“You’re a mother, aren’t you? There’s kindness in your eyes. And sadness. But a ferocity too.” ~ Dr. Who, from “A Town Called Mercy” (7.3)

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you out there!

                   

Typewriter Series #411 by Tyler Knott Gregson

this is to the others

Music by Esthero, “Over”

“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” ~ Albert Einstein

Lake scene 

“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, then what are we to think of an empty desk?” ~ Albert Einstein 

“The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.” ~ Albert Einstein

It has been overcast here for days, which is not exactly helping my spirits. On days like today, I wish that I were at Peaks of Otter, sitting by the lake, looking out across the mountains, sipping a cup of tea as the day moves into the gloaming. Ah well, another day.

Cluttered Office Desk
My Last Office Desk at GWU

I’m sitting here at my desk, and to the left of me, there is a stack of papers about eight inches high on my printer. I’ve just grabbed everything that was scattered across my desk and moved it to the left.  Of course, if I were to be completely truthful, I would have to admit that I have always had a cluttered desk, in every job that I have ever had. In fact, someone once bought me a desk sign that read “A Cluttered Desk is a Sign of Genius.” I wish that I knew what happened to that sign, probably lost in some clutter . . . But this is not clutter: This is mess.

To the right of my chair is the stack of shoes that I commented about last night. I’m still pondering them. To the right of the shoes are two baskets of clean clothes that Alfie has been nesting in, thereby making the top layer no longer clean and in need of a rewash. Behind the two baskets of clothes are things. I can’t be more specific because I cannot get behind the two baskets without killing myself by falling. I see a cardboard box, some bubble wrap, a bag from Target, a belt, and a shoe (which probably belongs to the pile by my feet).

Why such disarray? I don’t know about you people, but when I’m sick, as in bedridden sick, I simply cannot be bothered with the minutiae of hangers, closets, and file folders. Granted, even at the best of times, I have become very lax about such things, but the current situation has reached new heights in combustible clutter.

An upcoming trip to Ohio necessitates that I make my way through the clutter to find presents for Corey’s mom and dad that never made it into the mail. Don’t ask me when these presents were purchased because I really don’t remember. I only know that they are inside the right side of my closet, which is currently completely cutoff from human accessibility.

“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” ~ Albert Einstein 

csi-gil-grissom
"I don't know what it is. We found it under a two-foot pile of shoes."

Now this is the bizarre way in which my mind works: What if something happened to me, say I died in my sleep or choked on a cashew, and the crime scene techs had to go through my bedroom?

I would be mortified. Of course, I would be dead, so I couldn’t actually be mortified, but I know that I’m too damned nosey to leave immediately, so I’d be hanging around in some non-corporeal form looking down at the strangers in my bedroom who would be commenting on how messy and cluttered my house is.

Just imagine for a moment:

CSI Tech 1: Omigawd. Something truly horrible must have happened in this room.

CSI Tech 2: You think?

CSI Tech 1: Well just look. Everything is torn apart, clothes everywhere, shoes! Shoes and more shoes! Do you think she may have been killed by these stilletos?

CSI Tech 2: I’m not sure. But that’s not blood. That’s red nail polish.

CSI Tech 1: I think I found something here, under this pile of jeans. It looks like a leg.

CSI Tech 2: Dear god. She was killed by denim. But it will take weeks to determine which pair of jeans actually smothered her.

CSI Tech 1: You’re forgetting the stuffed animals. It looks like they made a run for it, and she may have been caught in the stampede.

CSI Tech 2: This is definitely one for the record books: Death by denim and a large stuffed black bear. Poor woman.

CSI Tech 1: But why is she grinning?

I have actually had this conversation with Corey:

Me: If there were ever a crime committed in this house, the CSI techs would never be able to find any evidence, and they would think that I’m a really bad housekeeper.

Corey: You’d be dead. It wouldn’t matter.

Trust me when I tell you that this is not the first time that I have used that scenario as a motivator to clean my bedroom. But it is rather sad, isn’t it, that I resort to non-existent crime scene techs entering my home to make myself clean up some of the clutter?

“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” ~ Albert Einstein 

I comfort myself with the fact that at some point, Corey will be able to go back to work, and my bedroom will get painted, and I will be able to move the new bedroom furniture into the bedroom and out of the living room, thereby creating more drawer space for the clothes that are currently in baskets on the floor.

Truth be told, drawer and closet space does actually exist for these clothes, but it is at a premium. I long for the day when this house will finally be finished, as in, all of the renovations have been done, and then we can put it on the market and buy a home into which we can actually fit.

This was a great starter home: a three bedroom, one-bath brick ranch with a small eat-in kitchen and a nice lot. Three kids and several dogs later, the attraction has dimmed considerably, although, I still love the fact that it’s a real brick home with a yard that’s big enough so that we don’t see into our neighbor’s bedroom.

New-housing-development-774279When I was working for the real estate firm as a marketing director, I couldn’t get over the way new homes were built: brick fronts, siding around the rest, almost abutting the homes next door. Yards were non-existent.  These homes always looked unfinished somehow. And to upgrade to all brick usually meant a hefty premium of somewhere around $40k. Blew my mind, but then I got used to these new versions of the American dream and the incredibly high asking prices that people were fighting to pay.

Now, as we come out of the eastbound Hampton Tunnel, a huge billboard advertises a homesite that was initially being marketed as upscale condos in a pristine environment. The asking price for the smallest units was about $425k when the company first began to take reservations. The prices went as high as $1.2 million, depending upon view, size, etc. The billboard is advertising the units from $350k, which means that a bunch of people lost their shirts on this premium property.

I am so glad that I’m no longer trying to market new homes in this economy. I imagine that it would be tantamount to trying to sell dead people dirt, if you’ll pardon the expression.

I have no idea how much our own home’s value has decreased, but in this particular neighborhood of old brick ranches with the same basic layout, I don’t imagine that it has dropped that much. After all, our neighborhood isn’t considered up and coming, as it were.

“The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” ~ Albert Einstein 

Have no idea how I even got onto that subject. Moving along . . .

I could have started on the piles of clothes before sitting down to write, but somehow, that didn’t seem quite as appealing. I mean, use my energy to clean? Use my energy to write? Writing wins, hands down. I’ll find my brown bra later. Not going anywhere.

So I’ve also been thinking about that long post that I lost that began my tailspin into non-productivity, which, of course, was coupled with my recent bout of illness. Upon reflection, I’m kind of glad that the post didn’t make it  onto my blog. I had spent a great deal of energy and emotion taking to task someone who had made a horribly vitriolic comment on another blog. The writer’s comment truly upset me and had me feeling dirty all over, if that makes any sense.

he man woman haters club b&wIt was the kind of comment that was so full of hatred and venom, that just the reading of it left me feeling as if I had been accosted. I penned a long, thoughtful response to this person’s comment as I believed that I needed to respond, not in kind, but with logic and facts.

And then the entire post disappeared, which has happened to me two other times. But this time, I’m glad that it disappeared because I’ve had some time to think about the situation, and I realize that by giving a forum to such bile, I was only allowing the writer to continue to have an effect on me. I realize that I tend to do that—dwell on the negative.

For example, when I used to teach at ODU and end of the semester student evaluations came in, I would always dwell on the one or two negative ones, rather than savoring the positive ones. But when I left teaching, it was the folder full of positive comments, cards, and letters from students thanking me that I took with me, so I suppose that I do eventually let go of the negative. It just takes too much time.

But getting back to the blog comment, I’m pretty happy with myself for letting it go now. That’s a good thing. Granted, I hadn’t planned to let it go, but fate stepped in, and obliterated that righteous indignation with which I often find myself coasting along. Of course, that’s not to say that I won’t want to strike back again at some time in the future because I probably will. My righteous indignation at social injustices, political deception, pretentious moral superiority, to name but a few, is not going to fade away. I would not be the person that I am if I did not stand up for that in which I believe.

“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” ~ Albert Einstein

Yet sometimes, discretion is the better part of valor, or at least, the road best taken. If I had posted my response, I would have been allowing an individual to continue to hold sway on my emotions, and trust me when I say that this particular individual did not deserve such power.

So, for now, I will wax about nothing in particular until the next time my ire is affronted. And maybe I’ll even put away the clean laundry so that I can get a clear path to my closet. Or perhaps, I’ll just watch NCIS or CSI, drink some tea, and ponder more of life’s minutiae.

More later. Peace.

“Someday you’ll grow up and realize that everything that you think you know, I already know.” ~ Lola to son

the-furies-cover-art-by-john-bolton

Cover from The Furies by John Bolton (This is how I felt after my confrontation with Eamonn: vicious)

“The years teach much which the days never knew.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s raining . . . It’s pouring . . . the dogs are all snoring.

wet-violet-flowerRain today, lots and lots of rain, and tornado warnings. And guess what’s on the forecast for the rest of the week? Rain. Every day this week through Friday. The temperature is supposed to be in the 60’s then warmer then cooler.

I’ve stopped wondering why I wake up with clogged sinuses every morning.

The other night we had a major scare that I didn’t really want to write about at the time: Tillie had a seizure. Corey came running into the house carrying her, and I could tell right away that he was scared beyond anything I have ever seen in his face. Tillie’s legs were drawn up to her body; she was frothing at the mouth, and her eyes looked wild.

We called the emergency vet who told us that when these things happen to dogs, they usually pass within 30 minutes or so. The woman on the phone also told Corey that we didn’t need to bring Tillie in if it passed, but that we should watch her.

Within an hour, she was completely back to normal. The rest of the family was on edge for the entire night. The next morning, Corey took Tillie to our regular vet, where they promptly did blood work and a few other things, only to tell us that they couldn’t really say what caused the seizure, but to be on the lookout in case she starts to have them on a regular basis.

I won’t even talk about the bill because it was obviously more than we could afford, and the vet’s office does not let you make payments (we asked).

So much for getting caught up on the water bill.

Anyway, I’m not really sure what our dog’s seizure has to do with rain aside from the fact that Tillie just ran into the bedroom and put muddy paw prints on the clean sheets. Four more days of this. Hooray for the water supply. Boo for the wet dog syndrome, that is, getting muddy prints on things if you don’t catch them at the door and wipe them off.

“Youth cannot know how age things and feels . . .” ~ J. K. Rowling

It’s been a very long day: I spent the greater part of the early afternoon in a to-do with the older son, which left me feeling old, irrelevant, and frankly, bitchy.  He knows exactly how to push my buttons just as his father did, and never hesitates to push every one of them when we get into these arguments. After I cooled down and came into the bedroom, Corey quoted me this passage from the book of Timothy: “Let no man despise thy youth” (4:12), which gets me started in interpretations, obviously not what he had in mind.

But I was saying that the word ‘thy’ was ambiguous. Is it thy as in don’t despise the youth that is the fruit of thoust loins? Is it thy as in looking back on my youth and despising it. Who is speaking? Ya da. Ya da. Ya da.

He hates it when I begin to parse. Anyway, the whole point (which I knew from the very beginning, but I wasn’t in the mood to play nicely) was that a person should act in a way that he or she never gives other people cause to despise them (which Eamonn was not realizing by comparing me to high school girls and saying that all females are alike.

I know. Don’t even get me started again.

Needless to say, I left Eamonn’s room with a less than stellar attitude, which was soothed somewhat by watching part 2 of The Two Towers with Brett this afternoon. But I really don’t feel inspired to delve into too much, having already delved into too much of life’s basic lessons with my eldest who will someday rue the day that he was stupid enough to say to his very feminist mother that all females are alike.

All of that being said, I’m really far too tired tonight to do a regular post (my kind of regular post with witty quotes, graphics, etc.), but I wanted to put something up here for now. Just a note, the graphic above is a repeat for those of you who have been following my blog for awhile, but it just felt so appropriate for today.

Time for a cup of tea and some bedrest. More later. Peace.