Archive for February, 2007

More Shameless Promotion, Cats & Kids

Battle of the Blogs – Vote for Kat and Quilly by visiting battle-ofthe-blogs.jpgLeesa’s blog and then scrolling way down to the Northern Division.  If you’ve already voted, Thanks!  If you haven’t…hey, throw a girl a bone.  Its free, and you might find some interesting reads while you’re over there.  If you’ve already voted and are willing to send YOUR blog roll over there to help the cause, it would be greatly appreciated.

And now…on to our regular programming….

I knew it was going to end up badly, but I just couldn’t get myself to intervene.  They were so cute, the two little girls on the edge of the couch, talking animatedly about which of the Cheetah Girls could actually do a hurky in their spiked boots.  Jazzmin, the one who talks with her hands, paying no attention to the mangled slinky she was slinging around with her conversation.  Briauna  so fiercely determined to out talk her sister that she didn’t notice the big cat crouched on the back of the sofa behind her.  Neither of them were paying any attention at all to the small cat avidly tracking that bouncing slinky from the chair beside the couch.

Perfectly shameful of me to just sit passively by, especially when I noticed that the small cat had definitely caught on to the rythm of that bouncing slinky and the big cat was doing her prepounce shuffle.  The girls got a little louder, the slinky waved a little more wildly and both cats pounced. 

Ophelia, the big cat, took the painting behind the couch down with her.  Isobelle, the little one, used Jazzmin’s leg to stop her springing flight as they met in the middle.  Lots of screaming, blood, the dog barking and then Briauna threw up from the excitement. 

Same old, same old around this joint. 

February 28, 2007 at 8:18 pm 24 comments

Random but Timely

Better living through Pharmaceuticals:  I first started smoking in basic training.  Smokers got breaks every hour or two while the rest of us tidy lunged airmen continued to pick up rocks on the drill field under the scorching, midsummer, Texas sun.  Being a lazy social soul, I joined the smokers, with every inention of quitting again once I got to technical school.  That was thirty years ago.   I’ve tried to quit, but I have one of those personalities that just latches onto things.  If I’d ever smoked a joint, snorted a line or shot something into my arm at any point in my life…I’d still be doing it. 

During one of our weekend meetings, the doctor mentioned a newly approved prescription called chantix.  My insurance covered it, so I’m giving it a try.  It works by blocking nicotine from getting to the sensors in your brain that control urges.  Its not addictive (remember when they used to give people valium to help them quit?  Jeesh), and there’s an activity plan that goes along with the program, things to help with the “habit” part while the chantix works on the “addiction”.   *******

The writer’s block passed when I woke up to bird song this morning, and a day filled with light.  Sunshine would be better, but I’ll take what I can get.  I finished the second to last chapter this morning and will start the final chapter tonight.  Apparently I have no choice but to move to Florida, Southern California or the Bahamas if I’m expected to write every day.  **********

I had a meeting last night that included a cross section of the town leaders with a sprinkling of common folk ranging in age from 23 – 70.  We were supposed to be talking about community improvements, but soon wandered off topic to a discussion of the difficulty our businesses are facing finding people to work.  That turned into a discussion regarding this new generations knowledge of work ethics and discipline which quickly dissolved into talk of the war in Iraq.  Those of us in the room that are veterans are seriously worried about the inevitable need of a draft.  Several of us are worried that the foundation of these young people that may get sent to war is not sturdy enough for soldiering.  Remember that those of us flapping our jaws about this subject are the ones that raised the young people who may be sent off to war.  We weren’t insulting our kids, we were chastising ourselves. 

All of us wanted to give our children a better childhood than we’d had.  We’re worried that we’ve made them too pampered, supervised and soft to make good soldiers.  Because while the military has been technologized from one end to another, all it takes is one satellite going down and our kids are fighting just like their grandfathers did.  On the ground, hand to hand with people who haven’t lived a cushy American life.   

February 27, 2007 at 11:02 pm 16 comments

Shameless Self Promotion

The Battle of the Blogs is on…. scoot on over there and VOTE for Kat , Quilly and Dutchy.  We all endedbattle-ofthe-blogs.jpg up lumped in the same division, but as of now, not against each other.  You’ll have to scroll down to the Northern Division to find us, and while you’re there, you could check out some other fine bloggers to add to your daily reading pleasure, or you could just vote for Kat’s Random Thoughts and scurry away on your very important business.  Go vote.  I might even have an entertaining post written by the time you get back.  Or not. 

February 27, 2007 at 12:17 am 16 comments

Writer’s Block

Just hearing the phrase writer’s block makes my hands shake and sweat roll down my forehead.  I lead a large writers group, and while we frequently blocked1.JPGpass around tools for dealing with this malady, we never call it that.  We call them inpiration tools, right before we knock on wood and throw salt over our shoulders. 

Never the less, with fewer than 3,000 words left to complete THE BOOK, I am blocked.  And have been for several days.  It isn’t that I don’t know where the story is  going.  I do, but everything I write is shit.  The words are landing on the page like lumps of vomit…ugly, smelly and full of little unrecognizable bits.  I’ve tried walking away, switching to handwriting, writing something else, reading something, housework, aimless driving, inspiring music and just continuing to write shit.  I even actually, in total desperation, took Mr. Fab’s advice and attempted to add a monkey. 

The Doctor, who originally asked me to ghost write this book is desperate.  He calls every day, he’s always called every day, but now I can hear the desperation in his voice.  I think he thinks this is some passive-aggressive attempt to extort more money out of him.  If I stay blocked long enough, I may end up with a house out of this deal. 

February 26, 2007 at 1:02 am 23 comments

A Little Help for My Friends

Leesa is holding a Battle of The Blogs over at her place.  Loosely based on that old show  Battle of the Network Stars… surf over there and read about it, then nominate yourself and me.  Then I’ll nominate you, and myself.  Hurry, the deadline is February 23rd. I know you’re really busy, but read her post today, hysterical. 

The deadline for Cindra’s Weekly Word Game has passed, and the entries are posted and ready for you to vote.  If you haven’t checked this out yet, please do!  Worthy reads every week, submitted anonymously – so you’re voting on the quality of the writing instead of popularity.  I would be totally remiss if I didn’t mention that Mr. Fabulous  co-hosts the weekly word game and this week’s winner is getting a gift certificate to igourmet.  I, alas, mired in day job, children’s book and editing work did not finish my entry in a timely manner.  So you can rest assured that I’m pimping for my friends and not myself.  I’ll be submitting my invoices for friendship dues shortly.   

Where would we all be without friends?  It will be through the strength of my Doctor’s friends that we get our children’s book noticed.  My dog would be more maniacal than he already is if not for his friendship with the dogs in the neighborhood that help him escape his cat sisters.  Friends have stepped up over the years to help with kids, make me laugh, share a book, and remind me that I really need a haircut.  They were there lending support when my natural parents died, my husband was hospitalized and my leg was in a cast.  There are no friends better than the one’s here in my blog neighborhood for lending moral support, encouragement and laughter. 

Back in our poverty days, a friend once gave us a car.  It provided the means to get us back out of the spiral to homelessness we’d fallen into.  What’s the best thing a friend ever did for you?

February 21, 2007 at 5:36 pm 23 comments

Fat Tuesday

Nearly two years after Hurricane Katrina, the city of New Orleans continues its struggle to regain its feet.  They aren’t just fighting the wind and water damage to their homes and businessess, but their insurance companies mardi-gras-one.jpgthat won’t pay up, the federal government who won’t pay up and the criminals who manage to survive anything like roaches.  But with all that, the Mardi Gras parades hit the streets like they have for years.  I loved this comment from an organizer:  When asked why the parades recovered so quickly when everything else in the city is limping along, an organizer said “the parades are managed by people instead of government”. 

February 20, 2007 at 6:07 pm 12 comments

Lucky in Love – Part One

Manfred Mann’s Earth Band – Blinded By The Light

I’ve never had much luck with found money, but I’ve been indecently lucky in love.  I don’t use that word loosely.  I was practical even as a teenager and knew that real love was more than racing hormones or a shared affinity for music and funny movies.  I dated  as a teenager but I didn’t fall in love for the first time until I was a Junior in High School. 

Wilmington, North Carolina.  Minutes from Wrightsville Beach.  We lived in a suburb right on the sound.  My family spent a little over nine months in North Carolina and I had only two unhappy moments the entire time.  The first was when they forced me to go to Wilmington Christian Academy.  The second was when they made me leave that same school.   

It was the fall of 1975.  I saw him on the first day in my new school, leaning on a locker in a crush of students waiting for morning chapel. A full head taller than the boys gathered around talking to him he had magnificent hair the color of a foxes coat – a rich mix of russet, brown and gold.  The girl assigned as my “guide” caught me looking at him, and him looking at me.  By lunch we were an item.  R and I were as inseperable as two kids can be with strict parents, sports and a demanding school schedule.  We got to know each other during soccer season, a sport he didn’t play but I cheered for.  By basketball season even our teachers had decided that  heaven couldn’t have made a better match. 

It wasn’t his mellifluous voice, his nice car or his fine manners that made me love him.  It was how he made me feel…petite, beautiful, smart, perfect.  He looked at me like I was a rare piece of glass he wanted to wrap in silk.  We went to any extreme to be together.  Stopped back talking our parents, did our chores, kept our grades high…there was no sacrifice too great.  Our devotion to each other was so mature it scared my parents, and his, to death. 

We spent most of our time together heavily supervised at my house,  or at school functions.  But every once in awhile we’d get a chance to slip away.  Sometimes it was to the sound, a tiny skiff just big enough for the two of us.  We’d float toward the beach, our way lit by moonlight peeking through the moss on the trees and sparkling on the water.  He leaned on the ice chest in the back of the skiff, I leaned on him and we planned our future with the background music of lapping water, crickets and the occasional owls hoot.  College, work, marriage, children…right through to who would die first and how closely the other would follow. 

Public display of affection was grounds for expulsion at our very rigid school.  This didn’t stop the couples from finding places and times for stolen kisses of course, but all of us lived in mortal terror of getting caught.  A few weeks after we’d returned from Christmas vacation in 1976 I was called to the Principal’s office.  The secretary was very short with me when I arrived at the office.  She left me sitting in the hall, my mind racing with thoughts of what I could have done wrong to be in such a position.  Mr. B walked out of his office and I saw R sitting in one of two chairs across from the Principal’s desk.  Head hanging, hands clasped between his knees.  My stomach flipped and I just knew we’d been caught kissing.  Mr. B explained that while we were normally two of his best students, he had a note from Mrs. B (my homeroom teacher) that had grievously disappointed him.  He shuffled around on his desk searching for it then explained that he must have left it in the outer office.  The Principal left and shut the door behind him. 

By the time the door shut I was hyperventilating and ready to cry.  Getting expelled wasn’t the kind of thing my parents were going to be happy about.  Getting expelled for PDA would get me killed or sent to a monastery.  R turned to me and opened his hands.  He held a tiny velvet box that housed a flawless opal ring.  He asked me to marry him, not right then, but after college.  He explained this was a promise ring, I’d get the diamond after he had earned the money.   I looked at him like he was crazy.  We were about to be expelled and he was proposing?  R was still explaining that Mr. B was in on the surprise when the Principal walked back in the office all smiles and congratulations.  The secretary and several teachers on break cheered when we left the office.  My parents went into panic mode. 

A few weeks later I found out we’d be moving to Ohio.  We wouldn’t even be finishing the school year.  Teachers stepped forward offering a place for me to stay so I could finish my high school career there, where I was doing so well.  Friends parents offered…but my parents weren’t having it.  R and I were inconsolable.  Winter turned into spring, the move rapidly approached and we were getting more frantic with every day.  In March we had a “scholar day”, a half day off school for good grades.  Because we were in High School we had the option of going on an outing with the rest of the “scholar’s” or just signing out.  We signed out.  My parents were out of town for the day.  My sibs hadn’t qualified for “scholar day”. 

My room caught the afternoon sun.  My sister-mom had decorated it in blue and white, and when the sun came through the curtains over the window seat it turned the whole room the pale milky blue you see when you float under water and look at the sky.  I will forever associate that pale color and Manfred Mann singing Blinded by the Light with bliss. 

We moved in April.  R and his cousin chasing us down on the country road we used to get to the highway.  My sister-mom yelling “This is not helping!” while I cried in the car and he cried from his knees in the dust. 

We conducted our long distance romance as well as we could in those days.  Snail mail.  But we were young, and nobody wants to spend their senior year alone.  With every day that passed it just got harder and harder to figure out how to get back in the same state.  I finally returned the ring.  I haven’t heard from him since. 

February 18, 2007 at 7:42 am 19 comments

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Shortly after I learned to use a spoon, I learned to use a pencil. Crippled by shyness as a child, I found that the things I couldn't say out loud, I could say with a pen, and then a typewriter. The shyness was overcome with education and age...but the need to write has never left me.

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