Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

Tibi gratias agimus quod nihil fumas.

It says "...freedom of...", not "...freedom from...".

Nolite te bastardes carburundorum!

"It's amazing to me how many people think that voting to have the government give poor people money is compassion. Helping poor and suffering people is compassion. Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral self-righteous bullying laziness. People need to be fed, medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered, and if we're compassionate we'll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people to do what you think is right. There is great joy in helping people, but no joy in doing it at gunpoint." - Penn Jillette

Monday, August 31, 2009

Between Times

My Monday has begun while others sleep. It has begun while Sunday lingers elsewhere. I am aware of this. Not simply because I know, but because I feel - feel tugged to linger in yesterday even as today begins apace and tomorrow waits its turn to roll steadily onward.

I am aware that I am between times, planted solid in the middle of the Witching hour, an endless midnight following the line, the chiaroscuro of day and night that chases its tail around the planet, ceaseless.

I am aware that now, as I define it, is the same moment you experience; my now, your now, are twined, inseparable, identical despite our disparate experience of these moments.

The air I exhale becomes your inhalation. The breath that leaves you enters me. We mingle. The moment you live, I live, too. We're reflecting light out into the Universe and absorbing the reflections it sends back to us, and it all spins ceaselessly in these between times.

My Monday. Your Sunday. All the same. It's only our perception that keeps us apart. Perception is everything.

Perceive differently.

I'll be waiting in the endless potential, between times.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Thoughtfetti

I have a bruise on my left leg, just below the knee on the inside edge. I noticed it a few days ago. It's oddly shaped.

I realized what it came from a little while after I discovered it - it's where one corner of Bob the Wonder Computer sits when I am in the horrible chair typing away.

Now I feel like I have to sit funny while typing or risk a permanent dent/weird spot on my leg.
~~~~~
Does anyone else get grossed out by those Light and Fit yoghurt ads? The ones where the woman is slurping the product from the little yoghurt cup? No? Just me then?
~~~~~
I no longer have a TV in my bedroom - T took it and the one from downstairs for his new place. I don't miss it. I unplugged the DVD player and am putting it in Mum's/the guest room. T took his clock a while ago - it was bright enough to read by. Now my bedroom is actually dark at night, unless I open the blinds and let the moonlight in. It's wonderful. When I manage to go to sleep, I sleep better because it's not lit up like Times Square at New Years in there.
~~~~~
I fell asleep while typing this.
~~~~~
I have a ton of sewing to do in the next two days because I am a slacker, but I will get it all done or drop dead trying. Except for the dropping dead part, because that would just be silly.
~~~~~
When I die, I'm coming back as one of my cats. That's Rook, out of the pen on a day pass. She took a nap in my odds-n-ends yarn basket (carefully placed in a sunny window for cats to enjoy).

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Clean(ish) Getaway

Whew.

Where's my cabana boy? I need a frosty beverage.

Yesterday I tackled the Evil Genius' room.

I'm a poor housekeeper (now there's a magazine I bet would sell like hotcakes - Poor Housekeeping - a magazine for everyone else!) and don't get on there as often as I should. I try to keep up with his mess, but I'm a mere mortal...and I think even Hercules would find Bird's room a challenge.

I had a moment of blogging flakiness, though, and forgot to photograph the "before" until I'd been at it a while, about halfway through.

Yes, his bed has a slide. Jealous? Yeah, me too...

The train table under the bed...the bane of my existence. I will be so very happy when we can be rid of it...it doesn't fit in his room, collects mess, and is awkward to clean around, under, over, and through.

It took most of yesterday and part of this morning to wade through all that - but only because I took frequent breaks to unbend and remind my spine and legs that, while we want to get into shape, pretzel isn't what I had in mind.

I could have finished last night, but decided that going to bed before three seemed like a good idea. I got it done before breakfast this morning.

I will eventually paint over the masterpieces on the walls...but for now, there's no point, he'll only doodle some more. Yes, I let him write on the walls - but only in his room. Why not? A couple of gallons of Killz and paint and it's all gone, and meanwhile, he has a little artistic freedom.

Hey, look, it's a floor!


I love Pergo - it's so forgiving.

I don't think he has enough toys. Most of this was on the floor, under the bed, under the dresser, on the train table...and that's not including the games and puzzles I sorted out, boxed, and stacked neatly in the closet.

Any bets as to how long it takes him to return his room to its natural state of chaos?

Can't talk...

...still cleaning, and I have a ton of sewing to do as well....but I'll have a more substantial post later in the day.

Yes, I am writing a post to tell you I won't have a post until later. I have passed ridiculous and flown right on into ludicrous.

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Musical Interlude

T has the Evil Genius with him for a couple of days and I'm home on my own, so I'm spending today relaxing in the tub with a book and a glass of wine cleaning the boy's room. I intend to photograph it because no one will ever believe the prodigious job it is without evidence!

Meanwhile, here's a trio of very different musical pieces for your amusement while I spend six hours or so battling chaos with a dust rag, a trash bag, and sheer determination.

Time to give my inner redneck a little play ( I like to listen to this one when I'm feeling ornery)(whadaya mean, I must listen to it all the time??)...


A little musical fun...



And an old friend of Mum's (Harry Sheppard)(I didn't see him when I was in Houston - guess I'll have to go back)...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cute, Cute, Unreal, Lovely

Intrepid, the outdoor kitten, has discovered the candle holder by the front door.

Rook and Intrepid are cousins. Rook is delighted to be indoors - can you tell?

We have had some spectacular clouds around here, lately. I want to scoop them up, lick their light, sweet, creamy fluff from my fingers, savor them, roll them around on my tongue. Sometimes, they don't look real - they look like someone must have painted them up there, giant brush placing each one just so.
The sunset was soft, gently, and lovely last night. Silk, satin, peach fading to grey deepening to blue, it was a late summer cloak of light thrown over the shoulders of the world.
I'm at the gallery today - hopefully more focused on my art than I was writing this blog.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Welcome to the Family...


"What the hell do you mean, 'Hang in there!'?? Get me a freakin' ladder!!"

Thanks to a truly epic and kind donation from one person (thank you, Mizz D!!!) with an (obviously) enormous heart, and a little extra squozed out of out home budget, I took Rook to the vet today. Much to my relief, she does not have any of the various plagues that are fatal in felines and would have meant not only not getting out of the pen, but being euthenized on the spot. Please believe I would not have done it lightly, but releasing a diseased animal into my home population is out of the question, as is setting her loose outside to fend for herself until she dies.

Whew.

She's been given a deworming pill (possibly the nastiest tasting thing she'll ever have in her mouth, and she gave me the stink eye over it) and de-flea-ifying drops and has had her first round of shots. We came home with a bunch of free stuff from the vet, who was very empathetic about our anemic finances and did everything they could to provide a maximum of service for a minimum of cost.

I even had a dollar and seventy-two cents leftover! Woo-hoo, iced-tea is on me!

So she's officially part of our dysfunctional little clan. Wlecome to the family, Rook. Poor thing.

Who Said It?

I've been a wee busy of late. In addition to my strenuous schedule of sitting on my fifty-acre ass, avoiding housework at all costs, and planning the Evil Genius' acting career to coincide with my need to be supported in style into my old age, I've been sewing up a storm for a friend's business. All straight(ish) lines, nothing fancy, shirts and skirts and in the next day or so I will have a bash at wrap pants. She needs stock for an upcoming convention (DragonCon, anyone?) and I'm game.
So I haven't been giving much deep thought to my blog. Sorry 'bout that.

I thought a little challenge would be fun. Below is a list of ten quotes. They may not be perfect, but I think they're close enough to do the trick. Can you name the movies they're from? How about which characters said them? Bonus points for the actor playing the character.

~~~~~
Who said it?

"Aww, I'd rather suck wax fruit."

"Stress, it's the killer!"

"Two in the box, ready to go, we be fast and they be slow!"

"...I'm afraid I've been thinking"
"A dangerous pastime."
"I know!"

"No disassemble!!"

"Flip them the bird!"

"If I was trying to kill you, I'd use my hands."

"Oh no you did NOT shoot that green shit at me!"

"When I was your age, video games were called books."

"You know, for kids!"
~~~~~
Good luck and godspeed!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sweet!

Lookit that! My friend Kit gave me an award, bless her pea-pickin' little heart! All I ever gave her was...umm...hey, Kit...have I ever given you anything? Yeah, I can't remember, either. I think there may have been some asparagus handed off in the past...

Anyway.

Thanks, Kit - you're an inspiring, artistic, sister-type friend, and I adore sharing hours and child-rearing with you. It's nice to know you care.

So there seem to be rules to these things, and according to the site I backtracked to, I should name five people who embody this award. What I'm wondering is, do they have to be people in the Blue Nowhere? Or can I name folks outside of Blogopolis and this strange electronic world? I'm thinking I may have to limit myself to bloggers, or it's a little self-defeating - the award would never get passed along!

So, who to name, who to name?

I'm going to cheat a little and name my Mum...unless you are part of may daily life, you have no idea what she means to me, to my son, and to our well being. She is an artist (especially with copper jewelry!), got me involved with the gallery and the sometimes outrageous, often hilarious group of women there. Knowing that she raised two kids, largely alone, has helped me wrap my mind around being a somewhat single mum - only I'll have her, and my amazing community of friends to help me find my feet, and she had...umm...yeah...

Next I'll name my friend Gypsy. Her son and mine are like brothers - they try to kill each other on a regular basis, someone always ends up in tears when they play, and they constantly want to know when they'll be together again. She's beautiful, intelligent, and has an opinion. She writes, too, quite beautifully, and she's always ready to lend an ear, a thoughtful response (whether she thinks you'll like what she has to say or not), and hard liquor as needed. Except the hard liquor part.

Third is Susan. I've never met her in real life, but I hope to remedy that one day. I read her blog like it's oxygen and I'm out of breath. She's also e-mailed me kind, supportive messages of late, for which I am grateful. Susan has had a few bobbles in her personal life and handled them far better than I believe I would have, and often with grace and humor (you have too, Susan, so hush!). She's clever and funny, a deadly combination, and I'm right fond of her.

Then there's MereCat. Another one I've not met in person. She keeps dodging my offers of a free kitten, but I like her anyway. She's raising twins. Twins! And she doesn't want a kitten? How odd. I am envious of her current yard project, but not of the disasters that led up to the project to begin with. Another funny, charming, disarmingly honest woman, and did I mention the twins? I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

Suzy Soro springs to mind next. Her blog isn't always funny, but that's on purpose...comedians don't have to be "on" all the time! She is a funny, intelligent, well written woman who takes the time to respond to her readers and let us in on the fun of living in Hollywood, land of the deeply weird. I haven't met Suzy IRL, either (hey, look, I used an Internetz abbreviation back there!)(Why is "abbreviation" such a long word?), and likely won't unless her tour bus breaks down outside Casa de Crazy in Redneck Central, which could totally happen! Umm...or not.

And last, but not least, is Rachel. Yes, yes, I know, this makes six...but I cannot leave her out of a list that is meant to name people who embody art, inspiration, friendship, sisterhood, sharing, and caring. Rachel writes poetry, and thoughtful, thought-provoking posts on her blog. She is creative in her home life, and with her beautiful children. She inspires me, when she points out the iniquities between humans and our animal brethren and sithren (yes, I made that word up...you'll survive), how we impact our environment, and how to make a difference in our daily lives. She's been a friend in the truest sense of the word for years. We've never clapped eyes on each other, but we've been through each other's rough times, offered virtual shoulders to cry on, offered to don shit-kicking boots and head to each other's distant home to teach someone a lesson, and made each other laugh, cry, and feel loved and supported across the miles. If she doesn't embody what this award is about, I don't know anyone who does.

Y'all, I know a lot of clever, funny, artistic, creative, inspiring, caring, kind, give-you-the-last-olive-in-the-jar type people, on and off line. People who e-mail when you're down and offer sympathy, empathy, and humor to help you up again. People who offer a place to sleep and a meal when you're in town. People who care, deeply, for this peculiar community I call Blogopolis in the world of the Blue Nowhere. I couldn't choose everyone, but if you know someone who deserves to be recognized, pass this award along!

Thanks again, Kit - you totally deserve to be on the list too, only I figure that's just be redundant.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Thoughtfetti

I have a new post over at Mainstream Green. Interested in guest posting for an obscure little blog geared towards helping folks go green on a budget? E-mail me, we'll talk.
~~~~~
Thank you to the nice lady in Texas who donated to the Kitten fund! Mizz D, you are a gem! If anyone else is keen on helping get the kitten out of the pen and into the general population, please feel free to make use of the PayPal button at the top of the sidebar. I know it says "Tip Jar", and when you go to the site it says "Feed the Bird", but that's just because I am too lazy and/or inept to change it.
~~~~~
I am thinking about offering prints of my photos for sale. Think that'll fly? Suzy Soro (acerbic wit extraordinaire) liked hers well enough, as did The Hermit. Feedback?
~~~~~
The other night, I was driving somewhere with the Evil Genius. He was hungry, it was dinner time, and I had a few bucks in quarters pulling my pants down whenever I walked, so I drove through McD's and got him a Happy Meal - cheeseburger, apple slices, and chocolate milk (if the Nutrition Police ask you where to find me, tell them I'm indefinitely in Culinary Purgatory eating cardboard pizza with fake pepperoni and plastic cheese for my punishment). They didn't ask of it was for a girl or boy, and I didn't think about that until the Evil Genius pulled the toy out and asked what it was, since it was patently obvious the contents of the little plastic bag were not a Lego car. It was an American Girls toy - wee paper dolls, as it turns out.

Fast forward a couple of days, and we're again on the road heading from point A to point B. The Evil Genius is just getting around to punching out the paper dolls and their accessories. He's telling me all about them, and he's using his cowboy hat to hold the pieces.

It gets very quiet in the back. After a while, I ask "You OK back there, Little Dude?"

He happily replies "Yeah, I'm just playing with my paper dolls."

Awesome.
~~~~~
Finally, another video of saccharine quality - the Evil Genius has made friends with Intrepid, one of the wild kittens, which doesn't seem to know it's wild.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Let's Dance

Although I'm not much of a Travolta fan, I very much enjoyed the movie Phenomenon.

Especially the music.

Here's one of my favorites from the soundtrack - it plays in my mind when I'm out in the rain, head tilted back, drinking in the drops, turning in slow circles, smiling, swaying...dancing, in my own way.




I was thinking out loud
One life's such a short time for love
When a match made in heaven arrives
Eternity is never enough
It's all been so simple 'til now
There's no brilliance like beauty out there
No knowledge as wise as the heart
We all need reason to care

I need to dance with life
Sweep you away into the night
When there is no one else around
I will make every day count
We need to dance with life
Swim in the soul of your eyes
'til we melt into the night
We need to dance with life
And we leave a brilliant light behind

We could lay on the ground
We could look at that light in the sky
Show the moon and the million stars
The stars that we become when we die

I need to dance with life
Sweep you away into the night
When there is no one else around
I will make every day count
We need to dance with life
Swim in the soul of your eyes
'til we melt into the night
We need to dance with life
And we leave a brilliant light behind

It's no secret how I feel
This flesh and bone I love you is sealed
To cover me up and hide the deal
And the deal with me
To dance with life

Breathe the sweet fresh air
And make every second your last
And I'll touch you from the world I wake in
Make the most of the present and the past

I need to dance with life
Sweep you away into the night
When there is no one else around
I will make every day count
We need to dance with life
Swim in the soul of your eyes
'til we melt into the night
We need to dance with life
And we leave a brilliant light behind

Friday, August 21, 2009

Begging Letter

Dear Internetz,

Hi! My name's Rook. It was Socks, but Someone (the Lady Human says I'm not allowed to say who) said I looked like a Rook, and the Lady Human thought that was fine, since she thought Socks was kind of...ordinary...and I'm no ordinary kitten!

I had a Wolf Worm. It was uncomfortable, and I couldn't talk or swallow or breathe right. The Lady Human took it off me, which was kind of gross and wriggly and squishy and weird, but a big relief. I thought The Lady Human was amazing. She put me in a little brown box and we went very fast in a big red box to a place where they told her what the squishy, wriggly thing was and how to make sure that I was took care of OK.

She said she couldn't put me outside again - I needed to be clean and dry to get better, and anyway she didn't want me adding to the population next year, because us yard cats breed like bunnies, she says.

The Lady Human tooked good care of me and now I'm healed up and the fur is growing back on my chest, which is a relief because even though I'm a girl kitty, a hairy chest is a good thing.
She tried to find me a home. She askeded all her friends and even you, Internetz, if anyone could please take me and love me, because she already has three big kitties who growl at me but then twitch their tails and invite me to play, only I'm not allowed to on account of I have fleas and the Lady Human doesn't know if I have any kitty plagues and she doesn't think it's right to give fleas and kitty plagues to the other kitties here.
No one has come to get me, though - I guess there are a lot of kitties out there and not so many homes for them to go to.

So mostly I sit in the pen and play by myself, and meyowl when I'm lonely and sometimes the Lady Human picks me up and cuddles me and I purr to tell her I like it, and she plays with me and doesn't get mad when I maybe scratch her a little with my claws, and she found a dot for me to chase which is FUN! I chase my tail a lot, and sleep a lot, because there's not much else to do in here.
The Lady Human says she will not put me outside. She says she's keeping me, that she'll give me a home. And she says she hates to keep me penned up. She says a kitten should have room to run and play and places to hide and get under foot and generally it's wrong to keep anyone locked up in a tiny space like that (she said something about the prison system and epic failures, but I didn't understand all that). She frets because she can't take me to the vet and get me tested for plagues and get de-flead (which would be nice because I don't have many, but they're itchy), so she has to leave me in the pen most of the time.

So, Internetz, I am asking you for help. Please, can you help me get out of this pen? There's a button over there on the side bar, up at the top. It says PayPal. Can you spare a dollar or nine-thousand to help get a poor little kitten housed, fed, and vetted? Puhleeeeeze??

Thank you,
Rook (formerly Socks)

Synched, Sank, Sunk

I may have mentioned Someone once or twice around here.

And a friend or two in the Blue Nowhere may have mentioned their curiosity about Someone.

I won't be satisfying that curiosity today.

However, I wouldn't have part of this blog post if it weren't for him. Read on.
~~~~~
I have occasional bouts of insomnia. Sometimes they don't last long, maybe a night or two. Sometimes I'll go years sleeping perfectly well, up to ten hours a night standard. I have no idea what triggers it. I know experts say stress, and I've certainly had a fair portion of that lately, both negative and positive. Usually, I ride it out for a day or two and get on with life.

Once in a while, though, the insomnia gets the better of me for weeks, maybe months, on end. I'm not talking about missing an hour or two a night - I'm talking about maybe getting an hour or two a night and feeling lucky to have it!

Once, many years ago, I went two months with almost no sleep at all. No kidding...I counted the hours I got each night/day (naps included) and for several weeks I managed maybe eight hours. For the week. You do the math.

In those worst of times, I didn't go out much - I was afraid to drive. I saw flashes of light and little squiggly lines crawling through my peripheral vision. Colors were all funny and even sound played games with me. No one much noticed a difference - I've always been a bubble off plumb, anyway.

Lately, I am not sleeping much at all.

Oh, I've tried to get to bed at a reasonable hour. I'll lie there, staring at the ceiling, at the walls, at anything but the clock. My mind will run around and around on its hamster wheel, and I'll wait for it to wind down. Hours pass, and there I lie.

Although I don't drink much by way of caffeinated beverages, I cut them when I'm bad off.

I don't watch TV in the bedroom, or read, when I'm sleepless. It becomes a shrine to the hope of sleep. Vain hope, that.

Eventually, I must give in to the inevitable - I am not going to sleep yet. I get up, turn on the TV in the living room, and clear the TiVo of cached shows. I write. I read. I lurk in the Blue Nowhere and pounce on new blog posts, writing comments that seem lucid in the moment but are scattershot after a bit of shuteye. I clean or crochet or read or research or play games online. I do these things until my eyes drift closed, then stumble down the hall hoping it's not a false alarm, that I really will go on to the land of nod, drift with Morpheus awhile.

It's usually around three-thirty in the morning when I'm abed.

And five or six mornings a week, without fail, I wake up a couple of hours later. Seemingly just after I sank into blessed sleep, I am fully awake. At five-thirty. Yay. Why? Not the dreams, although they have been odd, of late. Not a strange noise, and certainly not because I've had enough sleep and am ready to greet the sun. No. I blame Someone. I'm waking up just when he is rising in the morning. I am awake for a good half hour, just as he's getting ready for work. When he is walking out his door, I finally drift back to sleep.

It's a queer sort of synchronicity, and not intentional. I've just...synched up with him. I told him about this waking of mine, and he allowed that yes, indeed, I was waking when he was. I offered the opinion that he needs to work banker's hours so I can get more sleep. He laughed.

What makes this more amusing (and, despite an almost desperate need for slumber, I do laugh about it) is that he lives in another time zone, a good day's drive away from where I live - it's not like he's right next to me, waking me with his noise, his alarm clock, his morning busyness.

Usually, I can get back to sleep after a little while, but not for long. I'll wake once or twice an hour and it can take twenty to thirty minutes to go back to sleep. I have to be careful not to let my mind engage, shift into gear and start running hot and fast, or I'm sunk - no more sleep for a while. With any luck, I'll get to sleep until ten or so, and my cumulative sleep for the night will be four hours give or take.

Add to that the hour nap I might manage in the afternoon, and I am sitting (or sleeping) pretty - six hours total on a banner day!

Of course, I'm rarely that lucky. The phone rings. A cat meyowls. The Evil Genius wakes early and wants to cuddle (which actually means play, wrestle, and bruise Mommy's anatomy for an hour before scuttling off to find breakfast). Life, in short, demands I begin my day at a more regular hour than my lack of sleep would dictate. Life will have its way.

Only on his days off, when Someone gets to sleep in, do I manage a reasonable lot of uninterrupted zzzzzzz...

Huh, wha...? I wasn't dozing...I was studying the insides of my eyelids...

So obviously it's all his fault. Nothing to do with my misfiring neurons. All...Someone'szzzzz...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

No, It's My Turn




The two outdoor kittens who like to hang out on the porch were feeling playful yesterday afternoon. In my mind was a running dialog. Imagine two teenage kids going back and forth about who gets to drive the family car...only it's cats fighting over who gets to take the broom out for a spin.


"It's my turn to drive the broom!"
"No, it's mine!"
"Nuh-uh, it's mine!"
"No way. you took it last time!"
"No I didn't, you did, and you bent that one bristle and it won't fly straight any more and the Witch was pissed!"
"That wasn't last time, that was two times ago...and it wasn't my fault! That tree jumped out in front of me!"
"No way, I heard from Rook who heard from Ghost who said Milka told him that you were totally nipped out and almost got tangled in the Rowan when you were trying to land."

And so on.

Sorry about the awkward angle - one of these days I'll remember that I can't tilt the Kodak while filming. Oh, well...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Beautiful Day, Kitten Play

Being about as tech savvy as a turnip, I'm having troubl using Blogger's video upload thingie...so I unbent and opened a YouTube accound instead. I know, I know, you've been waiting for me to finally get with it. Or...you know...whatever.

Please don't feel the need to look me up on YouTube- I probably won't ever upload anything of real interest, just homey little flicks to put on this blog...because apparently I can't do anything the easy way and need to go around my ass to get to my elbow.

I shot these a little while ago. Id tell you to enjoy, but Sozy Soro hates that. Hi, Suzy!


A summer rainstorm rolled in - I couldn't capture the sound of distant thunder because the rain was so loud.


Socks the kitten enjoying some out-of-pen play time. She's still looking for a home...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fierce Creature

Fear me, if you dare!!


I know, I know, enough of the kitten! Guess what, folks? I may, just may, have a home for her.

Cross your fingers.

Meanwhile, to help her continue to be socialized and because I feel terribly guilty about keeping her in the old pack-n-play all day, I take her out and play with her from time to time. She loves to wrestle my hand!

My hand, on the other...erm...hand...disaproves - where her little claws scrape my skin, it feels like fire ants burrowing under the skin, even after I wash it thoroughly...twice.

Perhaps a woman who is allergic to cats should consider wearing gloves when wrestling with one...

Over the Moon


I thought it was the cow that jumped over the moon...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Boys

Boys. They're such a funny lot. Always getting into things...
I don't recall planting that there...
They're always hungry, too...always looking for another meal or snack...
"Mmm...I smell banana bread. Do I like banana bread? Who cares? I'm hungry!"
They've got a flare for the dramatic, too...
"I'm staaaaarving...faint...weak...so...hungry..."
If they get hungry enough, they might even eat their greens.
"Do you see what I've come to? The salad bar!"
They'll eat anything on a dare.
"Mmmm, tastes like chicken!"
They love to wrestle...
"I can take you with one paw tied behind my back!"
...and make friends...
"Hey, yo, wassup?"
And nothing, but nothing, can top a good scratch!
"Ungh, grunt, scritch..."
"Aaaahhhhhhh..."

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Summerlight

The light is hard in this hour
Between afternoon and evening.
It is not sharp lemon
Nor honey sweet
Nor gently flowing
Into the hollows of the land
The hollow of my throat.

I do not walk in this light,
As much as into it
With a clatter and a clang
With a ringing
Like some great, golden bell
Announcing my presence
To all and sundry
In the Summer foundry.

Nothin' For Sunday

I have nothing for you. Sorry.

I didn't sleep well and had disturbing, unpleasant dreams when I did manage to sleep. I have a headache, somehow fell headlong into a deep pile of emotional funk overnight, and don't much feel like clawing my way out this morning.

I do have fresh banana bread, which means the oven is working, so that's good. I have (until someone adopts her) a cute little kitten's antics to amuse me, and the Evil Genius and I have spent a couple of hours over the last few days bonding over the Super Nintendo, so life isn't all bad.

What I don't have is any sort of blog post worth writing or reading. Sorry. Let's all go outside and play, instead. I'll be the surly one with the bubbles, trying to cheer the fuck up.

A little gratuitous cuteness by way of apology:

Saturday, August 15, 2009

With the Window Open

I spent the night with the window open.

When I was a child, this was no oddity - there was no air-conditioning to take the damp from the air, chill it down, raise up goose flesh, hum through the hours.

I lived by the sea. At night, the breeze would freshen, blow in from the water to touch the land, gentle, hesitant, just stirring the curtains framing my window with a sigh. Sometimes a fog would creep up, although it was more usual for morning light to be softened with that grey cloak.

I spent the night with the window open.

I would listen to the small sounds of the late hours, listen to the rustle of fabric as the sheer panels across the black expanse of glass would flutter restlessly, like a lady's gown as she shifted on her feet a little, waiting for her partner to claim this dance.

Sometimes, the wind was bold. It would whistle through the screen, a jaunty tune meant to coax a curious child outside, out of the safety of the quiet house and into the uncertainty of the dew speckled lawn, down to the shore where waves reached with hungry darkness for their earthen mistress.

I spent the night with the window open.

On rare occasions, the air would crackle, alive, as a storm rolled in. Then the screen would vibrate, hum, the wind shrieking through its tiny openings, a beansidh wailing outside the walls, reaching supple fingers down the house chimneys, sending the mice scurrying for the safety of their corners in the attics. It made eddies in the empty spaces of my room, tugged at my nightgown and my hair before sliding under my door, down the hall, around corners, seeking out other playmates.

I would draw open the curtains and stand, staring out beyond the field that rolled down to the water, black silk puddling to the horizon. Moon or no moon, I knew she was there, Mother Oshun. Sometimes I could hear her, murmuring her song, the cresting waves her eternal chorus. I would stand and breathe in her scent - brine, damp, weed, sand, stone - for an hour or more, still and serene. I would breathe in the storm, undaunted by the chill, the edge in the air.

I spent the night with the window open.

I recall evenings when I had to dive back into my bed, roll onto my side, feign sleep, when adult feet would hurry to my room. A voice, sometimes my grandmother, sometimes the nanny (babysitter, nanny, companion - she was the daughter of our grandmother's housekeeper, hired to ride herd on us over the summer) voicing hushed dismay at the open window, at the cold, muttering about the mad child who would sleep with the window open despite asthma, despite dire predictions she'd catch her death because she let in the mad wind and threw off her covers to sleep exposed to his touch.

They would ask me why. Why? Wasn't I cold? Didn't I shiver? Didn't I mind the creeping damp? Didn't my lungs grow heavy? I never had an answer - I knew why I wanted the wind in my room, the air moving, stirring about, brushing stray strands of hair from my face with gentle fingers. I knew why I wanted Mother Oshun to have a way to croon to me in my sleep, or (as often) my wakefulness. I knew that I was waiting for something. Only - I could not give voice to this knowing, because there were no words to shape it, no way to define it to human ken.

I spent the night with the window open.

I am far from the shore, now. If there is anything of the sea in the fitful breezes that find their way through the one small window of my bedroom, I cannot detect it. There is no rushing hush of wave on sand, no sea-borne damp to speckle my skin with salt.

Still. Still...

I spent the night with the window open, and in rolled the songs of night creatures that do not love the shore, an ebb and flow of a different sort. In the stillness, they sang the nightly chorus - a country dance rather than seafaring reel, a more earthy note to the tune. I could smell trees, earth, leaf and loam. It is a different perfume to fill my nostrils with its richness, but speaking equally to the wild in me. I longed to go out into the yard, beyond the house and to the woods, where shadows and shades twined through the trees, tangling strands in the branches and weaving the trunks together, making of the many a whole entity, a living, breathing place that welcomes those who tread the path lightly, surely, knowingly.

Before I slept I stood as in my youth, at the window, staring out into the night, seeking that same indefinable something that calls me out if the confines of civilized life, away from squared corners, protecting (smothering) walls, binding cloth and human strictures and into something primal, deeper than words can say. One day...one day...I will answer.

For now...I spend the night with the window open and take in measured doses what my spirit craves in its fullness.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Two Days Later

I thought I'd give a quick update...

The kitteh is doing quite well, her wound looking worlds better and her spirit obviously unharmed by her experience with the WHAT THE HELL IS THAT??...ahem...Wolf Worm. She still needs a home...unless someone wants to sponsor her to stay here (vet bills are impossible for me to manage).

Yo.

The oven looks a little better...I used some Easy Off on it and am hoping to run it through a cleaning cycle to get rid of the stuff that two days of soaking, scrubbing, and generous cussing couldn't remove. Hope springs eternal.

You can almost see the oven floor, now...

ABC What I Meme?

Sigh.

I tried...I really did...but this one hooked me and I had to answer. Feel free to blog-hop right on out of here - I understand, truly.

The ABC Meme, taken from that thrice cursed Meme blog...

A
•Are you available? Depends - to perform a concert? Sure.
• What is your age? A gentleman never asks, a lady never tells. 37. Being female, I'm no gentleman, and y'all know I'm no lady.
• What annoys you? Oh...lots of things...

B
• Do you know anyone named Billy? I do...he runs a recording studio. He's cool.
• When is your birthday? Feblueberry.
• Who is your best friend? I have several. Kerri and Michelle top the list. Kit's right up there, too.

C
• What's your favorite candy? From strangers.
• Crush? No thanks, I prefer Sprite.
• When was the last time you cried? Tuesday evening.

D
• Do you daydream? Often.
• What's your favorite kind of dog? Well behaved.
• What day of the week is it? Wednesday.

E
• How do you like your eggs? Organic.
• Have you ever been in the emergency room? Many times.
• Ever pet an elephant? Nope.

F
• Do you use fly swatters? No. Ick.
• Have you ever used a foghorn? No. Loud.
• Is there a fan in your room? Only if they snuck in when I wasn't looking. Oh, wait, you mean a CEILING fan! Umm...yes.

G
• Do you chew gum? On occasion. What else would you suggest I do with it?
• Do you like gummy candies? Yes, thank you.
• Do you like gory movies? Mmm...only if they're tasteful.

H
• How are you? Lonely. In love. Muddling through. The usual.
• What's your height? Five feet, ten inches.
• What color is your hair? Hair colored with blue at the tips, although lately the blue has faded.

I
• What's your favorite ice cream? Free.
• Have you ever ice skated? Yes...poorly.
• Ever been in an igloo? Neither the house made of snow nor the cooler.

J
• What's your favorite Jelly Bean? Umm...don't really have one...although I AM fond of licorice.
• Have you ever heard a really hilarious joke? Several.
• Do you wear jewelry? On occasion.

K
• Who do you want to kill? No one.
• Have you ever flown a kite? Not well...
• Do you think kangaroos are cute? Baby ones...

L
• Are you laidback? Yep.
• Lions or Tigers? Umm...panthers.
• Do you like black licorice? Yep.

M
• Favorite movie as a kid? Whatever I was watching...
• Ever shopped at Moosejaw? Call me one and you're another!
• Favorite store at the mall? Mall...ummm...I don't mall...

N
• Do you have a nickname? Yep.
• Whats your favorite number? 13.
• Do you prefer night or day? Both.

O
• What's your one wish? I have more than one...but winning the lottery is right up there...
• Are you an only child? Nope.
• Do you like the color orange? On the fruit, sure...

P
• What are you most paranoid about? Who told you I was paranoid? It was THEM, wasn't it? You're all out to get me...
• Piercings? Just the ears for me, but you go right ahead...
• Do you know anyone named Penelope? Lemme think...nope.

Q• Are you quick to judge people? Nope.
• Do you like Quaker Oats? Yep.
• Know anyone that makes quilts? In fact, yes...me.

R
• Do you think you're always right? No...but I'll never let on...
• Do you watch reality TV? Not if I can help it.
• Reason to cry? Not being with the one I love is right up there...but I don't really need a reason. I'm a freelance weeper...

S
• Do you prefer sun or rain? Both have their merits.
• Do you like snow? Oh, yes, I adore it.
• What's your favorite season? Autumn...

T
• What time is it? 12:20 AM.
• What time did you wake up? Just before 7:00 AM.


U
• Can you ride a unicycle? I can barely ride a bicycle.
• Do you know anyone with a unibrow? Umm...I dunno...people pluck, these days...
• How many uncles do you have? Four or so, depending on whether you mean by marriage as well as blood.

V
• What’s the worst vegetable? There's a bad one??
• Did you ever watch Veggie Tales? Oh, wait - there ARE bad vegetables, aren't there? And they sing...
• Ever considered being vegan? Nope. Considered DOING one, once...

W
• What's your worst habit? Umm...I don't have one...?
• Do you like water rides? Yep.
• Ever been inside a windmill? Yep.

X
• Have you ever had an x-ray? Many.
• Ever used a Xerox machine? Yep.

Y
• Do you like the color yellow? Yep.
• What year were you born in? Never you mind. Eh...1972.
• Do you yell when you're angry? Nope - I get quiet.

Z
• Do you believe in the zodiac? Yeah, a little...
• What's your zodiac sign? Aquarius.
• When was the last time you went to the zoo? Last summer, had a gig there.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Mignon Minute

video

Isn't she cute? Wouldn't you like to have her for your very own? Puhleeeeze???

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I Had a Day

This isn't the post I was going to write. Nope. That post is bumped to tomorrow.

I had a day, yesterday. I could easily have use any of these alternative titles: I Wonder Why the Kodak and Bob the Wonder Computer Aren't On Speaking Terms; Mommy, Why Is There Black Tar Heroin On the Oven Floor?; and Me, a Kitty, and the Burrowing Alien Critter of Doom.

Yes, I had a day.

It started well enough - Little Bit, one of the yard cats, brought her babies up to the front door for inspection. She sat a little distance away while I played with them, and they gave me kisses and wrestled with my hand and were generally so freakin' cute I nearly fell over and died on the spot.

Paralyzing cuteness effective up to fifty paces.

You are getting sleepy...sleeeepy....

I shot ninety-nine photos of the kittens, the yard cats, the cool spider web and beautiful spider on the porch rail. Eventually, I had to come inside - sweet little furlings or no, I had things to do with the day.

Tell the Gods your plans and listen to them laugh.

The camera would not load photos onto Bob the Wonder Computer. I kept getting error messages. Error messages full of words like "cannot read" and "corrupt file". I had a problem. It was one of two things - hardware or software. Duh. If software, I can reload after saving everything in the program. Bummer, but not too difficult. If hardware, it was either the camera, the dock, or the computer. I have, somewhere in all this mess, a spare dock. Replacing one of the other two? Would make me cry. A lot.

I didn't have time to figure it out just then - the day was calling, and I'd already spent too much time on it.

Later, after a grocery run, I thought I'd clean the oven. It's one of those self-cleaning deals. It wanted cleaning because the night before I'd tried to make blueberry bread and had an epic fail. I'm sure it was baker's error - the recipe is clear, concise, easy. The pan overflowed and spilled batter and crumb-topping stuff on the oven floor. It looked a little messy, but not too bad - certainly not as bad as it's been in there. I figured I'd crank it up and let 'er rip. Um...yeah...about that...

See...sugar and butter? Turns out they're flammable. Yep. Smoke poured out of the oven through the vent pipe and the door, quickly filling the house, acrid, burning our eyes, making us cough. Off went the oven, up went windows, on went the one oscillating fan we own. T and me wet towels and wrapped them around our faces after we sent Bird downstairs so his asthma wouldn't be triggered. We looked like weird, drippy bandits with pink eye.

After a while, the smoke stopped flowing from the oven, but we couldn't open it to see what was going on - safety feature, it locks and stays locked until it's cooled down.

Meanwhile, I noticed one of the yard kittens on the back steps. I alerted T, who'd been worrying about one that went missing, he paid her a visit...and she didn't run away. Odd. She was one of the batch that are particularly shy. He came back inside to report something was wrong with her. Huh. He thought I should go look because I'm better at these things...diagnosing feral kitty ailments is a hobby of mine...or, you know, not...but I went on out to check on the beastie.

Reader, skip the next few paragraphs if you're squeamish. No, really. Ok, you were warned. The little furball let me pick her up, seeming relieved to have someone in charge. I checked her over. Chest and neck were bald...the hair had been rubbed away, probably from incessant licking. There was crusty crud in the fur to the sides of her chest and neck. There was...WHAT THE HELL IS THAT???...ahem...there was what could have been a large infected spot on her neck...only it was wriggling and pulsing in a manner very unlike an infection and much more like a parasite. Oh. Joy. With a couple of paper towels and a stomach of caste iron, I managed to remove the WHAT THE HELL IS THAT??...ahem...alien grub looking thing, which T put into a baggie at my request. I decided the wee beastie needed a vet trip.

The only problem? I have no money...can't even roll quarters to pay the vet. I have pocket lint. But...I went anyway. Said a prayer to any Gods or Saints who care for animals that I'd be taking her to people with compassion who would help for the animal's sake. I put her in a box, grabbed the WHAT THE HELL IS THAT???...ahem...wriggling blob of "oh, ick", and sped off to the vet's, leaving T to finish herding the smoke out of the house and keep an eye on Bird.

The vet's office didn't look the furball over, but they did tell me what the WHAT THE HELL IS THAT??...ahem...alien implant gone wrong...really was - A Wolf Worm.

Like this:


Only our was much bigger, the size of my thumb. I totally stole the photo, because I didn't think to photograph ours before the vet-tech claimed it as some kind f horrible prize...or maybe they just figured I wouldn't want it back, not being bloggers who like to gross out their readers whenever they can. Whatever.

I was advised to keep the kitten in a clean, dry place (hello? It lives in my yard...and the Georgia outdoors isn't notorious for being either clean or dry), keep the wound clean, and it'd be fine.

No one there wanted a kitten, but they did offer to list her on their website to see if anyone was interested. Sigh. I brought her home and crated her until I could find her a home or she's healed enough to put back outside. Want a cat?
"I wuzz fwamed!!"
"I can hazz vizziterzz??"

After returning home, I had just enough time to shower off the smell of smoke and furball hair before taking the Evil Genius off to meet and play with friends. On a hunch, I restarted Bob the Wonder Computer, but didn't have time to do more than that - we were out the door.

He had a blast, I chatted about some story ideas and hashed out some potential plot lines with my friends, and we cam home...where I knew I had to face the music.

The oven.

Oh. Dear.

I opened it, removed the racks, and suddenly knew how black tar heroin is made.
Right about now, I hear you thinking "Hey, if the camera and Bob the Wonder Computer aren't talking, what's with all the pictures?" We're getting there.

I have started cleaning the oven. It will take a while - I don't have a chisel or Dremmel tool or hydrochloric acid, and my sponge is seriously considering a change in venue - it thinks toilet duty sounds good right about now. I may never get the oven clean, and if I do get it clean, it may not work properly. Pray for me.

So...tired of cleaning the poor oven, covered in soot and little flecks of black, sticky, greasy, dear Goddess will this come off or do I have a strange new tattoo on my hand...I decided it was time to see if Bob the Wonder Computer and the Kodak had made up.

Lo and behold...they had! Huzzah!! The pictures I took earlier today are forever gone, alas (and there were some really good ones, too), but the ones I took this afternoon and evening loaded fine - they're what you see above (except the icky alien worm thing from Hell, which photo I found on the Interwebz but can't remember where).

On the positive side - computer, camera, and dock are all fine and functioning happily together again (software hiccups can be forgiven, I think, as long as they don't happen too often), the little furball is playing merrily in the crate, wrestling with the towel I put down for bedding - she's eaten dry cat food and drunk fresh water and seems no worse for the wear, and good grief, how dang cute can a critter be??

The negative side - I still have a lot of oven cleaning to do, and it may be all for naught because the oven may be dead...and that means there will be no baking at Casa de Crazy for a very long time because I have no way to replace it and I don't think Bread Baking Incidents are covered on the homeowner's policy. Also, the house smells just like you'd think the scorched innards of an oven covered in burnt sugar/butter/possibly Jimmy Hoffa's remains would smell.

Oh, well...life goes on...and it was just one day. Right? Right?? Hey, where's everybody going???

Early Morning, Zen Kitty, Not Zen Kitty

Yesterday morning, I was wakened rather earlier than I'd have liked by an Evil Genius crawling into my bed. He grabbed my hand, hauled himself up, and flopped down against me. He'd spent the night in Daddy's room and he had a touch of asthma, which I think is what woke him. I got him a breathing treatment, and then we cuddled. Soon, the little fellow was fast asleep on my shoulder.

I dozed a little, listening to my son breath, feeling his heart beneath my hand, which rested on his chest.

He squidged about, rolled over, murmured in his sleep.

I lay on my left side, arm outstretched. His head was on the crook of my arm, his own left hand resting in mine, so sweet.

Dear goddess, sometimes the smallest things pierce right through me. How I love my child.

I eventually got up, carefully extricating myself from the tangle of boy, sheets, pillows, and cats.

It was still early, for me. I wanted to bake a loaf of blueberry bread from a recipe I saw here, with one or two modifications because I can't leave well-enough alone.

Whoops. No milk. I forgot T finished it the day before, and I didn't have any money to go get more when I was running errands. Dang it. I grabbed some change - I was going out later in the day, anyway, and would stop and get milk while I was at it.

Since baking was out, I decided to feed the outdoor kitties and maybe do some writing.

The house was quiet - no one but me and the cats up, no televisions or computers or gaming consoles on, spreading noise and chaos. The sun was up, just coming over the house. The front porch was festooned with morning glories.

Little Bit, the mostly-black cat, was snoozing on the porch. She looked up at me when I came outside, but she didn't run -of all the wild cats, she's the friendliest toward me. I can even pet her sometimes.

The morning was so still and lovely, I decided to sit down and enjoy a little of it. Little Bit plopped down next to me, within reach, and began purring, making kitty-biscuits on the wood, eyes squinched shut.

I let her be, crossed my legs, and meditated for a few minutes. I didn't have a mantra or focus words or anything...I just...drifted, listening to the chirring insects, a few twittering birds, the purrs of the wild cat beside me. After a few minutes, I reached out and touched Little Bit. She wasn't in the mood and moved down a step before resuming her own Zen Kitty stretch-and-meditate pose.

I move to pet her, and she went down another step. Zen Kitty pose. She heard me moving and shot me a warning look.

She may be the friendliest, she may follow me around when I'm outside, but she's her own cat.

It wasn't yet nine and it was already in the eighties...hot, humid, time to go inside and leave the porch to the outdoor kitties.

I checked on the Evil Genius. He was fine, now nestled into my pillows in the quintessential sleeping kid position, my travel buddies keeping watch. His breathing was now normal...and he was snoring like a champ (just like Mommy Daddy!).
Maya was a little disgruntled, though - he was in her spot. "It's so unfair!!"

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

August Evenfall

The evening is an exhalation, a lover's sigh in his beloved's ear, hot, moist, ending in expectant stillness.

His arms wrapped about her swollen middle, her ripe, gravid form, a caress, an embrace, possessive, proud, he stands at her back as darkness falls, pulling her close, murmuring the song of the crickets, the cicadas, the frogs. He hushes the birds, chuckling as they settle into their nests, kisses his lady's neck, sighs again, and the evening rustles, the trees flutter their late summer leaves, return to their dusk dozing.

Bats flit and swoop, catching their fill of the humming, whining, hovering mosquitoes.

Blue evening light pours through the woods, steeps the trees in shadow, changes colors to greyscale. A few clouds linger overhead, and the humid heat of evenfall calls up beads of sweat on my scalp, sends them rolling down my neck, my back. I could almost believe they are my love's kisses...

I am in the back yard, listening, breathing, feeling the pulse of this evening as it descends into velvet night. It is a living thing, swelling and ebbing around me, embracing me, cradling me in shadow and sound - the air is so thick with itself, I feel as though I could lean back and be borne up by it.

Like the earth around me, I feel ripe with possibility, as if I will soon bear fruit, harvest what my efforts have planted.

I only have a few moments in this peace before it is shattered - several aircraft, a motorcycle, a neighbor calling for his cat, the Evil Genius looking for me to ask about his father's dinner, a truck on the street...all at once, tugged from that one moment of Summer distilled and back to life and motion, brilliant artificial light and hours extending long past sunset and closer to dawning.

With a sigh, I turn back to the house, pull myself through the taffy thick air and back to the chilled, dry, air-conditioned house, only a few mosquito love bites to remind me of my brief reprieve.

Monday, August 10, 2009

It's Not a Meme!

I umm...borrowed...this from Friar. He's funny. He's an engineer. I know! Anyway, go see his original post to see where I ganked the idea.


What would I wish for, if a Djin granted more than three wishes? In no particular order:


Health - a strong immune system, a healthy body, balance and well being.


Wealth - not obscene wealth, but rather just enough to meet my needs and some of my wants, and a bit more besides.


The ability to instantly liposuction my ass at will with a thought. Hell, why stop at the ass? Instant, safe liposuction at will for any part of my carcass.

Clean Earth, clean Air, clean Water - all human pollution gone, never to return.


A self-cleaning house where dishes wash themselves, dry themselves, and put themselves away, and laundry gnomes have everything cleaned, pressed, and hung up as soon as it hits the hamper (or, more realistically given the folks living in this mess, the floor).

A bit of Earth - 100 acres of my very own, with level spaces, hills, and year-round flowing water. It would have forests, and perhaps a cave or two. The land would be fertile, and somewhere there are proper seasons, all four of them. A place to farm, harvest from the wild, and live in seclusion without interference from society in general. Of course it would have Internet access.

A home - in the heart of my bit of earth, my dream house...home. Large kitchen, pantry, prairie kitchen; large library; wireless Internet; powered by solar, wind, and geothermal energy sources; spacious wrap-around porches leading to a deck for open-air living, with a little observatory with telescope to gaze upwards at night; an outdoor kitchen; master suite with a big, comfy bed, fireplace, walk-in closet, great big tub in the bathroom, great big shower; sky lights in every room; creative space...eh, you get the picture.

A walk on the moon - yes, really. It has long been a dream of mine to walk upon the moon, perhaps bring home a stone to place on my altar. If I'm going to dream, I'll dream big.


A healthy planet - somehow remove human influence from the environment so that whatever she does, the Earth is simply being herself.


I like Friar's idea of a carnivore's garden where meaty deliciousness depends from every bough. Mmmm...Slim Jim tree...meatball bushes...bacon plants...ribeye vines...see why I need instant lipo at will?? While we're planting wish gardens, how about a baked-goods garden? Brownie bush, anyone? Muffin plants? Cookie trees? Again with the need for lipo...

A never-empty bottle of water that's always the perfect temperature.

An automobile that runs efficiently on an alternative fuel that is truly clean - unlike hybrids that uses dangerous batteries and hydrogen-cell engines that require huge resource consumption to get the fuel, thereby negating any benefits they may bring to automotive use.

I'm sure I could think up more...but this makes a nice start. You may have noticed it's a little selfish, my list - I haven't wished anything for anyone else, nor to change political, religious, or social situations that currently make life a bit...tense...for much of the globe. That's because I believe it wrong to sublimate free will, to force change on someone that they would not take into themselves willingly, freely, and without undue influence. I would not stop people from polluting...I would simply negate the effects of their callousness, their carelessness, on the rest of us. Even wishing, I can't unbend on that point...people must be free to be themselves, even when I think they're not worth a plugged nickle.

So tell me, folks - what'd you wish for??

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Lingering Shades

Warning: It's long (even though I shortened it), gets personal, isn't always pretty, and may be offensive or a little grown up to some folks. Continue at your own risk.
~~~~~
I grew up without a father, for the most part.

Dad wasn't dead, or in a coma, or in hiding - I was one of the growing statistics, a child with divorced parents.

I distinctly remember realizing that the word "Dad" had a different meaning for other kids, kids with "intact" families, than it did for me. For me, it meant the occasional stranger who would show up for a few hours, maybe a few days, and hang out doing...not much. It was the word on the rare gift tag or birthday card.

Mum never bad-mouthed Dad, although she had a right to...he wasn't a bad man, but he didn't make a lot of effort toward his two kids, either. He still doesn't make contact very often...we usually talk when I call him, maybe see each other every few years. I love him dearly and wish our lives were more intertwined, but I accept that he is who he is and that's not going to change now.

I heard my Mum call Papa "Dad" and knew he was her father...but never wondered who my own father was, or why I didn't seem to have a "Dad" in my life. I think my grandfather sort of filled that roll, or at least was the predominant male roll model in my life when I was little...and Papa was awesome and I adored him, so that was OK. But he wasn't my father.

Last night, I attended the State mandated Seminar for Divorcing Parents.

I came away with a few thoughts.

One was "Whew...some of these poor folks are a train wreck."

Another was "We already do these positive things, and while we've engaged in a little of the negative behavior, we recognized what we were doing and stopped pretty dang quick."

Also "Hey, I have an idea for a children's book!"

And finally (although there were more, this is the last one I'll bore you with) "Oh...crap...that hurt...a lot."

What hurt? So glad you asked.

It was a simple enough question, asked by one of the seminar leaders.

It began when she asked for a show of hands of people who lost a parent during or after divorce. Me and another man raised our hands, but the other man wanted clarification - did she mean had a parent died? No...she meant a parent who just...went away.

Then she asked "When one parent withdraws from the relationship and disappears, what's the message they send to the child?"

I was the only person in the room who answered. "You have no value to me."

I have no idea where that came from.

Yes I do.

It came from the well of memory, from all those years as a child with only her Mum and a Dad who couldn't, for whatever reason, seem to call, write, or show her she had meaning to him.

The seminar leader was pleased - it was the answer she was looking for. Me? I was glad I was sitting in the back so I could pause for a few minutes and think about that.

All these years later, it still hurts.

And it's something that echoes in who I am today.

At my heart, in the Center, down deep where the Shades rustle restlessly to remind me they are there, they are waiting for their chance to rise if only I will give them the tiniest of openings...at my heart, then, I still believe I have no value.

I have no meaning,

I am worthless.

My father didn't even want me...how can I expect anyone else would?

The seminar leader was explaining that these feelings tend to come to a head when the child reaches their twenties, no matter when the divorce took place in their youth.

I can see that.

I have never believed any man would want me...and I've had plenty of rejection to enforce that idea.

In my middle twenties, I met the first man who ever asked me out, ever wanted to date. I married him in my late twenties. I thought I loved him. I thought he loved me. I thought no one else was ever going to want me, that this was my only chance at happiness. I thought I could fake it until I felt it.

I was wrong about one or two of those things.

I am divorcing him in my late thirties, having realized that he may have loved me, and maybe he was the only one who would ever want me, but these are not the foundation for a marriage. I am full of anger from years of swallowing all the things that were "wrong" in this relationship, because I didn't want my son to be without a Daddy, didn't want him to suffer a change in the life he knows, just because I'm deeply unhappy. My happiness doesn't matter. What right do I have?? And yet...this is not what I want my son to see as a model for love, marriage, or life in general.

The seminar leader pointed out that people who "lost" a parent in divorce were more likely to fight like Hell to keep their own child's non-custodial parent in the picture.

Yep.

I will.

It doesn't matter, now, that we had no business getting married - if we did nothing else in this marriage, we made our son, and he's amazing and worth every moment of...whatever.

I will make certain that the Evil Genius never has that particular Shade lingering in his emotional closet, waiting to haunt him - he will always know his Daddy loves him, wants him, and values him.

Friday, August 7, 2009

She Won

Having lived, she won.

Having loved, she won.

Having born and raised four beautiful children, she won.

Having fought valiantly for so long, she won.

Having her life stolen away by cancer's insidious, creeping horror, she's still a winner.

Win Susan...

Fatty, I've been reading you for a while, rarely commented...but I cheered when she could sit up, eat, drink, make jewelry, live a little more. I am so very sorry...

What Say You?