Patchwork Profile 2010

I went through a period here on Living a Quotable Life where I posted a mosaic every Monday. The whole obsession started a year and a half ago with this meme and it has been well over a year since I put one together.

I decided to answer the same questions from that post… because time changes some things… and I change my mind by the minute... and this is where it led:

First name? Beth
Favorite food? Cracked Pepper
High school? Rift Valley Academy
Favorite color? Pitch Black
Celebrity crush? Gerry Butler
Favorite drink? Coffee
Dream vacation? Around the World
Favorite dessert? Dark Chocolate
When you grow up? Published
Love most? My Boys
One Word? Random
Flickr name? My Surname

“Life is a mosaic of pleasure and pain - grief is an interval between two moments of joy. Peace is the interlude between two wars. You have no rose without a thorn; the diligent picker will avoid the pricks and gather the flower. There is no bee without the sting; cleverness consists in gathering the honey nevertheless.” ~Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Soul Food

“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” ~Berthold Auerbach

Now that my spectacularly public and far too honest mope is complete, I need new tunes. Some of my favored songs have come on the recommendation of others. I don’t often have the time to delve into new music as I would like… even in this technological society with music in all its wondrous varieties tucked into every corner of the internet. Much of my iTunes is composed of CDs purchased years ago, a few brilliant downloads and a lot of stuff requested by my kids for their iPods. Big K: Mainstream Pop. Some of it hurts my heart. Little K: Southern Rock (Whew!) and a lot of kitsch (Not so whew!).

And, so, I have a request:

If you could pick a song… just one… to recommend to me, what would it be? Any artist. Any genre. Leave me a comment below with your suggestion. I think a playlist constructed by all of you would be most excellent. I’ll download the songs if I don’t already have them.

Then again, if you cannot pick just one song and are feeling particularly ambitious, feel free to burn me a whole CD. Leave a comment and I’ll happily email my address. In truth, I have no shame when it comes to accepting new tunes.

Music is the food of the soul. Feed me, please.

Photo credit: =F-AYN-T on deviantART (I think.)

It Is What It Is

Usually I find myself ranting against Valentine’s Day and all the commercialism surrounding it. I have hated the day for as long as I can remember. Yes, even when I had a “significant other” on this most wretched day of sappiness. Today, however, I’m not griping like usual. Oh, I still think the holiday is ultimately asinine. It is illogical to dedicate only one day to the declaration of love.

“I hate Valentine’s Day. I think every day should be a day of romance. Then, on Valentine's Day, you should get to tell whoever you hate that you cannot stand them. There would be one day of hating, and 364 days of love." ~Ashton Kutcher, Actor

I am happy that there is romantic love in the world. No, it’s more than that. I am happy that there is deep, abiding, respectful, passionate, consuming and unselfish love. That’s not to say that I know what if feels like to experience love like that. I’m thirty-five years old. I have loved. I have crushed. I have lusted. I have
written about love. And, lest we forget… I have even married.

People wonder why I am cynical and jaded. In truth, I don’t trust my own heart. She’s a bit stupid. I’m not quite sure what to do with her and often pretend that she does not exist.

I have been divorced for three years. Almost immediately following my divorce I tried to escape my life by attaching myself emotionally to someone from my past. Thank goodness for distance. That could have been disastrous. There was another almost major mistake just over a year ago. That’s it. Two blips of the heart in three years. I wouldn’t even call them full beats. I don’t date. Not that there is anyone here to date. Not that I have the self-esteem to handle dating. I’m missing something substantial. Somewhere.

As far as relationships go: I have my children though I have to share them with their father. I have coworkers and they are just that: coworkers. I have a casual friend or two. But, still…

I have discovered a depth of loneliness that I knew not possible. I don’t even have anyone to tell. Therefore, I tell you… whoever you all may be. No need for pity or consolation or a slap. It is a simple truth to which I have become resigned. This is the way it is to be… for me… for now.


Fifteen. That word seems to be popping up around me a lot lately.

I realized the other day that Big K will be turning fifteen in five months and I’m beginning to wonder exactly what that particular age has in store for me as the parent of a fifteen year old boy. Boob obsession, obviously, but what else? I have no experience with fifteen year old boys. Wait. Strike that. I have no experience RAISING a fifteen year old boy. Not yet. In five years when Little K reaches this milestone I might be a bit more prepared. As it stands now… I’m clueless.

I remember
my brother at the age of fifteen. He was far too naïve. He was also a bit of a homebody, so there was no firstborn trailblazing done which, to my dismay, hindered my ability to go out and have as much fun as I would have liked when I reached the same age. An interesting note: We were in the United States, not Kenya, when my brother was 15 and again five years later when I was 15. We coordinated trips to the U.S. by school years (so as not to switch schools mid-year), not calendar years, and, both being born in August, our ages also coordinated with school years. Did that make sense? Point being, this expected trailblazing would not have been an issue in Kenya as there was really not much to do or places for us to go at that age; at least, not where we lived. A trip to the States, however, brought opportunity… and friends with cars… and members of the opposite sex that we hadn’t grown up with and known every minute of our lives. Still, my brother was a bit of a boring fifteen year old. He was busted for skipping school at one point. He ditched and spent his lunch money in the arcade playing video games. Ooooh. Rebel.

As mentioned recently,
my mother was fifteen when Elvis landed. She claims to have been indifferent to his presence on the planet. Still, she was a farm girl in a small town. A very, very small town. I am quite sure she was rather preoccupied with chores and her horse and school. I cannot confirm this with my grandparents, as they are no longer living, but I’m right. Of course I am!

I don’t know what my father was like at age 15, but how much trouble could a teenage boy get into in 1957 in Van Buren, Arkansas? My uncle has provided me with a few stories and I know my father, who now holds a PhD in Theology, was no saint. I could probably ask him. Dad is a bit of a straight shooter but his personality in general is so far removed from my eldest that to compare them would be a lesson in futility. And… I may learn some things about my father I would rather not know.

My ex was a bit of a dork at fifteen. He knows it.

What about me? Age 15? In truth, I am more than a bit surprised that I made it to sixteen. I. Was. Atrocious. Granted, I could have been much, much, much worse. I didn’t do any drugs. I didn’t end up in juvenile hall. I didn’t partake of any adult beverages and my virginity survived. I snuck out the house from time to time and I went to a concert while “sleeping over” with a friend. I put a behemoth of a bitchy chick in her place via my fist when she decided to assault my 5’2” best friend (Note to small framed teenage girls with a penchant for getting into catfights with much larger girls over stupid boys: Befriend the tomboy. It may save your life.) and I discovered older guys kissed better (aforementioned best friend was daughter of Lieutenant Colonel at local Air Force base). In a year where all the girls my age (All. Of. Them.) wore jean jackets covered in buttons with celebrity pictures or pithy little sayings and worshiped… WORSHIPED… New Kids On The Block, I fostered a love affair with the color black (Clothes. Room décor. Everything.) and wallpapered my room with posters of Jon Bon Jovi and Sebastian Bach. How my “I didn’t like Elvis” mom weathered my penchant for rock really, freaking loud music is still a mystery. No, none of these things were so terrible. It was my attitude that was the real problem. I find I cannot elaborate adequately. There simply are no words. We suspect, logically so, that my Bipolar Disorder truly began its ugly manifestations that year. It explains a lot; though I’m quite sure all the blame does not go there. I was a mouthy, rude, and obnoxious fifteen year old bitch. Note: I was also living with my parents for the entire year. A novelty. At this point in my life I had already spent three school years at boarding school. I was accustomed to being rather self sufficient and didn’t particularly care for their (rightful) interference into my life.

In truth, the year didn’t start off too bad. No, the summer I turned fifteen could be summed up quite easily by the words of Taylor Swift. No, I’m not a fan (see above reference to Skid Row), but I do have to give her some props. She’s had a helluva year and, like I said earlier, that “Fifteen” word is everywhere. That song is everywhere, and… I did have my very first date. He did have a car. I did have my first kiss. He did tell me he loved me and, yes, I believed him. Awwwww. Sweet.

Fifteen also brought the added bonus of a growth spurt. Just when everyone thought I would be five feet tall forever… I grew six inches in ten months and, thank the universe, suddenly had boobs. I left Kenya the summer of 1989 short and scrawny. I came back the summer of 1990 and very few people (including those I had known since birth) recognized me at first glance. No lie. It. Was. Awesome. Thank you, fifteen.

“To look almost pretty is an acquisition of higher delight to a girl who has been looking plain for the first fifteen years of her life than a beauty from her cradle can ever receive.” ~Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

I am not entirely positive I’m ready to relive fifteen through Big K. He’s already kind of a lot moody and way, way, way, WAY too much like me in sarcastic attitude and penchant for snark though his taste in tunes is far more tame. Anyone want to take bets on which one of us comes out of the next few years alive?


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