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Friday, October 30, 2009

My Mom Suit

It's a beautiful night, not a full moon, but it's getting there.  Bright and white.  It's one of those nights with clouds that are lit up from above.  It's the night before Halloween.  At the tail end of my walk, I round back into my neighborhood and I see that almost every house is poised to spring Halloween on any who dare trick-or-treat tomorrow night.  I think it's cute I realize--even the ghoulish lawns with plastic, bloody-stump severed limbs scattered on the grass and skeletons leaning up against tree trunks.  I'm always amazed at how Snoopy-dog-house-festive some people get (only drape Snoopy's house in Halloween, not Christmas).  I admire these Snoopy-decorators for their complete unselfconsciousness and pure verve.

I tend toward the self-conscious, shouldn't it be tasteful?  I grudgingly admit I'm a Martha Stewart wannabe even though I can't stand her smug mug and that "Dahh-ling, we simply mu-ssst get together in the Haahhh-mptons" accent.  Ok but the woman does everything beautifully.  Everything.  Beautifully.  So I admire her but she freaks me out and plus I hate snobs.  Where am I going? .............oh yeah, I'm a self-conscious decorator more or less.

But having kids loosened me up in the decorating department.  Over the years we've had giant, black, trash bag-newspaper stuffed spiders on the front lawn with red Solo Cup eyes & white cut-out fangs, and plastic things hanging from trees, and scary frankenstein sounds blaring from the front door.

This year Thing One is at college, and almost sixteen-Thing Two is spending the night with friends tonight and making Halloween plans with said friends tomorrow night.  Very normal scenario for an eighteen year-old and a fifteen year-old.  It's just, I know when I walk up my driveway tonight I'm not going to see a single visible Halloween decoration.  How did I let that happen??  I even wrestled today with whether or not I should go get a pumpkin and I didn't!

It occured to me that becoming a mom is to donn a mom-suit.  And at this phase in my life, I'm half in and half out of the mom-suit.  Certainly, I know that growing older doesn't mean you don't carve pumpkins or hang fake spiders on fake webs anymore!  But I'm in flux.  I'm not quite sure of the way.  I know I should march confidently ahead but I find myself looking back more than ever before.  I don't think I want to find myself scooping out seeds and making ghost marshmallows by myself this year.

I glance up at the sky one more time before I go inside.  As I open the door, I decide I'm going to settle down in my comfy leather chair with some herbal tea and watch "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown".  I don't think even Snoopy decorated his place this Halloween .......

I'm On Twitter! Now what ......?

I joined Twitter 45 minutes ago!!!!! ..............

(Can someone please tell me what I'm supposed to do with it bearing in mind that my poor little brain is still trying to grasp this entire other universe out there called the Blogoshere that I didn't know existed until last week; if Twitter is in yet another universe, I fear the enormity of the concept will cause my head to fly off and explode mid-air (in this universe) making everyone who gets splatted with its remains think it is an an incredibly realistic, maybe even overly realistic, gory Halloween gag.  In other words, keep it simple ....please?)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

One Week-Old Birthday

Happy birthday dear blog!  It's a week old!  I want to thank all of you who have supported me already from the bottom of my heart.  It's means everything to me!

I plan to keep things fun and interesting so I hope you stay tuned.  If you haven't read all the posts, you can still easily catch-up .....there aren't that many yet!

I'm obsessed with widgets now (guessing all new bloggers are) so see over there, down, down, down in the right-hand column, the button that says "Blagoversary in 358 Days"?  It counts down every day to the blog's 1st birthday!  Cute huh? (No, it doesn't do anything else, but still ....)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pus or Steve?

Ok ok ok .......the cat's out of the bag anyway because I told Pus about my blog. So Pus=Steve.

I don't know if that's true about "proper bloggers" anyway; what I said in an earlier post about not using real names to protect the innocent.  I spent this entire, gray day inside (except for the walk I just went on) reading other people's blogs and tweaking my little nascent blog.  Man, whoever made up the word "Blogosphere" was not overstating the case--there is a veritable gigantic sphereical PLANET jammed with ka-zillions of bloggers out there!!!!!!  I am sufficiently humbled.

You've probably figured out by now that I have come to blogging by way of throwing-myself-off-the-end-of-a-pier-to-learn-how-to-swim route.  If I ever read a blog before I began writing my 6-day old blog, I don't remember it.  There are a lot of very hip & cool bloggers out there and after today, I've realized I have a LONG way to go before I'm either, much less both.  That said, a lot of these "hipsters" use real names, so I suppose I can too if it strikes me.  On my honor, I promise to ask permission first if any of you out there are afraid I might stick you with a name like "Pus".

My friend MEC has told me no less than 8 or 19 times in the past forty-eight hours, since I first introduced Pus to my readers, that she hates "Pus" (the name, not the guy)  and that reading it makes her up-chuck every time!  Which surprised me because I know it's gross but it's unique and plus there's Puke and Phlegm ........

Have you noticed the nifty "Reactions" widget (blogging word for cool little thing to put on your blog) below each post?  I changed the reactions today to 1) I like 2) made me laugh & 3) I can relate ......since none of you have been mean enough to check off "sucks!" which was sweet of you, and since Miss Delicate Flower, friend MEC, also pointed out to me after up-chucking that she doesn't like that word either.  I'm all for constructive criticism however and I have to admit she may have a point.  However .....(Good writers try to use this conjuntive adverb as little as possible--I just used it twice in two sentences!  Ha!) ....I reserve the right to use the word "sucks" occasionally in my blog because it's a perfect word for such occasions and I long ago got over being offended by it.

So to the point--for the next 24 hours (after which they go back to See Above), I'm going to change the Reactions widget again to 1) Pus? & 2) Steve? ...for you dear readers to register your preference.  Fun!  And I will honor whichever wins giving first dibs though to Pus/Steve if he has a strong preference.  Fair enough?

PS--btw it changes ALL the Reactions on ALL the posts to Pus? or Steve? so  .......I'll get them back to normal tomorrow at this time after the Pus? Steve? poll results are tallied!

Why "You Must Take Your Chance"?

Some of you have asked me about "You Must Take Your Chance" .......why did you pick it for your blog name?  Here's the story but I must warn you, it has a sad ending:

Since I fancy myself a writer, a poet no less, I have fallen in love with this certain jeweler who engraves in tiny, tiny beautiful letters, poems and pieces of poems, onto her original design, precious metal jewelry--necklaces, bracelets, earrings, baby spoons, etc.  It's expensive, $100-something to several thousand-something.  But the pieces are at once delicate and powerful.  And very special.  So no wonder.  You've got to check out her website:  Jeanine Payer

The first thing I bought from Jeanine was a necklace for Steve: A mountain keeps an echo deep inside itself. That's how I hold your voice. -Rumi, trans. by Coleman Barks.

Pretty cool, huh?  Do you get the deeper meaning .....our long-distance relationship, we talk on the phone all the time, his voice??  Steve cried when I gave it to him ......have I mentioned, yet, how much I love him?  And if any of you ever figure out who he is, and find his picture all over the internet, you will find three consistencies: his bass is strapped on, the ball cap is on, and the necklace is on.

Then my darling nephew was born so he got Jeanine's Simple Spoon: But then there was a star danced, and under that I was born. -William Shakespeare

Now really, REALLY perfect is that?

(Disclaimer: I have to be honest, this bracelet is actually the last thing I bought from Jeanine this past June, but the story is better if I tell you about it now.)
This was Thing One's high school graduation gift from me: Wonders happen if we can succeed in passing through the harshest danger; but only in a bright and purely granted achievement can we realize the wonder. - Rainer Maria Rilke, trans. by Stephen Mitchell.
I hope he doesn't lose it cause it cost a fortune.  PS--And I hope Ex doesn't find his way to this blog cause he'd have a cow.  Ex is practical and lacks the stomach for "heirloom gift giving"--I call it.

 And now, the crux of the story, which most of you have probably figured out.  Finally, I bought something for myself from Jeanine.  This bracelet: You must take your chance. -William Shakespeare.

And the story is one of those snapshot memories in my mind that I will never forget.  You know those times in your life when there is a completely unexpected "profoundness" imbued in a moment that makes it unforgettable?  I know you have them too.  Those times are what makes life worth living if you remember to remember them at your lowest moments ......

SO, I was in San Francisco visiting Steve.  Which is where Jeanine Payer's studio and retail store are located!  Every time I'd visited Steve before, it was too hectic and I couldn't convince him to make the time to locate her shop in the middle of SF, the city in which I'm COMPLETELY entranced  and would do anything for and forgive all.  The same city Steve says, and half-believes, he couldn't care less about.  (I mean, hey, he grew up there)  He plays regularly in these fabulous dives, er bars, that have literally been there since the Gold Rush.  No lie!!!  Whenever I accompany him to The Saloon, between North Beach & Chinatown, or the Gold Dust Lounge at Union Square, neither of which seem to have been renovated since 1849, I literally WILL those walls to talk to me! (They haven't yet ...)  Just the stuff I've seen there on the occasional occasion these past four years could fill a book.  Think about the one-hundred and fifty-six years before that!!!  Did I mention that Steve doesn't think these places are nearly as fabulous as I do?  He's completely jaded because parking is a nightmare, the pay sucks, and the customers are not the "characters" I'm charmed by, they're just drunk a-holes.  In Steve's defense, I do get why it isn't so exciting--it's his life.  But it's exciting as h*ll for me--it's my vacation!

But finally, one January a couple of years ago, I convinced him to drive into the city a little early so he could drop me off at Jeanine Payer's before she closed, and then later, I'd take a cable car down to Lou's Pier 47 Restaurant and Blues Club at Fisherman's Wharf where he was playing, to meet him.  I wasn't planning on buying anything at Jeanine's.  I was just going to look.  I really did believe that.  Who was I fooling???  Obviously just myself because Steve didn't look the least bit surprised when I showed up at Lou's later that night with my beautiful You Must Take Your Chance -William Shakespeare bracelet on.

But the "moment" happened after I left Jeanine's very hip & very cool (no surprise there) shop.  And no, I didn't get to meet Jeanine, just a darling shop clerk who did a great job helping me pick something out and taking my money.  So now it's just after dusk.  I have to find the nearest cable car hop-on/hop-off point and I'm nervous because I've never done it ....only seen it a thousand times since I was four years old on the Rice-A-Roni commercials.  Does the cable car even stop????  What if I hop-on and miss???  I mean really, there must be a technique?  And you can't ask any city-dweller .....they only look at you like you just crawled out of some "hick"-hole.    

Somehow, I managed to "board" in one-piece and figure out how to pay the "conductor?" without causing too much commotion or attracting too much attention to myself.  There I am, in San Francisco, by myself, on a misty not too cold January night, sitting on a freakin' cable car!  Sitting!!  Suddenly I realized, what am I SITTING for??  Aren't cable cars for cheerfully "hanging off" of?  While a bright brass bell rings incessantly, and everyone (the conductor, the passengers, and any poor pedestrian not lucky enough to be riding on that happy cable car going by) sings "......Rice-A-Roni .......the San Franciso treat!!"

So I stand up and do my best to "hang off" without getting reprimanded by the conductor.  And my new bracelet, hanging off my arm hanging onto the brass pole while I'm hanging off the cable car, glints in the mist, in the moonlight, in the city lights, You must take your chance. -William Shakespeare

THAT was the moment......

The sad ending happened one day, late last winter, when it fell off my arm, somewhere, and I didn't notice.  I keep waiting to find it by just "coming across" it .....maybe under the seat in the car?  Or in a potted plant?  In the lint catcher?  It must be somewhere!  But as of this writing, it is still gone.

I've been trying for a long time to start this blog.  It represents more than I care to entail now--I will plug away at those things in future blogs.  I've been thinking about what to call my blog.  One day it came to me when I was looking at my bare arm, missing that gentle reminder ........yes, that's it ......You must take your chance.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cast of Characters--"Pus" Evans

I believe this is a subject that is going to comprise many posts. It’s too complicated, too current, and too “fluid” to fit all into one—I predict it will be alternately the most hilarious and potentially heart-breaking of the things I write about. I don’t know where this subject is going, so strap on your instruments. We have a grueling "tour" ahead.......

Let me introduce you to "Pus". Like all proper bloggers, I'm committed to calling the real people in my life fake names. You know to protect their innocence.  But here, I have to admit, I'm precariously close to the real-name edge. Pus, or "PE", or "E-e-e-e-v-a-n-s", are his literal, real actual nicknames. I'm hedging my bets on the fact that he doesn't have a technologically inclined bone in his body (odd it seems, for a professional musician) and would no more find his way to this blog than he will ever have a weekend off in his entire professional life, to carry on with this risky almost-real-name-using behavior. And I mean really, you'll see after you get to know him, there's no way I can possibly pass up calling him Pus.

Pus--my erstwhile, we're about to break up any day now, boyfriend of the past four years, two months, and ten days. The crazy bass-playing musician from San Francisco I met (ironically the day after I signed the settlement agreement with Ex) while he was playing at the "Jewish Mother" in Virginia Beach. Here's how we met: I was on a stool at the bar.  He had just sidled up on a band break and said something completely ridiculous to a woman sitting next to me about the "glass rocks" in the bottom of a glass on the bar holding up pens or flowers or something, being mints. I distinctly remember thinking that was about the lamest pick-up line I'd ever heard, when I suddenly realized he was the bass player who had just had the kickest-ass-est solo I'd EVER heard. You know how it is, who ever notices the bass player? So after he started his solo, the entire place got quiet and you could practically hear everybody in the audience saying in their minds, "THAT'S the BASS PLAYER?? ...........Damn!!!" Then the band went on break.

I was so impressed I immediately forgot what he looked like. So thirty seconds later, when I'm thinking what kind of a guy older than college-age would use such a lame-ass line on any woman older than college-age and expect it to work, was when I finally got around to recognizing him. I quickly put aside my thoughts on the pick-up line and leaned around the lady to say, "Nice solo."

And that ladies and gentleman was all it took.

One of the bands he tours with—oh yeah, you guys must be wondering what my friends were thinking when I announced I had fallen in love with Pus ……“Well he certainly sounds different than Ex” is basically how it went. In fact my friends all call him the “Un-Ex”, and even I have to admit there isn’t a more textbook rebound in any textbook anywhere.

Anyway, one of the bands he tours with (well he's not with them anymore but that's not the point--actually it is--even though he's not with that band anymore, the nickname stuck) came up with these charming nicknames for each other--Pus for the bass player, "Puke" for the drummer, and "Phlegm" for the keyboard player. The lead guitarist & lead singer, whose band it was, or the owner per se, was wisely not gross-P-starting-with-nickname-monikered by the other three, emerging with at least a modicum of dignity despite having to play with and tour with the three “P’s” for hours and days and nights on end. I guess the P’s at least remembered who was paying the bills.

Pus is good--"great" and "brilliant" and "genius" I've heard his peers and his fans describe him, but he's still a starving musician. He's constantly on tour all over the country and the world, recording in studios, playing in a multitude of little bars all over San Francisco, the East Bay Area, San Jose, Santa Cruz, Sacramento, and hundreds of little towns in between like Calistoga and Half Moon Bay.  Oh and yesterday he got back from a week-long cruise to Cabo--a Blues Cruise. A cruise ship filled with great blues musicians and rabid blues fans. And he gets paid so little for all this that he's the very definition of The Starving Musician.

But I don't care about any of that--in theory. After four years of living on opposite coasts though, there is this little thing called "reality" that keeps peskily sticking its nose into my "theory". The truth is that he has never been married, never had children, has had this fascinating, albeit crazy, life, playing music for thousands of people everywhere and he and I (simply divorced suburban housewife with two teenage boys) fight constantly these days.

Oh I need to add something that must be at the back of your minds. Pus is many things, but as naive as this sounds on my part, he is a one-woman man. Really. Ask his friends, they will confirm. So believe it or not, that is something we never fight over--his monogamy. No that isn't a problem, although he certainly knows women everywhere. He just recently (barely) joined Facebook. I've been trying to get him to join FB for months. I thought it would be great for his business--every day he can post where he's playing that night and with who; he can post to FB when he's out on the road from his phone, etc. You know, good idea. Every time I brought it up these past six months though, since I joined FB, he blew me off proclaiming it was all "a bunch of BS and that he didn't "do those things". I already mentioned his terribly old-schoolish ways (can't/won't "get" technology) .....

My 15 year-old son at the time, when the boys & I once stayed with Pus at his house in Marin County, the county on the north-end of the Golden Gate Bridge, fixed Pus's doorknob all by himself.  Pus was amazed and said it'd been broken for five years! Since then, on numerous other visits, I've fixed his toilet twice, bought and installed a new faucet for the kitchen sink, and eradicated a yellow-jackets nest from the back yard that had been terrorizing Pus and his dog for two years .......

So not just technology, but all things mechanical, and things with stingers, are not on Pus's radar.

Back to Facebook. He finally did join FB!!!! And guess how many friends he has? At latest count, 288!!!!!!! Yep I've been on FB for six months and I have 75 friends. Pus, who can't fix a doorknob and still doesn't even "get" the whole FB concept probably has 300 friends by now's been 45 seconds since I posted the 288-number.  Well over 300 by now's been 98 seconds!

Sheesh! No I don't worry about him fooling around with other women. Yes somehow it seems like I hold most of the cards in this relationship. But Pus has 300+ friends and counting, and I'm holding steady at 75. That does piss me off a little. My ego just took a little nosedive. Maybe I'm a little too smug for my own good. And maybe I don't want to be holding most of the cards anyway? Holding just half of them would be good enough for me.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Cast of Characters--"Thing One and Thing Two"

Ok, next up, my boys "Thing One" and "Thing Two".  Two teenagers--very good kids in the big-scheme, annoying beyond belief in the small-scheme.  I remind myself to keep that perspective in mind every day.  It's no different than what those of you with teenagers currently are also dealing with, or for that matter, what our parents dealt with when we were teenagers.  It's just an emotional roller-coaster which is the last thing we need in this household with me being pre-menopausal and all.  I hear boys are easier than girls in the emotion department and to be honest I'm inclined to believe, in general, that is true.  Again being honest, I am relieved to not be dealing with a younger version of myself.  Thank you Mom & Dad, rather late in the game I'm sorry, for putting up with me--previously a teenage girl in your household.

Thing One is eighteen and a freshman in college at Virginia Tech.  (Yes, that's where the country's largest massacre in modern history happened two and a half short years ago.)  "Sending your child off to college" will be a topic I will blog about occasionally this year I'm sure.  Thing One is your typical oldest child, a little cocky and full-of-himself, who never wastes an opportunity to tell Thing Two how stupid Thing Two is.  Nice, I know.  Never once did I let him get away with that without an admonition and a bad consequence, and yet he persists.  I suppose I could have sentenced him to a whole year on the stretching table torture device thing down in the dungeon--I should have done that--probably the only thing that would have worked.  Anyway, despite being a bit of a jerk to his younger brother on a rather regular basis, Thing One and Thing Two get along pretty well most of the time.

For his part, Thing Two has perfected the art of being literally the most annoying brother in history so sometimes I don't blame Thing One (too much) for being a jerk to Thing Two.  Thing Two will be sixteen in December and is a sophomore in our local public high school.  Besides cornering the-incredibly-irritating-to-just-get-under-your-skin market, Thing Two has also cornered the I'm-going-to-be-the-best-underachiever-ever! market.  Plus he wears only black, heavy metal band t-shirts on top, raggedy jeans on bottom, and schlepps around in flat-footed, black (of course!) Vans that must be absolutely terrible for his arches.  Sigh.

I will say this, like most of us, I'm an amalgamation of a lot of different qualitites, but for the most part I'm a pretty straight arrow (not a pretty straight arrow--but awkwardly, pretty much of a straight arrow).  And to the point of endearing boredom, so is Thing One.  Thing One is going to do very well in life in all the outward-appearance catagories.  As far as Thing Two goes, I just told a friend the other day, a friend who's known me longer than anybody else, "How ironic is it that I end up with a head-banger kid???"  Yes, it's true that I let him attend concerts where the bands have names like "Cannibal Corpse", "Arsonists Get All The Girls", "As I Lay Dying", "Cradle Of Filth", and in my humble, incredibly dorky opinion, the king of all heavy metal band names, "Goatwhore".  (Yes, you did read that correctly)

So that's Thing Two.  Believe or not, he's a nice kid with an old soul.  A much older soul than either his father or his brother will ever have no matter how long they live.  I first saw that old soul in Thing Two's eyes when he was just an hour or two old.  I'm hoping it will keep him out of trouble long enough to get him through his teenage years without anything really awful happening.  I'm keeping a fairly close leash on him ....a leash I'm sure he's gonna want to wear to complete his creepy head-banger kid ensemble when he goes in two weeks to see "Dethklok".

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Newbie Question #1

What are the rules/laws about posting LINKS to other websites, music, videos, (ummmm, well you know ......etc.etc.) in one's blog from the web?

I will go find a tutorial or information about posting links in blogs, but if you know something about it, will you kindly fill me in?

Cast of Characters--"The Ex"

There are several characters that populate my life that I feel compelled to explain.  They will pop up now & again in posts.  I'll leave it to you to decide which definition of character each one falls into ......either the 9b. A person, esp. one who is peculiar or eccentric category, or simply, 10a. A person portrayed in an artistic piece, such as a novel .........or a blog!  Trust me, it will be obvious who falls into which category.

First character up is "The Ex", or simply "Ex".  He is who you're probably assuming already even if you don't know me--my ex husband.  I promise not to make this blog the place for slamming The Ex even though when I mentioned to him I was starting a blog, he did his customary staring-right-through-me-as-if-I-don't-exist routine.  In his defense, he doesn't even know he's doing it when he does it.  In his in-defense (is that a word?) he should know better cause I'm cool enough & interesting enough that he should pay more attention to what I'm saying and doing.  (Note I'm not saying "I'm the coolest ever!" or "I'm the most interesting ever!" .....I'm just saying I'm cool-ish and interesting-ish and deserve a little bit of anybody's time & energy .....ESPECIALLY MY HUSBAND'S!!!!!!!)

So there you go.  In a nutshell, that's my relationship with The Ex after three years of dating and a twenty-year marriage.  We've been divorced for three years now which equals twenty-six years all told of knowing The Ex.

Even the word "divorce" is ugly.  It may sound like I'm making light, but I'm not--it's, well, ugly.  At best, divorce can be considered a "set-back" for awhile.  At worst, it's simply devastating.  I still cringe when I have to utter the word, and I just realized, I cringe too, when I type it.  I shall not belabor this point but if it ever seems like I'm happy-go-lucky and pleased-as-punch about having a divorce in my past, make no mistake I'm not. 

Now that I have that off my chest, I will say that raw wounds eventually heal into ugly, but healthy scars, and somehow a certain peace about the whole mess eventually and quietly descends, invisibly wrapping you up when you least expect it.

A few other points to cover: The Ex and I have two children, two boys aged 18 and almost 16 (who shall be the subjects of a future blog).  We live 7 minutes apart from each other.  He still lives in the house we spent most of our marriage living in--that would be the big house on the golf course--and I live in a small but cute condo that frankly is plenty for me to handle.  The Ex and I talk to or see each other almost every day mostly due to the kid-situation.  Between you and me, in our case, I think that helped the agony of the split.  I'm thinking for some couples, joint custody is a nightmare.  For us, joint custody has made the nighmare easier.  (Of course it goes without saying that it's been better for the boys too.....of course!)  Plus it's made Ex a much better father--old story, new verse.  Finally, Ex is a very successful, very driven lawyer.  Not even a slimeball lawyer, just a workaholic, control-freak lawyer.  You will hear it from me officially first, if you need a good, honest, hard working lawyer Ex is your man!! 

Oh, I did say "Finally" already ......but finally, finally ......there isn't a chance in hell that we will ever get back together again so don't waste any time wondering about that over the coming months on the occasional occasion when I say something nice about Ex.  And that doesn't make me cringe at all .........

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I'm A Newbie

If you haven't noticed already, I'm brand-spanking new to blogging.  That said, you bloggers out there please feel free to offer me constructive pointers!  Like hello?--where's the Spell-Check??  And no Grammar-Check, either??? Uh-oh .......

And if I'm doing something I shouldn't be doing, or if I'm not doing something I should be doing, please send your advice.  I have to admit I'm still trying to wrap my head around an RSS feed ......THAT'S where I'm at!

So help!

The Day I Was Born

This blog is about reclaiming my purpose.  Lord, that sounds lofty, self-important, and B-O-R-I-N-G.  In truth though it can't be any of those things because, really, what else is there?

Here's my story: somewhere along the way I learned to suppress my own natural instincts about how to "go about" my life.  Don't get me wrong ....I know how to behave, I know how to get along with people, I'm super-good at knowing what I'm "supposed" to go about doing.  But I'm 48 years old and I find myself wallowing in false, uninteresting, unchallenging pursuits, having very little knowledge, let alone faith, in my own personal, legitimate impulses.

Ugh!  Gag me for being so heavy!  But it's true.  I lost myself a long time ago.

I know I'm not alone with this problem.  I even have friends with the same or similar problems.  But THIS problem is by definition a solitary pursuit.  So I am alone.  It's like the moment we're born and the moment we die--in a certain way you're very much alone without a single possession to claim, save your body and your soul.  That's how I feel right now ......scared, yet profoundly real and blissfully valid, like the day I was born.