Tick Tock Tick Tock Tick

How is it that I’ve arrived at 10:11 a.m. and have accomplished virtually nothing of substance?  I updated my about page.  I took my child to school.  I went to the post office.  All of that was done by 8:45 a.m.  Now I’ve spent a good deal of time at the computer and am in the same place as I was an hour and a half ago.  Oh, and I took a half an hour nap.  There was that.  But the other hour I pissed away looking at other Blog Presentations and surfing myspace.  What a productive use of my time.  I need to work on a letter for work.  I need to finish my taxes.  I don’t have any desire to do either.  Procrastination is in serious overdrive here.  I guess I’ll just have to jump in and do them.  Yuck.  I’d rather go ride the horse.

In the last couple of weeks I have become quite the irresponsible party.  Having always been the super responsible party, my becoming irresponsible feels quite unnatural.  Actually, I think it was only the week Milla was gone to see her dad that I have been like this.  I did a lot of work on the house, but I also went out, drank some rum and pineapple juice one night, stayed up very late several nights, including one until dawn, slept away a couple of days, and generally didn’t do much productive anything.  It was seriously pathetic.  Now I’m back into the schedule and that feels more normal, but my head isn’t in it.  Add to this angst over heartache and worry over finances and I seem a bit bent on a minor depression.  And of course there was the incident with the old workplace that still has me in a bit of a funk.

While lying in my bed during the aforementioned nap, I stared out at the sky.  The sun wanted to peek through the clouds and there was a squirrel in the front yard whose antics are hilarious.  Lying there, I thought I could lie there all day and do not a lot.  I thought through the things I needed to do and still did not get up.  It took the phone ringing to rouse me from my half asleep, hypnotic stupor.  As I stumbled through the living room to the kitchen where my phone is plugged in I actually had the thought that I was surprised someone was calling.  I’m not much on the radar these days, and I realize this is somewhat self-inflicted.  How is it that I got here?  What is it that I’m doing?  It’s like my desperation to leave Portland is obliterating all other thought.  Living in the moment is a struggle because I don’t like the moment, but my thoughts of future moments as long as they are in Portland aren’t much better.  I hope some of this funk is hormones.  It isn’t really time for PMS, but it would be nice to blame this on that.  Maybe I’m not such a strong person since one, two, three tough things in a ten day period put me in this state.  But I don’t care.  I’m tired of taking strength in being strong.  I’d rather just be.  Only that’s not good for my brain or my daughter.  So I’ll plow on and turn the music up very loudly to drown out my thoughts.

On another note, I thought I would take a moment and clarify a few things.  There:  Not here.  They’re:  They are.  Their:  A possessive pronoun.  It’s:  It is.

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Bonding Over Bathroom Fixtures

When my nephew was four he was at the grocery store with my sister and my two year old niece who had finally started using the toilet.  While standing in the line with a loaded cart, Nathanael announced to everyone, “Now my whole family wears underwear!”  It was pretty cute.

I have beautiful shower fixtures now.  My dad installed them for me.  I asked him to do it a couple of years ago when I bought the fixtures, but he told me to hire a plumber.  He didn’t think he could do it.  Then the other day I was showing him the list of stuff I still need to do on my house before selling it.  I was showing it to him to demonstrate just how little is left on a house I’ve basically gutted and remodeled all by myself.  The only project I hired someone for was rewiring the thing and installing a new electric box (another friend who did an amazing job and to whom I still owe money when this box sells).  My dad has helped me on a few projects since he’s a retired contractor and carpenter.  I think he’s proud his daughter has picked up his skills and remodeled the entire kitchen, removed a wall, built a wall, built a ginormous walk-in closet, moved a door, retiled the bathroom, built two sets of built-in bookshelves, painted the entire thing inside various colors, replaced molding, rebuilt window frames, replaced light fixtures, took a jungle out of the front yard, built a rock wall, and installed a yard, as well as countless landscaping projects.  When I ask him how to do something, he seems happy I ask his advice and shows me what to do, sometimes offering to help.  I was so glad he offered to put in the bathtub fixture for me because I had no idea how I was going to pay a plumber.  After he did it and it took five hours because the new fixture was a different shape than the old one and the whole thing had to be installed behind two solar water heater pipes, I was even more glad.  One plumber I had called estimated the job would take 45 minutes to complete.  He had not looked at it.  I have no doubt when he got here and discovered the tile had to be cut and there were pipes to work around, he would not have been so optimistic and it would have cost a hell of a lot more than the $120 he quoted.

Anyway, my dad did this for me and I’m grateful.  I know he’s sad I’m selling the place.  We haven’t told my mom yet.  She’d freak and we all know it.  So continuing the tradition of secrets, none of us tell.  But it’s funny, it’s not like alcoholic secrets where things are obvious yet everyone denies them.  It’s more like we all know my mom freaks about the most mundane of events and won’t sleep for a month and will stomp around the house and make everyone around her miserable, so to avoid the hassle none of us will mention it.  If the information is dropped, well, we’ll spin it to create the best story for her so hopefully she won’t lose any sleep and start to freak out.  In my mind, that’s not really living with secrets.  Rather it’s more like living without a hassle.

Anyway, I’m glad my dad did this for me.  It looks amazing.  Last night I came home from a friend’s party and even though it was midnight, I had to take a shower in it.  It was so fantastic to be able to adjust the heat without pliers, something we’ve done for four years now.  Thanks, Dad.

Pleas of Please

Get me out of here.  Please.  Just take me as far away as possible, preferably to the other side of the planet.  Portland hates me and I’m beginning to really hate Portland.  At least while I thought I loved Portland it could take its passive aggressive actions against me and I wasn’t aware what was going on.  Now that our hostility is in the open, I’m afraid it might become even more bitter and hateful towards me, and I’m frightened.  I have to leave here.  I have to leave here as soon as I possibly can.  This is my lament carved into internet space.  These are the words I use to beg and plead for an allowance to pack my things and leave without further incident.  Please.  I wonder if there is some link in the word origin between please and pleas.  There must be.  Pleas of please, they are so similar.  One word.  One plea.  Get me out of here alive.  Maybe that’s two requests.  Okay, so two pleas.  Get me out of here.  Alive.  Please.  These are my only requests.

I wrote my tags and for them I chose despondence, despair, and desperation.  I need to look up the origin of desp because my pathos and longing exists in all of these desp words.  Okay, so I looked up despondence and it comes from forlorn, which literally means lost.  I looked up despair and it arises from lack of hope.  I looked up desperation and it also arises from lack of hope.  I can see its connection to despair.  Interesting words.  Funny the desp is not a root.

Anyway, I have to leave this place or I will wither.  Actually, I already am.

Our Non-Traditional Family

I’m sitting here at my computer doing my thing and my dogs are all hovering, their personalities evident in the hovering each of them does.

Molly, the half lab half border collie, is standing next to me, her head half down.  Every so often she’ll glance up and then look back down at the floor.  I’m here, but don’t notice me, but if you do, I’d like a pet, but you don’t have to.  I mean, I know you’re busy, so I won’t bug you, but if you do happen to look at me and you do happen to want to pet someone, I wouldn’t be offended if you petted me.

Edna, the greyhound, is dumb as a fence post and kidnap bait to boot.  If she’ll get a pet, she doesn’t care who from.  She stands next to me and shoves her nose into my hand as I type.  It’s cold and makes me typo.  I stop and pet her to try and make her go away, but that just makes her want more.  And I think she enjoys the fact she’s tall enough to make me pay attention.  I could say that she doesn’t care I’m busy, but I think she’s too dumb to know what busy is.

Piper, the chihuahua, spins in circles and grunts.  He just drank a bunch of water and for some reason, that makes his breathing difficult for about five minutes.  Maybe he sucks in water through his nose, I don’t know.  He’s actually the mellowist and quietist chihuahua I have ever met, but when he wants me to pick him up, he either stands and whines (the piping for which he is named) or he spins and grunts.   Spin, grunt, retarded face.  Spin, grunt, retarded face.  It’s actually pretty cute and generally serves his purpose in getting me to pick him up.

So now I took too long and typed this, so the dogs all went to their respective corners.  Molly slunk into the closet where her bed is hidden under the back shelf.  She wouldn’t want anyone to notice her, you know.  Edna went to poke around and see if any of the other dogs left dog food pieces she can nibble on.  Either that or she’s lying on the floor and taking up as much space as possible.  She has two positions, spread across the room or curled in the corner.  Most times, she chooses spread across the room.  Piper didn’t finish his food after drinking his water so now he’s eating.  Maybe there is something to the theory that he gets water in his nose since his snout is all pushed in.  Damn he’s cute.

I love my pack of dogs.  I’m their Pied Piper and lead dog.  It’s kind of funny.  Milla hates it that she’s not leader.  She asked me why I got to be leader.  I told her I didn’t choose it, the dogs did.  I told her she could be leader if they picked her.  Unfortunately since she drags them around on leashes and does things like trying to make Molly jump fences like an agility dog, or forces lazy ass Edna to run up the hill with her, being leader of the pack isn’t going to happen anytime soon.  Friday the cat doesn’t mind her mauling him.  In fact he searches her out, flopping on his back at her feet begging her to drag him around.  Perhaps she can pretend to be his leader since he loves the attention, although cats don’t seem to seek a leader.  He does treat us like his family though, coming in to lie on the bed with us at night, shoving his head under our hands for pets until we fall asleep.  It’s all good.

Funny that our family is mostly a bunch of non-human animals.  I bet we would give the traditional family values people something to cry over.  Actually, we already did, what with Milla being born out of wedlock, her dad and I living in sin for 5 years, and then splitting up.  Yikes! We’re the devil.  Now, I have this bastard child living with a bunch of dogs and a cat like her family.  Oh my God!  Call out the guard.  Sin is afoot!  Ah well. Sarcasm aside, it’s a good non-traditional family.

All the Wittle Animals and Adam

My friend wrote this.  I thought it was such a funny story, I had to post it.

Once upon a time, God got an itch to create himself some little planet.  Yeah.  And on the planet he put all the wittle animals, some shrubbery, and Adam.  Oh, and then he turned on the light.  And then he rested.  Yeah.  And Adam was lonely so he ripped out a rib and created a woman.  Yeah.  And then God made sure that Adam and Eve were stupid and wouldn’t question anything.  Yeah.  So then, there was a snake, a talking snake, that persuaded Eve to eat an apple.  Yeah.  And then, well, then everything went to hell (woman’s fault, you know).  And then, God wrote the bible and told everyone that this was the Bible and that it was the word of God and that you had to obey it all.  Yeah, even the parts where you stone your own children to death if they profess non belief.  — CW, 2008

My choosing to publish this story represents a perfect microcosm of a little problem I have been dealing with lately.  As cliche’ as it sounds, on some level my blog is my own personal therapy session.  I come here and spout and think and muse and make shit up no one cares about.  Part of the deal for me is that I have to be brutally honest.  But also, no censoring.  And lately, I have wanted to censor.  I have been worrying way too much about who might read this and their reaction.  As a result, I have not been the happiest little camper lately.  Part of it, I’m sure, is that I’ve not been sleeping well.  Not sleeping makes me turn into a rather cranky little monster, if you know what I mean.  Lack of sleep will do that to a person.

But another part of my angst has been wanting to write stuff and then not doing it because of my perceived expectation of a reaction or concern over what others will think of me.  I even went so far as to delete the post I wrote on toxic work places because I was worried someone at the old workplace would read it.  I also worried about what I wrote yesterday about wanting a boyfriend, all concerned the man I’m going on a date with might read it, realize I’m bananas, and run screaming for the hills.  I worried a parent in Milla’s class might discover what a foul-mouthed hooligan I can be.  Then there were a few days where all I wanted to write was a bunch of negativity because I was mired in a sleep-deprived, hormonally-induced, mini depressional psychosis and I didn’t want people to think I’m that much of a mental health disaster.  For over a week now I have not written much at all because of concern over someone reading what I had to say.

Then last night I was reading and taking a nice bath to relax before bed in the hope I would fall asleep when I realized what I have been doing.  I realized I was censoring myself and I had to ask, what in the world is going on here?  I am not writing for the audience, I am writing for me, regardless how stupid, opinionated, depressed, or ridiculous I may be.  I want to have an audience, that’s why I put it out there.  But I can’t write with the audience in mind.  So I had this little epiphany and resolved to go back to being my usual blabber-mouthed, opinionated, cussing sometimes self, regardless if I was having a good day and regardless what anyone else might think or say.

Then this morning I received the story my friend wrote and wanted to post it because I think it is hilarious.  I cut and pasted it and put it into my wordpress window, then when it came time to tag it and categorize it, I started to worry about offending someone or the neo-nazi religious types that might read it and send me hate mail and I got a little flutter and almost didn’t put anything in the tags and only a couple of categories to ensure no one would read it.  Then the lightbulb went on and I realized I was doing it again, censoring, worrying about the reaction, and I knew then that I had to post it and add all the tags and categories I would have if I knew no one was reading it.  I had to put it out there, regardless of the reaction.  Because ironically enough, I honestly don’t care whether someone likes it or not.   I’m just too tired right now to deal with the possible reaction.  And that is the crux of it, I suppose.  I have been feeling so lousy from lack of sleep that I do not have my usual strength and resolve to put up with someone else not liking what I have to say.  I’ve regressed back to the person in my teens and early twenties who had zero confidence in her writing or her self.  I suppose it is normal to make these regressions when I’m overly tired, but it doesn’t mean I have to stay there.

So I’ve put on the story and I put back the toxic workplace post and I’m leaving the relationship post and if there is anyone reading it who doesn’t like it, well, I guess that’s too bad.  Go read something else.  I’m not trying to change your mind.  I’m not trying to make other people hate my ex boss.  I’m not trying to troll the blogs hoping some Prince Charming will read my relationship posts and come sweep me off my feet.  I’m writing because I have to and it keeps me sane.  It is part of my spirituality.  I know that’s a useless psychobabble reason, but it’s true, and that’s all there is to it.

A Million Little Thoughts

I was thinking about the book A Million Little Pieces by James Frey.  I found the book to be an entertaining read. James got into a lot of trouble for embellishing some of the book and not admitting it up front. I wonder what he was afraid of that he didn’t just put in some disclaimer saying as much when he wrote it.  I doubt anyone would have cared. Unfortunately, the fallout was huge, and he’s still brought up as some sort of failure of a journalistic standard or whatever.  It all was way too overboard though. I mean seriously people.  Get a grip.  What I find ironic is that people managed to get so up in arms about it considering he called himself a liar several times in the book, and also he seemed the sort who liked to make a story big.  And the stuff he embellished was the stuff that made the story big.  Plus if he manages to offer some other solution to addicts besides various anonymous, then more power to him.  And he was honest about calling himself an addict and a criminal, which he was, at least the addict part.

I don’t know that I like the word criminal.  Yeah, someone did a crime and maybe at that point they were a criminal, but if they repent does that make them a criminal forever? Kind of like an adulterer or murderer.  But if we’re going to label someone something like that forever, then if they had been honest and hardworking then committed a crime then were honest and hardworking again, aren’t they still honest and hardworking?  And are all crimes necessarily dishonest?  I have known more than one person who had an affair while married or in another sort of long term relationship who did not repeat their behavior in other relationships.  Does that still make them an adulterer?  I guess you couldn’t get over murderer though. Once a murderer, always one I suppose.  Funny how we choose certain labels that can be added or subtracted depending on the circumstances, but the bad ones certainly seem to stick around longer.  Okay.  I can’t say anything anymore.  It all becomes some damn theoretical debate in my head, all this trying to get at the truth of something that may just be limited by language

As I may have mentioned before, my brother is staying with me at the moment.  I have been paying close attention to him, and I have noticed one consistent aspect to his behavior, and that is his absolute inability to delay gratification.  I know studies show that inability to delay gratification in early life can be a predictor for addictive behavior later in life.  And Derek just can’t.  It’s nuts.  He wants something, he wants it now, and he is basically obsessed about it until he gets it.  On occasion I have been able to explain him out of his desire for the thing, but often it will come up again several times with me reminding him again of the reason out of the desire until it finally sinks in or another thing rises to take its place.  For instance, I am minimally employed at the moment, so money is tight.  This means I do my best to keep from squandering it on things I don’t need.  Derek, however, has no job at the moment and has about $700 left.  He wanted a new external dvd drive, so he ordered it.  I asked him why and he said he wanted it.  I told him he might need the money for food or something later, and he just kind of shrugged.  I think on some level he must recognize his inability to keep from spending money if he has it because he gave me $500 to hold onto for him.  It also serves as a kind of monetary deposit should he fail to get another job and pay me for the space he sleeps in my basement.

I wonder if this inability to delay gratification is the key behavioral component that makes an addict an addict.  I’m sure all humans at some point or another have moments of unwillingness to wait for something.  I know I have paced and waited and stared at the phone hoping that new guy will call, biting my thumbnail to the quick, jumping like a startled rabbit when it finally does.  Or not even waiting, but picking up and calling him, then kicking myself in the ass afterwards wondering why didn’t I wait, damn it!  And credit cards are evidence alone that many, many people want stuff before they can afford it.  But I wonder if addicts choose to act more often than not.  A food addict wants food and eats.  A sex addict wants sex and goes to find it, regardless of the consequences.  An alcoholic wants alcohol and drinks, again regardless of the consequences.  Curious.  There is probably a body of theory and study out there in addiction medicine all about this, I’m just not in the know about such things.

Well, I can no longer delay my desire to eat.  I’m hungry.  So I’m going to go and make food.  The desire to write has been overridden by my body’s need for something in its empty stomach.

Love and Pointlessness

I just put my daughter on a plane bound for Colorado.  As I sat there in the airport, I looked out the window at the plane, watched as the ramp to the door was pulled back, saw the door close to the luggage hold, gazed upon the trucks that delivered the luggage pulled away.  Everyone moved away from the plane as it readied to leave except for the truck that pushed it backwards out onto the runway to taxi off into the distance.  I thought to myself, how weird it is that I’m sending my child, the love of my life off into the sky.  Soon she will be miles above the earth and I am not even slightly afraid.  How odd it is that we place ourselves in the sky like that.  How bizarre that we transport ourselves, airborne.  And I was not afraid.

I wondered whether I would have a premonition if the flight were in danger.  If I ever strongly felt such a premonition I would not allow my child to fly.  I would believe myself.  But I wondered, sitting there, whether I would have such knowledge to honor.  Odd thoughts these.

My brother commented on my blog on him.  I reread what I wrote and as I did tears came.  I read Derek’s comments and felt sad.  That boy I love so much who I suppose isn’t a boy.  He wants to do better.  I genuinely believe that.  But sometimes I think he does not think himself capable.  I’m trying to teach him about living in the moment.  I’m trying to show him that concerns about the future that keep him awake keep him from enjoying where his is right now.  So much of his life is worry about what will be or self-loathing at what has been.  He laments his luck and I want to show him that so much of it isn’t luck, but choices.  I want him to see that he can make different choices and perhaps end up with a different result.  It seems so clear to me, yet so murky to him.

He came to me last night and said that Sarah read my blog and said I called her dumb.  I knew the moment that he said it that it was true.  I remember writing it and thinking she would never read my words.  But she did and I am sorry.  I did not want to hurt her.  I want to be honest, but I don’t want to hurt anyone.  I do not know how to reconcile that.  I think if my parents read the story of Derek, they might see my version of them as a criticism.  I suppose in some ways it is there.  My judgment.  Is it possible to observe and report without judgment?  I do not know how to do that.  I have my opinions, my observations.  Whether or not they are accurate or fact isn’t always possible to ascertain.  Perhaps there is a bit of truth and fiction in them.

Also a couple of days ago I wrote about Valentine’s Day.  I said that my blog friend admired my blog for its lack of a point.  I read him wrong.  He did not mean that, but the opposite.  He wrote to me and quoted what he said again.  He was right.  He did not say I have no point.  Perhaps it was easier for me to accept that version of reality because it is what I already believed to be true.  So often I get started, type like mad as the words flow effortlessly from my brain, then arrive somewhere unsure how to conclude.  In that, I find my lack of a point.  Perhaps it is there, but in my inability to conclude in a tight and concise manner, I ascertained a pointlessness.  His observation of my mistake made me laugh. He was right.  How quickly we assume we know something when we bring our own prejudices to it.

So here I am again at the end wondering how to conclude neatly and cannot do it.  All the previous words flowed from my fingers.  Now my fingers stutter.  I type a sentence, then pause.  Type another, then pause.  How to end this?  I suppose it’s easy.  I need to go clean my daughter’s room and while she is gone, send stuff away she never plays with.  Plus I need to build drawers under her closet and attempt to put part of the window back together.  Oh, and paint.  Lot’s of paint.  So that is how I will sign off, by begging off because I have to go and work while it is still light, moderately sunny, and I feel the desire.  There is something in the sun that makes me want to work.  So I will.

Adieu.