Nov 20, 2010

Why I Don't Do Holidays

Without going into the back story about the creature that was/is my mother, certainly a tale for another day, I will try to explain why I don’t do holidays.

Every holiday, and it matters not what holiday it was – could be Flag Day, a birthday, or Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter – whatever, you name it, the mother made sure that everyone was miserable.

Every holiday I could be sure to get a beating – why? Who knows, she never needed a reason. Actually, wait, the reason I was beaten on a regular basis was that I was alive and breathing. It infuriated her that I existed. I was abused from the time I was a fetus. The physical abuse pretty much tapered off when I got into my teens. I was bigger than she was. The emotional/psychological abuse didn’t stop until I was 48 years old and I cut off all contact with her. But as I said that is another story.

Every holiday she would be screaming “I’ll make you remember {fill in the holiday here} 19{fill in year here} while beating the crap out of me. And I do remember them, every one.

Not happy memories at all. Not even one small tiny happy holiday memory. Mention a holiday and I flash back to anger, screaming, beatings. One Christmas I had a solo with the church choir and she forbade me to go and then made sure I couldn’t sneak out. She knew it was important to me. She knew it made me happy. And goddamn it all to hell, I wasn't going to be happy if she had anything to say about.

I keep saying that I don’t hate her any more; that I have decided to believe that she is/was mentally ill and not just plain evil. But when I think of the holidays in particular, the hate does comes rumbling up. The holiday beatings, the holiday abuse, some how stand out more than all the other beatings and abuse.

So don’t talk to me about holidays. Don’t wish me a happy anything. I don’t know how. I never learned.

Oct 21, 2010

Do what you love, they say

And the thing I love to do more than anything else in the whole wide world is - to laugh! Giggle, tee-hee, guffaw, fall off my chair, pull a stitch in my side, tears rolling down my face, pee-in-my-pants, whatever I'm drinking shoot out my nose, LAUGH.

I'd rather laugh than dance, and y'all know how much I love to dance. If it weren't for the fact that breathing is necessary to appreciate laughter, then I would prefer laughing to breathing.

When I was single and people would ask for my romantic criteria the first thing on my list was "makes me laugh". Laughter is sexy. If you don't make me laugh, what good are ya? And if you can't have a good giggle in bed, why bother? If it's not fun, then you're doing it with the wrong person.

For all you folks out there who have made me laugh, I thank you. You have helped me to do the one thing I love doing more than anything else.

You know how folks will always say they want to die in their sleep - quiet and peaceful? Not for me, thanks, I want to die laughing.

Oct 1, 2010

There is no such word as "loved" love has no past tense. If you ever stop loving someone then you never truly loved them in the first place. -Unknown~
“If ever there is a tomorrow when we're not together.. there is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. but the most important thing is, even if we're apart.. i'll always be with you.” ~ Winnie the Pooh

Sep 24, 2010

Good Sense...

Something to keep in mind when deciding who to vote for:
"Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it."
~~~~ Buddha ~~~~

Sep 20, 2010

I will never understand,

not intellectually or emotionally, why anyone would be opposed to marriage. “Oh”, you say, “marriage is one of the core family values” except for those people. Why are those people, those human beings, those loving, caring people not allowed to marry? It pisses me off. I truly do not understand it. What the hell is the problem?

Is there so much love in the world that we can afford to turn our backs to it? Yes, those people are allowed some of the legal benefits of marriage, in some places. But everything having to do with these people seems to have conditions. Why?

Yeah, yeah – there are the ignorant that believe gays/lesbians are all sexual predators – and that always seemed like projection to me. What are they all afraid of? Their own secret fantasies?

Then there are the religious objections. This is supposed to be a secular nation. There is supposed to be separation of church and State. Religious rules and regulations apply only to the people of that religion; they do not apply to the rest of us. Mind your own business.

How do you define yourself? Me, I am a human being, homo sapiens, and that’s the most important definition. After that I am a female. After that – well it’s gets a little bit fuzzy, because then we get into the wild and wonderful area of individuals. If you make rules and regulations for homo sapiens then they have to apply to all homo sapiens because that is the bottom line, the one unifying characteristic. How many years has it taken to do away with most of the laws that were gender based? Women got the right to vote in 1920 and women have been around as long as men have. Male and female; both homo sapiens – laws should be the same.

Which brings us back to – marriage as a legal right for consenting adults. Two homo sapiens marrying and receiving all the attendant legal considerations, rights and privileges as well as responsibilities. Why is there any question about how to apply this? (And no, a civil union is not equal to a legal marriage.)

Religious marriage ceremonies have no legal standing. You have to have a state issued marriage license to make it legal. So if religions wish to deny the emotional and spiritual element to certain people, it is their right. But it is no one’s place to deny the legal protections of marriage to any two consenting adults. Period. End of discussion.

So I don’t get it. I have never understood. I will never understand. Gay, straight – what the hell is the difference. We are homo sapiens. And we love.

Aug 23, 2010

Silence

Silence is the loudest sound.
Silent screams the most terrifying.
Vacuums the vastest spaces.
Loneliness the deepest pain.
That which can only be seen, or heard, or felt
inside your own head, or heart or soul,
is the deadliest.



Aug 12, 2010

Personal heros...

I have none. There is no one I "look up to". I don't think I could name anyone as a role model, well a positive one; there were people I knew I didn't want to be like.

Certainly there are people I admire and by that I mean people who I like and whose talents, abilities, personal charm, etc.I have an appreciation for. They are not people I want to be like or emulate in any way. Just folks I like.

There have been people in my life who were helpful and kind; even a few, here and there, who were encouraging and I hope there will be more such people as I go along but...no one person stands out as being more influential, in a positive way, than any other.

There were times, in the distant past, when I was asked who I wanted to be like, I always answered "Peter Pan". Don't know why since I always liked Tinker Bell better. And I certainly had no desire to be a forever child. I probably just said it because it put people off. I used to say a lot off-the-wall stuff - not because I believed it but for the "Say what?" response it provoked. As a younger person than I am now, I really enjoyed jerking people around. I still do - but only someone who is a complete asshole. Speaking of which...

Cottonelle is the worst toilet paper ever.


Aug 4, 2010

Yesterday it occurred to me that

most of my daily conversations are with the cats and those conversations usually consist of rhetorical questions. Reading that, I now wonder, if only one person is speaking is it a conversation? And if it is a rhetorical question, where no answer is expected, is it a conversation?

My "conversations" with the cats:
Are you crazy?
Must you be everywhere I am?
What have you got now?
Do you want the cheese or not?
Move your fat butt.
Leave her A-lone!
Do that one more time and I swear I'm gonna kill you.
Didn't I just tell you to get down? Am I not speaking English?
Get OFF!
Often the conversations are a bit more involved and my husband will respond. I tell him I was talking to one of the cats and he will say "Oh, I didn't mean to butt in" And he is not being facetious.

I think my husband and I have to get out more!

Jul 30, 2010

Phantom Hair

You have all heard of phantom pain or a phantom but what about phantom hair?

Wednesday I was bored to tears, and I really could have found productive things to do but none interested me. It was mid afternoon and I hadn't showered yet(!) so I decided, what the hell, before I hit the shower I'll cut all my hair off. Not just cut it short but cut it ALL off. I always wanted to see what I would look like bald.

Well, I have to tell you - bald is NOT a good look for me. Not at all. Nope. Bad idea.

For the last 2 days I have been pushing hair, which doesn't exist away from my face (I hate hair in my face - that's why I detest bangs!). I've been tucking non-existent stray locks of hair behind my ears. When I get warm I run my hand up the back of my head to fluff the hair that isn't there. I have always been a hair twirler (maybe because I was a thumb-sucker. There are 2 kinds of thumb-suckers: the hair twirlers and the nose rubbers and actually I was both. I could multi-task from an early age), so I am tugging and twirling my phantom hair.

It's an odd feeling - phantom hair.
Fluffing hair that isn't there,
I have no feelings of despair.
It will return, I have no doubt.
Until it does, I'll do without.

Jul 28, 2010

Having a good eye

I have always loved photographs - particularly the old black and whites. I think shooting in black and white takes a special skill, lighting is everything and then add the magic that is done in the darkroom. But wait - there isn't a darkroom anymore, there is Photoshop.

When I was a teenager I thought about studying photography but it seemed so very complicated - f-stops, exposures, it seemed like a whole lot of math. And then there was the darkroom where a lot of technical knowledge and skills was needed. It was very intimidating and seemed a bit beyond me. All this digital stuff, still intimidating, still beyond me.

Now anyone and everyone is a photographer. The good ones still have to have the technical knowledge of exposure settings, lens settings and who all knows what else, seems very complicated to me. But even the less good photographers have digital means to "improve" and change a photograph. No one, it seems, actually produces a finished product that hasn't been messed with. Layers, textures, light and color balance, erasing bits and pieces, adding bits and pieces - all done with a click of a computer key instead of it being in the original photo and the adjustments made in the darkroom.

A new trove of Ansel Adams' glass negatives have been authenticated and are going on tour. Some lucky soul bought them at a garage sale and after 10 years has finally received the approval of the art community as to their authenticity. I wonder what he would make of today's photography? Or for that matter Stieglitz, or Beaton or Arbus or even Avedon. Did they "mess" with their photographs? Yes, I'm sure but in a far different way than photos are messed with now.

But still...

The difference between an amateur and a professional photographer is the EYE. Some people just have a good eye. They seem to know what will make a good photograph; they know how to frame the shot before they click the shutter. It's a talent you are born with, like every artist.

But still...

Where before someone would use paint to create a picture now people use a digital camera and Photoshop. And that's not to say what they produce is not beautiful or intriguing. I have bought photographs because they touch me in some way. I have a gorgeous one hanging on my wall. It's signed, and is a one-off - the photographer pulled it on to linen paper which gives it a soft dreamy quality and it is in black and white. But it wasn't done with a digital camera.

And my point is -

While many of my blogger friends are very talented photographers, I often wish, when looking at their photos, that I could see what they saw, not what they have improved, adjusted or just generally messed with. Because these people have "THE EYE", that innate talent and ability to see something the rest of us miss; the ability to show us an aspect of something we never noticed.

Then there is imagination - folks who can take a photo of an everyday object and then through computer skills turn it into something completely different - so the photo becomes something that, in days gone by, an artist would have painted. I would almost dub these folks as artists rather than photographers. They take an ordinary photo and turn it into something else entirely. That's where imagination comes into play. They see something the rest of us don't - instead of painting it, they photograph it and then use digital means to turn it into something else.

Not that photography is not an art. It is. Perhaps my favorite art form. I will never pass up a photography exhibit, while I can easily ignore the latest Renoir retrospective.

But where I still marvel at how the heck Carravagio painted light the way he did, now I have to wonder just which Photoshop application someone used.

We now have the digital age of digital art. And in this time of worshiping anything organic I would like to see more "organic" photography.

Photographer friends, I want to see through YOUR eyes, not the eye of the computer. Show me what I missed when we both looked at the same thing.

Tell me a story.

Jun 3, 2010

Snippets

This phrase repeats inside my brain:
‘The rhythm of the days has changed’
For good or ill, I cannot say, but
The rhythms of the day have changed.

~ ~ ~ ~

Jun 1, 2010

The story of me, the carnival and the cowboy gun and holster

Time: 1951 or thereabouts
Place: Somewhere in the Bronx at a street carnival.
Action: A game of chance booth, the carnival version of roulette. My daddy lets me chose a number. I win. I ask for the cowboy gun and holster set. I get handed a doll. I have a temper tantrum - I want the gun and holster. I throw the doll on the ground and smash it. I demand the gun and holster. My daddy drags me away crying.

End of story.

May 27, 2010

The ordinary is extraordinary: For Lisa, who can't remember Friday

I am often caught up short when I become aware of how extraordinary the ordinary can be. Sometimes it is an afterthought that floats across my consciousness and brings a smile. Sometimes it smacks me upside the head – reality check. Sometimes it makes me want to grab a person by the shoulders and shake them – “Can’t you see?”

Every ordinary day adds up, stacks up, one after the other. Days of work, laundry, cooking, cleaning, caring for the people in our lives – “You’re tired, let me get the coffee” and being cared for in return - “I’ll get the laundry while you finish making dinner”.

A life becomes the sum of these ordinary days. Have you created a great work of art? Saved a life? Changed the world? Yes, yes you have. With every ordinary day filled with the kind of love we take for granted; the quick absent-minded kiss ; the cake that came out lopsided because you were busy changing diapers and making lunch at the same time. Oh how you laughed at that lopsided cake – tasted fine even if it didn’t look so good.

The doors you held for people you didn’t know; the smile and the eye-roll of commiseration for the cashier at the grocery store; all the smiles, good mornings and thank you’s to bus drivers, mailmen, strangers you passed on the street – carelessly tossed their way. You may have changed a life that day, or just made someone’s day a little lighter.

Need I go on? I don’t think so. Y’all know what I’m talking about. We take ourselves and our ordinary lives for granted. We don’t see them for what they really are.

I’m not a star, maybe you’re not either, at least not on the world stage. But in our own ordinary worlds, our own ordinary lives, we shine! And with every ordinary, caring, loving thing we do, whether we know we are doing it or not, we are saving lives, changing the world and creating a great work of art. It’s called life.

So then, let my obituary read: She cooked and cleaned and filed and typed. She loved, and was loved. She smiled; made people laugh. She danced to music only she could hear. She ranted and raged and wept. She was down but never out. Not many knew her name but she lived an extraordinary life.

As do all of you.

May 7, 2010

My fantasy home...

would be something like this:

Everything on one floor. Walls between all the rooms with pocket doors. (I am no fan of the open concept.) High ceilings. Recessed lighting. Light wood floors. No rugs or carpets except for bathroom mats, and kitchen mats – for safety mostly. Lots of windows with plantation shutters in natural, light wood. Walls in the whole house painted varying shades of yellow. No moldings anywhere. Nothing, but nothing, painted white. Actually as little white as possible anywhere.

Living Room: Big, cushy leather furniture, colors TBD but not black. One or two small side tables for putting coffee cups etc. Floor lamps where needed. Console table for TV and related electronics. That’s it, that’s all. (I don’t get coffee tables – just something to trip over and take up space.)

Bedroom: Bed, 2 small side tables, bench or chaise for sitting. I would of course have a huge walk-in closet with dressers, a vanity table, all the appropriate storage.

Office: Could double as a guest room therefore a Murphy bed. A desk, desk chair maybe a small love seat and a large closet for storage of all things.

Kitchen: Huge – No stainless steel except for the sink. No granite counter tops. Something more practical, I’m still researching that one. A walk-in pantry and all cabinets would be Universal Design in a medium colored wood. Glass doors to the patio. A small round kitchen table and chairs.

Dining room: A table, chairs, maybe a sideboard for storage, nothing on top. Or perhaps, once again, a closet for storage.

Bathrooms are bathrooms. Wood floors. Double walk-in shower with all the bells and whistles. Universal design on sink and toilet. Lots of light.

A patio/garden. A shaded area with a table and chairs and a swing. I must have a swing. A nice shade tree. Lilacs; lots of hyacinths in the Spring. Any flowers that are bright and smell terrific. Hibiscus! And azaleas – I love azaleas.

I have some art pieces for the walls and I would guess, given time, I would acquire more. I also like decorative mirrors. I do not accessorize. No pillows, No tchotkes. No plants. I don’t like plants inside. I do love cut flowers but I have cats and they bring me more joy than vases and vases of flowers. I have been thinking of vase wall sconces, if such a thing exists, and why shouldn’t it. Kitties couldn’t get them.

Can you picture that? Everything pared down to the essentials. Everything put away behind closed cupboard/closet doors. As much as possible everything done in natural woods. I think all the doors should be somewhat spectacular tho. Carved perhaps. Or done in marquetry.

Light, bright, clean, serene – just the essentials. My idea of heaven. I can but dream.

May 4, 2010

Come out out, come out wherever you are

I can't find my sense of humour. Whether it is on a temporary hiatus, non-operational due to technical difficulties, off on vacation, gone fishing, shriveled and died from lack of fuel, atrophied from lack of use or just hiding out for the duration...

Totally sucks when I can't find something to laugh at...including myself.

Apr 16, 2010

Core attitudes and two arrogant people

As children we form our core attitudes based on what we see and experience around us. As we get older, learn more, are exposed to the world and society at large those attitudes expand and we adapt them. But still deep in our mind those first learned attitudes and values linger and all to often unconsciously rear their little heads.

My husband’s core attitudes are that he is smarter than everyone else; women should be seen and not heard and belong in the home; women are not as competent as men and certainly there is no woman who is smarter and more competent than he. As he grew up those attitudes did not serve him well and he adjusted and adapted – not a lot but enough.

Then he met me.

In the last two years both of us have had limited interaction with the world at large. My husband works from home and I don’t work at all, and not by choice. I prefer to work, as domesticity is not one of my core attitudes/values/aspirations.

Lately he has started to tell me how to do things that I taught him. What? Because he is not constantly reminded that there is a larger world he has to function in, he often, unconsciously, reverts to his first-learned perceptions of himself and his place in the world.

I have made him aware of this and he agrees. Good of him to agree – that is a plus in his favor. In the past when, on the rare occasion his arrogant, unsophisticated little boy made an appearance, all I had to do was raise an eyebrow. Today, I had to lay it out in no uncertain terms. We nearly had a heated argument but somehow I made us laugh and then the serious conversation ensued.

Which means, I have to find a job. As he said, I am not happy when I am not working and if I’m miserable then so is he. It’s like the old saying “If the Momma ain’t happy, then nobody’s happy” Well, I ain’t the Momma, but I sure as hell am unhappy, and my unhappiness is palpable.

It’s not healthy to define yourself by work but I do. And as long as I’m working my husband does not regress to his core attitudes as often. Unfortunately my disability is becoming more pronounced and where I live is not so amenable to the disabled – difficult to get around but I shall have to find a way...

Or I can just keep on smacking my husband up-side the head when he forgets who is dealing with.

Apr 13, 2010

I'm ready to join the dinosaurs

I can't ever imagine myself using an ebook reader. Kindles or schmindles or whatever. Newspapers are going out of business on a daily basis. Everything is miniaturized including language so it will all fit on a tiny hand held screen. I hate it. I am becoming a luddite. The whiz kid is reverting to dinosaur.

I simply can't imagine breakfast without my newspaper. Yeah sure I can read them on-line but I don't want to; it's not the same experience. I want it full size. I want to feel the paper in my hands. I want to fold the pages. I want to doodle in the margins. I want to rip out an interesting article and save it for later. And let's be frank here, I can't imagine taking these electronic reading devices into the bathroom.

I like books made of paper. What's the first thing you do when you get a new book? Smell it of course. You know you do; ah, the scent of fresh book - nothing like it. And books are portable; so are newspapers. You don't have to plug them in or worry about their batteries going dead. They are always ready when you are. Something about reading words on paper, it holds my attention. I can't read more than a few short paragraphs on the computer. I get impatient; I get annoyed. The print is too small, if I make the print bigger then you can't see whole sentences and the letters are distorted. I've been trying to read this blog post for days. The subject interests me but after a few paragraphs my eyes start to roll back in my head, I get bored and twitchy. I read an article in the NY Times recently on Tesla so this post was of interest, unless I print it out I'm never going to read the whole thing. Pity.

10 - 12 years ago I would have killed for a smart phone; now I have no need for such a thing. I just want my cell phone to make and receive phone calls. I use it so infrequently I might as well not even have one. I've got close to 5000 roll-over minutes in my account.

Remember 20 years ago when when AOL and dial-up was pretty much the only game in town? And you were billed by the hour. The internet was a more interesting place then I think. Elitist, yes. It required a certain amount of money to have a computer and an internet connection. I loved my chat rooms - filled with interesting people and interesting conversation. Intelligent conversation that over time degenerated to a/s/l.

I just don't have the stomach for the internet anymore. I'm over it. I'm over computers. I just can't excited about the next big small thing. 40 years of computers and the thrill is gone.

Apr 10, 2010

So I've been a little testy these past few days, so what.

I really haven't had much of a sense of humour these past few days. The only thing making me smile was cute baby animal pictures.

Many folks believe in the happy idiot/gratitude attitude - you know, slap a smile on your face no matter what; walk a mile in another person's shoes; be grateful for what you have; let go of all the negativity; find happiness in the little things - BULLSHIT!

Yeah, yeah - someone somewhere is living a horrible dreadful life - pain, poverty, hunger, homelessness, illiteracy (and those are just my neighbors) and I'm not. So? You think someone just handed everything over? No - I worked for everything I got and no, it's not enough. And yes I want more. And no, I'm not asking anyone to give to me (I can buy my own lottery tickets, thank you).

An old friend once said "Grace, you are always hot under the collar about something" Yes, yes I am. It keeps the blood flowing; keeps the little gray cells all fired up. Pissed off? Angry? You bet, and I'm real happy with it. Whiny - not so much. Whiny kinda annoys me - I get on my own nerves with my whiny crap. But whiny has a legitimate place in the emotional landscape. Just let's not make a career out of it.

And I don't understand why acceptance is positive and angry is negative. How do you think anything ever got achieved? Someone pissed off, angry and frustrated decided they were mad as hell and wasn't going to take it any more.

I grant you, the things you can't change or control need to be put on a back burner but that doesn't mean you accept them happily or you can't rail about them or against them. I don't see that as negative at all. I think a little heart felt, well founded negativity is a positive thing; an agent for change.

I think having a reason to get up in the morning is important but I don't think la-la-ing around and stopping to smell the roses is it.

Sunshine is nice but I do so love a good thunderstorm.

Apr 1, 2010

My husband and I are such snips

Thursday is trash/recycle pick-up day, so we put everything out on Wednesday night. We have 2 recycle bins because my husband drinks a lot of Diet Coke and we read a lot of newspapers, then there are the cat food cans, plastic milk bottles and other assorted bits and bobs. We learned very quickly that anything you put out on the sidewalk WILL be retrieved by someone, anyone, passing by. It has it's up-side. We managed to give away the old leather recliner but no one wanted the kitchen table. We put it out for trash and I don't think it lasted 20 minutes on the street - whoosh - Gone.

There is some guy who comes around on recycle day, really early in the morning, and takes all the soda cans - JUST the soda cans. Lately he has been taking the newspapers too. By the time he is finished we have two recycle bins with hardly anything in them so we go out and consolidate, leaving just one bin, before the truck comes by.

That's the back story.

All those books I said I was going to get rid of? Well the ones that were not donate-able went into the recycle bin. Some of them were hard cover biographies published over 40 years ago. After we put them out, we had the following conversation:

Husband: "Are books recycle-able?"
Me: "They're paper, so of course"
Husband: "Do you think someone will take them?"
Me: "Are you kidding? I don't think the people around here know who Gertrude Stein, George Sand, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Vita Sackville-West or Queen Elizabeth I, are."
Husband: Of course, you're assuming they even know how to read.

Oh snap!

And yes, the guy who takes the cans and newspapers was here early; left the books and the New York Times Book Review section of the paper.

I guess books just aren't all that popular in South Philly...

Mar 31, 2010

"It's not all about you" Excuse me?

I hate when people say that. It is often flung at you by the drama kings and queens, who think everything is about them, you ever notice that? Just shake your head in disbelief, and walk away.

Your life is about you – your wants, needs, likes, dislikes, happiness. As long as your choices do not impact, in a material way, negatively on someone else – Well, excuse me – it’s YOUR life.

What brought this up is that I think my brother is pissed at me because I did not offer a reaction when he sent me pictures of his lady friend. As a matter of fact he emailed me back. “You don’t approve?” Excuse me but who the hell am I to approve of someone’s choice in friends/companions/lovers – whatever middle-aged people are calling each other these days. My brother is crazy about this lady and he is happy. Good enough for me. Besides it is none of my business. Repeat – NONE OF MY BUSINESS.

And I am happy for him? Every day of my life I wish for him nothing but happiness. But really – it is all about HIM, it is not about me. It is not my life, it’s his. He is a big boy, with a job, a house, and money in the bank. He does NOT need anyone’s approval. And he sure as hell doesn’t need mine. I am a little pissed that he would even entertain the notion that he needs it. I love him the way a mother is supposed to love her child – unconditionally, forever and ever, no matter what. If he’s happy, that is all that matters.

It has always made me uncomfortable to be asked, “Do you like my new coat/hair cut/apartment/furniture/boy friend” What does it matter if I like it? These choices are YOURS. It is all about what YOU like; what makes YOU happy – not me. I don’t think I have made a habit of asking for other people’s approval. I certainly hope not. Have I made bad decisions? Oh, you bet – more than I care to contemplate. Have other people helped me when the consequences of those bad decisions came back and bit me? Yes, and I love them for it. Still, my life – about me.

If someone asks for my opinion about a life choice they are facing I will help them make a list of pros and cons. I will ask the questions they should be asking themselves. But I will not give them the answers. I don’t have answers for other people’s lives. Hell, I don’t have answers for most of the questions in my own life.

So, to my brother, if indeed he is pissed at me, and even if he’s not – You don’t need my approval for anything. Nor should it even be a thought in your mind. I love you, and will support you in whatever you do. Whether I think it’s a good idea or not. If things don’t go as well as you would have liked, I will be a shoulder to lean on. I will NOT say, “I told you so” because, hopefully, I never said “Yea or Nay” to begin with. If all your choices turn out well, then damn babe – good on you. Makes me smile.

So, it’s not about you? Oh hell, yes it is. It’s about you trying to be the best possible you. You are no good to anyone else if you are miserable, resentful, angry, or are forced to be self-sacrificing. Decisions and choices made at the proverbial point of a gun cannot have a good outcome.

Has my life been all about me? I wish I could say it has been but I’d be lying. Do I resent the times it hasn’t? For some things yes, for others, no. But at the end of the day, I am responsible for my life, my choices, my happiness – and I really don’t care if anyone approves. Because it is all about me.

Mar 26, 2010

Talking to myself

You know how you have conversations in your head? Sometimes you have these mental conversations with someone else and sometimes you have them with yourself. Right? We all do this.

The other night I'm lying in bed, my mind chattering a mile a minute, and it appears I am having an argument with myself - there are 2 "me"s facing off, really going at it when all of a sudden a third "me" comes bouncing in yelling "Shut up you two, I can't think!"

I actually sat up in bed and laughed out loud.

I was conscious of seeing, in my mind's eye, 2 balls, that were "me", arguing and then a third ball come bouncing in, also me.

Just in case you need a visual, it looked something like this:



Now I actually have conversations, out loud, with myself. It confuses my husband but he has gotten used to it but this has to top it all - a 3-way conversation with myself.

I think it's funny as all get out, what do you think?

Mar 12, 2010

Getting old...

Getting old is not for sissies,
So they say,
and they,
are right.

Unlike J. Alfred, peaches
are not a problem
yet,
but peppers

Green and hot,
onions raw,
Salami, cheese
all of these

Bring me to my
knees, and more,
find my husband

At the store.
Pepto, Maalox,
liquid chalk

All are bought,
and chewed and drunk.
Gagging, gasping,
oh, the pain

As I moan
"Never again".

Amazing how a good
nights sleep
has me now on
steady feet.

What’s for lunch?

Mar 4, 2010

Not feeling all that well so sticking with pet pics and other oddments

There are times when my internet connection is glacially slow up here in my "office". I have discovered that if I wave my laptop around the signal improves. Ok, whatever works.

While I have some rather esoteric "spiritual" beliefs; am a firm believer in the efficacy of various forms of psychological therapy, I cannot abide, and hold in contempt, all the new-age ooga-booga bushwah, pop-psychology, positive-thinking, happiness and prosperity propaganda. And you know what the significance of the Mayan calendar last date (12/21/2012) is? The rock they were carving it on was only big enough to accommodate that much. Or as a cartoon I saw proposed "The boss decided to go with desk calendars from now on"

I refuse to apologize anymore for being super detail-oriented, super organized and neat and tidy. It works for me, it makes me happy and contrary to what some folks might think, it saves me time and energy.

My husband just got back from the hardware store which is just one block away from Frangelli's so I'm just betting when I go downstairs I will find warm donuts on the counter


Jan 11, 2010

Nope, I never have wanted to do crafty-stuff

When I went to grammar school in the 1950's they made you learn how to sew. In 6th grade you had to make an apron. You had all year to finish it. One afternoon a week the girls went to the home ec room and sewed, by hand, while the boys went to a wood working shop. Don't you know the very last day of school there I sat, crying and trying to finish that stupid apron. And I gotta tell you it was simple, simple, simple.

In 8th grade we had to make our own graduation dresses. Ah, what a monumental disaster that was. We started them in September and they had to be finished by June. We did get to use sewing machines on them. We all used the same pattern and had to have the same type of material (polished cotton) in any pastel color of our choice (mine was bright yellow). They wouldn't let us take them home until the day before graduation. Can you imagine what these dresses looked like after 10 months? You can bet that night every mother in the neighborhood was busting her ass taking those barely recognizable-as-dresses apart and trying to make something presentable. I'm sure some mothers already had one done and hanging in the closet. And, needless to say, mine was just a wad of raggedy, grubby cloth. Thankfully my mother could sew.

Currently my sewing kit is, well, hell I don't actually know where it is. I do know it is contained in a plastic sandwich bag.

I do know how to do a basic crochet stitch and I have made blankets. Mostly for the cats. Just plain basic single or double crochet - boring as all hell. I was taught to knit when I was 6 or 7 - never mastered it. Didn't care. Even more tedious than crocheting.

I learned to cook at an early age, enjoyed it. Now? Oh, please - I feel like a condemned man being marched to my death every time I have to go into the kitchen.

I was around 13 when I swore, silently of course, in my best Scarlett O'Hara accent, "As God is my witness I will never get married, have children, cook, clean, mow lawns, pull weeds, plant flowers, wash windows or do any thing domestic."

Obviously, since I am a clean freak, I did do housework when I lived alone. Cooked? Nah. I had a bottle of catchup for 7 years. I actually took it along when I moved. I lived in apartment buildings so all that other stuff was someone else's responsibility. I did eventually get married, at 44. But I have never, ever, enjoyed domesticity. Hate it. The older I get the more I hate it.

I decided to be a serious writer when I was 10 (everything I wrote prior to that was just, well, you know, kiddy stuff). Does that count? I love music and always wanted to learn how to play the piano. Got the opportunity to take lessons when I was in my 20's - even bought a piano. Discovered I have NO talent for it. NO ability at all. None - nada - zero - zip - ninguno. Same for drawing - Love art - can't draw a straight line with a ruler. In high school you had to take 2 semesters of art. One teacher passed me because he said I was too smart to flunk art and it wasn't my fault I had no talent. The other semester I passed on my own merit because I learned to draw a 3 dimensional box - whoo-hoo! And I did a pastel drawing the teacher liked. We were told we had to draw an emotion - I choose loneliness. Got an A. Need I tell you it was quite abstract?

I did take tap dancing lessons and acting lessons when I was in my 30's - those I was really good at but I don't think that's what we're talking about here.

Other than all that - nope. No crafts. Don't have any desire to make any stuff. Did I learn how do any of these craft-type things? Yes, under duress. As soon as the gun was taken away from my head, I dropped them like they were angry tarantulas.

I admire people who do have all those skills and interests. If y'all didn't we'd all be standing naked in the middle of an empty field.

Jan 7, 2010

I was gonna...

rant and rave about my own stupidity. Go on and on describing all the bad decisions I have made when it comes to this house plus my on-going battle with laundry appliances. I could have done that. And y'all would have commiserated and been very supportive. BUT...

I would be paying attention to my anger, frustration and negativity. I would be forcing YOU to pay attention to all of that, and you would reflect it back to me and I would pay attention to it, yet again, and some more. That's an awful lot of negativity. And I would be making myself feel small, and dark and worthless.

But suppose I just say, oh, well, done is done, moving on. Suppose I pay attention to the positive instead of the negative?

What do you pay attention to every day? To the negatives or to the positives? Be aware. Think about how you feel when you pay attention to the negatives, and then how you feel when you pay attention to the positives. Is there a difference? Which do you prefer?

What will you pay attention to today?