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I'm in a perpetual phase of transition which doesn't seem to be phasing out.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Visiting my dear friend Bec in Pittsburgh for a few days.  We may go to one of the various Carnegie museums.  What a philanthropist, gave the majority of his money away for the building of libraries, museums and universities, all of which his workers probably never stepped foot in. woohoo.  I <3
museums though! Bec made us a drink she calls a vodka chronic.  Tonic water, cranberry juice, vodka and some cucumber slices for some additional funzy coolness.  That's probably already a drink, maybe a cosmo or something, but I dig the name she gave it. Her dog's name is Mobi, not to be confused with the whale or the famous techno musician, hence the "i" instead of the "y". Much like his owner should not be confused with the famous scientologist composer of the fabulous song "Loser" and many others. She also has this awesome cat named James after James Bond because he's a psycho killer, I think she should've just gone with "David Byrne" Que'st que c'est? James' name was originally Thorsten, but her dude friends kept calling him foreskin and she got tired of it. haha.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Redneck Febreeze

Found this bottle of "De Oderizer" at work.  Thought it was pretty great.


So this is my second confession for making a purchase at a franchise of a massive corporation.  This time it’s not Wal-Mart, but still pretty bad.  My apartment is in walking distance to several great coffee shops, but unfortunately they all close at 9, if not earlier.  I desperately wanted to go out for a walk around 8:30 one evening and make a pit stop at a cafĂ© to do a little reading.   No shops were going to be open long enough for it to be worth it though, except for the much loathed Starbucks, which closes at 10.  I don’t feel all that ashamed for going there really.  I think it’s more that I feel guilty for not feeling guilty about these things.  I do feel sincerely bad about how many rubber gloves I throw away at work every night (though you would agree that its entirely necessary if you saw the soiled goods I toss in those washers) and about those times when I’ve been too lazy to wash out molded old salsa jars at home and just threw them in the trash instead of the recycling.  I really should be more Ashevillian and just use all my glass jars as water glasses, especially considering that my roommate Zach and I have managed to break almost all of our cups.  However, we also tend to leave stuff in the refrigerator for frightening, science project long periods of time, and I’m pretty sure it’d be a health hazard.  But Hell!, Zach’s pet rats crawl all over everything anyway, may as well find even more ways to make my immune system Superwoman strong (syke! I get sick ALL the time).

Going to Starbucks because the other shops aren’t open isn’t all that big of a deal, in my opinion.  It does shock me how busy that place stays during the day though considering how many different local cafes and coffee houses exist in Asheville.

Anyhoo, when I arrived at Starbucks and placed my order for some fruity iced tea (like actually fruity, not like I think drinking tea is fruity) I decided to sit at the bar because the lights hanging down were brighter than those at the tables.  I sat close to the wall and left a bar stool or two  in between me and a pretty girl about my age who was sitting close to the espresso machines at the other end of the small bar.  She was good friends with one of the girls working and they were chatting up a storm.  It appeared as though she came into the shop with the intention of hanging out with her friend while she worked and to read a little as well.  Her barista friend let her try some fancy coffee concoction she made up.  She gave her the list of a zillion super unhealthy ingredients she put in it and her friend complimented her creation, saying that it was delicious.  The barista then responded with something along the lines of “I know! It’s amazing.  I’m mad that I didn’t come up with it a long time ago.” She sounded sincerely disappointed that she hadn’t come up with this drink combination sooner.  It seemed like a somewhat ridiculous thing to say in my opinion.  How much of a difference would it have really made if she had been drinking that drink for 6 weeks instead of 6 days, other than she’d probably be tired of it and weighed a few extra pounds.

This may be a strange stretch in the thought process, but it got me thinking about all of the times that I’ve learned some sort of lesson or new take on life from someone wiser than myself, either in real life or book form, and wished I’d known the information long before.  I also thought of times I figured out simpler or more intelligent ways to get things accomplished in life and/or avoid bad unhealthy situations. I tend to always learn things the hard way, God gave an extra dose of common sense to someone else and gave me none.  I wonder if he does those types of things for personal amusement, I sure as hell would.  “I’ll give that kid that’s going to grow up to be a crack dealer a lot of common sense as a sort of preplanned indemnity towards his tragic fate, and give the silver spooned white girl none, because she’s got a familial cushion so she’ll be alright. I’ll just make sure a nice man marries her and takes care of her.”
Isn’t it a beautiful thing, though, the process of slowly learning from experience, growing into who you are going to be and never really getting to that idealistic conceptualization of who you see yourself becoming, but rather molding and changing and learning and always having the same basic “soul” traveling along through the process even as your mind and body evolve?  Isn’t it actually quite wonderful that the past is the past?  That everyday things about one’s self and one’s surroundings creep into ever-changing phases so slowly that you don’t notice until some random morning when you look in the mirror and realize you’re not who you were before, that you’re the same person but very changed? I think it’d be pretty dull to have all things necessary to understanding life and self innately present in one’s mind, or body or wherever that crap gets stored.  As much as I lose my dang car keys, I can’t imagine having had all the keys to life lessons prior to the weird ass situations I get myself into.  I guess it kind of sucks when it takes me a while to realize I’ve been a fool about something for quite some time, but it seems as though that’s just part of the deal one make unconsciously with life.  The clocks ticks, I’m only a passing entity. I grow and change and rot like everything else.  To learn, to grow, to develop and become wiser than the day before, those are the things that make me aware that the little piece of life I was granted is thriving within me.  So I don’t wish I had known the things I know now 5 years ago, I simply enjoy looking back and laughing at my younger self. 

I wonder if that barista is tired of that drinkshe created yet.  She may have to come up with a new one here pretty soon.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Warning: This Post Contains Somber Content.

I always deliver clothing items to residents' rooms at the nursing home fairly late, around 10 at night.  Most of the people are already asleep.  For the majority of the time I prefer it that way because I don't get caught up in conversations with senile people for extensive amounts of time.  Some nights however, I like taking the personal items out earlier for the sole purpose of getting into some interesting discussions.  It gets extremely lonely back in the laundry room.  The only human contact I have is with the CNA's that come back to pick up towels and bedding and whatnot.  Most of them are in the their early twenties and were born and raised out in the country within fairly close proximity to the home.  A lot of these girls are really gorgeous and possess that beautiful simplistic, Southern, Jesus-loving sensuality that I never can seem to master in myself.  Some of them are a little more bold and subversive in their attitudes and sense of humor.  They're all really nice to me.  I tend to keep to myself and try my hardest to stay on every one's good side.  I've been informed that one DOES NOT want to get on the bad side of Madison County folk.  Some of the girls have really taken to me and come and take a chill break in the laundry room a couple times a night.  From the gossip that I hear, I definitely think I'm on the right track by just being nice, but not overly so, and staying out of people's business unless they offer it up to me without my asking.  It's funny because the more I act this way, sort of indifferent, kind and occasionally a little silly, it seems the more people like to tell me super personal crap. 

Most of the girls are married and 5 of them are pregnant.  How little I relate to their way of life. Maybe I'd be better off being a little more settled.  I really enjoy being all over the place and unattached though.

Anyway, one night I was delivering clothing to residents' rooms and I went into the room of Edna Ramsey and Alma Frisbee (almost all residents share rooms). Edna has absolutely zero short-term memory, but has fairly vivid memories of the distant past.  She says to me every time I walk in the room (if she's awake) "What's your name again sweetie? I'm sorry I forgot"  I tell her it's Zanie Rhoden.  Then she says she doesn't know any Rhodens(all Madison county folk like to know your last name, it's a small community, they like to figure out if they know any of your people. I wonder what that says about a person if they do know some of their people.  Does a whole family clan sometimes have a bad reputation? Like if you're, say, a Chandler, (there are tons of Chandlers in the nursing home, not going to lie, I sometimes wonder about incest) could you be a bad or good person just by familial association?). Then she asks me where I'm from.  I say Greensboro and she usually says "oh, that's not too far."  People always know that I'm not from around there.  My friend Renee, who's from a small country mountain town, informed me once that I have a "Piedmont Accent." It's like a Southern version of a valley girl.  I should probably grow my hair out real long, straighten it more and part it ridiculously far over to one side, wear white v-neck tees under a northface jacket, some designer jeans and boat shoes in order to really make my accent authentic  (people from the Piedmont area will know what I mean, I essentially just described a UNC girl).  Sometimes I start carrying a much heavier Southern drawl at work. When I get off, I'll call one of my friends on the way home and still have the drawl and they laugh at me.  I feel like a thicker accent may make them Madison County folk trust me a little better.

I think caffeine is getting me off track.  Alma Frisbee is always awake when I deliver clothes to their room.  She often complains about her back pain.  Sometimes she talks about her past.  One night she was acting a little melancholy.  She started talking about how her grandparents raised her, that she never knew her mom.  She said that when she was born she was only a pound and a half.  She was in her daddy's arms in the hospital and he just handed her over to her maternal grandparents and told them he didn't want her.  I asked her, in a gentle, caring tone what happened to her mom.  She told me her momma died when she was born.  That, in it's self, was sad enough. 

Another night she told me the same story, but this time with more detail.  She told me that her mom had been out in the woods one day when she was pregnant with Alma.  She crossed a log bridge(I assume this log bridge was placed high over a large creek or river).  She fell off the bridge and died.  Her brother rushed her to the hospital, but it was too late.  They were able to save Alma though.  I assume she was very, very premature.  Alma kept going on and on, nearly in tears about how not a single relative had a photograph of her mother.  She has no idea what her mother looked like.  To not know you mother's face, my God. It was back in 1934.  I'm guessing people out in Appalachia had fairly limited access to/ funds for cameras in the 30's. 

Poor Alma.  I give her a hug and kiss on the cheek every night.  I'm not supposed to touch the residents, but I make an exception for her. 

Dual-Custody Rain Jacket

Caleb and I share this old-school looking red rain jacket we found for $3 at Goodwill.  Currently I have custody. I may shed a tear the day he gets to take it for a while. 

Just chilling with E.T., wishing I was a wee adorable little Drew Barrymore before she got addicted to drugs when she was like 10.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


The Brothers K

I'm currently reading Dostoevsky's the Brothers Karamazov.  My friend Eric refers to it as "The Brothers K," maybe because he's insecure about his pronunciation of "Karamazov," I sure as hell don't know how to say it.  Eric has an amazing way of masking any insecurities he has with a veil of arrogance, he just makes "The Brothers K" sound like a catchy abbreviation of a famous book. If I called it that I'd feel like an idiot, but it might be better than butchering the pronunciation.   Anyway, I got stuck on this one particular short excerpt.  A character by the name of Pyotr Alexandrovich, or Miusov (Russians seem to all have at least 5 interchangeable names) is relaying statements given by Ivan, one of Karamazov brothers, in a previous conversation.  Ivan is an atheist. According to Miusov he had been discussing a post-religion world at a recent local gathering.  Ivan seemed to believe that once people stopped believing in an afterlife there would be no stimulus to make men love one another.

"He solemnly announced in the discussion that there is decidedly nothing in the whole world that would make men love their fellow men; that if there is and has been any love on earth up until now, it has come not from natural law but solely from people's belief in their own immortality"

Considering that Ivan does not believe in immortality, the previous statement seems a little ironic. He goes on to assert that the world might be a better place without this belief.  Which is hard to understand considering his claim that people won't love each other if a belief in immortality does not exist.

I personally think that people may prove to have a greater capacity for loving each other without a belief in immortality.  If there is only one life to live then you might want to hug those close to you a little tighter. Maybe I just analyzed this piece too superficially. Maybe people need the fear of hell and glory of heaven to act lovingly, but then that makes me question the authenticity of love.

"He ended with the assertion that for every separate person, like ourselves for instance, who believes neither in God nor immortality, the moral law of nature ought to change immediately into the exact opposite of former religious law, and that egoism, even to the point of evildoing, should not only be permitted to man but should be acknowledged as the necessary, the most reasonable and all but the noblest result of his situation"

Miusov refers to the above statements as paradoxical.  Maybe Ivan was just trying to be amusing.  Maybe he actually believed that man is capable of defining his own sense of morality and that a post-religion world had the potential to work. Or maybe he felt that some people need religion as a structure for morality.  I just don't think he really meant that humanity would be better off if everyone acted on their own egoism.  Sounds like a Freudian, man-made apocalypse to me. 

I was reading this part of the book while sitting in a coffee shop with my good friend Jared.   He's Ethiopian. He's also a crazy smart mathematician and gets to travel around the world every summer doing math with other geniuses.  He possesses a very clever sense of humor of which I sometimes have trouble catching because of his accent.  Sucks to make people repeat witticisms.  Anyway, I asked him what he thought about the stability of ethics in a post-religious world.  We both came to the agreement that it's idealistic to assume that all men would be able to develop a strong code of morals for themselves.  You just can't trust individuals to be good.  Most people need a structured code of behavior to loosely follow. No repercussions for bad behavior would make for a scary world.  But then I wondered: would the idea of good vs. evil even exist?  Aren't those associations of behavior religiously based? If nobody even defined what we now consider evil-doing as evil, then what would it be? Sounds frightening either way.

Jared thinks that the majority of people are too stupid and foolish to not have an established system of ethics.  He made me laugh when he said "You get a big crowd together without police or laws, then they'll start eating you and there's nothing you can do about idiots like that." 

I still don't have solid opinions about this little mind f*ck riddle of Ivan's, but Jared seems to be right.  If anyone has ever read Cormac McCarthys book or seen the film "The Road" I think they'd have trouble disagreeing with that Ethiopian smarty-pants.

Friday, February 18, 2011


I just spent a fine evening with my roommate and our dear friend Caleb.  We smoked cigars, drank a little brandy and watched Sideways (in case you weren't sure, I bet you're now POSITIVE that we are all very, very white).  I just gave Caleb a ride home. We walked by my roommate's car on the way to mine and realized that his window was completely rolled down.  It's rainy here tonight so we both worried about his interior getting messed up.  I asked Caleb if I should wake up Zach, who had gone to bed about half an hour prior to this incident.  He said "Yeah, probably." I said "Anh, it'll be alright" because I'm an awesome and considerate roommate like that. Caleb then proceeded to roll up the window (it has manual window roller- uppers, remember those things?) from the outside of the car.  At that point I had gone into the laundry room which is on the outside of our triplex to put some more quarters in the crappy dryer.  When I came out Caleb told me that he got the window up as far as he could.  I asked him why he didn't just unlock the door and roll it up from the inside.  Then all of the sudden it dawned on us both that we could open the door, roll up the window and lock the car without disturbing Zach's beauty sleep. 

Coconut Date Rolls

Asheville's water has been undrinkable this week.  It was really brownish a couple of days ago, now it's just slightly discolored.  All of the water fountains at the community college I'm currently attending have signs over them that read "DO NOT DRINK." I'm taking two computer courses to make myself more "marketable" (oh I how love corporate token terminology). On Wednesday night I attended my 100 level web course.  I'm the youngest person in there. It's an absolutely glorious mix of people.  Of the 10 or so students at least 5 of them are outspoken and hilarious with huge personalities.  Our teacher Charlie is cool too, I know this because he wears awesome Mr. Rogers cardigans and so do I. 

Anyway this past Wednesday on our break Charlie went and copped a bunch of bottles of water from his co-worker's office for us since the water fountain was down due to our little water crisis.  He handed them out and as he came by me I said "I'd like one please! Would you like a coconut date roll in exchange?" I had brought in a pack of those for a snack.  He declined, and the people around me started joking about the weird foods I bring in (I'm a health food nut, and eat some strange stuff for sure).  When he declined the offer and everyone else took notice of my peculiar snack I said "I know, I know they look like poop"  One very prim and proper lady chimed in and said "yeah looks like cocaine sprinkled sh*t" ha! I couldn't believe it.  Then she said something like "wow you're an odd person, eating things that look like poop when you work that job of yours."

Earlier that day in class Charlie had mentioned this very detailed project we have due in 2 weeks.  Like someone who suffers from turrets I blurted out "there's no way I'll get that done on time!" My neighbor, this gorgeous, self-employed mom, laughed and made some joke to the class about what a procrastinator I am. I was pretty embarrassed. I absolutely hate kids that complain about assignments, and this one was nothing compared to the thesis I wrote last year for college. I started rubbing my head and grabbing at my short hair and with a rouged face apologized saying "I'm sorry Charlie I do laundry at a nursing home and just worked 4 nights in a row.  I get so tired and I get poop all over my arms. I'll get my work done, promise. Just a little cranky." Everyone laughed and thirty minutes later I was eating a snack that apparently looked like cocaine sprinkled poo.

Late Night Wal-Mart Trips

I'm currently doing laundry at a nursing home, and yes it's as bad as it sounds.  Encounters with nutty residents make it all worth while though.

Most nights I get off work somewhere between 11 pm and 12 am.  I work way out in the country and have a 30 minute drive back into the city.  Every night on my way home from work I pass a Wal-Mart. Dare I admit that I often don't just pass this 24 hour evil super center, but that I often go in? Yes in fact, I regularly take late night trips to Wal-Mart after work.  Usually just to buy a $5 bottle of red wine.  That brand with the rooster on it.  It's pretty good for $5. Sometimes I also buy some cheap make-up and/or some cereal.  Sadly enough, I find myself struggling to get out of this store.  The smiley face keeps me in there for well over half an hour sometimes, or maybe it's because I'm in this weird post-laundry duty trance and I just find myself wandering aimlessly.  However, I really am starting to believe that the yellow smiley face casts a spell on me and my fellow American consumers.

I sometimes find myself looking at Miley Cryus's clothing line. (I'm sure she has little or nothing to do with the design or the creation of those items.) Gosh darn it! Sometimes those clothes are really cute.  Then I think about factories in Malaysia or El Salvador or some other developing nation where clothes with this teenaged multi-millionaire's name on the tags are mass produced by stuggling human beings. Then I feel sad and weird about the way the world works. Sometimes that's not enough though and I'll still buy a scarf or something small. Maybe subconsciously I think purchasing a Miley Cyrus scarf or a tank top isn't quite as unethical as a whole dress. Ha, that makes no sense. 

I remember when Wal-Mart's attempt to be hip with the tweens was through their Mary-Kate and Ashley label.  Hmm...Wonder what happened to those girls.  

One time I was babysitting this awesome 8-year-old named Frannie (and of course I love her name because of my love for Salinger).  She admitted to me in confidence that she just pretended like she liked Hannah Montana to fit in, but that she thought the show was really stupid.  She read a lot of books and was very clever. I attribute this partially to the intelligence, creativity and eccentricty of her parents.  Their house was small, historic, cluttered and amazing.  Her dad designed gorgeous and intricate furniture and her mom was a graphic designer.  Some hipster-ish, book nerd Ivy leaguer is going to fall smack on his/her face over that girl one day.

Anyway, there wasn't much of a point to this post other than to note that my anti-corporation, socialist-minded self is "secretly" a frequenter of Wal-mart. I don't think buying 1 to 3 items every time I go rather than 50 makes it any better either, considering how often I find myself there at 12am. 

First Blog Post

So this is my very first blog entry.  I will probably type up several per day for several days simply because I have a bunch of stuff in my notebook I'd like to post on here.  This blog really isn't meant for relaying any super personal information about my day-to-day routines. I also don't have any adorable kids to take pictures of. Nor do I cook, so I can't show the world all the awesome dishes I've prepared.  I suppose I could take pictures of all the receipts I acquire from eating out so dang much, but I never keep receipts. I work at a nursing home and I'll probably mention that a good deal, as well as some of the more interesting personalites I encounter in my life.  I really am hoping for this to be fairly spontaneous and a little inconsistent.  If I maintain a theme, I will begin to feel like my life has a theme, and I prefer for it not to. Despite the fairly regular redundnacy of days in my present life, I like to remember that I change a little everyday.  It's easier for me to keep that in mind when I jot down little silly, interesting and/or bizarre occurences/encounters that come up in life. By the way, I'm really not fond of the  term "the present." I have no idea how people live in the present, isn't it always the past once you consider it?  Maybe it's a spirtual thing that I over-think, thus cannot achieve.  I guess living in the present is something you can't really reflect on, and reflecting is what I spend the majority of my time doing. So welcome to my blog about the very recent, recent, or semi-recent past!