I don't set goals. I don't make plans. Life taught me that doing those kind of things only was setting up to be let down.
But I said to myself one Friday--it was after midnight so in fact Saturday--in November as I watched the adorable new video for Head Over Heels by Tears For Fears, "I wonder if this song'll still be around in 25 years? I wonder if I'll be around in 25 years?"
I imagined meeting up with the only acquaintance I knew at the time, I imagined what we'd be in the future. I was of course a successful doctor with an awesome husband who was off raising our fabulous children and I had no regrets whatsoever about anything and my overachieving not-really-friend who just stopped in to brag was totally amazed at how great everything had turned out for me. I still wore the same type of clothes, my hair would still be long and just starting to go gray.
Watching the video, with the epic book-carrying and nose noogies as penalties for carrying fake weapons into a library, I counted on my fingers what year it would be in 25 years. 2010. Every November when I hear the song, I high-five myself for picking such an awesome song and figure out how many years are left.
I'm happy for the life the song ended up having, that it turned out so popular. I have good memories with this one.
Funny how time flies.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
I don't set goals. I don't make plans. Life taught me that doing those kind of things only was setting up to be let down.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Sometimes I wonder if I'm just a contrarian for the fun of it. After all, there are a lot of things considered "normal" that I don't agree with, and I've been that way a long long time. But I'm grateful to every conflict, because it makes me question my beliefs and convictions, and when I can look at what I hold dear and know that I am happy with my life, and not because someone else tells me what I need or how I should feel, that's gratitude.
I don't eat meat, I don't follow any religion, I'm no longer on the good side with pumpkin pie, but none of that was ever what this holiday was about to me. It was about my family, and I was always grateful for my family, and am still grateful for the family I'm blessed with. I consider my cats and dog part of my family without question, and include those who have gone before, and even those who don't know I exist.
I'm grateful for what's left of my mind, grateful to my limits, grateful for the will to keep going, grateful to the original caretakers of this land I live in, grateful for the leader we have now, and grateful to nature itself for teaching me how to forgive.
I'm grateful for the new people I met this year, and grateful to my old friends. If you're reading this I'm grateful, and I wish you things to be grateful for in your life for.
The subject line is thanks in Cherokee. I'm grateful for the drop or two of Cherokee blood in my veins, and strive to be worthy of it and all the bloodlines that have combined to make me. It's the least I can do to show my gratitude.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
The coffee needs refreshing, I've been on the floor a few times, but I get back up and keep going, just like always.
I've written nearly 40,000 words and yes, I drew the header images for each of these posts. It's one of those things I do. It's one of those things I enjoy doing, like writing. I wish someone would pay me to draw things and write so I could resent my gifts and feel like a sell-out.
NaNoWriMo ends, unbelievably, when November ends. Monday. That will give me one day to make up the words I didn't write from tomorrow until the weekend. Not that I haven't done that twice before.
Happy frikkin' national overeating days!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
When I first heard True Faith by New Order, I didn't know it was about drugs. I just knew it was AWESOME!
People used to ask me if I was on drugs all the time. Now they don't even ask, they just assume I am, and cross the street. But I'm not. I never was. Never even snuck a cigarette. Only drank on holidays with the family, and now...not at all. I'm utterly dull, aren't I? So sorry, I prefer to experience reality untainted by chemicals. Then again I can blurt our weird stuff with only the help of whatever naturally occurring hormone decides it wants to mess with me at that moment.
For instance, I would get these episodes where I'd freak the hell out for no reason, you know, waking up to the house on fire when it wasn't or being convinced I was about to get my head chopped off in the fastener aisle. Sleep deprivation has it's down side. But when coupled with chronic migraines, low blood sugar, a wonky thyroid, some other weird chronic illness AND metal in the eye, it's a bonanza for crazytime!
When I'd mention that I loved this song, this song about losing a childhood to fear with the nifty Philippe Decouflé-directed video, people would, once or twice, give me a funny look. The same kind of funny look I'd see when I'd talk about the cheap detective story where the hero stabs people in the eyes with pretzels when he runs out of bullets that I wrote while I couldn't sleep. I was a perfectly normal child. But I didn't realize that at the time because I was dealing with people whose perfectly normal childhoods involved Bonanza and spy stories. SAME THING. Seriously, kids...don't worry about it. You'll be fine and don't let anyone make you feel like a freak unless that amuses you as much as it amused me until I met actual freaky people and holy hell was I dull compared to them. Nevermind, Here's a neat video.
And if you can't get enough of that dude who was smacking the other dude, BEHOLD! He was in Codex.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Yeah, I know I'm not here. I'm writing a book, but I actually wrote this post back in October and scheduled it for today, like I schedule all these posts because I'm a robotic scheduling vacuum of nothingness--now with fancy flaming pants!
I decided back in September or so to maybe get myself a pair of pants. Actual never-before-worn pants purchased after 1988. For myself. To wear. I usually wear either pants I bought in Alexander's in 1987 or pants that everyone else in my family gives me after they've "outgrown them" if you take my meaning. Only the pants all look like...you know how when you put clothes on a scarecrow? Okay, like, I should wear size 10 pants but most of the pants I wear are size 14 and I have a 12 or two but also there's the autistic-like hate of anything touching my skin to contend with so I don't like getting new pants, but maybe the holidays might involve other real people seeing me and dammit maybe I want to look a little nice before I'm dead. I'm turning into a cougar, holy hell.
I got corduroy pants from Blair because they were the cheapest corduroy pants I could find that actually pulled all the way up to my waist, which is where I like wearing my pants because I'm an old lady who hates those low-rise abominations. I got them in black, because that's my idea of fancy and I can also wear them if anyone ever dies in the cooler weather months. THIS IS HOW I THINK.
The fancy-yet-cheap black corduroy pants arrived and were so baggy the crotch was around my knees. WAY TO LOOK HOTTER, DUMPY!
I sent the pants back, because I have enough pants that sag more than the body in them and have decided I'm not going to take that sort of treatment anymore. I checked off a bunch of boxes and basically set up an exchange where I would be sent the next size smaller and some political prisoners would be allowed to cross the border.
Should it really surprise any of you that I buy my clothes online? Because it shouldn't. If I go through iGive.com North Shore Animal League gets a donation so my freakish unwillingness to leave my house to go find some damn pants to put on does good for the little creatures of the world.
About a month after I ordered the pants I learned what happens when Blair gets an exchange is they charge for the replacement pants before they're mailed out and then they do a credit for the returned pants, but the credit doesn't go through as fast as the charge. So I was charged double for these cheap black corduroy pants that may catch fire and because I splurged and had the leaky roof seen to again I was $2 in the red, no thanks to Blair's asinine exchange policy. Which is so annoying I have actually put more unedited words on my blog than I have in quite some time.
Wait, I didn't tell you about the fire hazard? Yeah, while all this bull is going on, I'm seeing recalls for all the chenille clothing sold by Blair. Now, I realize corduroy is not chenille, and I also realize it's weird to have the consumer recall information news feed in my Google Reader, but now I'm envisioning these great flaming pants blazing their way to my door, and I want to stab them, repeatedly. The pants, that is. Not Blair. Blair, I just won't buy from ever again.
As of this posting, the pants have arrived and are lovely but I still do not want to test the flame-retardedness of any of my clothing. Nor do I need to hear that it will all be fine and some people have no pants, let alone fancy corduroy pants, because that defeats the purpose of me entertaining you all with this post.
I will be sure to let you all know if I catch fire.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Yes, yes, I'm writing my NaNoWriMo epic. But so are a lot of the gang from the 100 Word Stories Weekly Challenge and when Crap Mariner called for NaNoWriMo links I was like, "I WAS RAISED TO BRING A DISH TO PARTIES!"
The theme for this week's challenge was Stuffing, and the week before that was Mystery Ingredient, so I combined them both with a dash of people. Wait, did I just give it away?
My grandmother's stuffing is legendary, brings all the grown men in my family to tears!
One Thanksgiving, my wife--new to the tasty taste sensation--tried to guess what the little morsels of juicy deliciousness scattered throughout the cornbread were.
"Family secrets!" is all she ever says. It's funny, but the year she confessed that to my wife, Grampa Jed burst into tears.
She's never revealed her mystery ingredient, although I think my uncles figured it out a while ago. Strangely enough, once they work out the recipe, no one wants to eat it anymore.
More for me!
Yes, yes, I know, in 1986 my cousin and I nearly wiped out the bowl of Nan's pork stuffing. That's not what this story is about.
The entire line of Stove Top substitutes can be heard here, and you'll never know I didn't read my own story. YOU'LL JUST HAVE TO LISTEN TO FIND OUT WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Can't sleep, words will eat me. And there are so many words. so far.
Oh, who cares if I'm sleeping? No one! Who cares if I've had another bout of being me to the extreme and am still itching from it? The exact number is zero people! That's not what this post is about. Look at my impressive number of words I'm not about to go posting on the Internet for anyone to steal. Whoo.
That number and all this jive here is the most I've written in this blog for like, a month, and if you don't believe me,
It's like a sneak preview of things you have to look forward to under a row of most-used bookmarks you can use to judge me! Wow.
This is what happens when I start writing novels. I cease giving a flip about blogging. I like fiction, in fiction I can dismember asshats and have the good guys win once in a while.
Here's another song I love that totally has stuff to do with my book. Enjoy.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
We rejoin our heroine at a stoplight, headed away from yet another eye doctor who not only didn't see anything in her eye, but suggested the girl had lazy eyes and merely needed focusing lessons to solve her problems. From behind her sunglasses, a constant accessory to dull the searing pain even the dimmest light causes, she spots the planet Jupiter off to her left, hovering over the Sprain Brook Parkway like a beacon that was not at all grail-shaped but sort of starbursty on account of the scratched corneas viewing it.
She doesn't point out the planet to anyone outside of her head, because no one is interested. They have their own interests. Any friends she may have had tired of the crying and complaining months ago. Who cares about some kid who can't go out in the sun or even maintain eye contact? But she doesn't need the sun, she has other stars, and the planets. They're easier on the eyes.
As the light changes to green and the old station wagon begins moving away from the Jackson Avenue sign, the new Bangles remake of Hazy Shade Of Winter kicks in. Time, time, time...see what's become of me.
The song became such a favorite that I once got it into my head to tell someone to quote it on my headstone. "Seasons change with the scenery, weaving time in a tapestry, won't you stop and remember me." Depending on the time of day I would omit the snide extra line from the original, "at any convenient time."
Too many words.
This song, this version of the song, with Debbi Peterson's intense drumming and the whole smart chick rock thing The Bangles had going on, made me forget not being listened to for a while. Not even three minutes, but once I bought the 45 with the picture from the movie I still haven't seen all the way through because it's too sad, the song was on constant repeat until I had every note committed to memory.
As for the eye doctor, who only felt it necessary to tell me it would be a shame to give up playing the piano but not to fix the things needed to see the music in the first place...I drew a picture of her standing over someone with a spear through the head, telling the unlucky bastard it was nothing serious. It made me laugh a bitter laugh.
I considered writing a strongly worded letter to her when it was all over, about all that metal she missed because of EyeLab's policy of giving the glaucoma detecting air-blast to everyone before they saw the "doctor." I never did get around to writing the letter, probably a good song came on and took my mind off things I couldn't change.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Mattel, why did you not make a corresponding Ken as Captain Lou Albano?!
Yes, that is an official Barbie doll done up like Cyndi Lauper. No, I don't want one. I have my own Cyndi Lauper hat/wig combo Nan made me back when I still played with Barbies, and I still wear it along with my orange lipstick and hoop earrings and do Hollywood smiles at people and I totally beat Barbie to this whole thing.
There's a series, see, Ladies of the '80s. Joan Jett Barbie and Debbie Harry Barbie also exist, but aside from the high-top sneakers and guitar Barbie Blackhearts sports...they're unrecognizable as anything by Barbie going through phases.
You know it won't be long before Björk Barbie and Lady GaGa Barbie are available. Personally, I think a Tori Amos Barbie would be much cooler for little girls. Wendy O. Williams and M.I.A. would make awesome dolls, too. My '70s-era Cher doll doesn't have the If I Could Turn Back Time outfit, but that could be when Barbie goes '90s.
Come on, Mattel, if you can make pussy-whipped smarmy Ken you can make a Ken done up as Robert Smith of The Cure.
This just in: Someone has made a Lady Gaga Hello-Kitty-wearing Barbie.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Week two of NaNoWriMo and I'm guess I'm still writing, because there are more words in the wordcount. I'm not sure how many because I actually scheduled this post in October when I drew the drawings and if you're reading this bit it means I didn't get here in time to write a proper wordcount.
Today is historically not a great day for me. But it's Tuesday and that's when my blog posts go up. Must stay on schedule. Must stick to the plan of keeping my personal life out of things.
If I'm sticking to my outline, I should be up to writing a bit about guy who serves drinks and saves the world. Not saying my main characters are based on anyone or anything...I mean it's not like he gets on the bar and starts singing...yet.
Saturday, November 07, 2009
My family gave me a proper PC with a modem and everything around the time My Poppy was going into the hospital for the last time. Talking about DOS while the ambulance is pulling up is one of those bizarre moments that populate my mind about that time, and only recently did I realize the computer became sort of a crutch in my grief, that the end of one life and the beginning of another, far emptier, existence overlapped in the month I went from playing pool with a man I could laugh with and cry with and talk to about anything, to teaching myself how to use AlphaWorks so I could write down my feelings and playing pool with slow VGA characters who always beat me and always said the same things.
While this whole substituting the world I loved with a world I didn't know was going on, I changed my radio station. I started listening to "soft rock." The station of course played no rock whatsoever, but when I think back to those days I always seemed to be listening to Don't Want To Be A Fool by Luther Vandross. Yes, Luther. I love Luther Vandross. There it is. Except that last song he did, don't even mention that to me or I'll break your face.
The video has embedding disabled, so you'll have to click the link to see Luther be smooth even while heartbroken all over the city. I would warn you all to watch out for the lightning storm halfway through the video, but apparently I'm the only person who tips over when things like that appear in on the screen. Not even I have that problem half the time. My Poppy would've had a joke for that. I wish I knew what he'd say.
Listening to the words now, I realize I was probably even more messed up about things than I let myself know. I hear it's popular to write to your 16-year-old self now, but maybe she knew I'd be better off never getting involved with anyone if it meant I'd have to go through what I was seeing my Nan go through. It's easy to pretend to be fine when your only company is a grayscale King Arthur who only wants you to joust properly so he can get on with finding his knights. I still remember the names of the people I wrote to on the Prodigy Sierra games board for hints on how to get past the mad monk of Glastonbury Tor. I still remember what they wrote to me when I told them why I'd been away from the board for a while. They made me feel like they cared, and it helped. I've thought about Googling them and letting them know I finally beat Conquests of Camelot, and was grateful to them for their help during an insanely difficult time, but I think I'll just let them go on being the kind people they were in my memory.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Yes it is Thursday, but Halloween was Saturday, so my Halloween tale for the 100 Words Stories Halloween Challenge went up in the ethereal space between days known as Craggityday.
No, it went up Saturday. As did this, actually. It's all scheduled ahead of time. Very disenchanting, isn't it?
Hey, I'm writing a book! Go to 100 Word Stories for new stories! As of yesterday there are 2,000 to read, you won't be disappointed.
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Ah yes, National Novel Writing Month is upon us again and even that extra hour over the weekend can't guarantee I'll hit 50,000 words by the 30th. I'm at word 2302 in Black Heart of Mine, the story I shouldn't call the vampire western that came to me in 1997 and has patiently waited for me to realize I needed to write it down to make it count. It...might not have a vampire anymore. It might suck, though! BAHAHAHAHA! Hrm.
I'm excited about getting back into NaNoWriMo, though, because writing fiction is far more preferable to me these days.
Anyone interested in stalking me there can do so by clicking here, and I'd bitch about no one ever being my buddy over there but I'm writing and don't really give a flip who friends me at a place where all I do is give wordcounts.
Much like what I'll be doing here this month.
That's more than a hundred words that could have gone to better use. See you next week, bloggy!
Meanwhile, here's the song that provided me with a desperately needed working title: