Showing posts with label blogging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blogging. Show all posts

Sunday, November 25, 2012

midwestern people, writing, schedules, proof of heaven, with an abrupt ending.

C, Melissa, and I just returned from a Thanksgiving Day/week visit to see his father, sisters, and other relatives in St. Louis, MO. I like St. Louis, MO for a few reasons:

1a) Midwestern people, or at least those residing in the Kirkwood-ish area of St. Louis, do not seem to be in total control of their cars. At least 3 times I or Melissa were almost run down in a store parking lot; C claims he was able to escape this potential fate because he's just naturally more "specialer" than us and people not in control of their cars manage to steer clear of him in a magical way.

1b) In spite of this (or maybe because of it), Midwestern people are decent, down to earth, friendly folks. Here in the metro Atlanta area, I sometimes feel like I'm more of New Yorker than a Southerner. People cut you off in traffic, stand in front of you in the steak section of the supermarket utterly oblivious to the fact other people actually exist in the world around them and may need to gain access to your area of the steak section so freaking move OKAY??, and just generally get in the way and don't seem one bit apologetic about it. Just like pre-schoolers in Toys R Us.

However, whenever I am in the Midwest--be it Oklahoma or Illinois or Missouri (really the only 3 Midwestern places I've been that I have any real knowledge about, so I don't know...maybe this opinion just reflects those Midwestern locations and the rest of the people in the Midwest are complete nincompoops) (no! no, they are not--I am kidding: I know wonderful people from Kansas and Iowa, and they are lovely). Where was I? Oh yes, Midwestern people are lovely and polite. They say "Excuse me," and "I'm sorry," when they have to pass in front of you in a store or realize they're in the way...and they often realize they are in the way, because they are not under the impression they're the only ones on planet Earth. Midwestern people are lovely, friendly, sweet, and just NICE.

2) We stay at a Marriott-run hotel when we go, the same one each time. It is near the airport, and very nice. We found it several years ago when we needed to stay in a hotel because C's dad's house had too many people in it...he sent us to a Super 8 motel nearby, which was just fine...there is absolutely nothing wrong with hotels that are clean and useful for their purposes: sleeping and showering. ....Unless there is a night of shooting/homicide in their parking lot. That's when we decided maybe not all Midwesterners are lovely, and we needed a place that was slightly more secure. So we went down the road a little and found a hotel pilots and airline attendants like to stay at, which is this place.

They just remodeled their lobby and so now when you walk in, you feel like you're walking into a really swank hotel any D-list celebrity would stay in (we won't discuss the conditions of the rooms' tubs and the fact that rich people no longer need cord phones in bathrooms to make important business calls...do important business people often make important business phone calls while sitting on the toilet? I wonder). So you feel very swank and important until night falls and you look outside your room's window and see the Hustler Hollywood Emporium across the street, all lit up like a sleazy all-year-round Christmas tree. It really puts vanity into perspective, and I love that.

3) St. Louis just feels less ostentatious than Atlanta and, I suspect, it's easier to maneuver. The Monday before we left, Anne Lamotte came to town to give a free book reading/talk about her new book. I love Anne Lamotte, and fervently wish we at least lived in the same town and went to the same church. She is funny and honest and really real. However, I had schoolwork to do so I wouldn't have to think about it when we got back, and I had to make a decision--drive 40 miles in freaky Atlanta traffic to hear one of my writing heroes speak? Or do some lesson plans and pull some other school stuff together? My priorities won this time, but only because of freaky Atlanta traffic. I'm sure if I lived in St. Louis this would not have been an issue.

So, anyway. St. Louis is nice. And it also kept me off the internet (mostly) for several days. What a nice break--do you ever think the internet, facebook, pinterest, etc. are time suckers eating our brains? Honestly, they're starting to make just quietly watching TV (TV, the 20th century time sucker/brain eater) feel like completing a Harvard course in the History of Medieval Law.

What I discovered while not consumed with mindless, brain eating internet tom foolery: I can finish reading a 400+ page book AND still be a semi-competent mother, wrote at least once in my journal (and I NEVER write in that thing--years of dust fell off it when I opened it and it gave a delighted yet shocked squeal of delight when it realized it was getting written in), and Melissa had my fullest attention ever--she was no less hyper, but far more entertaining than usual. My patience (which is never very big) grew in gigantic proportions, in mere days.

Which is why I've concluded the internet is eating my brain (yet here I am, writing on a blog....I know. But I'm writing! And writing is something I have let fallen on the wayside for far too long, so any writing--even rambling, incoherent blog writing--is healthy).

I've decided I need to get myself a schedule. I am a person who needs lists--otherwise, I can't remember who or what I am. And my child, I can tell, will also be a person who needs lists and schedules...we are both easily distracted people who prefer mindless, wasted activities to productive, creative ones. So schedule and lists it is.

On a sad note, Tasha died before we got her to the vet to put her to sleep. Several important things about this, that my soul did take note of:

*I asked God to take that decision off my plate. Because God isn't on my schedule, and doesn't act as fast as I think God should, I assumed God wasn't listening to me at all (never, ever assume God isn't listening) and so I said fine, that's how You want it? I'll go ahead and make the damn decision. I went ahead with my decision.
*I began talking to Tasha about my decision, that I was reluctant to help her move on but that she was incredibly sick and old and there was little we could do to help her get better, but that it was okay for her to let go herself. I told her I didn't think whatever is waiting for us after this is scary at all, and that she would be young and happy again, but that we would miss her so much over here on this side of the veil.
*Tasha began letting go. I noticed in small ways, but assumed (because God never listens to me) that we'd still take her to the vet on Saturday as planned.
*Melissa got sick on a Wednesday, and I stayed home on a Thursday to take care of her. Tasha started going rapidly downhill that night--so much so that I woke up C to ask if we should go ahead and take her to the vet the next morning, though I really didn't think she'd even make it through the night.
*The next day, instead of just taking care of sick Melissa, I helped sick Tasha die.
*Tasha died at 10:15 am on Thursday, November 15, 2012. 

I think events like these are spiritual mile markers; events the Universe puts us through to shake us up and make us see what matters. God did take the decision making off my plate. But God also let me see why we should always be careful about what we ask for--watching Tasha go through her dying process was terrible, for her and for me. However, she has gone onto be part of God's peace, and I am left with wrenching memories of watching her die and incredible guilt that I didn't help her go over sooner so she didn't have to go through that...I won't do that again with another aging animal. Lesson learned, the hard way (as I usually like to learn all my hardest lessons, which I suppose God is already quite aware about me). But God also made sure I was there to be with her when she died, and I am thankful to him for that. And she did die at home, with someone petting her head telling her it was okay to go, just let go, until she finally did. I just wish it had been much more quietly, in her sleep (I think that's what I was thinking/hoping it would be...it was the opposite).

I miss her deeply--people who don't get attached to animals will not understand this. If I were a witch (and I am not, no matter how many times Melissa insists that I am), Tasha would have been my familiar, and my most important, best spells would all be broken now. There are signs of her everywhere still in our house--I'll find pieces of fur every now and then, and the Friday after she died I found one of her whiskers by her favorite window spot. It's always sad to come home and know she won't come downstairs to lay on the sofa next to me, or on a chair. But I think some part of her is still here; I feel her presence everywhere. I hope she understands, in whatever form she's in now. I talk to her every day, just in case she's still here.

I've started reading a book called PROOF OF HEAVEN by Dr. Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon who once thought the brain was solely responsible for Near Death Experiences of people claiming to have been to Heaven when they died. He claims he has evidence that dying is not necessarily a brain thing, and this also makes me want to raise my fist in a victory salute (remember in my last blog entry, how I was all: "Curses on YOU, party pooper brain scientists!"? Dr. Eben Alexander is officially off my Party Pooper Brain Scientist list). It's a comforting book...if you're a party pooper brain scientist, I'm sure you'll find a lot in it to do your party pooper arguing about. Party poopers usually do; it's why they're on my party pooper/not invited list. And if you're very fundamentally Christian, you may not like reading Dr. Alexander insisting on referring to God as "Om" and you might feel slighted because Dr. Alexander never ran into Jesus or Paul or anyone while he was over there. But I think there's still a lot of common ground people of different faiths can high five about, and when we do, we can all stare at the party poopers with looks of giant disapproval. Highly recommended, for both soul peace and world peace against all party pooping.

I'm going to abruptly end this blog post there and go make up a schedule for myself. Winter is knocking and I am at my laziest, least focused during Winter.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

blogging about blogging (just a re-post from my old new old blog.)


This is my 10th? 15th? blog. I'm a wanderer when it comes to blogging. And lazy. Really, really lazy. What happens is I start a blog, it goes well for about 3-4 weeks, maybe 6-8 if it's summertime, and then I either run out of things to say for a week or two, or get distracted by other internet areas, or just decide sleep is more productive. And then I start feeling pressure to write. And then I don't have anything to say. And then I get disillusioned with myself. And then I feel pressure not to be disillusioned. And so I've decided I will just write blogs as they come to me, and not place crazy pressure on myself to come up with something witty and clever every few days or even every week. I'll just update when I update.

I have also promised me that I will not place crazy pressure on myself about keeping up with other people's blogs since I'm being brutally honest with myself and admitting I can barely keep up with my own. I know that's really poor blog etiquette, and highly narcissistic. But please know: if you visit and do leave me a comment, I promise I care about you, and will make it to your blog and read and comment and show proper blog etiquette. But I may not respond here. I'm very sporadic. And spastic.

Really, I opened up this blog as just a cathartic, thought processing, emotional garbage expellage place for me to get it all out, type it all down, and put it all forth to whoever may be interested. If you are, that's cool! Take a seat, grab a fizzy and/or hot drink, read away. If you aren't, that's cool! Have a great day/week/month/year/life--many blessings to you as you continue your journey.

I also don't actually have an official category for this blog. I'm a mommy, but not a mommy blogger; 2 year olds really only do so many bloggable things in a 24 hour period. I'm a teacher, but not a teacher blogger; teachers can get sued and written up and fired for saying the wrong thing where I live. I'm beginning to love to cook, but I'm so bad at it (and so lax and often lazy and really uncreative) that I can't call this a food blog. And one of my 2011 Big Goals of All Time is to get in shape again and complete a 5K, but I go into so many downswings where I eat way too many cookies in one day and hang out on my sofa watching House Hunters, Ghost Hunters, Dora the Explorer, and Curious George (not in that order), that I can't even call this a fitness blog. And I love to write (in theory), but I'm not a writing blogger; I bet if I actually sat down and consistently WROTE, I could probably fix that.

Really, you know what I am? I'm a spewage blogger, is what I am. I spew. For all the world to see, if it wants. I don't know why. Those around with more private sensibilities (example #1: my husband) wonder out loud why I possess this odd need to share my inner world and offline experiences with strangers and friends on the internet, off and on. And my answer always is: I don't know why? I do know I'm very repressed, I'm sure this has something to do with it. But other than that, I think I just like the act of typing. And then seeing my words on an organized, cute piece of world wide web I get to direct. (I secretly like to be in charge.)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

public dysfunction, cat gut, and surviving the apocalypse.










I like conversations. I like the conversations I have with other people, and I love eavesdropping on dysfunctional conversations around me that are absolutely none of my beeswax.


I think I just like wondering about how these people got to where they are right now, and I enjoy filling in the gaps of the story I don't have, and then deciding which side I'd be on if I were a referee in those people's Dysfunctional Life contest. And I feel perfectly okay doing this, because these people are having their dysfunctional conversations in public locations, and they are having them in REALLY LOUD VOICES EVERYONE AROUND THEM CAN HEAR.


(I would like note: I am perfectly okay with other people judging my dysfunctional public conversations as well. {I have exactly 5 of these per year.})


CONVERSATION #1: Filling in the Gaps of Family Feud Dilemmas.


As I type this, I am drinking an iced tea at a McDonald's, and I'm listening to the man in the booth behind me talk on his cellphone. He's very upset, and this is the one-sided conversation I'm currently unable to ignore because it's being conducted IN A REALLY LOUD VOICE EVERYONE WITHIN 40 FEET OF IT CAN HEAR:


**********************************************

MAN: I think that boy is losing his mind. He's mistaking me for someone who actually gives a damn about him.


Well, he needs to check himself into a mental hospital.


Wait! Who was that girl? The one that spit in your mom's face? Yeah, she needs to (long string of expletives).


(here, I want to cover the ears of the 2 small children standing by their mom right now at the drink machine across from this man's booth)(no! wait! i think they only speak Spanish, so they might be okay. phew!)


Oh yeah. He definitely needs his ass beat more than her.


No. I like my mom a lot better when she's drunk, she kind of gets back into her old self.


No way! I'd be right there at the alter with a...a...MATCH. Woosh! Yeah I know. Because the other day she told me she wants to make her status: "I'm so glad my husband doesn't play video games all damn day." Yeah, you should go check out her crazy statuses.


No. He deleted his facebook because he got tired of her putting the family drama online for everyone to see.


(here, I feel really guilty because of course I'm putting his family drama on my blog.) But then he says THIS little nugget:


That's why I'm filling out an application to work here.


*****************************************************


Filling in the gaps:


From what I can tell, there are many mentally unbalanced people this man knows but two of them are extremely pissing him off right now.He's an artist in the use of the expletives, and doesn't look around to make sure youngsters aren't in the area before unleashing his art. He prefers his mom drunk and there appears to be someone in his family who enjoys having dysfunctional family feuds on facebook. And also, (possibly) he'd like to work at McDonald's because of all of this.


I'm not sure who's side to take, because I think there are may be about 30 people involved in this Dysfunction Family Feud and that's making my brain hurt. And also, I think I'd need to see the drunk mom in action first and also hear from the girl who spit in the mom's face before taking sides.


Also, I hope he gets a job here and tells that girl to stop spitting in moms' faces.


CONVERSATION #2: Cat Gut Talk.


I need to make a vet appointment for my cat. She's quite old (15 or 16), she's lost a lot of weight, and she's been throwing up--no place in my house is safe, or sacred, from the contents of Tasha's cat gut. I suspect feline renal failure, and so I've kind of been putting a vet visit off for awhile. First because of our money situation while C was still job hunting, and now...I just don't want to know? I guess? But I should know. I should know so I can feel better if that's not what's going on...or so I can make some hard decisions.


C once told me he thinks there should be a limit on how much an animal's life is worth. For a cat, he figures about $500. (I've since come to believe he falls just as much in love with animals as me, and just says these things to freak me out so I'll have public dysfunctional conversations with him.) (for the record, C grew up with dogs, reptiles, birds, fish, and--confirmed by his mother--a pony.)


Recently, while riding around town discussing Tasha's situation, we had this conversation:


ME: I really need to get Tasha to a vet. But I don't want to.


C: Why not?

ME: Because I think I'm afraid to know. I know I need to know, but I don't think I want to know.


C: You should find out.


ME: I should find out.



C: But if they say anything crazy, like she needs major surgery to have a kidney removed or something, I don't think you should do that.


ME: No, no. If it's that bad, I guess I just want an idea of how much longer she has to live a comfortable life, and then we'll have to start saying good-byes.


C: I agree. Because you know. I'm not big on kidney removal.


CONVERSATION #3: Don't Pick Me for Your Apocalypse Team.



A couple of weeks ago, we had a crazy night. Melissa had a nasty case of diaper rash and kept pooping diahrrea everywhere but then wouldn't let us change her because she knew it would hurt which was just making her skin even more raw, a nasty tropical depression decided to move through our area knocking out power for 8 hours, and, due to bizarre circumstances involving one family dinner out followed by a lack of house keys, we were locked out of our house for 3 hours until C was able to break in.


Then, the following day, I drove him to the airport for his annual fishing trip and we were besieged with roads closed due to flooding and big traffic jams but not offered any alternate routes to the airport and just had to follow drivers in front of us hoping they, too, needed to catch a plane, and I had exactly 30 minutes to drop him off and then get to work which was 60 minutes away.


I do not do well under these types of stressful situations. My innards twist into knots and my brain feels like it will explode. This makes me snappy and when I get snappy, I alienate everyone around me.


In other words, I am the last (the very last) person you want on your team during an Apocalypse (but I'm the first person you want on the other team during an episode of SURVIVOR: CANNIBAL ISLAND).


This was our airport ride conversation:


C: Would you calm down? There’s nothing anyone can do about this right now, so just stop.


ME: Look, it’s just…it’s just I can’t help it. I would be terrible in an Apocalypse. I’m so sorry you got me as your Apocalypse side kick, honey.


C: Huh??


ME: You know how I am. Look at how I'm acting right now. I just don’t do well in these kinds of situations. I get tense, and when I’m tense you know I get really snappy, and when I get snappy I just lose my mind and alienate everyone around me. I’m pretty sure I’ll lose my mind in the Apocalypse and get ejected from the group of surviving humans.


C: Look, can you be weird AFTER I get on the plane?


ME: Remember last night? When the storms came through and our electricity went out and I forgot to bring a house key with us and we couldn’t get in the house and Melissa had the poop in her diaper with the diaper rash and she wouldn’t let me change her diaper and I was tense because I knew the poop was eating into her already rashy skin? And remember how I was so snappy with everyone?


I swear to God, last night I was THISCLOSE to losing my mind last night. I bet I’d be a trillion times worse during an Apocalypse. Nobody wants that.


C: Stop that. You wouldn’t lose your mind.


ME: Yes I would. Because when we were all in bed and the power was still out, I was just lying there, and my mind was racing, thinking and thinking. Like I could hear every! single! sound! and that was so weird and kind of making me nuts, and what if they never got the power back on? How would I get ready for work tomorrow? What if the power NEVER CAME BACK ON?? And also, all our food in the refrigerator was going bad, and who would I call if nobody ever got the power back on? And you were gone on your fishing trip? Who would I call to fix that? It was going to be 95 degrees today, and what if we burned up in that? Because nobody got on our power back on and we had no a/c? And I simply do NOT have time to deal with that kind of crazy anyway, why do people think I even have that kind of time for that kind of crazy?


I didn’t even go to sleep until the power came back on and my whole world was back to normal. If there was an Apocalypse, I would totally not even know what to do without power. Being without electricity would be the first thing to send me over the edge. Don't you think that's a bad personality trait to have in an Apocalypse?


C: Amy, what do you think people in the 1800’s did? They were fine without electricity. You’d just go back to living with 1800’s technology and you’d be fine.


ME: No. No, I don’t think I would. I would miss the internet too much. And HBO. And microwaves. And cell phones for road emergencies. I would have made a terrible 1800’s person.


C: Come on! You wouldn’t have even known any better. You’d just be like, “Wow, I’m so glad we got the 6 hour candles. The Smiths down the street only have the 2 hour candles.”


ME: Do you promise we’ll get the 6 hour Apocalypse candles? Do you PROMISE? Like, where do you even get 6 hour candles for an Apocalypse?


C: I’m sure Home Depot or Lowe’s has some. And you know me. Do you think *I* would buy just 2 hour candles?


ME: Okay, thanks. I feel better. But I'm still pretty sure I’d lose my mind in an Apocalypse.


C: *sigh*

Thursday, June 2, 2011

19 coffee shop thoughts.


1. I tried weebly.com as a new blog host. I can't add pictures wherever I like to in my posts over there. This is personally vexing to me.

2. I have no idea why this should be personally vexing to me, as I never actually post much of anything. I am the world's best anti-blogger. I am an antidote to blogging.

3. I've also tried wordpress as a blog. It's okay. I think I'm just a blogger kind of gal.

4. A blogger kind of gal who hardly ever blogs.

5. I'm better about writing in the summer. I have more time, and there's more daylight.

6. I'm a blogger kind of gal who hardly ever blogs, who would fail miserably as a vampire.

7. Why are vampire shows/books so popular suddenly? (I've seen all the Twilight movies, and will see the next one. It's a Robert Pattinson thing, not a vampire thing.)

8. I'm way too old for Robert Pattinson and should stick to lusting after Javier Bardem.

9. Who is married, with a new baby. What is WRONG with me??

10. You know what really bugs me? Negative people. Forgive me for being negative about negativity for a second, but really. Why do you need to spew that into the general atmosphere? Can't you just do what I do and vent your spleen in a private journal? That's where negativity belongs, and also your spleen will thank you for it.

11. I bet your kidneys, heart, liver, and endocrine system will too.

12. The summer is stretching ahead of me, far, far ahead of me. This is SUCH a good, a delicious feeling.

13. But it's also kind of a discombobulated feeling--what if I don't get what I want to accomplish accomplished? I hate having a list of things to do and lots of time to do them and then at the end of that time I've only done half. Sometimes, I've done zero. That's a really crappy feeling.

14. I don't know why I blog. I wrote about this weirdness of mine at Sweet Little Crosspatch blog version #1, HERE.

15. This coffee shop is one of my favorite local places (eat organic, buy local), but man. They just don't have any kind of characters coming in. And now it's empty (except for myself and the 2 counter workers).

16. I should probably go get my odd character fix across town at the Super Wal*Mart. They usually have at least one or three oddly outfitted, strange-looking people for me to wonder about.

17. But before I go, I'm going to buy some of this coffee shop's ice cream. Because it's summer, and in the summer you're supposed to eat a lot of ice cream. That was commandment #11 on the first edition of the 10 Commandments (when they were 20 Commandments and then God realized how short people's attention spans really are and so he edited them down to 10) (people attention span continues to be a big problem for him, i do believe).

18. I wonder why God didn't make us with longer attention spans?

19. I need a better shampoo/conditioner combo. My hair feels dry.
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