Thursday, December 15, 2011

Unfinished Business

It was the best of intentions; it was the worst of intentions--things I either did half-heartedly or meant to do, but never got around to doing them.  Thoughts, topics and acts of courage that I never quite fleshed out.  Things I attempted, and things I accomplished with an eye of doubt and wonder.  The following is a non-exhaustive "top 20 of  2011" list that is a cross between David Letterman and Andy Rooney, except the order is arbitrary, and if you could hear my voice in your head, I do not sound nasally.

1. Figure out a way to make money without doing much.  Damn you, sluggish Economy.

2. I took up a a new style of yoga, and boy, the instructors are picky about how they want your body to move. One instructor kept telling me to puff up my kidney. I did not move.  Just puff it up, he repeated.  I don't know what that means, I told him, and if I did, I would be in a hospital.  He kept moving my torso around like he was shaping Play-Doh, and I shot a glare that said how 'bout i puff up your kidney?! See if you like how that feels!

3. I observe how friends become instant celebrities on Facebook because they get 25 thumbs up for the most mundane things that their kids do.

4. A relative has been living with AIDS for very long time.  He is 70 years old.  I've seen him in rough times and now looking the best he's ever had in a while.  He grew up in the segregated South, and I thought it would be a great idea to write a living history of his life.  I haven't talked to him about it.

5. Several hours into a meditation retreat I burst into tears. I did not know why, at first. I read a poem aloud and had trouble getting through it. Then, I realized that sometimes I think that what I have to say is not important.

6.  People say the most outrageous things on Facebook.  However, when you talk to them in person, they are not nearly as interesting as the things they post.  Major letdown.

7. I am sick and tired of culturally insensitive restroom signs.  Why does Starbucks insist on having one restroom for men and one for women?  The signs on the doors should just look like this:

This eliminates gender confusion and encourages healthy bowel movement. 

8. Lady Antebellum stole my heart this year with their refreshing sound.  My only gripe is their name.  What is up with the nostalgia with one of the darkest periods of American history? I have a better name for them: Madame Slavery.

9. The Rachel Maddow Show is excellent.  Rachel, you are the "best new thing" everyday.  

10.  Al Sharpton is the only Black host on a major news network during the week. This dilemma is like Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum's best selling book, Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?  Why are all the Black Anchors Bunched up Together on the weekend? Go to CNN, and it's like a chocolate city.

11. Joining the Occupy Movement sounded cool and trendy.  I just couldn't get with the whole sitting outside in the cold seeking moments to pump my fist and shout random political phrases.   It would have felt disingenuous to say," Hey Everybody, look at me, I'm occupying!" The movement felt very occupied by white people with people of color speckled here and there through out the crowds, and something about that seemed fishy to me.

12. Writing is always a challenging and peculiar process for me.  I like to experiment with various methods to get the fingers typing or the pen moving.  One way that I break through the challenge is by writing phrases based on things I see or hear.  For example:
 She had a way of  taking things that were crooked and making them straight.
Men in Diapers: the way we coddle men and expect women to take care of them and clean up their doo-doo.
Using Monopoly money for my therapy sessions with Elmo.
13. The word 'occupation' will no longer have its original meaning.

14.  This was a year of reading recklessly.  I cracked open and read about 15 books, though with some of the boring ones, I did not bother to finish.  And you know what?  I am okay with that.

15. One of the books that had a lasting affect was Motherless Mothers by Hope Edelman.  I began to blog about it, but it is very difficult to articulate the experience.  It is easier to think about all the ways I have had to mother myself and others without having a living compass.  It is also hard to imagine my daughter having to experience the same loss.

16. Our culture has an obsession with zombies.   I can safely say that the dead are indeed living among us--the Republican nominees.  Run and hide, People. 

17.  I am really bad at telling stories.  I get facts and times mangled and leave my listeners waiting for a punch line that never appears because I forget the point of why I bothered to tell the story in the first place.  As a remedy, I took a storytelling class.  I had to tell a story in five minutes and then be judged on my delivery.  People liked my story about learning to use a shotgun, and they enjoyed the sound of my voice.  This is as close as I'll ever get to an American Idol experience.

18.  I tangoed with the thought of leaving the the Democratic Party and becoming a card-carrying socialist.  I've learned that socialism is just as divided and confused as the straight, gay man married to a woman.  I still have not decided if I will vote in 2012, but I am an Obama loyalist, and I cringe when I hear socialist/Marxist activists attacking his policies.  They have every right to do so and their points are justifiable, but I can sometimes feel like they are bad mouthing a relative who you love, but you know has made bad choices.

19. One of my New Year's resolution was to become closer to my family.  I had my immediate family in mind, but this soon became cousins who lived far away, but were as close as the click of the "update status" link on Facebook. 

20. It is hard to whittle a list of twenty influential points from a very bustling life. I've always been a person who must write things down, lest I forget. Moreover, in this digital age stuff moves at you so fast that theresnotimeforpunctuationmarks and some thoughts never get finis