Archive | July, 2013

Witless Wednesday in Spades

31 Jul

So, yesterday was Wil Wheaton’s birthday and he wanted to celebrate his birthday by declaring it ‘Don’t be a Dick’ Day. Apparently there were a few of you out there who didn’t get the memo.

Just sayin’.

“The whole of life is just like watching a film. Only it’s as though you always get in ten minutes after the big picture has started, and no-one will tell you the plot, so you have to work it out all yourself from the clues.”Terry Pratchett, Moving Pictures

Yes, I was late for the start and no I don’t have a plot clue in Hades. I’ve been trying to work it all out, but there’s a bit of confusion here at the end of the second act. It appears that husband number three and son number one have devised a plan to interfere with the machinations of wife number three and daughter number one. And everyone knows girls are right! Always.  Oh, and don’t forget the in-laws, out-laws, girlfriends, and co-workers.

And then there are all those crazy people who have no doubts. Wow. I’m impressed. I’ve had a doubt since before birth. It took 4 millennia for me to choose parents and even then I didn’t choose,  I just opted for the lottery. Got lucky there.

Anyway with the plans of those 4 and the crazy people with no doubt and the governor that’s so REpugnant, and the congress that’s still full of stupid,  old, white men, and all that hate and greed out there, this movie sucks.

I’m really hoping the third act is a miracle of dénouement.

Ah, in a perfect world…

Tangled Tuesday Revisits Saturday and Monday

30 Jul

Saturday night I dreamed I had to fly an airplane with very little instruction. Evidently I was channeling job training in a major way.

Please note that I did get the damn plane off the ground and safely landed at my destination, however I did demand further instruction. I wanted one more supervised take off. Not too much to ask when flying a 747. Right?

Yesterday may have been the worst Monday ever. And it wasn’t improved by the omission of my anti-depressant from the previous three night’s bedtime routine. I sent Bob to the pharmacy for a refill last night in hopes of staving off any more bad days this week. It can’t hurt.

Yup, Monday was a roller coaster.  The vertigo from all the ups and downs nearly sent me crashing to the floor.

I did learn one thing: it is best to let an asshole stew in his/her own poo. Now isn’t that profound?  Perhaps it will become one of those sayings that always proves correct. You know, like the one about time flying faster as you age.

Well, actually I learned more than one thing, but that one stood out.

I slid into Bruhonda after work with a huge sigh of relief. The day had ended. Whew. Bruhonda sounded relieved too, when I started him up and put him in gear. Of course I could have been projecting. It’s been known to happen.

The radio was on. It usually is. Lately I’ve become an avid NPR listener. I find their news less biased and far more entertaining than most stations in my area. The first story I really tuned into was about a gay couple in Ohio who had been together for over 20 years. One of them was dying and they wanted to be married. Ohio is not a proponent of marriage equality. And so they arranged for a medical airlift to Maryland and were married, then airlifted back home where a suit was filed in the state asking Ohio to recognize their union. A mere few days later a judge favored their suit.

I was in tears by the time the newscaster announced the judge’s decision. I felt their sadness, their joy, their love and I congratulated them and the Supreme Court and the Ohio judge.

It seems to be absolutely crazy that anyone would deny the rightness of love and commitment between any two people.

Needless to say the story made my day immeasurably better.

It did, however, further cement my belief that the world would be so much better if we could eliminate all the hate-mongering, know-it-all assholes.  Too bad there’s not a wipe for that.

Conjuring Childhood Stress on a Manic Monday

29 Jul

We saw The Conjuring Saturday morning. Of course, further investigation into the Parron family haunting is now required. Here’s a sort of non-sequitur;  I love the musical prefaces movie makers use to startling events.

So, here’s the rub. We were also treated to a newborn’s attendance to this R-rated movie. The parents took the baby out when it cried. That was considerate. But the child cried only when there was an event that made the mother or father jump or start. In other words, the infant reacted to the stress of the parent.

We spoke to a theatre manager. Their corporate policy prevents the admittance of children under six with a parent or guardian to an R-rated movie after 6 p.m.  Corporate policy also states that a disruptive child and parent may be asked to leave the theatre.

Corporate policy does not attempt in any way to protect a child from the stress or emotional damage the viewing of a violent or frightening movie. It is left to the parents’ discretion.

We have an incredible amount of ambiguity in our causes.  The conservative rite (please note the spelling is in deference to the fact that opinion does not make right) is demanding the preservation of life from conception, but leaves corporations to make policy on living children; policies that are not always in the best interests of children. The stress a parent feels is transmitted to an infant and though the infant may not have specific memory of the incident, the effects of stress, in my experience, are cumulative. And the same would apply to the stress any child is subjected to when viewing violence or horror.

The infant attending The Conjuring won’t have recall, but why would a parent subject the child to that stress.

I would not allow my children to watch horror or excess violence.  Falon didn’t see Pulp Fiction until after her twenty-first birthday. She told me she wished she had never watched it. Zachary was a bit more difficult to monitor and he saw it way too early outside my supervision.

Don’t get me wrong, I made other mistakes and lots of them. My stress level during Zach’s first few years was enough to scar the kid for life. I have to live with that. I have to live with the scars I dealt Falon as well.   Life can be  hard to bear at times. And all of us are muddling through the best we can. I don’t really know if nature or nurture is the key to a well-adjusted, happy child, but why take a chance. Nurture is something we can all work on.  We can try to help one another raise the kids we already have in the best manner possible.

So my theory is this: start by asking movie theatre corporations and independent cinemas to stick to the ratings guidelines no matter what time of day it is. Go to your favorite’s website and contact them requesting this policy. Ask parents to stick to the simple guideline of age 14 with an adult, no matter how mature the child. Give kids a chance to grow up and learn to handle stress in a healthy manner before subjecting them to violence and horror.

It may not be the end-all answer, but it’s a beginning.

We have to advocate for the ones we have.

The Accident, Short Fiction

22 Jul

The Accident

Brian looked up from the busted watermelon into the smoky,

amused gaze of a gorgeous redhead.

‘I’m Serena’.

They fell in love.

Manic Mondays are becoming an ending. At least for the past couple of Mondays. An ending to the bone-wearying ennui that sets in on Fridays! This too shall pass.

Saw The Lone Ranger Friday with Bob and Falon. We scarfed a pizza, went to the movie and scarfed popcorn and laughed. Lucky to have entertainers, not so lucky to be scalped of dollars to see them. I guess I always go back to the question of how much one person, one family really needs to live comfortably. Is there a study? I must look for one..

At any rate, it was fun and distracting and I heart Johnny Dep. He could park his shoes under my bed anytime…Don’t tell Bob.

Falon and I seem to be on a personal pampering quest. In the past three weeks we’ve done hair, visited the Hot Springs baths, and, just Saturday, had nails done. I’m looking forward to the pedicure and the  massage! Guess we’ll have to put all this on weekly rotation! Do we deserve it? Hell Yeah! And so does every other multi-tasking working woman out there! Less grocery shopping, more pampering! That’s the new mantra!

One final note for this manic Monday: I’ve added a new work file and labeled it SYNTD for SHIT YOU NEED TO DO.

I almost emptied it today. Go Me!

Witless Wednesday

17 Jul

Yesterday may have been the longest day in recorded history.  Technically that was supposed to have occurred during a summer equinox, right?

But for some reason, yesterday took the cake, dressed it in drag, and paraded it around town without benefit of an audience.

Don’t ask.

The security system installer told me he stopped time just to mess with me.

Did a damn fine job of it.

Today I missed the boat and took the last train to Clarksville.  It still hasn’t arrived. Perhaps next time I’ll leave on a jet plane.

 

The mind is like an unsafe neighbourhood. Don’t go there alone”
Augusten Burrows

Oops. My bad.

 

Tuesday Tangles and A Bit of Fiction

16 Jul

She stopped the car and laid her head against the back of the seat.

She hated this feeling. She had been feeling the tightness in her chest for two days. Two long days of feeling abandoned, of feeling the loss of a relationship. Her third divorce approached.

I know how to pick ’em she thought. I just wish I understood the why.

She closed her eyes obscuring the view of the lake in front of her. She tried counting her breaths in and out. She searched for her mental calm, her peaceful place and found only the hurt. She searched deeper.

She recalled that letting go was always the most difficult part. Letting go and knowing that she really didn’t control anything except her own behavior…not even her life was really her own. She was at the mercy of a world where stress and pressure were commonplace. Life wasn’t just family and survival anymore. Life was a complicated mess. Finding the good and the pure and the place you were meant to be and the people you were meant to be with was no longer an adventure but a bone wearying, soul killing experience based on the needs of the rich and shiny possibilities  that might be had for your labors.

Her cynicism was showing.

She felt like a target for the dysfunctional. It seemed that drunks and junkies, homeless dogs, stray cats and lonely children sought her. There were other choices for them.  But they seemed to find her.

And in her own loneliness she allowed them in, always thinking that this one would be the one that would allow her a brief rest, a shoulder to lean on in times of trouble. This one would take care of the crises that arose in life. It would be shared.

Loneliness painted the target on her back. Silly, really. She never thought of being lonely until she was lost, until she had no one to distract her from her need to be comforted and supported in a measure equal to what she gave.

No, she thought. I want it all.

She raised her head, started the engine, released the brake and prepared to drive away.

It will be what I make of it, she decided. And I will make of it a tall, soothing, margarita. If I let it go, what is meant to be will manifest. I have the power to change one thing. I can choose to be selective and take my time. I can choose to find a new path, find my pace, learn and grow.

Better late than never, she thought. Odd these sayings so overused, so often correct. Too bad the epiphany was so long in coming. Too grand that it finally arrived!

Weekend Adventures, Monday Mania Approaches

15 Jul

The best laid plans….

I have to publish the short story begun last week in its entirety once completed, perhaps on a separate page of the blog as I seem to be incapable of establishing a schedule for writing and blogging.

It is a most bothersome predicament.

Last week I was in bed shortly after 8 o’clock two or three nights, having succumbed to the sheer exhaustion of 9 hour days with only brief intervals for a bite to eat or a trip to the bathroom. I do hope this time gobbling task passes soon.

Saturday, however, I was treated to a day of respite by my daughter. We took the short drive to Hot Springs for breakfast, a soak in the mineral baths, and a bit of shopping. As always when in company with Falon, I had a lovely day. We even splurged on a cupcake at Fat Bottom Girl’s Cupcake shop!

Our first stop was the Farmer’s Market. You can buy produce and crystals, homemade breads and jewelry. The highlight here was the Old-timer’s volunteer band. What a treat! Some of those men and women were pushing 90. With guitar and mandolin, banjo, and fiddle, they made music for a small, but enthusiastic crowd.

We soaked at the Quapaw Baths. The water is so buoyant with minerals and salts that you can lean into them and find yourself afloat with no effort. I’ve never been able to relax enough to float, but the waters here will hold you and remove all pressure on muscle and bone. Steeping in 104 degree water and sliding into 98 degree water makes for a refreshing tension reducing experience. Loved it. Although that soak and the outside temperature caused a torturous sweat for a few minutes! Perhaps all those ugly toxins were expunged from my system.

And we visited Nom Noms for dinner nachos. They were nom nom too! Good thing we shared one. It was huge!

I’m still chuckling over the number of times I executed a side street turn-around or a U-turn to compensate for having missed the little blue dot target on Falon’s  I-phone GPS. You would think we’d never been in Hot Springs!  At one point we turned into an alley, travelled up a steep hill and onto a roof top parking area designated as ‘private’. I did a private turn around and left it in peace.

We stopped to take a picture of the historic Hot Springs high school, now loft apartments.

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Historic Hot Springs High School

How many students entered through these doors? What marks have they left upon the world?

How many students entered through these doors? What marks have they left upon the world?

Beautiful.

Beautiful.

Hot Springs is beginning to appear tidier and better kept. The only disappointment is the demise of the Majestic Hotel. Would that someone would restore and refine her, make her a beauty. She would be lovely for condos, with shops and spas on the lower level, and a dog walking and grooming service for resident pets. A small grocer could offer services. Green spaces could be created for relaxation. A rooftop garden would be lovely. And making her self-sustaining would top the cake!

There is another, smaller hotel downtown that would benefit from the vision of an entrepreneur/restorer. If you know anyone, send them my way. I would love to show them around.

I found this stumbling around…and had to share.

A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She lowered her altitude and spotted a man in a boat below. She shouted to him, “Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am.”

The man consulted his portable GPS and replied, “You’re in a hot air balloon, approximately 30 feet above ground elevation of 2,346 feet above sea level. You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and 100 degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude.

“She rolled her eyes and said, “You must be an Obama Democrat.”

“I am,” replied the man. “How did you know?”

“Well,” answered the balloonist, “everything you told me is technically correct. But I have no idea what to do with your information, and I’m still lost. Frankly, you’ve not been much help to me.”

The man smiled and responded, “You must be a Republican.”

“I am,” replied the balloonist. “How did you know?”

“Well,” said the man, “you don’t know where you are or where you are going. You’ve risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem. You’re in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but somehow, now it’s my fault.”


Link to original post

Another Monday! Manic, oh yeah.

Rough Night

Rough Night

Tangled Tuesday, Quirks, Quotes, and The Beginning of a Story

9 Jul

The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.
Henry David Thoreau

The horror of it all, is that we exchange much of our lives for stuff. Just stuff. I’m guilty of shopping for instant gratification instead of searching out the beauty and peace there is to be found in my own back yard. Such a waste.

I’ve exchanged a bit of life the last couple of days on a story that is yet unfinished. But is really is becoming too lengthy to share in one post. I’m going to break it up. And I’m going to hope that someone will come back for the subsequent posts and see it through to the end.

I think I will begin each installment with the picture.

Desert Rose

Desert Rose

Desert Rose

She was named for the desert rose, the bloom so beautifully layered and constant in the most adverse of conditions. Her mother had seen one once in a hotel atrium and searched for its origins, fascinated.

She lived in adverse conditions much the same as her namesake. Poverty, the absence of family, the threat of simply living in a one room walk-up in the filthy neighborhood they called home shadowed their lives. She was sure Mama did her best. Their room was spotlessly clean.  She noticed her clothes were cleaner than the other kids around. Mama made her take a bath every night so she didn’t smell like the others.  She noticed.

The only place she felt safe in her pre[- school was in the office. No one coming or going would harm her, bully her.  Miz Jolly wouldn’t allow it. Miz Jolly liked to wink at her and give her small pieces of chocolate. Miz Jolly had a little girl too. She was in third grade and went to another school, somewhere uptown Miz Jolly said.

After school and when Mama worked she stayed with Janie. Janie was fat and smoked cigarettes and had lots of boyfriends. She didn’t like Janie. Janie was rude to her and never listened when there was a fight. She let the other kids bully and tease, not like Miz Jolly at all. But she learned ways of coping with good humor and steely resolve.

The other place she felt safe was the library. Mama had been bringing her here since before she could remember.  She loved the way it was so quiet in the corner Mama always chose. She loved the smell of the books, the feel of the covers. She specially liked Mr. Morris who always teased her when they checked out about being a little bookworm and then he would point to the picture of a green worm with glasses on the wall.

She giggled every time she spotted those glasses on that worm.

to be continued…

Hint Fiction Friday, but A Little Bit More

5 Jul

Yesterday I slept all day. Well, very nearly. I was just plum tuckered out!

So today I’m offering up a Little Bit of Fiction. Hope you like it.

 

Living

We made mac and cheese and scoured the kitchen for a paper plate, not wanting to wash a dish. There were a few left in the picnic basket and so we loaded them up and found our way to the living room. We threw ourselves on the sofa and simultaneously emitted long, deep sighs, whether of relief or grief, neither of us could say.

The day before, we had enjoyed a picnic with the kids and visited the zoo. We watched them squeal and screech over the animals. Jess, at 6, was smitten with the tiger kittens. Annabelle, almost 4 now, wouldn’t leave the monkey habitat. We walked and ate snow cones and cotton candy and walked some more. We laughed and played and rode the train through the park, giggling and tickling, singing songs, reciting poetry.

If you looked too closely you would notice the lines of grief that were etched into our faces. If you listened you would hear the strain in our laughter. Somehow we managed to entertain our grandchildren without their knowing.

It might have been a perfect day.

What might have been?

We managed to keep them entertained and happy. We brought them home and snuggled and read stories and played games.

She called and told us she was fine. Everything was fine.

We tucked our beautiful grandchildren into bed and sat immobile in the dark for a bit before sleeping fitfully for a few hours.

We made pancakes and dressed and shopped for a bit. New toys are customary on a Grandma visit. We stopped for luncheon burgers.

We took them home, hugged their father. Visited with their mother, our daughter, for a very few minutes. She was so brave.

At 23 weeks, the obstetrician told her that the fetus was unlikely to survive for more than a year and that year would be a living hell for the entire family. There would be no quality of life for any of them. And so she bravely terminated the pregnancy yesterday.

We grieve for that which we lost. We know it was the right decision.

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