Day 71: The String Story

Semi-Solid Green Yarn
Image by marlana via Flickr

In an effort to be slightly more cheerful than I have been of late I bring you The String Story.Have you ever found yourself laughing at something so mundane that other people laugh just because they think your reaction is funny?  I have a friend who speaks with an Irish accent because he spent a lot of his time growing up with relatives in Ireland.  Most of the time you can barely hear the accent, except when he drinks.  The more he drinks the thicker and more pronounced his accent becomes.  Before I was unceremoniously kicked to the curb in college (for a reason I would like to point out had very little to do with my grades and more to do with politics) a group of us used to get together on the weekends and hang out off-campus because the university itself is dry.  I cannot remember in one context or for what reason the word string came up but it did and for some reason the fact that his accent was very noticeable caused me to completely lose it.  I think I laughed for almost 10 minutes without stopping, which in turn caused everyone else to crack up.  After that all he or his cousin, who can affect a very good Irish accent herself had to do to get me to spontaneously burst into laughter is say the word string in the thickest Irish brogue either of them can manage.  It still works and I have no clue why.


day 70: some people want to sail the sea… I would settle for Martha’s Vineyard in a heartbeat

Image by Jens Dahlin via Flickr

This was not the post I had intended on writing when I woke up this morning.  The post I meant to write was for more cheerful and upbeat,I suppose you could compare this post to a ship in a bottle.  Of course I don’t mean a literal ship in a bottle.  The ship in my analogy is representative of a dream that short of a miracle I will probably never see fulfilled, the bottle is my disability, that which keeps me from reaching my dream.  At first glance the ship in a bottle analogy may seem strange so let me tell a story which might put it in a different perspective.  When my mother was 16 she got the opportunity to go on a church field trip.  While on the trip she got to help sail an honest to goodness 19th century schooner ship,The Shenandoah. She was a historical replica of schooner ships in general, not of any specific sunken ship.A significant amount of time has passed since my mother was 16 but that weeklong trip around Martha’s Vineyard is still one of the top five things she has ever done in her life, needless to say I heard a lot about it growing up.  I think I actually love that ship almost as much as my mother. There is one major rub to this story, over the years trips on the Shenandoah have become something of a family tradition, my mother’s younger brother went this summer after she did and his daughter went when she turned 17.  My sister has not ever been on the Shenandoah but I have never really known if it was because she didn’t have any interest in going or whether Mom wouldn’t send her because she thought it would be unfair to me if my sister went when I couldn’t.  The real bummer about 19th-century schooners is that they are not handicap accessible., and for the sake of historical accuracy cannot be made so.  I suspect my earlier analogy makes sense now.  Mom recently read a story about the relaunching of the Shenandoah after being in dry dock for repairs.  I’m not quite certain who cried more, me or her. To Captain Morgan and his crew, I wish you fair winds and calm seas(but not too calm) I’m glad with all my heart that the beautiful lady sails on.To anybody else: if you’re ever close to Martha’s Vineyard lookup The Black Dog Tall Ships, I have it on good authority that you will never forget the experience.

Day 69: reading The Green Mile, a partial review and commentary on summer climate in the South United States

Cover of "The Green Mile"
Cover of The Green Mile

I’m currently reading Stephen King’s The Green Mile, on which the movie starring Tom Hanks and Michael Clarke Duncan is based.  For the most part I am not too much of a fan of Stephen King at all.  I am 26 and still cry at scary movies.  I have not and will never see or read either The Shining  or Carrie. That having been said I think the film adaptation of The Green Mile is one of the rare adaptations that is almost as good as the original book.  I haven’t got all the way through the original book yet but so far I am thoroughly enjoying it. I can relate to Paul as he finds people at the retirement home in which he now lives and is putting to paper the story behind the last execution he oversaw and people he knew while still working as a prison guard.I find it slightly ironic that I picked up this particular book in August when the heat is most often terrible here when the book continually references an unseasonably warm fall.  I’m also planning on reading The Colorado Kid, the Stephen King book on which Haven, one of my favorite television series is based on. I’m beginning to wonder if my reading habits will be permanently altered in some way.  Insert Twilight Zone music here.

Day 68: after anger management, or an epilogue to the short bus story

Nissan Paramedic.
Image via Wikipedia

There is an epilogue of  sorts to my tale of the short bus, fortunately not as sad as the original tale.  After I graduated from school my next-door neighbor and one of his friends decided to mix hunting with alcohol, never a bright choice.  We never got a clear answer as to what happened because neither of the guys would admit to being intoxicated because neither of them wanted jail time, but the gist of the matter was that somehow they both ended up shot in the foot.  This caused my driveway to become a parking lot of police cars and emergency medical vehicles for at least two hours.  One of the young men who had ridden the bus with me to school also lived down the street from me… imagine my surprise when15 minutes into the ordeal the aforementioned young man shows up at my door.  The ambulance and police cars had passed his house and his first thought was I was terribly sick or injured and so he took it upon himself to check on me.  I was so shocked that it had even occurred to him to check on me that I almost cried.  I went through most of high school believing that almost nobody cared if I existed or not. I suppose I got a wake-up call about how wrong I was.  I shouldn’t have been surprised, it was one of the anger management boys after all.

Day 67:The short bus story

Wheelchair lift being operated in the front do...
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I attended public school for most of my compulsory education.  I also had the dubious fortune of riding what was commonly known as “the short bus.”  For those of you who may be unfamiliar with this piece of slang, the short bus is a mildly derogatory name for the bus that the special needs students use, it is most often shorter than a regular bus because they’re not as many seats in it because of the need to carry a wheelchair lift and provide space for a wheelchair itself.  If someone asks you if you rode the short bus this morning it is most likely because you just did something really dumb,a reference to the fact that many of the students who use the short bus are mentally disabled.  My short bus story isn’t funny and I wish with all my heart that it had never happened.  In the fall semester of my senior year I discovered that a friend of mine had died over the summer and not a one of my classmates had thought that I should know.I wasn’t shocked that my friend died, he had a congenital heart defect so I was kind of expecting it.  The thing that shocked me the most was that he didn’t die from his heart defect like we all expected, a semi truck ran him off the road in the rain killing him and his younger brother on the way home from their dads.A teacher that we’ve both had for a previous class told me the story.  I cried sporadically for the rest of the day.  Like a lot of schools mine had vending machines and at the end of the day I decided to get myself a Dr Pepper.  I think I would’ve actually preferred a shot of whiskey but considering I was underage at the time I took the best substitute I could find.  It was against the rules to bring soda on to the school bus but that day I couldn’t care less, fortunately for me my teacher’s aide informed the bus driver and her helper what had happened and so they never said a word about it.  However I was not lucky enough to have everyone keep their mouths shut.  There was one boy who got on my last nerve almost every day.  He had ADHD and used that as an excuse to annoy the daylights out of most everybody, think Dennis the Menace in middle school and on Ritalin.  He knew about the no soda rule and kept threatening to tell in this very annoying singsong voice.  I was doing my very best to ignore a, because considering my state of mind I wasn’t sure if I started hitting him I would quit.  Also on the bus were a couple of boys who had severe anger management issues and could be very scary if they wanted to be.  Next thing I know both of them had turned around and told the little past quite calmly and evenly to shut up and leave me alone they then turned to me and apologized for his behavior and also that my friend died.  I guess you can imagine that “Dennis” almost swallowed his tongue and left me alone for the rest of the trip.  I think I even laughed, but in spite of that I would still trade the whole experience to have Paul around.

Black Hole Blows Big Bubble (NASA, Chandra, 07...
Image by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center via Flickr

Do you blog anonymously or do you blog as “yourself” and why?

Prompt found at The Daily Post here on WordPress.

When I first started this blog I didn’t use my given name, depending on the subject I may use my name and I may not.  My initial reason for not using my name was simple: I didn’t want anybody I knew in “real-life” to stumble on the blog uninvited and know that I said things which they might very well disagree with and therefore start a not necessarily nice debate. I have noticed something however, the longer I write the less concerned I am  about people who disagree with my viewpoint.  I have decided this year to be who I am and make no apologies.  I will not  deliberately incite unrest, I am not a verbal anarchist but neither shall I remain silent when I think something is important.I welcome debate, but not mudslinging, world politics has too much of that already, “blog politics” doesn’t need it.  I leave you with this: my name is Rachel, those of you who  know my last name probably are at least personally acquainted with me, those of you who don’t will not find it here.  Either way know that I sincerely appreciate anyone who reads this blog, if you have read it for very long at all you probably realize that I have self-esteem issues at the best of times, the fact that people read even if they don’t comment assures me that I’m not screaming into a black hole with no one to hear.

A medieval depiction of a harpy as a bird-woman.
Image via Wikipedia

Can anger be constructive?

Prompt taken from The Daily Post at WordPress.


I believe that anger can be constructive for most people, I am not so sure if my anger in particular would be classified as constructive in any situation.  Most of the time if I get angry at something it grows slowly it feels as though it’s choking me.I get angry easier than some people.  It would be easy to blame my anger on the feelings of helplessness which are unfortunately a regular side effect of my disability, but I’m not sure that my disability is completely to blame for my anger issues.  Sometime my anger builds on itself and sometimes it overwhelms me and then I think I temporarily mutate into some kind of firebreathing harpy.  I think my anger more on the constructive side if I were able to do something physical with it.  I have discovered however that because my main outlet is writing my anger does absolutely nothing for it. I’ve tried to write while angry with very little success.  I even find it difficult to write a villain while angry because I can’t focus on the character.  I really command those people who can modify their anger into a form of creativity, I have learned that it is harder than it appears.

days 63: some people should not work in the school system, or a letter to a person who damaged me

Wood Chips
Image via Wikipedia

Taken from prompt 84 at creative writing .
Mrs. Polk:

I have decided to tell you something I should’ve said a long time ago.  I despise you.  I know that you didn’t like having to help me in the fifth grade.  Guess what?  I didn’t particularly like needing your help either, trust me it’s not fun having a teachers aide following you around the whole year like some sort of subtly malevolent paid shadow. Yes, you did your job, you help me write assignments and assisted me in the bathroom but you made me feel awful about myself at the same time.  You told me I shouldn’t  wear jeans because you found them inconvenient.  You got frustrated with my lack of understanding in math and made sure that I understood that the times we stayed in at recess to practice  you considered it the punishment because I was obviously lazy.  I don’t remember playing at recess at all in fifth grade come to think of it, because I was either struggling with math or you did not want to push my chair through the wood shavings on the playground, therefore I was relegated to reading on the sidewalk beside the teachers bench.  I don’t mind reading but all I wanted to be was the same as my classmates.  It wasn’t like I was asking you to take me out of my chair and put me on the swingset or anything, I wasn’t, I learned long ago that there are other things I can get people to do with me that are just as fun.  The problem was because you insisted that I remain separated from everyone else just because you didn’t want to run the risk of getting wood chips in your shoes the rest of my classmates thought I was standoffish.  Believe it or not they still thought that in high school which made it almost as bad as elementary school.  I don’t say anything about middle school  because I was homeschooled for it, largely because your poisonous attitude ruined my self-esteem.I don’t care that your job description was atypical of a teachers aid one of the implicit directives within that job description is to help and encourage students.  You failed me miserably in that department.  I really believed that I was a daily and constant burden to you,a pebble in your shoe which you only bothered with because it meant a pay check.

You may be interested to know that I went back to mainstream school for high school.  Fortunately for me the teacher’s aide I got then was absolutely nothing like you and while my high school experience was far less than stellar at least by the time I graduated (with a 3.0 GPA in spite of my problems with math thank you) I believed she was proud of me and in some way loved me.  So I leave you with this final thought, I hope that when you have to go into a nursing home because you can no longer take care of your self the nurses who take care of you are nothing like you were  to me. If they are I hope you remember every day how awful you were to me and realize that what ever it is you’re going through you deserve every bit of it.


day 62: the last thing you’ll ever say

Weeping angel monument, Old Ship Burying Groun...
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What do you want your tombstone to say?

I don’t know exactly what I want on my tombstone.  I’m afraid that if I actually started considering it out loud several people might start to worry.Besides that the epitaph that appears on your grave marker is the last thing you will ever say to the world,and in some cases the only statement future generations will ever hear you make.  I’m not even 30 yet so contemplating my final sentence is hopefully, very premature.I would like to think my last words would be inspiring but the truth is whenever I finely decide on will probably be obscure and murky to any one who isn’t either a good friend or biologically related to me.  I’m okay with that because after all when everything is said and done that last sentence is supposed to be the last remaining comfort of those who stand in that cemetery in the days after you have left this mortal coil, it really doesn’t matter if strangers understand it or not.  Or does it?  Feel free to leave input in the comments section.