Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Playing a waiting game- don't know if I need to hit the road and attend a death watch. Am seriously hoping that it's a no. I haven't done one of those since I was a child, and that wasn't the same kind of thing. I wasn't there for the bitter end. Just close. And I knew. I've never forgotten. I likely never will, without some kind of brain trauma.

So waiting. And waiting. And hoping that it won't come to that.

In the meantime, just marking time. Wish that the concentration levels were more adapted to creating stuff- writing, other projects that are sitting on the dining table waiting for me, anything really. But no, too many nerves. Too much agitation. So it's drinking a glass (or 2- not more) sitting in front of the tv, and vegitating to HGTV. For some reason renovation shows are soothing. Not that I'm a homeowner to indulge. But it shows other people's lives, not my own. And it's creative. And I can disagree with their choices on occasion without feeling mean.

And that's pretty much a summation of my glamorous life. Waiting.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Oh, it gets better. Just when I had resigned myself to the normal course of affairs, it all changed again. Well, some of it changed. Not all. I am exaggerating.

I have a new boss. They shifted me over. Which is a shame, really, as I like my current boss an awful lot. But there you go. The new one is great too- I know her. But it'll be different. And there is apparently no significant stability in my work life for me to count on. But I am planning on leaving anyway, this just kind of confirms that I am doing the right thing.

It'll be a great job for the next person.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Had a conversation last night with a couple of old friends. It was one of those amazing conversations that wove through and around all of us, with different emphases and ideas. I haven't had one of those for a very long time. I seem to have forgotten how very smart my friends are. Mainly because I haven't spent enough time with any of them lately. Just hibernating and recovering from the attack of the pig-that-tried-to-kill-me. But there is a new sheriff in town, so to speak. When fun is offered, I will now take it. Because the alternative wasn't doing much for me, to be honest.

And we discussed Joseph Campbell, Project Management, Japanese religion, work, babies, cars, beer, and things that don't immediately come to mind. And I LIKED it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

This is not the voice I wanted to have here. I didn't intend it to go this direction. I wanted it to be something different entirely. But then things changed. And it was a natural progression. But that is more of an excuse for something that might qualify as laziness on one of my bad days. But it is also an indicator that something was lost. The words just don't come easily any more. Not to despair, but just to make the statement. Too much second guessing and too many political debates. Internalized. And criticized.

Enough already. Nobody should think I am miserable. Because that is not the point. But overwhelming happiness? Forget about it.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

OK, so there have been distractions. We have a cat with cancer. Cancerkitty is doing well. Surprisingly well, given that he is old and has the dia-betus. But he is responding to the chemo like a trooper, and has lost his icky head bump an no longer smells like feet.

I am working on getting another job. Within the company. But hitting my network hard. And it is yielding pretty good results so far. But it's early stages. Finally had the moment of truth talk with my new manager. Found out that despite the fact that my current job has expanded from one manager to coverage for four of them (yes, 4. Not one, not two, and not three. But 4.) that there is absolutely, positively no hope of a promotion or raise. None. Full stop. That was good information to have. Gave me something to think about, certainly. Ok, I'll admit. I pouted for the first day. But then it was a good galvanizing force. Made me decide with certainty that I need to change career paths. And that is a good thing.

I am now working on the technical writing path. It's going to be a stretch to get there, but that is plan A. Plan B is the project management path. I am going to work my ass off to investigate both, and decide on the best fit and the most easily obtainable at this moment. Because I am not given the luxury of sitting around and discussing theoreticals any more. I gotta move. And sooner rather than later. Because what I am doing is fine, for a short duration. But over the long run, I will simply combust. And that would leave an icky mess.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wow. So this is still out there.....and I have said nothing for sooooo long.
Blame the Swine. And the job. And the economy. And if you listen to my father, Vista.
I'll try and get back here in a couple of days for some real content. Because this is merely a
ring and run.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Been seriously incommunicado lately. Just trying to get things done. Still unsure what the work situation will wind up amounting to- but have been assured that I WILL have a job. That is good news. Just have to keep breathing and not worry about it. Yeah. That works. So does wine. Copious amounts of wine. But haven't resorted to that yet. Nice to know that it's an option, though.

Finally started sleeping again- after a week of fits and starts. Woke from an amazing dream (don't worry, I won't share- BORING!), and am getting rolling very slowly. Kind of like that- dreamy edgeless morning sans sunshine, but with plenty of rose-scented tea. From a golden mug that I purchased last time I was home. Reminds me of my mother's house in the sunshine. No, I am not a romantic at all.

But back to the creativity aspect of my life- it is time for some deep dive writing. It has been another lengthy hiatus, and I hate those. Getting momentum and then having life intervene sucks. I have hope though. It is starting to really look good, and the bones are firm. So that is a plenty good way to get started. Seems others are in the same mode- hunkering down and getting things done.

And that's all there is news wise that I don't post on FB- no need for the co-workers and casual friends to know about all my inner shite- that is for here. Where I hide.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Still in professional revamp mode. It....just....keeps...dragging....on. As more people weigh in on the whole thing. Not a bad thing, really, but getting tired of having my future decided by committee. Nothing I can do though. The good thing is that I have an excellent advocate in my corner with the authority to say no.

It's all pretty exhausting and stressful- apologize for whining, just explaining why I haven't been very good about communicating lately. I come home and collapse, and just veg in front of the tv, or computer. And try my best not to obsess about it all and try to talk about something else with Kman- just to keep him from dying of boredom.

Another week or so, and things will be firmed up. Maybe. Or they won't.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Taking a moment to just breathe.

And stop making compulsive lists. Lists of lists. Lists of tasks. Lists of things. All of which added together, show just how I handle stress. By breaking it all down into small, tangible things. Making less of it than the whole. And driving myself to distraction to get it all done.

At risk is the big picture. It's hard to see right now, because I just haven't gotten everything digested properly yet. So, that is what today is for. To think. Perchance to figure some more things out.

But first, a word with the lungs. Just to breathe. And to collect myself before plunging in again.

On a practical side, I spent the last week subbing for someone else, and working directly with my boss's new boss. It was good, but stressful. Add in the complete audit of what I do for a living, and the accompanying philosophical discussions with basically EVERYONE, and you have a recipe for mayhem. And then there was the rest of the team- the ones who are in the field, and have no actual way of knowing how things are at corporate. They needed reassurance that nothing in their world was going to drastically change. Who are they gonna call? That's right. Me. So I get to be the voice of reason. When inside, there isn't much reason pouring forth. Just controlled mayhem.

Small wonder I didn't get a migraine from it all. I tried yesterday, but didn't succeed- hit it too soon with the wonder combo of caffeine and prescription medication. Gotta love that.

The sad thing is that I haven't been writing much. Did a burst of work immediately following the vacation, but not much since. It wears on me. I want to see how my story ends. I want to know who wins. No such luck= unless I find something in me today that isn't immediately apparent and can buckle down and focus. But right now, it's all spinning in different concentric circles. Appears pointless from the outside, but inside is going someplace.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"meet the new boss- same as the old boss..."

Um not really. Yesterday my boss quit the company. He had been there for 14 years, and was being primed for a big shift upward. He is moving his family to Africa, where they will work with a group of their friends on a business incubation foundation in Rwanda. I can't criticize that- it is a lofty goal.

I however, have a lot to think about. There are a lot of unanswered questions. But the good news, and why I am not panicking and looking for a job is that they have lined up a bunch of supporters (including a VP) who are working on recasting my job and keeping me on the team. I can only feel flattered by their efforts- it really does mean something when it would be easier to just get rid of me. I get to meet with my new manager (who I have known forever, not who I would've chosen necessarily, but a good surprise choice nevertheless), today and we will begin this thing.

Interesting times, no?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I've been thinking about obsession. Something I am familiar with, unfortunately for the most part. Not the most constructive kind of obsession, usually- the kind that spurs creativity and drive and determination. Mostly the kind I am thinking of, and usually experience operates around the idea of having something. Collecting something. Or just something. Over and over. Patterns actually. Drowning out everything else in my head, and just repeating over and over and over. Keeping me from sleep. Keeping me from a lot of things, actually.

Usually the obsession is finite- not eternal. It goes away after a while. I attribute this to boredom, and an obsession with novelty (did you see what I did there?). But it keeps on. And keeps up. Luckily the obsessions haven't been unnecessarily destructive. Just time-consuming. And money-consuming. Some of them bring me joy, like plants. Some bring me sorrow, like some memories. But over and over. We go round and about.

To change my metaphor, it is like those old-school Bozo the clown toys. Inflate and punch. Then they bounce back to be punched again. I had one when I was about 3. I loved it, even though it scared me. Then it got punctured, and became a smelly latex bag with sand in the bottom. One of life's first little disappointments. To be continued, certainly. But obsession. Like that. Over and over and around and about. A labyrinth in my head. That I keep treading. And hoping for a different outcome most of the time. Hopeless, likely. But I continue on, because I really don't know how to stop. And am afraid of what would replace the obsessions I know if they weren't there. It might be a very bad thing.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ok, we are back- and slogging through it all. Yesterday I had the first real bump at my job- came home hating it. This hasn't happened in over 2 years. Positive spin= I should be so lucky. Negative spin= time to think about what comes next. Both I can deal with. Neither are horribly fun, though. Especially since I feel like my boss totally threw me under the bus, so to speak. But there you have it. My natural inclination to charge ahead was really a large part of the problem- I have never understood the "fools rush in where angels fear to tread" dictum. Seemed excessively cautious. Now I have an inkling as to why it might be more appropriate sometimes.

Not that I want to deal with it today. Or anything work-related really.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Am embarking on a trip. Vacation season. This time it's different. Not just Kman and me- this time we travel in a pack. That will be unusual, but I'm game. Mainly because we will be on a large boat. Traveling to the vast north. Then seeing many things. Not going to announce this outside of this space- we'll share pics there afterwards. Just so you understand, this time the silence, it isn't heat related or personal. It is distance and lack of access.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It's fuck all hot here. We are not sleeping well. Crankiness is profound and wide-spread. No reported deaths yet. That is the good news. My boss lived in Paris during their tens of thousands of roasted-alive dead people heat wave last decade. It sounds grim as hell. Hope we don't get anything like that. Kind of doubt it, since the medicos don't take the months of July/August as a national holiday.

Cranky pants needs to go get ready for work, where it is cool.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Apologies in advance. I am going to discuss the weather. One of my least favorite conversational topics, by the by. I absolutely loathe small talk. I think it diminishes people and makes real communication impossible. Mainly because it passes as communication, when all it is is a bunch of coded words meaning basically nothing establishing a context.

So it's bloody hot here. Not something we are used to. So not sleeping horribly well- I hate sleeping with a fan. It keeps me awake with the noise. I have never been able to sleep with music in the room. It keeps me awake following the songs. With the sole exception of Sigur Ros. I suspect that is Icelandic magic at work, but can't follow that up with a scientific study.

I have also determined with certainty that I could be broken quite easily with sleep deprivation as the instrument of torture. Scarily easy. So I start the week feeling a tad....volatile. They are lucky. So very lucky.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My mother did something unusual when I saw her in May. She assigned me some reading. She told me I wasn't likely going to like it. But she wanted me to try. It's that book, "The Shack." And she was right. I am not liking it. Kind of a slog. But not for the reasons she might think.

My issue with the book is more about style and writing ability than content. I am not all that put off by the Christian message. I can read that stuff all day and not be put off. I just don't necessarily agree. It doesn't bother me- I took enough comparative lit and religion classes in college to read without taking it all to heart.

What bothers me is the hamfisted abilities of the author. The man cannot make a point without smacking the reader in the face with it. No subtlety and no style. That is offensive in my eyes. I demand more from my religious texts! Seriously- I enjoyed C. S. Lewis's theories- mainly because he was such a master of the language. Ditto St. Augustine. And yes, I know that Augustine is a translation. But the language sings. That to me is important.

And I am likely to disappoint my mother. Mainly because I think it's nice that she believes this stuff, and am truly happy for her, but am not enjoying the book. I think she imagined a debate over the theology, or at least a discussion. But what I can offer up is a criticism of the man's lame-assed efforts to tell his tale. And the struggle to read it. Or I can just thank her, and not be an ass about it. She IS my mother, after all!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Was thinking about the concept of truth. Mainly in regards to the current Supreme Court nominee hearings. And how the truth can change - abruptly and completely- depending on context and history. Was thinking about truths that I have told that I either later contradicted through actions, or that later information rendered into lies. I was thinking about how those times tend to weigh heavily on my, despite their often not being within my control.

And there is the key item in the equation. Control. Some in my world think I am overly-enamored of the concept. Some think that it's a problem. I am not sure. On some days I see their point. And concede. But other days, it seems the only thing between me and chaos is to stamp my foot, and wrest control over the situation before it gets any worse. That might lead to hard feelings, but it feels like the right thing to do. And later, see above about the changing circumstances and cause and effect.

Another issue about control- it seems to come into play when trust is an issue. And I suspect with me, trust is generally an issue. Let's call it politics in play, shall we? Mainly I don't generally take people at face value. Nor do I usually trust that their interests an mine dovetail completely. That doesn't mean that we can't all be happy- it simply means that I am likely unaware of the full spectrum of their interests and agendas. So it's best to remain cautious and not assume that they are going to do me a good turn. It might happen like that, but if not, I should be prepared.

So it works at the job. It doesn't always work at life. And if I were to be completely honest for this moment, basically the only time I can guarantee that it is complete honesty, as conditions can change rapidly- see above- it would likely be much easier and happier to just trust everyone, and hope it will all come out fine in the end. I just don't have that kind of energy. Not today, anyway. Check back later.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I've been thinking for days of how to tell this story. It's hard, you see, since I am not objective in the least. I have a judgment, oh yes. And it keeps playing itself out. The morale of the story, up front, is that there is no resolution. Things last forever, or at least longer than mortality. They just keep coming up. Presenting themselves, and smacking you in the face. Not delicately put.

So, there was a lady who bolted. Nancy Mitford wrote all about bolters. The nice thing about Nancy's bolters, is that not only were they veddy, veddy English, but they tended to bolt before serious complications set in. This lady didn't bolt before that. She produced an abundance of complications. Three to be exact. She bolted, and effectively abandoned three young children. Never saw them again. Ever.

So years and years go by. She has a new family. New child. She hides the existence of the previous family from him. She keeps him ignorant despite protestations from the rest of the family. The grandparents hold on to the other three until they are dropped. Then there is nothing. Vast silence.

She dies. She dies in a rather horrible way. But she dies. And the hunt is on for the abandoned. Because in the opinion of the family, they deserve to know. The NEED to know. I am not sure if I agree about the necessity. I think it is more of a Pandora's box than that. But there you have it. When family elders decide, that dictates things.

The abandoned are found. And they aren't exactly enthusiastic about the online reunion. But they listen, hear the news and then revert to silence.

So then plans are afoot for a visit to the abandoned homeland. And contact is made. And contact is rather severely rebuffed. And hurt feelings result. And I can't help but think, well, it's to be expected. Because 40 years of being abandoned has to have a lasting effect. And the temptation of scoring points off of the dead, even inappropriately is likely too irresistable.

Besides, it's easier to tell a total stranger to go to hell than it is to the ghost of a mother who you carry around inside. She will always be with the abandoned, whether they like it or not. She is there.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

And now a word from the salt mines: Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

Mine didn't change. But the boss's boss did. Suddenly and without warning.

Strange goings on afoot.

But best to blunder on, ignoring omens and portents that could be imagination run amok.

Because that is how to get things done, or so I'm told.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Note to self- when it is breezy and you are going to bed, take down the windchimes, idiot.

Guess who is cranky because she didn't sleep for shit?

That's right. Me.

All I can say is, fuckity fuck fuck. This oughta be a real laugh riot.


Sunday, July 05, 2009

I think we have revived an old tradition. The night drive.

When we lived in the horrid Valley of the Sun, we would drive at night all over said valley. It was too fucking hot to sleep, and we lacked air conditioning in our apartment. We had it in the car.

We discovered wondrous things. We found out that at night in the outskirts of the suburbs, the orange orchards smelled of orange blossoms in the late spring. We discovered that there is a church in the north part of the city that looks like a beached UFO at night. We discovered that there are an amazing array of hookers on Van Buren at night, and you'd best lock your doors. We discovered that the Papago Park freeway is an oasis of cool and green in the middle of the summer night. We discovered that you can drive through thunderstorms and enjoy the lightening display and flash flooding. Those are things we loved.

Last night, we were agitated and not willing to sleep. We were bored, and not willing to watch fireworks on TV, despite the invitation to do so, very kind. So we drove. As Kman put it, we circumnavigated. We saw a man tailgaiting us to the point of absurdity. We saw an adorable modified Honda Civic with a right-hand drive. We saw fireworks on the water of Lake Washington as we drove by. We saw the city from the 99, which we love. And will lose eventually. We saw fireworks right by the road when we approached Lake Union. We smelled the night air, damp and full of gunpowder. We saw trees shadowy against the night sky.

We returned home ready to settle in. Full of a strange sense of accomplishment. It was still warm, for here, but not opressive. The neighborhood was still in full swing, and the sky sounded like it was farting, and the cats were hiding, but we were home.

I cracked a bottle of champaigne- the one that we didn't drink on election night, as two bottles would've been regrettable, and we sipped a bit in celebration of our epic drive. I hope we do more of those.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

On horror movies

There is an advert for the latest and greatest horror movie that currently has heavy rotation. I just cannot watch the thing. Kman thinks this is funny. He thinks the movie looks silly. It points out the difference between what we find horrifying.

Kman gets spooked by movies heavy on psychological horror. It gets under his skin. I don't have a real problem with these ones- I just pull apart the logic trail, the plot devices and the general story to the point where it is an intellectual exercise, rather than something scary. I enjoy seeing what the authors were trying to do. If successful, so much the better.

I get freaked the fuck out by slasher pics. I have such a low threshold for violent imagery. I even get screaming nightmares from video games- just from observing someone else play. Resident Evil was a real revelation for me. The first one. Back in the mid 90s. So I just have a difficult time pulling myself out of the visuals. Any more I am careful of what I see in the theaters. Because of this. I hate being stuck in a movie that makes my skin crawl. It's unbearable.

Some artists have this effect- but I don't mind because I can take my time to visually digest their art. It's not overwhelming in quite the same way. Francis Bacon, Joel-Peter Witkin, Egon Schiele, Kathe Kollwitz, Matthias Grunewald and even El Greco in person (when size really does matter) fall into the category of artists whose work haunts me. I suspect that in large part this is because they don't and didn't produce pretty art. They produced art from the gut, and didn't hesistate to show ugly reality and nightmares. I could probably go off in a discussion of artistic intent and differences and similarities of artistic content and style, but nah...

Just don't expect me to hit the theaters any time for one of those movies. Ain't gonna happen.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Was particularly adept at that childhood cruelty known as ingratitude. Just didn't understand the effort involved. Just took it all for granted. Sincerely hopes that those involved understood on their end. Children are mean little wretches. To others mainly. Amongst themselves, most assuredly.

Some of those involved are gone, however. This makes amends impossible. So there is only the hope that it doesn't matter. It doesn't to them, obviously. But it does to me. It's sometimes more comforting and convenient to carry guilt around. Because the devil you know is preferable to the devil you don't know any day. Any time.

That's the questionable nature of continuing on. Carrying the baggage. Which accumulates. While lacking the sublime discipline to cull unnecessary things. Just the facts, M'am. Chucking the baggage up the hills, and even worse on the knees, down the valleys. In the rain. Both ways. All the while lacking the glory of the Sir Edmunds to keep focused.

Only the wine and the song to provide respite. As Mama famously said, "I love wine." And then we sang.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Apparently it is open season. Kman and I joke about 4 horsemen showing up in acid-washed jean jackets and assless chaps (a redundancy there), and calling themselves Apocalypss. They would bear guitars, and hammer out Poison guitar solos. No one got the memo that the '80s are over. So they are all pissed the hell off at Pestilenz. He was responsible for the outfits.

And it's open season. While their guitars gently weep, celebs are dropping like flies. We should've known when Mr. Kungfu died. That was a sure sign. Next up, well, not my job to predict. Don't want a reputation as a crow. Or something worse. Accuracy doesn't need to happen here. Not this kind of accuracy. Don't want to play in your dead pool. It's surefire way to catch the attention of the aforementioned band. They don't play nice. Or particularly well. You'd think that they would be taking lessons from Hendrix or something.

Probably ADHD, and they lack Ritulin up thereabouts. Practice isn't their strong suit. Understandable, really. There are bigger fish to fry. Those are still in the making, and with the King dead, there has to be another crowning. Not sure with what. But there again, not my job to predict. Only watch Macaulay Culkin. There has to be a child star out there to pay for the sins of the fathers and the sons. Turgenev would have it no other way. Neither would Tolstoy, truth be told. He was always about the morality play. But he hid it better. Far easier to play the Pater Familia card. You get further in society that way.

Again, not going to predict anything. But keep an eye out for the vulnerable train-wreck ones. Roll call early and often. Courtney, Lindsey are you there girls? Better watch the Twitter deck. Because something is gonna happen. It always does. And if you can scoop your co-worker, so much the better. Those horsemen need the PR machine. They aren't Santa and can't do it all overnight.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Again with the good intentions. Wanted to write a ton. Wanted to do lots of little things. But got sidetracked by actual people. And I will admit that is more important anyway. But still. The writing needs to be done. And the little things. So a tad frustrated, but will certainly get over it. Because it's not worth being pissy about, when there was more fun to be had than not. And the writing will get done. Because it must.

Friday, June 19, 2009

I may call it my annual festival of self-indulgence, but it is actually more than that. Much of it is introspection. It's my solitary day away from most people, and not doing things for others. Just for myself. I call it re-connecting. And recharging.

Thinking about what it was like. When these days were surrounded by surprises and birthday cakes. When the presents weren't overly expensive, just perfect. Because I wasn't picky. I wasn't all that aware, really, of what was out there in retail wonderland. Just that I liked paper dolls and Barbie, and the hand-made Barbie clothes were just as nice as the packaged ones. Especially if there was glittery fabric involved.

I did get to choose the shape of my birthday cake. That was an annual ritual that I miss. I would love to have a birthday cake baked by my mother. But since I live 12 hours away by car, it's not going to happen. And I really don't need the cake. I did spend an ungodly amount of money purchasing the birthday cake cookbook that she used from an online retailer. It was a bitch to find. But now I have my own copy. Ah, nostalgia. Helping me spend my money since time immemorial.

It helps that it's a rainy day. The first in about a month, so no complaining. But it is a rainy day. And that makes me think.

Generally the summers at home were sunny with perhaps an afternoon thunderstorm blowing through. But the heat was there. And the sun. And the sprinkler. And the flowers. And the raspberry bushes. And the green grass under my bare feet. Do I miss all of that? Not in my current form. As a 5 year old in my swimsuit, sure. But now? Not really.

In my inexpert way I am trying to sum up the odd feeling of sharing my skin with other selves- other me's. It's an odd feeling. I don't often go there. But those other me's are fun. They were full of life and joy. They were full of themselves. And they are still in there. Relics of when I was more of an essential self- before getting diluted by the world. Not sullied, but diluted by influences outside myself. There's probably a Freudian term for that. Something about developmental stages. But I don't know it. And I really don't care. It is just an interesting day visiting my ghosts. Overall, I like them.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Watched parts of the very plodding "Benjamin Button" last night. Glad that I didn't sit through the whoooollllleeeee long and interminable thing.

But there was one quote at the end that got me. It got me badly. Benjamin looks at the love of his life, Daisy and says something like, "I think I had a life before, but I don't remember it." I paraphrase because it's not out on Imdb, and I don't feel like watching it again. Actually it's sealed up and ready to return.

What got me, though is that I thought about my grandmother, who sits in a grey fog in a home with others in the same state. She was a vibrant, funny, rather mean woman, who hid her smarts and had a few wonderfully subversive moments. All that is pretty much gone.

My greatest fear is that she has those glimpses of her past, and knows what she has lost. That slays me. It got me last night. I cried for her for the first time. Because even if she doesn't know what she has lost, I sure as hell do.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

While falling asleep last night I was thinking about regret.
Not in a harsh way, but in a generally accepting way.
Realizing that over time there is a catalog of regrets
that get carried around and mulled over and trotted out
in festive bows and bells on special occasions.
Nothing bitter about it, really.
Just realizing that the cause and effect that I have had
hasn't always ended well.
And that those effects might've been better served if
I had thought through things better.
But that wasn't my nature.
And it wasn't my nurture.
So that list of regrets slowly grows over time.
And I get to catalog the list and recreate it in the night.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Haven't done much writing at all lately- things just have taken over. Life stuff, like work, travel, family, friends, and sunny weather. It's eating at me a bit, though. I would like to just kick back, drink tea and write. But am finding it hard to fit all of everything in. And add to the conundrum allergy medicine that makes me tired, and shake it up. It's a snowy globe of combined optimism, pessimism, and good intentions falling awry. In the center, holding court and immobile is the project itself. It isn't going anywhere, luckily. Just patiently waiting for everything to settle the fuck down, so I can get some work done. In the meantime, distracted by shiny things.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Not clear on why
most things in my life that have been following me
around and about
and under and through
have all been colored purple.
I don't like purple very much.
But there you have it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Going on a short vacation- home to be with family- and to do some family stuff. Don't know if I'll be online much (like that has really been a habit lately), but still. Will be there, not here. And out of the general work mayhem. They can take care of themselves for a week. It'll be good for them. Absence will make their hearts fonder. Or they'll think I screw up more than I do. We'll see. But first I need to figure out how to unhook my email updates to my phone. Because I will NOT be reading email from work. Uh uh.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I turn the corner and in the trees
I see his face, lurking
in the green darkness, watching
not interested in me, waiting
wanting darkness when he can run
and play in the yards of suburbia
and eat the rabbits who are unfortunate
enough to cross his path
when he smells the breezes in the morning
and hears the birds start to chuckle, knowingly
in the trees at dawn.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

I made the second cut yesterday. That one was harder. They set up a bunch of conference rooms in my building and spent the day telling people they were no longer needed. Two of my team got the axe. I felt a sick sense of relief when I found out I could keep my badge. And combine that feeling with guilt. Because I get to keep my badge.

Overall I hope it's done. And that the remainder, if any, are onesies-twosies. Because these days of mass attrition are really horrific.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Smelling the orchids all week, while they bloom.
Reminding me of Grandma orchids from then.
Only not mixed with the smells of industrial laundry
gas station
undercurrents of loss and other emotions
that I was unaware of at that age
they did a good job of protecting
until later, when it all happened anyway
things have a way of doing that.
Falling apart despite the best intentions
and the determination of the dead to outlast
their life
and control beyond the grave.
Never works, really.
The living have a way of selectively following
and justifying the variance.
And choosing for themselves.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Ok, so the guilt got to me. Well played, sir.

While others are concerned with global politics, pandemics, keeping a job, making a living, etc. I have been in another place. Just dealing with a large writing project. Never tackled something like this before, but am not feeling bad about it at all. Actually the opposite. I've gotten a large proportion of it plotted out in outline form, and the first 8 chapters written. I want to finish the outline this weekend, or come damned close. Then I can swing back into it and do the writing part. It is a shitton of work. I feel burdened when I think about how very much it is. But then I remember Annie Proulx's Bird by Bird, and keep perspective. I got some amazing pointers about the process from (of all people), J. R. Ward, of the vampire book fame. If you like that sort of thing, her vampire books are quite a lot of fun. Her last one was a compendium of material, including some serious writing tips and info. I liked that. Mainly because I have no interest in writing about vampires right now, but can definitely appreciate a look into the world of someone who does it for a living.

I am still on the fence about the writing thing, though. I don' t ever foresee a day when I could happily hole up at home without any personal interaction. I think I would become quite addled, and cause my poor husband undue hardship. I am, however, pursuing a different career track- one that will lead to more income, and more contentment overall. I have been going through a series of informational meetings across the company to see what kinds of options are out there for my skills and interests. I am in no huge hurry to vacate my current position, as I do like it, and it doesn't tax me too much- I enjoy having sufficient mental real estate to come home and function like a human. New jobs at that company don't lend themselves to that at all. Part of the culture.

Anyway, I think I have settled on technical editing. There is much, much to learn before even trying for that goal, but it is a start, and I have a couple of supportive contacts who have offered to help me get there. It is a relief, really, to know that I am not stuck. And that I will get somewhere eventually. And that I know where that somewhere is, so to speak. It's actually a new feeling. Prior to this, I generally had to take what came, and just leap. If I was lucky it worked. If I wasn't there was misery all around. But the infusion of hope into the mix really does help.

So now I'm in a revision state with my resume- it takes so much time to evaluate and really dig into the content with the intent of showcasing a set of skills that I have never really emphasized, but have relied upon heavily. There really is no rest. But that is fine. I can always rest when I'm dead, right?

Otherwise, all is well. All is fine. The sun is finally shining, the cats are happy, Kman is sleeping in, and I am facing a relatively quiet day at work. All the better for a Friday.

Nothing profound. Just the facts.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Been sidetracked by a more demanding writing project lately. Things here are likely to slow down more- got to get more headway on that before I feel that blogging is a priority. Only so many get the point. Peace out, yo.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Am finding the balance a little more difficult lately. Mainly because the time is just slipping away from me. And I am letting it go. Willingly.

And am finding discretion more difficult lately. Discovering many things about people in my life, and basically ignoring that information. Because I told a couple of people last week, "No one likes a tattle tale." And I include myself in that. Keeping my big mouth shut. Willingly.

Am trying to eliminate the taste of bitterness from my mouth. Figurative, not literal. Just to be clear here. But there seems to be so much loss. So much difficulty. And so much wasted. But then it's all about the hope. Keeping that in mind. I am not dead yet. I keep getting out of bed. Willingly.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Listening to some ass on the Today show discuss saving money. I didn't put the Today show on, by the way. I would never do such a thing. All of the polished, enforced good cheer does me in. First thing in the morning, even. Wears me out. I don't know how to deal with all that. Is it expected? That I induce that kind of cheer in my own life? I don't think I can live up to that expectation. Not really.

Not this early in the morning.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Had an interesting time at the park. We go there to feed the ducks. Evidently this is forbidden. We have never stopped at the kiosks and read the sign saying it is forbidden. We just go and feed them stale bread, and are all happy.

So today, whilst in duck heaven, two children- a boy and a girl, who looked alarmingly like the twins in "The Shining," came up to us and told us that feeding the ducks is forbidden. We saw their parents at a bench nearby watching. We listened to the children, and then Kman did something odd. He walked over to the parents and discussed the duck feeding moratorium directly with them. They were very put off that we would approach them directly. That is why they sent their children to do the heavy lifting. Kman was very nice about it, despite being rather pissed off at them using their children as tools. And the parents were pleasantly uncomfortable.

We then had a very animated discussion about parenting, and putting children into the role of being informers/policemen. I suspect that these folks come from another land, and don't realize that that kind of behavior can cause some serious ramifications in some places. Like parks in other parts of the area. Where the people being told not to feed the ducks might be a little less conciliatory about it. I dunno. It was ballsy and icky. I feel sorry for the kids. And the ducks. Who went hungry.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Oh my. These writing muscles aren't getting the workout they need. Bits and bites of words just don't lend themselves to anything besides the odd quip. Not all that satisfying.

But have been unable to sustain more than a casual relationship with thoughts lately. All the deep thoughts synapses have taken a break. I suppose that isn't too horrible. But it isn't great, either.

So, I just finished a crappy book by a woman who hates her mother. Take that back, it's more than hate. And what I thought was particularly pathological about her, besides the fact that she has children, is that she had so little insight into herself to recognize that she could use a heavy dose of therapy, and needed to lose the narcissistic self-absorption. I can only wonder what kind of train wreck she is inflicting on her children. Oh, and she was also chock-full-of smug self-satisfaction. What a toxic combo. I hope I never run into her when I visit old home town. The urge to punch her in the throat is pretty strong. Which I guess, means her book was successful on some level. It inspired me to hate her. I think that's a strong reaction. Augusten Burroughs didn't do that for me- just thought he was kind of pitiful. Ditto most of the other revelatory memoirs that I have ingested. They tend to have that unfortunate tone of payback rather than anything remotely resembling insight. I also have very little patience for what comes off as a bunch of whiney complaints- when they come from the keyboard of an adult, that is. From children, it's a different story. But I always thought you were supposed to grow out of whiney crap like that.

I am jealous. That she got a book deal in the first place. It doesn't hurt that her father is one hell of a well-connected man in the publishing world. It doesn't hurt that she comes from the kind of old money that Gatsby was so horribly fond of. Nope, doesn't hurt at all. And I am full of toxic sour grapes about it.

I guess this is one of the primary reasons I have always preferred biography to the auto kind. I like the filter of another person's perception. And the illusion of objectivity. Because I did read a long time ago an article by a biographer. The obsession needed to pull off the stunt of researching another human being and writing about them, and becoming an expert on them is something unusual. I don't share it. But I think it is interesting. And I do enjoy trying to parse out what the fixation of the author is. If they are an apologist, or an analyst, or what kind of filter they are trying to apply to thier view of the subject.

I also have always considered autobiographies to be lies. I see them as craven attempts to sway public opinion, by selectively telling the truth. I am not horribly interested in reading PR attempts. Not in my personal time, or in my professional time. I see them as manipulative and sort of crass. If these folks were all that interested in being honestly remembered for posterity, they would leave all of their archives of data to an institution and leave it at that. Let others interpret. Because by the basic premise of being in thier own skin, they aren't able to do so without prejudice.

There have been several autobiographies that I will admit are interesting- mainly because of the side-story that they tell. Julia Phillips in "You'll Never Have Lunch in This Town Again," gets the feeling and texture of Hollywood in the 70s down very well. But I didn't like her. And found her actual writing to be torturous. So in that sense, she got in her own way.

Probably the best of the bunch is Dominick Dunne. He is a star fucker, and always has been. I think he would annoy the piss out of me in real life. But he is very good at the roman a clef, and does a great job of reporting celebrity legal strife. I think that as a recovering addict, he has a better sense of humility in a way than a lot of them do, but still figure that he's up to something when he writes about himself.

I guess that this can serve nicely as my Declaration Not to Write a Memoir. And if I break it some day, anyone who reads this has my full permission to call me out.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I've been wearing my art school shoes to work. I haven't shined them- they are still smudged and scuffed from loading kilns and kicking debris out of the way. They are still in pretty good shape though. I have been trying to remind myself that this is part of my reality too. That it's not all business class and sunshine in a high-rise building.That there are bone deep realities that I can't just ignore and hope will go away.

There is the feral cat issue. Because at core, that is what defines a large part of me. It just is. I am ok with it, but can't spend a lot of time thinking about it or I get sad. Sad because so much is gone. And I miss the ferocity. I miss the passion. I miss the ability to just do things without worrying about cause and effect. I miss the ability to not worry about self-editing all the time.

The pressure mounts, the decisions get postponed, the actual work gets jettisoned in favor of being busy. And tired. Tired all the time. If Charlie Kaufman is right, it's likely cancer, and I will die. But then that is no surprise, really. I expect to end some day. And I don't know if it's really worth the effort to try and accomplish everything first. Futile, indeed. Ah, ennui. Welcome to the club. There are some very nice couches over there. Make yourself at home.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Another good one. There is a friend of ours who plays hockey every winter. He is a tough guy. He survived a plane crash, wherein his friend, the pilot, wound up simple for life, and he had his back broken. His main complaint was that the morphine drip made him horny, and his wife wouldn't accommodate him in the hospital while he was in a body cast.

So, he is playing hockey. And during the game, his hand gets smacked by the puck. He continues to play, until the bitter end. He pulls off his glove, and blood pours out. The puck had taken off the tip of his pinky finger. He went home and washed it, and put on a bandaid. His wife made him go to the doctor and get stitches. He was out for the season.

The following season, he was getting ready to hit the ice, and he put his glove on. The same one, of course, because it was only blood. But there was something in the finger. He shook it out, and something resembling a raisin hit the ice. It was, of course, the end of his finger from the previous year.

We love him.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

I've been pondering something for several days now, with varying degrees of anger and perplexed confusion. I have several friends who are all behind the Facebook initiative to provide forgiveness for student loans. And I find myself bone-deep opposed. Just viscerally opposed. It is on such a gut level that I am actually amazed- that something that would benefit me and Kman would inspire such venom in my soul.

Here's my issue. I am not in need of a fucking government handout. I do not want the loan that I signed the promissory note for to become an additional burden on the American taxpayer. I budget to afford the payments, and don't really mind that, as it was part of the overall cost when I signed the papers. I will repeat myself. I don't need a fucking government handout. I understand what that would mean, and think that it would be a travesty. I would prefer that the money goes to people who deserve and need it more.

My interpretation of the effort, which to be fair, is probably a tad jaundiced, is that these are a bunch of college-educated middle-class kids who believe that they should be allowed to re-allocate their loan payments towards something more to their liking. And if it is a true financial hardship to make the payments, ought to consider coming up with a budget, or getting another job. Because no one put a gun to their heads and made them sign the promissory note in the first place. No one said that they had to go into debt to get an education. Plenty of people work their way through school, and yes, it takes one hell of a lot longer. But they do it. Others attend cheaper colleges to afford it. Something about keeping the long-term goal of living debt free in mind seems to have escaped some of these folks. And it pisses me off. Fucking whiners.

Now that I have vented, I know that I am probably being unfair. If so, please educate me. Tell me why it's a priority to provide loan forgiveness and a larger tax burden. Tell me why these college-educated people need money that jobless people also need. Tell me why. I want to understand, but my emotions keep getting in the way. I don't want a fucking government handout. That's what resonates in me right now.

I am unsure how far their efforts will go. I kind of doubt that congress can get this one passed- it seems like a really tough pill to swallow. Especially if there is an across-the-board examination of what these people bring home pay-wise. I suspect that the money would be better spent providing scholarships to kids whose parents have lost their jobs. Or to spend the money on a boosted unemployment system, perhaps. Or to assist people who have lost their jobs in paying their house payments/utility bills, etc. Or to bolster the budgets of local food banks. All more worthy in my opinion than a bunch of people who don't want to be bothered to pay for their own fucking educations.

Ah, and there I go again. Getting all worked up. Nice. I had hoped that writing this down would temper my ire a bit. But I don't think it's going to happen like that. I think I am going to keep getting pissy. So seriously, if you have a differing opinion, please share. I want to understand. And I promise to keep my temper under control and listen. Or do my best to try.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Following my own damned advice

There was a little girl named Poppy. I love the name Poppy. It sings. It reminds me of food.

She stank. No one knew why Poppy stank, but she stank. (full disclosure- Poppy is the cousin of a childhood friend of Kman)

So Poppy stank. The teachers called her parents, and told them that Poppy stank. Her parents, mortified, did everything that they could think of. They bathed Poppy. They perfumed Poppy. They watched what Poppy ate. Nothing worked. Poppy still stank.

Rather than raise a permanently stinking daughter, they finally took Poppy to the doctor. The doctor was perplexed. Finally the doctor had an idea. He took an xray of Poppy's head. Then he operated on her head.

Seems that months and months ago, Poppy had stuck a couple of paper drinking-straw wrappers up her nose. There the wrappers had rotted in her sinuses. And made her stink. The doctor removed the wrappers surgically and treated the infection that had caused the prodigious smell.

Poppy didn't stink any more.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I got reconnected with some old friends recently. You can figure out the social network device that I used- no need to belabor the whole thing. But interestingly a few of them have stayed in their hometowns. Not necessarily the same as mine anymore, but they have lived in the same place for decades. I just can't fathom. I just can't. Like my father, who lives in the town he grew up in. The town where his father was born (or actually 10 miles East of there, if you need precision). I just can't fathom.

I needed to escape. It's a lovely place, really. Hard to imagine being smothered by a place so thoroughly when you go there. A huge valley, surrounded by mountains, and more sky than expected. But still. It smothered. It constricted. I needed to escape. I didn't go far at first- just to another valley. Narrower, with mountains that were closer together and a river. But it was enough for a while. Then I escaped further, to a desert valley, where the mountains shimmered whitely in the distance, and the landscape lacked all signs of life and hospitality. But I did come back. And it was familiar and strange at the same time. And still, after a few days, I feel the walls closing in. And I need to leave.

I just can't imagine knowing a place where I live to the extent that my friends do their hometowns. I just can't. I wonder if they see new things anymore, or if they just muddle on and do the regular. I don't actually really want to wrap my head around it, as the idea of being a resident of a place for that long just makes me shudder. I have become a nomad in my older age.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Ok, interesting side effect of the cold. I am having more vivid dreams. Not VIVID dreams like the porn studio. But the kind that I can parse out the next day and get interesting ideas from. One in particular solved the main issue that I was having with my writing project. So now I have to take a bunch of notes and get rolling on that project again- which is probably the best news I've had in weeks.

And in other news, we get to keep the kitty. Sanity in the form of the husband with the firm stance took over and overrode the momentary lapse. I am relieved, because it is now a love match. But I am still sad for her. She is not really happy about the whole thing. Which I can understand- I think a large part of it is a sense of being out of control of something important. She is one of those mover and shaker kinds of women, and not being able to solve this one seems to really bother her. I can sympathize. Being jobless for so damned long a few years ago kind of solved that for me. Had to assume a more Zen path or go batshit. But that doesn't mean that I don't go there myself on occasion. Just to visit.

Friday, February 20, 2009

More convoluted dreams of the past, present, and things that never happened posing as history. In a way it's like being in my very own personal Terry Gilliam movie. But the disturbing thing is the discombobulation upon waking. The photo albums I was looking at with my father in one of the dreams don't exist. The photos aren't real. But they felt like it.

I guess I should credit being sick and kind of jittery when I go to bed. Does something no doubt to the synapses. That or I am finally losing my mind. Could be. Could very easily be. There has always been a rather tenuous feeling of grasping at my sanity- just one little step in the wrong (or right) direction, and everything will alter. Or that's what if feels like. Very good reason to leave unprofessional pharmacology alone. And I do. But I wonder.

We have seen two movies in the last week that had Edie Sedgewick in them. Not like I should view that as some kind of omen, just cause for comment. Both examined her maybe relationship with Dylan. Only not using his name. Because of lawsuits, I am guessing. Betcha he has some very mean attorneys. I am guessing. No one gets that famous and lives that long without some line of defense. He seems like a cagey man anyway. Never have been fond of him. Not likely to develop an affinity at this late stage.

And now on with it. Gotta muster up some enthusiasm, put on the game face and proceed onward, as though it all matters.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

So the fun of groggy thinking and feeling unable to string a coherent sentence together is in full force. Just because I have the cold that is going around hereabouts.

Otherwise, it has been nothing to write home about. Nothing.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

It has been a couple of days of feverish dreams, without the fever, achy bones and sniffles. And at the heart of it, the realization that I haven't left some things behind very far.

I have always had trouble calling in sick. Basically because as a child I faked it a lot. In retrospect these were mental health days. I hated school. Absolutely loathed it. I loved learning. But hated my classmates. They were horrible little beasts. And all I wanted to do was escape. It was so much easier to convince my mother that I was feeling sick and avoid the whole thing. But I knew that I shouldn't be home. That I should be in school. Enduring them.

To this day, it is hard to call in. Mainly because even if I feel horrible (like yesterday), I still hesitate. I feel guilty for the time spend not working. I feel guilty for the time spent at home. I feel like I am goofing off, even though it feels necessary at the same time. And I certainly don't hate my co-workers. I gave up on keeping those kinds of jobs years ago, when I realized that life was too bloody short to endure that kind of self-inflicted misery. (In your face Financial Aid Department at major PAC 10 school- you fuckers).

Frailty isn't my strong suit. But there you have it. Gotta just give in. And not feel integral to the machine for a day. Because in the end, I would feel worse infecting others with this one. Oh, and the cats want me to return to bed. They love the large warm thing that just lays there. It's better than the bed alone.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Yeah. All is sort of well now. But it's a holding pattern. And I think that no matter what certain things will end in tears. Not sure whose, but they will happen. But then there's nothing overwhelmingly unique about that. Lots of tears out there.

And now I am listening to the news people savage the scary, crazy lady who has too many kids. I think that the whole point of it is that she wants the attention. But giving it to her is bad. I say ignore her. She'll go away. And eventually the state will step in and take over the children. Or not. I really can't muster up more than apathy about the whole thing anyway. Just don't really care. It's just sad. And sordid. Whatever.

Some rapper dude beats the tar out of his girlfriend. Who also happens to be famous. Oh well. Just shows that domestic violence happens to famous people too. Again. Sad and sordid. Whatever.

Don't quite know when I got all jaded. But it happened. And right now I'm fighting a cold, and feeling unusually passionless about this crap. Whatever.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Sweet Jesus. I am listening to the news. They are discussing cost cutting whilst going out to eat. "Choose an appetizer as a main course." "Don't pick up the tab, share the cost." "Drink water."

How about this, just eat at home if you can't afford to dine out? Ya think?

I am getting frustrated by the whole economic thing. I get very full of rage (chock full o' rage) when I think about bailing out people who don't have the sense to not spend what they don't have. Especially when that sense of entitlement is involved.

Oh, now see, here we go. All up in the judgment space. This is where I am very comfortable, feeling all superior. But I don't really like this place. Not really. Because I know that it is mean. And I know that it is transparent. The same scrutiny that I pull on others doesn't look so good when I apply it inward. Oh my, yes.

Now since I haven't achieved my Zen master state yet, these are the pitfalls I get to fall into on a daily basis. Like everyone, no? And I will admit that I haven't been knowingly working towards Zen master. Looks a little unlikely.

Now Jedi master, maybe. There are a couple of Jedi mind tricks that I have up my sleeve. But just talking about them makes me so very not a Jedi.

And this is getting stupid. I am going to work now. Where I can put on my game face, spread joy and sunshine, and polish up the Jedi mind tricks on the unsuspecting populace.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

No I haven't forgotten you. The original wordspace is always in the back of my mind. Mixed with guilt, I should be writing more. But then. There has been a lot to deal with.

A death in the family. Unexpected. But still sad, nontheless.

A layoff round at work. Not as unexpected, but changing the course of things for many forever.

A leaper at my workplace. The 28th floor is very effective at stopping the heart. And no, he wasn't laid off. Just messed up.

A round of dentistry. The right side of my mouth is fixed for a very long time, I hope. This week we tackle the left. Then we are done.

Work issues for Kman- his boss quit suddenly. And now there is a lot of change in his air too.

And over it all, just tired. Very tired. Felt like it took everything in me just to get out of bed in the morning.

Ah, but putting on a happyish face in the other outside land of words and friends and coworkers and whateverthehell you call them. Because the walls have ears, and the friends aren't always as bedrock as you would like. But there you have it. The danger of networking. And mixing the metaphors. And mixing the worlds within which you roam. But I am not really complaining. More like explaining.

But you likely know all this already. Because you patiently wait for me to find the words. And take the time. And express whatever.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Had a rough week- and wasn't up to writing much.

Still like that- trying to follow the golden rule about nothing nice to say=keep your trap shut.

But it's hard. Nothing and no one rises to the occasion, and there are so many cracks in the firmament. All I want to do is point them out and fix them. But it's not my job. It's not within my capacity. And in some instances, it is none of my business.

So I keep it to myself, and let it roll. Figuring that I'll either get over it, or accept it, and move the hell on.

But it takes time.

And layoffs suck. Even when you get to stay. Mainly because there's not any guarantee that it'll last. Now both of us have experienced it, and neither of us is going to be much beyond hunker down mode for a while.

So, yeah. That's where it's at. January appears to be the culmination of a ton of crappy shit. Hope February goes a little further in the positive direction. Feh.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I was thinking about writer's block. And, yes, it's personal. And I have it. But the reason makes sense to me, and will be summarily dealt with.

Years ago, I was in art school. I loved it. I was committed. And then I hit the wall. I came to understand that in order to continue, and be an artist I had to deal with two very difficult issues. The first was that the art world is chock full o' assholes, and I would have to kiss many of their asses to get ahead, and thus bury my self respect in a deep hole. The other was that I would have to fully embrace where my art came from. To be honest, it is not a very pleasant place. Or wasn't at that point in my life. I would have to let the dark side really out of the mason jar in the upper shelf of the closet and use it to create those pieces that needed to be created. In the meantime, I knew that I was becoming more and more difficult to live with. Both inside and outside. And I made a choice. I chose to take a sane road and leave the art thing behind. It was not easy, by any estimation. But I don't regret it for a minute. Not being batshit crazy, living alone and dealing with art world assholes is just fine with me.

So the writing. The problem comes from a similar place. Not the mason jar of goodies, exactly- that has been opened in a safe place and dealt with accordingly. But more of a place of fear. I am at the place where I need to get the hell out of the way of the story and the characters and let them live and breathe. And the process scares the hell out of me. Being (oh surprise!) somewhat of a control freak, letting those voices just flow is really unsettling. Funny thing though, that was the part of creating art that I loved the most. The flow when it hit. I remember those times the most. But I am having a little trouble allowing it back. And need to just step aside, and trust that the infrastructure that I have built as my life in general will be just fine. Ah, there is that tricky word- trust. Never a strong suite in my deck. But I suppose it is better than faith. Because that suite is not represented at all. Trust. Feh.

So there you have it. Time to face the demons that remain and let the dice roll (since I am misusing gambling metaphors all over the place- I'll just throw them around like pixie dust). Because the story is a good one, and the characters have a great story to tell. They depend on me, and I have to man up and do this. Or I guarantee that I will have regrets over this one.

Friday, January 16, 2009

I've been thinking more and more about how very interesting the whole choices as destiny thing is. I can't help but fixate a bit on how one choice, that might seem inconsequential, can have the momentum and ability to shift a life forever. Not just the "driving down that road on that day" like in "Adaptation". But more like the decision that a person can make that basically dooms them through the resultant choices. The one tipping point that creates a downward spiral. The one that just can't be undone. I think that prisons are full of those kinds of realities. And in a less dramatic sense, lots of unhappy lives are part of that decision process.

Just been thinking about it a lot.

And as a postscript to my poor aunt's tale, seems that they found undiagnosed and untreated MS when they conducted the autopsy. Fuckers. Fuckers. Fuckers. Oh, and she died of pneumonia. Ah, the rage is building...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I always thought of my aunt as the glamorous one. First off, she was not my mom. That adds a certain luster. And she was fabulous. She and her husband were dynamic and fun. They played all the time. It was only much later that I was able to apply the Aesop's fable about the ant and the grasshopper to the situation, and be quite thankful that I am the product of ants. Versus the sad son of the grasshoppers. Not sure what he does with his time, but from what I hear it is generally kinda underachieving.

So she died yesterday. The first of that generation in over 20 years (the other death was shocking and an aberration of sorts). This one was natural causes, but my mother maintains that Canada killed her. She has good reasons for her bitterness. About 15 or so years ago, a mounty ran over my aunt and broke both of her legs and threw her through the windshield of the parked truck next to her. She never fully recovered from those injuries, and subsequently lacked both PT care, and developed arthritis in both legs. She also developed osteoporosis, and was in great pain for the last several years. I guess her death was hastened by a flu virus that was under-treated by the 3 different doctors that my uncle took her to in the last week. She was too weak to withstand it, and died in his arms yesterday. After 38 years together. He is just crushed. We are all sad. And my mom is angry as hell. Her direct quote, "she would've had another 10 years down here with proper care." No one can understand why the hell she wasn't in the hospital in that condition. It makes no sense.

But there you have it. The woman made fabulously poor choices with dramatic consistency, but lived a truly genuine life both despite and because of those choices. She was kind. She was pretty. She was funny and fun. And I wish that I had been in touch with her more in the last few years. Always with the regrets, no?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

She ran around all the time. Outdoors and indoors.
She was barefoot all summer in the grass.
She killed bugs and spiders with delight and satisfaction. She thought it was heroic.
She tried to catch butterflies, but only to look, not to hurt.
She got into everything.
She liked raspberries the best.
She liked the smell of the dog.
She was slow to learn how to ride her purple bike.
She wanted everyone to like her.
She was full of ill-contained passion.
She picked everything up, but rarely broke anything.
She thought that everything was fun.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Got some words of wisdom from my mentor at work. She is really good. Comes from a different place professionally and personally, and I really value her insights. She told me to calm the hell down. I was in a dither about not having clearly defined goals, and slipping on some of the ones that are already established. She told me to stop it. Be good. Give it a month or so and reevaluate what is important.

Perspective, I think it's called. Been lacking around here in my head, lately. Just because I have slipped into the element of immediate. Everything appears important. Everything appears to be imperative. And it's good to have someone call me on that and tell me to knock it off.

I think that part of the problem is where I work, and with whom. It is merely a huge chunk of the culture there, and with them. That's not going to change any time soon, and sure as hell isn't going to be prompted to change by me. I am a small cog in a very large sprocket. And I don't think that I can totally pull out of the collective madness- it's just the way the place works.

But the personal stuff can be evaluated differently. As is appropriate. I push Kman to evaluate and make choices and pursue goals and develop dreams. I push myself too. But I am thinking that it might not hurt to relax. Just relax. And carry on. Wayward son.

Monday, January 05, 2009

It's not what I expected. I just realized this after all of these years. I'm not complaining, mind you. But it's not what I thought it would be, once upon a time.

I thought that the first ever would be the last. I thought that those feelings of immolation and annihilation would endure forever. I thought that it would be perfect. I thought that every day would sustain a level of intimacy and exquisite agony. I thought that it would consume me, and that I didn't matter as an individual in the equation.

Then I grew up. I had at least one that fit the bill. And then I saw the side effects. And I saw myself disintegrating into something lesser than myself. I knew the frustration of always being wrong. I knew the frustration of giving more than should justifiably be asked. And I grew up.

Part of me still yearns for that feeling though. Even though I know that it is very, very wrong. I want to be consumed. I want to be overwhelmed.

And then I remember. I remember and I forget. And then it is all different. And it is just fine.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

So while it snows again, I was looking outside and remembering.

The best snow day ever. Was at my Great Grandmother's house in East Helena. I was dropped off early in the day, not sure why- don't remember. I was under the age of 5, and it was a very snowy day. My cousins were around. We played in the yard in the snow. I remember not wanting to come inside. I remember building a snow fort, and throwing snow balls. I remember it getting dark and wanting to stay outside in my little red snow suit. And continuing to build the snow fort. It was the most important thing in the world. My mittens were soaked. I couldn't feel my fingers. But that didn't matter. I needed to build that fort.

When my parents arrived, I had to go inside. I remember the blast of warmth when I entered the living room. It was a pretty small room, packed with adults. The heat register in the floor was blowing hot air upwards. There were many voices speaking at once in a tumult of noise. It was all so different from the silence punctuated by the laughter outside.

I remember the ache of my fingers. It was the first time I remember thawing out from the cold. I remember my Uncle Jack playing the player piano. I thought he was wonderful. I don't know, in retrospect if this all occurred on the same day. Childhood memories are like that for me. Vivid as hell, but kind of dicey on the details.

I miss those days more than I can ever describe. Mainly because they were the time of my life that I felt safest and warmest. And to this day I am so thoroughly grateful to have had them. I will love that feeling forever.

Friday, January 02, 2009

In reference to the aforementioned DRAMA, it wasn't really anything personal. Just more situational than anything else. Someone else's really.

It seems that I have a habit of enraging a certain kind of man. The kind of man who typically likes to maintain some sense of personal gravitas, and doesn't cotton to the kind of outspoken nature that I tend to exhibit naturally. And since we were among family, I pretty much had my guard down and didn't feel the need to be overly political for a change.

So then I pissed the old lion off. And he attacked. But it was more of an invitation for me to debate than anything else in my mind. But the person in the room with the full-blown daddy issues decided that I needed a champion. Needlessly, it turns out, but I think that it made her feel much better.

The funniest thing is that I didn't care. Not really. The whole bloody thing really left me just kind of bored and longing for my own bed and the kitties. Like I said, someone else's drama, not my own. I just didn't have the energy to devote to getting fully engaged. Nor did it seem necessary. I am perfectly content to let someone else make an ass of themselves in public- it happens. So there you have it. DRAMA. And silly as hell.