Exasperation, irritation…


Lacking a punching bag and the requisite energy to jab the punching bag, I need to find an appropriate substitute.  I’m going to assign blame to my hair.  Yesterday, I went for the periodical untangling of the rat’s nest and shearing of the fleece.  As hairdressers are wont to do, mine straightened the curls.  I don’t care for this, as a rule, but she actually makes it look like something other than newsreader hair so I keep my gob shut and let her attack me with the flat iron.  Now I have a headache because trying to keep the mess out of my eyes is a Herculean effort.  The hair – it knows not what to do.  It just wants to hang…straight…in my face.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I usually keep the hair wild and longish so I can hide behind it but I do this of my own volition.  I AM IN CONTROL – not the fucking hair.  This is me.  Right now.

Contributing to my positively shitty mood is my struggle with a stupid essay I have been trying to write for five or six (sive) weeks now.  Oh yes, I crow about how wonderful it is to limit myself to essays.  I say “Why yes, real writers of books and things, if I get bored or if a concept refuses to come together, I can just bin the shit and move on to the next because I am awesome, lazy and lacking in discipline.”  The sad, pathetic truth is that I might find myself reworking something to the point of madness.  Barking madness.  Madness that results in stuffing cookies in my face and retreating to my bed to snuggle two stuffed bunnies and whichever cat decides to grace me with his or her presence (lately, it’s been Annabel – the kitty that is so muscular and solid, it feels like a cinder block is crushing your legs).  It is as ridiculous as it sounds, especially given the pajamas that I’m wearing when I engage in this behavior.

My undoing, my descent into rambling lunacy came at the hands of an upgrade.  Miss Thang actually got off her ass and renewed the domain and upgraded the website early this year.  The upgrade has given me power and nothing is more intoxicating to Kang than power (ok…maybe a foreign accent emanating from a handsome man or a quality Belgian beer).  Knowing that my involvement with style sheets and CSS results in bad things, I refrained from going anywhere near that mess.  No one wants to help unfuck whatever fuckups I make while coding.  People would sooner try to figure out my parents’ A/V rig than sort out what I call coding and that’s saying quite a lot because the A/V rig cum home entertainment system is a hot fucking mess of a nightmare.

But I’m genuinely irritated because I might have OCD tendencies.

Depending on the device and/or platform I use to access the site, the justification is off.  I make adjustments for tablets and it skews the view for computers.  I make adjustments for computers and tablets and mobile devices suffer.  The alignment looks a lot like my son’s handwriting did in the beginning of the school year (or my husband’s current penmanship).  I look at the analytics and the device mix is 50/50 so no matter my decision, I’m going make sweet, sweet fuckery love to one segment of the wittew audience we have.  And, yes, I might just be like the average male who is driving a car and finds himself lost;  I’m not going to ask for directions or guidance.  I’m going to drive in circles until the tears flow freely and the tank is empty.  Which is where I am now – on a park bench, stroking myself (not in that way, you disgusting pervert) and telling myself I’m pretty and I have value to someone, somewhere (likely only my parents or my kid).

Who's a pretty pony

Right now, the Emotional Traffic Light Engagement essay (see – even the concept sounds clunky) is back in the draft bin for the millionth time, paragraphs are askew in some posts and my sack of fucks to give is very small and lacking depth (Dock just loves that line).

Round Robin Exercise

A refresher for those who have been following since the days of Kang World and an explanation for those who are t3h n00bz.

For a short while, we used to pick a theme and everyone would write something within that. Usually it was some version of longform because I cannot poem.  Seriously, I cannot even write a haiku – I’m that fucking useless in this regard.  But we did this and it was challenging and fun. Please don’t ask me to unearth the archives because I cannot be arsed to code, migrate or resurrect the dead.  My skillz are mad but they are limited.

Anyhow, while we’re introducing some new things:  Go Fuck Yourself Weekly (double entendre intended), we’re going to bring back some old things.  The Round Robin is one but it may not be permanent.

Brian Kurcaba of West Virginia made a horrendous comment about rape, unplanned pregnancy and abortion this week.  Automatically, we decided he was going to be nominated for GFYW.  As I started to work through some ideas, I realized I wanted to tell a story.  Kitten has a story, too. Actually, a lot of people have a story to tell.  These stories are about sexual abuse (any form).  The mere thought of condensing these stories just doesn’t sit well with me.  It didn’t sit well with her or another RMer, either.  After some discussion about how best to approach this topic, keep it isolated from the rest of the site due to the content, be sensitive to others and work with the limitations of WordPress, we decided it would be best if we put the Round Robin in a page (you can see it at the tippy-top, next to About) and have our posts as subs, just as our bios are.  For whatever reason, I decided to spew first.  Just in one of those wormholes today.

This is not funny content.  It’s not supposed to be funny content.  The content is deeply personal, graphic and potentially upsetting.  You’re not going to be able to unsee this, folks.  We ask that you take the time to read the Round Robin detail and respect the rules of engagement.  We ask that you read the detail in advance of reading the pages as they are published.  We’re not going to push them en masse.  From my perspective, not only does one have to be willing to write the story – they have to be willing to hit publish and deal with everything that comes with hitting publish.

So that is what is brewing today.

In a few hours or a few days, the snark will be back.  The snark never leaves.  It does like a nap now and then, though.  And the poets, they’re still here, as well.  Well, they’re actually outside building their first snowman or shoveling snow or complaining about snow or thinking about getting the fuck away from snow.  Whatever.  Normality is just around the corner, y’all.

They say…

…and they are always right, aren’t they?

They say that when one resumes the “art” of writing, that the writer should be disciplined; that the writer should sit down once and day and grab some words, rearrange them into sentences which will inevitably form a paragraph which could potentially result in many paragraphs with the ideal goal of producing some sort of cogent essay or story.  I was really hoping for a massively long run-on sentence and this should demonstrate exactly where my brain isn’t because I couldn’t even formulate that.

I crawled into my office this morning with a cup of coffee and a bit of grit and determination to make the words say something pretty or something repulsive.  Nothing happened.  I grew frustrated and started fidgeting around with WordPress which made me unpleasant and intolerable so I tried taking a nap.

Après failed nap, I waddled back into my office and resumed the exercise.  Again, nothing happened.

I went downstairs, grabbed a handful of chocolate covered raisins, stuffed them in my foodhole, washed them down with water (which I always carry with me in some nalgene-ish bottle) and dragged myself back upstairs to my office.  Nothing.

I turned on the tv and watched recorded episodes of The Gilmore Girls.  Nothing.

I started thinking of my usual sources for inspiration but it’s a slow news day so I cannot get in touch with my inner hate.  My husband and child aren’t home so I cannot start any fights with the husband and use him as a fire source.  There aren’t even any annoying dogs barking in the neighborhood today.  It’s just…quiet and pleasant.  MEH.

In an attempt to avoid the dreaded and much feared writer’s block, I have started making notes of topics I’d like to explore further.  So far, I have a few really solid ideas and a handful of 1/2-assed ones but I’m not even in the mood to work through those.  These potential stories have meaning and I don’t want to water down the impact they may have because of my general ennui.

Yeah.  So I just banged out 300+ words to sum up what Pinkie Pie says in one picture:


Reflection and resolution…

…if you look too closely, will you drown?

Each year I say I’m not going to set any resolutions for myself because I don’t particularly care for failure and I may be the least disciplined person on the planet.  I may have a routine for certain aspects of my life but that’s about it.  My mind changes far too rapidly and I have piles of things dedicated to causes or hobbies that I lost interest in within a span of five minutes or five days.  For the past week or so, I was wondering if I should challenge myself and establish a few things that I’d like to see myself achieve or conquer in the coming year.  The mind remains a jumble.  Please don’t state the obvious:  better structuring of the thoughts because, really, I have been seeing a therapist for fourteen years now and I’m comfortable with the fact that my brain remains a tangled mess of words, thoughts and images.  Furthermore, I fear what would happen if the noise abates.  How could I honestly respond “busy busy busy” when asked some random question by any random person if the clamoring ceased?  And, no, I’m not a Bokononist.  I simply think “busy busy busy” is the most suitably succinct answer to certain questions.

If I decided to challenge myself and set some goals (which I have masterfully avoided doing since the age of sixteen), what would I set for myself?  Would I go with the clichéd but valid lose x amount of weight?  Would I resolve to become more physically active?  Would I resolve to stop putting every single person in my life in front of me which consistently results in a husk of Kang tatters on the floor (not a humble-brag, ‘tis fact)?  Do I eye another rung on the career ladder and decide to climb it?

I have no fucking idea.

And thus therein lies the problem that’s always been.  I have skated through life with no goals.  Financial goals:  none comparable to what I have seen from my friends.  Career goals:  I was in management before the age of 30.  Decided management was not suitable for my temperament on many levels and have avoided it ever since.  Personal goals:  finally, after many years of soul-crushing failure, managed to have a kid.  But none of these were actual goals.  There was no master list I kept where I ticked off my achievements and added additional items to make myself a better person.  I’m just one of those people who gets up, gets out of bed, goes along with what the day has in store and deals with it.  Some days, I manage better than others.  Other days, getting out of bed is enough to merit a gold star.  Basically, I’m like every other fucking person on the planet.  No special snowflake or stardust, here.

What compels us to sit down on the 31st of December and engage in this silly exercise, anyway?  Is it basically peer pressure?  Do we see others sitting around, trying to improve themselves and think “Hmmmm.  Maybe I should get on this bus?”  Where and when was it drilled into our heads that at a specific date and time, we’re supposed to modify all the negative behaviors?  Because, if this is supposed to be a thing, am I not doing that on a weekly, if not daily basis, via self-improvement and general avoidance of being a raging asshole towards the entire world?

If someone barged into my office right now, held a gun to my head and forced me to pick something, I suppose I would opt for:  get back in touch with the writer within.  For two miserable years, I stumbled around with everything bottled up inside presuming that no one gave a single fuck about what was on my mind.  For some misguided reason, I thought my voice had to have a specific audience or someone had to be remotely interested in what I had to say or what I was trying to say (the more important of the two).  Turns out – staying quiet out of fatigue and ambivalence is a pretty stupid way to go through life.  Especially if you’re someone who isn’t quiet by nature.  So, maybe writing more would be something I would resolve to do in 2015.  I cannot say that for certain because the Kang Muffler still looms large and is still very much present.

The only other thing that springs to mind is a passionate resolve to return to Sweden in 2015.  Come January, it’s been seven years since I have been on Swedish soil.  Seven years since I have left American soil.  For a natural wanderer, this is just insane behavior.  Granted, life has changed significantly in that time span but there are relationships that need attention and attention I have not given them.  Not to mention the huge chunk of my soul that has gone un-nurtured for far too long.

Or, maybe, the only resolution I need to make is to get back to being a better version of myself.  The me that includes all I was before Kate died and took a large part of me with her to the grave (as others have observed and told me).  The me that includes the part that had to be put on the shelf because I was no longer just Kang, I became Kang+Milkface which I wouldn’t trade for anything.  There will never come a day when I won’t “think too much” and I remain committed to not surrendering that part of me, no matter how frustrating others may find that trait.  It feels like the only things I can answer are the phone and the door.

So, if I was to actually make a list of goals for 2015, I suppose I would:

  • Write more
  • Visit Sweden (and actually return to the US, solely because I highly doubt we can find a functional equivalent of Princess Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns for Milky anywhere else)
  • Get back in touch with my bad self
  • Not chastise myself in December of 2015 for failing to do any of the above

Oh…and one other thing – stop apologizing for who I am.  I’m really quite over that.

UPDATE:  Courtesy of the Resolution Generator that’s floating around Facebook.  I’m not exactly sure what to think of this one.

My Little Demons: the book

Due to the popularity of last year’s book, I decided to do another one for this year’s Christmas. It’s a lot bigger in size and content than the previous edition and has a hard cover. I’m also super pleased with the title.

It didn’t take nearly as long to put together since I made the decision to limit the content only to pieces written and pictures taken in 2012.


Reflections on 2012

It turns out that 2012 was a pretty good year for me, despite the setback of losing my job. I did more traveling this year than I’d ever done in my life. I flew to California in February, visited London for the first time in June, and then flew to Oregon to visit my sister and stay with my dad. In between those big trips, I traveled to different parts of Sweden to meet with old friends and make new friends.

All these experiences were reflected in my creative output for 2012. I wrote a lot poetry and did a lot of paintings, the latter of which I usually ended up giving away as gifts. I was also invited to contribute at K Shawn Edgar’s collaborative poetry site, Carbon Noise Poetry.

If you’re just as curious as I was about what I was posting online, here it is, without further ado:

I wrote approximately 80 poems in 2012.

Rhyming pieces outnumbered free verse pieces three to one.

I posted twenty-five pieces at Carbon Noise Poetry, three of which were totally original to that site.

In addition to the poetry, I also posted about fifteen longer pieces, in which I discuss, analyse, or simply complain about things.

Finally, I posted nine pictures of paintings I’d done, though I actually painted a lot more than that.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with what I’ve written and created this year. Out of the dozens of poems I posted, there were quite a few pieces that I’m very happy with and proud to have written.

So goodbye, 2012. You gave me lots of stuff to write about. Here’s hoping 2013 will be just as inspirational.

A trip down memory lane…

It’s pingback time on Random Misanthrope. Be prepared.

Amazingly, the one year anniversary of RM came and went without anyone noticing. Back then it was called Project Mayhem, which was the name of a previous multi-blog writing project started up by High Priestess Kang, myself, and the marvelous Ming. (Whatever happened to her?) That project was abandoned after about six weeks, so keeping this current blog going for over a year has been quite a feat, and therefore a little nostalgia is called for.

After a month or so we realised that there are several intentities on teh intarwebz called “Project Mayhem,” which meant that we had to change the name to something totally original. Eventually we settled on Random Misanthrope. Before then however, on the 6th of April, 2011, the first ever Project Mayhem/Random Misanthrope post was posted by High Priestess Kang. It was called, appropriately, “…and she’s back!”

There have been a few changes since then. We have lost one founding member and there was a lot of drama associated with that, none of which ended being shared here (thank goodness). We had a lot of great ideas but very few of them were carried through to the present date. For example, in the beginning I took it upon myself to write a Word of the Day post every single day, but only managed to keep it up for about three months. One thing I’ve learned about keeping a blog is to not make any promises to the reader. I “promised” several times to get back to posting regular WOTD updates, but I never actually did.

The Month of April 2011 was the busiest month on RM, with a total of 129 posts. And no wonder. It was our first month and we were all so full of energy and enthusiasm for the project. Exactly one year ago today, on the 19th of April 2011, we posted three updates:

Word of the Day: Hopefully
<–by Miss Kitten

…fuck Time Warner Cable <–a great rant by High Priestess Kang

McJobs: The Road to Recovery
<–by Shark

Where does the time go…

The Cheeseburger Perspective

“It’s music that makes people come together. It’s like this, if we see the world in cheeseburger perspective, if the world didn’t have any music it would be like a cheeseburger without the cheese. That’s what I think.”

These were the concluding sentences in a student’s essay about the power of music. To me it sounds like the end of a Mark Base blog post.

Adventures in Teaching Poetry

“Don’t do it,” my English teacher colleague said. “They can’t handle poetry.”

I’ve been wanting to do a poetry unit with my first year English students for quite some time. As I’m sure most readers are aware, poetry is one of my biggest passions and I wanted to share it with them. This is despite the fact that the average age in the group is sixteen and they could very well be bored to tears, as my colleague assured me they would be.

On the contrary, a lot of them really seemed to get into it, and it think it’s because of my enthusiasm for poetry. It really rubbed off on them. The same thing can be said about most subjects; if you’re exited about it then they’ll get exited about it, no matter what it is. And I made my students exited about poetry.

I introduced the subject by showing them a few of my own pieces, and had them try writing their own. I showed them how to write a haiku and had them give it a go. Some of them chose to write longer pieces too, which of course pleases me immensely. There was one boy who kept writing more and more pieces. He’d write one and turn it in, and then a few minutes later he’d bring up another one. He said it was hard to stop once he got going and I said that writing poetry is sometimes like that, almost like a drug.

They are now working on an assignment that entails choosing an well-known English or American poet and writing some brief details about his or her background. They are then to read one of their chosen poet’s pieces to the class. They’ve chosen Shakespeare, T.S.Elliot, Frost, Gwendolyn Brooks, Byron, Keats, Whitman, Oscar Wilde, etc, etc., some of the most brilliant human beings ever to walk the planet.

Maybe some of them were bored to tears, but I’m still glad I did this lesson. If by doing so I have kindled the poetic flame in one or two of them, then that’s absolutely wonderful.