Archive | January, 2011

Song Lyrics (not mine) + cabin-mansion vocab I

27 Jan

“The only thing that I did wrong, I stayed in [Dayton four months] too long.”

In that time, my relationship with Mary, and ultimately Kim was sullied.

My impressions of both Kim and Mary were also defiled in a big way.

My memories of Kim and Mary were also tarnished when I realized what kind of people they had become or had always been–I wasn’t sure which scenario it was.

Mary besmirched her thirteen year marriage to Kim at every turn and it made me not only lose respect for her, but disgusted me as well.

That entire time in Dayton was tainted by poor choices, strife, and missteps by all involved.

“I wrote you a hundred letters I will never send. . .  Why won’t you answer me?”

While I was still living at the Cabin-Mansion and working at DVVH, I fervidly tried to recapture all I had lost, but it was too late–the damage was done.

I would get drunk almost every night (and day) and cry feverishly mourning all I had lost.

I started zealously typing all the events that were happening because I wanted to vent my pain, keep track of the unbelievable activities, and eventually write a book.

Kim was a wild card while I was there, after I left, and even in the present, running hot and cold, making me confused depressed so I wrote impassioned letters to her throughout the book.

I had many bad dreams of Mary and dreaded ever running into her in real life, so I wrote vehement letters to her as well–though they took on an angrier tone than the ones to Kim.

I started “Facebook-stalking” Kim and sent her passionate pleas to just tell me why she discontinued all communication–which maddingly, she never answered.

My “Cabin-Mansion” book is going to be one burning inscription after another, because it was such a traumatic and unbelievable experience.

“Just b/c I’m losing, doesn’t mean I’m lost. . .  Every river that I tried to cross, every door I ever tried was locked. . .  You might be a big fish in a little pond, doesn’t mean you’ve won.”

In her mid-life crises, Mary almost immediately retracted her support of my career, abjured her friendship, and recalled our entire relationship.

While I was living at the Cabin-Mansion, Mary rejected me entirely, and said she was no longer my mentor–it still makes me feel terrible and worthless even today (3 years later) as I write this.

It hurt a lot when my former mentor recanted her letters of recommendation on my behalf, and (I’m fairly certain) talked trash about me to everyone.

Worse, Mary felt the need to call the vet school I was applying to and abandon formally her former support of my acceptance, which was (of course) detrimental to my reputation.

At the end, Mary forswore her offer to provide me the fifth wheel in her yard as housing, as well as a job at her hospital.

“Painted ourselves in a corner. . .  But you could not interpret me and I could not interpret you. . .    . . .  After all that we’d been through, I could not see giving up. . .  And now we’re tumbling in a free-fall, no ones gonna go unscathed. . .”

Mary didn’t understand why I wasn’t the same person I had been before I came out to my parents and suffered my second failure from veterinary school, and I couldn’t forgive Mary for being in a mid-life crises and becoming undisciplined though her father had died days before, her niece had died a few months before, and her wife of thirteen years was becoming a full-on alcoholic.

Though I didn’t like Mary’s unrestrained, fairly open cheating on Kim, I thought she might regain her good senses–she didn’t gve me the same chance.

My heavy drinking didn’t help raise my morale, maintain Mary’s formerly high opinion of me, or minimize my already recklessbehavior.

Despite my own shortcomings, I still lost all respect for the way Mary treated people in her life, and especially her licentiouscheating.

Even at work, Mary became lewdly hostile towards me for no apparent (work-related) reason.

At the time, Mary was going through a mid-life crises, I was in my quarter-life crises, Kim was an alcoholic, and my parents were reacting to having a gay child–all of us displayed wanton behavior as a result.

Mary’s capricious values during that five month visit left me confused and conflicted.

“You’re gonna see soon that I’m not playin’, Start asking me the names I’m not sayin’, but I’m trying to be bigger than the bickering, bigger than the petty name calling. . .  Rumors, and labels, and categorization. . .

My parents knew I would no longer talk to them if they continued trying to control me, but simultaneously withholding emotional and financial support, but that didn’t stop them from their phony inquests about why I shut them out of my life.

Both my parents and Mary had ulterior motives in their quest to accuse me of being an alcoholic:  My parents had to show the community that they didn’t know my whereabouts because I had some sort of problem, and Mary had to justify her sudden horrid behavior towards me.

Soon Mary’s closest friends and her family would probe me about my drinking, my schedule, and why I wasn’t listening to anyone–I knew she was talking bad about me to everyone who would listen.

Mary became hateful towards me, because I stupidly made my investigation of her relationship with the hairdresser known, and she didn’t want me to have too much negative information on her.

I was so shattered about my life and the dysfunction going on around me, I became unable to concentrate, and I couldn’tstudy properly.

Everyone was getting their information secondhand–Mary refused to talk to me so she would glean things from Kim, my co-workers, or her friends who talked to me, and I cut my parents out of my life, so they inquired about me to everyone they came in contact with–it was a mess.

I had just about enough when Mary sent her mother and the hairdresser to research when my finals were so she could schedule the staff Christmas party on a day when I was stuck in Reno.

You can say what you want about me, keep talking while I walk away. . .  I’m taking the high road, going above you, this is the last time I’m gonna trust you. . .  All that bullshit you talk might work a lot, but it’s not gonna work today.

One of the biggest differences from my high school work experience which was pleasant, and the horrible times I went through in my post-college years, was Mary had become a nabob where she had been just starting out in those earlier years.

When I was living in the yard of the Cabin-Mansion, Mary was constantly pulling power plays on me to show me who was in charge, and to make me want to leave for good.

I ended up leaving Nevada, but not because the magnate, Mary forced me to–I had to go back to my apartment, and job at Noah’s Ark, and to keep my Missouri residency.

I realize Mary is only influential in her small hometown of Dayton, she’s just a big fish in a small pond, but it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with the ramifications of being on her bad list.

I am currently angry at that potentate of Dayton, Mary, who still holds a grudge against me, because she knows as well as I do that my only real mistake was knowing too much about her personal life for her comfort.

Dayton may think Mary is the perfect family member, business owner, and healer she portrays herself to be, but I know the truth–she is no luminary, she’s just terrified the town will see the real her.

I think Mary was always spoiled, always had a bad temper, and always held grudges against perceived enemies and threats to her security, but I think without all her money she wouldn’t see herself as a sort of dignitary who could do no wrong in the community.

As frustrating as it is to know Mary is not just the highly motivated tycoon with upstanding morals that she wants people to know, I refuse to engage in a power struggle with her–I’ll just write a book about my experiences.

“Something happened from the very first time with you. . .  Their piercing sounds fill my ears, try and fill with me with doubt. . .  In this world of loneliness I see your face. . .  I don’t care what they say, I’m in love with you.”

I felt something powerful from the first time I met you–and from the first time I imbued upon alcohol.

When I came back to Nevada that August of 2007, all three of us were regularly charged with some sort of alcohol–it was a fun, care-free month.

I honestly tried to get myself back together when I went to Nevada, but the alcohol pervaded every aspect of the Cabin-Mansion with Kim drinking constantly, Mary drinking frequently, revolving guests, family around all the time, celebrations galore, and party after party.

Kim and alcohol were one and the same, and during my time at the Cabin-Mansion I loved both and permeated myself with them often.

Everyone involved was so sloppy that it was a freight train to disaster.

After the excitement of being there settled, I quickly realized there were many problems at the Cabin-Mansion including Kim’s drinking, but I stocked vodka in my fifth wheel so Kim would sneak out of Mary’s sight to wet her whistle, and as a consequence would chat with me for a little while.

I usually drank with Kim, but when she got a head start on me once and I saw with clear eyes how infused she was with drink I was actually afraid of both her drunkenness and how she drove home.

Despite the problem drinking (for both of us) I longed to moisten my lips with Kim. . .

It hurts my heart to see Kim’s present picture–the way her face is bloated and permanently dyed a ruddy hue.

“I can’t leave and I can’t stay. . .  Maybe I’m not your perfect kind, maybe I’m not what you had in mind. . .

Mary felt the need to issue many dictums including:  “I am no longer your mentor,” and “You are formally evicted,” which were implied, overly harsh, and unnecessary.

Though I saw things going sour almost immediately, I could not leave because I would lose enrollment money to UNR, so I had the adage, “things couldn’t get any worse,” and it proved incorrect.

Mary had the silent edict that I was not welcome in the Cabin-Mansion other than to use the bathroom, and then only during daylight hours and when no guests or company were present–this made life very difficult.

Mary also had the (not so silent) decree no one in her inner circle that was to remain on good terms with her could speak to me–it became unbearable being ostracized (for no good reason).

At first, I tried to remember that it was everyone else who was crazy and tried to live by the aphorism of keeping my head up and going about my business, but soon, the isolation and negativity got to me and affected me in a bad way.

In the end, I was completely depressed, my self esteem took a great hit, and I was very lonely–it was then my main apothegmwas to get out of there–by any means possible.

You with your silky words. . .  You with steel beliefs, that don’t match anything you do.  It was so much easier before you became you. . .  Now you don’t bring me anything but down. . .  Everything just crashes to the ground. . .  No more long and wasted nights. . .

While Mary was telling me to get my shit together, focus on school, and mend my relationship with my parents, she was falling apart in her mid life crises, cutting back her work schedule substantially, and cheating on her wife of thirteen years–wrapping my mind around the hypocracy caused me to suffer enervation that I could not stop.

I was a very languorous process trying to see Mary in a new light–and I still haven’t completely accepted it.

My biggest trigger for the debilitation called depression is finding out people (I trusted) are different than I originally thought.

As with Douche, finding out Mary was not the respectable, hard-working, loyal person I had thought she was brought on aweariness that was only relieved with alcohol.

When I lived in the Cabin-Mansion it seemed like I was always suffering from a tiredness, but unable to sleep–this was probably depression.

I wanted to prove that I could be a great student, and good worker, but the drinking caused a great listlessness, and I needed the alcohol to feel less anxious about the pervasive negativity infecting my living quarters, work environment, and everyone I ever came in contact with.

The lassitude lasted a full year after I moved away from the Cabin-Mansion–even despite my best efforts to get back on track–depression doesn’t just go away because you remove yourself from the environment which brought it on.

Cabin-Mansion + Vocab

27 Jan

Mary is so undecorated as a gay that the community was always trying to fix her up with eligible bachelors–despite the fact she was already married to a woman.

After I moved to Missouri I hardly ever heard from Mary except when she offered some stern warning not to be too “out” in college or suffer the consequences.

More than once, Mary painted a bleak picture of what could happen to known gays from not getting accepted to veterinary school, to not being able to own a business, to getting bashed–her words terrified me and kept me in the closet.

After I came out to Kim, Mary locked me in the bathroom and instead of consoling me about this austere, life-altering realization, asked me not to tell anyone about HER.

Once Mary sent an e-mail out-of-the-blue telling me of my parents conspiracy to give away my cat, Holly–they had put a “Free to a good home” poster at Dayton Valley Veterinary Hospital.

Of course I was angry and dismayed at my parents’ insurrection, but I had no way of getting the cat to Missouri to live with me–I was in the middle of a semester, had no money for a flight, couldn’t pay to have her shipped, and didn’t know anyone going from Nevada to Missouri.

At first Mary offered to help get Holly untangled from my parents’ sedition, by flying her to Kansas City when she came for a vet conference.

I guess the offer was fallacious, because then she acted as if I was asking for too much and like it was a terrible bother.

It was the easiest solution, and I was desperate so I tried to get Mary to bring Holly when she came–and learned the offer had been only illusory, when Mary became mean, saying I was being selfish towards Holly if I had her fly on a plane with Mary.

Mary’s spuriousness pissed me off, and I countered that attack with a “Never mind, don’t trouble yourself.”

Then she lectured me for my lack of propriety in copping an attitude, saying she didn’t have to be nice at all.

Except I only lost my decorum, because it was Mary who had suggested the plan in the first place!

Mary never liked it if I lost my modesty, got too comfortable with her, or questioned her authority.

Even when I came to live with her at the Cabin-Mansion, Mary never disabused herself for completely changing her mind about Holly.

She was still holding a grudge against me, refusing to correct any mistakes she had made.

I should have known after that the mentality I was working with, but I hadn’t undeceived myself about Kim or Mary at that time.
The other reason Mary contacted me at all in Missouri was to offer her dogmatic opinions on various subjects.

Despite telling me to get a job at Noah’s Ark to help my chances of getting into veterinary school, she became imperiousabout me quitting and finding employment at the vet school.

Mary would also write when her NASCAR driver won a race, saying she had the most peremptory pick and my driver was a loser–if I dared talk trash when MY driver won, Mary would promptly become belligerent.

The other reason Mary ever e-mailed me was to talk trash about someone I knew–she was masterful in judging others, and told me how Lana cheated her, my mom tried to give away my cat, how Shaun, her sister-in-law was a liability, and how Dayton was narrow-minded.

Mary’s correspondence was always abrupt and borderline rude, and though she sometimes wrote me she was always emotionally impregnable.

I think Mary was impervious to everyone, including her immediate family, her wife, and her inner circle–I have doubts she really opened up to anyone–I certainly never saw it.

The public really likes Mary, but behind closed doors she was quite acidulous about people.

She was so piquant about running into people that she parked behind the hospital where no one could see her, refused to stop at the store on her time off, and generally hid out when she wasn’t working or at a social function.

As for Kim, I only received one or two e-mails in the six years I lived in Missouri–both convoluted in spelling and grammar.

At the time, I didn’t realize it, but now I think she used intricate sentence structure because she was probably drunk when she wrote.

Her elaborate letters really only talked about sports or some other inane topics–nothing very substantial.

Cat’s Meow Eval

24 Jan

I had my 3 month evaluation today and one of the (few) things that needed improvement was my organization.  Meaning, I catalog and itemize things too much–as if that’s possible.  It seems every veterinary staff is set in their ways–as inefficient or crazy as they may be, and hates for someone to come along and make changes–even if they are for the better.  Veterinary employers get downright surely if I move one thing!  I do not move anything unless it makes more sense!

Before I get too overwrought–I should mention I love my job.  It’s among my favorite jobs ever.  A Christmas bonus would have been nice, but other than that, this veterinary hospital may be my favorite.  Also, I sound much more belligerent and agitated about the few negative aspect of my evaluation than I actually am.  I guess I just disagree with some of my characteristics they do not like as well.  I’m not all that over-done about it–I certainly do not expect anyone to like every single thing about me–nor do I like every portion of other people, or any particular hospital.  Everyone/thing has their flaws.  And those flaws vary between the perspectives of the people seeing them.

Though this is the philosophy of this particular group, I can’t say they are the only ones.  Anyhow, I’ve heard this time and time again at various jobs.  The culture at all veterinary hospitals is change averse, that and they rudely think the way they do things is not only the best way, but the only way. . .  Back to the example of vet ethics and fear of change:  Remember Mary and the DVVH labeling incident.  You would think enumerating items in the cabinets and shelves would be a positive change, but she about had a melt-down over it.  She was so excited over it and took this belief so far as to gruffly remove the typed labels off the cabinets–which I found counter-productive, but it illustrates my point here.  And, God, the time I moved the dog food bin to the other side of the laundry pile at Noah’s Ark–where it wasn’t in the way of traffic anymore.  My change-averse employers had a conniption they got so nervous and testy, that they made me move it back–to the middle of an isle-way.  Get this, so that people could find it.  That’s the ethos of grumpy veterinarians for you.

The veterinary profession as a whole does not like things indexed in a different way than they are used to.  Every decision has been in effect for as long as that vet has been there, which is anywhere from three to 40 years.  Sure, vets love it when you are a go-getter, and train yourself, and follow lists and count everything come inventory time–but heaven help you use that same OCD to dare tabulate anything differently than they’re used to or *gasp* move something!  They do not condone change–in any way, shape, or form.  I hope when I own my own business I will exculpate the go-getters trying to better my practice, instead or having a hizzy-fit.

I should calm down this rant a little though, because my Cat’s Meow eval was not only good, it was excellent.  They were appreciative of most everything I do, disregarded things I thought might be seen as flaws (monitoring anesthetic) and at one point, my boss said I was the best employee right now.  Mostly because I’m not jaded and I do not stand around and gossip, but also because they like my general skill-set and work ethic.  I satisfy the job requirements and go above and beyond on a regular basis.

I have always had an unparalleled work ethic.  My mom is passionate about her teaching career and loves to spend every waking moment honing her teaching.  My dad had to do hard, physical labor his whole life.  He hated it, yet was loyal and hard-working to the extreme.  He showed such dynamism at work that he was always the most depended upon.  I inherited/learned these stellar traits.  My efficiency at work is great, because I am always moving.  I am productive to the extreme.  Every job has taken notice of not only my proficiency at the job, but at my force, vigor, and strength at achieving it.

So even though it’s mostly the bad things and criticisms that stick in my mind, I should slake my hostility, because for the most part they all really like me and pardon most questionable or negative things I tend to worry about.

Another good thing about the performance review is the raise I was granted.  Obviously they remit any true ill-will toward me, because they are recognizing my value monetarily.  If nothing else moderates my annoyance at the negative things they had to say, the fact they are quenching my need for more money will do it!

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Noah’s Ark Brainstorm

22 Jan

heavy, wooden door; kennel room, grooming room, and the runs; shiny, metal cages, blue-gray walls, streaked with dirt, etc; tile floor; shelves containing cleaning supplies; colorful leashes hanging from the shelf; black garbage can containing food; white bathtub; dogs of all shapes, sizes, and colors; feces; urine puddles; muddy/poopy footprints; silver bowls, colored towels; stacks of folded laundry

mud; browned grass; trees; black asphalt of the parking lot; silver chain-link fence; blue hospital; billboards on the side of the highway; cloudy, gray sky; dirty concrete; hose; hill-side; the mall in the distance; cars; grass; colored leashes; co-workers; dogs

shelves of neatly lined food bins; tall, white kennels; tile floor; silver exam table; dirty litter-boxes; feces; vomit; wet and dry food; streaks of pink Amoxicillin; cats of all colors, sizes; colored towels/blankets; plastic, square, blue litter pans; stack of newspaper; grimy trash can

barking; whining; shouting of co-workers; sometimes rain drops; water from the bathtub; water filling water dishes; water spraying runs; silver dishes clattering; the scraping of kennels being cleaned; spraying of Rocal; footsteps; running; clamor; doors slamming; brush scrubbing run walls; dry food being scooped; things getting knocked over

sucking-sound of boots in mud; panting; dogs running; stories and laughter of co-workers; traffic from highway below and mall and parking lot; the ding of clients coming and going from the hospital; slamming of kennel doors; barking; baying; distant sound of scrubbing & water spraying in runs; barking from inside the building

meowing; hissing; growling; spraying of Roccal;

feces; urine; dog food; wet-dog; Roccal; bleach; humidity; diarrhea; vomit;

humidity; grass; mildewing mud; plants; dirt; rain;

ammonia; urine; diarrhea; vomit; cat-food; tuna;

moisture; leashes; fur; slickness of bleach/cleaning product; gritty, dry food;  wood of cleaning-brush handle; heavy boots on feet; crisp scrubs; sometimes sweaty scrubs; sometimes cold scrubs; sticky; grimy door handles; dog tongues; sharp teeth

sometimes grubby gloves; stiff leashes; mud; spongy ground; slick grass; tugging on the leash; jerk of dog trying to go; thud of dog paws on chest/back; slobber; spatters of stuff from dogs’ fur when they shake; cold, metal fences

fur; slimy wet-food; dry food; teeth; claws; soft towels; squishy poo;

salty urine; the smells;

spatters of stuff from dog fur; urine; mud’ crunchy dirt flecks; rain drops; soft snow flakes

sweet, bubble-gum Amoixicillin; tuna

Emotionally Draining

19 Jan

When Kim was getting ready to leave the vet hospital to go to Missouri for Christmas, she was stolid towards me.  She had talked to me a couple of times that day–a brief comment about fixing the time-clock.  Maybe that pithy transaction between us was it. . .  Not knowing the logic for her laconic interactions with me, made me paranoid and depressed.

I saw her hug and fawn over Debi, happily reciprocate a hug from Diana, talk to Michelle, and she was just apathetic towards me.  It was very uncharacteristic for Kim to be so impassive to me.  Even when we had been under scrutiny in the past, Kim had never acted indifferent towards me, finding small ways to show she didn’t hate me.  She would give me the remnant of a knowing look, or a trace of a smile.  There were always subtle signs between us, that despite interference from my mom or Mary or both, we were still friends.  I knew, even if she couldn’t show it, Kim returned my affection.

That winter day, she remained terse, and I don’t even think she was going to say anything to me.  I could see no remains of our past kinship.  It broke my heart that she was so phlegmatic in regards to me.  When I approached her, she compensated me with a stiff hug and unemotionally and succinctly whispered, “This is probably the last time I’ll see you.”  At the time I hoped she meant that day, before she absconded to Missouri for Christmas, and before I fled the Cabin-Mansion, but in retrospect, that compact little comment carried a lot of weight–she meant forever.

I am still not certain why she was unconcerned about it like she was–I would miss her greatly.  It was a true statement for the long-term.  I have not seen her in person (and talked)  since my escape from the tribulations at the Cabin-Mansion.  Kim even decamped from my Facebook friendship with her.  I had always hoped to requite our close friendship, but all that have been left are vestiges of conversation, drunk calls to discuss relics of the past.

Supporting Blood Diamonds [Anti-Valentine’s #5]

19 Jan

Here it is, my annual V-Day-hating blog.  Every year, it gets more difficult to bring up a new aspect of this frivolous “holiday.”  My hostility makes it difficult to remain unemotional and objective when writing about this bain of my year.  My unfriendliness won’t be mitigated until this holiday ceases to exist.  One year my blog subject was how women turn into superficial bitches, another year it was a diatribe against patriarchy, a third year it was why Valentine’s Day is a waste of cash, and last year how this February seasonal tradition negatively impacts the environment.  This year, I have chosen to address the diamond industry.

A family is sitting in their hut, minding their own business, when suddenly, a group of well-armed people set fire to everything.  They load all physically-capable people in the village in a cart.  Everyone else is shot.  Those that struggle will lose a finger, or arm, or leg.  Those that try to escape will lose limbs or their lives.  The people that made it to the cart are taken away from family, friends, and their familiar surroundings to a watery, mine and made to work.  Standing bare-footed in filthy water for days a a time, the people are forced to dig for diamonds.  If they are slow, try to escape, or are caught stealing they are maimed or killed.  If they find a diamond it is taken away and sold for a lot of money.  These people are offered no choice in the matter, no compensation, and no recourse–they are now diamond minors.   It’s a pretty bleak picture.  Despite some efforts to restrict the trade of such diamonds, many of them make it to stores each year to be bought for exorbitant fees.

Valentine’s Day is a curse for diamond minors.  Amnesty International states, “More than 4 million people have been killed in diamond-fueled conflict and wars.”  The poor, underpaid and overly abused souls in Africa, digging in horrid conditions is directly influenced by the secretly imprecation marketing of “love trinkets.”   Did you realize you were supporting the damnation of third world countires when you purchased your rings, necklaces, and ear pendants, or did you just not care?  This can NOT go on!  We should refuse to support this sort of behavior any longer.  It is disgusting that the torture has gone on for this long.

In 2008,, a Tacy publication on the internet, explains total Valentine’s Day expenditures came to US$1,555,000.  This does little to alleviate my increasing anger at our society, especially in regards to how patriarchal it is.  As one of the bigger ticket items, jewelry accounts for a substantial percentage of this obnoxious sum.  Ten percent of all marriage proposals occur on Valentine’s Day, according to,  This means, a bunch of diamond-studded engagement rings change hands, so to speak.  How unoriginal to propose on that specific day, tailored just for such an event, but also how terrible for the blood diamond minors!  At that rate, nothing is going to lighten their burden.

The Kimberly Process attempts to restrict the trade of conflict diamonds, but poor enforcement, loop-holes, and ever-present criminals make it difficult to place full trust in the protection afforded to jewels.  The KP is powerless to moderate the conflict diamonds when consumers do not demand to know where each jewel came from.  I do not understand why society is pushing to know what specific state, and farm every piece of meat they ingest is from, and how that animal lived, yet we are apathetic when it comes to the origin of expensive jewelry.  If we scrutinized the jewelry industry as much as we regulate our agriculture, it would make a huge difference in this human rights problem.

If buyers are impassive, the higher-ups are most certainly stoical.  It is not in the best interest of diamond dealers or purchasers to mollify the presence of conflict diamonds, because it drives hassle–and prices up.  Conflict-Free Diamonds just aren’t a reality yet.  Zimbabwe, a known war zone, in third world Africa, is a participant in the KP.  It’s a big problem, because that country is chaotic and war-riddled.  With all the corruption there, the diamond industry is still most definitely funding the torture of people in the diamond mines.  Just watch National Geographic’s documentary, “Blood Diamonds” or Leo DiCaprio’s dramatic movie of the same name.  Not a pretty picture–and not a neat and easy solution to the problem.

Matthew Rolston

How to allay the situation and avoid the torture of innocents by your jewelry purchase–just stop demanding and exchanging diamonds (for Valentine’s Day especially)!  You can’t fathom being the only gal un-bedecked on February 14th?  OK, if you must partake, at least get cubic zirconia.  And guess what ladies?  Cubic Zerconia (go ahead, look this up on Wiki) are actually stronger with 1.6 times the specific gravity of diamonds.  They are visually flawless, and can be made more colorful, or with no color at all.  They are more refractive than diamonds too.  The cubic zerconia index, which shows lower numbers for less impediment to light reflection,  is 2.15-2.18 compared to 2.42 for actual diamonds.  And because cubic zerconia jewels are MADE by scientists they come a lot cheaper than “real” diamonds, which take a long time to form in nature then have to be found.  They also don’t kill innocent people.

But really, do you NEED a diamond to proclaim love?  Again I implore couples, isn’t love abaout LOVE and not some contrived romantic cliche’ designed to get you to part with your cash?  Do something more original, people.  Think about those diamond minors next time you see a Zale’s commercial, which by-the-way are overplayed this time of year.  Anyone else recognize their theme song?  No good can come from celebrating Valentine’s Day.  I’m off to partake in the good part of this calender time–the televised Daytona 500 festivities.  Until next year. . .


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Farmer in the DEL

19 Jan

Del (Mary’s Mom)

In her hey-day, Del was venerated matriarch of not only the Minor family, and their ranch, but trenchant member of the historical society.  The entire town knew of Del’s praiseworthy work for the community, and knew she was married to a respected former school board member.  They were one of the longest established families in the small town.  Del was obeisant in Dayton, not just because the Minor family had been in the area forever, but because she was so involved in community activies and outspoken for Dayton.   Also she and her husband had produced five children who became productive, meritorious members of society, which is creditable in itself.  Two had even made it back to Dayton to live their adult lives.

Though Del was of an older generation, lived in a conservative ranch town, and was very naive, she never displayed xenophobia–meeting and liking Mary’s first longtime girlfriend (unbeknown to Del) who happened to be black.  When Del found out this black lady was coming to her husband’s funeral in rural Dayton, she wondered aloud to Mary if she would be able to recognize her.  I find this color-blindness admirable–especially considering Del’s age and rural background.

Despite being held in high-esteem by the town, I’m not sure Mary felt a closeness to her parents the first time I knew her.  Mary always felt like a forgotten child, and talked about how her parents were tired and didn’t care all that much by the time she came around.  Del and her husband had told Mary to play within hearing distance of the car horn.  Mary was always appalled at how far that was.  I happen to think it’s laudable that Del did not develop a drinking problem after five kids, but I digress.

Another of the common stories Mary liked to tell about Del was how she had been an accident.  Mary had liberal beliefs and thought abortion was alright even though her mother adamantly disagreed.  Mary could not stand to give her mother the courtesy of her opinions and tried to debate the subject with her often.  When they would discuss the matter, Del would say that if she had believed in abortion Mary wouldn’t be here today. . .  Maybe it’s commendable going through an unplanned pregnancy, maybe it’s worthy of ethical scrutiny, but your mother is still your mother.

Pragmatic Del had probably lived a hard life, and had helped manage the ranch while getting deeply involved in the community, and successfully raising five kids.  She told me of how when she first moved to Dayton and the Minor Ranch she and her husband were initially supposed to live in a chicken house.  She said she cried when the dilapidated thing fell apart on the way to it’s spot on the property and she had cried.  She said it was for the best, and even when things seem bad at the time, they happen for a reason.  You couldn’t help but to revere that kind of logic.

When I came back to Dayton in 2007, Del was looking much more hoary then I remembered–the recent death of her husband probably did not help.  She was still honored in the Dayton community, and Mary seemed to give her more homage than she ever had before, trying to include her in activities at the Cabin-Mansion instead of shutting her out like she previously had.

The Sister-in-Law

16 Jan

Shaun Minor
Mary never, never liked her brother’s wife.  When Tom had seriously courted Shaun, Mary, then sixteen, explicitly told him not to marry her.  He did anyway.  It was one of the few times Mary didn’t get her way, and Mary always held that against Shaun.  Aside from the affront that Mary was not in control of her closest brother, the new wife didn’t ease her transition to the Minor family for Mary.  She was, by nature, pushy and mettlesome.  It was quite by accident, and a peccadillo offense, but Mary always too this personally.  Shaun was a social butterfly and made herself at home in the Minor family, offensively touting herself as the matriarch-in-grooming to the Dayton community.  This did not sit well with Mary, who grew up as part of the old-time Minor family–SHE was blood.  Also troubling to Mary was the fact that Shaun Minor didn’t realize her failings. Shaun’s presence in Mary’s life, as her favorite brother’s wife no less, antagonized Mary fiercely.   This sister-in-law of hers had no shame!

Shaun always had good intentions and a heart of gold, but she could be a little fanatical in her actions–her biggest fault was that she was just too much.  The town sort of tolerated her gossiping, and overlooked her social spasms.  Shaun moderated her lack of social skills with compassion–she would help anyone.  She has one of the biggest hearts in the community, despite her loose-lips.  She would try to help anyone, but she could be tangential and had a way of spreading information like wildfire–attributes Mary loathed. Also, Shaun knows all about the inner workings of the Minor family, including the fact Mary is gay.  Nothing will palliate this for Mary.

When my family and I met Mary’s sister-in-law, Shaun, she was a tyro substitute teacher and expert busy-body.  She offered to show us around the area she knew so well, which was nice because we were from out of state.   I think she also helped my mom get her teaching job, which helped get my dad’s foot in the custodial door.  So as a family, the Le4l’s owe a lot to Shaun’s generosity.  This is not to say we don’t get annoyed by her strong personality or lack of social etiquette sometimes.

When I was in fifth grade, Shawn subbed for my teacher, Miss Solari.  I was going through puberty and simultaneously trying to downplay any relationship with my parents.  I had gotten so much grief that my mom was a teacher at my elementary school that I loved the reprieve from my family.  For once, I was just Lau7el to the other kids at school, not that teacher’s kid who gets everything because her parents work here.  So what misstep Shawn employ immediately?  While she’s taking role, she calls my name and says she knows me, “Tell your mother hi for me!”  I was mortified and pissed off by her lapse (or absence) in judgement.    Then, after lunch, my class is silent reading and Shaun Minor has the nerve to ask me to be her little helper (not her exact words) and pass out papers.  I could NOT have that so I pretended to rub my eye and gave her the middle finger.  Shaun just needs to learn how to temper her urge to talk too much.  As an aside, at my very first real job ever, my boss, Mary Minor teased me about flipping off her sister-in-law.  Leave it to Dayton to remember every negative incident in a person’s (childish) past!

Mary had never mollified her disdain for her brother’s wife.  Even before I was close to Kim and Mary, I realized Mary could not stand Shaun, and did not consider her to be a true member of the Minor family.  Most annoyingly to Mary her sister-in-law didn’t allay the situation by being intimidated by Mary.  As rude as Mary was to Shaun, her in-law acted as if she didn’t notice the slights, and carried on like a legitimate member of the family.  Her sister-in-law was one of the few people that Mary disliked but could not exile from her life.  If Mary had her way, Shaun would be cast out of her family to be a mendicant.

The Hairdresser

16 Jan

Depending on the audience, Kathy’s plastic personality could be molded–she was a moral, all-for-the-children type to my mom, church-going, craft-maker to Del, and heavy drinking good-time girl to Kim and Mary.  I hadn’t realized in all the 16 years that she cut my mom’s and my own hair that she was so wily and phony.  My mom stopped getting her hair cut with Kathy, but I did not know it was because she thought the hairdresser was affected–I chalked it up to more of my mom’s craziness.  I mean, my mom stopped dying her heir too!  And when I left Nevada for Missouri, all of the Greens had been hanging out with Lana, Kim, and Mary.  It didn’t seem abnormal or put-on that Kathy was a large part of Mary’s life when I returned to Nevada years later.

As I had done the entire time I lived in Nevada, I called Kathy when my hair needed a trim.  It was at a point when Mary and I were both very busy and not communicating much.  I chalked the dearth of communication between us up to two overly full schedules.  The location of the beauty shop had moved from the strip mall outside of Dayton’s first casino across the street from the strip-mall the veterinary hospital had been in to Carson City.  The name, still had Prophecy in it, but it was now the Shear Prophecy.  Little did I know with the change of location everything else was different too.  I was the first appointment of the day (9 AM?) on a Wednesday.  I worked it into my busy schedule by skipping my first class or two in Reno.

I noticed right away how thin Kathy had gotten.  This surprised me because she had been getting chubbier when I left Nevada a couple of years prior, AND usually as people age they get a little thicker.  I saw right away not only was the hairdresser thinner, but she was dressing younger.  She wore fitted jeans and probably the same type of vest Mary favors.  Even her walk seemed more artificial.  Her hair was blonder than I remember, and maybe a little taller oo-though she had never lacked on curl or body.  As Kathy washed my hair, she didn’t talk about what her three kids were up to, school, or the community of Dayton as she used to.  She insincerely name-dropped how she knew so-an-so, cut the Carson sheriff’s wife’s hair (at their house), and went on and on about her apartment in Carson City.  It was like a new person was cutting my hair!  No trace of the avid-reading, church-camp-attending mother that used to embody her at all.

As Kathy peered into my face, trying to see if my bangs were trimmed in a straight line, I could smell remnants of cigarette smoke and minty gum.  I had never know her to smoke, and was surprised at this too.  She was so phony at this point I did not to what to believe anymore.  Most strangly, during my hair cut, Kathy’s cell phone rang and she (rudely) answered it, saying, “Yes, I’m cutting her hair now.”  Not that I cared, but I knew someone who knew me, and that knew the fact I had a hair appointment was the one who called.  This suspician was confirmed when Kathy hung up and pretentiously announced Mary had called her.  While they were both supposed to be in the middle of a work day.  This struck me as weird.  Why would Mary call Kathy when they were both at work?  Also, I knew they must have talked previously about the fact I was getting my hair cut that day. . .

I was unsettled to say the least, after my trim, but worst of all was what happened upon check out.  Firstly, the price of a hair cut had gone up considerably since I had last seen Kathy.  I did not have enough cash on hand even though I had stopped by the ATM immediately before my hair cut.  I always carry my debit card so it wasn’t that big of a deal.  Except, Kathy read out the price, I handed her my card and she rang it for that exact amount.  When I got the receipt slip to sign–there was no tip-line.  I was horrified.  What kind of debit card reader, especially at a service place, doesn’t include a space for a tip?!  I stared at the slip trying to figure out a way to tip, the just gave up and told the hairdresser I hadn’t realized I needed her to run the card for the price plus my tip.  I wanted her to run the card again to include gratuity.  Anxious to get my out of there (to resume a phone call by chance?) Kathy said not to worry about it, “This one’s on me.”  I felt terrible, and embarrassed, and didn’t want to feel like I owed her anything.  But sheepishly left without tipping.

While I was gone Kathy had separated from her husband, Doug, but didn’t divorce him, giving him hope and leaving the door open so he could still lavish her with gifts, money, and his insurance benefits.  What I was slow to understand when I came back was that the gestation of Mary and Kathy’s relationship went from neighboring business owners, to cheating lovers in just three or four years.  After some contemplation, it made sense that Kathy had yoked herself to Mary.  I supposed Kathy had always been fulsome and insincere in her marriage to Doug because his family came from money and she needed capital to own her hairdressing business.  Maybe the entire reason the hairdresser married Doug was to use his family’s money to attain her dream.  After Doug’s family sold the Dayton Depot and adjoining strip mall causing Kathy lost her business, I think she became close to Mary to aggrandize her social status, and her pocketbook.  The hairdresser was excessive in her relationship with Mary, suddenly pushing into the center of Mary’s tight inner circle.

Kathy and Mary began to emulate one another:  Both had the same tall, overly blond hair, thin waistline, high-water slacks, manner of speech, and selfishness.  Artificial blond hair-dos to match their affected personalities–it was a match made for trouble.  Kathy was a pretentious social-climber who loved the bonhomie of the Cabin-Mansion, and made a huge effort to schmooze the most important people.  Kathy, I quickly found out, was not the wholesome small town hairdresser I thought she was when I was growing up, she was no neophyte at manipulating people to get what she wanted.  She was sickly sweet when she wanted something-whether that something was money, insurance benefits, or information.

I found Kathy’s transformation (or secret personalty) noisome and repulsive.  I openly glowered at Kathy when she had the nerve to come to Kim’s birthday party, and allowed (drunk) Kim to sit beside her on the bench with her arm draped over her shoulders.  Kathy must have felt awkward or ashamed at the birthday party, because she was not cloying as usual, but stayed outside, was the most reticent I’d ever seen her, and left early.

Sweet Kidron Updated

13 Jan

This blog is an encomium to Kidron’s superfluity of virtues.  I guess it’s all too easy to get bogged down with life and forget the little things.  A lot of the time, I’m just trying to push through, adhere to the schedule, and meet my goals and I may be a little stolid about my love.  Even when I don’t say it aloud, I know our love is sublime.

I wouldn’t mind if Kidron and I were yoked together for eternity–it wouldn’t be much different from the way things are now.  Her company is superb.  I enjoy every minute I spend with Kidron–never having a banal time.  I could spend a surfeit amount of time with her and never tire of her presence.  As a matter of fact, I WISH instead of working and doing errands we could just spend a glut of time together.    Together, Kidron and I can have serious and meaningful conversations or sportive romps.

It is impossible for us to abstain from a physical manifestation of our love for very long.  And even when we do not have a plethora of sexual encounters, I know the next one will be nice, and meaningful.  My girlfriend is hardly furtive with her affection for me, giving me excess kisses, all the time.  Unlike me who is more reserved and impassive about affection, Cool is downright mushy.  Due to her constant remarks and overabundance of overt actions, “ribald” has become Kidron’s descriptive word.  She makes me laugh so hard, always lampooning or ribbing me about something or other.  Though I don’t voice it constantly, I’m not indifferent or apathetic Cool’s winsome smile still makes me melt.  Together, Kidron and I make a lot of neologisms such as “crowd-pleaser.”

Kidron’s astrological sign is Gemini, which she doesn’t really fit, save for her mercurial nature.  Though she HATES to hear it, Kidron has a scintilla of her father’s quixotic nature.  Even though we’re very different, Kidron’s morals and lofty values are homogeneous with my own, though our pasts are varied.  Kidron’s usual imperturbability is a good balance for my high-strung nature.  Even if I don’t say a word, Kidron understands the nuance of my current mood.  I am certain Kidron will never commit any iniquities against me.  I know Kidron’s love for me will never waver.  I like that I can trust and depend on her.

I could give Kidron kudos all day–but you’d get tired of the maudlin display.  Just know my heart dilates every day I’m with my soul-mate.