Another Oopes…

Fragmentarily speaking, and yes I meant to say it in that way, I made a mistake this morning. Obviously the world has not ended and as far as I know, although you might not be able to see it depending on where you are & what the weather is like, the sun will set this evening and again I’m pretty sure that it will rise again tomorrow. So not the biggest of mistakes that one can make. And NO! I didn’t kill any body! If I do it would be intentional and no one would be the wiser, because there is absolutely no one on my hit list. It was a mistake that I made. I will take full responsibility for the mistake and understand that there will be repercussions. Probably in the form of sarcastic remarks in a public setting or flaming poo at the front door. And it will be held against me, or hanging over me, or under foot, in my side in the form of a thorn, up my butt or under my pillow for certain amount of time. Which begs the obvious question; ‘Where do I draw the line?’ …cookie-crumbs1

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Today I quit…

I’ve been struggling with the Ballyphehane Bulletin & Community Noise ….

The Ballyphehane Bulletin was a monthly newsletter that I wrote and published for 2 years. To skim over the politics the funding got cut for what I feel are ridiculous reasons. That was 2 years ago. I thought that I would be able to resurrect it through Facebook. And for 2 years I’ve beating my head against the wall with it. It didn’t help that my commitments moved else where, so I wasn’t as much a part of the community as I was before… More politics… I wanted to create a newsletter and/or place that the people of the community would all participate in. Everyone from grade school to senior citizens. I wanted a place where little Katie down the street would write a story about her dog and it would be published. Or Granpa Jim would tell old war stories. Even Mary on such and such road advertising that she had some extra carrots from her garden for anyone who wanted them. I came so close to that with the publication. For 2 years every month I had people stopping me in the streets asking when the Bulletin was going to be coming out. … So so close before the funding was cut … With 10x more work, it just didn’t carry the same on Facebook…

Community Noise was a radio show that I did for, again 2 years. I started it when the funding for the Ballyphehane Bulletin was cut. There was this opportunity to basically do what I was doing with the Bulletin but on radio with a bigger audience … So I thought … The show quickly turned into a hub for community organizations to let Cork City know what they did and how the community could be involved. Over the 2 years we had over 60 organizations, groups and people come and talk on the show. But again politics, disorganization & miscommunication … My work schedule also got in the way of what is now mandatory training and meetings for volunteers plus a membership fee that had to be paid before we were allowed on air along with the constant accusation that the volunteers were not participating enough. Again, so so close…

Today I quit. It turned me inside out. Both came so close to being Great if only it was given … more time? … more support? … more money? … I don’t know … maybe a better person than me to make it all work. I know that hanging on to them is weighing me down. It’s like the residue of my failing slowly eating away at me. I feel like I just gave up. but I know that this will soon pass especially now that the residue is cleaned. And maybe, just maybe, another opportunity will arise sometime down line when I’m in a better place so that I can give a good whack at it!

Highly Disappointed WordPress…

Sure, I’ve been away from blogging on WordPress for a long long time. Doesn’t mean that I haven’t dipped in every now and again to see what’s up. Every time I have, WordPress has changed the format so that it’s like figuring out a whole new sight. It seems every bit of guidance you get from Word Press to supposedly help you navigate through,  passively aggressively presses you to create and pay for a website that you won’t understand how to use. Thought that I would encourage an inspiring poet to set up a Word Press account to show off his prose. But after the tangled ball of yarn of setting up his account, and him writing his first post, we couldn’t find it anywhere on WordPress unless we logged into his account. AND from his account he couldn’t find my WordPress! Needless to say, this certainly attributed to my absence. Word Press, you are not user friendly! I understand that I am slow, and that I haven’t kept up, but it’s so much easier to post a blog or publish your writing on Facebook than it is here. … Ugh… The sad thing is, I will still slog through Word Press because at the very least and know enough to keep my Word Press Free and Facebook … *sigh*…

This Bus Strike…

So this bus strike … I want to support them. I do! It’s their right! … At least they’re talking, but  (of course there’s a “but”) I need to get to work …

One of the reasons I love living in Cork is as one very drunk stag party participant said one Summer morning a few years back is that “Cork is small enough to get around in, but big enough to be in Ireland!” We don’t need subways, and tramways, and trains, and roller coasters to get around. And although I’d be dubious about getting to work via roller coaster, if I had too I would. All we really need are the busses.

So this bus strike… It’s their right… At least they’re talking, but I need to get to work…

I called in all my favours from friends that have cars or roller coasters, or at least access to one or the other  to help me out and give me a lift, but not only give me a lift to work but help out my co workers and bring them back into town after I relieve them from their shift. I’m asking my friends with cars and roller coasters to be shuttle busses. Because I would have to work 5 hours of my 8 hour shift just to pay the cost of a cab to work and back.  I owe my friends my soul, of which they will have to fight for, or dismantle and portion out.

So this bus strike… It’s their right. At least they’re talking, but I need to get to work… And I have no soul of my own …

The process is relentless. Constantly posting on Facebook, ” Desperate! Need a lift to Ballincollig Thur 3pm & Lift back for Co Worker! Please Help! Anyone?” Keeping it short enough so that it stays in big bold letters, and making sure I do it on my cell phone so that I have the option of turning it into some kind of meme that everyone will look at, because my laptop is 7yrs old and bugs me constantly to update this, that and the current rate of  beach sand accumulation on the floor mats  in the abandon Datsun in Alberta Canada. I post it on Monday, then again Tuesday with a different background colouring so that it looks like a different thought provoking meme. Please someone look at it! I post on Twitter, but the 15 followers I have live in the lost city of Atlantis, … or Colorado… I think … And the roller coaster won’t get me to work on time. … Still would be really cool though… Come Wednesday still no takers, and I post again, and I go to that very uncomfortable and awkward place, breaking through the safe guards to the family politics and ask my boyfriends family, because my boyfriend, like me, doesn’t have a car. … I manage to get a lift, this time, and will start the process all over again tomorrow…

So this bus strike… It’s their right…  At least they’re talking, but I need to get to work… I have no soul of my own & I have sold out to social media …

Feeling guilty and self indulgent, *I* need to get to work, nobody else, I do. But there are kids that can’t go to their after school activities because they depend on the bus. They’re needing to walk home while it’s still light out.  Sure many of the parents that have cars are do what they can to help out, filling up their cars with wayward students, but still there’s about a 1/3 of the students missing, with little hope in sight because the plans for an infra city roller coaster for some reason haven’t been developed yet.

The small businesses in town are suffering. They can afford a roller coaster to bring customers into their shops. And since they’re not a chain, they can’t make up the loss else where.

Even more disconcerting, more disheartening, are the pensioners (senior citizens, for all those back in the States) and people who have medical needs. They absolutely cannot go on the roller coasters! They have to walk  or pay crazy amounts of cash for a cab to get to the hospital to receive ridiculously overpriced, but badly needed medical care. … So they’re walking from the Kent train station to CUH to get their chemo treatments and back. I’ll let you Google how far that is.

So this bus strike… It’s their right…  At least they’re talking, but I need to get to work… I have no soul of my own, I have sold out to social media & am guilty for being heartless…

They’re at least talking… They’ve announce just now that they will come to a decision by tomorrow at lunch. If the strikers get what they want, I wonder if they knew that they held our personal lives, and livelihoods for ransom. We didn’t get a choice in the matter. The strikers took us hostage and held us for ransom with the thought that CIE cared. CIE cares about the bottom line – money. And there are plenty of other ways to disrupt their bottom line than to force us all on the roller coaster. I hope, or should I say “they better” appreciate the turmoil they put us all through, because our suffering saved their arses!

So this bus strike… It’s their right…  At least they’re talking, but I need to get to work… I have no soul of my own, I have sold out to social media & am guilty for being heartless… I was held for ransom and survived. I’m looking forward to a pleasant smile and a fond Thank You from the bus driver on my next several bus rides…

 

Coming Back…

Goodness does everything look different. …  It’ll take a bit of time to get back in the swing of it. … I’ll terrible, simply awful at the start, but hopefully get better with practice… or get comfortable in my mediocrity … Well, OK… I’ll get started…

It Just SUCKS! But…

I’m sure you all have heard the phrase “The Straw That Broke The Camels Back”. And I’m fairly certain that all of us have at several times in our lives, had our backs broken over something ridiculously innocuous. Well, today was another one of those days, meaning I’m going to rant and rave. I will be using gratuitous language and am in no mood to take any prisoners. I will probably burn down the bridges that are in desperate disrepair instead of beating my head against the wall to try and fix them. I will more and likely be using way too many so called contrived sayings and anecdotes. By doing all of this, I am in no way looking for sympathy, empathy, platitudes, advice, words of wisdom, uplifting saying, or sunshine blown up my ass. This is also not a platform for anyone to make themselves feel better by using me and my situation as a charity case. Please note that whatever issue I have with people that I may mention or refer too, is between me and them. That I am not trying to recruit an army to wage war with them or turn people against them. I’m wanting to rant and be done with it.

I am angry. And I don’t want to pretend anymore that everything is OK. I’m sick of trying to find a silver lining in those rancid storm clouds. Honestly folks, that silver lining is called lightening! I am fed up with this whole …”Things will get better! You just need to believe that it will!” … Or any other related concepts … I am tired of being the one who makes up the excuse for everyone else’s despicable behaviour! “…Oh, she probably had a rough morning…” “… I caught him at a bad time …” There’s no excuse to be a bitch or a prick. Know yourself. If something is troubling you, politely let people know that it’s best to come back at another time. It’s not that you have to go into detail. “… You know love, I’m not in the best of moods right now. Can we talk later?” … I know! I know! For those of you who have read this far, your heads are probably exploding! Screaming that you can’t do that at work, or in this situation or that situation. I understand that whole heartedly and that is one of the reason why I’m on this rant! IT FUCKIN’ SUCKS!

I’ve always been dubious, rather skeptical even about things that are “meant to be” and the idea, that if you truly want something, the Universe will conspire to provide it for you. I feel that we have a bit more control and power over our lives than to leave it to fate and things meant to be. That when life goes awry, it’s a matter of circumstance & coincidence. And it’s in those times that we discover our limitations, strengths & weaknesses, we question our beliefs, our goals & aspirations or bind ourselves more adamantly to them. I suppose I’m questioning, now that I know more of my limits & weakness. …

One thing that I did … Well, maybe still do … Maybe … Is what goes around, comes around. But does it? I am struggling financially. So much so that I am on the verge of losing everything. I’m not saying this to be dramatic, it’s a matter of fact. It’s a matter of circumstance that I got into this situation, but I can’t help to think what did I do wrong? It turns over and over in my head like a hamster wheel. And you know what keeps popping up as the answer? … I was/am too fuckin’ nice …

I did everything I knew of to be kind and understanding from the beginning of the end of my last marriage through the divorce and even afterward. He was such a jerk to me that other people constantly asked “… What the hell is going on!?…” Ahhh, but the kind and understanding me came up with brilliant excuses for him and even pretended that this is what I wanted. … Again, some of you are screaming the new slogan “… You don’t need a bruise to be abused..” Believe you me, I know this! I should have listened to all those people who said that I should have sued him for every penny he had. But no, I was kind, took only what was promised. Even after all was said and done I still was too kind, and spent nearly €1000 sorting through and getting rid of all the junk he left behind. … OK, he did reimburse €40 and some change. … Ack … Maybe this whole debacle was my penance for some bad shit that I did in a past life … If there is such a thing as past lives … If Heaven forbid that I do this all over again would I have done things differently? Well of course I would have! Would I be able to be relentless and brutal? … I don’t know.  And would it have help my situation now? … Who can say?

At the end of last year. My land lady was in a desperate way financially. Both her Husband and Son lost their jobs, her car broke down and new regulations for property owner renting out their places made our current arrangement unsustainable for her and her family. When my exe left and I struggled with money, the school, and even food, she bent over backward to help me stay afloat. So when she was struggling, I wiped out my accounts to help her out. Maybe I actually had too much faith that the Universe wouldn’t leave me hanging for a good deed. I thought that I would recover quickly, but again no. I didn’t realise that I milked every last drop from my rock. There was/is no money, no savings left. Now I’m in over my head in over due room hire charges, and far enough behind on my payments to my accountant that they won’t file my bi-monthly VAT or year end taxes. Maybe I should have claimed squatter’s rights and not pay anything to my landlady? She would have had to spend more money than what it’s worth to get me out if I did that. I know I did the right thing and would probably do it again. But I question whether doing the right thing was worth it? I understand that in this case I was on the other side of Karma. I was given a good turn and it was time for me to do a good turn back. Still was it worth it?

I have choices. I know that I do. With all the financial difficulties that I have it’s probably best to just drop the whole thing. The school, the volunteering … everything. I’m fighting and fighting to keep it all going for what? There’s so much that I want to put in motion for the community. But I don’t have the money to get them started on my own, or if I tried to get help, I’m being ignored because I owe money and it would look bad if they had someone that owes money organizing the project. It would be a conflict of interest … I know that doesn’t make much sense. It’s not because of my inability to convey an idea or concept, it’s simply because it make absolutely no sense what’s so ever. So why bother? You can’t even do good unless you have money. I use to have faith in people that when push comes to shove that for the most part will do the best they can for themselves AND those around them. Not so much now. I’m believing more and more that when push comes to shove that people will choose the option with the most money, and then pretend that it was for the best. We are all assholes… Sure, you all are laughing. “You just now figured that out!?” No, I figured it out a long time ago. I’m just now conceding defeat. Congratulations, you won.

I’m even struggling in my fight to keep the Shaolin school running. Back to the idea of is it worth it? Three years ago, I managed to get out from under a tyrannical regime and quite literally had to start the school over again from nearly scratch. I didn’t want it to be a school that catered popular martial arts. I didn’t want it to be a day care for kids. I didn’t want to push people through belt levels to stroke their egos and to cash in on their testing fees… I put together a curriculum, and no it’s not perfect and there was a lot of trial and error. But it’s a hell of a lot better than it was before. None of the students really know what I went through to keep the school running. Going up against the tyrants and their henchmen, along with my husband (now exe) as well. So they don’t realise what it means to me when they say and do the things they do. I can’t really blame them for that. I try and maneuver around it and so far so good, but for fuck sake it still pisses me off. I’m being told that this other martial arts school has been around for so long and does all these cool things, and that I should do these things that this other martial arts school is doing and this  martial arts school has all these students and, and, and … And I’m thinking; ‘Why the hell are you even here? If all those other schools are doing all these great things that you want. Go to that school!’ …The complaining about the requirements … I put in those requirements for good reason. I put in those requirements so that they can say that they are a true martial artist under any and all conditions. Not just when the sun is shining, or indoors on a flat surface, or a particular situation. Of course there’s always going to be complaining. I even complain, but the disrespect that is mounting recently is inadmissible. Again, is it worth fighting to keep a school for this?

Now here’s me making up excuses for them … I am very open to new ideas and ways of doing things. I invite students to try other martial arts and even bring those techniques into class and try them out in sparring. It all might be a case that they don’t know how to convey this in a way that is respectful and as a suggestion, yet. The angry complaining on the other hand, is nearly punishable. I probably made the mistake of being me. I’m a silly middle aged woman who’s a bit off kilter. I probably made the mistake of being too buddy buddy with the students. So they see me as a dopy wannabe martial arts instructor that’s better at baking cookies than teaching them how to defend themselves or to throw a proper punch or kick.

Any of this worth the fight? What’s stopping me from dropping everything and disappearing?

… I do have some REMARKABLE students though. They keep showing up even though they failed their belt test for the 3rd time! They don’t complain and take on the curriculum and the training full steam ahead! … I have some INCREDIBLE friends too. Old and new. Friends that have stuck with me through thick and thin. True friends that aren’t afraid to say “Hey, you’re being a real bitch!” and put me back in my place … There is this GORGEOUSE man, this AMAZINLY INTELLIGENT man that walks and talks with me by day and sleeps and dreams with me by night. A BEAUTIFUL soul that hasn’t been harden and immune to life, that I think likes me well enough and for the moment is sticking around…

I suppose the choice is pretty clear … Meaning, the fight needs to change … My situation hasn’t changed though. I’m still going to lose it all if I don’t come up with something soon. People are assholes. Regardless of what anyone says, MONEY IS GOD! It just SUCKS! … But at least I have some REMARKABLE STUDENTS, some INCREDIBLE FRIENDS and one AWESOME GUY!

 

Throne For A Thorn

I took out the thorn in my side today. It sat in that chair festering. I had no place else to put it. I had no room left in my modest yet comfortable home. So there it sat reminding me of the rope burns from being left hanging, the road rash from being thrown under the bus. It reminded me of my disappointment in all those who said they wouldn’t take sides but so totally did in their silence. It sat there reminding me of the empty promises of “We’ll still be friends” … And not just from the one …

It was to be removed before May of last year. But it wasn’t. It was a lot bigger back then. It spread all over the house and lurked in the dusty corners, rotting. I pecked away at it. Only a little at first, my skin was still tender. As my skin grew thicker, I dug deeper, pulling more and more of it out until I was left with this thorn stuck so deep that not even my bitterness or anger could get rid of it. It would have cost money that I didn’t have to extract it, so it sat right there on that chair…

But today was or is a beautiful day. And today I’m living in the most Amazing place in an Incredible time with the most Remarkable people I have ever known! … So I went to the post office today and pulled out the thorn in my side…chair.jpg

The 3rd Coyote Is Irish!

IT’S OFFICIAL! I’M IRISH!

… Well, a naturalized Irish citizen at least …

I went up to Dublin to declare my loyalty to the State and fidelity to the Irish Nation. I was guided by a spectacular sunrise and surrounded by people from 120 different countries!

The ceremony started with a concert by the Irish Army Band. I smiled ear to ear as it reminded me of all my years in various marching bands with the stiff polyester uniforms, those military hats and white gloves. Those white gloves that the woodwinds would have to cut holes in them so our fingers could get a better grip on the keys.

My memory started to wonder back to when my Mother had gone to her citizenship ceremony to become a U.S. Citizen. She wore navy blue polyester bell bottoms. Fitting attire for the mid 70’s. A corresponding polyester blouse, white with navy polka dots and frills on the short sleeves and waist.  She also wore high heeled platform shoes that brought her over 5 ft tall, possibly 5’3”. To me she looked like she grew into the clouds. Her hair hung in a jet black mass around her waist. I think I was 4, maybe 5? My younger brother played with a toy car under the folded chairs we sat in. My Father dressed in his Air Force blues.

I remember the speech that was given before they pledged allegiance and took their oath. Not word for word mind you, I was only 4 or 5 years old! I do however remember these words; “You are NO LONGER Oriental, African, Mexican or South American. You are an AMERICAN now!”  Even at such an innocent and tender age, I found those words horrifying! And they haunted me up to this day, but no longer …

I half expected a similar speech of “… Forget who and what you were in the past your are Irish now!…” No, no… It wasn’t like that at all… The first thing the Minister of Justice said was to NOT FORGET your old country, it’s history, it’s culture & traditions, but to embrace them and let it become part of the Irish legacy as  the Irish legacy is now part of ours and will be part of the generations to come. The Judge asked us not to deny our children the legacies and histories of our original countries but to teach them so that they know how it all came to be… I was AMAZED!

Growing up I was constantly told how I had to forget about that savage, despicable country I was born in. How I needed to become an American. I wasn’t allowed to learn the language, the culture or even learn how to cook it’s food… I had to learn all that on my own practically in secrete. I was sent to the principal’s office for bringing seaweed to school with my lunch. I was literally beaten and brutalised for not being American enough. No matter how hard I tried it was never American enough. The people that you are supposed to count on blew me off and couldn’t be bothered to even try to pronounce my first name. “You’ll just go by ‘Kim’.”  … But that’s not my name …

So when I heard those words of embracing my legacy I got all teary eyed and choked up. I could barely say my declaration of fidelity to the Irish Nation and loyalty to the State:

“I The3rd Coyote of my house, Cork City, having applied to the Minister for Justice and Equality for a certificate of naturalisation, hereby solemnly declare my fidelity to the Irish Nation and my loyalty to the State. I undertake to faithfully observe the laws of the State and to respect its democratic values.”

When I came to Ireland it was the first time in my life that I felt accepted, first time in my life that I felt the warm embrace of community and that feeling that you can go to sleep and rest because you’re HOME now. I rarely ever saw my Mother smile. One would think that she was a very unhappy woman. But when it came time for her to stand and say the pledge of allegiance, with her hand on her heart she smiled and she looked beautiful! When I made my declaration, I smiled and for the first time in my life I felt BEAUTIFUL!

Off The Cell – February 2015

Bridge Bridge on Sullivan’s Quay, Cork City, Ireland
The Lough N The Lough Looking North, Cork City, IrelandThe Lough SThe Lough Looking South, Cork City, IrelandFrom St Patricks St CorkPeter Paul Cathedral (?) From St. Patrick’s Street, Cork City, IrelandLee River. JpegThe River Lee @ Fitzgerald’s Park, Cork City, Ireland

Camilia

Pink Camilia, C.O.P.E Foundation, Fermoy, Ireland

Keeping Samantha

Remembering you today on this last day of Tet Nguyen Dan – The Lantern Festival. It wasn’t as though we spent a lot of time together, not much at all. But you are my friend and I hope that I am yours. I met you at the Pow Wow in Centennial Colorado. You’re Father said that I looked exactly like you when you were 16. You showed me your regalia that’s been handed down from Mother to Daughter for generations. The beadwork was remarkable and how you modified it for your condition was beyond amazing. You accepted me in as one of your own. I knew I was Saux & Fox then. You told me your stories and confirmed much of my family’s folklore. My Great Grandmother was called “Rose” not for the flower, but for the colour of her skin! You were a Raven-Song come South and now a Coyote-Song. You were the story tellers, the keeper of the stories, the history. “We are immortal through our stories” you once said to me.

Today I keep your story alive
Samantha Coyote-Song (30 May 1966 – 5 March 2011)

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