Humor · Musings · Poetry · Rants · Strong Woman · Uncategorized · weak woman

Falling Apart at the Seams

The decision is made and the work is in progress.

I will be more organized.

I begin the research, purchase the app

Organized for All Time

This is finally it.

I have won.

I get up, as usual a half hour after I should.  Not because I have not awakened but because I am thinking about a story or a poem or a painting.

Productive!  Yes!

It is usually the time of leaving that my ends become loose and frayed.

I leave, and realize a mile down the road that I have forgotten my phone.

It is only upon a full house search that I realize it is on the passenger seat.

In the car.

I drive along and just as I have passed the last little drive thru

I reach for my coffee, already twisting my hand for that askew opening

hard and fast rule in place:

light colored clothing is forever banned from my wardrobe

I am signaling for the on ramp, in fact am ON the on ramp

just moments before my faultless car

will surely patronize to remind me that I have forgotten to get gas

again.

which even when I was NOT endeavoring to be more organized

I never did.

yes that delicious sip of hot super power

is sitting on the counter at home,

I saw it while searching for my phone.

didn’t I?

Yes, you did.

And here I look at the clock.

And feel

the pallor of death, the sick, clammy sweaty feeling

that my guts are spilling out and they are too slippery to hold.

Arrived guts stuffed back in

and at the gateway to the LIFESKILL of organized.

said with a sneer.

as the second epic battle in the search for keys begins.

I am gathering dandelion fluff and milkweed seeds

on a blustery day.

I fight my very nature.

Only to get inside and realize

my phone is not in my purse.

But on my passenger seat.

No it is in my hand.

Now where exactly did I put my glasses?

Dreams · Humor · Musings · Rants · Small Joys

Suze Orzmann is Boring

I do not hide that I am a teacher, although in this climate, I am sure that there are people who are gritting their teeth, as they read this, and thinking lazy useless child hater, and unions, with a vile hatred.  I love kids.  I love learning so I love teaching, and the union has saved my ass a couple times, from some shit that should really not have happened, but they do an important job.  Union haters forget 16 hour days, 6 days a week, with poor compensation, and no benefits other than money.

But I digress, I am an art teacher.  I am a creative type.  And I despise testing.  I never tested well.  I scored poorly on my SATs, significantly better on my ACT’s.  And I was a high 80’s low 90’s student, basically because I am lazy, not in the sense you imagine, I would rather spend my time following my bliss, than working for a paycheck, or a good grade.  My grades improved significantly when I changed my major to art, and I suspect, that they would have done the same if I had changed my major to creative writing, or even landscape design, or homestead cooking.  Or knitting.

I went through a stage where I was reading alot of feel good stuff, wiccan handbooks, gemstone rituals and magic, Oprah.  But I became sick on Oprah, I think it was the day I watched her carry on and on about this fabulous cable knit sweater she had found, so fabulous she bought one in every color.  I felt horrified by this as I watched a woman in my school, a new refugee, walking down the hall in flip flops, during a snow storm.  As I watched a student, who had two shirts, wear one day after day, because his other one was in the laundry, watched as the kids teased him for his filthy clothes.  And I utter lost interest in her when she started her school for south african girls.  Awesome.  What about your own country?  I know, she is a saint.  Saint Oprah, I praise thee.

One day I was reading Oprah magazine, and Suze Orzmann was talking about money.  She is like a standardized test though, its all about the end result.  She said in the article she only had one pair of earrings.  That NO ONE should own more than one pair of earrings.  I went to my jewelry box and looked inside, which pair would I find a new home for?  Or in the vein of Oprah send to some child in South Africa?  Of course here she is on the Oprah show, and in the Oprah magazine, talking about one pair of earrings, I imagine Oprah has one in every color.  Fabulous.  Would I lose the fake diamonds?  The real pearls I splurged on as a graduation gift from graduate school?  Would I lose the tiny squares of abalone?  The steam-punk disks? The earrings I made that look like doves falling?  The tiny copper skulls dangling from a copper chain?  The copper hoops I bought in Arizona?  Hers were silver hoops, if I remember correctly, I don’t have any, maybe I should go out and buy some?  Or settle on the copper ones?

I wear alot of black, it is a habit of artists, that I embrace, it hides coffee stains, and paint stains, and chalk rubs in easily on black, so does clay dust, and glue particles.  I am an art teacher, not an office worker.  My mother in law (de facto) wants to buy me striped shirts and paisley sweaters, and flowered blouses.  No thanks I say, I prefer plain.  Later I tell the pirate, I would rather accessorize, wear something that is a pop of color or is funky, as a necklace, a bracelet, a handful of rings.  But even in that regard I fall short, because I also like to fly under the radar.  I don’t want people to notice me, because I am not flashy, or sparkly, or fabulous.  I am just me.  And I like it that way.  But as I stare down at my jewelry box full of memories, and bits and detritus of nature, and collections, and a life lived, I realize that Suze Orzmann is boring.  My bills are paid, I am saving money, and I have a few things that I would consider to be of some quality, but the best quality of all, are the tiny beads and baubles that make me feel comfortable, happy, content.  Not to say I couldn’t live without them, like hair, I could LIVE without it, but I would rather have it.  Not to say I have to have one in every freaking color.  But if I had to throw out all but one pair, I think it would be an ugly thing.  Because without the bits of my life that are, cheap, classy, raw, earthy, ugly, stupid, and beautiful, I would not be the full person that I am.

jewelry box

And what the hell?   One pair of earrings?  Even my refugee kids pull bits of colored string through the holes in their ears.  Maybe I should just do that.

What color though?

Snarky morning writing.

Birds · Books · Buddhism · Changing Seasons · Humor · Magic · Musings · Nature · Treasure

used bookstore

I had a bunch of books that I needed to get rid of.  I know, my librarian friends, and bibliophiles will gasp.  But I had to.  I put many of my favorite books in storage in my daughter’s attic, and brought all my crafting books, and the various religious books, a Bible, the Dhammapada, Siddhartha, my Loren Eisely collection, Annie Dillard, stayed with me, there were however a handful of books I didn’t want for various reasons.  One a book of Contemporary Art with an absolutely vile, pornographic cover painting by Eric Fischl, of a naked woman, lying on a bed with her legs spread wide, while a teenage boy looked on.  When I bought the book it was wrapped in plastic and there was a paper covering the well executed painting.  But I couldn’t even pick it up to look at it.  It was just too distasteful to me.  There are a number of used bookstores in this city but my favorite by far is called Books and Memories.  They buy, sell and trade used books.

Maybe I have told this story on this blog before, if I have I am sorry for repeating myself.  One winter I went into this bookstore, which was once owned by an older couple, one of whom was a teacher.  The place was just overflowing with books, almost like a hoarders bookstore.  There were stacks of books piled all over the store, which, for all intents and purposes covers a full store frontage area a half a block long, one row house wall knocked down to make a passageway to the next row house.  It was close to Christmas, and I was looking sort of half assedly for a book by Anthony Bourdain, any book would do, but I was truly not committed to putting money on the table.  The store was brutally hot, and I was sweltering in my down jacket.  My daughter and I made our way down to the dank dungeon of a basement where the cooking books were, but I grew impatient with the disaster, the musty smell, the overwhelming heat and quickly returned upstairs, whereon the patron asked had I found the books.  I said no but that is okay.  He told me to wait, urgently, insistently, and so I stood there for several long minutes sweat pouring from my brow, and that sticky ick feeling of being too hot of it being dark and having never been home after a long day of work, dinner a diet cola and an oatmeal cookie weighing heavy in the stomach.  He came up, checked on everyone and told me again to wait, no no I insisted, please it is okay.  He more forceful than I telling me to remain exactly where I was standing.  We went back and forth like this for a half dozen rounds before he scampered off to the dungeon.  The moment his back was too us and his body and gone around the corner that had at least 30 books stacked high all around it, I reached out with my witches claw hand and grabbed my daughter garbed in a similar puffy coat, hers turned to the reverse side so we did not quite match.  Lets get out of here, I hissed to her, and like minded the two of us made a made dash out into the street.

The streets were wet and clogged with salted slush and gritty water, the fine combination of salt and sand that is sprinkled on our hilly winter pavement.  And as soon as we had emerged onto it rushing to get into our car, my daughter cried out, oh my god I am so glad we left, I couldn’t wait to get out of there.  And as we quickly jumped into the car, I uttered I feel like I stole something, with that mad dash of a getaway.  And at the same time we both said, you know we can NEVER go in that store again.  It was not long after that some younger hipper, tattooed artsy types bought and refurbished the place, getting rid of many of the ugly and dangerous teetering piles of books.  Thank God, because we both go there regularly to look for classics, and art books, and whatever other treasures we can find.

Books and Memories

There is this feeling for me whenever I am in this store, a feeling that if I look right, there is a book that will perfectly fill the void inside of me, a book that will take all my angst and troubled mindedness and ease the furrow in my brow.  That suddenly some extraordinary book will leap in front of my eyes and I will emerge from the store, a changed person, because this book is in my hand.  I think it is a spell that someone has cast on the store, it is so profound.

I think though that it is the ordinariness of life that we should seek, not the extraordinary.  The stories of television, of movies, of books are all of extraordinary moments, biographies of extraordinary people, philosophies of extraordinary thinkers, religions and politics of extraordinary leaders.  But you and I, we are so ordinary are we not?  There is nothing about my life that warrants the thought of extraordinary.  I am not an extraordinary writer, artist, mother, teacher, lover, woman, daughter, sister.  I am not special, I am simply myself.

I carry out my small purple stool, avoiding the leftoever damp drenching downpour of the morning, slate still dotted with puddles, I place it where the warm autumn sun will shine on me, but I face out onto the lawn with the thought of wondering what creature will appear before my eyes.  I note a dozen or more lady bugs flying around the shed, two dozen box elder beetles like a scene from the Amityville Horror on the window frame and then not two feet from my face a pair of chickadees brave the feeder.  I call to them, and they continue to bravely fly onto the feeder, uncertain of my only good intentions.  See this moment is not at all extraordinary.  It is just another autumn day.  I am just another ordinary observer.

Artists · Humor · Rants

Cube and Pubic Hair

She comes in my room and asks me if I enjoy going to galleries, my answer is like me, frank and upfront.  I have many issues with galleries.  First I hate the pinky finger pointing in the air as the wine or tea is sipped.  What kind of markers do you use.  Oh sharpies or some cheap marker they sell at X.  Oh well I use nothing but the best supplies.  Um okay. Congratulations.  Would you like some cucumber water?  Sure thing.  But I would rather have lemon water.  or water water.  Just drink your damn tea  the right way.  Pretentious ass.

You stand looking at a urinal or a bucket of piss, or some image of a teenager spying on a woman as she masturbates.  Or an anatomically correct drawing of a testicle.  Okay.  I cannot help but think somebody is in the green room laughing his or her ass off as I stand here using flowering language to describe how astonishing and avant garde and cutting edge and visionary it is.

I tell her about waiting in line for 45 minutes to see some installation in DC last year.  Once you got in it was literally a dark room with a white wall and a red light.  Cutting edge, and visionary.  I said in my super loud voice, are you kidding me, I waited in line for 45 minutes for THIS?  This is stupid and inane and like PT Barnum said there is a sucker born every minute and I am the one born for this minute.

And frankly that Eric Fischl that to this day I cannot even look at because it is so offensive to my eyes, the drawing is just porn, and not even porn that makes you feel a turned on, it makes you feel dirty.  It kept his name in my head though.  I didn’t even have to look it up.  The book is in my box of sell or throw out though, the rest of the book is great but that picture on the front cover skieves me bad.  Real bad.  Although technically it is a very good painting, if he didn’t shock you, you wouldn’t really give it a second glance.

And as for the Picasso that someone spray painted.  Okay have you actually looked at the painting?  It wasn’t even a very good one.  But because it has Picasso’s name on it is a masterpiece, it is priceless, it is a tragedy.  Even art magazines don’t feature new artists, Picasso and Matisse, the Impressionists, O’Keeffe, yes amazing art, but tired and old, and do we have to be shocked for it to catch our attention?

Yes I guess we do.

So she says to me, so the emperor walks by and you say oh look its just a cube with pubic hair.

Yep I say.

I am going to make it.

You should do it live she says.

I am gagging.

The critics will say it will just curl your senses.

I am laughing.

(Shit I just gave away an amazing idea.)

Maybe I will do spun sugar dripping from the ceiling with all the animal hair dust bunnies floating about the room so it sticks to the spun sugar.  It will be astonishing, cutting edge, such a profound message about the nature of humanity.

Or just me laughing my ass off in the back room.

LOOK that guy is NAKED.

Changing Seasons · Healthy Eating · Humor · Nature · Photos

The Baby Carrot

An Autumn Bush Berry

“Pleasure is the carrot dangled to lead the ass to market; or the precipice.” – Robinson Jeffers

It has been cold and damp here in central New York for the last few days.  The common lament is “I refuse to turn on my furnace this early”, instead we resort to lighting a fire if we are lucky enough to have a stove or fireplace, using space heaters or baking something to add heat to the house.  It has been cold enough to turn it on, and a couple times I have been tempted but not so much.  My daughter said today that is very autumnal and she is right.  The driveway is covered with leaves, the mist is rising off the hills as the warm soil and cold air collide, the air smells of leaves and wet.  There is this bush in my backyard that has white berries on it.  I have such a difficult time with my Peterson’s Guide to Trees and Shrubs I have said it a thousand times before, mainly because it is too scientific, leaves alternating obloid blah blah.  I just want, white berries, green flowers, smells so good the bees cluster in its branches.  I guess not. I prefer my artist’s mind, it works best for me.  But alas I do not know what this bush is.  But in the wet grey morning the red stems and white berries and dark green deeply veined leaves struck my artist eye.

Lately I have been thinking alot about food specifically the baby carrot.  It is a rather hideous thing to eat, I suppose one could say it has enjoyed favor among school children and people who enjoy dips and entertaining.  But have you actually ever eaten one?  They are awful.  It is like chewing a stick of wood, sometimes dry, some times slimy but always utterly devoid of flavor.  If you are like me and do not like ranch dressing (which I call “ass sauce”) and cannot eat blue cheese or parmesean peppercorn you would realize how unpalatable the horrid little orange chunks of gnashing crumbling cough cough, are.  Also baby carrots are basically like rocks that you find all smooth and worn down on the beach, they are tumbled in water until they are now baby carrots.  (Did you think they were actually tender tiny carrots?)  No they are regular size carrots that have been worn down into little chunks of orange beach glass (and just as tasty).

Now give me the organic farmer’s market carrot any day of the week.  I know I know  you have to peel them and cut them so much work for a vegetable.  Its so time consuming it actually takes about two whole minutes to prepare one, that is if you have to eat them as sticks.  I am rather fond of the washed but not peeled or scrubbed whole carrot.  The delicious the flavor of the soil adds an earthiness to the sweetness that is like eating some favorite childhood candy, ripe with memory.  And this carrot, if you wash it requires a minimum amount of water to its process.  And you really don’t even have to dip it in ass sauce.  But best of all, most important of all, it has flavor and the texture is carrot like (not wood chip like).  I wonder if all that flavor is also the flavor of rich nutrients because after I made carrot ginger soup with it, I wanted nothing with vitamin A in it for days after.  Only now a week later am I thinking about carrots again, and how yummy one would taste in my lunch tomorrow.  Yes, washed, not scrubbed, and I may break it in half so it fits into my Tupperware but unpeeled and yummy sweet goodness.  I recommend that you try the old fashioned carrot again, and leave the baby carrots for those who don’t really care what their food tastes like.

Humor · Musings · Poetry

Daydreaming

I find my mind going to spiritual things, things I have neglected for the last two months, my yoga practice, my meditation practice, my tri weekly hikes in the woods my early morning exercise practice.  It leaves me bereft and I have allowed it to happen.  It may be that sometimes I think I want something but then once I have it I find I don’t want it at all.

Damn the pirate for making me yearn for adventure.

Damn myself for being too smart, too mouthy and too humble (read not confident)

Damn someone else for being so confident he didn’t see I thought he was falling for me, when I was not.  Just because I ask a question doesn’t mean I already own the answer.

I realize that I should just do what I suspected all along.  Write, paint, walk, do yoga, meditate, eat vegetarian, trust in my higher power, and never ever even think about marriage again even if he does get down on one knee with a giant rock.  I never did want a diamond anyway.  A shining ruby, carnelian, or a squash blossom turquoise ring.  But never ever a diamond.  What made me think a white bread steak and potatoes guy who golfs and texts about how much he sweats would ever make me happy. What makes me think someone who never earned a special song, nor was featured in my spiritual dreamings would be right.

Alas but I have now forgotten what I lost, and can face Gollum the evil one, or whatever it is that I call her.  They do say all things happen for a reason.

I realized in but a moment that I am not happy.  On my way to Washington I lay it all out for Billy and at the end he says, no matter what you rationalize to yourself this is one man who is not meant for you.  But I say there is the sex.  So make it a booty call.  I suspect I say it already is.

But I say there is the pirate.

The pirate he says is gay.

Dammit I think he is.

And now I am back to this notion that I should read and make art and write and dance alone while singing out loud to the dog and the cat.  My friends complain that I have neglected them, Ellen once again mentions her brother.  William mentions the guy he has in mind for me.  Sissy says you will meet someone again.  My mind goes to the pirate

The pirate is gay the echo says.

Dammit I think he is.

I remember Eva saying it will come from afar and be unexpected.  I find myself not really wanting to hope.

Hope is for the weak minded.

Who don’t want to live in the life they have created – that they have.

Cluster bombs you loaded on the plane yourself.

Ah.

I think I should day dream a while.

Under a cloudless blue sky.

I think I will dye my hair red.  Oh wait I already did.

And try to find God and the Goddess, in the minutia of my life.

There will be no king, because I am the one eyed ogress, and the witch and the dragon, and the maid set sail a million years ago.  She no longer haunts my dreams.

Oh look that one cloud there….

it looks like an elephant.

Humor · Musings · Nature · On Being Green · Rants

Nuclear Power

From http://www.freelogovectors.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Skull_And_Crossbones_clip_art_hight.png

Over twenty years ago I worked for Greenpeace for part of a summer.  The job really sucked, honestly, I had dreams of big protests and whales but all it was was door to door marketing.  Sucked.  But I remember distinctly some of the issues we campaigned about, one of which was nuclear power. Which I still to this day do not quite understand why we have allowed these plants to be built, why would we even consider it.

Yes it is initially a cheap source of power, but at what cost?  They talk about how safe it is and yet we have, in just the last 25 years, two disasters of significant proportion.  Oh I know Japan is hanging on by their bloody fingernails scraped down to the quick, but really it is in my opinion a disaster.  Considering that our nuclear plants are now aging and soon will be aged, I cannot imagine that the disasters will go away; I suspect more of them will occur in the near future.   One of the things that scares me the most is that nuclear power is a profit based business, and as with all profit based business, the safety of its workers and infrastructure will be compromised in search of the almighty and sacred dollar bill, the shareholders will insist.  The board of directors will authorize illegal cuts and we will all go “huh, how could this have happened?” scratch our heads while someone who wants to run for office will get up on his soap box and say “there should be congressional oversight!” and then the shit will really hit the F___ing fan.   I have no doubt in my mind that in 100 years as these plants are disintegrating the concrete is becoming brittle and the metal has begun to rust our descendants will all say “what the hell were these morons thinking?  Why did they ever think nuclear power was a good idea?”  Dolphins, whales, overfishing the ocean, pesticides, herbicides, growth hormone, food additives, putting grocery stores several miles from housing, Walmart, and fast food to name just a few things that will earn us disdain and out and out hatred.

I digress.  Who cares what those bastards think anyway, we have to have our cheap ass power now!

We have screwed up people!  Can someone please stop hitting the snooze alarm, and can we start getting our butts out of the lazy and dead asleep bed and start making some changes?  Or are we content to turn on your TVs and listen to Glenn, or Bill or maybe Anne, or Rush.  Those buffoons have it right, ah so blissful, like taking a benedryl, feel yourself drift into obliviousness.  Ah that’s better.  It ain’t your problem.  Sigh.

Or is it?

Humor · Musings

In defense of sarcasm

I wonder why does sarcasm get such a bad rap?  I have heard it said that sarcasm is anger disguised as humor but there an element of it being anger eased by humor.  If something is annoying it sometimes take the edge off of it to make a remark that cuts through to the quick of it.   Some say that sarcasm isn’t humor at all, nor is being sardonic, all considered sneering, contemptuous, bitter, cruel.  It seems as though there may be some level of wit in sarcasm, that comes from being able to see into some deep inner level of a thing.  It is a humor that does not lie on the surface of humanity but digs in deeply and finds itself laughing at our human-ness.   When we mock a thing, deride it, we are examining it, tearing it open and trying to understand it.  You want to know what its meaning is, why is it like this, and why do you ask stupid questions at a time like this, it is funny.

It is odd because it would seem that some people are not able to take any form of mockery and others perhaps can take it and enjoy it at certain levels.  I am not sure it is all bad.  I am thinking of how mocking others, poking fun at their human fallibility  is not necessarily a direct attack on a person or persons.  It may seem to be a direct attack but perhaps it is not.  Perhaps it is in fact a way of looking at things from a different perspective that is why it is cutting.  It opens it up and leaves parts exposed and raw and it can hurt, but it is deep, and it has meaning.  It is quite the opposite of the silly and meaningless antics of say the Three Stooges.  How is it funny to squeeze someone’s nose and whack them in the back of the head?  That kind of humor is very base at least to me.

One defintion says that sarcasm is intended to wound but also that it is ironic.  Irony is also entrenched with opposition.  The sarcasm is cruel irony, being sardonic is derisive irony.  It is all different ways of standing on the opposite side of something and in that way we may find some new gem, some new idea, some new meaning.  I find that the Dumb and Dumber kind of humor is not funny at all.   But do I go around saying that people acting stupid and then other people getting a good laugh at their stupid antics is somehow not funny?  No.  I acknowledge that people may in fact find this to be humorous even though I truly do not.  So why does sarcasm get the hit for not being funny when really it is often quite funny indeed?  If you are not a cruel person but your remarks, meant to be a funny and ironic look at our human selves are you now cruel?   Okay so your Dumb and Dumber is not funny it is downright moronic.  And frankly you are a moron for thinking it is funny, just as I am a big fat meany head for thinking the witticism of sarcasm is quite funny indeed.  Who is right?  And why is that sarcasm takes a hit?

It strikes me that Americans are some of the thinnest skinned bunch of pantywaists on the planet.  You have to fake happy, you have to fake nice, you have to look fake, shave all the hair from your body, fake boobs, fake nails, fake everything, you must not ever say a word that might offend, you must strike offensive language from classic literature, the irony of it all, so brave and strong and true but God forbid you say something that might offend, and God forbid we have the back bone to take it.    You see a person using sarcasm it seems cruel and biting, but do you look at the whole person and each interaction before you make your condemnation of them as being cruel.  Ironically if you teach people to be able to recognize the humor of sarcasm it tends to not offend.   But here in our fair country people cannot handle it.  It is too much.  Ouch that hurts, I cannot go on. You are mean.  I am going to go tell my Mommy.

I don’t know. I have much to think about.  But I am not sure it is really cruelty.  Maybe for some but not for me.  I don’t have a cruel bone in my body.  Rarely do I feel hateful or so angry that I feel a need to hurt others.  I guess I have this stupid belief that anyone who knows me will know my heart is on my sleeve and it loves, and it cares deeply.  That sometimes people like me protect gigantic hearts by snapping a dishcloth at others with our words.  That sometimes a sharp word although seemingly derisive may in fact be an attempt to find the irony in life, in words, in human interaction.  The irony that seems to give it meaning.  I have to stick by this notion that you say it to protect your heart, you say it to find humor in a situation that otherwise is not funny, and just because you do not understand it yourself, doesn’t mean it isn’t funny.  I will continue to think sarcasm is funny.  I will continue to think acting like a dumbass for laughs or saying yuck yuck yuck yuck and whacking someone on the head with a giant rubber fist is maybe not so funny.  But you are welcome to that kind of humor.  If it actually suits you.  Me I will stick with my sardonic side, my sarcastic side, and the side that laughs out loud at how silly we all are sometimes.  Otherwise, sometimes I think I would just sit down on the ground and start bawling.