Wednesday, February 29, 2012

NO SCHEDULE!

Got this pic from C.C.'s blog.


I've been spending a fair amount of time collecting other people's words because I have none of my own. Seems like something someone ELSE said ought to inspire something new from me, yeah? No. 


A really long time ago, or January 25th 2011, I wrote the very first Dirty Words ever, and I explained why this wouldn't be a "Mommy-blog." Since then I've written about 110 other things and now I'm in a weird, expanding, unsettling place where I don't have words I like or words that make me laugh. I'm working on it, but I'm also working through it...stupid Buddha. Probably I need pills of some sort, and honestly that thought makes me salivate. I adore pills. 


But probably what I need is a shove in some direction or another. Maybe I can hearken back to THIS POST about pretend Spring and what it does to my brain every year...this really is a spectacular compendium of my world. And yes, I am wimping out here today and just sending you back to old stuff you might not have read, or remember.


Eventually, I assume, there will be new words and new ideas...new righteous indignation and things that make me want to barf up my every innard in mocking disgust. But for now, as my little universe expands, I'm left with empty hands and a mind so open it has nothing to send out. That's how it goes I guess. Today (and until I'm ready to grasp the expansion, perhaps) I shall be cashing in my coupon for saying NO. Don't click that link, Luke!! It's a trap!! 


Anyway....

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Where is gratitude?

 Photo: Patricio Suarez


I am stuck in the mean reds. If you don't know what that means, hop back one post and see. I thought I was just going to have a day or two of being a 14 year old asshole, but no. It's stuck around and I can't shake it. I have ZERO gratitude. 


Stuff I normally look at and think is pretty swell, or worthy of thanking of my personal higher power, is just falling flat on the "thank-you" scale. I turn on the TV and I see ads for men maligning other men for things they said an eon ago, magazines show me airbrushed, photo-shopped women who aren't even remotely real but still trick me into believing they are, all the books I'm attempting to read are stinkers. Maybe the authors are trying their best, I don't know...and my every day life is wearing me down and getting the better part of me. 


Mean reds are supposed to have one day of attention and then move on. I don't know what to do with a week of mean reds. So I'm trying to see things for which I'm thankful. I'm going to fake it till I make it and maybe it'll help one or four people along the way.


Here's my list:

  1.  My children. They make me COMPLETELY bonkers but they're healthy and someday I assume they're going to be pretty cool adults. At that point all this will be worth it.
  2. Coffee...strong black coffee. No cream, no sugar. Just in-your-face-black-coffee that's rich and shocking. I like that.
  3. The comedy of others. People around me tend to be hilarious, so I'm grateful that they make me laugh when my own inner monologue prevents me from seeing ANYTHING remotely funny.
  4. Blue skies and sunshine. This is self-explanatory.
  5. Red wine. Big, bold, chewy red wine. This is also self-explanatory.
  6. Emily Dickinson, because mean reds dictate that you read the most beautifully written descriptions of death and dying ever. Is it cliche? DUH. But it's good stuff when you're knee deep in the reds.
  7. Mean reds. It seems sort of anathema to appreciate the mean reds when all you want is for the mean reds to stop, but I wonder if something good will come from them? Maybe this is a painful moment of growth that's taking place, because...

...when we're growing up, and our bones are stretching and we're turning into adolescents, and then adults, it hurts. There is something someone said (Karin Boye to be specific) and it's this:

"Yes it hurts when buds burst, there is pain when something grows."

So right now I'm in a moment of growth, and expansion. I'm about to learn something really profound about myself and I just have to see it through. In the meantime I will hope that the comedy of those around me, blue skies and sunshine, and maybe a decent dose of bold red wine will see me through these reds into some other color of self-actualization. 

I hope it's a calm, deep purple.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mean reds and expectations

Wire sculpture by Reynaldo Molina




Here's the thing: everyone (and I do mean 100% of all people, everywhere, in all times, all through history in every situation and walk life ever ever ever) have felt like kids stuck in adult bodies. At least I'm pretty sure some people feel that way sometimes. Oh my God, this is Tuesday and I don't have to say anything with proof. Stop reading if you want fact-based ramblings.


This morning I woke up and I hated it. That's right. I hated IT...the waking up. I don't mean that I didn't want to get up and go to work, because I love my job and the people with whom I work. That's not kissing up because I haven't brushed my teeth yet despite the early afternoon hour. I hated the actual act of waking up...of being conscious on this day. For no reason. It's a very terrible way to way to wake up and it's an equally very terrible way to stay once you realize that it's what's going to KEEP you up. So I did what any good pill-head does, and I medicated myself back to sleep. When I woke up three hours later, I still felt pretty pissed about being awake but maybe not so vehemently.


I had a headache, which I still have, and so my day of mean reds commenced in earnest. Truman Capote had it right on when he coined the phrase "mean reds" because that's precisely what these are. Except that the world doesn't care about my reds. The world expects that once we're adults, we bully through the reds and the racing hearts, and the utter dissolution of will to live, and buck up. There's work to be done. People want production not ....opposite of production. To lie around in bed as an adult is to be childish and dramatic. 


So that's what I'm being today: childish and dramatic. And if you don't like it then you just hate me and why was I ever even born!! I'm sooooo sorry. (See? Drama!!) Drama helps to lessen the mean reds by approximately 4 teaspoons.


I have no point at all today. I'm not producing today. I'm just showing up, to prove that eventually the adult will return, but mostly just to make an ass of myself because today I'm a 14 year old girl stuck in this older (by an indeterminate amount of years) body. That's life, I guess. We're all kids stuck in adult bodies. 


Who wants to eat Doritos and cream cheese with me?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hearts and candy

Love really IS grand.


I'd be remiss if I allowed to pass this most auspicious day on the calendar without giving rightful due to the blessed and revered St. Valentine. 


I did some research, by which I mean I Wikipedia'd the name St. Valentine and stopped there, and here's what you can learn from your one-stop-shop knowledge base:

"Observed on February 14, [Valentine's Day honors] one or more early Christian martyrs named Valentinus. It was first established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD, and was later deleted from the General Roman Calendar of saints in 1969 by Pope Paul VI. It is celebrated in countries around the world, mostly in the West, although it remains a working day in all of them.
The day first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. By the 15th century, it had evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines").
Modern Valentine's Day symbols include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards."
First of all, it's total crap that anyone has to work on Valentine's Day! Even if you don't have a special someone, or if your special someone is someone you can no longer stand the sight of, or you just feel like branching out....Valentine's Day should be a government sanctioned day of pure hedonism. Want to eat 40 pounds of heart shaped "gamble" chocolate? You can't do that and work! What if you get the one that tastes like toothpaste?? (Thanks Jim Gaffigan, I love you most on this day....)


Want to hire some "sex industry experts" and learn the tricks of the trade? PLEASE don't do that on your lunch break in the office kitchen. And does the day inspire loathing and mental altering of any sort? You should probably just stay home. There is no proper way to celebrate the day of giving mass-produced greeting cards AND work giving to society at large in a meaningful way! 


So on this day of love, lust, and diabetic comas...let me wish you all the courtly love I can muster (which you know isn't very much if you've been here before) and send you off into this day with one more thought: 


Both images from "this isn't happiness"
It restores my will to live.


Now get out there and love it up!











 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Slapping a K-cup

Don't worry, it doesn't have feelings.



Here's a happy thought for today:

She "was going meaningless, going full and opaque, so much insignificant substance."
-DH Lawrence

I made my own coffee this morning, which is weird because usually my Other makes it. He's just better at it. But this morning, I had to make my own. We have a variety of ways to grind the beans, but lately what's been winning out is the ancient hand grinder that we scored from my dad. The grinder was his mother's before him and I lose the trail after that, because my sweet grandma is 94 years old. As my teeny arm got tired of wrenching that handle around in circles to grind a whole pot, that DH Lawrence line popped into my head.

What a difference a generation makes. When I get to work, I throw a plastic k-cup of one mug's worth of grounds into a fancy machine that instantly brews the pre-programmed amount of coffee that I want. I throw the plastic cup away. At home, I scoop beans into a hand mill and grind them. (I have to do this twice because my 100 years ago grandparents didn't need a gallon of coffee to make it through a day.) 

GET TO THE POINT. 

We're all going meaningless. The k-cup is insignificant substance. The hand grinder is a familial connection to old world Italy, to my family and my roots. K-cups fill giant spaces of land that reek and rot; they're meaningless and full...get close enough to a landfill and I guarantee you'll notice its opacity. Walk into my kitchen and you'll probably ask me about my ancient hand grinder. We'll have a conversation about it; you'll take it apart and hold it in your hands. 

I don't like the meaningless parts. This doesn't mean I embrace the lifestyle of my father, who can't make it through a grocery store or bank line without talking to 45 different people and making new best friends wherever he goes. I draw the line at 20 new friends. We've got stuff to do in life, after all! But I do hate how transient every single thing is becoming. 

Touchstones seemingly only reside in holiday traditions, if that. Once a year you get out the tree ornament, or the menorah that has been passed down. When we sit in November, we say the same prayer of thanks, but then gorge and pass out...words forgotten. We're digitizing novels and newspapers, making them 1's and 0's for the ages. Where will the book be? Where will the vinyl record be in 100 years when all it was to begin with is a file in an iTunes store? 

Generations of hands,
and thousands of cups shared.

My coffee mill isn't just a quaint way to make some sludge I toss down my throat in order to make it through a day. It's a reminder of my grandparents, who got on a boat and journeyed to America as immigrants. They left a war torn country, run by a dictator who said my dad couldn't be named "Walter" (and for that I gotta give Mussolini some props, because my dad is NO Walter).  Here I am using the grinder that was packed onto that ship called the Saturnia, and made the journey with them. It's the sum of my historical parts. What am I adding to my children's future sum with k-cups, paper plates, iTunes, eBooks, and fast-food? The ease of "disposability" is erasing any notion that we have things worth keeping or passing down. 

It's all turning into "insignificant substance." And that kind of bothers me.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sugar tax me!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!  (Unless you're poor...in which case, screw off.)
Photo: donbuciak via Flickr

Awesome. Fat, lazy, stupid Americans are at it again. Of course I don't mean YOU, unless after reading this you realize that I do...in which case, let me say, "BACK OFF!"


There is talk, among some states and some legislaturists, about making sugary food items taxable and unavailable to those on "food stamps" (or what is now usually a debit card containing government dollars for the procurement of food but not things like toilet paper, tooth paste, diapers, cleaning supplies, ibuprofen, paper towels or laundry detergent.) And why SHOULD poor people be allowed to eat Oreos?? Doesn't it just piss you off to no end when a poor person gets to eat a steak and you're stuck with ground beef? You work all day and you can only afford the ground chuck...the 85/15 no less!!


And here is this lazy, poor person getting a free Angus, super prime cut of meat. THEY ARE LIVING IN THE VERY LAP OF LUXURY!!! And of course we all know that every single (every single) person receiving government assistance is a good-for-nothing drain on society and not, say....someone whose husband was almost fatally injured in Iraq or Afghanistan and now lives with debilitating traumatic brain injury, or a mom who left a husband who was abusing her children and herself within an inch of their lives and got away but is now rebuilding her life. And I can assert with 100% confidence that NOT ONE SINGLE woman standing in line buying her steak is the mother of a severely disabled child who needs round the clock care, and who made the life affirming action to "choose life" and have that baby to love and nurture. It is an absolute certain fact that every single person in the United States of America who receives government assistance is a bleeding leach on society and we're working our asses off to support their extravagant lifestyles. They're probably eating HORSE three times a week!!!


Let's remove all forms of soda, candy, cookies, lunch treats like fruit snacks, most breakfast cereals, birthday cakes...and anything just a teeny bit fun from their meager list of things they can buy. Poor two year-olds don't deserve cake financed by the tax payer. They're POOR! I certainly hope none of these people is a diabetic who needs the occasional sugar item to keep from entering a coma, because Gawdsakes, I'm a hard working tax payer and I'll be damned if I'm paying for Jolly Ranchers.


Plus, Americans are fat. So really the only way to slim us down is to put us in a sugar time-out and make us pay out the nose for it. Certainly in all cases, raising the prices forces us to stop buying things that are bad for us. You never see cigarettes anywhere. Or liquor. Or Hummers. I mean, we learn our lessons pretty quickly when you assess a tax to show us something is bad or unhealthy. 


And I'm fairly certain (though not as certain as I am about the parasitic poor) that if the government could keep those dollars now being spent on sugar foods, we'd be home free! The deficit would be gone, we could amp up our war mongering efforts again, and the under served, underrepresented rich could FINALLY (and I do mean finally) get the tax break they are suffocating without. 


Tax the sugar! Restrict the sugar! Also the prime meat, and the Boar's head lunch meat, and the Jif peanut butter! Make them eat store brands only, expired foods and tuna from a can! I'm sick of poor people getting all the good stuff.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Get over yourself.

Cliche? Sure is...but true nonetheless.


 Here's something somebody else said:
When we are angry we are blind to reality. Anger may bring us a temporary burst of energy but that energy is blind and it blocks the part of our brain that distinguishes right from wrong. To deal with our problems, we need to be practical and realistic. If we are to be realistic, we need to use our human intelligence properly, which means we need a calm mind.     ~Dalai Lama 
So we're heading into an election (some might say we've been in an election season since say...Eisenhower, but I digress) and things are going to get ugly. We're also not quite as economically sound as we'd like to be, for the most part, and it takes very little for people to jump off the deep end when they see things they don't understand these days. We seem to be perennially on the very edge of losing our minds completely, and we ignore the blindness that this anger is producing.


I go blind sometimes...with rage, with frustration, with fatigue. People have been lamenting as long people have been able to lament about the hard times and the challenges we face as a society and as individuals. And we're so dumb! Over and over, year after year, we make the same mistakes again and again. 


If we were to (gasp!) use our "human intelligence properly" and practice having a calm mind, it's entirely possible that we'd see a history and future with small ups and downs, but never the depth we fancy we've been facing. Along the path of human history, and long the path of your own history, there have been and will continue to be bumps in the road. The road will twist and turn and sometimes the curves will be sharp...I'd venture to guess that some of us have encountered full-on hair pin curves and our direction seems wholly off course. But here's the thing: time and life move in one direction only - forward.


Every instance of blind rage, of blind egotistical anger that's been thrown in someone's direction, is just a waste of your emotional reserve. You can't stop what is destined to happen around you; and I'm not advocating giving up or giving in, because we have to have some measure of control in our lives and we should exercise the free will we've always had. What's different here, however, is that we should seek to do this with a calm mind, a rational mind. Lashing out is usually misguided and misses the mark in almost every case. 


So get over yourself already. You aren't facing anything more tragic than any other person out there has ever faced, no matter what your plight...that's the gorgeousness of human suffering. People lose all their children in one fell swoop of a car accident. Children lose parents every day to illness and accidents. Spouses help one another die with dignity, or watch their marriage lose its footing. Friends come and go, as do careers and material possessions. There isn't any one person on this planet who is immune to sorrow and suffering. When it finds us, the goal is to seek a place of calm. 


The calm mind sees all sides and understands the shared suffering we feel. The calm mind allows for hurt and for sorrow without need for revenge. The calm mind ultimately allows for learning and growth from a moment of flux, and this is what sets us up for movement forward in a healthy way, because we're never done maturing.