Category Archives: Musing

Some Things Stick

Sunday, February 29, 2004
Happy Leap Day! i just had to post today, even though i don’t have much to say. eh.

last thursday we went to happy hour at Houlihan’s (it being the closest thing to a local bar) and we were playing the trivia game. as usual, i was kicking major ass. i looked over to my left and noticed the guy sitting next to me. i had to look again. and again. and then i had to ask Freddie if he would look at the guy.

the guy was a dead ringer for Bono. hilarious. hair, earrings, everything. it made me laugh. he was playing trivia too. and his nickname?

Bono.

HAHAHA!

so we’re all playing and goofing off and stuff and Billy Squier comes on the music. FakeBono and his friend start arguing about whether Billy Squier was in Band-Aid or not. FakeBono says no, the friend says yes. so they tap me and ask me. heh.

Me: no, Billy Squier wasn’t in Band-Aid.
Friend: but didn’t he sing a christmas song?
FakeBono: [singing]: but tonight thank god it’s them, instead of you….
Me: yeah. he did that ‘christmas is the time to say i love you.’
Friend: oh. RIGHT!
FakeBono: [to friend]: see! i was right! [to me]: you know how i know that?
Me: because you look like Bono? unhealthy fixation, perhaps?

turns out that FakeBono is in a U2 tribute band called Unforgettable Fire. ACK!

unfortunately, i didn’t get a chance to talk to FakeBono much more because that’s about when Freddie decided we needed to leave so he could watch The Apprentice. heh.

I almost NEVER go back and read my own writing because so much of it is uniformly terrible. This, however… this is an interesting snapshot into how my brain worked back then and it’s amazing to me how far my writing has come since then. I’ve been a first-person observer for so long that I am having trouble transitioning to straight academic writing, but the one thing I know I DO have is a clear voice and a pretty good command of the English language. Even when – especially when – I make up my own words. This post right here is a good illustration of how much I’ve improved, even if it doesn’t always feel that way. I’m glad I finally embraced the use of capital letters – is there anything more annoying than some pretentious asshole blogger who thinks she’s worthy of this kind of conceit? e.e. cummings and bell hooks can get away with it because they are fuckin’ geniuses. I’m more of a special-ed genius.

It blows my mind that 2004 was 12 years ago. I have problems wrapping my head around that sometimes because it doesn’t feel like more than a decade has passed since I wrote this little blog snippet.

We were pretty close to being Actual Adults by then. I was 29, Freddie was 30, and we were living in our very last apartment before buying our first house later that year. We both had like, real office-type jobs (he’s still with the same company whereas I have had at least 5 other jobs since the one I held then because I am bad at adulting, we’ve come to find). We weren’t planning to have kids, ever (oh, how the universe LAUGHED AT US), but we had a cat. Our decorating style had progressed from “post-college desperation” to “we went to Value City!” We were, as the song goes, movin’ on up.

I remember this particular day SO clearly. We met friends at Houlihan’s after work, which we did most Thursdays. They had trivia at the bar (it used to be called NTN but now it’s BuzzTime) and because I am full of random facts and useless knowledge, I was in the lead. Over the years, I’ve found that this really pisses people off. My handle is “Piglet” and every now and again, I’ll see dudes peer around the bar, all “who is this Piglet? Fuck, man. I want to beat this dude at least once!” They always, always, assume that a guy is at the top of the scoreboard because ladybrains? Get the fuck out of here! No way a LADY can beat a dude at trivia! But I can, and I often do. There was at least one guy across the bar, looking around and muttering when I was tapped on the shoulder by FakeBono. To my credit, I neither laughed nor spit my beer out (I was likely drinking Bass or something else boring… the switch to craft beer happened later).

This incident makes me laugh every time I think about it. I’d like to bump into FakeBono again, because I have so many questions that have occurred to me over the years. The tribute band is still together and still playing, according to their website, so maybe I will get a chance to do that and let them know that I think of them every time I hear Billy Squier’s “Christmas Is A Time To Say I Love You.”

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September 10th

Today is always a weird day for me. I’ve been doing my best to stay away from the news and other related media regarding what tomorrow is because I have nightmares, still.

I wasn’t there, though. I was 20 miles away. I don’t know anyone who died, but for weeks afterward, I saw the cars in the parking lot of our train station, gathering dust and pollen until they eventually disappeared. In the next town over from where I live now, there is a memorial with a bit of steel girder and a list of names. I drive past it at least twice a week.

So why the nightmares?

The jumpers. The people who stood at the edge of the sky and had to make a decision: burn, or jump. Those are the ones I think about, and those are the ones for whom I pray. What a test that must have been, to choose the manner of your death. No hope of rescue or escape, so you must choose. Do you burn? Or do you jump?

I’m sure some people chose to burn, and perhaps they did something to ensure they’d be unconscious before the fire got them. What would that have been like?

But the jumpers, ah.

Would you? COULD you? Would you be able to take that final step or would you need to be pushed? And then what? In those ten (fifteen?) seconds, what do you do? Eyes open, maybe? Screaming, certainly. What kinds of thoughts go through a person’s mind? Or, does the brain act charitably and black out on the way down? We’ll never know.

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Weirdly-shaped

Because we don’t celebrate Xmas, there isn’t a huge amount of pressure on us to buy a bunch of gifts for people. We get a few things for our nearest and dearest, but aside from that, you people are on your own.

Instead, we take advantage of ridiculous sales. For myself, with my rock & roll ninja lifestyle, I don’t require much in the way of wardrobe. I have a few bits and pieces that I spent a lot of money on and the rest of it is from Old Navy. Cute enough stuff at the right price! It’s mostly worth it.

I say “mostly” because, as with any mass-produced clothing, the sizing is bizarre at times and not consistent between styles or even within the same style. I’m willing to put up with that for $15 jeans, but sometimes it’s ridiculous.

My arms are too long for my body. It’s just the way I’m made, but there are very few long-sleeved tops that cover my arms all the way AND fit me everywhere else, too. I buy a lot of things in L or XL because of this. It’s annoying, friends! I just bought a new hoodie sweatshirt from Old Navy because my old one is literally disintegrating. I tried on some of the women’s styles, but I hate hate hate “fitted” things because they never fit me correctly. Long arms, long torso, you see.

So I tried on the size L in the men’s section and it fit comfortably across my shoulders but the arms were too damn short. WTF? Annnnnnoying. I bought the XL instead, and the arms are plenty long but there is a lot going on in the rest of it. It’s a fair enough trade.

Jeans, then. I have issues with my jeans shrinking. I suppose I could line-dry them and solve that problem, but that involves line-drying and other things I don’t have any interest in doing. I can’t even be bothered to separate my colors from my whites, how on earth can I be expected to hang shit up? Thus, the jeans, they shrink.

And not in the waist/hip area, which you’d expect. Oh, no. They shrink in the legs. So, my jeans fit beautifully for a little while, then much later, seemingly overnight, they lose about three inches in the legs. That is so weird.

This time, I bought boot-cut and they fit fantastically except the legs of them are about 5 inches TOO LONG. I have no idea what’s happening with that, but I’m sure that by the time spring rolls around, they’ll be floods.

I know this is a combination of me being weirdly-shaped (it’s true) and me buying cheap-ass Old Navy clothes. However, between the kid, the dogs, cleaning the house, and doing beer stuff at the beer store, my clothes basically have to be disposable. Paying $15 for jeans that I don’t care about destroying seems like a reasonable amount to pay, even if they are too long in the legs.

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Reflection

I just looked back through my archives to see if I’d made any New Year’s Resolutions for 2012. Apparently, I had planned to write on thishere blog every single day (hahahahahaha) and to “stop wasting my time.”

I think it’s safe to say that I failed in the most epic way possible on both of those points.

I’m okay with that. I know I have a strange combination of sloth and ambition, and the sloth almost ALWAYS wins.

2012 was, in a word, frustrating. We started the year with property tax issues and between that and my various physical ailments, I didn’t feel like I had much control over anything. Those two things are more or less resolved (one satisfactorily, one not), so 2013 should be better in those regards.

2012 was not my best year. It’s nearly over and I’m glad of it. Here’s hoping 2013 is better.

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Still busted

It’s been just over two weeks since I broke my foot in the most boring way possible. I get to wear this really awesome ugly-ass boot thing that allows me to walk around, so that’s good, but ugh. I am so over this.

There are too many things I need to do and I can’t do many of them because of this stupid thing. I go back to the doctor on the 27th for follow-up x-rays and whatnot, and then we’ll see how the bone is healing. What’s frustrating is that I will have to follow my instructions to the very letter because I want this to HEAL and I don’t want to be dealing with it for the rest of my life.

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Remembering

Today dawned as bright and clear as that other Tuesday, 11 years ago. It’s eerie how familiar this is.

I wonder if they did (or will do) anything to mark the day at school. What do you tell children about today? How do you explain it?

I have trouble with watching footage from this day. I think I scarred myself, since I was glued to the television for a full four days after the buildings went down. I couldn’t stop watching, even though I wanted to. Nobody knew what was happening. It was 30 miles away from us, but at the same time – on the doorstep. We could see the smoke plume from our apartment.

It was a strange time. Classes were cancelled. People went about their daily routines as best they could with tired circles under their far-away eyes. You’d meet a stranger’s gaze momentarily and see your own “WTF” mirrored in them. Towns with commuter parking lots had cars in them that didn’t move. For a long time. Weeks.

We called our parents. We called our out-of-town friends. “We’re okay, obviously. But things are very strange here.” I called my sister, for what was probably the first time ever. I might call her today. I don’t know. This is a strange day.

The Reading of the Names is what always gets me. Always. Now that the memorial is open, the footage of the Reading is interspersed with shots of relatives and friends draped over the memorial, their tears making small, salty pools in the letters, too few letters, that represent a life lost that day. It’s jarring. It’s sad. It’s beautiful.

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Force

I have plenty of ideas. Plenty of things I want to write about. My current excuse, however, is that I “don’t have time.” That’s only partially true – I physically have plenty of time in front of the computer, but mentally, MENTALLY, there is no free time. There is always something that needs my attention. Something that needs to be planned or checked on or considered. The time to just sit and make up stories is very short.

I wish so very much that I had the ability to sketch. My thoughts are more visual than textual, and I would love nothing more than to be able to visually represent what I’m “seeing” in my head. As it is, however, I only have words as my tools. And sometimes, the words feel like broken crayons in a chubby toddler’s fist. The idea is there, the intention is there, but the execution is wobbly, at best.

Soon, though. Soon.

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Okay, so here’s the thing

The thing is, I am not “allowed” to run. And this is frustrating to me on a couple of different levels. Getting a diagnosis of arthritis threw me for a loop and destroyed any momentum I’d had going up to then. Physically, nothing has changed but mentally, argh. It’s hard.

I am “allowed” to do pretty much anything else, which is good. I just need to find the desire to get back to doing it.

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Disconnect.

Do this.

Go here.

Click this.

Read that.

Listen to this.

Donate to that.

Go here to help there.

Pay attention.

Ignore.

…the list of things about which people want me to care about is very long. The list of things I actually care about is very short.

It gets overwhelming, at times. And while passion is a good thing, the knowledge that not everyone shares it is even better. I have my own things that I care about. That doesn’t mean your things are less important, but they for sure are less important to me. This doesn’t make either of us a bad person.

I was thinking today about re-reading both Brave New World and 1984. If I can locate my copies of both books, I might read them concurrently, since they are basically about the exact same thing, examined from different angles. Orwell warned us that the things we despise would eventually do us in, while Huxley’s argument is that the things we embrace will be our eventual downfall.

Huxley is winning his argument, at the moment. I’m inclined to agree with the man, personally. We live in a culture of mass distraction and it’s wrecking us. The US is fighting at least two unwinnable wars against a shadowy, nebulous enemy and we’re about to start a 3rd. Even 50 years ago, there would be rioting in the streets and protests and pushback from the people.

Instead, what makes the news? Stories about some realty-show character getting pregnant. Some celebrity’s kid was seen maybe perhaps wearing lipstick. A singer died in a hotel room. These things get the 24-hour coverage, and while we look the other way, people die.

Interesting.

So, what to care about? Me, I’m gonna take care of my family and my home and maybe plant a garden that I will try to nurture. Then we’ll see.

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Filed under 366, Me Me Me, Musing

Wading Through Oatmeal

Sigh.

This 366 posts in 2012 thing isn’t going so well, is it?

No, it is not. And that’s down to me. I am completely uninspired at the moment and I don’t know what the cure is.

Don’t feel like writing.

Don’t want to knit, even though my project is going swimmingly.

Been re-reading books because I can’t get inspired to start something new.

Can I blame it on the rain weather? Not this year! This has been a super-mild winter, for which I am thankful. I see the sun most days, and we’ve had but a wee bit of snow and it hasn’t been that cold.

We could blame it on my knees, which hurt all the time now.

Perhaps I should make a list. I like lists!!

Projects! (The exclamation point makes it cheerful, no?)

1. Seriously, and for real this time, clean out the damn basement. Our town will start picking up what they call “bulk trash” in March, which means we can get rid of things like icky old rugs and random bits of plywood that live in the basement.

2. Plan the garden.

3. Play my guitar. It’s been roughly 6 years since I picked up the guitar, and it’s just sitting there on it’s stand, looking all sad. I’m sure I have a half-hour every day in which to work on it. Maybe I’ll even start taking lessons again.

4. Write more. I try – I open up the “ongoing” document that holds all my ramblings but then my brain just clicks off and refuses to cooperate. Of course, right as I’m about to drift off to sleep or when I’m in the shower or the car or something, the brain lights up like the Strip in Vegas and starts throwing out ideas faster than I can pay attention. Stupid brain, you are working against me!!!

5. I need to do something artistic. Even if that only means I need to paint the bathroom (which I would like to do).

Hmmm.

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