My friend Karen tells me that in order to stop repeating dysfunctional patterns from our past, we have to recognize that a situation may be a repeat of past stories and then change our reaction going forward. When we are in a situation where we may have reacted one way before, and we want to react differently going forward, we just have to wade through slowly, trying not to drift back into automatic responses that may have served us previously, but do not now. This is not fun. God, thinking of the one I’m in now makes my little heart go all arhythmic. I hate that feeling, my heart speeding up and thwacking in my chest. Specifically, there has been conflict with the people I shared my work with for the last three years. I find myself automatically reacting to stuff that is said or done, then stopping myself and talking myself down from the ledge. Don’t get angry. Don’t get hooked in. Even if they’re acting on their own impulses, I don’t have to be impulsive in my actions. Damn it’s hard. I want to avoid it. I want to go and hide. But more than that, I want it over, so I’m proceeding slowly through and it is not fun. Sometimes, I just want to go hide.


I Can’t Categorize This One

I’m not a seed, or a hipster, or anything that can be classified. Female? Wow, that’s original. Aren’t many of those around.

Have I mentioned lately that I’m in love with Isabel, Milla, my pets, and my new house? Not necessarily in that order. Well, that order, except the two children are interchangeable. And I do love my new little house. It’s not large, by any stretch of the imagination, but it suits us fine. My dad is bringing Isabel a playhouse. It used to be my sister’s children’s, then Milla’s, then niece Sarah’s, now Isabel gets it and she gets it at home instead of at my parent’s, which is nice for her because we rarely venture there. It’s a little blue house. I need to scrub and repaint it. I will probably choose a color other than blue to blend with the landscape.

I must go to bed. I must also confess, to the very few who read my blog, that in times of stress I resort to prescription sleep aids. After nearly two decades of insomnia, I finally gave in and asked Miss Doctor, is there something I can take while breastfeeding that will help me to sleep through the night and not wake up worrying about any number of things at 4 am? Why yes, there is one pill, and it won’t make you drive across the city to your boyfriend’s house in your sleep (like Ambien did the one time I took it four years ago). I was lucky I wasn’t killed. She said Ambien is not tested for breastfeeding. I would not take it, in that case, even if it weren’t for the driving incident. So I’ve been stressed about starting my own practice. I will be partnering with a friend and in that I’m grateful. I’m not concerned about the practice part of it. I do that, have been doing that for three years. It’s the bringing in business part that scares me, and the tension with the people I was sharing with before. Things have not been pretty and I don’t like this at all. So, the sleeping aid. C’est la vie. But it’s working and it’s working now so I’m going to snuggle my three-year-old, the three-year-old who now wears UNDERWEAR, I might add, because I knew she was ready and I told her three-year-olds wear underwear all the time and not diapers. She’s a champ and it’s going swimmingly. As is this paragraph. It has swum from one topic to the next. Amazing paragraph it is. I’ll let it go now and proceed forthwith to bed.

Unspoken Messages Conveyed to Strangers

Have you ever noticed two people conversing with one another in such a manner that says to inadvertent eavesdroppers that they want people to listen to what they are saying? They speak just a little louder than necessary. Often the topic of the conversation is nothing special. Usually I find that the speakers carry an underlying neediness, but of course, that is my interpretation. See me, hear me! They seem to say.

Thinking this over, I realized most of us probably have unspoken messages we wish to convey to strangers. Mine is that I have children. Over and over when I’m out and about without one of them, I see moms with children in tow and want mine there with me so that I too show that I’m a mom. When they’re with me, I never think of it. Weird. I don’t know why I care, but I do.

I’m often shocked at the assumptions people form about me. So often I’m going along living in my head, wondering how I’m going to fit all I need to do into my day, and I hear back from someone that I was ignoring them as I passed them on the street. I hear this and think, I didn’t even see you, and hey, why didn’t you say something? Ah well. Such is life.

Can Any of Us Fully See Others?

I think one of the hardest things to do is to accept, really accept another person as they are and not as we wish them to be. It’s also hard when you realize that people have an idea of who you are that is not based on reality, but based on their own skewed perspective of the world. I’ve experienced both ends of this spectrum this week.  Earlier in the week, I called my mom about something. I don’t even remember what it was now. It’s not important. She was helping to plan my niece’s wedding, a marriage I can’t see as anything except ill-fated. There are so many things wrong with the situation, it’s sad. However, my mom and sister are thrilled to death. They’re planning this big event and are genuinely pleased. I realized that my wish that either of them could see this for what it is and not as they wish it to be is no different than their seeing it as they do. We are all living in our illusions.

I am also continually surprised to find myself in situations where how I am perceived and the actions of people towards me based on these perceptions  is at complete odds with who I really am. I don’t even have to do anything that gives them their ideas; it’s based entirely on their own dysfunction. This is especially difficult when you deal with people who believe the world and others in it have the same agenda that they have, and their agenda is devious. More than once with this particular family I have been shocked at their expectation that I would act deviously and their treatment of me accordingly. I know I’m being vague, but unlike them, I’m not the sort to splash this shit on the internet for the world to see. If I did that, I could not count myself as having more integrity than they do. I don’t want to sink to their level. I’m finally really understanding what that phrase means.


It occurs to me that the creatures who die in windows — flies, bees, moths, winged things — die trying to escape. Why else would they be in windows? So close, yet so far from their desired destination. It’s sad really. All the trouble we go to in order to destroy them when they’re inside, but they don’t want to be in any more than we want them there. Their sad futility is wretched in its inevitability. I do believe we humans should consider such things more, rather than simply focusing on how they bother us.

More Pointless Rambling

I started writing something, but it was so dumb, I had to erase it and start over.

Driving around, waiting in line at the movie theater, being alone nearly all the time (not counting when I’m with my daughters, which is most of the time), I have thoughts of what to write. It happens all the time. Then I turn on my computer and away it goes. I keep a notebook and if I’m in a position to write something down, I do, but mostly, I just forget. I did write an HM with a slash through it in my notebook to remind me to write something about the stupid signs on Highway 26. They are red HMs with red lines through them. NO HAZARDOUS MATERIALS. Um, I hate to break it to the genius committee that thought that sign up, if someone was going to drive some hazardous materials somewhere, that person is not going to give a damn about that stupid sign telling them no hazardous materials are allowed. It’s real purpose I think (in my cynical mind) is that it is to make all of us driving along look up and think, Wow, those road department people are really looking out for us. No hazardous materials. Next time I’m driving some, I’ll make sure to take another route. Dumb.

Oh, another thing I’ve thought of a lot is that we are all people. The person who puts up that sign. The police. The president. All of us. It is humans letting others decide how things are going to be, all of us agreeing to follow some social order, that allows it to happen. It doesn’t even occur to people while they are doing it. If I don’t do what is allowable in society, some other people by tacit agreement, will take me down, one way or another. We get the ticket for running the stop sign, we pay it or the people who give out tickets will eventually get me, be it through a higher fine or a bench warrant or whatever. That’s the unquestioned part. But what if all the people along the way decided they didn’t care that I got that ticket and didn’t do anything about it? What if we all stopped paying mortgages and all the people working at the banks didn’t pay theirs either or do anything when we didn’t pay? Who is to stop this? It’s all the people along the way agreeing to do what they do as a group that allows all the behavior control to happen. It’s too bad that more people don’t go along with some things.

Anyway, I had more thoughts, but I’m tired. Funny how people now use the new handy, dandy WordPress LIKE feature, a’ la Facebook and whatnot. I kind of miss the comments. I used to get all kinds of comments, but now it’s just likes, which is fine. I get it. But anyway, I think it’s cool that people like what I write. I like it.

Why I Won’t Vote ~by W.E.B. Dubois

by W.E.B. Dubois

On October 20, 1956, W.E.B. Dubois delivered this eloquent indictment of US politics and why he would not vote in the upcoming Presidential election. Dubois condemns both Democrats and Republicans for their indifferent positions on the influence of corporate wealth, racial inequality, arms proliferation and unaffordable health care. The article appeared in The Nation.  This article is absolutely fitting today and sums up my feelings pretty much exactly.

Why I Won’t Vote, by W.E.B. Dubois

This article was republished in Hartford Web Publishing.

Since I was twenty-one in 1889, I have in theory followed the voting plan strongly advocated by Sidney Lens in The Nation of August 4, i.e., voting for a third party even when its chances were hopeless, if the main parties were unsatisfactory; or, in absence of a third choice, voting for the lesser of two evils. My action, however, had to be limited by the candidates’ attitude toward Negroes. Of my adult life, I have spent twenty-three years living and teaching in the South, where my voting choice was not asked. I was disfranchised by law or administration. In the North I lived in all thirty-two years, covering eight Presidential elections. In 1912 I wanted to support Theodore Roosevelt, but his Bull Moose convention dodged the Negro problem and I tried to help elect Wilson as a liberal Southerner. Under Wilson came the worst attempt at Jim Crow legislation and discrimination in civil service that we had experienced since the Civil War. In 1916 I took Hughes as the lesser of two evils. He promised Negroes nothing and kept his word. In 1920, I supported Harding because of his promise to liberate Haiti. In 1924, I voted for La Follette, although I knew he could not be elected. In 1928, Negroes faced absolute dilemma. Neither Hoover nor Smith wanted the Negro vote and both publicly insulted us. I voted for Norman Thomas and the Socialists, although the Socialists had attempted to Jim Crow Negro members in the South. In 1932 I voted for Franklin Roosevelt, since Hoover was unthinkable and Roosevelt’s attitude toward workers most realistic. I was again in the South from 1934 until 1944. Technically I could vote, but the election in which I could vote was a farce. The real election was the White Primary.

Retired “for age” in 1944, I returned to the North and found a party to my liking. In 1948, I voted the Progressive ticket for Henry Wallace and in 1952 for Vincent Hallinan.

In 1956, I shall not go to the polls. I have not registered. I believe that democracy has so far disappeared in the United States that no “two evils” exist. There is but one evil party with two names, and it will be elected despite all I can do or say. There is no third party. On the Presidential ballot in a few states (seventeen in 1952), a “Socialist” Party will appear. Few will hear its appeal because it will have almost no opportunity to take part in the campaign and explain its platform. If a voter organizes or advocates a real third-party movement, he may be accused of seeking to overthrow this government by “force and violence.” Anything he advocates by way of significant reform will be called “Communist” and will of necessity be Communist in the sense that it must advocate such things as government ownership of the means of production; government in business; the limitation of private profit; social medicine, government housing and federal aid to education; the total abolition of race bias; and the welfare state. These things are on every Communist program; these things are the aim of socialism. Any American who advocates them today, no matter how sincerely, stands in danger of losing his job, surrendering his social status and perhaps landing in jail. The witnesses against him may be liars or insane or criminals. These witnesses need give no proof for their charges and may not even be known or appear in person. They may be in the pay of the United States Government. A.D.A.’s and “Liberals” are not third parties; they seek to act as tails to kites. But since the kites are self-propelled and radar-controlled, tails are quite superfluous and rather silly.

The present Administration is carrying on the greatest preparation for war in the history of mankind. Stevenson promises to maintain or increase this effort. The weight of our taxation is unbearable and rests mainly and deliberately on the poor. This Administration is dominated and directed by wealth and for the accumulation of wealth. It runs smoothly like a well-organized industry and should do so because industry runs it for the benefit of industry. Corporate wealth profits as never before in history. We turn over the national resources to private profit and have few funds left for education, health or housing. Our crime, especially juvenile crime, is increasing. Its increase is perfectly logical; for a generation we have been teaching our youth to kill, destroy, steal and rape in war; what can we expect in peace? We let men take wealth which is not theirs; if the seizure is “legal” we call it high profits and the profiteers help decide what is legal. If the theft is “illegal” the thief can fight it out in court, with excellent chances to win if he receives the accolade of the right newspapers. Gambling in home, church and on the stock market is increasing and all prices are rising. It costs three times his salary to elect a Senator and many millions to elect a President. This money comes from the very corporations which today are the government. This in a real democracy would be enough to turn the party responsible out of power. Yet this we cannot do.

The “other” party has surrendered all party differences in foreign affairs, and foreign affairs are our most important affairs today and take most of our taxes. Even in domestic affairs how does Stevenson differ from Eisenhower? He uses better English than Dulles, thank God! He has a sly humor, where Eisenhower has none. Beyond this Stevenson stands on the race question in the South not far from where his godfather Adlai stood sixty-three years ago, which reconciles him to the South. He has no clear policy on war or preparation for war; on water and flood control; on reduction of taxation; on the welfare state. He wavers on civil rights and his party blocked civil rights in the Senate until Douglas of Illinois admitted that the Democratic Senate would and could stop even the right of Senators to vote. Douglas had a right to complain. Three million voters sent him to the Senate to speak for them. His voice was drowned and his vote nullified by Eastland, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who was elected by 151,000 voters. This is the democracy in the United States which we peddle abroad.

Negroes hope to muster 400,000 votes in 1956. Where will they cast them? What have the Republicans done to enforce the education decision of the Supreme Court? What they advertised as fair employment was exactly nothing, and Nixon was just the man to explain it. What has the Administration done to rescue Negro workers, the most impoverished group in the nation, half of whom receive less than half the median wage of the nation, while the nation sends billions abroad to protect oil investments and help employ slave labor in the Union of South Africa and the Rhodesias? Very well, and will the party of Talmadge, Eastland and Ellender do better than the Republicans if the Negroes return them to office?

I have no advice for others in this election. Are you voting Democratic? Well and good; all I ask is why? Are you voting for Eisenhower and his smooth team of bright ghost writers? Again, why? Will your helpless vote either way support or restore democracy to America?

Is the refusal to vote in this phony election a counsel of despair? No, it is dogged hope. It is hope that if twenty-five million voters refrain from voting in 1956 because of their own accord and not because of a sly wink from Khrushchev, this might make the American people ask how much longer this dumb farce can proceed without even a whimper of protest. Yet if we protest, off the nation goes to Russia and China. Fifty-five American ministers and philanthropists are asking the Soviet Union “to face manfully the doubts and promptings of their conscience.” Can not these do-gooders face their own consciences? Can they not see that American culture is rotting away: our honesty, our human sympathy; our literature, save what we import from abroad? Our only “review” of literature has wisely dropped “literature” from its name. Our manners are gone and the one thing we want is to be rich – to show off. Success is measured by income. University education is for income, not culture, and is partially supported by private industry. We are not training poets or musicians, but atomic engineers. Business is built on successful lying called advertising. We want money in vast amount, no matter how we get it. So we have it, and what then?

Is the answer the election of 1956? We can make a sick man President and set him to a job which would strain a man in robust health. So he dies, and what do we get to lead us? With Stevenson and Nixon, with Eisenhower and Eastland, we remain in the same mess. I will be no party to it and that will make little difference. You will take large part and bravely march to the polls, and that also will make no difference. Stop running Russia and giving Chinese advice when we cannot rule ourselves decently. Stop yelling about a democracy we do not have. Democracy is dead in the United States. Yet there is still nothing to replace real democracy. Drop the chains, then, that bind our brains. Drive the money-changers from the seats of the Cabinet and the halls of Congress. Call back some faint spirit of Jefferson and Lincoln, and when again we can hold a fair election on real issues, let’s vote, and not till then. Is this impossible? Then democracy in America is impossible.

Pointless Rambling

I had the weirdest dream last night. A woman I know who is my counselor, friend, confidant came over to me to give me a hug, and as she did, I felt something poking me in the groin. I looked down to see that she had a penis. Fully erect, it was prodding me. “Oops,” she said. “He’s a little excited.” This was her response to my discovery that she was a man. I stared at her, incredulous, searching her face for some masculinity, for something I had missed in all the times I had sat with her, poring over my life. Her visage had not changed. She was exactly the same, but then, she wasn’t. She was not the same. I could not wrap my brain around this. She is a man? I also felt betrayed that she had not told me. She had shared with me other aspects of her life that were as intimate, why not this?

I wakened from the dream slowly, existing in that place you do sometimes right on the edge of sleep, meandering between consciousness and unconsciousness. The dream stayed with me all day. I rose and performed the usual morning mundanity, then headed into work where it felt like many others I had to deal with were experiencing inner turmoil or something and wanted to hook me in. I just couldn’t get interested in the drama. I had a hard time focusing on work. I wanted to lie around reading a book. I slogged through the spate of emails, finished up some files, poked around, took a trip to the post office, finished up a few other things, and finally gave up and came home. Now I’m writing this. Not sure why. Not sure to whom. WordPress was open when I turned on my computer so I started typing and this was the result. How profound.

Simply Not Motivated

Ooooh! September 7 I got 25 reads! How exciting! Harumph. I used to get 100s a day, back when I wrote a lot and tried to be funny. I don’t even care if I’m funny anymore. Is this apathy a signature of aging or is it just me? I realized while driving to work this morning that a lot of life seems so much effort. I used to be on top of it. Bill needed paying? I paid it. Dish needed washing? I washed it. Shelves needed dusting? I dusted them. Something broke? I fixed it. Never a wait. Never a pause. Just get it done. That was my motto too, get it done and then you won’t have it staring you in the face for weeks on end. Now? It stares me in the face. Oh yeah, I need to sew the hole in that pair of trousers. And then I don’t do it. I might even wear the trousers with the hole, that’s how little I care these days. It isn’t like I’m using the time for something more valuable either. I’m not. I did paint my kitchen, but the paint tape is still there, a week and a half later. I’ve been removing it gradually. Oh let’s see, I think I can reach this piece. Oh, I have to climb on a chair to get in this cupboard and get something, I’ll pull off a couple of more pieces. But I still haven’t fixed the places where the old paint is on the white woodwork because the previous painters sucked. I’ll do it, eventually. I’m AMAZED I remodeled an entire house by myself. Where did I ever find the motivation? I thoroughly lack motivation. What is this? I’m not depressed; not at all. I really just don’t give much of a shit anymore. And that’s probably not so good. I’m kind of in a zen mood, letting some things be as they are. Maybe someday my Type A-ness will return. Type Anus. Oh dang. That made me laugh. Silly, silly stupidity. The things that make me chuckle.

I think I’ll go have some hot chocolate and mull it over. I’m not motivated enough to write anymore.


Dear Person Selling Stuff on Craigslist:  Telling potential buyers that you paid $2400 or some other ridiculous price for the ugly couch you’re now selling on Craigslist does not make me more inclined to pay more for it. It makes me pity you for wasting your money, especially when it’s really hideous.

Just saying.

Lasting for a Very Short Time

What happened to the young woman who cleaned her house from top to bottom once a week? Who if she saw a repair necessary, fixed it immediately instead of walking by it for weeks or months before getting around to it? Who finished moving into a place within two days, TWO DAYS! including putting all the photos on the wall? Who made dinner every night, or most every night?  Who always sent real paper cards for every birthday and every holiday to everyone in her address book and sent thank you cards in under 48 hours? Who even into adulthood had so much to say on this blog, she was typing late into the night or during the day when she was supposed to be working? Who had time to read other blogs and even made pen pals with other bloggers? Where did she go? I know she’s in here. Somewhere.

I would not trade my children for the world. I wouldn’t trade their littleness for anything either. Milla’s early childhood passed so quickly, like a breeze, or a hummingbird flitting by. Here, here, try to catch it, then not, and gone like a sigh. Now I want to hold onto every second of Isabel’s babyhood, but I find I’m losing that battle and not getting anything done in my own life either. The day passes. Have I learned any more Spanish or French? Not enough. Have I practiced my cello? Not enough. Have I written anything that is truly what I need to express. No. Gone, gone. Life is so short. I am grateful I finally realized about ten years ago that I could not waste my life watching television. It’s too ephemeral, time. I don’t want to have spent it on something as useless as t.v. Yet there in the cupboard sits the knitting project I started and didn’t finish, the fur ball guinea pig I was going to make, the sewing I haven’t completed, even without television, again. And the days were not filled with productivity. I did not save the world. I didn’t make a difference in any life except perhaps that of my children, and that doesn’t seem enough. Maybe my standards are too high. Maybe I too much know the limits of our existence. Maybe maybe, but I just don’t think I am doing it well enough.

Here I am again at the end of a long day and the enthusiasm I felt in the morning for all I could accomplish has filtered off, as I sat waiting at that light, as I drove through traffic, as I returned to the pet store yet a fifth time in as many weeks in an attempt to find a water bottle for my guinea pig that would not leak. And the bathroom wall did not get repaired. And the floors are still gritty. And the pictures are still not hung And the dust is that much thicker on the shelves in my living room. But Isabel is asleep beside me, and I did read three books to her before bed, and she is content. And I did run. And I did write these words and the word “and” more times than I probably should have in order to turn out elegant prose. But such is life. Maybe I need to stop trying to ascribe a grade to it. Maybe the young woman who could do all those things before is still here, she just doesn’t feel like bothering to get an A+ anymore when B or even B- seems adequate. As long as it’s not an F, I suppose I can live with that.

Watching Tom Hardy

My boyfriend caught me watching Tom Hardy videos. Lots of them. In a row. My bestest friend and I are somewhat obsessed. Oh, okay, so I suppose “caught” implies more there was something naughty in the viewing, or that I’m not allowed or something, but it was rather funny when he came upon my watching them.

“What you watching there?”

Oh, nothing much.

“Really? That looks like Tom Hardy.”

Well, yes, it is.

“You like Tom Hardy then?”

Um, well, yes. He’s a very good actor.

“Is that it? You sure it has nothing to do with that little Aussie accent?” (Or the big lips, or that crooked smile…)

Oh, well, (hemming and hawing), it doesn’t hurt.  But honey, YOU have an Australian accent!

“Yes, yes I do.  But I am not making big movies, now am I? You aren’t watching me on video.”

No, I said, thinking just how adorable it was he said, watching me on video. But if you video yourself saying something cute over and over, I’ll watch you instead.

That seemed to cheer him up.

Sleep Beckons

All the time, every day, I have ideas of stuff to write. Then it gets to the end of the day and I’ve been going and going and going all day long and I’m floored by exhaustion and there is nothing left of anything I thought of earlier. I’ve taken to carrying a notebook again and jotting notes, but so little time makes it nearly impossible to care when I actually have time to sit here and do it. I’m exhausted now, but figured I would throw in a paragraph. I’m so tired that sitting here I feel like I’m tipping. I’m probably not, it’s just that vertigo from need for sleep.

I can’t do it anymore. I have to go to bed. None of what I wanted to write seems more urgent than the need to lie down. Maybe it’s because I’m a single working mother. Maybe it’s because I’m a lazy lout. I don’t know or care right now. Sleep. Sleep.