Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sitting in Airports Blogging

Airports, are, the world over, the same. I have yet to find any remarkable difference. Yes, maybe some will be decorated worse or better, maybe some will be more or less high tech. But there are always gates, boarding passes, excessive security, jackass TSA officers. And there's this, the layovers. Tony and I took the morning flight from Port of Spain to Miami, arriving here at about 11 am. Our flight to Detroit is at 8:25. So, we have about an eight hour layover. With Flamingo, some cash, a couple iPods, and books we've read before, we're relatively bored.

But, as I was telling my dad on the phone earlier today, it doesn't feel like I'm travelling. It feels like I drove for a while, sat in a room, sat in another room that could fly, and now am sitting in another room. This room is relatively quiet, with ugly carpeting and an excess of Spanish.

I tried reading Diving Bell and Butterfly, but it's not the right environment.

Ironically, Miami is colder than I think Michigan will be. Well, the inside of the airport is, at least. It's actually relatively hard to type this, with frozen fingers. I'm buying gloves in Michigan. Didn't think I'd need them in Florida, too. Speaking of which, I have to remember to toss on that tanktop on the plan, start layering before we even touch down in Detroit.

Soon enough, I'll write a humongous, imaginative, glorious post about seeing snow again, and the Christmas tradition at the Jones household. My grandma doesn't have internet, and I'm only getting it now because of MIA (Miami International Airport, not Missing In Action) has WiFi fore 7 bucks a day. I'll write again from my dad's apartamente in DC, when I will be getting, dun dun dun, my 2ND EAR PIERCING! WHOOT! (Mai: "YOU WHOOT?!?")

For now, back to the airport. Wait, which airport are we at again?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

For Esme

I know my friends are writing posts about the main thing going on in our lives, people leaving. But I'm not going to talk about Nora. I don't want to.

Instead, tonight we had our last Spaghetti Night of 2008. Mr. Kaster, Ms. Chesler, and Mr. Blackburn were all their with their respective significant others and kids. We sat around with these three teachers, along with Clea and Esme, talking about old British TV shows, drinking, fudge, pretty much everything. It was (I just reread that last sentence and thought it said "drinking fudge". Which is ironic, because that's actually what we were doing) a lot of fun, getting my mind off the past four days and the next four as well. I realised that I can sit around with three teachers, two of whom actually teach me, and not feel self concious or freaked out. I know maybe Kaster was, because before the Thanksgiving shenanagin, he asked, all worriedly, if it was okay if he came to a student's house as a social gathering. But we odd group laughed at each other, at Scrubs, at Young Things and Forty Towers, and had fun just being, without the whole teacher-student relationship in the way.

The same thing goes for my relationship with other teachers too, even when in school, like Lentzy. First of all, that name. I haven't called my ex-AWH teacher "Mister Lentz" in about a year and a half. When he announced his engagement to Ms. Scott (who, even if she changes her name, I will never think of as "Ms. Lentz" - too weird), I felt like one of my close friends had gotten engaged. I was so happy for him that I even got teary. Which, though this is off topic, has been happening increasingly lately. I never used to cry. Well, okay, I cried, but only when someone yelled at me or when I got hurt. Never at romancey stuff, which I now do ALL THE TIME.

It feels good to blog again. I kept clicking on the link for my page in Google Chrome, and feeling guilty that I had nothing to write about. So, okay, I still don't, but I like the feeling of just writing whatever's on my mind and clicking "Publish".

So, tonight, when I mentioned to Esme that I haven't blogged lately, she suggested I write about school. So, here you go, Esme.

School is okay. It's weird, there are two extremes with my teachers - I either love them, and look forward to their classes, like English, Algebra, Contemporary Issues, MWH, and sometimes Biology, or I hate them, and despise when I have to open the door to their classrooms. This mostly only applies to Chemistry and Spanish (Drama I feel neutral about). It's not so much the topics that make me cringe when I think about those classes, it's the teachers, how they teach, and the students in the class. Okay, so I have a lot of "hoss" people (as James and I put it) in my other classes too, but it's still okay. That's odd. It's just, I'm a strong believer in the whole "teachers should teach" thing. I know, CRAZY, right? "Doctor Kay" (okay, seriously. WTF is up with that "Dr. K" thing? Like "Kester" is really hard to pronounce. AND WHO IS SO OBNOXIOUS THAT THEY ASK PEOPLE TO CALL THEM "DOCTOR"? My mom is a Dr. and she would NEVER ask people to do that) and Ms. Thomas (what an indescripite name. That's why we only ever call her "miss") rely on powerpoints and worksheets, respectively, to teach us their subjects.

Okay, so that's all I've got. I hope this post looks nice and long on my page and so will take my guilt away.

 

[Edit: This is about 20 minutes after I posted this. But I wanted to say: I've been listening to my iTunes all night. Not a single Coldplay song. Or "Save Tonight". Significant?]

Monday, December 8, 2008

MLJ's 20 Things

1.  I am losing my concentration to the point that I can’t read more than stupid SELF articles about pectorals more than five minutes.
2.  I like sleeping with my dog.
3.  Coffee is necessary for survival.
4.  A wrecking ball hit Tiger Stadium the day we decided to get divorced.
5. Tiger Stadium was where my ashes were going to be scattered, and now I have to find a new place.
6.  The night after the divorce became official, I dreamt that I was driving a car with no rear view mirror.  But I was exhilarated and not afraid.
7.  I am proudest of being a cancer survivor and never want to be bitter about anything.
8.  I worry that I am way too overprotective of my kids, my dog, my family and my friends.
9.  I secretly judge people based on their grammar, spelling and punctuation.  And I am not ashamed of it.
10.  I think Charles Hodson on CNN is very sexy.
11. Almost nothing has made me happier than my first car.
12. I have philosophical conversations with both my children that are much better than any conversation I’ve ever had with an adult.
13. I go barefoot in the office.
14. I secretly think this country would run a damn sight better if they asked me how to run it.
15. I used to think all babies learned English first no matter where they were from, before they learned Spanish or Mandarin or whatever their parents spoke.
16. It would be fun to throw a brick through a plate glass window.
17. Driving through Detroit breaks my heart.
18. Wrigley’s spearmint gum when combined with coffee is the best sleepiness tonic.
19. I was secretly glad that my daughter was bald at the same time I was.
20. Magglio Ordonez has the best ass in the major leagues.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Walking Fast

In Spanish class today, we basically had free time. Daniel and Dom used theirs to go on Wikipedia and read articles about diseases, their symptoms, and the horrors of mutations. They would intently read something in silence, then grimace, groan, and burst out laughing. These diseases included cancers, mental retardation, and many others. They would click from page to page, shrieking out information about cancers presenting in irregularly small testicles, enlarged male mammaries, and more.


I walk home from school. It usually takes about 10 minutes. Today it took 4. I was so enraged by their comments, I left Spanish class, walked with Nora downstairs, and made it home before Beat It was over.

When I was about 6 months old, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. If some of these facts are wrong, I apologize, but I believe these are correct or almost correct. They gave her 5 months to live, and it's been 13 years since then. She was given radiation and chemotherapy treatments, and now she's fine. She still has regular checkups, but so far nothing has reoccured. She is unable to have more children, the chemotherapy having caused her to go into early menopause, around the age of 34. She had to have surgery to first remove her infected breast, then, a few years later, reconstructive surgery, where, as she tells it, they moved muscles, fat, and skin from her stomach to her chest. She has a fake belly button, multiple scars, and no feeling in her stomach. And blue, tatooed-on dots covering her left side.

My mother is the strongest and smartest woman I know. Today, as I walked home and showered, I couldn't help but think what my world would be like without her. I don't know where I would live, because we would be in my dad's custody. I would be such a different person than I am now. The world, in fact, would be different. Many people in Poland, Bangladesh, and here in Trinidad's lives would be affected by the work my mom has done with the State Department. I wouldn't sigh every time I write the word "affect" or "effect", or make a mental note to ask her which one is which again.


We have a Biology project on genetic diseases due in a few weeks. Our teacher recommended that we pick a disease that someone we know has or had. Obviously, I decided to do breast cancer, in honor of my mom and my two aunts who are all survivors.

Some research I found yesterday said the following:


However, if you have any of the following in your close family you might want to see your GP and be referred to a familial cancer clinic:
  • three close blood relatives (from the same side of the family) who developed breast cancer at any age, or
  • two close relatives (from the same side of the family) who developed breast cancer under 60, or
  • one close relative who developed breast cancer aged 40 or younger, or
  • a case of male breast cancer, or
  • a case of bilateral breast cancer (this means in both breasts).
The first three in this list apply to me. I won't say anymore, because I feel as though I'm digging myself into a hole by even mentioning this. I'm not saying I'm doomed. I have a chance of getting cancer in my life, as all women do. I just felt like saying this, because I know the internet won't judge me.


What Daniel and Dom do not realize is that they, or someone close to them, may very well be effected by any of those diseases they were laughing at and making fun of. I'm angry at myself for not saying anything to them - but I can only hope that someone will educate them better than I can. This goes for anyone and everyone out there who have ever been so inconsiderate and shallow as I know some of my peers were being today.

Monday, December 1, 2008

IS THAT CELL FREE? REALLY?

You know how it's like this stereotype of playing Solitaire on the computer when you're bored? Well, for me, Solitaire, and, more often, Free Cell, are my favorite things to do on the computer, even when I'm plenty occupied. I get so mad at Free Cell, like when I try to move a stack of cards and a little bubble pops up saying, "That move requires 5 cards. You only have enough space to move 3 cards." It patronizes me. And when, by accident, I try to put a red card on another red card, it snaps, "You can only put a red card on a black card. The card colors must alternate." Or, worse, when I accidentally try to put, say, a 4 on a 7. "You can only put a card on another card if it is the next in the sequence." "WELL, IT WAS AN ACCIDENT, STUPID BITCH!" I feel like yelling at it. Only, of course, I don't. Usually.

I get so emotional about Free Cell. Like when I attempt to do a big flashy card movement, and all the free cells fill up, and then that awful little death message pops up. It pretends to be sympathetic, saying, "Sorry!" but then it continues. "There are no more legal moves. Restart game?" And then that demon box with "Same game" next to it already has a check in it, as though the computer is pitying you, saving you the grief of having to admit failure and retry yourself. 

But when I am close to winning, and the tension is building, and more and more cards stack on top of the four aces, and then you move a huge set of cards to reveal that hidden little stash of low cards that you need to win the game, then they all fly up to the cells in order, and then, at last, when there's nothing left in the playing field and only kings are visible, they all fly down. God love Vista, each card shatters into it's suit symbol and colors, spraying all over the place like glorious red and black fireworks.

Then, the only message in the game I like comes up. Oh, it's nice to see you again, my old friend. He says, "Congratulations! You won the game!" He tells you your statistics, which, you are pleased to see, have gotten better. Then, two glowing buttons decorate the bottom of the box. [Play again] or [Exit]. You can't decide. If you decide to play again, there's a big chance you could lose, and then your hard earned good statistics will be gone. But if you exit, you'll have to shut down your computer and go to bed. Finally, you've decided.
[Exit].