Yet Another New Year’s Proclamation

I’m a little late in the uptake of my New Year’s Resolutions this year… I have to say 2014 was … not that bad. I know it’s shocking. The current trend with many people is to bash 2014, or any year previous for that matter.  “Oh! What a horrible year! Good riddance! 2014 sucked! 2014 kicked my ass! I hate you 2014! Can’t wait for 2015! Bring it on 2015!“… At least that’s what I read on Facebook so it must be true right? 2014 was a BAD BAD year! … Thlpt! …

I have every reason to hate 2014. My Mother’s lymphoma came back and was on her death bed. She was scheduled for a stem cell transplant at the beginning of the year, but both her and my Brother decided to cut off all communications with me until just recently when my Mother calls me on Thanksgiving. She left a message. At least I know that she’s alive. … now … Still haven’t talked with her despite the phone calls. My husband, now my soon to be exe, reached new heights of being an ass. (See blog post “Let’s Talk”) So yeah, we’re getting a divorce. I hear through the grape vine that my Father who I have not heard from since May of 2013 regardless of the the monthly letters I posted, decided in Sept 2013 to move but neglected to tell me where. Still no word from him.

Crazy complications in business transfer, bill transfer, and residency. Money is always an issue and there were weeks where I was counting my potatoes. The stress pushed my diabetes over the edge where I now needed to be on medication. The Doctors found cancer cells floating around … “No, no you don’t have cancer yet.” YET!?!? What the GEEE WHIZ!? The community magazine that I founded and have worked on for over 2 years. A magazine that had a readership of over 1000 and growing came under fire twice. I managed to save it the first time but lost the 2nd time. The powers to be pulled the funding. It was soul breaking to know why. To know that the people that I touted as being strong, and resourceful, the people that always found a way when there was the will, got scared and desperate and cut off their noses to spite their faces. Their ears too apparently, right after they shot themselves in the foot. Then there were my “friends” that kept shaving off layers of my thick skin until it was paper thin. They jammed my detachment super power button so that when they used me as a punching bag, the punches could sink in deeper.

To top it all off, to find out that potential suitors are afraid of me because I can kick their asses. Go ahead and laugh. It certainly does sound funny! And it wasn’t just one mind you, it was a few of them. Honestly, I can kick everyone’s ass, but I don’t. That says a lot right there! Don’t you think? Still it cut me to the quick. People have been afraid of me all my life. They were afraid of that half breed jungle monkey Charlie in the trees gook from Viet-Nam. The product of a war they lost. They were so afraid that I wasn’t allowed inside, or to sit at the table or any table. I had to sit on the floor to eat my dinner. They were so afraid that they didn’t help when I was being ganged up on and beaten to a bloody pulp. They were so afraid that I had to put fishing hooks in my pony tail braid to keep the bullies at bay. They were so afraid that they couldn’t accept that I accomplished anything and made up excuses why I did. “You’ll sue them if they didn’t give you … You forced them … It was a quota … Who did you sleep with to get that? … “ I did hoped that we as the human race had progressed beyond that, but I guess not.

Now that’s one perspective, one aspect. Here’s another perspective, another aspect that I think I’m gonna go with… I gracefully got out of a destructive marriage and relationship. What luck to have a doctor that was doing research on diet and diabetes and allowed me to be part of the research as a test subject, where basically my medical expenses were free. I was put on a very specific diet catered to me and for the last 6 months have not had to go on insulin or any other medication. I lost 30lbs and now all my tight fitting clothes hang off me like gunny sacks. With all the money issues, I still have a roof over my head, and food on the table albeit a small amount of food, but I’m certainly not starving. Business transfer was successful, and I applied for citizenship, so hopefully in the next few weeks I’ll have my new passport. I got to enjoy one of the best Summers Ireland has had in a long time. Even got a great tan that I’m still sporting a faded version of. I’ve traveled. I went to Belfast and the Giant’s Causeway and it was magnificent! I was in a parade, a Halloween parade no less!  I’ve met some beautifully interesting people and had incredible conversations. Even met someone who would put all you so called “Whovians” to shame! And I discovered just how much I can take, and man oh man, Atlas step aside ‘coz not only can I hold up the sky but everything above and below it! But my skin got thin, my knees did shake, and I bled a lot…

So my New Year’s Resolution(s)? Well, among other things, I’m resolving to be meaner. No joke there. I’m going to allow myself to be mean and angry. I’m going to allow myself to put my foot down and make no excuses. And when I say “meaner” I’m not talking about causing any harm, but tougher with more intent. I’ve catered to the sensitivities of others far too much, stifled my anger and compromised myself as a result. Time for me to step up and join the rakes of the feisty middle aged battle axe. I will lose “friends” this year, but I’m not bothered.

A note to all those that I call friend and to all those that call me friend. I will be your escape goat, I will be your punching bag, a shoulder to cry on, and I’ll even be your door mat. We are friends and I will do all this with no complaint. We are friends so you know that I would never intend to do you any harm physically, mentally, or emotionally. If there is anything that I say or do that may have you think otherwise, DO NOT ASSUME! Please talk with me, ask questions. We are friends, so I know your qualifications in this or that. There’s no need to rub my nose in your accomplishments, smother me with your resume/CV, or jam your degree(s) down my throat. Since we are friends we will never beg for each others attention, approval, or acceptance. That is a given. If felt that I needed to, or have to, then I will simply walk away because at that point we are no longer friends. … Let say that won’t happen. Let resolve that won’t happen. Let’s resolve that won’t ever happen. We are friends so lets be and do as friends are.

And so it is. That’s my New Year’s Proclamation 2015. Fingers crossed I can live up to it!

Serendipitious Noises #16122013

The Bitz & Pieces of Traveling From Ireland to Denver on the 16th of December 2013

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Here I am … I’m waiting to go through security at Cork Airport. Ahead of me is a family, Mom, Dad, and twin boys with long plantinum hair. They couldn’t be anymore than 3 years old. They were very good and put their jackets and mini back packs into the trays. Wide eyed and so very curious they looked around pointing and almost in unison asked “Was dat? Was dat Daddy? Was dat?” Dad answered very politely while herding them through the line. One more person through the metal detector and it was their turn. WAMP! WAMP! WAMP!

“AAAAHHHHHHHHH! DADDYYYY! DADDYYYY HELP! DADDYYYY!”

“LADS! It’s alright! She’s alright!”

“I’m OK! Just forgot to take my hairpins out of my pocket!”

The twins whimpered and held tight one each to Dads legs. Dad tried and tried to pry the twins from his legs to send them through. He’d dislodged one to send him though, but when he went to work on the other, the first would latch back on!  Mom went through in hopes to entice them through, but to no avail. Daddy’s legs were the safest place in the whole world right now and they were going to stay there until the clear and present danger of the metal detector has been eliminated!

People started grumbling, Dad was exhausted, the twins resolve unwavering. Finally Dad through up his arms, he shook his head, put his hands on his hips and  marched through, twins fully attached!  … Silence … A calm fell on the whole of security along with a sigh of relief.

“AGAIN DADDY! DO IT AGAIN!”…

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I’m sitting in a long row of seats in the common waiting area of terminal 3 at London Heathrow silently heming and hawing over whether to spend too much money on a Starbucks Americano. Behind me is a beautiful little girl who was as dark as midnight, with a smile as bright as your most magnificent dream! She played with a delightfully haunting giggle. An elderly  couple laughed and smiled with her. They spoke to her in German. The little darling turned to her mother and asked; “Was dey say?”

“They said they you are a beautiful young girl and will grow up to have a golden spirit!” (Gold Geist)

In front of me there was a young boy, maybe 5 or so? He goes up to a man sitting across from me and asks; ” Why are you wearing a toilet seat?”

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I give in! I go and wait in the long, looooong line and get myself a grande Americano and a maple wafer something or other.  I make my way back to the common waiting area. The place was packed! Holiday travel, who woulddah guessed? In the sea of people, and carry ons, there were two rows of seats 8 seats deep facing each other. In the middle was a young man sitting quietly, hands folded, elbow on his knees. How lucky!? Empty seat with only one person among them. I nearly skipped over and sat in the seat catty corner from the young man.

“Why you sitting there?” asked the young man. I desperately look around me, looking for a sign or something that indicated that I wasn’t allowed to sit there.

“Uhhhh, … are we not allowed?” I asked back

“Ju allowed, but look at me!?” I was confused, I didn’t get it. “… I look like a Mexican drug dealer!”

I looked him over. Beautiful carmel skin. Jet black wavy hair slicked back. Meticulously manicured gotee. Blue plaid flannel shirt button to the top, untucked. Cargo pants. Work boots. Small leather case … “OH MY GAWD! YOU DO!!!” A moment of silence …

“AAHHHHH! HAHAHAHAHA!” We laughed until we cried

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It’s still another hour before my gate opens. I’ve finished my Americano and wafer whatevers. I drift in and out of daydreams. I pulled and all nighter so I was too tired to read or do much else other than sit and stare. A man and three women come by and sat in the empty seats around me. I suspect that they are speaking Holland Dutch. They sounding very much like the Go players I have met from Holland. Well the man started whistling a nice little tune. He seem to stop abruptly when he noticed that I was listening.

“Keep whistling.” I tell him “Nobody whistles anymore. It’s nice to hear!”

“Ah, I don’t vant to be rude.”

That broke the ice per say, and we all started chatting away. I was curious though if I was right in my assumption that they are from Holland. So I ask; “Where are you all from?”

“Ve are from Holland! Can you not tell!?” says one of the women

“Yaw, it is obvious! Ve are all in our 50’s traveling. Ve have very short hair…” says another

“Ve are wearing fleece and comfortable hiking boots!” says the first woman

“Ve are eating cheese …” laughs the 2nd woman

“Ah here see …” the 3rd woman pulls out her carryon “… I have a bright orange suite case!”

“Naw…” Says the first woman “… Zat is because you are a lesbian!”

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My gate was going to open up here in a few minutes, so I start gathering up my stuff. I’m packing my carryon like a Tetris master when a young woman wheeled up an elderly man next to me. She fussed a bit with the basket behind the wheelchair, then sat down across from me. The man put his arm up on the arm rest and there on his arm, a set of tatooed numbers …

I was in shock. I couldn’t even gasp! I was rude, I stared in amazement! What do you say!? What do you!? I couldn’t look away! My heart started pumping in my ears! Did I start to shake? Oh gawd! I don’t know!

He turns and looked at me. Oh gawd! Oh gawd! Oh gawd! He reaches out and puts his hand on my knee. What do I do! What do I do! …

“It’s O.K.” He says softly “It’s real.”

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Too the gate! Down this way, on the metal walking conveyer belt thingy, walking, walking, trip off the metal walking thing! Didn’t fall down! AWsoMe! Turn the corner. NO! Wrong corner. Walk back, turn the other corner. OOoO! Another metal walking converyer belt thingy! I’m walking faster than Cheetahs! 1…2…3… JUMP! Off the metal walking conveyer belt thingy … 9 point landing … or 10 … or … aw hell, A MILLION POINT LANDING! Whoot! Whoot! At the gate! Long, looooooooong line. …. Sit down and wait … Line’s way shorter, get in line behind a raven hair beauty caring a cardboard witches hat with panty hose for ties.

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The line leads into another waiting room before boarding. Another waiting room another need for extra security. Hand the man my passport and bording pass…

“Where are you coming from?”

“Ireland”

“Going back home for the Holidays?’

“No, Ireland’s home, I’m going to visit family.”

“What do you do there?”

The dreaded question. Do I tell him the truth? Tell him that I’m a martial arts instructor and play along with all the ‘OoOooO! Guess we’d better not piss you off!?’ ‘OooOoo! I guess nobody’s gonna hijack this plane!?’, ‘HiiiiiYaaaaah!” … *sigh*… and then go through and extra security search. Or lie …

“Uh … I’m a little shy about saying this … but I ah … I ahhh teach martial arts…”

“Why be shy!? That is GREAT! What do you teach?”

“Uh … Shaaa … Kung … aahh … Shaolin” … I stuttered – was not expecting that.

“Oh! Oh! Hasim over there has taking … Uh … Hasim what did you study? She teaches Shaolin”

I walk along the line and Hasim meets me.  “Wing Chun” he says.

“Yeah! Wing Chun is part of Shaolin! …”

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Hasim and I are having a delightful conversation about Ip man when I come up to the 2nd check before you enter the waiting room. We linger there as we talk about how Bruce Lee took about 2 years of training from Ip man himself.

“Hey! There’s people in line here!” A shrill voice lashed at my spine. Hasim finished his sentence, and I begin a respone but was interrupted with “Hey! I said that there’s people in line here! We’re going to the US!”

I take a deep breath and tell Hasim that I should go a sit and wait for the same plane that everyone in line and in the waiting room is waiting to board. He nods his head and as I look for a seat I hear behind me; “Mrs. McKinlay, please step to the table so that so that your carryons can be searched”

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Because of technical difficulties the flight from London Heathrow to Dallas Ft. Worth was delayed nearly an hour. The fight was routine. Slept a little,  watched the movies … all the movies… terrible movies … I didn’t keep track of the time. When it landed I asked a local what time is was. 6:30pm. Oh, 6:30pm. … Shyte! 6:30pm!?  The gate to my connecting flight closes at 7pm! I’m still on the plane! I still have to claim my luggage and re check it! I still have to go through customs! I still have to go through security!

OKOKOK! I’m off the plane! Wow! They hand me an neon orange tix that says “EXPRESS” on it! In all capitol letters too!  “Do not wait in line! Go to the express line” the staff repeated to us as we raced through the airport! Head of the line at customs! Wooohooo! … Waited forever to claimmy7luggage…, …, …. Got my bag! Head of the line to check it! Head of the line through security! It’s 7pm! The gates closing!  No time to put my boots back on! Run with shoes in hand down the hall, along the metal walking conveyer belt thingy, up the escalators, to the train, the train is leaving, make flying leap onto the train just as the doors close behind me! …

Breathe ….

As I put on my boots I hear from the corner of the car; “Mis-skwak-kee!” Huh? The only time I ever hear anyone call me Mis-skwak-kee was other Native Americans referring to my Sauk & Fox affiliation. I look up from tying my boots and found a man with long pepper hair cascading down his shoulders. Blue denim button up, Levis and a fancy pair of tall “shitkickers”. He was decked out in green turquoise which suggest that he might be Navajo? I looked around to see if maybe he was talking to some one else. Nope. It was me.

“How did you know?”

“Well, you know how we Indians are?”

i smiled and chuckled. My stop came up. “I have to …”

“Go! Go! Catch your plane!”

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The gate was still open when I arrived. Last one on the plane. I settled in and fell asleep. I woke up in Denver, got off the plane, took the train to baggage claim and met up with Gregory …

“So how was your flight?” …

The 3rd Coyote

“Do you want it?”
“…Well, I’m, I’m not sure what it is really.”
“It’s whatever you want it to be …”
“…I mean is it a job or title or what do I do? … Seriously, do I actually turn into a coyote?”
“No, no, you’re already a coyote, that’s why I’m asking.”
“Do I get paid?”
“No.”
“But why the 3rd? Why not the 1st or 2nd?”
“‘Coz they’re not offering it to you…”
“Oh. So, are they better than you?”
“No. They’re just, uh, just the 1st and the 2nd Coyote…”
“… Is there a fourth one? Or ah, ahhh, 5th one, or a … ”
“Yah, know I, uh, have no idea…”
“Then how do you know there’s a 1st ‘n 2nd one?”
“Well, I know them. We hang out every now and again, sometimes we…”
“These are friends?”
“Yeah…”
“Wait! Wait! You said I was a coyote, which coyote am I?”
“I don’t know. Some people are coyotes and some arn’t, and you’re a coyote. Go up North and you’re a raven…”
“I have family up North.”
“Oh yeah? Where abouts?”
“Michigan.”
“Hey! Me too…”
“OK! OK! I’m not understanding here…”
“Obviously.”
“… If I took this I would be the 3rd Coyote, …”
“Yeah.”
“…What would that make you?”
“Not, The 3rd Coyote.”
“And you’re OK with that?”
“Again, obviously, that’s why I’m asking you.”
“…Hmm, … So, what would that mean, to be The 3rd Coyote? What would be my responsibilities? Are there meetings? Do I have to show up for meetings? I hate meetings! Would people know? What would they say? Do I have to get new business cards made up? – ‘The 3rd Coyote’. Ugh. I just got 500 cards made up! What will happen? Will the top coyote … person come over and … uh …”
“No. …*sigh* … You’ll just be The 3rd Coyote. That’s It.”
“That’s it?”
“Yep.”
“…No.”
“No?”
“Yeah, I don’t think so.”
“Oh. Alright. Well, you take care then!”