Thursday, October 9, 2014

How Lefty Saved the Day (gratuitous use of the word f***, because, you know, I just felt like it)

I have the reflexes of a ninja when I need them. For a person of my size and lack of coordination, it's amazing how quickly I can move when I'm not thinking about it.

I'm able to catch a falling plate before it hits the floor, to right a bottle that's been tipped before the contents have had a chance to spill, why, even just this moment, the alarm on my phone went off and before my Thinking Brain even consciously registered the meaning of the sound, my left hand, my LEFT Hand mind you, (I am perniciously right handed) flew into action, slapped down upon the phone at bionic woman speed, and defused that blasted thing before it had a chance to ring again.

It was truly an amazing feat of dexterity, skill, and startling fury. My conscious brain is still reeling, quite frankly. I had an inkling that the sound of the alarm  elicited within me some amount of irritation, but the magnitude of focused rage, to trigger such a display? I had no idea.

It went down like this: The house was still, early morning, silent. I was relaxing in my own profound thoughts lounging there, you know, relaxed yet engaged, I was writing about serious and beautiful things, I was lost in a beautiful space with my big thoughts when,


Before I even had a chance to think, "Hark! from whence springs that sound? Is it the morning cock calling me to wake? But I'm already awake you fucking asshole morning cock..."

Before I could think that, or register the idea of sound, Left Hand was all like, "AHHHHHHH! KILL NOISE!"--- and had honed in on the exact location of the (annoying annoying grating insufferable kill it make it stop) sound and deactivated the alarm function.

Thinking Brain was all like, "Huh? What the...? The alarm? Who the fuck set the alarm to go off at four in the fucking morning?!"

Left Hand was all like, "Settle down, settle down. Nothing to see here. The situation has been ameliorated and the enemy has been neutralized."

Thinking Brain was like, "Wow, Lefty, those were some fucking awesome ninja skills!"

And Left Hand blushing, feigning humility said, "It was nothing ma'am. I was just doing my job so you can do yours,"

But deep down Lefty was thinking, yeah, I am pretty fucking amazing.

True story.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

sound of thunder, certain doom, dog breath, and some kind of salvation

Last night I was feeling sort of punk, and by punk I don't mean green mohawk safety pin in the ear black leather jackets and doc martens sex pistols god save the queen punk. By punk I don't mean Jets vs Sharks rumble punk,  pushing old ladies in the park snatching purses slicked hair and switchblades punk. And I certainly don't want you to think that by punk I mean pork pie hat, stealing apples from the fruit cart, tacks on teacher's chair dipping Sally Sue's braids in the inkwell punk.

The punk I'm speaking of is mopey self pity punk, out of sorts and down and dejected punk, eat a plate of nachos and a couple of granola bars punk, going to bed before you finished everything you intended to do self indulgent mewling pathetic whiny-ass, gee I'm such a failure what am I fucking doing with my life, just throw in the towel ya big blubbery blubbering butt-face loser punk, take yourself to bed because you make yourself ill punk full of self loathing nothing but a quivering jello-y useless piece of offal in aspic punk.

Hey, by the way, it's Mental Health Awareness Week. Just a heads up.

I had been feeling rather full of the awesome recently.  A little better than normal, full of myself in a pretty good way but then yesterday noon-ish  some rug I didn't even know I had been standing on got pulled out from under me, no mean feat that, and I found myself feeling mighty fucking shitty. Must have been the rug, I imagine a nice burgundy oriental rug, over the cesspit of despair and self loathing. Ah, metaphor, what would I do with out you. Also, my dog. I don't know what I'd do without my dog. He's not a metaphorical dog, he's the real dog who woke me up with his hot rancid breath in my face an hour and half ago, scared out of his wits by an unseasonable and unexpected October early morning thunder storm.

My good husband who is also real not metaphorical, lifted the 80 pounds of fur, pathos, odor and trembling onto the bed and the old buddy let me rub his ears and give him pats and chest and chin scratches while he panted and drooled and shed in my face. I'm talking about the dog now, not the spouse, just to clarify.

My good husband also wiped the dog hair and spit off my face and rubbed my shoulders which were getting a bit knotted and tired from holding and patting the dog for an hour. This gives me pause; I must be severely out of shape if petting the dog fatigues me. I'll feel bad about that later, for now, I'm dropping that thought and kicking it into a dark corner where it will quietly fester.

Moving on.

After the storm passed, the now calm dog and I came downstairs to hang out with the languid sisters (that's what I call the cats) who had arranged themselves tastefully like decorative throw pillows on the living room rug. Ty the Dog and I shared a peanut butter sandwich and then he sniffed out a good spot, turned around three times and lay down with a sigh on the rug between the cats and went to sleep.

So, here I am, I'm wide awake. It's 4 o'clock in the morning. I'm sitting in the dark listening to the rain watching the cats and dog sleep. I'm feeling less bad. It's like a scale has been tipped slightly, less bad more good.

You'd think I might have cause to feel pissy being awakened hours early, but the truth is, my good dog, hearing the apocalyptic sound of thunder, fearing the worst, sought me out to get some measure of comfort in my company before the certain coming doom, and that makes me feel a little less pathetic and a little more worthy.

Monday, October 6, 2014

where I, in a sleep deprived state, recount random experiences with children, language, and then just get really fucking weird

I was up at 4 a.m.

My daughter was frustrated the night before. She'd procrastinated doing her English homework and eventually 11 p.m. happened, and then self reproach, guilt and extreme fatigue and she set her alarm for 4 a.m. so she could get the work done before school.

I offered to get up with her in order to lend her moral support, also to make tea and toast and keep her on task, otherwise the heroic effort of waking before dawn would have been a wasted one.

So, I was up at 4 a.m. Bleary because I hadn't gone to bed until 1 because I procrastinate even more than my daughter and going to bed was my Sophomore Honors English homework.

I fed the cats and the dog, gave the dog his medicine, let the dog out. I unloaded the dishwasher and then loaded the previous night's dishes (again, procrastination, why didn't I do the dinner dishes last night and spare myself the depressing sight; last night's congealed ketchup and milk rings in the glasses). I brewed myself a cup of coffee in the french press, I heated the milk for my coffee, I made the daughter toast and tea I took the dry towels out of the dyer and put the wet load of jeans in the dryer. I folded the towels just so because I'm making peace with my finicky self and I need the towels folded just so.

Then I remembered the dog and let the poor old fella in. The sun was just beginning to lighten the sky and the daughter sat hunched in her seat, her tea growing cold, the butter on her toast a cold film.

And she just sat there.

So I offered to give her a hand and she told me the assignment and I felt like her Sophomore Honors English might actually be New Math. It was that comprehensible to me. And me a person who loves words. But the problem is that I have a problem with the official names for parts of speech. It proved to be an insurmountable obstacle to learning another language and it was a source of embarrassment as well, since I actually worked for a short time as a copy editor. I don't know what a dangling participle is, I am hard pressed to give you a definition of a preposition. I know all about nouns and verbs, adverbs and adjectives, also I am a fan of the gerund. I love gerunding. But don't ask me about past imperfect or subjunctive or whatever the fuck because I don't fucking get it.

Daughter's assignment involved reading a sentence from a known author and then writing a sentence conforming to the structure of the famous writer's sentence.

Daughter said things like, Subject, prepositional phrase, blah blah blah blah....

And I said, WAIT. What are you doing? Is this how writing is taught? Because, maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think there are authors reading over their work saying, Oh, you know what this passage needs? A prepositional phrase!

But anyway, I don't know where I'm going with this because quite frankly I've been in a 4 a.m. fog all day long.

Language is a beautiful thing. Getting up at 4 o'clock puts a fuzzy smear on everything. There is no way my 15 year old self could have done the work my daughter is doing and I'm happy for my daughter, she's so much smarter than I am, but I am also kind of mystified, because while it seems she's learning about the components of language she's not really getting the idea what language can do. I understand that dissecting something and breaking it down to its elemental bits has it's own kind of beauty, but the way living things move through space is infinitely more beautiful than a creature dead and stuffed taxidermy style, approachable, unchanging except for the wear and tear on the ears and mange like issues along the spine and tail from improper storage...also, glass eyes.

Oh my God.

17 hours awake and counting on three hours of sleep and this is what has become of me.

I read my daughter my favorite Jack Kerouac haiku.
When I finished, I nearly shouted,  How beautiful is that!?
My 15 year old daughter looked at me like she was looking at a rare odd thing.
So I started dancing around the kitchen like a rare odd thing in an effort to retroactively earn her disdain, and I sang,
How beautiful is that?!
Her silence fell like a rock.
And I said, nature! rain, the soles of his shoes were made clean by the rain! How beautiful is that?!
I said,
dancing still,
Redemption! The shoes are clean! Made clean by the rain!
My daughter sat straight and  still on her chair and said, perhaps you are over analyzing the poem?
and as if summoned by angels, my young son silently appeared before us, arms raised fists clenched like a soldier of God, ready to punch his heretic big sister into accepting the redemption offered in a scant handful of syllables,
the image of a man walking in the rain and the soles of  his shoes were made clean by the rain.
the man and the shoes, they are long long gone,
but the rain
the rain still washes things clean.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

possible blog material

possible blog posts for blogtober:

15 things you don't know about my left nut:
1. I don't have a left nut
2.  I do not even have a right nut

As I can only get to #2, this idea needs fleshing out before I commit to it. Hahaha...fleshing out. 

some things you don't know about my cat
1. I have a cat
2. she's a cat 
3. she does cat things
4. she shits in a box

15 things I want to change about myself
1. fuck this shit
2. seriously
3. back off
4. you do not want to go down this path
5. really

One billion (maybe this is too ambitious) observations made while sitting on the toilet
 1. someone should really mop the floor
 2. I need to get some new reading material in here, 
 3. I think the new Oprah magazine was in yesterday's mail
 4. there are only so many times you can read about living your best life while sitting on the shitter
 5. reading recipes while using the bathroom is sort of weird
 6. making a grocery list while occupied in the bathroom is also weird
 7. if anyone asks where I got the idea for savory squash and endive panade  I will not say, "in the            bathroom". 
 8. I actually just made that dish up, it is not a real thing
 9. I do not really know what a panade is 
10. I do not like endive
11. I'm not actually on the toilet right now, 

I should put this one on the back burner until later...probably tomorrow morning around 7:30

10 ways to lose at everything
1. uh...

10 ways to feel like a winner
1. uh...

One important thing you need to know this moment, this exact moment, THIS moment...NOW:
1. I forgot. Sorry.

Tomorrow I'll be back on my feet and able to write a really blockbuster blogtober blog post. You just wait and see. 

Five reason I may not be on my feet tomorrow and able to write a really blockbuster post
1. my tween-ager
2. my teenager
3. my octogenarian mother
4. fuck-tons of laundry
5. brain drought 

Tomorrow then. I'll try again tomorrow.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

what kind of bloggery is this: day three

I placed my desk is in front of the window. This seemed like a good place to put a desk during the long summer days when I first set about making this closet my office. I had a view of my neighbor's garden, their apple tree, their lilacs. But as autumn supplants summer, autumn afternoons bleed into early evening pretty fucking early and the world becomes dark all around. The window becomes less a window and more a mirror. The effect is decidedly less pastoral. I'm sitting here facing my reflection which seems idiotically symbolic. My eyes and nose are obstructed by the plastic window casement, so all I can see is the top of my head in the top window pane, the locking mechanism on the window the window casement, my double chin, my grey sweater-ed sloppy sloping shoulders, my grey sweatered sausagey arms, my grey sweatered matronly bosom, and then, thank god, the top of the desk under which the rest of my overstuffed pillow-y form is hidden.

I'm planning on moving my office downstairs into a bigger room, partly so I won't have to put my desk in front of a window/mirror and gaze at the horror that is my current lumpy self  but mostly because I want more space. I want a quiet room apart from others with doors that close. I want my own room.

I'm going to hand over my current space and the adjoining bedroom to my spouse. He's a generous fellow who likes to surround himself with things and who is a big enough soul he doesn't fear getting lost among a collection of paper, art supplies, games, books, toys, keepsakes, and other personal treasures.

I wish I could be more like he is, but I'm not and I can't be. That's the way it is. After years of feeling evil for needing order, I realize I have to reject any judgement placed on my intolerance for disorder and clutter. I'm not a bad person or even a republican for wanting things neatly contained (the political thing there, that was an attempt at humor) ... It's more like I have an allergy to chaos; instead of breaking out in hives, I just break down, get depressed, feel bad. Does this make any sense? It doesn't matter, I suppose.

So, I'll have my own room, and as a bonus, my spouse will finally have a space to do his work. It's what we call after almost 18 years of wedded bliss, a compromise, or an "unconventional solution to quiet a demanding spouse" or perhaps a truce or maybe we can just say, we've come to an understanding.

It's funny that when I was young, I was eager to knit my life with another person completely. Now that I'm decidedly un-young and pretty well knit and knotted to another, all I want to be is myself by myself. Not forever and not all the time, but often enough that I need to claim my own space. It's not so much that I'm rejecting my husband and my kids, but maybe for the first time ever I'm making room for myself.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

It's Blog-tober (!) the second! and I'm going to blog every day even though I already missed a day, damn it

I've decided to post every day again for a while.

I just don't have the discipline to write stuff if I don't have some deadline looming.

It's too easy to procrastinate.

I'm good at easy things like procrastination, also, napping.  Napping is easy. I'm good at napping.

I've been reading some haiku. Jack Kerouac wrote some fucking awesome haiku.

They sort of blow my head open. In a good way. Like a gust of wind blowing a curtain.

It's good.

Airing out the brain.

Blowing the brain curtains around.

I imagine my brain curtains are lace. I like lace curtains.

I like the way they blow around in the spring or fall when the windows are open on a blue day.

Spring blue and Autumn blue are both blue but they're not the same.

I'm not telling you anything you don't already know.

I'm thinking of authenticity and voice.

Have you thought about authenticity and voice?

Your voice, is it really your own?

Do you realize that your authentic voice was present before you could speak?

Isn't that funny?

By the time you had words, had you lost your authentic voice?

So your voice was never your own?

That's what I'm finding.

So during this silence, this easy uneasy silence

I've quietly been looking for

 my voice, my own,

the voice I spoke with

when I had no words,

before I could actually speak

because I think

I was silenced

before I could even utter a word