Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Mindless Blogging, Vacation Edition

By vacation, of course, I mean school break, and by school, I mean the one my child attends.  I enjoy my younger son quite a lot, actually.  He's smart, and intuitive, and an incredibly deep thinker, traits that make him, to me, extremely entertaining.  When he's home all the time, though, linear thought becomes difficult.  He's six, after all, and the concept of other people's separate consciousnesses is a nebulous abstraction at this point, even for such an advanced philosopher as himself.  For example, in the course of writing this paragraph, I've been asked to look at his Minecraft horse, play Minecraft with him, witness said horse's fashion show, reminded again that he's ready to hold the fashion show, and informed that his horse is misbehaving.

When one has reams of schoolwork to accomplish, chores to perform, and all of it should have been done yesterday, these interactions are a special kind of spiritual torture.  When one has nothing planned and the vague feeling that one should post a blog entry once in a while, it's even worse.  After all, why?  Why shouldn't I can this half-assed effort at blogging regularity and go ride horses around in (shudder) Creative Mode? (They're trapped in a cage of arrows.  See?  It looks like somebody has been shot by a bunch of arrows ...)

I'm sure this angst is worsened by my semester off, which is about to end, during which I have accomplished ... what?  My Great American Novel remains unwritten.  The new house still doesn't look like it's inhabited by Martha Stewart.  It might even look like it's inhabited by a crew of hillbillies with a penchant for decorating with cardboard boxes.  (Are you ready yet? ... Look!)  My art remains exactly as I left it in August.  My crafting skills have been at the service of a horde of small children for months, with nary a concrete project of my own to show for it.

Should I tie this up in a neat bow?  Note that, although greatness in the arts has not yet been achieved, other greatnesses are showing potential?  That as a result of willing and enthusiastic work at my son's school, I have a community, potentially wonderful and deep friendships, a house, for Pete's sake?  I don't know.  Ennui and uncertainty are often voices worth listening to, provided we listen deeply and discerningly enough.  In the meantime, my child has, again, delighted me.  Mom, look, I made an exploding blueberry!

Monday, December 22, 2014

A Clever Title That Won't Make Me Wince Later

I dreamed about you last night.  I'm not sure what a heartstring is, exactly, but it's been ten years and I still feel a tug in the center of my chest.  We were sitting at a round cafeteria table, in a room full of the usual suspects, I guess, although I didn't see any of them.  As we sat there, opposite each other, I felt that old familiar magnetic current, the one born of friendship and shared experience and never being able to have an actual conversation (unless it was an emergency or my boy's hair needed buzzing) with a touch of lust, deeply repressed.  Or more than a touch.  Anway.
You are not the only one I dream about, but you are the only one I dream about specifically.  There are That Place dreams, involving unexpected return, confrontation, and, more recently, plotting mass escape, but the dreams about you particularly are different, if only in that they are more personal.  I vaguely recall a conversation about your children, maybe an interaction with them.  I heard you and your wife lost a baby recently, a few days after her birth.  Before that, I heard that you were depressed, always on the couch, and that your wife was so stressed her hair was falling out.  My heart throbs with impotent rage and sadness.  The young man I knew was full of puppyish enthusiasm and energy.  Now you sound broken.
I think about how our lives could be so different if things had been ... different.  I know that "if only" is a waste of time, and I know that the things lost would be at least equal to, and possibly greater than, the things gained.  Still, I wonder.
I cannot wish you well.  Not because I wish you otherwise, but because "well" is not a word I can realistically associate with that place, nor do I believe that it's a possibility for anyone remaining there.  I wish you ... awakening.  Freedom.  Bravery, heroism, escape.  The chance to breathe again.  That's what I wish.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

So, this guy ...

Please a wee bit a thought (an annotated message - caution, explicit language below.  All errors in punctuation, spelling, and grammar are the work of the original author)

Hi My name is [name redacted]. I have never contacted a woman under 40 something [fair enough].You are very funny in a very enjoyable way for me [thanks ...].I write well if you care to look at my profile.I can not spell shine ola [nope, you're right, that's not how you spell it].Even 5&6 letter words I have looked up countless times I am sometimes stumped [it is fair to note here that my original profile blurb said something about how much I care about correct spelling.  If you can't spell for shinola, well, that's why God created spell-check].I am old in years only [congratulations].My body compared to most men closer to your age is-well a mans body not soft like a womans body should(for love making that is) [I actually am not sure what this means.  I think what he's saying is that he's in good shape for an old dude, but maybe he's comparing himself to a woman?  Maybe he's trying to say that he's gone a bit soft, but forgot where he was going mid-sentence]Also a large number of male humans in thier 20s,30s,40s are boys [possibly].Except for thier profesion or job they no little about anything and do not understand good humor nor how to make love (not fuck) a

good woman [I'm not sure how one would make love a good woman, either.  I do know that my male friends my age tend to think I'm hilarious, so maybe that makes my humor bad?].  You choose "man for dating".I belive that if we were to befriend eachother on several elements (sp) [ah, irony] of interaction-we would in all likely hood give a try at making love [really?  You're not the first old guy to wishfully think so, I'll give you that].If you are a truly sensual woman I am confident we will enjoy as many pleasent hours as you care to devote to this most wonderful of human sharing [yes, and clearly if I don't respond, it's because I'm not truly sensual, thus giving you the convenient out of damning me as a frigid bitch].It is all about timeing physical affection! and a special kind of

communication we will discover togeather [tempting ...].If you know of what I speak, but have been unable to discover knowledgable men that [that what, exactly?], or men with some ability but are not enjoyable to be aroundPlease atleast speak with me [so you can rescue me from what is clearly a wasteland of sexually incompetent men]..If you are not fully aware of this "place" that truly good love making can take "us" -Then I sujest: if you feel sexy,horny,full of desire in your ownself , I am confident we can have a great time.It is even possable that the age diference could enhanse stimulation [... for you, no doubt]. Well thats my story and I'm stickin to it. I think a pleasent, no doubt funny but serious phone call might end with a plan to meet-no?

Why you ? I'm not sure.The idea struck me ,somehow you seemed just right.I would love to be with a younger woman [congratulations].In my late 20s I was with 2 diferent ladies in thier 50s [good for ... them? ...you?] One was a blind date that a former girlfriend set up with me and her mother [I flatter myself that I'm as accepting of sexual diversity as the next person, but ick].As it happend a very fun and sexy woman [again, congratulations, I guess]. [phone number redacted]

My very best regards [name redacted]

P.S. Sorry about the misspelling I just refuse to go to 
the dictionary 5 or 6 times in even a note as short as this [ignoring my specific mention of how much I care about spelling is an excellent way to show you care about what I have to say].xo [initial redacted]

Yep.  I wonder if he wonders why I never wrote back, or if he found some other nice young woman who was truly sensual and couldn't spell "shinola" either.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Much Brain Dumpage

So hi!  Surprise!  I'm still alive, or so it seems.  I just can't manage to muster the focus for an ENTIRE EXTRA PIECE OF WRITING these days, especially one that doesn't have a grade attached to it.  I'd offer to give back my Writer Card, but I'm not sure I was issued one in the first place.
Good news!  We found a place to live.  I've been looking since April, and then at the beginning of June it seemed like I didn't have to anymore, but only for a week, when, surprise!  We still had to move!  However, two days ago a wonderful place fell into our laps, although I find myself hesitant to speak of it, in case somebody might hear me and decide it's not quite time for this saga to be over.  However however, I've also been spending a lot of time telling my son about how things aren't as scary when you fling the door open and let the sun shine in, so ... it's lovely, and the boy wants to live in the front porch swing, and it's owned by a family we know, they brought their kids up there, so their history is everywhere, which is so nice, and the view is great, and a determined person could hike through the woods to Texas Falls, and there are oxen across the road, and even though we don't officially take possession until August, we've been given permission to start a garden ASAP, which is good, because ASAP is almost too late ...
I thought my brain had more to dump, but Stockard Channing's version of Ramona's World is interfering with the firing of my synapses, and I'm determined to hit publish tonight - do or die! - so I'll be back for more dumping tomorrow, or next week, or the next time the pressure reaches that critical point.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Sometimes, it would take more time than I have to untangle The Feelings and sort them into sentences with words.  Often, my brain looks like one of those little word clouds bloggers like to stick in their sidebars, only less "relevant" and with more feelings and images mixed in.  I think mind-reading is probably overrated.  We all think we want to do it, but really, it's not a person's thought-cloud we want to know about.  Reading minds would just be exhausting.  And pointless.  Nobody wants to know about the potato-chip-saw-a-bird-where's-my-other-earring-and-my-glasses-gotta-find-my-stats-notebook-and-a-new-apartment-and-why-do-all-my-pants-have-holes.  But sometimes sorting out the deep and interesting stuff with linear sentence structure possibilities is too much work.  So I don't write.  Unless I'm supposed to be heading out the door and literally every other possible use of my time is probably a better one.  Then I'll give you a peek inside my brain.  If you can see through the brain-cloud that's obscuring everything from both of us.  If you find anything, let me know.  I'll be off having pointless debates on Facebook to prove how smart and awesome I am.

Monday, March 24, 2014

PS ... Q?

So I came over here to procrastinate, and maybe write something pithy, but I was checking the blogs I subscribe to, and noticed that three posts written a week ago were nonexistent.  I'm peeved.  Is this a glitch, or are we having massive deletion of posts, here?  Unfair, dud(ettes)!  Unfair.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Dumping of the Brain

It's sort of like the running of the bulls, only less dangerous.  Probably.

Why are office-type miniskirts now pencil skirts?  What happened to actual pencil skirts?  Glamorous librarians everywhere want to know.

My typing skills are all jacked up, because only about half the keys on my laptop keyboard are functional.  All the letters work, which is progress, but the shift key doesn't, which means that a) I reach for caps lock instead, which is annoying on a functional keyboard, and b) I have an impressive collection of punctuation marks, etc, on a desktop sticky note so I can copy/paste.  It makes things like im'ing a lot slower, and I refuse to use it to do any serious writing at all.

My friend for whom I occasionally edit skyped me last night, asking if I still gave "unflattering criticism of others' content."  Why yes, yes I do.

Yesterday in my art therapy class we presented timeline projects, which means that I spent almost a month making myself crazy about the execution of a particular (really good) idea, only to change the entire concept at almost literally the last minute.  No, really, it was the night before.  I'm working on breaking that habit, but really, how can I, when all my most brilliant ideas come three seconds before a deadline?  The project wasn't completed, but it also wasn't late.  This is progress.  I got several compliments, which, in the big picture, is probably not helpful.

In related news, my living room floor is now strewn with sewing and craft supplies.  Also, there are no acrylic craft paints to be had in the Montpelier area.  This may or may not have had something to do with the last-minute change.

I killed five or six flies on my window just two days ago.  Ok, maybe three.  Now there are three more, the little bastards.  Oh, and two more hiding behind the curtain.  The plus side is, they've gotten so slow over the winter, I've started killing them with my bare hands when I don't have a fly swatter handy.  Go me.  Maybe I'll start using chopsticks.

My little guy spent the week in Maine with his uncle.  He's coming home today.  I woke up this morning contemplating what I would do if he died in a car crash on the way home.  I honestly can't decide if this was or was not a healthy thought process.  Natural, certainly, given the events that have made up my life over the past few years (and possibly given the amount of Buffy-watching I've been doing this week - you know your life is effed when you watch Buffy therapeutically).  I am not an anxious parent.  These are not usually things I worry about, and even now it feels more like a really twisted thought exercise, running over the practical details of who I would call to go with me and what I would do after that.  I should have been a Boy Scout.

I ate breakfast on the back porch today, with a cup of tea and a book.  The book was Tom Robbins' Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates, which I was enjoying until he started talking about the Amazonian Indians innate inability for levity, which I found to be totally condescending and irritating.  I'm not going to tell you what I ate for breakfast, except to say that my eating habits have gone all to hell in this week that I've been alone, and it may or may not have involved Nutella.  And fluff.  I know, disgusting.

I have to do a load of laundry today, but I'm sitting here not wanting to, and coming up with really good reasons for the lack of wanting.  It's Sunday.  There won't be any washers.  I'll have to put shoes on.  Ok, I just ran out of excuses.


Friday, February 7, 2014

File this one under "Awkward"

I had a thing that I wanted to write about, but now I can't remember.  It didn't have anything to do with my oatmeal being watery, or the fact that I'm out of raisins, or all the baking that I need to do today for the school raffle ... Wait a minute!  Got it!
So this state is pretty small, both in area and population, and my facebook account is quickly becoming a web of mutual acquaintances that makes me relieved I'm not big on internet trash-talking, at least about specific people.  Evidently, the same can now be said for the dating sites I frequent.  This one guy, in particular, ends up on my suggestions page all the time, and while he lives in a town about ten minutes away, a minor miracle given how remote I am from basically everything, including eligible dudes, I am uninterested in someone whose screenname is sexallthetime* - his match rating would have to be at least ten points higher to even consider it.  Nonetheless, as I said, I see his face quite frequently.  Frequently enough, in fact, to recognize him when I see him in real life.  At my son's school.  A school, by the way, with fewer than fifty students.  No chance of getting lost in the crowd over there.
So far, so good.  He's not one of the parents I see every day, he doesn't stick around, and he seems happy to pretend he has no idea who I am, and I'm happy doing the same.  After all, he's got more to lose by outing either of us than I do.  My single status is no secret, if the subject of online dating comes up in conversation (not a frequent occurrence at an elementary school) I have nothing to hide, and hello! my screenname says nothing about how often I need it, although saying that might get me more than I'm currently getting (hint: none).  Not the kind of attention I'm looking for, sadly.
I'm not sure if there's a moral to this story, but maybe it could be: if you live in TinyAssCommunity in TinyAssState, you should practice discretion when choosing a screenname that actually connects you to your actual face, especially if your child goes to a school that is so small, they publish a school list with your name and address right there for anybody to see.  Or maybe you shouldn't care.  It's up to you.

*Not actually his screenname, but it captures the spirit of the thing.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Grist, or, How Not to Get a Girlfriend by New Year's Eve

So things were going along swimmingly (whatever that means) with Mr. Non-Sucky-Guy.  Phone calls featuring rousing discussions were had, plans to meet again were made, texts were ... texted ...?  I didn't see myself, say, enrolling on campus at the college he was attending, but, again, it didn't suck.
So one night, I find myself driving home after one of my typical marathon days, featuring The Christmas Visit with the older kid, two performances of the younger one's Holiday Show (totes adorbs, of course), and, between Show 1 and Show 2, a 2-hour round trip to pick up the younger one's dad, who, despite his lack of car, still, of course, wants to see his kid perform.  The day went fine, things were good, much-adored ex-babysitters made appearances and were much appreciated, Mr. Non-Sucky-Guy sent a text asking how the play went, which was nice, but by ten o'clock or so, still facing the hour-and-a-half drive home, the emotional drainage was starting to kick in and I was feeling a little fried.  Cranky, even.  And did I mention that I was driving?  So when, out of the blue, I get a text telling me dude wants to make out with me and asking how I feel about that, my response was not immediately to pucker up.  Not that I wasn't flattered.  I appreciate plain speaking, but what did he want?  A dissertation?  A pie chart, maybe?  "25% flattered, 10% reciprocal of the sentiment, 40% maybe later, 100% WTF SOMEONE ELSE WANTS SOMETHING FROM ME?!?!?"*
My response was something along the lines of "Hmmmm," a nice compromise, from my perspective.  He said he just wanted to know if I was as hot for him as he was for me.  My first thought (I swear)?  "I have no basis for comparison, and therefore no way to quantify that."  Yeah, I might have been writing a few too many research papers.  He said some psychological theorist or other would say he was just looking for commonality.  I said my fencing teacher would say, "Attack, parry, riposte ... holy shit, where'd that sledgehammer come from!?"  He became diffident over my failure to melt into a lip-shaped puddle.
The next day, the weather turned sour, prompting us to postpone our plan to meet.  He told me to text him when I reached the drop-off point for my son.  I felt this was a little possessive, and didn't bother.  He called me as I was driving home, in the just-this-side-of-icy slush, causing me to miss the Starbucks I had been planning on stopping at to do some market research for a commission.  He suggested I put him on speaker-phone.  I declined, but agreed to talk to him when I got home and after I charged my phone.  I was growing more irritated by the minute.
Phone charged, I answered his call.  He chose to extol the virtues of fiber cereal, and moved on the narrating his game of Civilization.  I told him I was tired.  This was, apparently, the biggest rejection ever, as I didn't hear from him the next day, and when I compounded the insult by cancelling for Sunday (the weather was doing something between ice and snow, and I also arranged for my son to spend an extra day with his dad, for the record) he took a turn for the emo, officially turning me off forevermore.
Is there a moral?  Maybe.  The phrase that comes to mind is, "Good judgement comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgement," and while I don't feel my judgement was bad (the point of getting to know someone is to get to know them, after all), the gaining of further experience for judgement could be a nice moral for this story.
An alternate moral could be "Why is this love shit so much effing work?"  But that could be a little depressing.
*numbers do not add up to 100%