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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Post-It Note Tuesday #10


I was cleaning off the counter 
this morning
wondering what I might do
for Post-Note Tuesday
when
I
was confronted with this
and 
realized



Sunday, May 30, 2010

Hart Crane (1899-1932)

A recent post in which I include a dictionary definition that features the poet Hart Crane, reignited in me a desire to go back and read more of his poetry.

Mr. Crane was considered one of the Modernist Poets--the poets who broke all the heretofore existing poetry "rules" more than any other preceding poetry movement.  The Modernists began-ish with the likes of Walt Whitman & Emily Dickinson and ended-ish with the likes of Anne Carson & Sherman Alexie.  The Modernist Movement existed from approximately the late-nineteenth century through the mid-twentieth.  The Modernists were brave and interesting and many will argue "rather difficult to understand".  Of that group, you will find T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound at the helm.

Hart Crane was in many ways no different.  He was a true Modernist who relied heavily upon intricate metaphors and obscure historical references to express important ideas.  The Modernists were not known for reaching the "everyday" man and required you to "work" at their poetry.  I'm assuming at this point, I have lost many of you!  Which in our non-appreciation-of poetry-yet-incredibly-poetic-world-we-live-in is simply a reality.  I'm the epitome of a non-salesman, so no sales pitch here.  Go if you must.  But if you're even vaguely interested and if my comment about our poetic-world struck a chord, please read on ........

Hart Crane wrote an overall aesthetic of "celebrating crucifixion and resurrection, horror or squalor out of which suddenly radiate hope and light." (1)  He wrote like a Modernist, acknowledging poetically the bad-ness of the world and yet, in his case, expressing poetically the possibility-ness of it all.  It is this quality in his writing that makes me love him.                            
"He takes unusual words, combines them in an unusual way, and forms them into unexpected rhythms, as if his technique as well as his subject matter were intended to expand the boundaries of consciousness.  When he was reproved for the difficulty of his work, Crane explained, in a 1926 letter to Harriet Monroe, the editor of Poetry magazine, that his object was to find a logic of metaphor that would not be the logic of rational thought.  This pursuit of unconscious interconnections of "emotional dynamics" working through abbreviated thoughts is different from the explained images of the Metaphysical poets; it works by sudden forced conjunctions that find their justification at deeper levels of meaning.  Crane has as much complexity as any modern poet, but largely self-taught, he does not present himself as difficult and allusive; rather, his powerful speech and rhythms claim the instant response that his intricate images would seem to delay." (2)
Don't feel bad if you had to read that twice.  I think I've read it seven times at this point.  In any case, his work!  Here's some:

*****

BLACK TAMBOURINE

The interests of a black man in a cellar
Mark tardy judgement on the world's closed door.
Gnats toss in the shadow of a bottle,
And a roach spans a crevice in the floor.

Aesop, driven to pondering, found
Heaven with the tortoise and the hare;
Fox brush and sow ear top his grave
And mingling incantations on the air.

The black man, forlorn in the cellar,
Wanders in some mid-kingdom, dark, that lies,
Between his tambourine, stuck on the wall,
And, in Africa, a carcass quick with flies.
                                     --Hart Crane (1926)

Crane explains, in this piece, "The word 'mid-kingdom' is perhaps the key word to what ideas there are in it.  The poem is a description and bundle of insinuations, suggestions bearing out the negro's place somewhere between man and beast." (3)

This is me, adding food for thought: this was published in 1926.  Not 2010.  Have things changed that much?  Honestly now??  Changed???  Simply, are we still racists?

*****

In my opinion this next poem is breathtaking in its "simple complexity", and again, for its relevance to today.  Published the same year as Black Tambourine, Crane writes about Chaplinesque, ".....that I like the poem as much as anything I have done." (4)  He was a big fan of Charlie Chaplin and includes numerous references to Chaplin's The Kid in this poem--be sure to notice them.  Don't forget to notice as well, how the words sound/feel .....something all the great poets are known for.  Read it once, maybe, for meaning, and another time for sound.

CHAPLINESQUE

We make our meek adjustments,
Contented with such random consolations
As the wind deposits
In slithered and too ample pockets.

For we can still love the world, who find
A famished kitten on the step, and know
Recesses for it from the fury of the street,
Or warm torn elbow coverts.

We will sidestep, and to the final smirk
Dally the doom of that inevitable thumb
That slowly chafes its puckered index finger toward us,
Facing the dull squint with what innocence
And what surprise!

And yet those fine collapses are not lies
More than the pirouettes of any pliant cane;
Our obsequies (5) are, in a way, no enterprise.
We can evade you, and all else but the heart;
What blame to us if the heart (6) live on.

The game enforces smirks; but we have seen
The moon in lonely alleys make
A grail of laughter of an empty ash can,
And through all sound of gaiety and quest
Have heard a kitten in the wilderness.
                              --Hart Crane (1926)

*****

And finally, this one, quite coincidentally again published in 1926, that is simply ________ (fill-in the blank with a "good" word!).  Think about what it might mean to you .......don't worry at all about what it meant to him.  That simple rule is really the best way to read poetry.

REPOSE OF RIVERS

The willows carried a slow sound,
A sarabande (7) the wind mowed on the mead.
I could never remember
That seething, steady leveling of the marshes
Till age had brought me to the sea.

Flags, weeds.  And remembrance of steep alcoves
Where cypresses shared the noon's
Tyranny; they drew me into hades (8) almost.
And mammoth turtles climbing sulphur dreams
Yielded, while sun-silt rippled them
Asunder . . . 

How much I would have bartered! the black gorge
And all the singular nestings in the hills
Where beavers learn stitch and tooth.
The pond I entered once and quickly fled--
I remember now its singing willow rim.

And finally, in that memory all things nurse;
After the city that I finally passed
With scalding unguents (9) spread and smoking darts
The monsoon cut across the delta
At gulf gates . . . There, beyond the dykes
I heard wind flaking sapphire, like this summer,
And willows could not hold more steady sound.
                              --Hart Crane (1926)

Now if those words could not be more relevant to today as we belabor to stuff golf balls and tire remnants into a hole on the ocean floor (has anyone thought about that "pollution" btw?  millions of golf balls & pieces of tires??  in the ocean???) then I shall eat this blog!

Thank-you for your patience readers.  This was a long one.

*****

PS--the modernist poets usually require the most footnotes!
(1) and (2) Ramazani, Jahan; Ellmann, Richard; O'Clair, Robert, editors. The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry "Volume 1 Modern Poetry". Third Edition. W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.: 2003. Print. Page 605.
(3) and (4) Ramazani, Jahan; Ellmann, Richard; O'Clair, Robert, editors. The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry "Volume 1 Modern Poetry". Third Edition. W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.: 2003. Print. Page 607.
(5) ob.se. quy n. pl. ob.se.quies A funeral rite or ceremony.  Often used in the plural.
(6) According to Crane, a deliberate pun on his first name.
(7) sar.a.bande n. A stately court dance from the 17th and 18th centuries.
(8) Had.es pr. n. The underworld of Greek mythology; Hell.
(9) unguent(s) n. Ointment(s)


PPS--Here's a fascinating little Hart Crane factoid ......his dad was the candy manufacturer who invented Life Savers!!!!  (Can you imagine how a self-made business tycoon and a sensitive poet son must have gotten along?  Am guessing it wasn't smooth sailing .......)

WEIRD!!  Something else!  (I wonder if I'm the only one who's ever put this together? .....I just put it together now! ......probably not but still!)  Prepare yourself.  This is in the category of wildly speculative & horrifyingly juicy!  And incredibly p-o-e-t-i-c.

Hart was thirty-two when he jumped off a ship in the Caribbean Sea.  It's generally agreed upon that he committed suicide yet in the above footnotes, see The Norton Anthology only make it page 606, it says this!!!!  " .....he went on deck and jumped into the Caribbean Sea.  Accounts differ (cue Twilight Zone music ...now!) as to whether or not he tried to catch the life preserver (read: LIFE SAVER!!!!!) that was thrown to him."

I shouldn't be making so much fun.  Have to make sure I get credit for making amazing connection, somehow ..........oh!  Did I say that out loud?

*****

Hart Crane biography--Poets.org
Hart Crane biography--The Poetry Foundation

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Black Humor

This week's cartoons are SO funny .......I'm gonna cry my eyeballs out :'-(

*****

























*****
And finally, the best worst for last:




Friday, May 21, 2010

Chris Brogan

(this post first started out as a follow-up comment to yesterday's post, "Taking Chances", but it was becoming the longest comment in history so it became today's post)

*****

Ummm people!!  Mr. Chris Brogan just COMMENTED ON MY BLOG!!!!!!

Ok normally when I quote someone or post their link I am extremely careful to, first, ask their permission.  But frankly Chris gets 10,000 emails a day.  No, here's a better way to illustrate for those of you who don't know him (although many of you do, obviously)--Chris has 137,487 followers on Twitter--to my 35.

Needless to say he's rather a rock-star in social media and my measly attempt to ask his permission would have fallen through the proverbial crack.  I thought.  To be honest, I didn't even think about contacting him.  I simply credited him.

So an hour ago when I realized  he had commented on "Taking Chances" in which I post his quote, I actually panicked!  I thought the Chris Brogan Machine must have somehow picked up my blog in search engine fashion and his "comment" was going to be a computer form letter demanding I retract my post until I received his formal permission to post it!!!

(I sound a little paranoid I admit, but remember, I have Blogger breathing down my neck like a scary monster over that one post about Steve in which they 1) won't tell me what it is they're freaking out over and 2) have it in "post jail", won't allow me to post it, until I fix the unknown "it"!!) (So ha ha Blogger!  I'm getting back at you by badmouthing you to Chris Brogan!!!)

I've heard from everyone who knows or has met Chris, how incredibly nice he is.  But to my ears it was kinda like telling me how nice Barack Obama is ...you know?  Of course he's nice!  It's his job.  Er, one of them.

But now I know (if you haven't yet, go read his comment to me in "Taking Chances").  Chris, you really ARE nice!  I didn't even thank-you in my post cuz it didn't occur to me that you would actually read it.  So let me take this opportunity to thank-you.  I have learned a great deal from you.  You tweet more than anyone of the 16 I follow (ok! so I'm still a little tweetie newbie!!) and I don't read every single one of your tweets, but let me say, I read most and you are unfailingly positive and helpful and you manage to reach out to so many people in a very, very constructive way.  You are an inspiration.  And that is why I follow you.

And now, particularly, I think you're the bomb!

*****

Check-out Chris's website: Chris Brogan--Community and Social Media

Follow Chris on Twitter (read in sing-song voice ....."you can be number 137,488 ....."): Chris Brogan on Twitter

Buy Chris's books: Social Media 101 and Trust Agents--co-authored with Julien Smith


PS--Chris garnered 11 more followers on Twitter in the one hour it took me to write this post.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Taking Chances

Ok ....so I can't elaborate (unfortunately) but I took a chance today.  Not a giant one.  But one that kept me up half the night last night and made me pick at my breakfast instead of wolfing it down (like usual) this morning. 

My Facebook friends will be bored since I posted this on Facebook earlier today, but considering my angst about the chance I took, it seemed like a little gift when I received this quote in the form of a Tweet this morning--it totally helped me get through my "chance".  Sorry for redundancy Facebook friends.

Readers, meet Mr. Chris Brogan, the total guru and man's man of social media ......Chris Brogan on Twitter

PS--and I am a leader.  That I do know.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Yay CSA!

Tomorrow begins another season of my CSA subscription to Mattawoman Creek Farms.

What's a "CSA" and what's a "Mattawoman"?

Rewind to Spring 2009 when I'm having my bi-weekly adjustment by most fabulous chiropractor, Dr. Mark Haynes, when he mentions to me "something something something CSA Subscription something something". Naturally I ask, "What's a CSA?"

Now Dr. Mark and his also chiropractor wife, Dr. Celeste McLean, should be the poster-couple for two of the healthiest-looking people on the planet.  I am totally not exaggerating here--any of you who know them will positively second my opinion.  I mean they are gorgeous.  Have you ever noticed that?  Super healthy=Super gorgeous??  Every time.  In a nutshell, they make their own yogurt and "juice" everything in sight.  Need I say more?  Yes! I feel strongly compelled, after shallow-sounding gorgeous remarks, to say that that they are ALSO two of the nicest, kindest, peaceful, happy, and extremely professional people I'm lucky enough to know.

I will say more about Dr. Mark and Dr. Celeste in future posts--I've included them in my cast of characters--they both, especially Dr. Mark, have been a huge influence on my lifestyle and my attitude about good health ...of which I have a long way to go .....but still ......here! check them out: Coastal Chiropractic, Norfolk and Virginia Beach, VA
Anyway, Dr. Mark explains that CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and quite often is shorthand for a "subscription" during the growing season (approx. May thru Sept) to a weekly infusion of fresh, locally-grown, organic (in most cases), delicious, seasonal produce from a local farmer.  So I was lucky and was able to receive a subscription last spring (they typically fill up fast) and Thing One, Thing Two, & I ate fresh veggies & fruit 'til they were flying out of our ears, all summer!  I was grateful to Dr. Mark for tipping me off and to my new favorite organic farmers Rick & Janice of Mattawoman Creek Farms.

This year I was first in line for a subscription.  My friend MEC (hi MEC!) and I are actually sharing a subscription this year because I wasn't joking about the veggies.  They were flying everywhere.  Overflowing everything.  My refrigerator could barely close and it pains me greatly to admit that I had to throw some of it away because we couldn't eat it fast enough :-(  So I'm hoping the sharing-plan works better with my little, not-so-little family.

Our pick-up day is every Thursday in the Shorebreak Pizza parking lot from 4:00-6:00: just find the big, white refrigerated truck, pull up next to it, tell the nice man (who is sometimes Farmer Rick, but is usually someone else who I think works on the farm?) who's sitting on the tailgate, usually reading a book, whether you have a standard or large-sized box, sign your initials next to your name, say a few nice things to the man while he gets your box out of the truck (since you have a "thing" for farmers who read), tell him "thank-you, see you next week!", put your veggies/fruit in the cooler you've fabulously remembered to bring along (not necessary, but nice), and get your a** home cuz kale soup is waiting to be made!!!!!

Thing One and Thing Two were indeed subjected to kale soup last year.  To their credit, they both tried it without much arm-twisting but even I had to admit, I need to tweak that recipe.  There is an art to southern-cooking and I need some art classes!

Oh, and I have NO idea what a Mattawoman is.  

 *****
OMG!  Even I'm not this crazy: Back Away from the Bok Choy, Ma'am! (and btw MEC, we are getting bok choy in the box tomorrow!)

Friday, May 14, 2010

It's Been Real Lee Hall, Room 740


Mom ....really?

Thing One is home after his freshman year at college. I remember last summer when it finally hit me that he was leaving, I spent four days in a depressed fog feeling devastated and crushed at the prospect of life without him.  Ridiculous considering that theoretically I'd known he was "leaving" for months.  But the instinct to parent is a "gathering-in" instinct, not a "pushing-away" instinct.  I  privately prepared for the worst when we left him at school in August.

It turned out that my big melt-down was those four days in the summer.  Saying our final good-byes was a breeze because it was a long, tedious, very hot day moving him in and we were all rather sick of each other by the end of it.  Here's to exhaustion usurping emotion!

I will say that Ex played a very large role in the tedium of that day, so when it came time this week to cross the state to bring Thing One home for the summer, I expertly appealed to Ex's workaholic-ness which worked like a charm.  He stayed home and I went to Blacksburg.

Moving Thing One out was still exhausting, but without Ex's anxiety and controlling nature, it was a calm exhaustion--one that makes room for emotion.  I had a moment to contemplate what a difference 9 months makes: Thing One has lots of friends. Thing One is happy here. Thing One is looking forward to returning in the fall. Thing One has grown-up a little bit.

I say out loud, "I wish I'd known last summer what I know now".  I think inwardly that the knowledge would have saved me a lot of grief. 

But then I realize, maybe not?  The kind of knowledge that saves grief is an earned thing.  I think about my own journey this past 9 months: Thing Two and I have created a nice routine sans Thing One. I started this blog. I am officially seeking a writing job. I have grown-up a little bit too.

Then I laugh when I suddenly focus on the checklist taped to Thing One's dorm-room door which I'm leaning on in my reverie ......it's the official checking-out checklist for Lee Hall which includes all the standard items:

                              1. Remove all personal belongings
                              2. Sweep and mop floor
                              3. Clean sink area
                              4. Close windows and blinds
                              5. Turn in key to R.A.
                                  and written in blue highlighter at the bottom ...
                              6. Take a shit!

Thing One says it wasn't him that wrote it.   

*****

Don't EVEN ask how we got this picture!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Someone Get This Girl A Writing Job! Wednesday

Except it's Thursday--I know!  But I was BUSY yesterday (shall blog on extricating freshman-boy out of dorm-room tomorrow). 

"Someone Get This Girl A Writing Job!" is going to become a regular feature on You Must Take Your Chance (apparently the home of extremely long, cumbersome titles), and I like the alliteration of Writing and Wednesday so I'm aiming for Wednesday's.  If "life" sticks its nosy head into Wednesday however it may appear on another day such as today's inaugural edition.

          alliteration n.  The repetition of the same sounds, usu. consonants,
          esp. at the beginning of words, as in "on scrolls of silver snowy sentences"
          (Hart Crane).

So obviously "someone" is "me", and me has to get a writing job because that's what I love to do. That's what I'm good at. That's the kind of people I want to hang-out (work) with. And that's the way I want to spend my time while I'm getting money thrown at me as I do it!

It's my dream. 

It took me a long time to realize my dream.  I always envied my friends who knew what they wanted right out of the blocks at the Here's The Rest Of Your Life race immediately following high-school graduation.  I rather floated through college, unfocused and unmotivated.  It was sad-ish, but I just couldn't conjure my dream out of my life at that time (no matter how many beers I had!).  Don't feel sorry for me--I loved Washington State University and I left Pullman with a degree in Political Science.  My years at WSU were not a waste ....... 

......still it wasn't until my mid-thirties when my dream finally came a-knockin'.  When I opened the door it took me a little while to recognize it, but when I did, I welcomed it with open arms and have been "entertaining" it ever since.  Yay!  But now I'm almost forty-nine!!  Time to W-R-I-T-E!!!!!!  My future-self is waiting.
Almost as a gift, I've recently stumbled upon a supremely well-written, supremely inspirational, supremely "human" blog; yes about writing, but more about life.  I asked Julie Roads of "Writing Roads" for her permission to reference her today and to link to one of her recent posts.  It offers a profound perspective.  Thank-you Julie for graciously sharing and for introducing us to our future-selves: Do Unto Yourself, Would'ja? A Lesson In Decision Making
*****

I plan to document my progress in the job-hunt on "Someone Get This Girl A Writing Job!"  It could arguably be more interesting/motivating for me than for you.  If you choose to skip it each week, I won't blame you.  But if you've been "entertaining" a dream for far too long too ......why don't you join me??  We can cheer each other on.  We can push each other when we get tired.  And we can remind one another when the dream (as it will) becomes (momentarily) elusive.  If you want to take this journey with me, write and tell me your story, ok? 

MY GOALS FOR NEXT WEEK
1.  Begin gathering and writing "samples" for Writing Portfolio--aim for 20 samples by the end of the month.
2.   Tweak and refine resume to have it ready at a moment's notice--keep it to one-page and accompany it with well-written, relevant, memorable cover letters.
3.  Contact all writing "persons" I know and tell them I'm pursuing a writing position--"Have any ideas?"

*****
I find inspiration every day at Writing Roads ....thank-you again Julie!  You're the best!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Post-It Note Tuesday #9





PS--how many moments fit into an hour and a half??

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Poetry Girl Sunday #9

This post is dedicated to my own mother--Virginia, a.k.a. "Ginny"

Of all the lovely poems about mothers, this is perhaps, my most cherished.  It was written by May Sarton to her mother, near the end of May's life.  It becomes more moving with each reading.  Happy Mother's Day sweet creators.

*****

For My Mother
     August 3, 1992

Once more
I summon you
Out of the past
With poignant love,
You who nourished the poet
And the lover.
I see your gray eyes
Looking out to sea
In those Rockport summers,
Keeping a distance
Within the closeness
Which was never intrusive
Opening out
Into the world.
And what I remember
Is how we laughed
Till we cried
Swept into merriment
Especially when times were hard.
And what I remember
Is how you never stopped creating
And how people sent me
Dresses you had designed
With rich embroidery
In brilliant colors
Because they could not bear
To give them away
Or cast them aside.
I summon you now
Not to think of
The ceaseless battle
With pain and ill-health,
The frailty and the anguish.
No, today I remember
The creator,
The lion-hearted.

                    May Sarton
                    1912-1995

*****

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Cartoon Saturday #7

Woo-hoo!  Cartoon Saturday is when I get to showcase (and I'm completely unbiased)(*wink*) mostly-visual-opinions (cartoons!) on what's happening in the world.  I personally think political cartoonists are geniuses and I totally wish I was one--except I'm not.  So I'm happily content with perusing thousands (ok, millions) of political cartoons every week to bring you the cream of the crop. 

PS--don't laugh too much, er, more realistically perhaps, don't get too depressed!

*****

In no particular order (cuz I'm too tired to fuss with it) ........and the captions in italics are by me this time.

My regular readers know I never miss an opportunity to bash the P-monster


Cuz I would say Bill Maher too ....although Conan's a close second
Friday night's at 10 PM on HBO


i KNEW we were neanderthals


Here's to ineptness!


No ....after YOU

See?  P-monster provides never-ending laughs
(Really? Cuz I'm not laughing)


Whose on first?


to worser ......


Thank-you for letting me become a U.S. citizen
while you were being distracted about walls or some such,
to keep out those pesky, fruit-picking Mexicans!


Ok then, can we get 'sane' if we say 'insane'?


Wait ...come back!  No ...let me catch-up.  No .....just wait! 



Thursday, May 6, 2010

The List Version

Ok I know I've been vague about my blog-absence.  As a writer I cringe at this vagueness.  So the stickler soon-to-be-a-professional-writer-hopefully part of me has made a "list version" of yesterday's I'm Back post to assuage my writer's-guilt because there's almost no writer's-crime worse than vagueness. 

But this is a BLOG and "I Blog With Integrity"! (see below, right)  And most of my excuses reasons! for not blogging involves other people/things who/which ........maybe I shouldn't write about?  Herein lies the vagueness.

My solution is a list with special notations where details would not be integrity-less. 

Here goes.  "So I know.  I have been absent." (beginning of yesterday's post) because:

1) I began doubting my focus on You Must Take Your Chance--if you ask me, recipes and cleaning tips don't fit well into the taking-chances department.  I became disappointed in myself.  But friend MEC (hi MEC!) recently pointed out that she likes following blogs in which one day is profound and the next day is a pronounced un-profound.  Which is a very freeing notion for me because, seriously folks, I am a Gemini and a truer-Gemini than moi cannot exist.  I am all over the place in the emotion and intelligence (What? Star signs don't dictate intelligence .........? Are you sure??) departments.  You've probably noticed this if you've been following this blog--some posts are hilarious (in my not-humble opinion) and some are so friggin' deadly serious you all are afraid to comment in case the deadliness is contagious through comment-leaving.
PS--btw that is a distinct trend I've noticed.  Serious posts beget far fewer comments than lighthearted posts.  Which is completely ok.  For me too, it's easier to comment on silly stuff.
So my focus may seem out-of-focus at times.  But I promise I will never forget that I'm writing about taking chances, ok?

2) I think I got quite literally depressed about the earthquake that struck Haiti.  However one of my best posts came out of that tragedy (omg, did I just write that?  Please re-read, fighting off all messages from your brain screaming "INSENSITIVE!" "CRASS!!" SMALL MINDED!!!" SELF-ABSORBED!!!!" I don't mean to sound like I benefited from Haiti's anguish at all), and/but it's one of my favorite posts. 
Haiti-to-90999
3) My friend died.
dear kathleen
Heartbroken Cartoon Saturday
4) I broke-up with boyfriend Steve.  Who I still love.  There!  I said it!!
Dumb Blogger keeps removing this post due to copyright infringement issue.  I have to guess at what they're offended by--then I fix--then they keep having cow over said "issue".  If they would only tell me exactly what they're having a coronary over I would gladly oblige.  Look for link to this post in the future if Blogger & I can ever get on the same page. (darn it! ....it's a good post too)
5) Ex and I continue to be co-dependent and dysfunctional (Alisa--notice how I include myself in this diagnosis?).  So I am in the process of re-defining relationship with Ex because we do have Thing One & Thing Two together and we were married twenty years and (as I've told many of my friends) even though I'm nauseous over how many roses are coming up in his life, I don't exactly wish him death either.  But it's difficult to change your relationship with someone.  The "someone" usually doesn't like it. (The Dance of Anger, anyone? great book on this subject. should read if you have any relationships)
He's loves to "confide" in me occasionally, certain aspects of his love-life.  Which is simultaneously gross and front-row-seat-at-a-train-wreck--ish.  I can't help but be rapt over the second aspect.  The first aspect I could live without.  But therapist has convinced me that neither aspect is good for me.  Ohhh .....if only I didn't Blog With Integrity .......the stories I could tell ........
6) Certain extremely close family members (as in parents)(as in both) have been diagnosed with several, separate, serious medical conditions and have undergone serious procedures these past few months.  Despite this, they are strong and independent and have not needed any help from me.  And despite this, I am sad.

7) The number one you-must-take-your-chance item facing me is .........finding myself a full-time job that is (hopefully) rewarding and gives me a regular stream of wheelbarrows full of self-respect.  Oh and a "giving back to the world somehow" quality would be cool too.  This item scares the living merde out of me. (thanks Delana! you made me think about merde today!!)(oh and sorry, all, for grossness of next-to-last statement)  Yep this one is my super scary monster you must take your chance challenge.  I'm making it sound funny, but I'm not laughing at all .....
My current part-time job at an accounting firm (in which I am simply an administrative assistant but which has gotten me through the past 3 years beautifully) is a great job.  But there is no full-time position available and plus a writer in an accounting firm is rather a square peg ........I need to get seriously job searching.  Now.  And I need this blog to blog about it.  And my boss reads my blog (well he knows about it anyway ....).  If you haven't added 2+2 yet, let me break it down another way: Me looking for another job + Boss reading about said job search=Uncomfortable atmosphere at work.  Or =Me-no-even-part-time-job-anymore.
All is well though.  I've recently spoken to fabulous boss (hi Pat!) about my need to find a full-time position that is both professionally and financially rewarding.  And he completely understands.  So now I can agonize about it here all I want!  I'll bet you can't wait .....

8)  I've gained twenty pounds over the past four years.  Am particularly noticing this "difference" the closer I get to almost-19 & 17-years-ago-pregnancy weight.  WTF!!!!!!!!!!
Don't ask me how this affected my blog writing.  But it did.
9) Experienced Thing-One's first heartbreak with him.  I never realized how heartbreaking it is when your child is heartbroken.
Honestly, this seriously set me back.  Of course I won't blog about it (any more than this).  Thing One is my most loyal reader. (hi Thing One!)  Btw, isn't that dear of him?
10) Did I mention I lost faith in myself?  I just ......did.  Despite my frequent ditzi-ness, I'm also kinda anal and perfectionistic and decidedly not ditzi.  And .....I AM A WRITER.  As such this blog is that seed I'm nurturing.  My standards for my craft are high yet I'm the first to say I'm not "there" yet in the craft.  I've got much to learn and skills to hone.
So please forgive the occasional "dumb", "less than inspiring", "huh?" post.  And forgive my occasional "absences".  I know my Gemini-self well--both will happen occasionally.  Please have faith in me when I've apparently lost faith.  I will eventually find it again.  I will always come back.
Oh duh!  11) I work in an ACCOUNTING FIRM and it was TAX SEASON!

Thank-you! my dear reader-friends for hanging with me.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I'm Back

Hi y'all!  (ummm, no, I haven't acquired a southern accent in my absence ......I'm just trying to set a friendly tone and nothing like a happy 'hi y'all!' for that)

Plus in an email I wrote earlier today, I threw-in a "y'all" and it made me feel good. (Perhaps I should acquire a southern accent?)

So I know.  I have been absent.  I had lunch with a close friend today (hi Patricia!) and when the subject rolled around to my blog, or more precisely the lack of it, Patricia announced that the the last post I'd written was March 7th.  Which shocked me that she knew the date so precisely off the top of her head. 

I'll bet you're also thinking I was shocked to realize it's been nearly two months since my last post.  But I'm not.  You can't write a blog and then not write a blog and be shocked by it's absence.  It's a bit like losing a baby .......and then wondering two months later ........where's the baby?

So I have 5,000 excuses reasons why I have bailed on You Must Take Your Chance but for simplicity's sake let's just distill it down to one--I've been in no shape to take a chance for awhile.  Not to worry.  Nothing earth-shattering has happened to me the likes of which haven't been happening to you either.  Just life.  And my need--as I mentioned in my last post on March 7th, to hiberate (which was a great analogy in March when it was still bitterly cold, but on this balmy day in May isn't working for me) so let's just say my need--to be quiet for awhile. 
My dictionary defines chrysalis as "2. A protected stage of development" (after "1. A pupa, esp. of a butterfly, enclosed in a firm case or cocoon." which is not where I'm going here, although the butterfly metaphor is a lovely one .....perhaps one day?) 

No, I'm not assuming I'm emerging as a butterfly, but this post is assuming that I am emerging, evolved somehow.  I feel the words (wings?) waking up inside me, ready to stretch and feel the sun. 

It feels good to be back ya'll ...... I've missed you.
 

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Weary Kind

Oh my poor bloggy blog!  And readers, let me first fling open the door and sweep away the cobwebs before you come in ......

For reasons, some of them I understand and some of them I don't, I haven't blogged for over two weeks.  I liken it most to hibernation.  My soul is a bit battered I have to admit.  But frankly, who's soul isn't a bit battered?

And double-frankly, what would life be like if everything went smoothly and graced us with only happiness all of the time?  Ick.  Boring.  Vanilla.  Please pinch me and wake me up from this wonderful dream!

I tend to allude to it only occasionally, but really, the reason and focus of this blog is to help me find my way through this period of my life.  If we live long enough (like more than one minute) we are all faced with our changing lives and having to adapt to them.  But certain phases are particularly difficult.  And these days if you're so inclined, there is this opportunity to blog about it.  My sincere hope for anyone who chooses to read this blog is that you find a comaraderie and the occasional inspiration to help you through whatever phase in life you are facing, whether you are finding it particularly difficult or not. 

In other words this is not an online diary but hopefully a living, breathing dialogue that benefits me and you. 

That said, I'm sorry I've bailed on you for the past two weeks.  But honestly it will probably happen again now & then.  It is my way.  Sometimes I need to retreat.  Sometimes I need to hibernate.  I need to rest and lick my wounds.  I need to be alone and to be introspective and to be quiet.  I need to grow and to get stronger.  And I need to wait for my compass to realign and point the way.

*****

Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart

I've seen Crazy Heart twice in so many days--the Jeff Bridges movie in which he's up for best actor tonight?  Ok so it's crazy good.  I will cry my eyeballs out if he doesn't win the Oscar.  Go see it in the theater if you can.  I don't want to spoil it by giving any of it away but let me say this .....I am the biggest fan of music but definitely not a big country music fan.  As a point of illustration I went out of my way a few weeks ago to track down the only non-country music bar in all of Nashville, which I now regret.  If you don't already know Crazy Heart is about a washed-up country-music man ....
(OMG and the literal thousands of parallels to ex-boyfriend musician Steve are literally hysterical starting with when he stumbles out of his beat-up thirty year-old Suburban after a long drive between gigs, with his pants and belt buckle undone .....and ending with when I ask him from my nice little suburban house in Virginia which hotel he's in while he's on the road and he answers he has no idea what f***ing hotel he's in, "Hell I don't even know what f***ing town I'm in!")
.....so after watching Crazy Heart, I realize I should have totally soaked up every bit of country music in Nashville while I had the opportunity.  Nothing like being country music serenaded while staring down hard times.  I should have totally been there.

Country music is perfect for this movie.  And this is a near perfect movie.  Go see it.

I want to leave you with the theme song from Crazy Heart which is also up for Best Original Song tonight and which also could be the theme song for today's post: The Weary Kind, Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett

The Weary Kind
(Theme from Crazy Heart)
Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett

Your Heart's on the loose
You rolled those sevens with
Nothin' to lose
This ain't no place for
The weary kind

You called all your shots
Shootin' eight balls at the corner
Truck stop
Somehow this don't feel like home
Anymore

This ain't no place
For the weary kind
This ain't no place
To lose your mind
This ain't no place to fall behind
Pick up your crazy heart and give it one
More try

Your body aches
From playing your guitar and sweatin'
out the hate
The days and the nights all feel
The same
The whiskey has been
The thorn in your side that
Doesn't forgive
The highway that calls for your
Heart inside

This ain't no place for
The weary kind
This ain't no place to lose your mind
This ain't no place to fall behind
Pick up your crazy heart and give
It one more try

Your lover's warm kiss
Is too damn far from your fingertips
You are the man that ruined the world

Your heart's on the loose
You rolled them sevens with
Nothin' to lose
This ain't no place for
The weary kind


Crazy Heart Official Website


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bathroom Cleaning Tip

All right, all right ....Alisa politely inquired (see comment in Catch-Up Week) about the whereabouts of the promised "Who is ...?" post that was supposed to be posted last night.  Answer: Well it's ready except I've somehow LOST all the pictures of the "Who is ...?" subject!  And this particular "Who is ...?" really requires A LOT of pictures because he (clue) is SO CUTE (tantalizing teaser clue). 

Several weeks ago in preparation for this post, I asked Thing One (for new readers Thing One is my oldest son who goes to school at Virginia Tech) and Thing Two (sixteen year-old head-banger son at home) to email me their pictures of "Who is ...?" because they have some really good pic's taken of him with their phone-cameras.  They both dutifully complied.  And now I can't find them even though whenever I clean out my Email inbox (which is only every 2 months or so, but which I did 2 days ago), I always (very clever) leave all old Emails in the deleted folder in case I need to retrieve one later.  So all deleted items sit there for 2 months until the next big clean-out.  Fool proof!

Apparently not because the pictures from both boys are nowhere to be found.  So am now waiting for both Things to send them again .....heh, heh.  Can't nag about it too much either.  One Thing is in class in Blacksburg right now and the other Thing is in class in Chesapeake right now (both claimed to be studying last night)  ....really?? (eye's squinting in disbelief

Sigh.  Can't stand self-incompetence or I'm-busy-studying deception!

*****

In the meantime, Alisa asked me if I have any bathroom cleaning tips since I announced yesterday I was zipping off to scrub toilets & things.  I thought, Me?  Cleaning tip?? No ..... but then I thought, Yes!!! I DO have a cleaning tip!


This may not be terribly original, but if you don't happen to use Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser® already, you're seriously missing out on the best thing to remove soap scum in history.  NOTHING removes soap scum except this baby.  And you must buy the "Extra Power" with the ridges:


Don't mess around with any other Magic Eraser® rendition.  This one works the best and lasts the longest.  Umm nice.  No wonder I like Mr. Clean it so much!

Oh I must add there is a serious amount of elbow-grease involved here, but I'm usually so excited so see so much soap scum going down the drain and telling myself that slim, muscular arms will be envy of all that I don't mind.  OMG!  Just realized I have First Ever Cooking Tip and First Ever Cleaning Tip posted in the same week.  Eech!  Am regressing to Domestic Goddess ....not part of the "finding my bliss" plan!!

(plan involves finding my bliss in area that pays so profusely that I, in-turn, pay maid to be domestic goddess for me)

PS--"Who is ...?" will post as soon as Things (eye-rollingly) get around to sending me their pictures again.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Catch-Up Week

I realize that on several occasions I've made reference to an upcomimg post that I plan to post .....and then don't!  So I'm introducing Catch-Up Week where I literally catch-up those seemingly, yet not really, forgotten posts.

And I have this cute idea that in my usual have-to-make-things-harder manner may stress me out a bit later because I only have the "who" and the "what" worked out so far ....but I can't resist it.  Later, sch-mater!!  Each catch-up post this week will follow the who, what, when, where, and maybe even the how format!!!! 

I know you're rather ho-hum dying to see how this plays out, so keep posted because right now I have to go clean a bathroom, but as I scrub, I will be working out "Who is ........????" to post later tonight.  Fun!

not me, but it should be

PS--Oh!  Please (always) feel free to send "post requests" whether I've alluded to it as a future post or not.  I'm always open to suggestion .....not of the "you are getting sleepy" variety ......but of the "whatever happened to ....?" or the "why don't you write about this ......?" or the "wtf ........????" or the "have you found your bliss yet?" variety.  Ok?

Monday, February 15, 2010

First Ever Cooking Tip


I think?  I don't believe I've touched on anything in the cooking-category yet on this blog?  Except to recommend Lick The Bowl Good which is my super-favo cooking blog.  Check it out and say hi to Monica for me--lurrvv her!

Anyway, who ever thought the following combination would be a reality??
1)  the Idaho Potato
2)  Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island
3)  Cooking Tip

But it is!  I received an email from my BFF Wendy who lives in Chandler, Arizona near Phoenix (Hi Wendy!) with this unexpected combo packaged handily into a YouTube video.  After watching it, I grabbed a potato, boiled that sucker, and Voila!  It worked!!

Idaho Potato + Mary Ann + Cooking Tip

It's too handy to pass-up handing it on ....so for dinner tonight?  Cheesy Potato Soup!  And for breakfast tomorrow morning??  Breakfast potatoes.  Of course!!  I will be trying out these recipes: Lick The Bowl Good--Potato Recipes

PS--I guess Mary Ann really did have a "thing" for The Professor .....(see video--he's the only cast member she talks about ....and keeps talking about .....The Professor and the Idaho Potato ad nauseum!)

Aww, not very nice Professor ...don't laugh at Mary Ann!


No!  This one must have killed her!!

PPS--purposely avoiding any Valentine's Day discussion ...am still reeling from Kathleen's death .....plus spent V-day at movies with two teenagers "The Wolfman" (very romantic) ......and finally, found myself at the laundromat (washing machine at home making scary noise and emitting "electrical" smell) last night fumbling with quarters while other laundromat patrons look on placidly.  As in cows chewing cuds.  I know life could be super-way-worse but am having to remind myself of that every 3 seconds. 

Btw, everyone's kind sentiments have helped tremendously ....thank-you all from the bottom of my heart.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Dear Kathleen


                                   It is fitting after a fitful
                                   few hours
                                   to wake to a crow’s caw
                                   through a slightly open window.

                                   Wet snow muffles everything else.

                                   Goose down keeps me
                                   but cold air
                                   heedless and unknowing greets my exposed foot.
                                   The tang of warm
                                   grapey alcohol—
                                   undrunk wineglass on the nightstand—
                                   you, an odd comfort.

                                   Everything I see
                                   I haven’t seen
                                   since I heard you died.
                                   I’m so sorry.
                                           
                                   Now you know too.
                                                            --lgw

Heartbroken Cartoon Saturday

Dearest Readers,

I have so many things I can't wait to write about but for one reason or another, lately, I keep running into (the proverbial) roadblocks.  Not writer's block mind you .......yikes!  Now that I've written that, I probably will get writer's block! (us writers are a superstitious lot--the baseball players of artists--now I'm gonna have to keep a cherry lifesaver under the arch of my foot in my right shoe every time I sit down to write)

So I was thrown, horribly, late yesterday to learn that my voice teacher and dear friend died unexpectedly at home last night, a presumed heart attack.  Her 50th birthday is today.  She leaves behind her husband and her fourteen year-old son, her extended family, and thousands of friends. 

It's shocking to me .......you know ......I truly loved her for many, many reasons ..........I thought she'd be around for my whole life (and that her whole life and my whole life would be "the same"--who can imagine otherwise?).
Kathleen, you possessed the most unfailing kindness and the most beautiful voice of anyone I've ever known.
My post yesterday didn't happen because I was bawling and beside myself.  Now, of all things, here I am faced with Cartoon Saturday which I haven't had for awhile and it's due.  Plus my favorite political cartoonist was on a real streak this week and I've been looking forward to highlighting him today.

So the show must go on.  Thank-you Mr. Toles for making me smile through tears.  And thank-you all for your patience.  I know "life" happens to you too.
*****

Tom Toles, The Washington Post, January 27, 2010

Tom Toles, The Washington Post, February 4, 2010

Tom Toles, The Washington Post, February 5, 2010

Tom Toles, The Washington Post, February 7, 2010


Tom Toles, The Washington Post, February 8, 2010


Tom Toles, The Washington Post, February 9, 2010

Tom Toles, The Washington Post, February 10, 2010
PS--I was in the same hotel (actually I think I was eating the best southern food in the farthest West Nashville you can imagine--still close by) when the hand-crib-notes incident happened last weekend! 


Tom Toles, The Washington Post, February 11, 2010

Tom Toles, The Washington Post, February 12, 2010

*****

Note to self: tell people you love them.  Even when it's not almost Valentine's Day. Especially when it's not almost Valentine's Day ....