07 April 2011

People Who Dialogue In Between The Lines

Yeah, you know who I'm talking about. Those people that can't say a straight line and mean exactly what they say. The ones who claim to say things at "face value" but communicate cryptically or put their terms in broad, analogical, sometimes poetic terms to hide that they can't actually articulate (admit) what they're really feeling. The ones who also undercut spoken dialogue with an entire undercurrent of loaded phrases or words, leaving some half-intelligent person to wonder if there was a subterranean attack launched or if their words meant nothing.

I am one of them.

Yeah, that's me. I have said or have written things that I know will hurt people in vague ways so that I don't have to take responsibility for the outcome of their effects.

Face value.

Why am I admitting this? Well I got on here to write something else, a quote actually, nothing original, found a friend's pragmatic entry on a site, and found it absurd that I could feel contempt for his efforts when I was nowhere, and I mean nowhere, in a place to be looking down on him. It made me remember that "coming clean" about truths that are actually easier than they seem is not that big a deal. Well, in terms of relative sanity anyway. (This would be an entirely different ball game if I had been, say, and ex-con.) It's always harder to be the one working so hard to keep certain truths at bay than it is to be the one judging them, and so if coming here and in doing all that I did by coming here last summer was for anything, it was for ripping through the barriers and screens of my own secret truths and freaking exercising new muscles of genuineness and authenticity.

And also, I'm just getting tired of it. Tired of the cycle of trying to be better than somebody else (the proverbial anybody else.) It's just old. Old news, old like a 1920 newspaper, and twice as mind-numbingly irrelevant. I'm sick of it. I'm sick of hearing my voice on it. I'm tired of hearing the same words come out of the same vocal pipes, and I hate how I sound. I hate how I seem to be so damned insecure that I have to find some vastly-wide sweeping words to zero in on a point that doesn't even work. I'm tired of putting on a facade that I think will somehow make me better. I mean, really. Double-U. Tee. Eff.

With this increasingly inescapable theme of pointing fingers and blame ("for every finger pointing at you, there are three pointing back"; "take the plank of wood out of your own eye before helping someone else with the sliver in their eye"), it has become an irreplaceable, incredible, life-changing tool that, although once a childhood anecdote (or so the repetitiveness of those sayings would seem), is now re-encrusting itself into a sheer, undeniable and fundamental truth in the core of me. I've blamed just about everything and everyone I could get my proverbial hands on, and quite frankly, it doesn't work. I've known for some time that I've had a problem communicating as well as I could have, even in spite of trying to be the "fantastic-est communicator ever," and it boils down to lack of ability to truly articulate my thoughts and feelings. It has always been easier to give a picture of what I'm thinking instead of trying to sit down, think about it, and put them into nouns and verbs that express my feelings and don't actually implicate someone because I'm trying so desperately hard for the situation to NOT be my fault. I actually relied on this tactic too much, and that's the problem. I mean, it's part of my personality, but when it comes to balancing the two sides (there it is again!), the sweeping fru-fru of descriptive language far out-weighed the boring (or agonizing) truth.

And it doesn't even matter how genuine I am, I know I still f*** up and will most likely be f***ing up for a while. I'm trying not to think about that. I'm just trying to think of how to be more articulate, and that requires being honest with myself and being accountable.

That being said, I've been on the other end of loaded words. I think it's seeing this that has, in part, made me realize that I'd much rather struggle to define and articulate my thoughts than hand over one more loaded, double-edged slice of poetry. (The other part is seeing how much pain I've caused by doing that.) I've been the half-intelligent person, too--the one I referred to at the beginning of this entry. I'm fairly intelligent, I'd like to believe, but I don't always catch the intended double meaning, but because I've been afraid to miss it (for fear of looking like a simpleton), I learned how to take almost everything with double meaning in certain situations, with certain dynamics. Screwed up, ain't it? Well, don't laugh too heartily just yet. It was a default program I set up to avoid looking like an idiot.

My poor, poor pride, eh?

My world might have been a little happier a place if I'd chosen not to give those loaded words double meaning. It certainly would have helped alleviate the nasty little habit I got into of giving words double meaning that didn't exist. I chose to write this nasty little confession because I had originally intended to explore this very same trait in another friend, but just could not. For one, me being snarky just doesn't help anything or anyone. For two, let he (or she!) who is sinless cast the first stone. I haven't gotten nearly the start on being genuine as I had hoped when I came here, when I chose to make my life something else, because I just felt so bad about all the pain, uproar, and damnation it caused that I couldn't see past the guilt. But there is a whole other world past my narrow, 2-dimensional point of view, and I'd rather be the person who gets railed at in my blog than to continue even one teeny, tiny little step back in the old direction. Because for every and any bit I could throw out, it is a bit that makes me a self-righteous hypocrite, and, well, we really don't want too many more of those kinds of entries now, do we?

04 April 2011

My new toy!

I would like to interrupt this drama broadcast to deliver a special bulletin.

I got a car! Woo hoo!

Yeah, I've already posted the few pics I have all over Facebook and Photobucket for my friends and family to see, but it bears repeated action here (OH yeah, I'm gonna post them here, too!) because I am just that damned excited.

Last Friday, my boyfriend and I narrowed down the list of Kijiji car ads in the area to two choices and phoned to see the cars. After looking at them both (the make of the other one escapes my memory) and doing so with our mechanic friend, we settled on a 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix for $1500. I know, right? Totally good price!

I know what you're thinking. I got shafted. For that price, that year, heck even just because I was paying for looks. Well the answer is yes and no.

The guy who sold us the car hadn't moved the car in 9 months, and upon initial inspection, it was... OK. Our mechanic friend just wasn't as sold on this pretty one as he was the other car--which had a really good motor, good transmission response, good suspension, and working lights, but was a pearlescent mint green and in need of a new windshield and brake pads (which the owner had purchased but hadn't replaced and was throwing in for the asking price.) The Grand Prix got a similar-but-less "test score" from our mechanic friend with us, but it also had a good motor, good transmission, suspension, working lights, good brakes, even the oil was pretty clear and all the fluids good; it had just been sitting the whole winter. And with that comes risk.

And I would find out (today, specifically) that the garage found about $2500 worth of work to be done. Ouch-like. Some bearings have to be replaced, the mufflers are cracked, and the tires are as scrapped as Kojak. But the guy had also cut the ABS line because he didn't like ABS. Wtf? Granted, I hate ABS, too. I'm old school that way. But really! And the emergency brake--he cut that, too. Really, how dumb do you have to be? It's one thing not to like it (I catch the brake lever with my foot every time I get in the car--maybe he did, too), but it's completely another to disable a major safety feature. Yikes!

But... it could be a lot worse. $2500 is not a lot to put into this machine when you consider that A) the major parts are good--the engine and the tranny, the brakes and the suspension, all which would have been singularly, hellishly priced and B) to have "walked" away with that car for that asking price and have none of the problems be life-threatening (save for the duel mufflers that are cracked--which means not letting the engine idle lest the fumes choke the children.) No problem! We're going to be taking care of the issues on the list long before my girls get to ride in back.

And anyway, it was my first choice. I hadn't expected it to be in as good of working condition as it was, but when I got see it and finally test drive it, the steering was good, the brakes, acceleration, turn signals, and gleefully most of all, POWER! (V6 engine with dual exhaust--oh yeah,) reeled me in big time. I know I should have been more concerned that the ABS light came on, and the check-oil light, and made sure that all the joints and bearings were greased (lubricated), but when I opened her up on the highway, I could hardly care. All things could be fixed. But this... this was an engine, a machine, to be reckoned with. And she roared like a lioness at dawn. The best part was being able to open her up on the highway--gently--and thump some tunes out of pretty damned good sound system, for being factory and all...

In the meantime, all the girly things that matter about a car are there--working buttons and functions, CD player, well-maintained upholstery, heater, equalizer, pretty colors (black and silver), sporty look (without the sporty insurance!), and nifty little drink holders that flip out from the console both for front and back seat passengers.

Most of all, VERY most of all, it is a reconciliation with my independence. It has been twelve years since I owned a vehicle. I mean really, really owned it, in my name and everything. And the last one barely counts because it was a ratty old 1977 Ford F150 that my dad had taken from my brother and fixed up for me the day before I went to move into my very first apartment 6 months pregnant--I didn't earn it, I didn't pay for it, and in the end it spent more time on the side of the road than it did on it. This... is mine. No lease, no having to return it, and it's pretty effing sweet, even with the cracked rear light cover and spots of rust on the door.