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Last Dance, Brussels

Tonight is my last night in Brussels. I leave early tomorrow morning and to celebrate that, I came to a nearby gastropub to have a couple Belgian beers.I didn't know from the Yelp description that it was such a happening place, but as I sit here post meal sipping on a Grimbergen, a common beer here but one I can't find stateside, typing on my phone, I know that I will miss this. Not as much as I have missed home, but I will miss this.I almost didn't come. Did you know that? For about a week, I wavered on the decision after my initial residency fell apart, and my husband couldn't join me as planned for the latter part of the trip. What was I going to do in Europe for a month by myself?Luckily, I bounce back quickly because I went into plan mode. Destleheide, a mutlidisiplinary artists residency, accepted me almost immediately. The rest also fell into place. A lovely, wonderful friend in Cardiff, Karen, opened her home to me and was the most amazing tour guide in Wales! …
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Ten Things

1. Steps walked:  87,751
2. Visited cities: 2
3. Days I've been without my dogs and husband: 10
4. Words written: 7000
5. Times I missed spicy food: 5
6. Beers: 10
7. Books read: 1
8. Tours taken: 2
9. What's App Messages: 5064
10. Stared out the window wondering what to write: unknown




I Don't Want to Talk About Trump

Because if I do, I get angry. And not that brief wave that can be dismissed with a roll of the eye, it's that deep flash I get when someone cuts me off, and I yell from my car and wave my middle finger in the air, and suddenly feel blind with rage. I don't know what I would do if one of his racists cult followers yelled something at me. I don't think I would be able to take the high road as many of the people we see on social media videos have done. 
I don't want to talk about Trump, because if I do, I start to feel like there is no goodness left in the world. Because if you see the news a 91-year-old man just got beat by a brick by a woman and was told to "go back to your country. While Trump did not make people racists, that's always been around, he gave them a disgusting platform that excuses their behavior. A black man can't wear socks to the pool without a woman calling the police. You know those sock bombs are awfully dangerous, or maybe he was going…

Goodbye, Tony

On Friday, I woke up to a set of text messages in my family's What's App chat about Anthony Bourdain. I quickly Googled his name and saw a flood of information about his death. I say death because I don't want to say suicide. If I say it, the many memories of all the shows I shared with him get watery before my eyes. The ballsy man from Jersey who I wanted to be when I grew up becomes human and frail and hurt. 
The days following his death, I stayed away from social media as much as I could. My habit of scrolling through Instagram was a brief reminder, then I would shake my head and close the app. Brief glimpses showed me photo after photo of him with one of his many quotes and a caption about resting in peace.  I had the similar gross feeling of disdain that starts in the back of my throat after countless thoughts, prayers, and needs for God after a school shooting flood my social media. My stomach turned. I found something vulgar in all the shares and social media sentim…

Summer Lovin'

This summer, I am not teaching. While I love my job, I also love writing and it was time to take advantage of being able to take the summer off to return to my first love.

Last week, I wasn't quite sure what to do with myself though. In fact, since the semester ended, I've been restless. I can't shake the feeling that I've forgotten to do something. I have to stop myself from checking my email several times a day.

Instead, I've been reading about music, watching movies, YouTube videos, and documentaries about music. I made a questionnaire for listeners and a target one for women lead singers in bands. I am even attempting to learn the guitar. While I haven't spent a lot of "butt time" writing, my brain is churning, thinking, putting things in order, creating ideas and bridging others together. Even as I've made to do's to keep me busy, folding the-I-never-want-to-fold-laundry or cleaning out my closet, I've been thinking about music. Busy …

Let Them Eat Guns

The first time I held a gun I was around seven-years-old. I remember the feeling of being at the outdoor gun range with my mom, which in El Paso is really just the desert with some wooden barriers put in the right places. It was bright. I squinted even wearing my mom's oversized aviators. The hot but cool heat of her .357 service revolver in my hand was heavy. I felt like Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry and every other western I'd seen on TV with my grandma only I was wearing pink Converse.When I tell this story, I get looks. I get the pursed lipped looks. I laugh the judgement off just like I've learned to laugh off the other things on the ever growing list. It's easier to judge when someone wasn't  there. When they don't know. Their faces change dramatically when I follow up by saying my mom worked in law enforcement, and that she showed me how to use a gun so I understood what it was. Suddenly, I'm no longer some hellion from Texas who went around swing…

I Want to Be Like Jules

A few weeks ago, I went to the screening of Pulp Fiction at the Alamo Draft House.  I was excited to see the movie in the theater. To be honest, I can't remember if I saw it in the theater the first time, but even if I did, I probably didn't get the subtleties of the film and really just thought all the shooting and fucks the movie used were amazing. Because I mean, they are amazing, but I'm older now. More mature. Yeah, that's it.

On an odd but serious note, I think this was apparent in the connection I felt with Samuel L. Jackson's character Jules. I know that may sound crazy. I don't shoot people for a living. Arguably, I don't cuss as much. The N word is definitely not dropped from my lips outside of singing along to Jay-Z or Kendrick alone in my car. But what rang true for me was the end.

No, not the part about the bacon. While Jules makes a point that pigs are filthy animals, I can't help but turn around and eat bacon. It's too delicious to pa…