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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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Heavy Medal

I’m a committed non-collector. That’s all you need to know about me and my willpower.

But I want to collect, so badly. Disney pins, stamps, coins, letters, postcards, stickers, crushed flowers, spices, pictures, dolls, pieces of lint that look like presidents (that’s a joke…or is it?). The only thing that might make me happier than collecting is organizing the collection into some kind of obscure taxonomy that would make sense to only the most analytical.  Collecting would give me control to create order. It would make me the Larry Page and Sergey Brin of my own little domain.

Speaking of organization, here’s a true story: In my teens, I used to make mix CDs and tapes for my friends. Nothing special there. Prehistoric cave man Grog probably did this for his long-haired Grettahilda using teeth rammed into a barrel and yak whiskers for percussion implements to make a music box filled with “Early Man’s Greatest Hits.” But for me, the art wasn’t just in the selection of songs but in their arrangement. Each song had to be connected to the next in some very precise way. Options included: Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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The Finish Line Is Only the Starting Point

I’ve been derelict in writing for weeks now. There are lots of good reasons or at least good excuses: I travel a lot for work, I have kids who I’m supposed to mother and a lot of volunteer work on my plate right now. It’s also true that I’m struggling to find the hook to get writing again, to make the words flow, and trying to find the way to give my history some shape and context so at least it makes sense to me, if no one else.

And I struggle with the meaninglessness of writing. Let’s face it: If you don’t know me personally (and few reading this do) and if I didn’t tramp this blog’s URL around on WordPress forums or Twitter, you wouldn’t be here. This blog is simultaneously an exercise in emotional decompression as it is an exercise in ego. I feel worthless and stress about that so I write about my worthlessness — but what I really want you to do is say, “oh, you’re such a talented writer – how can you feel worthless? You’re not worthless at all!” And some of you play the game and do just that — which simply increases the self-loathing.

How bad is the self-loathing? I celebrate successes momentarily and then move onto the next one (what’s the point in doing more? Success is fleeting) and I wallow in failure privately (I have no patience for sympathy). There’s no way to win here. But at least I’m being honest. Does that count for anything? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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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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My Mother’s Image

After being released from Sing-Sing for embezzlement, my grandfather’s first order of business was to remarry. His second was to retrieve his children from an orphanage where they’d been abandoned by their mother.  It was tough work: The children had been deprived of their identity having been left without papers, like mutts. My mother had been renamed ‘Patricia’ and her brother ‘Butch,’ names that are as foul to them still, more than 60 years later, as the most filthy of swear words.

It’s impossible for me to tell my mother’s story, much as I would like to. This isn’t even the post I intended to write this week but I’m at my parents’ home for the weekend and it’s a timely topic. All told I’ve lived with my mother for nineteen complicated years and I barely know her. There are some raw facts: She married at 16 to avoid going to the orphanage a second time but her husband philandered their marriage away leaving her with three children. She was in love with Elvis and Johnny Cash. Her favorite color is blue. She may be the undiscovered record-holder for the most phobias held by a single person. She never finished high school but got her GED in her early 30s. With five children, one grandchild, and a senile mother-in-law living with her, and the insistence of my father, Mother earned her associate’s degree. Then her bachelor’s. Then her master’s. Then her doctorate, each with a different scientific emphasis: pre-pharmacy, chemistry, physics, forestry all by the time she was 46. She is remarkable. Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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