May 23, 2015

Cate & Joyce: A Short Story


There were no machines beeping, no nurses to disturb her peace, no groups of doctors telling her the grim news, and that's the way she wanted it. Joyce had been a nurse for over 3 decades, she saw it all. She delivered stillborn babies, watched many grandmothers lose themselves to Dementia, and watched as once strong men fell to the battle of Cancer. But now it was her in that same battle, however, she knew she could not win. She was tired, and not just the tired you feel after a strenuous day. She was tired of living, tired of pretending, and just thinking of going on another day was like thinking of an endless race that she was forced into. Her husband and children didn't understand it. A mere 3 months of chemotherapy. She knew they thought she was just giving up, but it was bigger than that. The doctors said her chances of remission was somewhat favorable, but how could they truly know? 

Joyce knew how doctors worked, she had been around them through the trials and triumphs of the medical field for over 30 years. She knew they sometimes made things seem better than what they were, for the sake of the patient they said. 

She laid in her bed, where she wanted to be, with the wooden blinds opened as much as possible, the sun shined through so beautifully she couldn't help but smile. She loved the sun and its wondrous magic. She remembered her best friend and co-worker Cate. Why hadn't she come by to see her? Joyce had been home for three days, where was she? 

Cate and Joyce worked together at East Ridge Community Health Center, their lifestyles couldn't be anymore different. Joyce had two children, a husband, was an active Methodist and was very traditional in the way that she lived. Cate was childless, unwed, and lived a very care-free lifestyle. She was spiritual but hated organized religion. They had similarities too, they were both physically active, loved the outdoors, enjoyed re-runs of The Golden Girls, and they were passionate about their profession. 

When they first met, it was during their lunch hour. There was a picnic table outside underneath a sycamore tree. Joyce loved her job but hated being cooped up in the Center all day, so everyday for lunch she took her lunch outside to the picnic table. Since it was in a secluded area, Cate went there to eat and smoke.

On the first day they sat in silence, Joyce eating, Cate smoking. 

"Hey you know that's not good for you?"
Joyce frowned, "What do you mean?  It's just a BLT..."
"Oh so you're not one of those nurses that police everyone's lifestyle choices?"
"Nope...What you do is your business, what I do is my business, as long as our businesses are separate, I'm fine!"
Cate took a long drag of her cigarette and blew a circle of smoke. "Ah, I like you. I've ran every single nurse off that bench with that question."
"Takes a lot more than that to run me off, I have two boys. Age 3 and 4, I can tolerate a whole lot!"

They both laughed and enjoyed each other's company for the hour. Every work day for 20 years they ate together. They had an open and honest friendship and an unbreakable bond. She shared things with Cate that she never even shared with her husband. They had a natural flow when they were together, way beyond completing sentences and inside jokes. So, why wasn't she there? 

It took a week before Cate actually showed. Joyce was weak but aware. The sun was shining through the blinds as usual, the room was quiet. Cate walked in quietly and shut the door. She agreed to give Joyce's husband a break for a few hours. He had sat by her side 24/7, but truly who she wanted to be with her came a week past due. 

Cate placed a crystal vase full of white tulips, Joyce's favorite, on the night stand. Joyce could smell the light but familiar scent and she knew it was her. She opened her eyes slowly, her lower back hurt and excruciatingly so, a constant pain that got worse as the days went by. 

She noticed that Cate was speechless, she had been crying, her eyes were red, puffy and dry looking. 

"Oh my dear friend. I have been waiting for you. How are you?"Joyce asked weakly.

Cate cleared her throat, "I should be asking you that! I have been better but I'm well. You don't have to talk, I know it may take a lot out of you. Just listen."

Cate pulled the Lazy Boy that Joyce's husband usually occupied closer to the bed and sat. She started talking about everything going on at the community center. The janitor who was still having an affair with a married doctor, the nurses who were fired because of drug abuse, their least favorite patient Marvin, the new Charge Nurse that everyone hated, and all the juicy gossip she knew she'd love to hear. Joyce nodded, smiled and even laughed enjoying the new information. She could tell it was hard for Cate to be there but it meant the world to her that she showed up. 

After all the gossip, things were quiet and still. Joyce was antsy, she wanted to confess but it was hard. She stood up by the bed and leaned over to Joyce. Her face was peaceful and she was beautiful as always. 

"We both grew up during a time..." she stopped suddenly, seeming to try to find the right words. It was obvious the end was near, Joyce's eyes were yellow, she was so pale, so white she almost looked gray. Cate had seen this preface to death many times. "You're a stick in the mud, I'm a firecracker. You're intellectual, I'm physical. You're a pessimist but I believe in optimism. You are my everything. We grew up during a time when it was not OK...To be who we are. But damnit I'm saying it now. I love you and I know you love me, we were more than friends, you know it; we are lovers. We were meant to be...You will always be mine..." Cate broke down in tears, burying her wet face into the bed sheets. 

Joyce had only a small bit of energy and it took every muscle she had to open her eyes and speak. Her body hurt, she was tired, almost in a daze. 

"I do. I love...You. I've waited for a long time to hear you say that." She said just above a whisper. She remembered all the times Cate lingered a little longer, moved a little closer, touched her so sweetly. She paid attention to her and looked at her square in the eyes everytime they talked. They had a connection, but neither of them ever acted on it or expressed it blatantly. In reality they were friends but the language of their love for each other was one they only understood but never could fully explain.  

The next day, she was found on the floor in her bedroom, in the fetal position. Her eyes were almost swollen shut, probably from crying. Not one doctor could truly determine the cause of death, they knew for a fact that it wasn't foul play or even suicide. No one knew that Cate succumbed to a broken heart. 

May 22, 2015

My 10 Favorite Songs by Beyonce


Heyyyyyyy Mrs. Carter...

Over the past month or so I've been really into Beyonce. I admit, I've slept on her since her third album I Am...Sasha Fierce. I heard a few singles from 4 and of course a few singles from her latest album Beyonce and honestly, I wasn't really impressed. I think Bey's greatest hits came from her first three albums. The artistry behind B'Day was genius and I think the album is a classic. It's her most versatile album in my opinion, but many people would strongly disagree. Through my time of re-discovering Bey, I think it helped me see her evolution, it's almost similar to watching a timid child grow up into a confident and lovely adult. From just branching off from Destiny's Child, to experimenting with sound and style, to becoming the Queen Bey we know today.

Anytime Bey drops an album, it's called an 'era'. She's known for switching up her styles for each of her albums, it keeps people wondering what she'll do next. My favorite era was the I Am..Sasha Fierce era. Many people have started to call Bey a representative for modern day feminism, and I have an issue with that. I think this was more evident in the Sasha Fierce era versus the Beyonce era. In every music video for the songs from Sasha Fierce there were always two other ladies with her. I think this represented the idea that Bey wanted all women to be "with her" as she rose to legendary fame. She shared the spotlight and had no problem doing so, which I loved. I think people placed Bey in the feminist category only after the release of "Run the World (Girls)" which was on the album following Sasha Fierce. I think she was a symbol for feminism before the song, but maybe it wasn't as blatant. I almost wish she would go back to the Sasah Fierce era, or at least incorporate some aspects of that era with a new era.

I'll be honest when I say none of the songs on the Beyonce album appeal to me. I think it does contain a couple nice songs, but nothing I would consider to be in my top ten. The Beyonce album seems to be an album of the time and a sign of the downfall of musicality in general. That's not to say the album isn't good, but in comparison to her others, I just think it's lacking. I always expect Bey to be unique and different because she is Queen, but on the last album I felt as if she blended in with today's sound, which worries me. Anyway, without further adieu, here are my top ten Beyonce songs. This is probably one of the hardest lists I've ever had to compile!

10. Green Light/End of Time (tie)

9. Irreplaceable

8. Radio

7. Dangerously In Love

6. Be With You

5. Baby Boy

4. Sweet Dreams

3. Countdown

2. Telephone (with Lady Gaga)

1. Deja Vu

After careful consideration, Deja Vu is my favorite song by Beyonce. It's edgy, has a great sound, and her husband Jay-Z is on the track, how much better could it get. I'm not a fan of Jay as a rapper alone, but when he collaborates with anyone ESPECIALLY his wife, the sound is always magical. Telephone is a really close second, because technically it is a Lady Gaga song, and even though I adore Gaga, I think Bey totally owned the song.

Extra tea: Run the World (Girls), Flawless, and Partition are three of my least favorite Bey songs!

What do you think? What are your top ten Beyonce faves?

Things I Hate About Facebook


This list is no specific order, because sometimes all of these are extremely annoying simultaneously. I feel as though everything on Facebook is always an extreme of something. Also, this list will probably evolve over time, so keep checking back to see what I've added! If you have any to add, leave a comment!

1. Promiscuous (or formerly promiscuous) people heavily criticizing promiscuity

One of my Facebook friends constantly posts about 'thots' when she was once a 'thot' herself. For those who aren't hip to the lingo, a 'thot' is social media language for someone who is promiscuous, loves attention, and has very little depth (personality wise). When I knew this lady years ago, she was considered to be loose and slept around a lot and this was in high school. Today, she can be seen uploading cute pictures of her children and playing the role of doting wife and mother. I understand that people change, but blatantly being a hypocrite only makes you look horrible. Everyone knows this girl was very promiscuous in high school, it's not a secret which is why it's annoying. I see this all the time!

2. Baby/Kid picture overload

I get it, you've recently had a baby, you're excited to show off your beautiful offspring to the world! As I said at the beginning, everything on Facebook is an 'extreme' and this is a great example. Some of my Facebook friends only post pictures of their child(ren) for special occasions, which is lovely. Then you have those parents who not only take pictures of EVERY SINGLE FREAKING MOMENT THEIR CHILD IS AWAKE, but they also post these pictures. One girl uploaded at least 30 pictures of her son in one day. It wasn't even his birthday, which I could understand a little better. I feel some kind of way about parents who over-photograph their kids, but truthfully if you want to take a hundred pictures of our kids, by all means go ahead. Their future vanity and 'look at me' issues won't bother me one bit. But don't post all hundred of them on Facebook. Just because you take pictures of your kids doesn't mean you love them more than someone who doesn't. I just don't get why people have to document every single moment of their kid's life. When we were kids in the 90's, cameras only came out for special occasions. Now since cameras are so readily available they've lost that 'special feeling'. One of my Facebook friends had a baby  a year ago, and the first picture she ever posted of the baby was on her first birthday! I thought that was so cute and cool. If I ever become a mom, I will do the same. There is no reason to plaster your kids all over social media.

3. Making it known that you have a 'bae'

Again for those not hip to the lingo, a 'bae' is shorter term for the word 'baby' or 'babe'. It's used as a pet name for the person you consider yourself to be in a relationship with.

I just really hate it when girls/guys post these statuses:
"My baby is at work, I miss him/her so much. Can't wait til she/he gets home"
"My bae is home and I just cooked a really great meal for us to enjoy, I love my baby so much."
"Me and bae just finished dinner, now we're about to watch a movie. Our love is like a lifetime movie"
"There is trouble in the middle east, me and bae will pray for them all."
"Bae is knocked out, but I can't sleep, why would he leave me like this? But I'm his ride or die!"

*heavy sigh*

Who...CARES? But just a couple months ago you were hardly posting anything at all. No one needs to know you're in a relationship, except you and your partner!

4. Superiority Complex

This is one of my biggies. It's the "let me post something not typical to make people think I'm unique, therefore better than they are!". Valentine's Day is probably my least favorite day to be on Facebook. There's either people posting all the stuff they've gotten or people openly whining about not getting anything because their single or proclaiming "The Lord is my man!". Anyway, this year took the cake. While people did the usual postings, one of my Facebook friends said, "let me make myself appear above thou peers" so she posts a picture of a gun that she received for Valentine's Day. Her caption went something like this: "While everyone is posting that stupid stuff like flowers, cards, and candy, I got what I really wanted, a gun! You ladies need to do better". Say what? Just because you didn't get the usual doesn't mean what you received is better. I have never had a valentine in my 23 years of life, my parents always bought me sweet things, but I would never go around raining on people's parade because I didn't get flowers, cards, or candy. It's like EVERYTHING 'normal' is uncool on social media. If you post that you bought a 2016 BMW someone is going to post "people still buy BMWs?" or something like "I just bought myself a 6-speed bike, so much better than those gas guzzling, environment killing BMWs". It's just catty and messy, let people live!

5. Like My Status (LMS) Games

I thought we moved passed LMS games in 2012. Please stop.

6. Using it as a means of 'therapy'

Honestly, I didn't realize how many people need a therapist until I ventured over to Facebook in 2011. That doesn't mean that all people on Facebook are crazy, but I do believe that lots of people need an ear and since writing multiple statuses is an easy, free fix. You can garner sympathetic and inspirational comments from anyone of your many friends, which I suppose helps the situation. One of my Facebook friends experienced a sudden loss a little while ago and she was beyond devastated. It was a delicate situation and truly my heart goes out to her. As soon as the unforeseen incident occurred she took to her page, expressing her extreme grief, which was fine for a while. Then after a few hours it became a 'woe is me' type thing where she hinted at being suicidal, hating herself, being reckless, etc. Then I became annoyed. She literally posted at least 20 statuses per day. I just hoped someone would take her phone, toss it in the river, and transport her to the nearest therapist ASAP. She truly needed it. While there maybe some therapeutic feeling of posting things and getting things out, it's still not healthy. The reality is this: Most people on Facebook don't care about your well being. It's easy to type some long comment with the phrases 'I will pray for you', 'inbox me if you need anything', and 'time heals all'. It's social media, people are there to be entertained, so please take note that some people find entertainment in your darkest hour.

7. BEING ON IT ALL THE TIME

Although this one doesn't apply to just Facebook, it's huge pet peeve of mine. I hate seeing people on any social media site all day, posting statuses, liking every post that pops up within 30 seconds, and never taking a break. I could say a lot about this, but it's pretty much self explanatory. Get a real life. I don't have a real life but I'm not going to get caught up in the rapture of a fake world either.