever I go home to visit, I will do chores. Mainly cooking and cleaning the kitchen. While I do so I will have my iPod playing with my headphones in. For some reason, this drives my mom nuts. Why is something I have not figured out yet.

Me making cracks about her inability to manage time. For years, me and my sister have told her that the reason we are OCD about being on time is because she never was. She can’t stand that. The fact that you can probably hear the smirks in our voices doesn’t help much.

We don’t care.

While my mom likes Eva and adores Daybreak, she doesn’t like me dating her as I shouldn’t be chained down, especially to someone who has a child. This is the same woman who told me I was too uptight and should get laid when I was about 14. I wish I were joking.

The fact that I was not sure I would vote for Obama pissed her off. Me explaining that, at the time, I had only seen the man speak once at the Democratic Presidential Debates last July so I wasn’t sold yet.

That I am so very pro-gay marriage. Note, I said gay marriage and not civil union. She can’t stand the fact that I am closer to two lesbians (Rosie and Mami), much less that I consider them my mothers. She has called me ungrateful for this on several ocassions.

She hates the fact that I do not talk to her about my life. That I refuse to trust her. You all, whom I have known 3 months tops, know more about my life than she does.

That I want so badly to be a teacher. My mom is one of the people who subscribe to the saying, “those who can do, those who can’t teach.” I think she has finally given up trying to convince me to go into another field but has made it clear that her silence is under duress.

That I want nothing to do with my father. She has told me repeatedly that I need some kind of male influence in my life. My reply is always that I have gone 21 years without a dad who gave a damn, I see no reason to change that now.

And on that subject, she also says I am ungrateful as my father stayed with her which was incredibly rare where he came from. I tell her I am grateful. Grateful that he showed me exactly what kind of dad I didn’t want to be.

My view on racism. I’ve met people of every race that I dislike, I see no reason to distrust someone solely on colour. My mom often told me that even though I can be friends with white people I shouldn’t trust them. Because at the end of the day, I’m just a nigger. That always ALWAYS bothered me so I rejected that view.

Despite my many issues with her, I still love her.

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Wednesday Workshop: Why I So Often Describe Myself As A Failure

December 11, 2008 5 comments

It’s that time again, my freaky darlings. My prompt this week goes as follows:

3.) Describe a “new road” you’ve taken in your life.

Originally I was going to do the “talking mouse” prompt but that’s kind of taken a life all its own. So this is a tide-over so to speak. I promise to put up my short story once it’s finished.

5…4…3…2…1…

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I have often said that I feel college has made me dumber but most people don’t realize how little I am exaggerating that statement.

In January/February of my senior year of high school, I received a letter from the University of Florida offering me a full scholarship. Needless to say I jumped on it. I arrived not knowing a soul and by the time November rolled around, it had become my home. As an old friend put it, “Florida was my home, North Carolina was just where I grew up.”

However, I was struggling to pass one class and was averaging a low C in another, my other twp classes I was coasting with a low B. Knowing my average could handle a C much more than it could a failing grade, I skipped a review section and end up missing the announcement about a change in final exam time to study for the class I was afraid to fail.

I missed that final and thus failed that class. The one dim ray of light was that maybe my hard work had paid off and I managed to scrape a passing grade in the one I studied my ass for. No dice. About a week later, I receive a letter dismissing for poor academic achievement.

I applied for readmission that spring. Denied. And right after spring break, had to move out of the dorm. I had told no one about this so when that time came I made a decision and started my brief stint as a homeless person.

I’m not going to go into all the details because I’m still too ashamed to talk about it as only Tinkerbell and Eva know everything about those days. All I will say is that this period ended with me being arrested for vagrancy.

I came back to North Carolina, sick with guilt, at least mildly traumatized, and with only a promise not to do so keeping me from ending my life. I am completely serious when I state that Tinkerbell saved me back then.

So come January, I took about 17 hours of community college classes in attempts to be readmitted to UF. However, the past year had taught me to always have a backup plan and a backup for that backup and applied to the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill as well as several other schools just in case. It was during one of those community college classes that I became friends with Eva.

Because of my distraction from studying for midterms that I failed to doublecheck whether my transcripts had been sent to UF in time for the cutoff date. The word ‘failure’ seems to be pathetically common in my life.

However I was admitted to UNC and began making plans to share an apartment with the Bait come May. My educational life was finally getting back on track. But there was a serious snag in regards to my personal life.

But that story has largely been told here and here.

I can’t believe I even admitted to half of this. I can’t but feel like I have some rather pointed comments coming my way. All I can say to those who wish to do so is that you cannot say anything, and I mean anything, that I had not thought to myself multiple times over.

I am proud to admit though that I’ve maintained at least a 3.6 for the past three semesters (including the summer) and am on track to graduate on time in the spring of 2010.

I’ve come a long way from where I was this time last year. But at least I know who I am and what I am capable of now. Most importantly, I’m happy with that knowledge.

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Wednesday Workshop: Dolly Hearts Ramses

December 3, 2008 6 comments

It’s that time again folks. My assignment from Mama Kat this week goes as follows:

1.) Tag! Post and write about the 6th picture from (the 6th folder of?) your Flickr account and then do the same for the 6th picture of the 6th folder on your computer.

5…4…3…2…1…

This is a picture of Dolly posing with Ramses before the last football game against Duke.

I had yet to actually go to one so me, her, and Scarlett met Eva in the Duke section. That was awesome, especially the reactions we got when people noticed we were decked out in UNC paraphernalia.

Duke fan: I think you’re in the wrong section.
Scarlett: No, you just went to the wrong school.
Eva: (head in her hands) I don’t know these people.

Good times indeed.

By the way, we won that game 28-20. GO HEELS!

Wednesday Workshop: Two For One Special, That’ll Be $4.78 Please

November 20, 2008 5 comments

Hey folks, it’s that time again. Because I am so dull awesome, I’m going to be doing two prompts this week. The first of this week’s prompts from Mama Kat is

4.) Write about something that bothered you this week.

5…4…3…2…1…

I am not close to either of my parents. I never have been and I doubt I ever really will be. My mom worked all the time and my dad…well he did anything but hang around us. So when my mom had a new job when I was 15 and wanted to spend time with me, I was really really jaded towards her. Still am, I suppose. We’ve made progress since then but she is not someone I go to with my problems.

So with Thanksgiving coming up I needed to finalize my plans. I called her before heading to my first graders this morning where she kind of started to give me the fifth degree because I wouldn’t be getting there until Thursday morning and don’t plan to stay any longer than Saturday afternoon.

She asked me why I couldn’t come home Wednesday. I replied that I had a test Wednesday night and would rather not have to drive an hour and a half afterward. And as for me leaving on Saturday, I’ve learned my lesson about spending too much time there.

I won’t go into specifics but my last visit consisted mainly of arguing, tears, and alcohol. Not even necessarily in that order.

Then afterward I feel guilty that I am not staying longer though I know good and well that I’d be miserable. So when my cousins leave, I won’t be far behind them. I was actually told I was being childish for not wanting to be around fighting parents.

Maybe I’m just tired of having to be the adult.

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To end on a lighthearted note, here’s my second prompt:


1.) The last time I laughed really hard…

5…4…3…2…1…

After Bio lecture had let out, I met The Pop Queen in the building and decided to catch up with her while I still had some free time. While we were sitting, this girl who neither of us knew came up to us who I shall refer to as C and started chatting to me.

What was my name?

What was my major?

What I liked to do for fun?

After she’s pretty much asked me for my life story, she asks if I would like to come to her sorority’s party on Friday night.

Now me being my lovable dense self, I don’t realize that this woman has been hitting on me the entire conversation until The Pop Queen has to muffle her laughter in her scarf in order to remain inconspicuous. Once C has left, The Pop Queen fills me in on what I failed to notice.

Later in the night, I get the following test message from The Pop Queen:

“So are you going to that party, because I would feel weird going without you since she just said I could come because you’re my bbf (black best friend) and she was pretty hot. Since you’re dating [Eva], think you could send her my way? Please and thank you.”

Cue laughter. I heart my twin.

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