Sep 17, 2011

Random thoughts with no further explication

I have an irrational dislike of socks. Not the wearing of them but having to deal with them in the laundry.

We don't appreciate ourselves enough. Fantasy is one thing. We need to applaud our reality.

I truly hate people who tell you how wonderful they are. "Oh you did that, well I did THIS" Ask me if I care, asshole.

If you have to tell someone who you are, then you aren't.

You can't make yourself bigger by trying to make someone else smaller. Matter of fact you can't diminish me in any way.

People who put themselves down irritate me. Are they expecting me to contradict them?

If you want my help, ask me. If you want me to shut up and go away, just say so. My name isn't Kreskin, I don't read minds.

You can't save people or change people who don't want to be saved or changed. Why do we do this - to make ourselves feel better?

Walking away from confrontation, bad decisions, people who make you crazy or cause you pain - No shame in that. You're not giving in, backing down, running away, being cold or hard-hearted. You are being smart. You're saving the only person you can - yourself.

Do it from love or don't do it at all.

If you're not happy ain't nobody else in your life gonna be happy. And if they are happy because you're not? Why the hell are they still IN your life.

Your birth certificate does not come with a guarantee.

Rules have their purpose and are necessary but you know, sometimes - Fuck the rules.

And the all-knowing, omniscient THEY? They don't exist. So it doesn't much matter what they said - about anything. Ever.

Sep 15, 2011

Contrary yet again.

I was reading a book review this morning. In it the reviewer comments that "It's no coincidence that the teenage years dominate so many memoirs. They're a good deal more interesting than those dull early-childhood years favored by Freud."

Really? How about you all. Were your teenage years more interesting, in a good way, or fraught with anger and angst, than your early childhood days? Were those teenage years a normal mix of good and bad; All good; All bad?

Between the ages of 13 and, oh say, 20, life was static. I won't say happy - that word surely never entered my mind during any time of my life spent in my parents home. I was 14 when I started high school. By that time the physical abuse had pretty much stopped, I was bigger than The Mother and we had a dog who would not tolerate her raising a hand to me. If she wanted to beat on me she had to chain the dog up first. She learned that the hard way. The psychological abuse never stopped - not until I was 48 and ceased having any contact with her but other than that...

...They were quiet years. I hated the high school I went to but it was the only game in town. I had passed the test for Hunter High School for Girls but that year they didn't take anyone from Queens, so we were told. It would have been a long commute from Queens to Manhattan and girls were still "protected" back in 1960. Too much traveling for our sensitive delicate little selves - Ha!

My high school, the year I started, had an official enrollment of 6000 students. Yes, you read that right. The frequent race riots had dissipated and everyone pretty much kept to their own, self-designated areas. I mostly stayed away from the place for the first year and half, then it dawned on me that if I wanted to got to college I needed to make some grades. It also took the school that long to figure out I wasn't there that often. One white, high-IQ, under-achieving but passing, girl didn't draw much attention amongst gangs, assaults, rapes and other assorted mayhem.

My social life, what there was of it, centered around church and my immediate neighborhood. I knew these kids since I was 8. We all went to the same schools and all that blah blah blah. I certainly wasn't popular. I was fat, ugly, smart and quiet. Never had a boy friend. Never went on a date. Never invited to parties. Never was kissed. But I was the one everyone confided in. Asked advice from. I suppose as much as teenagers respect other teenagers, I was that.

I was never ever teased or disrespected in any way. Never. Ever. In my whole life. Any where. Any time.

Except at home and by my family of course.

My teenage years were far from interesting. I went my own way, did my own thing, alone. No one interfered. No one cared. Some crap at home but I was used to it. I managed to placate The Mother - I did the chores, I took care of my brother, I stayed out of her way. Easy peasy.

So my teenage years? Quiet. Dull. Uneventful. Probably the quietest, calmest time of my life. Nothing going on that would make a memoir interesting or memorable. For all intents and purposes, and certainly to the casual eye, I was a good girl living an exemplary life.

Good thing they couldn't read my mind!

Sep 13, 2011

The homophone hazard.

Why are there so many homophone mistakes? The other day I saw peace for piece. There is also the ubiquitous peak for peek, and let's not even think about throwing pique into that mix. I just read a blog that had isle for aisle. Unless of course the writer really meant that there was an isle in a movie theatre that someone was pacing up and down. The again it might have been a typo - the writer just not hitting the a key

These errors jump out at me and give me the itchies. They distract me and often I can barely finish reading. It's like a traffic accident - you gotta look, and in my case, look and look and ...

I suppose everyone has a particular grammatical error that drives them around the bend (contractions and the possessive form are fun too) and mine has become homophones.

If anyone reading this is a teacher, perhaps you can offer me some insight (or incite for homophone lovers) into this recent epidemic of homophone horrors. Non-native English speakers/writers are exempt.

Then there are homonyms, which in some definitions are included in homophones and I can see their (there/they're) point.

Definition of homophone and homonym:
homophone - two words are homophones if they are pronounced the same way but differ in meaning or spelling or both (e.g. bare and bear)

homonym - two words are homonyms if they are pronounced or spelled the same way but have different meanings" Source
If I remember correctly I was taught homonyms were words spelled the same but with different meanings. But that was a long time ago, I may be misremembering.

In case you are curious this site is a handy homophone reference.

Grammar is not one of my strong suits - proper punctuation and apostrophe usage have me second guessing myself and Googling as I write - and still I get it wrong. But homophones - I think I pretty much got that one aced.

Sep 12, 2011

Light Change

Have you noticed how the light has changed? It's only mid-September and already the light is changing to Fall. Yes, it's getting dark sooner but that's not it. Late afternoon feels so much cozier now.

I noticed it last week. It was dreary here, rainy but it felt different than when it was dreary and rainy in full Summer.

The Summer heat and Summer light is so hard and harsh and draining. While the light and warmth of the Fall is soft and protective. It wraps around you like a fluffy fleece blanket.

September is the new year for me. A time of hope and change. Only good things can happen. It is exciting. The air not only feels different, it smells different. No more dragging of feet and putting everything off till tomorrow, or sometime when sun and the heat is not so intense and hateful. Yes, hateful. That was the first word that popped into my head. So it must be right. At least for me.

Summer is hateful. Fall is hopeful.

Yes, I know that seems backward to some of you. But then I have always felt that night time is good and day time is bad. Night time is safe; day time is dangerous.

The spirits dance at night and so do I.



Sep 11, 2011

Written on September 13, 2001

I was living outside the country on September 11, 2001. I was involved in an on-line forum and there was only one topic of conversation. As much as I was horrified by the events of 9/11, I was appalled at the reactions of the people on that forum, and indeed, the reactions of the people where I lived at that time, tho for different reasons. I was attacked when I spoke for sanity and compassion, instead of the hatred and irrationality that was being presented there. This is what I wrote in response -

"You have all missed the point...(and I am all too aware of the people who come to our country and enjoy it's benefits and disrespect it. I saw the people dancing in the streets in Palestine and I was sickened..that is a whole other discussion. I am the child of immigrants and as liberal as I may be on some issues I think it is time we closed our borders).

The point is...Is no one disturbed by the fact that we will retaliate, as we must, and that more innocent lives will be taken?

When do we evolve enough so that we are not saying. "This is how it always has been and always will be"? Perhaps I am naive, still, to think that there must be some humanity in human beings and that irrational hatred should not be met with more irrational hatred.

This is not some visitation from god..this is the work of mad men; this is the work of hate...and, god help us, we are no better than they when we spout some of the stuff I have been reading for the last 2 days...

I am away from my country and my hometown (the greatest city in the world) and I have to listen to the people here talk about how this is going to affect the "tourist trade" and their economy and I listen to them interviewing American tourists whose only concern is that they are being inconvenienced and the American government and the airlines should pay their extra expenses and I am angry at this self-involvement when thousands of people have died horrific deaths.

And now everyone screams that there has to be more security. How much do you want to bet a month from now, when these same people have to go through tight security at the airports, that they will be the first to scream they are being inconvenienced. And the first to yell foul when taxes go up to help pay for the rebuilding.

And is no one asking why, within only 24 hours, the intelligence groups are coming up with incredible amounts of information; or that bin what-ever-the-hell his name is, announced in June that he would attack the USA and no one seems to have taken him seriously or that the intelligence community has announced that they are aware of large numbers of terrorist cells operating in the US. Why are they operating here? And why has the government allowed them to continue? That one of the terrorists has been in Florida for at least 15 months taking training in how to fly jumbo jets?

Americans have become complacent and self-involved. Remember the old Buffalo Springfield song "everyone carrying signs, each one says hooray for our side"...We cannot withdraw from each other or from the rest of the world. We are the UNITED States and we must LEAD and not follow and we must remember "No man is an island unto himself. Each man's joy is to to me, each man's grief is my own"

I don't even know what I am saying anymore...I don't know what my point is anymore. I am angry and sad and twisted apart by what has happened and how people are reacting. There is some Catholic prayer that says "pray for us sinners, now and in the hour of our death" and I can't get it out of my head..and I am numb from the hatred and the blood and the death and that there is more to come. I shake with grief for the innocents who have died and the ones who will soon follow.

I can't bear this anymore.

I never said we should not retaliate..we HAVE to. It is the hatred that is being spewed out. And yes it is irrational hatred. You are returning hatred for hatred. You hate every Arab? Every Muslim? Hating someone because they are a different color or religion or nationality is irrational, people's insistence that their "right" is the only "right".

"Bomb the middle east off the map" they say. Everyone? Every country? Every person? The innocent and the guilty? Do you think the vast majority of people on this planet do not want to live in peace and safety?

The United States MUST do what it has to do...but I am seeking some sense that we, the people, will do this with regret that we are brought to this. That we are forced into these actions that we shall take.That we will do this with the sadness and sense of horror that again, the many must suffer because of the few.

And when this is all over, will we too dance in the streets like the people we condemn?

Every death diminishes every person...

And if there is a god, and that god returned to earth now, (which would be as good a time as any), perhaps the first thing this god might say is "This is NOT what I had in mind"

I do not know why I feel so strongly - why I have not stopped crying for 2 days...perhaps because I am away from home and perhaps I am more aware than any of you how great a country I belong to. What a wonderful life we have there. How incredibly spoiled we are and how we take that quality of life for granted. That we are smug, and that smugness was wiped from our collective face on Tuesday in a most horrific way.

No one on this planet is safe from mad men. And these mad men will fall and others will rise to take their place, I just don't want to think that any of these mad men will be us. I want us to be better than that.

Make no mistake, we CAN NOT turn the other cheek, but neither should we rejoice in retribution. We need to be vigilant for the safety of our country but what of our souls?

Weep for all those who have perished these last 2 days in this mad, senseless, catastrophe which is almost too much for the mind to comprehend, and for those yet to perish.

Then we should save a tear for ourselves."

Sep 8, 2011

The voices in my head

I started writing this post yesterday, while I was in the shower. I got so involved with it that when I got out of the shower I couldn't remember whether I had washed my hair. My hair was wet but then I had been in the shower.

My posts are conversations that I have with you. One of the reasons they are far from polished prose. I can do polished prose, really I can, but I write the way I talk.

The conversations I have in my head, and they are constant, are the only ones I have. Sometimes they are with people I actually know, or knew. Sometimes they are with imaginary people, in imaginary situations. Sometimes I picture all y'all faces and I talk directly to you.

Yes, my husband and I spend 24/7 together. How much do we really have to say to each other? I talk to the cats and, as much as Miss Frankie yaps her head off, we aren't really conversing, are we? We are not sharing experiences or ideas or opinions or even idle chat.

When on the rare occasion that I actually interact with a real live person I babble my head off. I repeat myself, so happy I am to hear the sound of my own voice and that someone is hearing it in real life. I will strike up lengthy conversations with the UPS delivery person, or any other person who comes to the door - if they let me.

Amelia comes once a week to do the heavy cleaning and I have to remind myself not to engage her in conversation. I mean aside from the usual pleasantries of civilized people. She wants to get her work done and get on her way. She does not want to listen to a lonely old woman babble on and on.

My conversations are in my head. My life is in my head. It's always been this way. Since I was a child I lived alternate lives with alternate people - in my head. And they were vivid, detailed lives. Vivid detailed people, some real, some not. What's funny is that whatever was happening in the "real" world got incorporated into my "head" world. One of the lives I invented continued on for years - it was "lived" in real time - but inside my head - for years. And years. I think it must have been 10 years or more before I let that life go.

There is always music playing in my head as well. Because my husband works from home and there is no privacy in this house and because I like to sing and dance along with the music, I don't actually listen to music anywhere BUT in my head.