Posts Tagged With: non fiction

Promises, Promises

2016.

For some reason, saying that year out loud actually sounds like we’re in that ‘future’ time zone. It seems to fit better with the sci-fi feel of those tales from the past, the ones about the distant future and all the bizarre but accepted inventions and ideals that would populate it. Saying 2016 out loud, sitting at my laptop in front of a shaded bedroom window, makes me feel like if I twitched the curtain back I’d see not my typical courtyard but the black expanse of space, dotted with stars and asteroids; that my comfy red bathrobe is really a spacesuit and my coffee really some artificially grown bean that bears no resemblance to anything natural.

2016. I’ve been watching and reading a lot of futuristic fantasy things lately.

I’ve never been a sentimental sort. Symbolism and tradition are things I don’t connect to very deeply. I was born to question everything, and I think this had led me to a fundamental belief from which spring most of my philosophies- everything is made up. We are a planet full of silly creatures playing pretend. Time is a thing that we’ve created to exert a sense of order over things, and calendars are nonsensical boxes that symbolize days that were created for the same purpose. I find this to be an incredibly freeing sense of things. I believe in the Earth and the natural order of things. I’m a tiny bag of blood and water, stuck to a giant spinning rock, surrounded by stars and infinity.

2016. The number doesn’t mean anything to me, really, but boy do I love the way it sounds.

I think this strange belief of mine, which basically boils down to ‘nothing matters, and so everything does’, is why I really loved something I read this morning. It was about making promises to yourself as opposed to resolutions. Make promises to yourself, instead of imposing demands. Offer yourself a chance to do things for yourself and not to yourself.

2016, a year for promises.

So.

I promise myself…that every time I go to light a cigarette, I will think first. That I’m stealing minutes from myself to enjoy this tiny little life I was gifted with and am terrified of losing, that I’m stealing time that my son gets to spend with me and I with him. That I am risking the terrifying monster of cancer, what that monster would do not only to me but to those who love me, to our bank account and our psyche, and the demands it would put upon those that I would never wish to inconvenience. I will think of vanity, that each puff sucks calcium and strength from my bones, and makes my hair smell, and will eventually deepen the wrinkles around my mouth until they grow to resemble a tightly cinched drawstring bag, as it steals my healthy lung tissue and the elasticity from my skin.

I promise myself…that I will turn to fidgets and tips and tricks and to overcome the idiotic and irritating disorder called trichotillomania that drives me, without thought, to pull out my own damn hair. I’ll pick up my little Buddha and rub his belly instead.

I promise myself…that I will write. Be it in a journal or on a napkin or on this cool little light up keyboard that I’m banging away at now for the first time in months. Even if it’s ugly or small or terrible, I will write. That I will draw, that I will create, that I will remember how to bask in the joy of dancing even if it’s only to boogie in front of the kitchen sink while I wash the dishes.

I promise myself…that I will pay attention. To the way the cold air blows through the window and how it feels on my face, to the way that the bleached out sky looks the cover of some cheesy 80’s dystopian future paperback novel. To people when they speak to me, even if I’m not that interested in what they’re saying. To the way the warm little fur-covered fat ball of cat feels when it snuggles into my lap. To how fucking glorious it feels to step into a blistering hot shower. To how inherently happy I feel in random moments, and to how the melancholy moods crack open my soul just a little bit more to empathy.

I promise myself…that I will practice mindfulness and gratitude. I will try to slow the hell down, to do things one at a time and stop pretending that multi-tasking is actually productive. I will try to remember to taste the food that I eat, and be thankful that I have it. To be grateful for everything, even the small things, like hitting every green light on the drive home.

I promise myself…that I will remind myself over and over again of what I meant when I got a tattoo that says ‘make your choice‘ – to live from intention and not from habit.

I promise myself…that I will do more than dip my toe into the stream of consciousness that is my truest self, instead of watching it rush by me, lapping over it’s banks and thinking, huh, I bet it would be fun to ride those rapids to wherever they’re going in such a hurry.

I promise myself…that I will remember the joy of the journey, and let go of the fear of an unknown destination.

2016. The year of promise.

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Categories: Non-Fiction Nonsense | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

the last cigarette

Yesterday, I smoked my last cigarette. I told myself that, out loud, when I lit it, while I was smoking it, and after I was done with it, lest my brain try to make the excuse, well, but sure I didn’t know that it was my last one, and so I must have one more, just one more, so as to savor the moment. That’s what brains do, when they belong to me. They manipulate excuses like a saucy saboteur, creating a framework that allows for failure before the mission has even begun. Brains. What egotistical assholes.

There have been a few times over the twenty-four years that I have smoked where I felt ready to quit. I hated it, I was tired of the smell and the taste and the coughing, and the plethora of other shit side effects that everyone on the damn planet already knows about. For whatever reason, with a desperate immediacy, I would be smoking again and more often that not at a faster pace and larger quantity, within a day, two at most.

This time? Not so much. I feel the habit lurking, the habit of the act of rolling a cigarette, of smoking one after eating, or with my morning cup of coffee, but not the desire to act on it. My psyche isn’t offering compromises or cheats, it’s not screaming at me or taunting me, it’s just there; like a ghost in the background, it’s floating around, kind of confused and not able to affect the matter around it.

I even told my kid I was quitting, and as he is the person in the world that I am most loathe to disappoint, that’s holding myself to a level of accountability I haven’t previously subjected myself to.

I have high hopes that for the first time in my adult life, I will not be a smoker.

Categories: Non-Fiction Nonsense | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Laying Down My Mantle

We are all given a gift when we are born. We unpack our mantles, shake them out, and wrap them around our shoulders. They are, each one of them, custom made.

Some can wear them with aplomb, splendid things spun about with flourish, decorated with a filigree that was meant to be. They are not such a bother, these embellished mantles. Some merely hang around, a gossamer wisp of possibility, mostly neither here nor there. Some become yokes, yokes that grow heavier in such small increments that we do not realize how far they are weighing us down until we find that we have stooped so low that we can no longer see the sky.

I have chosen to lay down my mantle, to re-pack this outer garment that no longer suits me. It has grown dank and dark; unobserved, it has become worn through with holes through which I can see the glory of the layer that existed underneath. I will snip each thread, one by one, until the whole falls apart. I will burn through the thread of guilt, the guilt of being the one to choose to put my burden to rest, of being the one who has decided that I want to stand tall once more. I will tear apart with my teeth the thread that holds me to your remorse, the thread that has tethered the responsibility for carrying your mantle, along with my own, around my neck. I will leave you free to decide whether your mantle is one that you wish to bear. I have loosened the clasp around my throat, and now I wind it, gently, back around your own.

The patchwork of holes that will always remain have left me emptier than I was before, missing little bits of me, colorful pieces of happier times. Within it, though, is a lightness, a buoyancy that could not exist without the pockets of empty. The edges may have darkened, but the vibrancy of what was cannot be dimmed.

We are all born with a mantle, to wrap around ourselves. Today, I will fold mine up in tissue paper, and slide its box underneath my bed to rest with the cobwebs that will never be swept up, so that tomorrow, tomorrow I may stand tall.

Categories: Non-Fiction Nonsense | Tags: , , | 11 Comments

Blessings and Peace On All

A while back, I started doing this thing when I leave my house in the morning. As I turn the key in the lock, I say the following words: I humbly ask for blessings and peace on all who live in this home, wherever we may be. Then I picture all the members of my family and where they are at the current moment – the cats are usually sleeping (so that they can be well rested to terrorize as soon as I get home), the lizard is eating kale and carrots in her tank, the kid is at school, and the dude is at work, or still sleeping like a dirty rat.

As I walk outside, I open the request up, for blessings and peace for all who live in my city, and then in my state, the country, then on to the planet. I make sure to clarify that I mean all living beings, be it cockroaches or bald eagles or humans.

This began as much more of a self-serving practice rather than a magnanimous one, in that I believe that the happier others are, the less of their burden I will be required to carry. I’ve no trouble with empathy, and with sharing the load of a friend going through rough times. I will not lie and say that, along with my own crazy head troubles, occasionally that load gets heavier than I feel I can shoulder.

The mantra is kind of a life line for me. My tendency when overwhelmed is to go numb, to retreat to my Netflix and my cats, and untether myself from the tenuous connections of humanity. This, not surprisingly, leads to existential ansgty crises of what’s it all about, what does any of it matter, why should I even care. I relate to Holden Caulfield and Albert Camus, not my drunken upstairs neighbor, or my friend who keeps making the same mistakes in her life over and over again. I retreat to the above it all intellectual teenager that I was, when in fact I am the mother of a damn teenager and should stop it.

I’m not a particularly spiritual person, and while I definitely consider myself both a student and practitioner of yoga, it’s very easy for me to fall back into the I am an island unto myself mindset. It feels as if I blink and a month has gone by, and I must go through my list of contacts and touch base with those who really matter to me. Thankfully, they all know me well enough that my frequent sojourns into silence do not affect our friendship, but I still feel like a terrible person when I realize I’m not giving what I should to those who have given me so much more than I feel I’ve earned.

So I will continue to chant my mantra, as a daily reminder that no matter how alone and pointless I may feel at times, there is always a buoy bobbing somewhere to hug, to stop from being swept away to the Land of Meh.

***

This is my first non-fiction entry into the Yeah Write grid. I look forward to hearing if I missed the point of what they look for completely, or at least if I’m on the right track. I’d like to delve a little more into non-fiction work, so it can’t hurt to jump on in.

This seems like a pretty great community that I would definitely like to explore a little more. I admit to finding it a tad intimidating, but hey, jumping on in and all Head over here if you’d like to do the same: http://yeahwrite.me/nonfiction-writing-challenge-186/

Categories: Non-Fiction Nonsense | Tags: , , , , | 9 Comments

My 100th post is a true tale of vomit, mice, and drugs…

So the kid gets sick. I mean, actual sick, actually for real ‘hey I’m camping in PA with a friend for the holiday weekend, so let’s not let a full day of rain stop us from driving around in a golf cart all day cos we’re genius teenage boys’ sick.

He stayed home from school on Tuesday, and when I got home from work the poor kid was surrounded by a mountain of snot rags that could cushion a fall from a 10-story building, wearing a hoodie and covered with a flannel sheet with a fan blowing directly in his face since his body couldn’t decide if he was freezing or sweltering. I clucked around and poked at his face (that’s how you test for fever, right?), chanting HYDRATE on repeat since it didn’t seem he felt like eating anything. He was flushed though, and hot as balls, and it made my own face hurt watching him try to blink his blurry, burning eyes.

I rooted around in the box o’ medicines, and discovered that not only did I have some Nyquil Cold & Flu, it wasn’t expired or anything. I claim Good Mom points for this. He’d taken them before when he was sick (or so I thought), so I gave him the ole glockenspiel about how he was just gonna have to suck it up and suck ’em down whether he liked swallowing pills or not. They’re gelcaps, no big, they’re made to be slippery and shit, and plus if you chicken out on that first swallow they don’t get all gross and mediciney tasting in your mouth.

I walked into my bedroom at the end of the hall and when I turned around, saw that he had somehow noiselessly walked into the kitchen, clutching a can of Sprite.

“What are you doing, dude?” I laughed. “Seriously, just swallow them, it’ll help.’ I walked closer and saw that he held a capsule in his hand and wore a rather sickly grin.

‘Uh, yeah. I’m gonna. One thing though. I kinda just insta-vomited.” (For the parents lucky enough to not understand this phenomena – it’s when your child blinks at you with an oh shit look and vomits a millisecond later with no option of bathroom or bucket, just BLERGH…)

“Were you in the bathroom?” I asked hopefully. A head shake, and a finger point to the flannel sheet now balled up on the floor by the front door. Well, damn.

Load of laundry in the machine, with a race back down the steps upon realizing one of the quarters was a damn Canadian coin, then another upon realizing I’d forgotten the detergent. In my defense, I was pretty tired.

He’s feeling a little better now, swallowed both pills, and asked for a PB&J. I figured things were looking up. Since his fever was still up there and his head was all stuffed up, he decided he wanted to take a shower to see if it would help. When he got up, he drunkenly wobbled towards the door, giggling under his breath. This is slightly abnormal behavior, and I made him leave the door open in case he got woogily under the water.

I busied myself making him a throne of pillows so he could lay back without laying down (anyone with a stuffy nose can attest to the torture of laying down when you can’t breathe through your face like a healthy person) and about 20 minutes later he comes wobbling back in and plops down, still giggling.

“Dude, what’s the matter with you?”

“I feel a little loopy.” He’s holding his left hand in the air and his index finger is crooking and straightening, crooking and straightening, like the freaky fuckin kid from The Shining.

“What are you doing?”

Looks at his finger in surprise and grins. “I have no idea.”

“Oh my god, you dork. Let me see your eyes.” He obligingly lifts his head. “Holy SHIT! Your pupils are HUGE!” It is at this point that I belatedly recall that the meds he had taken last time were Alka-Seltzer, not Nyquil, and he is apparently having some mild reactions to the drug.

“How’s your breathing?” Okay, a little shallow. “Is your heart racing, or pounding harder than usual?” Shrug. “Do you feel anxious or tingly or anything?” Nope.
I put my ear to his chest and have him take a couple breaths, everything sounds fine. I check his pulse and listen to his heartbeat, everything’s all good. So now we just wait til his system smooths out. I explain it’s just a thing that happens sometimes, no need to worry, we’ll just chill.

I must have dozed off at some point around midnight, and I awoke to a wet and squishy and kinda icky-feeling something or other thwacking me repeatedly on the side of my face. The kid’s rag for his hot head. “Wha…?”

“I’m fine now, I’m gonna go to sleep. You can go to bed.”

Cool. Kisses and hugs and all that and I face plant into bed, clothes and lights and tv on, I don’t even notice.

“Mwror. Meow. MROOOOWWWWRRRR.” A weight on my chest and AGAIN something wet is poking me in the face. The cat. He is insistently waking me up, loud as shit, almost in a kitty panic. I for some reason jump to the conclusion that my cat is now Lassie and I follow him down the hallway, asking ‘What is it boy, what’s the matter?’, worried he heard or saw someone outside our windows or some such nonsense. He leads me into the kitchen and stands in front of his (3/4 full) food dish and placidly looks up at me. “Meow.”

I glance at the kitchen clock. 3:52. Awesome.

Face plant.

Somewhere in my sleep addled state, I hear the bathroom door close. I am out of bed and running towards it before I am even awake, for some reason determining that there must be an intruder in my bathroom. As I raise my hands to bash open the door and attack the hapless interloper, it opens on its own and the Dude goes reeling backwards, his own hands flung up.

‘WHAT THE FUCK??’ he yells at me, and I have to laugh, because Dude is SCARED and I must look completely insane. Realizing there’s no actual explanation for what just happened, I kiss him welcome home from the night shift and leave him kerfuffled, still half crouched in the bathroom.

Face plant.

WHAM. CAROOM. TINKLE. WHAM.

This motherfucking cat. He’s bashed through the locked bedroom door somehow and is running in circles, smashing into walls, knocking things over. It wasn’t until I noticed the tiny brown streak desperately trying to outpace him that I realized that he was engaged in a merry game of chase with a mouse. Motherfucker.

I trap the mouse in the closet and pick up the cat, giving him snuggles and accolades for being as fierce a hunter as the mighty tiger, but alas, you will not eat your prey this morn. I grab the bathroom garbage can and the long handled spatula that we use for the grill and for the next twenty minutes try to coax this itsy bitsy mouse out of this corner and that corner and the other corner and now this corner again. It took a little longer than it prolly should have because I kept stopping to Awww over how adorable this guy was.

A few minutes into this escapade, there’s a knock on the closet door. I crack it open, and there stands Dude, holding his hands out. He is, inexplicably, handing me three seemingly incongruous items – a large Tupperware lid, my pasta strainer, and a sift. I look up at him, and down at the stuff. I take them from him and solemnly say thank you. The moment the door is closed, I collapse into silent giggles until tears are literally dripping off of my face, because in my addle pated state all I can think of is a little kid arming themselves to do battle with the dreaded mouse, shield and hat and sword. I finally get the spatula under the little guy and flip him into the waste basket.

I talk to him calmly as I walk towards the patio door, having seen first hand the unfortunate heart attack  fear can bring on in these little buggers, and walk out towards the grass, tipping the can so he can mosey his way on out. I watch him for a minute, making sure he’s heading towards the bushes where he can hide, and I hear a loud CAWCAWCAW from over head.

“Don’t you dare eat that mouse!” I yell, pointing at the sky. I am in my pajamas, in my courtyard, barely past dawn, yelling at a bird. I am the crazy neighbor.

Face plant.
Five minutes.
BZZT BZZT BZZT.

So finishes the tale of why this long-winded slap happy nonsense is now being bestowed with the honor of being my 100th post. Because irreverence. And because I have no idea what my brain is doing right now and couldn’t begin to try to coherently edit this piece so I’m just gonna hit publish so I can laugh at myself (some more) tomorrow.

Face plant.

Categories: Non-Fiction Nonsense | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

I’m on a YA bender, ya’ll…

So last weekend, I went and bought the Divergent trilogy. I’d been told by a few people, teenagers and adults, that it was a good read and I would enjoy it. Meh…

The concept behind this world is interesting and thought provoking, but mostly only if you do it inside your own head. The basic premise, without spoilers, is that this world consists of four factions. If you do not belong to one, or fail your initiation at age 16 into the faction of your choosing, you become Factionless. The Factionless must live outside of society while still being expected to handle the down and dirty business of everyday life, like garbage pickup and other ‘undesirable’ occupations.

Once you choose your Faction, it becomes your family, stronger than blood. The four factions are called Dauntless, Abnegation, Erudite, and Candor. One of the things that bothered me about these books is that, at the end of the first one, there was an author Q & A wherein the author stated that her readers had questioned whether or not she had made up the faction names. Now, I’m a word geek and I understand not everyone asks for dictionaries for their birthday and then proceeds to read them when they’re bored. I get that there are plenty of people who would legitimately be unsure of the exact definitions of these words. To say that your readers don’t even know that these words are actual words? I found it kind of insulting, to readers and writers alike, and the fact that an author, a purveyor of words, would just throw that out there stuck in my craw. Maybe that’s just me.

Other than that, I dug the idea of the Factions as a literary machination and enjoyed some of the characters. Is that what they call ‘damning with faint praise’?

The story took a longer time than most to give you some clues as to how the dystopian society ended up as such. There are other tales that do the same, but with this world so closely aping remnants of our current society, up to and including that they live in a wrecked out Chicago, it left a discordant note in my reading brain. Tell or do not tell, there is no middle ground for me. Although I did forgive the Hunger Games for the same thing. That’s probably because I found the short-sentenced, gritty, and fast paced Hunger Games trilogy much more engaging.

Mostly, I unfortunately found the writing in Divergent, Allegiant, and Insurgent ham handed and repetitive. Once Veronica Roth found a turn of phrase that she liked, she really stuck to it. Shiny bits gleamed through and I reached out for them, wanting to feel a connection, but unfortunately you never really got much below the surface with these characters.

In summation, enjoyable reading to wile away boredom, but I’m pissed I spent the money to buy them. I am, upon occasion, a numbskull.

Now, on the other side of the spectrum, holy shit am I in love with the Mortal Instruments series so far.

City of Bones, book 1 of the 6 book series, is the one that got made into a movie last year. That was all that I knew about it before I bought the boxed set. It didn’t seem to have the same kind of fervor and fanfare as either the Hunger Games or the Divergent movies, but the fan base was obviously large enough to warrant some movie studio trying to cash in during the YA phenomenon. I’ve no idea how well the movie did, although I heard that the sequel either starts filming this year or will be released this year. I do know that I figure it to be almost impossible for them to muck it up as much as they did the Hunger Games.

I felt so refreshed about 10 pages into this book – Cassandra Clare not only has writing skill, she also has writing talent. She uses intelligent language (as opposed to pandering to kids like they’re morons who think real words are made up words), and writes realistic dialogue, which is a thing that I cannot praise enough. Her characters are likable and fallible, endearing and repulsive, and I am deeply invested in them already. Damn it. I have a feeling that somewhere, or in many somewheres, I’ll be ugly crying about yet more fictional people. DAMN IT.

So far, throughout the fist book and the second, City of Ashes, I’ve met humans and werewolves, vampires, warlocks, numerous types of demons, altered humans, angels, inquisitors, fae folk, and Hugin the Raven. I’ve been taken through New York and the City of Bones, through portals, underground, underwater, and flown through the sky on a motorcycle that runs on demon energies. Not to mention been introduced to weaponry, familial histories, twists and turns, love and heartbreak, sickness, death, and a coming out (I’m actually still in the middle of this story arc).

With so many chances to skimp on the delicious details that really bring worlds to life, it doesn’t feel like I’m ever being rushed through anything. I can SEE everything.

Basic summation of the plot line so far- Shadowhunters are the descendants of those gifted by angels with special powers to protect humanity and fight the Downworlders, who are pretty much every kind of demon (who come from other dimensions) or earth bound naughty supernatural creature. Some long ago trouble amongst their own has come back to haunt- a charismatic man who doesn’t believe there should be any Accord with werewolves and vamps as they’re all dirty beasts, caused a rift that is now being opened again, because of reasons. Turns out the bad guy wasn’t dead after all! DUN DUN DUUUUUUUNNNNN…..

Yes, the underlying story has been told before. Duh, since they mostly all have.

This woman knows her mythology though, she knows and understands who she is writing into creation and she is 100% committed to telling their story. They may be tales as old as time, but these are fresh and interesting angles and frankly, right now I’m finding myself extremely annoyed that the thing that I need to do to get paid is standing in the way of my reading time…

**update*** So, apparently there’s an unmemorable Faction in Divergent, because I totally forgot that there’s a fifth one called Amity. I just re-discovered it because my son started reading the series yesterday and we were talking about it. Also, they mucked up The Mortal Instruments movie SOOOOO badly, that not only was it worse than the messes that are the Hunger Games movies, the fan reaction was so poor that they have shelved the second movie that they had been planning to make for further consideration…

Categories: Non-Fiction Nonsense | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Oh Muse, where art thou…

I cannot percolate story ideas for anything right now.

I’ve read some great books lately (finished Raising Steam and Mort by Terry Pratchett, both wonderfully satirically hilarious), watched art in the form of television (oh my dear lord – watch Hannibal – this show is poetry in motion, fantastic tension and so beautifully filmed/written/acted), listened to music (the new Afghan Whigs is sublime) that usually prompts more ideas than my brain knows what to do with. All of these things usually combine to kick-start my own creative juices to flowin, and I just plop down and write. Pfffft- witness the sound of my deflation ~snicker~

I’ve read submissions and prompts for new and old writing challenges. Nothing. I ended up with some disjointed brainstorming half sentences, that maybe on another day will transform into characters that I feel like I know, but not today. What do we say to the Gods of Writing? Not today. Apparently. With much ill will. *at least I have Game of Thrones to look forward to tonight*

I got nothin’. It doesn’t worry me, but it does annoy the ever loving shit out of me. When I’m in the mood to write and I find that I don’t have anything to say when I sit down, I get cranky as bugger all. It’s like having PMS while being over-caffeinated and stuck in a line at Walmart for hours surrounded by adults screaming with laughter into their cell phones while trying to pass off expired coupons and ignoring their children.

Yeah, that annoying.

I tried to think about something else, anything else – I enjoyed an hour of active yoga, a twenty minute savasana, a nice long hot shower. Trying to let go of the fact that I wanted to write today. I watched a little kid running laps around the courtyard, apparently from his dad’s yelled encouragement as conditioning for Pee-Wee Football (I thought that was the wrong sport for this season, but I admit I’m not much for the sports except for hockey) and my cat having staring contests with fat little birds sitting in our bushes. All of these things felt good, they made me happy, they made me feel calm and centered. However, coming back to sit and try again, I feel an almost instant urge to go whale away on my heavy bag. Bunged up knuckles would not be helpful for typing though, and I’m not one to provide myself with an easy out.

So, maybe today is a day to surf Netflix (I like, or love, whatever, to watch Gossip Girl whenever the manly man is out on the town on his own manly pursuits 😉 and dick around tumblr instead of create something myself. Although I feel sort of masochistically tenacious and will prolly just end up coming back to a blank screen again and again. Maybe, if come up with enough random lines, I can string them together and pretend that I was trying to write like Jack Kerouac on Benzadrine. Yeah, yeah, that’s totally what I was going for, completely on purpose.

Which is, I think, how it’s supposed to go. Sometimes, anyway…

Speaking of Kerouac, I’ll end this with my all time favorite passage from On the Road:

‘And for just a moment I had reached the point of ecstasy that I always wanted to reach, which was the complete step across chronological time into timeless shadows, and wonderment in the bleakness of the mortal realm, and the sensation of death kicking at my heels to move on, with a phantom dogging its own heels, and myself hurrying to a plank where all the angels dove off and flew into the holy void of uncreated emptiness, the potent and inconceivable radiances shining in bright Mind Essence, innumerable louts-lands falling open in the magic moth-swarm of heaven. I could hear an indescribable seething roar which wasn’t in my ear but everywhere and had nothing to do with sounds. I realized that I had died and been reborn numberless times but just didn’t remember especially because the transitions from life to death and back to life are so ghostly easy, a magical action for naught, like falling asleep and waking up again a million times, the utter casualness and deep ignorance of it. I realized it was only because of the stability of the intrinsic Mind that these ripples of birth and death took place, like the action of wind on a sheet of pure, serene, mirror-like water. I felt sweet, swinging bliss, like a big shot of heroin in the mainline vein; like a gulp of wine late in the afternoon and it makes you shudder; my feet tingled. I thought I was going to die the very next moment. But I didn’t die, and walked…’

Possibly my all time favorite literary passage of all time, ever. Shit gives me goose bumps, son 🙂

I will not die, I will walk on.

Categories: Non-Fiction Nonsense | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Grateful…

This morning queued up to be annoying. I was ‘accidentally’ woken up at 6:47 on a frickin Sunday. Funny how every time I’m ‘accidentally’ woken up waaay too early, after the apology for not realizing the tv was turned up too loud while watching a shoot ’em up, I’m then informed that I did something awful in my sleep.

Apparently I do awful things in my sleep a lot. One time I rolled over, put my hand lovingly on Dude’s face, then smilingly said ‘I hate you.’
I throw elbows, steal covers, laugh cry scream, get up and talk to invisible people.
I don’t remember any of these things, don’t remember dreams most of the time, although I do know I snore since a recording was provided to assuage my initial disbelief of how badly. For someone who’s not very familiar with the feeling, that recording was acutely embarrassing for some reason.

So, yeah…I’m apparently not the ideal bedmate. Hey, my waking qualities make up for it, obviously, or I wouldn’t still be sharing my bed.

ANYWAY.

Grateful.

Right now, I’m grateful that my kid spent the night at his buddy’s house and is going to play Whirliball today, because we weren’t able to do much this Spring Break. For the uninitiated, Whirliball is one of the greatest games ever invented. It’s set up on a half basketball court, but there’s no nets, just backboards. You drive around in this strange little bumpercar, with a stick for steering, and a little scooper dooper whatnot (like a mini plastic lacrosse doodad). You have to scoop up a little plastic ball and whang it to hit the backboard while the opposing team smashes into you in their cars.

I’m grateful that I can eat chicken nuggets and French fries for breakfast because I’m a motherfuckin adult and I DO WHAT I WANT.

Lastly, I’m grateful that this is what I see when I look out my window right now:

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Categories: Non-Fiction Nonsense | Tags: , , , | 10 Comments

Weekend Media Warrior Mash UP

It’s not often that I have a significant amount of time to myself on the weekends (or ever), and it’s amazing how many hours there are to fill with whatever the hell you want, whenever the hell you want. Not only did I get out of the house (being as it was over 1 degree out and most of the snow had melted) and have some interesting conversations with people that I don’t actually live with, I also…

Watched:

Fairy Tale
This is an anime series I found on Netflix, the creator of which claims Tolkien as an influence. Shock that this was why I watched the first episode. I haven’t watched anime in a long ass time, honestly because I haven’t been in the mood to read subtitles. I laughed my ass off at this show, because it was so ridiculous and wonderful that I remembered why I love the broad spectrum of what the genre encompasses. The basic premise is that the cast of characters live in a world where magic is common, if not commonplace. You can actually go to shops and buy little magical doohickeys, but if you want to join one of the real wizard guilds you have to be able to perform without trinkets. Most of it was just silly, but there was a scene where a Celestial Wizard conjures an Aquarian water spirit that turns out to just be a straight snotty bitch that was really great.

Adventure Time
I’ve seen so many gif-sets of this show that made me laugh that I finally broke down and watched the first episode. Um…it’s bizarre, and sweet and funny, and the voices of the characters that I heard in my head in no way, shape or form resemble the actual voices on the show. That actually threw me to such a degree that I kept missing bits of the super important story line and had to rewind to figure out why Princess Bubblegum’s De-Corpsifier (don’t even know how to go about spellchecking that one) didn’t work as she had planned.

Tai Chi Man
I hadn’t heard of this movie before, but I’m always interested in martial arts movies and figured I’d give it a shot. The cool thing about tai-chi is that, once you master the sequences, if you speed them up you’ve got a hell of a time distinguishing it from the more martial of the arts. Anyway, this is a movie about that 😉 Keanu Reeves directed it, and while he’s in it, he’s not the star. It’s enjoyable to see him as a bad guy, though, as he’s usually the affable idiot. The movie is a straight forward take on the student / master relationship, going down the wrong path and then finding your way home. I enjoyed it, but I’m not sure I know anyone I would recommend it to.

The Matrix
So, after watching Keanu fighting in an all black outfit in the previous movie, I had a hankering to have a marathon of all three Matrix in a row. That was before I remembered they were almost as long as the LOTR movies. So I settled for buying it on Amazon for $7.99, making the bargain with myself that I would pack my lunch every day this week because budgets aint a joke, son. I loved it as much as I always have, and it’s awesome that in all this time the movie hasn’t dimmed for me in the slightest. The soundtrack is fantastic, Trinity & Neo are still young and hot, and Morpheus still makes me feel like there’s a ghost in the machine.

Read:

Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins
This one was a re-read, and just served to remind me of why I dislike the movies so much. They’re shallow and clean, nowhere near gritty enough. There’s no powerful emotional punch, you don’t get the time to grow to give a shit about the characters. Too slapdash, too pointedly marking out the parts where you’re supposed to care. The books are no nonsense, sharp quick words with a sharp quick point. The movies are all rounded edges. Of course, to make the movies they way that I think they should be made would alienate a large portion of the younger audience, but I still believe they could have done much better.

Looking for Alaska – John Green
So, I’m not sure how to describe John Green’s writing, other than to say that I don’t think there’s many people who feel middle of the road about him. I would think that people either think he can’t put a word out of place or that he’s writing just to sound pretty. Personally, I love his beautifully worded beats upon the breast of humanity. This one hit a personal chord on a couple different levels, but the narrator’s voice also had just a whisper of Holden Caulfield in it, which for me is a lovely whisper.

Blahblahblah, so there. A weekend was had by all, and now it’s Monday, and I think this is my way of trying to remember how lovely the days off felt 🙂

** I don’t know what in the hell is going on with the bold / italic whatnot, but I can’t fix it, ha **

Categories: Non-Fiction Nonsense | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

An Interesting Case Study

Alternate titles for this post:

Trust Me, I’m Just as Confused as You Are…..or WTF Brain, You’re a Dick

***

I was gifted with a contradictory personality at birth. Strength and weakness. Violence and peace. Brains and brawn. I am an extroverted introvert.

Most people equate introverts with shyness, but that’s not the case. I’ve got no problem with public speaking, I’ll spaz out on the dance floor and I have a laugh loud enough to turn heads (especially in movie theaters when I’m laughing at bits that apparently no one else finds funny). The only time I really doubt myself is as a parent, and I kind of take it for granted that you can’t grow as one if you don’t.

It’s not that I think that everything that I do is the bees knees (I LOVE THIS RIDICULOUS SAYING), I just have a healthy sense of self.

Along with all of the good things in my stew o’ birth, I also ended up with a heaping helping of crazy pants stirred into the mix. Anxiety, mood swings, panic attacks, depression – every day is like a day at the amusement park in my head, but you never get to pick the ride and sometimes the amusement is less than its name would suggest. Some people add manic, but fuck those people. It’s not my fault they can’t keep up.

Stress obviously makes them ping pong a little faster, a little more erratically, the beer pong players getting progressively drunker and more careless. Apparently, when my anxiety and my mania collide in this yellow + blue = orange popsicles universe the resulting big bang is apathy. Not like hit the snooze a couple of extra times or skip washing the dishes for a night laziness, but full on eyes wide open duh, what…?? My brain just won’t work right, I can’t make decisions, I turn the sound on my phone off and the only people that I have any desire to be around are my kid, my guy, and my animals.

I definitely can’t write. I’ve tried, I still try, but it’s all shite. It’s because I’m empty, I can’t access my normal people feelings so the writing is just crap. Ha, I can’t even write in my journal. The letters won’t come out.

I disappoint people and I hurt their feelings. The people who are close to me get it; they know that if they say Hey Idiot, I Need You Right Now that I’d never not be there for whatever they wanted. But if they just wanted to go grab coffee and giggle, it ain’t gonna happen. It’s hard for me to make commitments because if this shit hits on a day when I’m supposed to go somewhere or have something finished? That’s a big funny on you, everyone else.

There are so many tools I have that help me work through most swings; yoga and meditation, writing reading dancing drawing scratching the cat’s stripey belly annoying the kid snuggling with the dude walking in the woods…but in this apathy mode, taking that first step to get through the fog in my brain and grab on to the tail end of an idea of starting to get up and do something is really hard.

So I have to bow out for a few days. I have to ditch interactive social media, get enough sleep, and consistently turn my thoughts away from anything internal. For a few days it’s all about observation of the world and breathing, until I start stepping back into my skin.

It’s not the worst thing in the world, or the hardest. It is, however, amazing how exhausting doing nothing for a few days can be. I’m hoping that by writing this out I can shake the last tattered remains of this episode off and wake up. It’s kind of fascinating to watch the things that go on inside my head from an outsider’s viewpoint, honestly. Incredibly frustrating and unproductive, but interesting nonetheless.

I didn’t particularly want to write this. I definitely don’t intend for my head poo to become the focus of what I write. But I wrote something (fairly) cohesive and I didn’t lose interest within the first few minutes of sitting down, so I’m gonna chalk it in the plus column.

Yay words 🙂

The cat gets it….

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Categories: Non-Fiction Nonsense | Tags: , , , | 10 Comments