Monthly Archives: October 2010

Lament About Things I Can’t Control…Like the Zombie Apocalypse

I had a weird night last night, and now I’m not so sure I want to spend the next two years living alone.

First, and most importantly, I dreamt a zombie was about to eat my head.

I’m so serious,

and it scared the bejesus out of me. I dreamt there was a zombie apocalypse and this lady told me that perfume would mask my smell so I was spraying myself but a zombie tricked me and as I went to spray myself again it went to eat my head.

I know you guys are probably laughing your heads off (pun intended) but I’m serious! I was so freaked!

I guess I forced myself from the dream because as it was going to bite my head my eyes flew open and I was in my tiny studio once again with all my crap comfortingly strewn about.

And I was laying there, taking in my clothes in a heap by the door, my bicycle next to the bathroom, my boxes and papers piled in front of the storage closet and I thought about how I just woke up from a nightmare and I’m alone.

So I did what any independent, college-educated, 24-year-old smart and sassy young woman would do: I called my mommy and told her I had a nightmare.

She laughed at me, but dangit! Zombies are no laughing matter.

I woke up from my nightmare and I was alone. And I mean, I guess ideally there would be some chocolate man hunk in my bed, just waiting to be woken and told about my scary zombie dream while holding me and struggling to keep a straight face.

But I don’t even have a roommate whose presence could be used as a source of comfort. Which, honestly, normally I relish. The Story of bryoneyH’s roommates is a blog series in itself–suffice it to say, I have lived with a homeless crackhead, an angry lesbian, a 19-year-old girl (which in my opinion is at least as bad as a homeless, angry, strung-out lesbian) and a slew of other characters who have successfully ensured that my future husband and I might actually work out a neighbor situation rather than merging homes.

But last night, as I was laying in an apartment that felt both overcrowded and empty, both familiar and strange…it really bothered me that I was laying there alone.

But what else is to be expected? I’m a single, 24-year-old woman. I’m making a way in this world; I’m making a life for myself. Part of that involves living alone. You know what they say–you never really know a person until you live with them.

But sometimes I lay down and I pray that I can put an end to this sham life and start my legitimate one, the one that involves loving someone other than myself. The one that involves living with other people (namely, my family). The one that involves not waking up alone after dreaming a zombie tried to eat my head.

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Something About Asking Yourself Whether You Feel Lucky, Punk.

For all my successes in this world, a lot of it simply has to do with the fact that I am very lucky and have a knack for being in the right place in the right time (or blessed and highly favored, depending on your worldview). Where other people take time and plan things and come up with backup plans, I pretty much just pick the path I want to go down and assume that everything in the universe will align itself with whatever my current goals are.

When I applied to college, I applied assuming I would get in. I therefore saw no need to waste money on application fees or waste time on application essays to create for myself a “safety net” that I would never need because I wasn’t going to fall.

When I moved out of my mother’s house, I didn’t have a full-time job. I actually got my dad’s permission to forge his signature on a promissory note which I then took to the bank I worked at and had them notorize saying that he would provide me with the supplemental income I needed to pay my rent on my first apartment application (haha jk feds).

I have a habit of leaping before I look, seeing no other way to properly execute a leap of faith, and to this point it has worked for me. I have always gotten the job/housing/apartment. It has always worked out for me. I have always ended up where I started going, and there has never been a need for me to make a backup plan.

But now that I’ve graduated college, everything is different in my mind. Fear is working its way into the core of my “everything will work out the way I planned it” ethos, and it is driving me to make these plans, these backup plans because for the first time in my life, my mind is aware that there could be serious consequences if things don’t work out the way I assume they will.

It’s not like me to worry about not finding an apartment on time. It’s not like me to worry that I won’t into my graduate programme. Heck, it’s not like me to apply to more than one place I want to do anything at a time. This month I applied to three apartments because I was terrified that I would find a place, but not have the time to get my application submitted.

That’s not like me.

Saturday was GRE day. I went out Friday night with my friends because, well, the best way to go into a test is relaxed right? About midnight, I start feeling like I want to hyperventalate–my GRE was the next day and I’m out with my friends in no state to drive myself home. While figuring out how I’m going to get home, I take out my phone and start studying GRE vocabulary online. In the middle of this party. Everyone’s asking me what’s going on, etc.

I’m like “you guys, my GRE is tomorrow. I gotta do something” (except I was probably slurring my words just a tad).

That’s not like me before a test. It’s not like I’m arrogant or anything, but I feel very secure in my world and my ability to be in situations that always turn out OK. Pre-graduation bryoneyH would have taken this test assuming that everything in the universe was working together to get her in her graduate programme. Post-graduate bryoneyH has somehow adopted the word “failure” into her mental lexicon, and so begins to regret choices like going out partying the night before the test that could make or break whether she starts grad school in the spring.

The next morning I was nervous. That’s not like me. I kept telling my mom that I was scared because this time it counted, you know? It’s like I was just playing at a play life with play consequences all the way up until I crossed that stage. Now, suddenly everything is real, and in real life you don’t just get to make up the outcome of your situation like it’s a Barbie dreamworld.

I did do pretty well on my GRE though. I’m reasonably confident that I’ll get into my Master’s programme. And if not, though it pains me to say this, I do have a backup plan.

I Don’t Write a Lot of Poetry, but…

The Old English epic poem Beowulf is written i...

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I don’t write a lot of poetry anymore. In fact, I’d say I hardly write any. I used to write tons of poetry, until I realized that, for me, writing a lot of poetry is an indicator that my brain and emotions are out of balance. Now when I get the urge to write poetry I try to meditate or do something  else that’s calming in the hopes that the urge to kill will fade and I can trust that my brain has regained control over my hormone levels.

But I wanted to write a poem today.

I wanted to write one because I was thinking about love and how a person can tell when he or she is in love, as well as the reasons why a person falls in love with another person. I’ve never been very good at the love thing myself, which is kind of ironic because anyone who knows me nonromantically and personally will tell you that I am a very loving person. But that doesn’t really transfer into my romantic relationships, which makes for great blog fodder.

…but eventually, I imagine stories of disastrous relationships will get old to tell and read (maybe not to read lol), and so I’d really like to replace them with wonderful stories of positive experiences one day.

And so I am on this quest of self-discovery because I really, really want the next romantic situation I get in to be normal and healthy and loving, and so I sometimes sit in quiet times and reflect on what love means to me, and the way I try to show it to these crazy a$$ mofos I keep running into.

And this is what I got:

I like me when we’re together
I’m quiet, I’m thoughtful; I love.
I’m reflective, observant; I think before I speak
And if nothing need be said, I don’t.
I’ve never seen myself so sweet
As when we’re together and you seem like you need
A place to just come and be at peace;
I’m surprised at myself at how readily
I sit myself down and offer my lap
For you to lay your head.
I’m surprised at myself at how still I can sit
When your comfort depends on me not stretching my leg.
I’m surprised at myself at how long I can stay
When I can tell by your breathing that you’ve drifted away.

…does it make me self-absorbed that my love poetry is all about how much I like myself? lol I think probably so.

What are your thoughts on love?

The Power of Prayer to Help With the GRE

So by now you guys probably know that I’m taking the GRE soon. Saturday, to be exact.

And I have been TRYING to stay focused. But staying in and studying all the time is so BORING, especially when I have all this post-graduate energy from being not overwhelmed with homework, leading to my obtaining a full night’s rest consistently.

I have been trying everything to make myself study. I have been trying to switch subjects, to read a variety of different things (ranging from bills the U.S. Congress has just passed to French vocabulary to literary criticism), to making it fun by drinking a bottle of champagne while reading.

No dice. I have been so restless.

Friday night my friends and I have plans to go to happy hour then survive a zombie apocalypse, and I have been looking forward to these plans for like 2 weeks. I finally get to get out of the freaking house. And for cheap drinks and zombies. How do you spell awesome? D-R-U-N-K-Z-O-M-B-I-E-S.

So why did I just find myself texting one of my friends and telling her I might have to skip happy hour Friday to study?

It ain’t cuz the test is Saturday–it’s not till Saturday afternoon.

Let me backtrack.

When all else fails,

pray.

And I mean, when everything else is going right you should probably continue praying, but this week as I have been trying my various ways to make myself study I have also been praying for focus and a good score.

And I like how well God knows me because He sent me exactly what I needed to stay on track and improve my score: a very hot guy with Princeton Review GRE study materials.

I kid you not. Tuesday, this very hot guy just randomly texts me like “You’re taking the GRE Saturday right? I am too–did you want to study together this week?”

And I’m like “uh…DUH.”

So we get to the study room and this mofo shows up like “Yeah I took a GRE prep class this summer so I just really need to refresh before the test.” And he knows all of the little shortcuts and memory tricks and strategies for decoding the test verbage and managing your time.

And because he is like stupid cute my butt is dedicated and focused because if this very hot guy is just going to randomly LET ME BORROW his Princeton Review books (which, BTW are a FAR better prep resource than Kaplan) the week before the test, I am surely not going to waste his time by being unfocused.

And because he is stupid cute and I’m not dating, I gotta take my exposure to cute, cool dudes however I can–which makes me extra receptive to staying as late as he wants to stay to really just tackle that one last problem.

And then go home and continue reviewing so that when we meet again I’m not slowing his pace down with questions that could have been answered by reviewing the materials he was so kind as to let me borrow.

I’m just saying, God will sometimes come through a way that’s so thorough that it’s hilarious. It’s awesome to be on good terms with someone who knows you so well and will sometimes indulge your real motivations.

‘Hayes-ing’ 101: The Story of Why I Don’t Do Prank Calls

This post is specifically for my very clever colleague over at TheInternView (whose views are not necessarily reflected in this blog), who requested that I do a “hazing” post with a play on words.

I’m actually going to make this a separate category, and any time I remember a story about an exceptionally readable prank, I’ll post it.

This is the story about why I don’t do prank calls…or at least why nobody is ever really pranked from them.

OK.

Pranking Subject: My ex-boyfriend from when I was 18.

First some back story.

One of the reasons it took me 6 years to get my undergraduate degree (saying “undergraduate” makes me feel super important) is that I took about three semester-long breaks while working toward it.

The first of these was the semester right after I had graduated high school. There was no way I was going straight into college. My brain was fried. My body was over it. More school was a definite negatory.

But, I have some family members who live in Los Angeles, and I kind of thought I might want to be an actress, so I worked two jobs that summer and saved up enough money to go live with one of my aunts and her family while figuring out my next life move.

So I get out there and my aunt’s husband has this friend. Diego. 22, cute. Jamaican. Seemed nice. I didn’t have a job, and I didn’t know anyone in LA but my family…so we began hanging out.

I think I met him like a week or so after I’d got out there, and we continued seeing each other the whole 4 months I was in LA and a couple months after I moved back to my current state and enrolled in college (Love does not trump out-of-state tuition, my friend).

And the whole time we were seeing each other, I never really thought more of it than “oh he’s cool, this is nice”-type thoughts. But as the time for me to leave drew nearer, my 18-year-old mind began to hype him up like “OMG THIS MAY BE THE LOVE OF MY LIFE.” And then once I actually left and he hadn’t indicated that our situation was changed (minus, of course, my absence), it became “OMG THE LOVE OF MY LIFE IS STANDING BY ME I’LL COME BACK TO YOU DARLING I PROMISE.”

So fast-forward to March of the next year. I’d been gone for about 3 months at this point. Of course I flew back to LA for spring break. Duh. And I couldn’t wait to see him.

But something was off and I knew it. Especially once I saw him. He looked like he’d had a major breakdown–hair was a mess, beard overgrown. He looked kind of like a hobo. So I go to greet him and I’m like “…wow. You look…different.”

And he’s like “Do NOT say anything about the beard because it’s not going anywhere.”

And I’m like “um…OK….”

So that’s the beginning of my visit with him. And it pretty much went downhill from there, until we ended it before I left.

I was PISSED.

See, that’s the thing with me. I think it’s why my exes and I don’t usually become friends, because if I liked you and it doesn’t work out I get sad, but even more than sad I get like really angry. And I am not one of those “kill them with kindness people”; I’m one of those “kill them.” people. Figuratively, of course.

So anyway, I get home and I’m PISSED and I know he’s been seeing other girls (which, I mean, is to be expected in a situation like ours was but my 18-year-old mind didn’t really process that) and I wanna do something to get even. And my family is egging me on.

My mom suggested having him deported.

One of my aunts suggested calling the police and reporting his car make and model as stolen or having broken a traffic law because his documentation wasn’t really legit and he would more-than-likely have something illegal in his car.

…but I kind of believe in Karma, and even though I may threaten to kill you all day I would never actually do it because I don’t need that negativity out in the universe waiting to come back to me threefold.

So I’m like what can I do to this mothereffer that’s not going to come back on me but will let him know I’m PISSED. And maybe shake him a bit. Just a bit.

So this was around the time that Brooke Valentine came out. Anyone remember her? She’s the one who sang “Girl Fight.” Well I bought her CD and it was legit, and there was this one particular song I really used to rock with called “I Want You Dead.”

So my aunt had come to visit shortly after all this went down, and she my mom and I were all sitting in the kitchen and I was playing that CD. And “I Want You Dead” came on. And, like, half-joking I’m like “I should call that mothereffer [clearly by that time we no longer referred to him by name] and play this song and hang up.”

And my aunt bursts out laughing and is like “Do it! You’ve got to do it.”

So I run upstairs, and I call him, play that song, and hang up. Take that. And then I went to my evening class.

While on break from my evening class, my phone rings PRIVATE.

So I answer it, and a voice (his voice) goes, “Did someone call me from this number?”

And I’m like…”well you called me PRIVATE so I really can’t answer that.”

And he repeats his question. So I repeat my answer.

And he hangs up. So I get home and I tell my aunt the story and she goes,

“Boo-boo [that’s what my family calls me, yeah yeah] you didn’t block your number?!”

And I’m like “No, why would I block my number? Who knows how many females he’s effed over? I want him to know that I, specifically, am the one who wants him dead.”

…and the moral of the story is that the reason why my prank calls never work is because I always manage to give myself away.

Epilogue:

I tried calling his number some time later. It was changed.

Full Circle

…so today the knife was twisted in my heart.

OK.

Maybe that’s being a tad dramatic.

Let me tell you a little something about me. I am of the mind that when similar things occur in a short time span, you need to pay attention because life (or God) is sending you a message.

I think mine this week is that things from my previous stage in life and disastrous relationships are wrapping themselves up. That stage is neatly tying its own loose ends and freeing me to enter my next stage.

I see things in circles, you see.

And so, to me, before any situation you’re passing through is truly over, it must come full circle. And this could be anything, from jobs to friends to romantic relationships. I kind of see it like, if you’re dealing with any sort of situation that engenders growth, once you start growing and moving through it, be on the lookout–you’re going to be confronted with it one last time.

And how you handle it will show you how much you’ve actually grown from it.

Think of the shape of a circle. You can either go around it and end up in the same place, or you can go through it and pass through its edge once on the way in and once on the way out.

This is why, when you’re moving past something, it will come back to you. It’s basically your exit exam (if you went to my school you should be laughing right now).

Now back to the twisting knife in my heart.

I took the practice GREs this Saturday. And in it, there was someone I’ll just go ahead and dubb ABD–Another Bad Decision. Long story short, I knew him from class and he seemed cool…definitely turned out to not be cool.

But he was in the practice GREs.

I actually saw him at registration, when I was sitting on couch across from the registration table trying to memorize 9th and 10th grade math in the 5 minutes before the test was scheduled to begin.

I saw him walking up and I just sort of shook my head because of course he would be there effin with my concentration.

And he saw me and I just kind of nodded at him (I was explaining the beauty of the acknowledgement nod to my friend the other day; it says yes, I’ve seen you. But no, we’re not friends). And so I saw him and nodded at him and he asked me for directions to the actual test room and I fought the urge to tell him to eff off and find his own damn way, you sonofab**** (but I digress). And we got to the test room and we sat down (not together) and I began to pray that this mofo’s presence didn’t disrupt my concentration because the GREs will not care if some stupid dude’s presence got my head all messed up before the test.

And I got the most beautiful calm, and the answer that I’m sharing with you now: circles. He’s there because I’m over it, not because it’s ongoing. He’s there because I’m moving out of that situation.

Which brings me to this morning. At the beginning of the year, I fell completely head over heels for someone who…yeah. About that.

…and as I’ve mentioned before, I’m not so good with the “It’s over, but sure! We can be friends!” thing.

I’m more of the “You tricked me and lied to me you muthereffer don’t go to sleep I wanna break something of yours now since you broke my heart!” type.

…but in a perfect world and with a better version of myself, I would really have liked to preserve a friendship with this dude because…well…for all the reasons that I fell completely head over heels for him.

So I Facebooked him a while ago (via message because I definitely defriended him in a sort of “yeah! Take that!” moment) basically saying that I was sorry that it ended badly and I would be open to being cool with him if he were open to being cool with me.

…to which he definitely didn’t reply.

…which definitely didn’t surprise me.

But in the part of my mind that’s foolish and wants to wrap herself in convenient versions of things, I thought maybe he just hasn’t been on facebook…this month.

Until this morning. When I saw that he had commented on one of our mutual friends’ statuses.

…so much for that one.

It kind of made me sad for a second, but it’s all circles, you know? I saw it because I guess I’m ready to move past it.

Finally.

The Taming of the Bryoneyh

This morning I had an epiphany.

Part of the purpose of my whole “dating hiatus” thing is to take a step back and figure out what I’m actually looking for, before I just go and jump into becoming desperately enamored of any ol’ dude who “looks good” and seems “nice.” This, I’m hoping, will drastically reduce the chances of the next guy I’m involved with’s being a terrible human being.

So for a while now, I’ve been trying to figure out my dating “style,” and it’s mainly just been ticking tabs off a list. I know I’m not a “bombshell,” “diva” or “dime.” I know I’m not a “girl next door.” I’m not quite a “traditionalist,” but I’m not for turning norms on their heads and being the one who pays for dates either.

I was talking to one of my sister-friends a while back, the same one who was giving me the crazy face when I was ranting about why I don’t like dudes who ask me to cook when they find out it’s one of my hobbies, and she said,

“You just need someone who can dish it back as quick as you can.”

“It” being the rants, smart comebacks, etc.

And I just kind of brushed it off like whatever, I’m not sure what I’m looking for but I know that it ain’t someone who’s rude–I’m trying to find someone who’s NOT gonna be a jerk toward me.

…but I was thinking about it this morning, and I was thinking about the types of dudes whose company I actually enjoy (as opposed to the ones with whom I’m just making nice long enough to finish my free dinner and feel like I’m making strides toward my goal of having a normal, healthy relationship with a male)…and yeah. I would call them witty (notice the careful evasion of the term “rude”).

And I was thinking about the source of my rudeness in general. And I arrived at the conclusion that it’s just multiple levels of frustration. My mind works quick, and I mean obviously I’m a writer. I enjoy a good turn of phrase, and so I especially enjoy someone who can turn my turn of phrase around.

And sometimes I speak quicker than I think about what I’m actually saying either out of frustration or purely for the pleasure of speaking words that sound good.

And then sometimes I’m just rude because I’ve sized you up and determined that you can’t offer me anything I want. And that includes the typical (at least in my experience) dating thing of “talking” (AKA texting me good morning and an occasional phone call that includes a recap of my day, me trying to get you to tell me more about your day then “it was chillin” and then you tellin me I’m cute) and going out to eat and the movies and eventually you trying to get…me to cook for you.

…I think too much for that. It’s boring. And so contrived.  And so I get frustrated. And so I get rude.

And I can think of one archetypal character whose traits align with the behavior and rationale I’ve described: the shrew.

This morning I was walking into the elevator and I was thinking about The Taming of The Shrew and I thought, that’s what I’m looking for is a Petruccio (…minus the starvation and sleep deprivation).

And I laughed because I wanted to think I was joking because “shrew” is pretty much a pejorative label, BUT I studied this play last year and, to me, Katerina (the shrew) is pretty much just a woman who is too smart for the roles available to her during her time. And so she becomes frustrated and lashes out, because the men who come around her can’t appreciate her intellect and fiery spirit anyway. And it takes the one man who can match her banter and behave just as badly as she can, and yet love her, to calm her ass down.

Yup.