Remember there are some very fundamental things that will get you to what you want in this life. They are:
Take it one day at a time.
BREATHE (and if you can’t breathe, smoke).
Don’t worry about what other people think.
Ass In Chair.
Remember in the second grade when you wrote that poem? It was great. It’s actually STILL great today. That poem was written by the you that didn’t give a second thought toward the notion that other people might have an opinion on your work. You are not actually afraid of what people will think of your writing. You are afraid of what they will say if you try.
Stop talking all this bullshit about becoming a counselor or a psychologist or a social worker. Those are all very noble things but when you wake up every morning you think about writing. So FUCKING DO IT. MAKE IT HAPPEN.
You want to be an artist? You want to sell your work from a gallery in Manhattan? Then do. You can. You are THIS CLOSE to beginning the very next moment of your very blessed life.
Just remember your very fundamental things. You could make a mnemonic out of it. You could get it tatooed on your rump. Well, maybe you should pick somewhere you’d actually like to look at. But whatever you wanna do you scared little you, DO IT already! I’m sick of waiting.
The Future, Wildly Happy and Successful You
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Because my Flickr Free account is being a complete Asshole I had to do This to share the photos from my trip. I hope that it works, honestly.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
1. I am not at all pleased to be at my desk job and I am furiously jealous of those few artist / musician / filmmakers I know who seem to be making a decent living doing something they are truly passionate about (oh, and this guy). This lights a fire under my ass to make something of my writing, before I become crippled by another mundane task or die at the copy machine.
.....Can I have this with rice milk??
But don’t worry, I only wore them to the beach. I can’t say that I looked flawless for one hundred percent of the trip, but I can say that it turns out I didn’t really care.
Other things I learned:
1. Even children can be capitalists. On Fire Island we were greeted by the sight of two perfectly precious blonde girls selling painted sea shells from a wagon. Their sign said “Support the Troops”. Other young entrepreneurs sold homemade Oreos and iced tea and put on elaborate can-can style dances for tips.
2. People on secluded islands don’t make noise complaints even though, from inside the house, it sounded like an American Bandstand Dance Off that even very good earplugs could not muffle. But far be it from me to begrudge the party goers their good time. I was, after all, in bed by 10:30.
3. You cannot stop a back pedal braked Beach Cruiser while wearing wedge heels. (OUCH!)
4. A few small boroughs of New York can seem REALLY big when you are as out of shape as I am.
5. I completely and wholly cherish my air conditioner.
6. A little smile, a fake southern twang (and probably the low cut shirt I had on) go a long way toward getting the bartenders in Brooklyn to give you free drinks.
7. A little smile and a fake southern twang go along way in proving that people in New York City are actually nice (as if I ever had any doubt!).
8. From Greenpoint you get fabulous view of the sunrise and sunset over Manhattan, and you can see them both in the same day if you’re lucky.
9. Brunch with good, good friends is much better tasting than cold cereal at work. (In case you had any question about this...)
10. I need a secret benefactor to support all the many more trips I want to take back this summer (and about two weeks more paid vacation). Any takers?
…..Beaucoup d'images à suivre……
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
I would sleep if I could. I have said before that Texas is too air conditioned, but as of this moment I take that back. I would give my left arm for some cold air right now. It's 2:48 in Greenpoint NewYork and approximately 90 degrees in Amy's apartment. I am fairly certain I won't be going back to sleep before the time when my alarm is supposed to go off, and I have to go downstairs to meet the car that will take me to the airport.
I went into her tiny bathroom and soaked my hair and feet with cold water, but there isn't so much as a light breeze coming through the open windows. Even the melatonin cannot compete with this stifling heat. One fan would change my night time world in a second.
Last night I dreamt about a giant brown butterfly. It was the size of an eagle, just flapping slowly on the wall of my apartment. I don't know how it got there. I could see that it was molting, though, and so I knew that it should be released outdoors, but each time I touched it more of the brown skin would sluff off in my hands. I was afraid I would kill it. I awoke before I could free it in the sunlight.
Even though I am exhausted my heart is full. My sweet friend cried tonight as she tucked me into the couch, making me promise to wake her at 4 am before I left. At first I thought she was being silly, and maybe just drunk, but then I too found myself in tears. So many miles apart. Not enough days in the calendar year to spend in relaxation with the ones you love because there is always work to be done. It seems tremendously unfair the two deeply kindred spirits could meet, grow together and then be torn apart. For both of us there is the prospect of opportunity that takes us to the far reaches of the earth, but in my heart I have made a second home and it is with her. She is someone who understands me in words and in silence, in sorrow and in laughter. Once she was the person I called to spend lazy summer afternoons, drinking tea or dancing in the secret shade of her living room. Now she is the far away friend I will long for on my trip back home.
I left her a letter promising that one day we will be neighbors again. We will share pie recipes and children and animals. We will garden together, and grow together. Because more and more - especially after this trip full of long treks out and around and back in - I am beginning to seek a more simple life. One that allows me the freedom of peace and quiet, and of friendship and family. I want a porch and a hammock for long summer days, warm arms for long winter nights, and all of the glittering stars that the sky can offer.
3:15. The sound of people stumbling home echoes with the trash trucks. There is laughter coming from a nearby rooftop. Its not all that long till sunrise, and some of these people will be up with me to see it.
This evening on the way out Amy and I biked past the Manhattan skyline as the sun was sinking into it. It was brilliant red - a giant orb of fire overpowering and outsizing any of the beautiful buildings on the horizon. Between the Empire State and the shiny Chrysler buildings, light spilled onto the East River. Quickly I tried to capture the moment with a digital camera, but the brilliant effect was lost in translation. In that way photographs are less fulfilling than memories. Because even when I have my country home filled with sweet pie and comfort, I will always remember perfectly just how stricken I was by the sight.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
(Who needs work when I've got Photoshop...)
Monday, May 21, 2007
I have one and a half days left before I leave for my vacation and in a turn of events that one would not have imagined from someone with my work ethic (please note the deep sarcasm here) I mentally vacated my job somewhere around 5am. Its not that I don’t have things to do, it’s just…well…I don’t wanna.
I go back to my theory that I am not genetically coded to be a hard worker, in the traditional capacity. That is to say, I don’t * really like working for other people, so much that I don’t really do it with a whole lot of consistency. I hate being told what to do when what I really feel like is going for a swim. I hate that there are no bosses who will allow their workers to go home because “It’s just too damn nice out”. And I hate that women don’t get one flex day a month to sit on their ass and watch Oprah while devouring an entire pint of Chocolate Obsession ice cream and half of a bottle of wine – one hand strategically placed on their screaming uterus'.
See? Not genetically made up for this. I think, in one of my past lives I was:
B: A professional golfer
C: A crazy flute playing hermit.
Any one of these things might explain why I have a natural aversion to work in its most basic capacity. Use your imagination:
I’m just not cut out for this stuff. I ought to be having tea or perfecting the sentences that go into this blog so that I can become world famous! Or, at very least, a better writer.
Alas, I am stuck here on a dismal day, with actual work to be done before my actual vacation. Ten minutes left in my official lunch (my unofficial lunch will begin in an hour or two).
If only I could sell my work, become a millionaire and quit my day job.
Speaking of Millionaires – Check her out today! How on earth did I wind up on HER page? Oh the mysteries of the world wide web…
*Photo credit where its due.
Friday, May 18, 2007
In an effort to keep from slicing my wrists open with the letter opener due to complete boredom, I went on the Great Internet Hunt for what is acceptable to pack on a trip to New York City. One might ask why I didn’t try to find some real work to do, but one would be terribly silly to ask such a thing. Me? ACTUALLY work? No, no, no you must have me confused with someone else. I am not genetically made up for "ACTUAL" work.
My Google search for “What outfits are appropriate to pack for a trip to NYC” came up with very little. I got tips from the New York Fashionista’s about what THEY would pack on a short trip (this mostly included black, black, black, black, black, white and khaki). While the thought is somewhat appealing, as I own a fair amount of black myself, I thought about how it simply would NOT go well with my new lime green polka dotted bikini, bleach white trunks, and FANTASTIC chunky blue plastic baubles (from the sale rack!). This is a spring trip. It’s about color. And though I refuse to look like a frumpy girl from Texas, I’m definitely not a Fashionista. So I kept looking.
And I came across THIS blog:
While I found very little about what I could actually wear in NYC (aside from leaving my favorite gauchos at home, Boo!) I found myself having to stifle serious out loud laughter. This woman writes a blog that I will definitely read daily, if not more (to catch up!) and certainly strive to be like. She is smart, articulate and funny.
As I’ve noted somewhere on this page, I’m only seldom funny. In fact, I would go so far to say that I often write SAD things. Which, okay, obviously I’m good at it. But even I start to get annoyed with the drama after a few days. Maybe I’m being too hard on myself, I guess my writing is a tad bit wistful, but it’s not always melancholy. Perhaps I’m just not a funny person.
In high school I used to be in plays (can you imagine, me – in the theater??) and one year I was the lead role in the school comedy. Well, I tried to be anyhow, but I couldn’t deliver a joke to save my life. I feel certain I was typecast for my look far more than my ability to get laughs. But throw me in a heart wrenching drama? Damn, I’ll knock your socks off.
Anyhow. Bossy's blog is good read and so I thought I would share it with…well. You.
My other recent blog subscription is this one:
The subject contest doesn’t really peak my interest (as any who knows my spending habits might understand) but I love that this woman is really taking a stab at being a successful artist and fiscally responsible. How noble! I hope to learn a few tricks from her, plus I love her writing style. Quite delightful to read.
Intelligent, artistic, successful women – I LOVE YOU!!!
"Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, 'I think I'll squeeze these dangly things here, and drink whatever comes out?' "
It certainly wasn’t these two here. It was probably someone with a third of our brain capacity, hell bent on survival. These days we look at a cows udders and might think “It would be horrible if I had nipples like that!” – but we certainly wouldn’t consider consuming the liquid. If it doesn’t come packaged from a grocery store, or at very least stamped with ‘Organic’ we don’t want to have anything to do with it. Harvest it ourselves? Aren’t the slaves doing that???
But I digress. What I really thought of when I read this question was Easter Sunday, every single year after I was eight. It was a tradition in my family to eat artichokes as an appetizer. My mother loved them. For many years I didn’t know of their savory deliciousness, but there would always be one in my bowl anyhow, waiting for me to decide I was done and someone else to snatch up the leftovers.
So we’d all sit with the white, embroidered tablecloth brushing our laps and the ham sizzling in the oven and we’d stare at our bowls of artichokes, waiting for the steam to escape enough from the centers for us to consume. About now, my stepfather would pause, mid scalding mouthful and say,
“You know the artichoke is a thistle? It’s actually the flower of the plant!”
To which one of us would inevitably reply, completely regardless of the fact that the exact conversation had occurred the year previous,
“Weird. I wonder who was the first person who thought to eat this??”
And it is a very good question, really. Milking a cow you can figure out – you know baby cows drink milk from their mama’s teats and we drink milk from our mama’s teats, but humans certainly don’t produce enough milk to feed a village and cows do. Okay. But tearing apart the leaves of a prickly cactus looking thing and eating the ‘meat’ off of it? You’ve got me on that one.
Sometimes I think I miss my stepfather. I think about his stupid questions and his overzeal for his projects and it strikes the right sense of nostalgia. He wasn’t bad to me, really. He just…wasn’t. He was bad to my sister and careless with my mother. No, I don’t really miss him. But I miss the sense of family I had for a short time. Slightly dysfunctional, yes, but we still had big dinners on the holidays and camping trips and shiny Christmas mornings. We had birthday cakes and picnics. We had the things that people associate with a happy, normal family.
It was all because of my mother, I think. He would not have gotten off the couch if she hadn’t lit a fire under his ass. For a short time I think he really did try to be a better man because of her. He gave up - it was too hard - but she inspired him, just like she has everyone else in her life. She was the reason we had t-ball and drama club. She was the reason we had parties and holiday dinners. She always made the house feel open, ready for guests – even if she didn’t want it.
Mom was the reason we had clean socks and underwear. She was the one who cried with me when my stepfather left out a pan of anti-freeze and my fat orange cat drank it. She was the one who worked two jobs so that we could have new clothes for school and the one who gave me her perfectly good station wagon when I burnt through two beater cars I tried to buy with ‘my own money’ (that she had fronted).
Sometimes I think she’s not the woman she used to be; that he took that away from her the night he handed her divorce papers. I watched him leave as I pulled up, squinting in my headlights and lugging a bag of his clothing. I held her while she cried in a way that I thought only I knew how to cry. She cried the kind of tears that a child should never have to see their parents cry - sobbing, hicupping, painful tears.
Five years later she is still struggling. Would she have been struggling with him? Or would she just be unhappy. But I’m not sure I’m correct in thinking that she’s “not the same as she used to be”. I never knew my mom before my sister and I, and I knew even less of her as woman without a husband. Maybe she’s happier now than she has been in twenty five years, who knows?
As a child it’s the kind of knowledge that you aren’t really privileged too. It’s life that happened before yours. Pre-history. It’s very much like pondering the chicken before the egg or the first person who ever milked a cow. Someone can tell you the information, I suppose. But by then it’s more like mythology – a story passed down through many hands, distorted and retold in each palm.
I wonder what happened to him. I hear through crackled telephone words that he and his little trolop are blissfully miserable together. I think they are a match made in heaven.
The last time I ever talked to him he called my work to see how I was doing. In retrospect it was a genuinely decent attempt trying to remain in my life. I was so upset by that phone call. “How do you THINK I’m doing?” I'd asked him. What could he say to that?
And just like that he was gone. One more of life’s mysteries never to be solved, like who shot Kennedy and when will I get rich. I guess some things just aren't worth knowing...
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Every morning this week I have made a new play list or picked a few new albums to listen to on Soundpedia. It may not be horribly productive as far as work goes but in the long run I feel it makes me more productive, in general. Having good music is like having a perfect silence. It fills the space and allows you to think more clearly.
Today I made a short George Michael mix, inspired by a radio play that made me dance in my car just before I got here. My mom used to listen to him in the white Ford Tempo on the way to Albuquerque. It was an eight hour drive, and I remember being often bored in the backseat by myself, and also terrified of the semis as they wooshed by in the passing lane. I was constantly afraid we would be sucked underneath.
We listened to George Michael and Gloria Estefan and Hewy Lewis and the News, all on tape. I remember singing along to “Monkey”, imagining a man with a chimpanzee on his back, trying to shake it off. I was seven. It somehow made sense that she would love a monkey more than this guy singing the song. Monkeys are so cute.
I talked to my father for an hour and a half last night. I was exhausted but, as usual, pleasantly surprised by our chat. For whatever reason that he was absent all those year he is becoming a man that I can really call “Dad”. Which is more than I could hope for, really.
He told me stories about my grandmother and gave me news on my sister. We chatted about his addition and the potential gas pocket beneath his property, hopefully promising him a Jed Clampitt like ‘Eureka!’ and offering him a sorely needed extra income.
We talked about my mother, or rather he talked about my mother. Gushed, is the adjective I would use. I wish my mom could really understand how much he loved her, how much he regrets what happened. I don’t think he could say one negative word about her. Maybe if she knew this and how much he would change if he could, maybe she would forgive him for the past. Or at least let it go and believe that he is a good man now, after all these years. But I guess some damage is done.
I thought constantly about my other half while we talked. About how I am just like my father was then – insecure, sometimes depressed and so young with my outbursts of emotions. I feel immensely blessed that he is still with me, but sometimes fear that the damage has been done. Can we ever get back what we once had, after all the ways I’ve mistreated him? It is akin to abuse. Those scars deep inside don’t easily heal. My mother is the example. Twenty five years later and she still recalls the pain. So how will my love come home to my opening arms? I am trying to change as swiftly as I can, but will it be fast enough??
I can only hope he’ll remain patient.
My father has unflappable faith in me. “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, you know?” he says, referring to my mother. “She could do anything she put her mind to,” he said. “Just like you can.”
It’s certainly edifying to know that someone really believes that I’ll be a writer someday. Or whatever I choose to be. Having someone think that highly of your ability brings new meaning to the phrase “You have so much potential”, which has always been one of my least favorite. When he says he sees me as a writer and talks about how he can’t wait to see me on Oprah, I can’t help but think about it coming true, too. It makes my daydreams of book signings and working from home out on some farm in the country seem legitimate, not foolish.
I’ve officially put him on the shoulder with the good heads.
In addition to making a new play list every morning I would like to begin eating breakfast again. That is the habit I would like to start in June: Buying groceries again.
Last night I splurged and bought ice cream with my cigarettes. My refrigerator is still completely empty, short of some softening potatoes (still good fried!). You can see where I currently have my priorities…
Someday, life is going to be simpler, I promise.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
After searching for over an hour on the internet for photos of what, in my mind, exemplifies summer relaxation, I only found these two:
There were kids eating ice cream and people having picnics and few that came close to the hot pot hole swimming of my youth but for some reason none of these photographs struck me as the “perfect” picture of summer.
So, of course, I will take that on as my responsibility. For my posterity, right?? I want the people of the future to find a shoe box of my old photos and think (wrongly) about how simple our life was “back then” and decide that the world needs to “change back to the way things were”.
Maybe not. But at least we can fool the future into thinking we were all blissfully happy.
I will begin my summer mission with this upcoming trip. I will buy as many rolls of film as I can afford and at the end of each month I will take a few rolls to be developed. By the end of the summer I hope to fill the google search engine with a delightful cache of sunny summer pictures: Strawberries in the sunlight, kids running in the sprinkers, cats chasing fireflies, young men dozing with their shirt off by the riverside.
The best thing about this mission is that in order to get really genuine, perfect summer pictures, I will have to have really genuine, perfect summer moments. It will be a reason to get out my old camera and a way to fill up my flickr albums.
All this was spawned from my near sleep daydream about laying in the sun on a blanket. That is one of the most horrible things about having a nine to five job, I think – not being able to enjoy the most perfect hours of the most perfect time of the year. Dusk is sweet, but during the week it’s almost like a contest to get the best spot in the park. Right after lunch should be nap time.
I fantasize about a summer afternoon without work. Somewhere in the South, on a farm I have never been to. There is a cotton field next to a corn field next to a wheat field and there is a dirt road that goes past them all. Me and my baby stroll down it beneath the old Live Oaks, straw hats shading our smiles. In my left hand I’ve got the picnic basket and in the right I’ve got his left. In his right hand, slung lazily over his shoulder, he has a fistful of fishing poles dangling with bobbers and a little sack of fresh worms from the bait shop.
We make it to the river bed and I lay out the blanket I had stuffed over the picnic basket and spread lunch out on top of it. There are sweet purple grapes and cold turkey sandwiches wrapped in wax paper and taped up neatly. I have a thermos of lemonade and a bottle of wine, and two blue tin cups to pour them in. I slice cheese while he casts the poles into the river. The water is slow at our spot on the bank. The trees shade us but warm the surface, so he lets the worms on their hooks sink to the bottom, gently pulled by the current.
After we eat I read for awhile on the blanket, one lazy eye on my pole. We don’t talk; we don’t have to. The day is filled with summer noises. The whirr of cicadas mixes with the sploosh of the fish jumping at the surface and that harmonizes with the rustle of the leaves in the tree. He bores of sinking the lines in, and crawls onto the blanket, shoving my book out of my face for a kiss. I put it aside and our toes wrestle as he curls up with me.
I rest my head in the crook of his arm and he puts his hat over his eyes to sleep. It’s not long before we are dozing on the river's edge and the sound of our soft breathing is part of the summer symphony.
….This daydream in particular needs to be realized. Not enough days of leisure spent anymore…
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
BUT, since it’s not March, and I’m not Julius Ceasar, I’ve really nothing to fear today. There are many idle hours to fill, though. Because the job is slow and because what little work I do have I don’t really want to do. Instead I’ll write this blog, and probably work on DSP’s website a little. Too bad I don’t know HTML. It would certainly make THAT job a whole lot easier.
In other news of attacks, I have been assailed with allergies these past few days that have kept me indoors. It makes me crazy, because it’s so beautiful out – perfect blue sky and a warm, dryish 90 degrees. I can’t even open the windows, though, because whatever allergy is high right now is incapacitating me. I guess being on house arrest wouldn’t be SO bad, but my pantry is empty today. I think think maybe I have cornbread mix. But I can’t make that because I don’t have eggs. Or milk.
I would like to move into a different tax bracket - one that can consistently afford gas and groceries. You have no idea how hungry I am. Hungry and boney.
Speaking of gas, they are going to be shutting off THAT utility any day now. Along with the electricity. I am trying to get a couple more freelance jobs and sell my guitar but nothings happened yet. If the weather stays nice I can stain Jim’s deck this weekend and that will give me a hundred dollars. Not enough to make it for 5 days in Philly, NYC. I don’t think I’m going to have money to take the train to Philly. I leave for the east coast in exactly a week.
I guess I could shop for publishers for my book without having illustrations. I suppose that it wouldn’t kill me to see someone else’s art next to my story. Then again, I suppose it wouldn’t kill me to actually just DO the illustrations. It’s not like I’m going to get a publisher for “The Good Heads” this week. Though, that IS the general fantasy…
I’ve looked for house cleaning work but the only thing I could come up with seems to be a scam. Not that I really want to clean houses anyhow. Which is not to say that I’m above it or that I haven’t done it before, its just…well, its frustrating to get paid 40 dollars for sweating and scrubbing when I can make that in an hour of tooling around with Photoshop.
Anyhow, would you like some cheese with that whine??
It’s going to be one of THOSE periods. I can feel it already. Crying for no reason, starting fights with my sister, feeling extra self loathing…Yup! It’s all there. Thank GOD there is an episode of “The Gilmore Girls” on tonight. The last one ever!! My guilty pleasure has to come to an end. How sad…I guess it will be fodder for the collage I’ve been planning. Ode to Gilmore’s. I have a feeling that one will be tre morbid.
I need to come up with ten pieces to submit to Women and Their Work by the end of July… Can I do it? I would love to get a show there. To just SAY “I have an exhibit downtown,” oh, it would feel so good. So legitimate.
This blog is all over the map. Perhaps I’ll have some coherent thoughts later…
Monday, May 14, 2007
I made this new playlist on soundpedia:
Because today was especially challenging. I am PMSing. Any day now I will bleed kind of PMSing. Probably tomorrow. And then my sister lets into my relationship. Oh, it’s not malicious, I realize that now. But I have so much to do still about feeling good about myself. Its no mistake that my sister isn’t one of the good heads. She trys, but I am too damn insecure to let her. There is a sense of competition and also of underachievement on my part. As though I’ve let down my mother.
We don’t bother listening to each other. Why? We’re from the same womb, shouldn’t we understand each other?? But I have become convinced that similarities in siblings lean heavily to the paternal side, genetically. Maybe that’s something to do with the “functionality” of a nuclear family and all that divorced parent / step parent mumbo jumbo.
Anyhow, I feel badly now. I went and plucked out all the mama hen’s feathers when she was just trying to tend to her chick. I feel like I should nose around the barnyard and scrape her feathers together. Maybe I can make her a new hat out of them or something.
I just cannot ever win.
Friday, May 11, 2007
I have finally found something that makes me blissfully, infinitely, euphorically happy. And it isn’t a Knight in shining armor, like I imagined it would be all these years. It’s dirt.
I love gardening!!! It sounds like something an eighty year old woman with blue curly hair might exclaim. I can lump it into my growing list of old lady things I love, I guess, like knitting, sewing, and drinking tea. I’m not really ashamed of them. I wish I had found them earlier!
Yesterday after my lunch tryst with the heinous grass in the courtyard, I felt so amazing that it was all I could think about doing for the rest of the day. These feelings were intensified by the blue sky who’s likes I’ve not seen for what seems like weeks. I spent the rest of the afternoon researching herbs to go in my bed and as soon as five o’clock rolled around I bolted like a teenager just released for summer break.
With great fervor I chopped at the ground, mostly soft from my soaking and the rain the night before. I was pleased to find that I had subconsciously created a perfect design for my herb bed, zigzagging it through the existing landscaping in such a way that left natural paths to what will soon be my fragrant little eden.
The man from apartment A came out and commended my work, offered up some basil seeds for the garden and some extra sharp hedgers so that I could extend my work from digging to clipping the dead spikes off the flailing yucca bushes. I moved the old concrete birdbath out from under the hedge, cleaned it and filled it with fresh, clean water from the hose. For two hours I dug and trimmed and watered.
When I was done, I surveyed my work like a proud parent, eager to put in the bed. My dreams last night were laced with armfuls of giant onion like bulbs and green, green plants.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
It’s hard to do when stupid things rule the day. Like when blogger deletes five perfectly good paragraphs, just when you are about to move to the word processor for fear of overload. Or, like earlier, when people come to you with a look of utter panic, gasping “Is this the last legal pad?”
The subtext in their eyes reads: “Because if it is then I don’t possibly know how I will write on this perfectly good lined notebook with perforated pages because if I used this spiral bound thing it will remind me of the time I wrote ‘I love Tim’ really big on the front cover and he saw it and that kind of regression will surely give me an inferiority complex that allows you to have control for more minutes than I care to let you. Please tell me I can write on something, ADULT like a yellow legal pad.”
Blink, blink, I respond. “Someone must have taken the last one. I’ll put it on the next order.”
But in my head I am silently seething. I want very much to run screaming around the office “If you don’t tell me that we’re almost out of something I can’t order more!!!!” Used to be that I would have. Normally, I am the kind of person who feeds of negativity like that, sucking the head off of it and venomously spitting it out, red and angry, at whoever gets in the way. This year, I am trying to turn that leaf. And so instead of clinging to the aggression, I went home and gardened.
I am making a community garden, full of sage, oregano, thyme and chamomile. I am going to plant big pots of mint and possibly some ginger. I’m going to plant micro greens and chard – simply because it’s called “City of Lights” Chard.
The sun was shining as I knelt in the little square of my courtyard, digging with a spade. I played Glenn Miller and chopped away at roots, minding the rolly pollies and shells of the snails. I thought about the first time my stepfather ever showed me how to plant a flower. He had fertilized it already, broken up the soil. He showed me how to add just a little softness at the bottom of the deep hole, and then break up the soil around the roots of the transplant before covering it up and packing it in. I look forward to doing that again, with my own little space.
I want to plant honeysuckle. Not because I believe that I can create a secret garden in our little courtyard, but because I remember sucking the sap out of the little flowers and I long to do it again. I want it to grow up the eaves in front of my door so that each time I open the window I smell that sweetness. I want butterflies and hummingbirds.
I also decided that, somehow, I want to grow a Sweet Juliet rose bush. Partly because we share a name, but also because they have the most beautiful luscious blooms. Like Peonies. I never fancied myself a rose person, but when they started mysteriously appearing on my doorstep one day, fresh from the bush, I got a sweet affinity.
I hope that I get to do more yard work before it rains again. I’ve been enjoying the warmth of the sun the past couple days. Yesterday we went down to the creek and swam. It would have been perfect if it was our secret spot, but it was so nice to wade in the cool rush of water. Where I grew up there was always a lake or a river to jump in. It would seem odd to me not to have that, and even here – having to think twice about swimming in Town Lake – it doesn’t feel quite right. I will be sad when the creek dries up with the summer.
But there will be plenty of summers for creek jumping. I will make my children peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that they will stuff with salty corn chips. We will drink sodas and I will pretend to fish, even though I am just reading. We’ll hike and look at spider’s webs, all of us still dripping from the dip. At night we’ll lie out on a blanket and count constellations. These are the things you do in the summer. I know how to make summers sweet.
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
My horrorscope today read:
Your relationship with money is about to go through a very interesting phase. You'll be tasked with managing a far larger amount than you were prepared for, and you should not attempt to go it alone. The sums involved could cause you to make incorrect assumptions. If you don't understand something -- even something small -- seek out professional advice. These are murky waters, and you definitely don't want to get in over your head.
Obviously the part that interested me was this:
You'll be tasked with managing a far larger amount than you were prepared for...
But as of 4:30 I have not yet come into any inordinately large sums of money. I DID deposit twenty dollars into my checking account, which kept it from going negative, but I don't feel any richer. I came into a free salon haircut, but that has no monetary value either. So far today no one has offered me an amazing advance on a book deal or been so moved by my art that they had to have the one piece that isn't for sale for as much money as they could conceive of throwing at me. No one I know has died and left me their entire (huge) estate. I did not find a bag of cash lying on the side of the road.
So by all accounts, that horoscope is a piece of hocus pocus malarky. I've wondered sometimes where iVillage actually GETS their horoscopes. Sometimes they are frighteningly accurate, but I can't imagine they staff a real 'qualified' astrologist. Whatever that is.
Too bad, though, because as per usual I could use the cash. "You always need money," some might say. To which I would reply - 'Don't we all?' and then, 'I'm just waiting on my book deal to come through.'
When I was dating a creepy hippy guy (the second one) I used to fantasize that I could live this incredible sustainable life. I would be a vegetarian so I wouldn't have to slaughter any animals, I could survive solely off the massive garden in my backyard. I would have chickens and sell their eggs to buy material to make clothes. I would make modest crafts that would pay for rent. I wouldn't need a big fancy job or a car. It would just be me and my chickens, barefoot in the yard with the babies.
But, like any other meat eating, blue blooded American, I realized that I like my comforts. I'm not extravagant, but I really like to get my hair cut at the salon every now and then. I like new shoes (and leather) and I going for a drive for no real reason is a pleasure I cultivated when I was sixteen that never faded away.
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
"Where do you get off being so mean to yourself?" She asked?