Like Deja Vu

deja-vu“This is like deja vu all over again.” -Yogi Berra

I’ve been here before. And I’ve talked to these same people. In this same order. For this same particular length of time. In this same exact tone. Everything is scripted like a movie because we have done THIS before, all of this. I can’t quite shake this feeling, even though my mind rages against it, because my body says, “Yes! Yes! Yes! I remember even if you don’t,” as it performs the choreographed dance it has performed before.

Do you know how many times I’ve had that feeling throughout my life? Seemingly dozens of times. Each and every time I get hit with that feeling, that “deja vu all over again,” it slams me like a sledgehammer to the gut. It’s funny, too, because the memories are always vague, but I still feel like I could talk right along with the other person involved, because I always know what they’re going to say. And my own brain tells me what to say before I can even process what is being said to me. It shouldn’t be possible, but somehow it is, and that makes it even more incredible.

I remember the first time it happened, too. I was ten at the time, and I had just gotten home from school with my sister. We were latchkey kids. As I walked up the stairs to my room the feeling hit me hard, that I had gone up the stairs two at a time before, maybe many times before, with that exact same cadence. I reached the top and my sister called up to me from below. “Be careful on that last step,” she said, but I knew she would say it before it came out of her mouth. My room door was open, as I knew it would be, and it creaked as I closed it behind me. It didn’t always creak, but I knew it would that day. It did. Continue reading “Like Deja Vu”

Still Water

still-water-with-featherWe fit like puzzle pieces
All flat edged in places
Bowed out in others
Concave in sections
Roughly shoved together
That predictable reaction
With its ebbs and flows
Now we are at even tide
As stagnant as still water
Buoyant like white sand
Pressed flatly together
Breathing shallow and rushed
Braced for a new beginning
An ending of sorts
Wrapped up in irony
Finding solace in pain
Wedged into a mold
That we have outgrown
Still stretching.


american-idolIt is early morning, and there are 3,500 people packed into a giant room, all waiting to be called so they can show their stuff. Every single one of the other 3,499 people who sit there are poseurs though, because you — you are the next American Idol, and you almost feel sorry for those whose dreams will be crushed on this day. Then your number is called. You are supremely confident as you strut — yes, strut — into the room where the judges currently sit, waiting to tell you what you’ve known since you were young. They listen attentively — for 30 seconds before a hand is raised into the air. Your verdict comes.

Damn them, you think as you leave the room with their “No”s still ringing in your ears. It is late afternoon and your entire life has been invalidated. By that one simple word, multiplied by the power of three. That one word made you doubt every single loved one who told you how amazing your voice sounded in the shower every morning, every friend who went with you to karaoke and exclaimed how good you were, and every stranger who heard you singing at work and said, “Right on.” All of your faith in yourself, gone in the blink of an eye.

That’s because you tied all of your belief system up to one pie-in-the-sky idea, to an occupation that is hit-or-miss at best, one that spits out even some of the best voices and makes gruel of them. And honestly, you’re no Adam Lambert. So, why did all those people say you were the best they’d ever heard? BECAUSE IT COST THEM ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO SAY IT. See, they would have done you a better service had they been like my mother and told the truth. At least then you wouldn’t be sitting there on the curb outside of the American Airlines Arena looking like your dog just died, and questioning everything you ever thought you knew. Continue reading “Idolatry”

Checked Out: Week 7

9780385537131_custom-09f63369bbf1c9f41599f09c870087ed41eaf082-s6-c30A rich white man commits suicide and leaves the vast majority of his fortune to his black housekeeper. In the 1980s. In the deep south. When the news hits, the gossip is a mile wide, and the lawyers come out of the woodwork to contest the will. And to add fuel to the fire, the lawyer who has been tapped to defend the final, handwritten will, is Jake Brigance, famous for his role in the previous novel in the series, A Time to Kill, by John Grisham.

Sycamore Row is the long-awaited sequel to A Time to Kill, and so far it definitely does not disappoint. It’s what I have Checked Out this week. I’m currently on page 192 and motoring right along. I’m so glad I saved it for now, and didn’t read it right away when it first came out a couple of months ago. But that’s not all I have here on my shelf. Here’s a list of what I have Checked Out for week 7:

  1. Sycamore Row, by John Grisham
  2. The Impossible Knife of Memory, by Laurie Halse Anderson
  3. Pro Blogger, by Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett
  4. The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt

As you can see, I am reading a good variety of books this week. I had a conversation with my sister last night, who is reading a lot of short stories right now, and she inspired me to find a good book of short stories to read next. I have a book around here somewhere that includes selected short stories from last year that were supposedly good. I myself write short stories, so I’m surprised it took my sister to remind me that they are options to read as well.

I actually got back into The Impossible Knife of Memory this week, which is on my Nook, and my impressions to this point are that Halse Anderson uses a lot of swear words, which is authentic to the teenagers she writes about, and that there are a lot of serious issues that aren’t even remotely dealt with by this point. I think that by the end of the novel the “memory” aspect will come back with a vengeance and create a spiral that will be hard to get out of, even for the heroine.

I’ve also requested the next book in the Divergent series from the library, and I want to read the latest Bridget Jones book too. There are just so many interesting books out there. What are you reading lately?


Checked Out Archive

Chatting With Lexi: On Spending Time

I’m talking to you.

I have to admit that my nearly 8-year old (her birthday is Friday) never ceases to amaze me with what she thinks about. Once, about a month ago, I brought up the idea of making difficult hypothetical choices, such as, “What would you rather be, stranded on a desert island or stuck in a building you can never get out of?” She said the building because there might be a phone there and she could call someone to pick her up. Good explanation, even if it did miss the greater point, but that’s Lexi — always inquisitive.

Now, almost like clockwork, every other night she’ll bring up a choice. This was our latest chat…

Lexi: Dad, you know that choice thing?

Me: Uh, what choice thing?

Lexi: You know, like when I was in that building. And I chose the building instead of the island.

Me: Oh yeah. What about that choice thing?

Lexi: Give me another one!

Me: I don’t know. Would you rather… spend the day on your iPad, be outside all day playing, or go with your mother to work?

Lexi: Um…

Me: Take your time and think about it.

Lexi: I know. I know. I think I know. I want to go with mommy to her work.

Me: [after a pause] Wow. I’m shocked. What made you decide that?

Lexi: Because I get time on my iPad, but I don’t get to see mommy at work. It would be cool.

Me: Would you want to be a librarian [what her mother does] someday?

Lexi: I don’t know. Maybe if I saw mommy at work.

Me: Did you know they have a “Bring Your Daughter to Work Day”?

Lexi: When? Tomorrow?

Me: [laughing] No. I actually don’t know when it is, but I’m sure your mother would love to bring you then.

Lexi: Ooh, I want to go tomorrow.

Me: It’s not tomorrow.

Lexi: So can I have my iPad now?


Sunday Shuffle

videos-musicales-de-los-90-nirvana-smells-like-teen-spiritMusic has always been my first love, so it’s always almost therapeutic for me to listen to songs that resonate, or that bring me back to an early time in my life, when I first discovered music. During my series of “Shuffles” I’ve been getting back to listening to songs in a random order on my iPod, and it’s been an interesting journey to say the least. So, here is the latest, my Sunday Shuffle…

1. Lucky Town – Darren Hayes

Darren Hayes was the voice of Savage Garden, that 90s group that gave us such anthems as “I Want You,” “I Knew I Loved You,” and “Truly Madly Deeply.” I miss that group, actually, but Hayes’ voice holds up very well in his solo career as well. This song is one of the special ones.

2. Get Down Like That – Ne-Yo
3. B*%ch Please – Snoop Dogg (feat. Xzibit)

I always love it when Snoop Dogg shows up on a shuffle because I know I’m always guaranteed some good  beats when it comes to the big Dogg.

4. On the Coast of Somewhere Beautiful (Live) – Kenny Chesney

This one was the first time Kenny Chesney ever played this song live, so it’s an amazing performance, a once-in-a-lifetime deal. I’ve always liked this song from the album, too, so I was glad it came on. It was good to groove to while I was writing my previous blog entry.

5. Stand Up Comedy – U2

Listening to this song, from the most recent U2 album, just makes me hungry for the new album, which I think will be coming sometime in the summer, hopefully. Getting to hear the new songs “Ordinary Love” and “Invisible” just make me excited as well. Continue reading “Sunday Shuffle”

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