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There Are Days [Thoughts]

IMAG1268_1_1There are days.

There are days when you’ll be cut off in traffic and when you’ll get a ticket because of the photo radar system. Chances are, it’ll be at the intersection you never, ever, ever run except for that one day when you were just a little too preoccupied and you didn’t gun it or break it in time. If you’re really unlucky, you’ll get twice of those in the same week (but different intersections, of course, because you’re not stupid).

There are days when you realize you’re unhappy and missing out on life’s best moment but you have to because you’re a slave to a paycheck.

There are days when you look at your most important relationship and realize, “There’s nothing wrong — but there’s everything wrong.” Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2014 in Thoughts

 

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Like the Gerber Baby

Today is my son’s birthday, a child’s birthday always being a good moment for reflection. Yet as I look at his smiles, I see the shape of his face melt.  In the span of a few moments he becomes his brother at the same age.  A little bit more time passes and he becomes one of his nieces, then another, and then he becomes his 13-year-old cousin as an infant.  Before too long, he is one of my baby sisters.  Everyone melts backward into youth like Miss Foley in Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2011 in Thoughts

 

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A Fluff Piece

Traveling makes me realize how idiosyncratic I can be. Although traveling itself doesn’t make me anxious, I’m around new people who force my awareness of activities that are subconscious at home.

I can’t imagine having quirks is that uncommon, although the number may be unusual. I’m somewhere above anal retentive but not yet at batshit crazy. Every textbook I’ve read has advised me that unless these quirks obstruct ‘normal’ interaction, it’s not technically a psychosis. Yes, for this medication helps too.

The idiosyncrasies range from strangely pointless to slightly paranoid. To wit: Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2011 in Thoughts

 

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She’s Come Undone

I’m perched on the edge of the light blue air conditioning unit trying to see into Freddie’s room through the slats of the Venetian blinds. My bare toes rest on the metal grill no more than a few seconds at a time as I alternate between feet. It’s so hot and I want Freddie to play in the sprinklers with me outside.

I tap lightly on the window. Freddie’s mousy brown-green eyes the same color as mine, under a mop of mousy brown bangs also the same color as mine, peek through the slats.  She squeals with happy surprise. I gesture for her to open the window and she does, a rush of air conditioned air pouring out and cooling my flushed cheeks.

“Sneak out and play with me,” I command. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2011 in Thoughts

 

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Intermission

In my first post, I spoke to the intent of this blog which is to give me an outlet to express without getting bogged down with quality or structure, in the hopes that sharing would help manage my anxiety.  Granted, I’ve only given this blog a few weeks and I’ve produced more for this one in that span of time than I have for my others in months — this is progress, facilitated by virtual anonymity — but I’m anxious that I’ll hit a brick wall soon and be silent again.

A friend operates a blog (probably with similar intentions although he’s more trusting with sharing than I) who is working on chronicling his life using music for context.  His point is (paraphrased), “If someone looked at my iPod and wanted to know why I have this great diversity of music there, what would I tell them? What explains why I like X but also Y as well as Z?  Each one has a story.”

It’s a good schtick and it serves him well. He’s able to use his theme not only to tie together the threads of his life and memories but also speak to the timeless relevance of music — all this while making a couple well-placed digs at the commercial music establishment while he’s at it. That’s a lot of birds downed by a single stone. But I don’t recall having the same degree of attachment to music as my friend nor the under-current of righteous indignation at the increasing homogenization of music.  For me, music is an interest, not a passion and I’m not trying to articulate a commitment to a way of life.  Music is not the path that will help me understand me.  But books might. 

I’ve toyed with the idea of using books as a means of tying this blog together but have resisted for two reasons: (1) It felt derivative of my friend’s idea. (2) Not all my books are high-falutin’ works of lit.  In my sordid past, there are volumes of pre-teen serials, a brief dabbling in Westerns, a few zombie and vampire stories, and more than a smattering of smut.  These are books that are not part of my permanent library, to be sure.  They’re the written equivalent of Ke$ha.  Whatever would you think of me if you knew?

But as I feel myself come closer to the brick wall, I remember that this blog is an exercise to help me come to terms with me, not for my anonymous readers (few, if any, though they are).  I think that allows me a few concessions.

So books it is and we’ll go with that plan until it’s no longer the plan.

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2011 in Thoughts

 

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Where’s the Yellow Brick Road?

Not to thumb my nose at dogs, but books are every person’s best friend.  That was particularly true for me as a child (if only because there was so little competition for the title).  My dad keeps a file folder (several, actually) of little ribbons, letters, drawings, and accomplishments of mine throughout the years.  There’s a separate Ziploc bag in said folders of my reading ribbons earned from the library’s summer reading program.  Well before I hit the age of reading chapter books, the children’s librarian switched me over from the “number of books read” program to the “number of pages read” program because I blew through it so fast.

It’s easy to be passionate about reading, particularly as a home-schooled kid with no routine and little parental oversight, in a time when technology hadn’t yet permeated every iota of our existence.  We had televisions in most rooms, operated by an actual clicker, but woe betide the child who turned it on MTV or anything that hinted of pop music or fashion. The evening news, variety shows, and as many musicals or westerns as we could handle were our standard fare.  As Dad threatened, verbatim, if we watched anything else he would pull it out of the wall so fast, our heads would spin.  I remember when our area got “the talking phone book, where you let your fingers do the walking.” My teenaged brothers and their friends would call the recordings for the local adult stores just to hear the sultry or playful voices.  This had to have been the cheapest kind of jollies a teenaged boy afraid to have porn in the house could have.  Point being, we were all pretty easily entertained and fancy schmancy technology toys were scarce.

Books were plentiful, though, and I soon realized that if I eschewed the summer reading programs and didn’t write down what I read, I was effectively uncensored. (Duplicitous acts like falsifying reading program logs never occurred to me, nor did I think to not take full credit for every book read – so I just stopped participating.)  For a long while, my favorite books were the ones that were formulaic – Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High, and Harlequin novels.  (Yes, I progressed quickly to the section of the library that I probably shouldn’t have been in.)  I enjoyed the variety of serial novels that routinely concluded within approximately 180 pages with the plot and subplots resolved neatly and the slate wiped clean for the next book.  The stories were comfortable. I knew the characters would receive their just desserts at the end, love would reign triumphant, and the dark side of the force would be held at bay by the persistent spirit of mankind.

As my reading tastes broadened and matured, it has held true that stories hold to the common themes of some kind of character on some kind of quest that concludes with the character accomplishing something at the end (even if it’s just a greater understanding of self).  Even if the bad guys/gals win, there’s still a certain thread of inevitability that the omnipotent author shares with the omniscient reader like a little inside joke.  In a well-written book, we feel the steady pulse as the plot unfolds around a central theme and we collectively are carried to conclusion. Part of what makes a reader’s experience enjoyable is that all elements are carefully organized as plots, subplots, themes, and scenery or history.  Obfuscating details are eliminated.

By contrast, there is life.  Life contains a lot of white noise.  It’s not just distracting. it’s emotionally exhausting as well.  In stories, we,  the readers, know even if the characters do not,  what the focal points are and what to ignore, with the aid of the author, of course.  But life doesn’t facilitate this single-minded focus.  There are lots of shiny things to distract us, as well as impulses, emotions, temptations, and pressures.

In a way I’ll go into more in a later post, this “white noise” is a lot of what causes my stomach-ache.  Was I “fated” to be where I am today?  Was I meant to be a mother? Am I supposed to be with my husband? Are there other things I should be doing with my life, ways that I could feel more enriched, more fulfilled, and less stomach-achy?  Do I cut my losses and change, knowing it’s hard but hoping some day I’ll look back and think it was the best decision I ever made?  Or do I maintain the status quo because that’s the right thing to do, and then hope that these feelings, frustrations, and desires pass?

If I’m Madame Bovary, it’s so clear that my interests will lead to unhappiness.  If I’m Anna Karenina, it may lead to happiness if only I can temper my irrationality although I may leave havoc and heartache in my wake.  If I’m Scarlet, my decisions are actually indicators of persistence and an unwillingness to compromise.  If I’m Jane Eyre, loyalty will be my hallmark and I shall not stray.

But I’m not.  I’m me and my life has no re-write potential, and there’s only once chance to do it right.  That makes my stomach hurt.

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2011 in Thoughts

 

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Giving Birth

This blog is born of a stomach-ache.

Coincidentally, it’s a stomach-ache that I’ve had for about nine months although it has nothing to do with anything related to the procreative act or biological progeny.

Dissecting the cause of the stomach-ache is currently impossible but this blog is my attempt at trying.  I suspect that we’ll find at the roots my anxiety about the impermanence of life, frustration about the world in general, a general feeling of unworthiness, and a persistent stench that I call “fear of failure.”  Mixed in is my underlying sense that some care for me more than I feel I can reciprocate (that’s a lot of pressure), whereas to others I scarcely matter.  Intrigued yet?

This blog will be part story-telling, part diary, and probably all gibberish.  I will do my best to edit and apply some kind of craft to it but will not allow concerns of quality to keep me from contributing.  I have three other blogs, a Twitter feed, and a tower of crafting supplies that are stale because I want their products to be perfect.  That’s not how this will be.  I will post at least once  a week (excluding times of disease or disaster), come what may.

I don’t expect that anyone except the most random of webcrawlers will find this blog and I don’t plan on sharing it with anyone who knows me – it would embarrass me deeply and risk hurting others.  But, I need to publish this online because I need to think that there’s a cosmic “someone” who is reading this and holding me accountable.  Without accountability, this blog will die and I’ll never resolve my stomach-ache.

All I can promise is that I’ll be honest, diligent in posting, and will make some attempt to deliver my thoughts with my usual (albeit questionable) dry charm.  There’s no unifying theme except me – I believe that’s interesting to very few but it’s all I got.

That, and the stomach-ache.

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2011 in auto-biographical, Thoughts

 

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