Archive for August, 2006

Random… So Very Random Thoughts

Two more days without my assistant, the light at the end of the tunnel! Two jam packed days of office work followed by labor day weekend- three jam packed days of publishing, editing and newspaper work!

Princess was asleep on the couch when I got up this morning, VH-1 blaring on the TV. My first thought was to turn it off, but the remote control was not in the little basket provided for it. The easy thing would have been to walk the three steps to the TV and push the off button… “easy” is never the first way I solve a problem. I searched around the end table, crept around feeling for it on the floor, checked the computer desk, tore Pap’s chair apart and then got distracted by some song by somebody named Fergy that was absolutely filthy. I can’t believe kids are being exposed to that much implied sex at 5:00 in the morning! That song ended before I’d finished chastising the TV for broadcasting such garbage and was followed by something by Jessica Simpson and what looked like Eva Longoria – the actress from Desperate Housewives. I had to watch that whole thing to make sure it was Eva (I’m still not… sure) and then they played that sad break up song by Nick Lachey (who’s from Ohio by the way) who was once married to Jessica. Normally, I wouldn’t know even this much pop culture, but I live with a teenager. Puzzling over the sheer meanness of putting those two songs back to back – I remembered that the clothes I’m planning to wear today need to be put in the dryer.

On the way to the laundry room the cats reminded me their bowl was empty, by tag teaming my ankles nearly causing me to break a leg. I was jiggling the switch to try and get the kitchen light to come on so I could feed the little beasts when I heard the dog flying down the stairs, which means beat him to the front door to let him out or there WILL be a puddle somewhere. When I opened the door to let him out I caught sight of my car glistening with dew… I forgot to put the top up yesterday. That required a trip to the bathroom to get some towels, on the way back out I stopped to rearrange the honeysuckle vine that has become so overgrown you have to fight your way through it to get down the steps. I was tucking pieces in place when Ruger decided to chase the neighbors cat, barking like a crazy dog, so I had to run up the street and retrieve him then lecture the monster all the way back to the house. That’s when I noticed that Pap wasn’t up, and should have been on his way to work. By the time I got back downstairs I remembered I had e-mail to answer.

Several hours later, VH-1 is still blaring on the TV , and I’ve just remembered the clothes are still in the washer, the cats are still unfed, the honeysuckle is only half done and there are towels on the porch. Princess frequently says that I need a babysitter, perhaps she’s right.

In other news… today is deadline day for Sandra Ruttan’s book Suspicious Circumstances. I’ll do one final look through, send it off for advanced reading copies, prepare the letters to send it out for review and then it’s my partners baby to get it ready for publication.

Willow is getting moved to my write-it-now software for final edits, Pitch is languishing in a drawer. Updates to my website were started yesterday, messed up, and now need the attention of Dark Daddy to get things back on track. I have one more story to finish for the paper, half a book to finish editing for the business, final touchs on a speech I’m giving next week and payroll to do at the day job.

Not too bad, except that I have to accomplish all this naked, in a wet car, with two cats howling in my ear for food over some crap on VH-l.


August 31, 2006 at 6:04 am 1 comment

Insomnia and Women

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have hours left at the end of the day when I’m awake and everyone else is sleeping. When the kids were young, these extra hours of quiet, dark solitude were welcome. I love my kids more than the air I need to breath, but all the noisy, frantic energy they produced just sucked the life out of me by the end of the day. It was nice to put them to bed and descend the stairs turning off lights one by one until I reached my favorite chair. To sit and listen to the house settle around me, quiet except for the hum of a ceiling fan motor, or the woosh of the furnace kicking on.

They say that it is how a person recharges that defines whether one is an introvert or an extrovert. Those that need a party, talk, music, an abundance of people to feel really alive and energized are extroverts. Those that need a quiet, dark absence of stimuli of any kind are introverts. I think people are more complicated than that, and I think everyone has both an introverted and extroverted side. I think even that changes at different times in a persons life.

I had lunch with a friend today who said something interesting. We were talking about our daughters and she said that women who continuously improve their life unconsciously make changes and recreate themselves every decade. If you miss the window, you get stuck repeating the same mistakes, in the same rut for another decade. I’m heading into my fifth decade on earth, and with hindsight can look at my own unconscious changes. My 20’s were dedicated to motherhood, five kids between 1980 and 1987. In my 30’s I was devoted to child rearing, but by the end of that decade I was making strides to re-enter the work force, in any capacity. My 40’s have been about connecting with the community again and as they near their end, working in a field that feeds my soul as well as my body. Our daughters are nearing that third decade, without change now, we will see ten more years of their own self-destruction and failure. I wonder if it will help grandgirls mom to share this theory with her?

Wednsday – 11:32 A.M.
In my youth I could survive a night of insomnia looking none the worse for wear… not so here in my middle age. This cat looks better than I do today. I will be very glad when my assistant gets back from vacation. I’m changing her title to Goddess of the Office or Queen High Ruler of the Finance Dept. I’ve always known she worked harder than any three people, but when she’s gone like like this, I really feel the impact of her loss.

August 30, 2006 at 12:34 am 4 comments

The Needy in Your Neighborhood

My punishment for all that whining last week is to seek out people who have more to complain about than me.

First up, my poor dog Ruger, who isn’t a person, but thinks he is. He is frequently just standing around, minding his own business when this wicked cat attacks him.

Pap, who I haven’t quite forgiven yet, but it can’t be easy to face every day with something on your body getting infected.

My friend, Earthgirl, who’s only daughter, witch, spends every waking moment plotting ways to hurt people, including her own daughter. Witch is living proof that every organized religion has it’s share of hypocrites. The pagan motto is “hurt no one” and yet this girl and her cult are wrecking the lives of woman and children everywhere. Anyone who doesn’t believe as they do.

I’m an open minded person, I truly believe everyone has the right to dress how they want, live like they want and practice whatever religion they choose. But I also believe that one person’s rights end where someone elses begin. If your religion requires dancing naked under the moonlight and drinking each others blood – well okay. But don’t do it in my yard. There’s also the line in the sand called “socially acceptable behavior”. Right or wrong, there are standards for the kinds of behavior that are acceptable among the masses. If walking around naked on Main Street is unacceptable in your neighborhood, you should have the curtesy to stay clothed on the street. But I digress… I’m supposed to be doing penance here…

More people who have more reason to whine than me… woman who want children but can’t have them, people with terrible parents, anyone with a terminal disease, anyone who’s lost someone they love. Anyone who’s lost their home due to natural disasters. Kids without parents, people who have lost a limb, anyone with alzheimers, anyone living in a war torn country…

Okay, everyone has more reason to whine than me. I have no excuses for not getting back to work and accomplishing someone productive.

August 29, 2006 at 4:44 pm 1 comment

Haunted House

It’s official, the house of perpetual remodeling has to be haunted. Yesterday, I was minding my own business in the kitchen, whipping up a p.b & j. sandwich when I kept hearing loud tapping from the ceiling. When I looked up the ceiling tiles seemed to be moving as well. Since the grandgirls and their mom were staying over for the weekend, I assumed it was one or all of the little ladies dancing in the room above the kitchen. The fact that there isn’t really a room above the kitchen, but more a half remodeled ex-bathroom that was once a closet didn’t really register until I carried my sandwich into the TV room. There were all three little girls, quietly coloring with both cats and the dog. Last night, Ruger, the dog who is usually sprawled all over my side of the bed, wouldn’t even go up stairs. He just sat at the bottom looking up, and then went to bed on the couch. Today, Princess was home alone and cleaning the kitchen when the tapping started again, so loud she could hear it over her blaring tunes, and the ceiling tile lifted straight into the air and then fell back down. Very scary, and I ain’t afraid of no ghosts. I just want to know what is causing all the commotion and then why. If I am very brave, I will take down the drop ceiling tiles and look around up there. Chances are, I’m not the brave… at least until I work up to it. The house is 115, just about anything could be happening up there.

August 28, 2006 at 2:49 pm 6 comments

Hurricane Katrina One Year Later

Count your many blessings, name them one by one.
Count your many blessings, see what God has done….

A song we used to sing in Sunday School, and one I should chant as a mantra every day. The updates on the damage to Louisiana and Mississippi one year later are grim to say the least. People still with lives shattered, waiting for the Federal Government to deliver on their promises. Broken houses still in pieces on every street. The mold must be unbelievable, and from that the illness.

It makes me crazy that we are fighting in Iraq at huge expense to the tax payers, a place we aren’t even wanted, when that money could be used to help victims of Katrina get back on their feet. How is it that camera crews are not capturing the success the EPA is reporting? It’s time for a government overhaul. From the top down. Woosh, everybodies new. Illogical? Yes. At this point, I don’t care. I want leaders that are honorable.

August 27, 2006 at 7:19 pm Leave a comment

Responsibility… Who Needs It?

In case you couldn’t tell from the title, be warned that this may be a big, fat, steaming post of self-pitying, mewling, cry baby whining. Escape while you can. Click to the “next blog”, shut your computer down … save yourself!

There are days when I get so fed up with doing the right thing I want to hit a wall or curse at a priest. Mornings when I’m ready to chuck work, home and family into the abyss before breakfast. Afternoons I traipse off to some meeting, party or luncheon that I don’t really want to go to, but I must because it’s the responsible thing to do. Sometimes the burden of being responsible is just too darn heavy. Too clawing and clinging, not much fun. I think about running off to another state, getting a one room apartment, making my living as waitress in some truck stop and spending my nights alone in silent bliss writing until I fall asleep on my keyboard.

Then I cruise around blogdom and remember just how lucky I am, or one of the grandkids leaves an I Love You note on my nightstand… and I remember that any problems I have are nothing compared to some faced by other people every day of their lives. I remember that I’ve lived a charmed life free of physical or mental abuse or tragedy of any kind and I’m ashamed of myself for spending even one moment in self pity.

Responsibility, who needs it? Me. I do. The dues I owe for a lucky life filled with friends old and new, kids and pets who love me, sufficient food and shelter. I remember not to steal my own joy.

August 24, 2006 at 4:54 pm Leave a comment

The Big, Nosy, Controversial Question

Okay, here is your invitation to the coolest art show, by the nicest artist I’ve ever met. It’s Friday, September 1st… I don’t care how you get here, just get here if you can…

Paul Richmond is the protegy of my favorite artist, Linda Regula. She’s been mentoring Paul since he was 3, and those early paintings weren’t the usual scribbles and stick people most 3 year olds draw, they were cartoon characters anyone could recognize. This show has sample of his work from age 4 through the present, a fascinating walk through his life as he grew as a person as well as an artist. He’s 26 now, handsome, charming and the joy of life just rolls off him in waves. If he weren’t gay, everyone would want their daughter to marry him. Shoot, gay or not everyone would want their daughter to marry him. He’s just that nice.

I stopped debating the “right” or “wrong” of homosexuality long ago… Judge not and all that. I don’t care what the “church” thinks about the subject, it’s a lifestyle I know nobody would deliberately choose because society is hard, mean and perfectly ruthless. It isn’t an easy life and this fact has been brilliantly illustrated through some of Paul’s paintings. Which brings about the age old question of why? It stinks that some of the nicest men I’ve ever met are not eligible as husbands to my daughters.

August 23, 2006 at 11:32 pm 4 comments

Artists, Actors, Writers and Musicians… Raw Emotion

An interesting week so far, and it’s only Tuesday! Yesterday, in between being whiny and emotional, I actually managed to spend a whole eight hours on the day job AND do an interview that will turn into two stories. Hence, the whiny and emotional.

Today I interviewed an artist that paints with asphalt. Nearing sixty, he’s been an artist since he was three or four. I imagine after all that time you’d have to start experimenting with other stuff or go stark raving mad. I like the paintings, and yet I don’t. They are black, beige and white, mostly abstract, with every drip, swoop and dot placed where it is on purpose. Even as abstracts, I could see a windswept Oklahoma prairie during a lightening storm in one, a woman rinsing her hair in a rushing waterfall in another. I like color, color and more color – but these reach in and snatch out an emotion. He’s preparing a collection to pitch for a show at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)… apparently art is much like writing.

Princess is on a cleaning rampage today. I tried to explain that writers don’t clean, but she was having none of it. Her boyfriend is on his way home for a few weeks leave from the Marines. Things must be ship shape…. ugh. Where was this kid when I cared whether the house was clean or not????

August 22, 2006 at 5:29 pm Leave a comment

Helllloooo OUT THERE?!!?

This blog has never exactly been overwhelmed with traffic, but lately I can’t even get friends and family to drop by. As a writer, it makes me feel like I’m the most boring person in blogdom. If I were just keeping this as an on-line journal, it would make no difference whether anyone dropped by or not… but it isn’t, and it does.

August 21, 2006 at 6:10 pm 5 comments

End of Summer

Ruger’s only trick. He sits up anytime he wants to eat something that I’m eating. It’s his only trick and it works every time.

Action on the street this morning is totally crazy. The Catholics are setting up for their annual festival and have the street blocked on one end. We have new neighbors moving in on the other end with a fleet of small pick-up trucks piled with furniture blocking the only other exit from my street. I, of course, live in the middle of the street and desperately need a gallon of milk. Isn’t that always the way?

I wasn’t kidding about brain dead yesterday, I actually had to pass on a trip to the vineyard I was tired last night. Saved me from a headache today, but that is small comfort.

Summer is wrapping up. Even though its still hot, it has that feel of the end of a party. You know what I mean – that hour when the coffee table is covered with dirty glasses and a half eaten cheese ball and the helium balloons are floating closer to the floor than the ceiling. The kids will go back to school next week, football season will empty the town every Friday night and before I can catch my breath it will be Christmas. Why is it that time flys so much faster as you get older? If I had just three more hours a day and one more day a week, I could really get something accomplished.

Prof. squared will return from their Disney Cruise tomorrow. Today I will go shine up their house and make sure they’re organized for school. Girl Prof called from the ship to tell me she had her first day of morning sickness. We are a sick and twisted family… this is the kind of news that makes us jump up and down cheering and clapping.

August 19, 2006 at 9:17 am Leave a comment

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August 2006