May 26, 2018

It's all in the mind + Getting played by your cats

Saturday is the one day of the week guaranteed to have nothing on the agenda except the do-it-every-day chores. Which means I can sleep as long as I like/need, the only caveat being that I have to be showered and dressed by 12:30.  Therefore -

Friday nights I always fall asleep quickly and sleep well and deeply through the night and therefore - I am up by 7am - well rested, feeling good. Now why is that? It rarely happens any other night/morning of the week. I can always count on sleeping well on Friday nights and being up early, feeling well-rested on Saturday mornings...I think it's all in my head.

This morning we got thoroughly played by the cat, almost. BB is dumber than a box of rocks except when it comes to food, so here's the play-by-play.

- 4 am - BB gets a 1.3 ounce can of food. Frankie gets about a third of a 3 ounce can of food - yes, different foods, both chicken but BB favors Sheba Perfect Portions and Frankie prefers Muse Pate.

- 4:30ish am - BB finishes anything Frankie has left behind.

- 9 am-ish- I'm usually up and eating breakfast and BB starts agitating for more food. He whines, bumps my leg, flops on the kitchen floor and stares at me with the most pathetic look imaginable. I give him more food.

This morning followed this scenario except -

- 9 am-ish - Husband and Frankie are napping in the recliner; I have finished breakfast and the newspapers and am off to my morning bathroom sit-down; BB dances around my feet whining for food. I dish up another Perfect Portions and proceed to the bathroom.

-9:15-ish - I hear my husband talking to BB - "Okay, okay, I'll give you more food, I just have to get some from the back closet" I shoot out of the bathroom yelling "Don't do it! I just gave him food 15 minutes ago!"

My husband and I laugh, we almost got played by this damn cat. Damn cat looks at us, gives out a weak and pathetic yowl and marches off to flop in the living room.

It is now an hour after that little performance, I can hear my husband and BB having this conversation in the kitchen:
                                             BB: Pathetic meow
                                             Husband: Nooo
                                             BB: Louder pathetic meow
                                             Husband: No, No, No.

Yeah, right cat - not happening.

May 8, 2018

I'm totally impossible to live with and I know it.

1. A place for everything and everything in its place. I am the laziest person on the planet and I see no reason to waste my time, energy or little grey cells in constant search of necessary items. Determine the most convenient place for something, put it there and done. If you have to remove it to use it, when finished, put it back where you got ie: where it belongs.  No exceptions, no excuses.

2. Please don't talk to me. Unless I ask you a question. Otherwise - silence is golden. Especially in the morning. Do not talk to me until I've been up and awake for, oh, let's say, an hour...or two.

I've always been fascinated by ASL,  imagine communicating without speaking. Heaven.

3. There is a right way to do something, a wrong way and then there is my way, which in my universe, is the right way. Over a period of time, I've determined the most efficient way to do the things I have to do, and that's how I want/need them done. I'm more than happy to teach/show you. Most of the time, I'm even happier to just do it myself. 

This of course delights the people I have to share my life with, whether at work or home, because they quickly learn not to learn.  They sit on their butts, I work mine off.

4. I can be very passive/aggressive when it comes to confrontations (anger). I don't do confrontation. This is very bad. I will get 'snippy' as my husband says. And nasty in a very polite way. Not good.

5. And I honestly, really and truly, prefer to be alone. A little social/interpersonal contact goes a very long way with me. When email was created it was the very best day of my life.

I am so miserable to live with that sometimes I get on my own nerves.

Apr 23, 2018

The comics are the fount of all wisdom

Somewhere in the comments recently there was a discussion about how I am not a hugger. I don't really like being hugged, and consequently, hugging someone back, tho I suppose hugs are mutual since giving and getting a hug usually occur simultaneously,

Annnywaaay - Today's comics page gave me this, and I couldn't have said it better (because if I could have, I would have.)

Apr 16, 2018

The song from yesterday

is still playing in my head, only with the lyrics - such a pretty song - words and music.  Does anyone write, and sing, pretty songs anymore? Ehh...

I tend to not think of myself as traditional but truth be told, I am. While I love technology, and given that I have been working with computers since 1969, that almost makes it traditional as well for me, I do tend to cling, emotionally, to the old ways (and days).

Case in point - Sunday, on FB, David aka Vanilla, posted a video of the service at his church, and I still can't get the term "worship host" out of my head. Add to that the service seems to be taking place in a cafeteria-like space; the video opens with young people, singing badly and playing instruments badly and dressed as if they were going to a community clean-the-streets event. Okay, call me superficial and judgey. Go ahead I won't be offended.

While I no longer consider myself a "Christian" I was for many, many years, starting as a child, a devout Protestant church-goer. I was in the choir (after an audition), wore the robes and head covering (it was exactly like a yarmulke), sang the hymns of the old time religion accompanied by a very substantial organ. The church I went to was small and the sanctuary was simple but traditionally church-y. Wooden pews, dark red center aisle carpet; two lecterns/pulpits each with a gigantic bible on it. We didn't have any stained glass windows, but every surface in the sanctuary was polished to a high gloss and with the sun shining in there was such a feeling of warmth and peace.

And I think that is all part of the religious experience. I could be wrong, probably I am, but it was part of the experience for me. I like churches. I will always visit any church that is open, just to absorb that feeling.

Of course there are those grand churches decorated with incredibly beautiful carvings and art; most Roman Catholic churches are chock-a-block with fancy doo-dads. I tend to stay longest at the more simply presented churches, the smaller ones, where you can feel the vibes.

I understand where all this casualness comes from, the young people relate to it better and it's all about getting those butts in the chairs (I say chairs because pews seem to have gone out of style along with traditional church buildings).

Of course the location of where one receives religious instruction should not matter, it's the people and the message that matter but still...


Mar 27, 2018

Innately solitary, introvert or claustrophobic?

Just talking off the top of my head.

This morning in the Health & Science section of WaPo, there was a photo accompanying an article on mindful meditation, something I'm not capable of (along with not really understanding what "being present" means).

This photo made me instantly anxious. Placing myself in the photo, sitting in a group of people like that - No.

I don't do groups, of any kind. Physically or mentally or emotionally. No groups. No teams. No crowds. And don't touch me without permission. Seriously, don't.

On the other hand, I am most comfortable, and prefer, to work and be, with another person. Just one. I do one-on-one very well. I like one-to-one. I'm good at one-to-one. More than one, and I'm uncomfortable.

I don't know if that makes me an introvert. I know I am claustrophobic and I am somewhat solitary in that I crave aloneness but I also enjoy being social.

When a photo can cause anxiety, can you imagine what the reality might evoke?

Mar 13, 2018

I hear you but I don't comprehend

I never noticed it when I was in high school but when I got to college I realized that I don't comprehend information which is conveyed by speech.  I hear the words well enough but all my brain processes is 'Blah, blah, blah, Fluffy". I'd walk out of classes muttering "Just give me the reading list, and I'll show up for the tests".

I dislike being read to. I can't, obviously, deal with audio books. If I don't read it then I don't comprehend it; I don't learn it; I don't absorb it.

It's like what Mrs. Forlano said in the 6th grade - if you write a word 3 times then it is yours. When I had a big important test my study method was - re-write all of my notes. I would take a day off from work, hole up in my apartment and just write. It would make me crazy when I got to school and all the kids would be in the hall quizzing each other - I would have to walk away and hide where I couldn't hear them. 

I don't think I do this with social conversations but when I am talking on the phone I'm automatically taking notes. 

Everyone learns differently. For me it is reading. And hands to brain. Show me, don't tell me. Once I do it myself then it is learned. 

So my question to you is - How do you learn?

Mar 8, 2018

After yesterday's post I realized

I have a theme, so to speak. An unconscious drawing to the idea of love so encompassing that two become one.

My very favorite poem of all time is John Donne's The Legacy  It is about a man who loves a woman so much that when they part it feels like he dies. And as he "dies" he wants to send her his heart but when he reaches into his chest to get his heart he finds, not HIS heart but hers.

In yesterday's poem, it ends with a similar metaphor:
                     "than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
                      so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
                      so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep."

I am not, on the surface, a soppy romantic, soulmate sort of person. Indeed, if you ask me, I will say there is no such thing. There is no such thing as one perfect romantic partner. There is perhaps, a set of traits that fit and complement a person and any number of people can have those traits.

I do not think I need another person to 'complete' myself. I'm complete as I am, even without some of those traits that some might deem more worthy/positive/useful. With all my plusses and minuses, I am still, to my mind, a complete person.

For whatever reason, I have always been adamant that, while having a compatible romantic/life partner is a very nice thing, it is not necessary to my life, my happiness or my well being. And it isn't, not for me, but I understand that it might be necessary for some others.

And yet, somewhere in my unconscious, there I am drawn to the very romantic notion of two-become-one; that there is no boundary, no separation, just an all encompassing love.

Feb 22, 2018

Suspension of disbelief

I struggle with it. (Definition here). I am so literal minded that flights of fancy elude me, or should I say flights of fanciful elude me. I have trouble setting aside reality and accepting something other, which has become the premise for the presentation - be it movie, play, novel, poem. It's probably why I am not a fan of science fiction, or fantasy films or stories.

Lately we have sampled some tv shows that are based in previous centuries, particularly the 19th. Whatever the stories were, the thing that I focused on was - the dirt. I could not get passed how dirty everything was; how dirty the people were; filth offends me; dirt offends me. What ran through my mind, while watching what may have well been a good story, was - "Eww - how did people live that way?" "Where's the bathroom?" "When did they last have a bath?" "How did people survive in those conditions?"  That's all I can think about.  I can't see past it. 

Then there is my eye for the small details which interrupt my attention on the story. You know the kind I mean. A woman gets out of a car, without a handbag, rushes into a building, and then is immediately seen reaching into her handbag! Wait, what? Where did that come from, she didn't have it 30 seconds ago when she got out of the car. And that is a simple one. Nevermind more egregious ones, where in the space of time of a camera pan between two people, all of a sudden clothing is different, or a prop has disappeared. I see that. It annoys me. 

And my obsession with dates. The first time I read 'Fried Green Tomatoes' I wound up taking notes because the dates never matched up with the ages or the span of years in the story. Pages and pages of notes, which I actually typed up and sent to the publisher. 

And that is my life - seeing the details. Seeing all the itty-bits. The big picture eludes me. Yet I can follow a detail into the future. I can see all the possibilities of one little action or decision, which can then immobilize me from any further action/decision. I am not a risk taker. And it is not so much that I crave certainties as that I need to know where I'm going and how I'm going to get there before I start a journey - of any kind.

Which is probably why, after reading the first few chapters of a book, I read the end. Then I go back and read from where I left off in the beginning. 

'It's not the destination, it's the journey' - not for me. 

Feb 16, 2018

You count your blessings where you find them

People reacted to yesterday's post with a whole lot of kind words, warmed my heart.

BUT

I wasn't trolling for compliments, just talking about who and what I am and how I feel. Whenever I talk about my less than Beaver Cleaver childhood folks are kind. And they say nice things about me. And I know all y'all know I ain't got no halo or wings, and 'saint' is just a part of my last name.

My childhood, including my infancy was dominated by physical abuse. As I got older the emotional abuse was piled on, right into adulthood.

BUT

I survived.  I never actually had any broken bones. I never wound up in a hospital. Maybe she knew just how far she could go before people got suspicious. Then again, in those days, beating you kid wasn't such a big deal, especially when there were no broken bones.

The emotional abuse? Who tells their 12 year old kid to take the entire bottle of Bufferin and kill themself? Eh...48 years of that kind of shit. Okay - not nice.

BUT

Hey, I survived! In pretty good shape. Three years of psychotherapy helped some. And then, maybe I was just born with the skills and strength I needed.

So many children don't survive. Can't find that strength. So I count my blessings where I find them.

I'm basically a happy person. I laugh every day. I get overwhelmed with love and joy, almost every day. I'm easy.

I get angry and pissed off - every day. Because the world sucks. Because people suck. Because nothing is fair! And I cry just about every day because that's just how the world is going these days.

I love.  I laugh. I feel joy.  Who has it better than me?

Peace to your hearts - 

Feb 15, 2018

Trying to be kind

Trolling, trawling, googling the interwebz I looked up my niece, found her FB page and in her public photos I saw one she posted in December of 2017, a mere 2 months ago, of her and her grandmother, that would be, my mother. Oh my goodness, I thought, if that picture is current then the woman is 101 years old! And that kinda freaks me out a bit.

If I think of my mother's life, what I know of it, I think - No wonder she was not a very nice person. No wonder she acted the way she did. I won't say I sympathize, and I don't empathize. But perhaps there is a reason she was the way she was. There always has to be a reason, doesn't there? But then again, maybe she was just born that way.

It doesn't help me deal with the residual damage of her behavior towards me. But sometimes you just have to be kind. I can't say my life was so great, but, again from what I know, neither was hers. And she was/is not exactly an introspective person. She did not very nice things because she wanted to. She knew they were wrong but she did them anyway. She said not very nice things because she got some kind of pleasurable return seeing someone else's pain. When she was caught out, and made her lame excuses, you could see that flash of glee in her eyes - Ah, she got the result she wanted. She hurt someone.

On the other side - she needed to make other people feel small so she could feel big. Because she was hurt, she felt entitled to hurt others; she was unhappy, so should other people be. I'm sure there is some 'technical' psychological term for this, I could look it up, perhaps, but I can't be bothered.

One of the drawbacks to being a Libra is that I have this tendency to see everyone's point of view; to weigh all the possibilities and outcomes. I do not make snap decisions. (Or maybe that's just me and has nothing to do with astrology.) All these personality tests I have taken lean to describing me as empathetic - empathy is hard. It can be exhausting. To feel your feelings AND other peoples. Too much.

Needing to understand why someone hurt you - that's a big one. If you understand does it make it hurt less? No, but there is something about understanding that eases - not sure what to call that which it eases - but it should, and does, maybe.

Most of the time, as long as I don't dwell on the specifics, I have managed to reach the point of pity. How sad to have been her, lived her life. I still don't excuse her, forgive her, empathize or sympathize. But I do pity her.

Because no matter how much I have screwed up my life; no matter all the mistakes I've made, the wrongs I've done - I am not her.

And because I am not her, I have been overwhelmed with love, given and gotten; and joy - so much joy.

I don't think she ever felt those things - how incredibly, incredibly sad.

Feb 13, 2018

The damndest things make me happy

Yellow makes me happy.  The meaning or significance of the color is somewhat contradictory but I choose to embrace the positive meanings. Because that's just who I am. Tho there are some who would look askance at that statement.

There are times when I think I use the color yellow a lot because Miss Frankie Lulu Belle looks just smashing set against a yellow background...

(click to biggify - you won't regret it)

(click to biggify)

Ah, happiness is...