“Be humble for you are made of earth. Be noble for you are made of stars.” ~ Serbian Proverb

Il Bucco Nero (Stairs in Puglia, Italy by Paolo Margori (flckr cc)

                   

“You must match time’s swiftness with your speed in using it, and you must drink quickly as though from a rapid stream that will not always flow.” ~ Seneca, De Brevitate Vitae (On the Shortness of Life)

Late Wednesday afternoon. Sunny and warm, around 62 degrees.

Staircase at The Rookery, Chicago, IL by rspnogsaj (flckr cc)

The house is empty and quiet, just the dogs, me, and a handful of gummi bears. Not exactly certain what brought to mind the Seneca quote, but there it is, in all of its profound wisdom, its references to seizing the day.

I suppose I thought about seizing, or my inability to seize when mulling over the poetry competition. I had almost talked myself out of entering the darned thing in the first place. I do this all of the time. Truly. This is no exaggeration.

My ex, with all of his faults, did often say that I needed to work more on my writing. Corey has said from the day that he met me that I should do something with my writing. Poets and authors have made similar comments. The only thing holding me back is me.

When I worked full time, I used to harbor this dream of quitting my job and writing full time. Funnily enough, since I’ve been out on disability, I do not work on my craft full time. I suppose that I could. No, the truth is that I definitely could. I just don’t, and I don’t have any good excuses as to why I act this way except for that ever-present, nagging feeling that I’m just not good enough, so why bother.

Thanks, mom.

Okay. So it’s not exactly kosher to blame all of my problems on my mother, but it’s certainly easier when introspection feels too much like giving yourself an appendectomy with an exacto knife.

“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” ~ Franz Kafka

Camondo Stairs, Instanbul by marielito (flckr cc)

So, I’m living the dream. Right? No career obligations. Just time, time, and more time. So why does it seem that there is never enough of this particular commodity? Is it because I spend almost half my life in bed, (let’s use that euphemism) resting, attempting to find sleep, which continually eludes me.

Last night, for example, the dogs awoke me on average every hour and a half. I’m certain that they were doing this simply because they knew that I was physically and emotionally exhausted from my gastro test yesterday. I had worked myself into such a worrisome snit beforehand that once the test had been completed, I was exhausted. Hence: ongoing nocturnal dog restlessness syndrome hard at work.

So if I cut back on my attempts at rest, I would have more time. Seems logical. So with more time, I can now focus on my writing, except that I don’t. I play at this blog, and I peruse tumblr looking at beautiful images and silly memes. I do laundry. Clean the kitchen, and then, well it’s time to go back to bed.

Everything just takes so damned long to do any more. My former hyper-paced multi-tasking self ceased to exist at some point, and I would really, really like to find her again. Grab her and her stylish self and make her my own. I know. I’m speaking of myself in the abstract, a sure sign that things are going wonky again.

Perhaps I need to increase my chocolate intake again.

“The heart lies to itself because it must.” ~ Jack Gilbert

Staircase at Sigiriya Sri Lanka by mckaysavage (flckr cc)

Well, the gummi bears are gone, and I’m resisting the urge to get more from the bag. Instead, I’m munching on saltines. Back to watching my caloric intake. One reason is that I’m mulling over the possibility of attending my high school reunion this August (no, you really don’t need to know the year). I told my friend Ed in Rhode Island that I might go if I lose weight. He, being male, just does not understand this statement as it’s the same thing that someone else told him.

I mean, I had plans to get back on the healthy eating program after the holidays, and the notice about the reunion just came in the mail, so the two sort of coincided. The truth is that there are really very few people who I would want to pay good money to see again. Although this year’s reunion is supposedly including the class before and the class after our class, which might prove to be interesting.

But then there’s that whole thing of finding something to wear, attempting to hold in my gut for four hours, ya da ya da ya da. Plus, the inevitable questions: So, where are you working? Hmm, I’m not. I’m on disability. Then the funny looks from people who cannot seem to equate disability with anything other than the loss of limbs or sight, as in you look fine to me . . . must be a malingerer.

I love that word: malingerer. I malinger. He/she/it malingers. You were malingering. They malingered. We are malingerers . . . Maybe I’ll go just so I can work that word into the conversation three or four times, and then having had my fun, I’ll depart, leaving hilarity in my wake . . . one does dream . . . 

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.” ~ Jack Kerouac

Spiral Staircase by erix! (flckr cc)

Damn. No more Pepsi in my glass, and the saltines are stuck in my throat. Pardon me for just a moment.

Quick check on the laundry. Fed the dogs dinner. Tillie talked me into giving her a new toy that was hidden on top of the fridge (don’t ask me how she knows, but she does); made a cuppa tea (last jasmine green tea bag, reminder to get more), back at the desk, and you guessed it—forgot the Pepsi.

Yes, my life is grand, grander than grand. All ye bow before me in awe at my awesomeness. Okay, enough of that.

My mother is leaving me messages about hair color. We’ve had this conversation several times already, but she keeps forgetting that the doctors told her that coloring her hair is not problematic while she is on coumadin. She reminds me each time that we talk that she’s on coumadin and is diabetic, as if I would have forgotten this information since our last conversation.

I’m not as horrible as I sound, or maybe I am.  I don’t know, but I do know that my mom’s memory is going quickly. I really don’t think that she’s developing Alzheimer’s like her older sister did, or maybe I’m in denial. These are the things that I just don’t want to think about now: my mother’s health, my other m-in-law’s rapidly declining health, my daughter’s seemingly complete detachment from what it means to be a productive member of society.

Too much, just too much. At least for tonight. Perhaps I’ll jump into the deep end of the pool tomorrow. Until then, I want to share with you someone I am much too late in discovering, Adele. What a voice. You might get sick of her soon because I plan to include a few of her songs with the next few posts. I’ll just say sorry now, and we’ll move on.

Shall we?

More later. Peace.

Music by Adele, “Someone Like You”

Much ado about nothing in particular . . .

Lake George Autumn by Georgia O'Keeffe 1927Lake George Autumn by Georgia O’Keeffe, 1927 

 

Random thoughts on Saturday afternoon:

Michele Bachmann close up
Michele Bachmann's Crazy Eyes

* Michele Bachmann of the one l, two n’s never ceases to amaze me. Just for fun, go to Daily KOS to see a selection of some of her more outlandish vids. I agree with Zirgar that her eyes are just plain scary.

* Need to schedule a mammogram. When I hear men complain about their annual physicals, it makes me laugh. Have they ever had their private parts put into a machine and mashed into the size of a pancake? No? Then shut up about it already.

* Latest version of treatment for my migraines: Massive doses of magnesium daily (working up to about 2000 mg) for prevention, and then Relpax and zanaflex for relief. We’ll see. Forgive me if I just don’t have any faith in migraine relief any more.

* Any more. One word or two? One of my common mistakes. Also, always misspell minutiae.

Red Rotary Telephone* When you are a teenager, getting your own telephone is a rite of passage, one that you anticipate eagerly. Once you have one, you use it all of the time. I remember that I had a deep red rotary telephone in my first apartment. I loved that phone. There’s something to be said for using telephones that are plugged into one place: You don’t have to listen to the person on the other end do things that you don’t want to hear . . .

When you are an adult with obligations, the telephone is a pain in the butt. Have come to hate mine, and since it’s been turned off because I don’t have the money right now for the bill, I really don’t care.

* Have I mentioned that I love pens, specifically, pens that write smoothly, not too fine of a point. Hate ballpoint pens. Remember using old black ballpoints from the Navy. Yuck. The ink would always get gloppy and stain my hands. But they smelled good. Isn’t it odd how you remember little bits of minutiae like that? Love rollerballs, especially in purple. Use purple to address all of my cards. Red for Christmas cards. Oh the small things that make one happy.

* My friend Mari just had her birthday October 1st. I am so lax. I still have her birthday present from last year. How hard is it to go to the post office? Very if you are slowly turning into a complete homebody bordering on hermit. I really need to get out more.

* Since I have no new books to read, I am raiding the storage bins for reading material. Picking books at random. Hoping enough time has passed that I don’t remember all of the plotline. Not complaining. Usually read books at least twice anyway.

* Dreamed last night that someone sneaked into our home and cut off my hair. Woke up (in the dream) only to realize that almost all of my hair was gone. Symbolism? Hair equals power? Hair equals beauty? Or something much simpler: I need a haircut.

Georgia O'Keeffe by Alfred Stieglitz 1920
Georgia O'Keeffe by Alfred Stieglitz (1920)

* Watched a thoroughly depressing episode of 20/20: Albinism and the growing trend in Tanzania of killing albinos for body parts to be used by witch doctors in concoctions for power and long life. Visit Under The Same Sun website for more information about this very real, very tragic situation.

* Also watched the movie about Georgia O’Keeffe starring Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons (as Alfred Stieglitz). Actually very well made for a television movie. O’Keeffe was an incredible talent and, gasp, a freethinking woman well before her time. Her art never fails to amaze me.

* I want to have a bumper sticker made that reads “Danger: I am a Freethinking Woman.”

* I desperately need to clean my desk. There is not one square inch of surface that is not covered by paper or something that does not need to be there. I have resolved, though, that I will clean my desk when Corey cleans off the dining room table, which he has somehow claimed as his desk. Kind of defeats the goal of sitting down together for dinner.

* Shakes is currently positioned directly adjacent to my feet. Normally when I am at the computer he sleeps off to the right. Very clingy today.

* Too incredible not to be true: I actually had to reschedule my doctor’s appointment on Friday because I hurt too much to get out of bed. Now that’s pathetic: too sick to go to the doctor. I despair of what is happening to me.

* I want to see the new movie 2012, although not for the same reasons that Zirgar wants to see it. First, I love John Cusack because he has one of those faces that is perfect for disaster movies: What? Me? In case you’ve been living in a cave, December 21, 2012 is date on which the Mayan calendar ends; hence, all of the predictions of the end of the world, the apocalypse. I wonder if the Heaven’s Gate people will finally be shuffled into their UFO. I mean, they’ve been waiting since 1997. Sorry if I sound glib, but doomsday predictions tend to make the cynic in me take over.

Eamonn Summer 2009
Eamonn Summer 2009

* I miss eldest son. He works all of the time, and when he isn’t at work, he’s with his girlfriend. He stops in to put his dirty clothes in the hamper and play a little XBox. Still hoping that plans to start college in January are a go.

* If I am to believe all of the ads, then collagen from the sea is the best thing for keeping my skin looking youthful. Youthful. Such a subjective term. Do I want to look like I did when I was a teenager? No. In my 20’s or 30’s? Only as far as my weight is concerned. I’ve earned my looks. I haven’t been through all of my trials and tribulations for nothing. For now, I’ll continue to be thankful for my good genes and Filipino skin which does not begin to show wrinkles for a long time (if I am like my father), and a touch of Oil of Olay Regenerist daily.

Gummi Bears
Gummi Bears

* I am craving Gummi Bears. Isn’t that a weird thing to crave? But they’re such a great snack—small, sweet, chewable. I know. I really need to get out more.

* Stats: I’m starting to obsess over them again. I had stopped doing that, and it was much less stressful. I mean, I made my goal of 100,000 hits by October 1st, which marks just about a year since I’ve been blogging seriously. But recently, I saw a nice jump in hits, and I began to look at my stats again. Now, if I drop one day, I begin to obsess: Is my blog boring? Do people not like what I’m writing? Should I write about politics more? Should I write about politics less? Should I stop obsessing? That’s about the only question to which I can state a firm yes.

Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera . . .

Reya's Jilted Rose
Reya's Jilted Rose from After the Gold Puppy

I have set for myself a goal to post everyday in October, to try to get back to my daily posting. My reasons for doing this have less to do with blogging and more to do with trying to get back into some kind of active schedule. When I was writing at least two to three hours everyday, I felt better: emotionally psychologically. I know that I need an outlet, and I have learned from many years of trial and error that writing is the very best outlet for me to use to exercise my mind. Reading does come in at a close second.

The point is, though, that I know what I need to do to help myself, but sometimes, it really is much harder than it would seem. I am well aware that part of the reason for my being lax in the past months has a great deal to do with my state of mind, which has been, shall we say, less than optimum. But it’s kind of a self-fulfilling prophesy: I don’t write because I feel too depressed to write, but if I don’t write, then I feel depressed. Hate those Catch-22’s of life (great book, by the way, much better than the movie, which was hilarious).

Hence, my declared decision to write and post daily again. All of that being said, there’s a very good chance that the Internet service is going to go away fairly soon, for obvious reasons. But I have a plan . . . I’ll write my posts in Word, save them up, and then post all of them once I can get service back. Why I am I bothering to mention this? I don’t know. Maybe because I’ve made this declaration, and I don’t want to appear to be wishy washy when my posting stops (even though I can be wishy washy).

That’s about all for now. I was trying to think of the perfect music to accompany this rambling entry. Couldn’t decide between “Save Me” or “Humpty Dumpty” by Aimee Mann. Found a vid with both. How cool.

 

 

More later. Peace.