runnin’ just in case

I hate when I go to get into the shower in the morning and find yesterday’s cornbread crumbs in my bra. If you’re a female, you know what I mean. Boobs are more than a little bit annoying if you think about it. I heard Rose (on Golden Girls) say that she didn’t like chips just because they always ended up in her bra. I couldn’t eat a cup of clear Jello without staining my shirt, personally. Forget what happens when it falls down the neck hole. Perhaps when you spend a lot of time alone, you get stuck on these things, trivial things that in the grander scheme of things mean mostly nothing.

Someone once told me to get over myself. I was so shocked, I couldn’t even be upset. “You think I’m so into myself I need to get over it? How did someone so insecure and full of self-loathing manage to pull THAT one off?!” I scratched my chin and did some thinking when I was finished laughing and struggling to spit out a half-decent comeback. Sidebar, it’s hard to find something angry to say when you’re laughing at your own awkwardness. Thinking back now, I don’t know if he knew something I didn’t know  OR if maybe he should have used better wording.

Get around yourself. You’re in your own way. <—–I wish he’d said THAT to me. THAT would have been useful. OR…—–> Get out of your own head. You’re trapped in there and it’s no good place to vacation, let alone set up shop and do your general dwelling.

Writing is fun. Why? Because in the middle of a perfectly ordinary day, you get to steal a beat to sit down and study on these things, I think. All of the oopsies and WTF’s you’ve experienced in life, you didn’t have time at the time to waste time on fiddling with or trying to make sense of.

Presently, I’m sick, in body. Icky. Achy. Yucky. Waaaah. I’m taking some extra sitting around and pondering time. This is time I would normally feel guilty about ‘wasting’ not better spending on housework and renovations or cleaning up my personal messes, but now, suddenly (and what a gift it is) I’m forced to slow down and take it easy because I don’t have the energy to do much else…

Another sidebar, sometimes when I write a paragraph-long run-on sentence just adding commas and conjunctions all willy-nilly, over hyphenating and making up words, I wonder if some high school English teacher is sitting at her desk, squinting at her screen, somehow sent here by a stray drive-by Tweet or the like, clawing at her scalp and whimpering in agony at the mess I’ve made of his or her precious language, slowly but surely turning loose of his or her will to live. Is that a normal thing?  Another ‘get around yourself’ perhaps.

I was thinking about how blogging is practice for me and how I called my readers guinea pigs and perhaps I should start every post with Dearest Guinea Pigs! Sounds like more of an insult than a term of endearment, though, doesn’t it?!

Until Next Time

 

#nowplaying #mirandalambert #runninjustincase

 

 

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Adventures in Dish Gardening

This afternoon, I spent some time with this little baby.

Adventures in Dish Gardening by: Patten Beard

published in 1930

Some of my favorite old books are from this era. They were all put together so beautifully, and with such care, it seems.

Shakespeare quote up front^.

And then, I did something I’ve been meaning to do for ages–started my own little coffee table dish garden! 🙂

I’ve had this little flower pot since I was a kid. Someone gave it to me in my birthday present one year. I think it had hot chocolate and flower seeds, or something similar.  Kept it all these years, mostly as a pen and pencil jar. Funny the little things that survive all the moving and redecorating, and reorganizing over the years versus those that don’t.

All for now.

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unavoidable update

I woke up with Peter Pan stuck in my head. That reminded me of Kelsea Ballerini. She reminded me of Kelsea in general. General Kelsea reminded me of my Kelsea and that I recently found some very big boo-boos in my last copy of Four O’Clock and Everything (including I oops-d up someone’s last name halfway through!). So I guess today’s the day I unpublish, pop the lid off that sucker, and root around until I fix all of the uglies, once again, so I can put it back up online.  A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do (on a Sunday of all days, no doubt).

Love from Lunchtime on a Perfectly Good Rainy Sunday

 

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Post It

I used to run toward my room, wide open, for my life, petrified,

throw myself against the door, feet braced on drywall, arms bent, open palms and fingers curled into the stained carpet,

screaming, throwing things, hard footsteps on the floor, kicking, punching, violent fits

I bounced off the door but the knob didn’t turn

sweating, eyes glued shut, waiting for the monster to go away

 

6×10?

a box with a window and broken vent

four walls and a roof and floor

big 3 ring binder

ink pens

hours and hours and hours

magazine pages ripped out, taped to the walls

twin daybed

single pillow

warm blanket

dead lady bugs in the plate thingy below the light fixture

 

I used to write stories, endless stories

I made up the people I wished were real

nice people, inspired people, people who treat people like people

I hid it in the bottom drawer under junk

they used to sneak in and read and mock

I didn’t care because I didn’t know

but that’s what you get for not hiding it better

to think!

the nerve!

…to dream of something less miserable and NOT hide it better…

 

sometimes you gotta lose til you win

 

 

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when reality is goofier than fiction

I was prowling around the living room, crawling, climbing, shoving wobbly stacks of dusty paperbacks left and right, for an hour. Somebody said something about a story and I remembered that I was sure I had that book and I hadn’t ever read it so…the odyssey ensued. Eventually, I found what it was I was looking for and went to the other end of the house to look at it.

The back cover made no mention of fish girls. I flipped through, although I planned on reading the entire thing later, I’m impatient and wanted to get to the good part first. A guhzillion page flips and several internet cheat page searches later? No mermaids.

My husband stumbled into the room, singing the wrong words to an annoying TV commercial from five years ago. He did a dorky dance and chugged his Dr. Pepper. I growled up at him, grumpy and frustrated…totally unimpressed.

“This book is about war. There’s no mermaids in it!” I snarled.

He bent down and squinted to read the title on the spine. This from a man who collects every single hobbit and Harry Potter and the like yet claims he’s never read a whole book, ever, mind you.

“Right author. Wrong book,” he said.

My forehead wrinkled on its own.

“What?” I asked.

“You’re thinking about the one with the mermaids and they cover their ears so they don’t hear,” he said.

I checked the title of the book and sighed, dumbfounded.

“I don’t have THAT one,” I said.

“Yes, you do,” he said.

I got up and walked over to the first shelf I came to—four books to the right.

“How did you know that?” I wanted to know.

He just shrugged and laughed and went on about his business.

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unapologetics

took this on a cheap cell phone

I once broke up with a friend because she corrected my grammar. To be clear, actually, we didn’t break up over her correcting my grammar. It was really about the disrespectful way she’d taken to speaking ‘at’ me.

This throws me for a loop every single time.

People boast about being ‘grammar nazis’. First off, I’m a bit over throwing the word ‘Nazi’ after random words, but that’s a different post. And I don’t think the point is whether or not being able to speak correctly is valuable or not…

The point is when two adults are having a casual conversation and one adult corrects the other person’s speech, it strikes me as petty and rude. Er, in my case, I found it disrespectful. And when a ‘friend’ decides it’s okay to treat another ‘friend’ disrespectfully, it’s probably time to start questioning the integrity of the union, is all I am thinking. 😉 That’s how I felt at the time, at least.

The whole ordeal with ‘the friend’ happened years ago and a valuable conversation, it sparked, between my mother and myself.  “Half the things we say, outsiders will swear they don’t understand.”

She was right.

I guess I’ve just always tried to care more about what a person is saying than how he or she says it. I see the value in both, though.

All for now. 😉

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I woke up like this

someone SLAMS someone for this and that

rich guy SHADES even richer guy for the other thing

Salley DISSES Suzy over the saltiness in her sugar

the one with the most expensive body mods posts naked pictures again

husband raps about 14 reasons why…he cheated on his perfect wife

war and famine and evil lurks over there

actually, it lurks here, it doesn’t have to lurk over there, it walks upright and sure but with a cocky limp sort of thing, and James Dean hair

meanwhile…

 

say goodnight not goodbye is the new method of operating

I make a note in red ink and shouty caps, and stick it to my mirror because…

the way the current monkeys are running the current circus doesn’t work

we can’t even have a conversation

can’t disagree without wishing each other dead

low brow or low blow, you take your pick

people are so afraid to talk about the important stuff

if you can’t talk about the important stuff, what’s the point in talking?

 

you will always feel threatened by other peoples assessments of you and your choices UNTIL you figure out who you are and know to be okay with that person

and

Alice Walker said, “No person is your friend who demands your silence or denies your right to grow.”

and

I refuse to be codependency’s bitch

because once and for all, I’ll say it once more and with feeling, THIS IS MY LIFE, mine

please understand that you are responsible for your own happiness

please understand that if you’re controlling other people, even the tiniest pieces of their lives with fear or guilt or any tool of even minor manipulation, you are out of line, sir or madam

out. of. line.

this is the part where you squint a little, tilt your head back, and cough

 

I heard a man, dead in his tracks, while playing polite police, use a hate slur

YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! <—-I said.

I feel like actually, a joke should be funny

maybe we should rethink that response to shocking news

 

My grandmother listened to the tradeline on the AM radio, same time, every single morning

someone had a set of gently used tires he’d trade for some firewood

free puppies, mutts, mostly black but one had a speck of white on his foot

an old fridge, made in the 80’s, mostly runs, kind of rusty, some ridiculous amount of money

the funny part was when they asked for very specific things for free…and for someone to deliver, not like clothes or eggs, something like an entire mobile home

straight face and all

I used to tune in, in the car, and giggle, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

it’s a glorious thing, that sort of spoken-word, the swap line, occasionally interrupted by commercials for the local Ford dealership or Food Outlet’s Fourth of July meat sale…

 

She used to embarrass me in Food Outlet

walking around complaining to the stock boys and cashiers about the prices or the quality

every single Friday morning, right at open

I frowned and hid behind the snack cakes

the employees shook their head and agreed with her and walked off grinning

 

Sometimes, in church, during Sunday school, we’d be sitting in our tiny room just off the main sanctuary, couple of small kids, a teenager, couple of babies

dead air

ears ringing

thump of a little foot against the pew

cold season morning sniffles

and then her voice echoed off the walls outside

this is how you knew if someone said something that put her on the defense

she’d quote chapter and verse, rather loudly, everyone else silently sitting around her, waiting for someone to counter her offer…

I was terrified, anticipating, I don’t know, the breaking out of a bar brawl

pretty much never happened

first off, church wasn’t the sort of place where people were hostile, judgemental or aggressive

secondly, she wasn’t the kind of woman anyone ever argued with

I am torn between disdain and delight at the latter point

 

just because someone tolerates you doesn’t mean they agree with you

someone said that

this morning

I swear

 

I used to talk to her on the phone almost every morning

we’d cook or do housework, cordless phones up to our ears

we’d rant and ramble

what’s wrong with the world

what’s wrong with the guy over there

why isn’t my cornbread turning out right

hey, remember that time uncle so-in-so bought Granny that doll for Christmas and she kept in on her couch for a guzillion years and then cousin whoever brought his kids over that night and one of the little demons walked right over and picked up the doll and threw it on the floor and Granny ’bout-near committed child abuse

laughing

griping about men

dirty floors

waiting on phone calls from doctor offices

what happened in church last Sunday

what Fill___in___the___blank called to tell her yesterday

Myrtle won’t ever let her off the phone once she calls

Uh, we’ve been on here for hours, have to go

“Well, now that we’ve sorted out all the world’s problems…”

love you

bye

took me 3 hours to recover

 

I just, presently…

I wish there was a better way

to talk

discuss

without the fatigue that comes from wrestling and ducking to dodge bullets, bruises and scars, psychological battle wounds

take a breath

slow down

think

think

think

listen

think

think

think

speak

listen

think

think

repeat?

 

still trying, anyway

say goodnight not goodbye

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things that people say

Gulf Shores, November 2017

First off, I would like to apologize for saying an ugly word. It’s not that I never say ugly words. It’s just that taking the time to put one in print feels a bit ruder than just blurting it out in casual conversation. I mean, in casual conversation, there’s no backspace or fingers dancing over the keyboard while you do the back and forth in your head trying to decide. When you put it on paper even after you’ve had ample opportunity to not to, saying the word seems a lot more like an actual decision you’ve made than just something that sort of happened, right? All this fuss and it’s only introductory…

I would like to officially state that I am of the belief that ‘shit happens’ isn’t actually a rite and true explanation for things–for anything. Like you can’t just wap a guy over the head with a cast iron skillet and shrug and explain it away with, “You know. Shit happens.” Right? If an interstate overpass collapses and people die and it’s all over the news, people want answers. They demand answers! Right?! Imagine Diane Sawyer with her pretty blond bob just sitting behind the big wooden desk in her blazer and big rose broach just smiling all pleasant and proper and slinging her head back and laughing, “Well. Shit happens, I guess.”

I’m already realizing this isn’t my most eloquent posting, but the less I blog the more I realize that casual blogging is very good (no pressure) exercise for the important stuff (to come later), and the less I write for exercise, the worse the important writing turns out, if that makes sense. So, you know what this means, dear reader? You (sir or madam) are my guinea pig.

I’m sure I had a point when I started this post.

*ClawsAtTheBackOfHerNeckAndYawns*

Maybe not.

Week two of my at home vacation officially kicks off in two hours.

Until next time.

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this mix could burn a hole in anyone

photo taken at Fort Morgan, last week of November 2017

Beware and Be Warned! This is a long and winding post with no point. I am out of practice and out of my mind (hehe). So forge ahead if you dare, but you might want to pop a Dramamine and some Advil right quick. Here goes!

This week, Dawson Leery popped out of the archives and whopped me over the head with the truth. I would share the episode, but honestly, it wasn’t a good episode at all. It’s just that there were moments. Two things.

  1. Dawson’s father had just passed and he was desperately wishing for things to go back to ‘normal’ again. So he decides to direct a film he’s been offered to help with. First off, he really dislikes the writer and the script. The actors are all wrong and the ending is terrible. Anyhow, they make the movie and he makes the most of it. When the time comes to show the film to a small group of family, friends, and a single local professional movie critic, Dawson is apprehensive. They have a quick conversation pre-screening. “I don’t think it’s ready,” he tells the critic. “The film’s ready,” she says. “You’re not ready.” Anyhow, she explains how she thinks the reason he feels the film is ‘not done’ is because he is ‘not done’ and he maybe never will be–because that’s life and he’s growing up and just getting started making and sharing his art. He will make hundreds of other movies and each one will be a little better and a little better and that’s how it works…
  2. So Dawson gets up before the picture starts rolling to give a little speech. He quickly lists, in an all-too-familiar way (disclaimer time), everything he can think of that’s not right with the movie. Then he thanks everyone for their hard work and says that it’s all okay because the movie will serve as a snapshot of who and what and where they all were at that particular time in their lives, for all of them for the rest of their lives.

So, not that I described the two points above very well, but…I would like to point out, in plain English, no doubt, several things I loved about what was going on in this episode.

  • Dawson was in pain and struggling with devastatingly sober reality  (his happy place was too far away to visit) so what does he do? He reaches for his art. He accepts the chance to get active creatively, even though the project he’s offered isn’t exactly super appealing to him. I relate. I get it. I smiled.
  • Also, the thing about how his movie wasn’t going to be the be-all, end-all of his movie career yet it was time to just show it and let it be…and move on to the next, is exactly how I feel about writing and sharing stories. They are exactly as Dawson described his film–a snapshot of who and where and how right now. Nothing more. Nothing less. And I think that’s okay. If we spent our entire creative lives making and remaking the same book, we’d never ever make it past the first one and that’s a shame when as our own lives change we discover and invent so many other tales and imaginary friends with their new adventures…

Moving on…

I read this quote by Chris Stapleton and it made me smile!

  • I moved to Nashville to be a songwriter. I found out that was a job, that someone would pay you to sit in a room with a guitar and make up songs! It is the greatest job in the world. I wrote three or four songs a day. That’s what I lived for.

I was thinking of the first time I saw him at an awards show. It was the year his big debut album came out and he was getting a lot of press for being so good. Generally, at country music awards all of the other artists go way out of their way to praise and support other artists, but when it came to Chris, everyone was just going insane. I think it was because they all knew him from behind the scenes writing music for other people for so long, they were really excited to see him step into the spotlight and have his talent recognized. Plus, to look at him, he doesn’t look like a typical clean-shaven, skinny jeans wearing cowboy rapper which sadly are the types who get the most attention. He just looks like a cool guy, a normal guy. Then he starts to play and sing and it’s like he’s a hero. Not a shock that people like that. I certainly do.

Chris reminds me of that line in that old George Strait movie, Pure Country. Something like, Just stand there and sing? You think anybody’d buy that? I feel like when guys like Chris just stand there and sing, you have no choice but to hear it. I find that admirable. Scratch that. Magical.

Just words in ink on paper. You think anybody’d read that? 😉

In closing…

My last trip to the gulf was at the end of November. Unplanned. Impromptu. We only had a couple of days, but we haven’t had a proper vacation in years and our little house was feeling even tinier, so we got the cameras and a change of clothes and went south. Funny thing about roadtrips, I almost always decide to just sit at home instead when as it turns out, I really, really, really need a trip more than ever.

Fun thing is, I spent some time with a proof copy of one of my books, a fancy evening clutch filled with budget markers and highlighters and sticky notes…and my friend (Jane). And it was nice! More than nice. Memorable. It was almost as if she was there (sharing my fun and relaxing adventure)  too, which is really cool, considering. This is why I don’t understand why we’ve stopped writing postcards and snailmail letters, most of us (humans). I mean, my penmanship is nothing to brag about, but it was so fun carrying my things around in my tote bag, randomly jotting down notes in between bites at dinner or at traffic lights in the backseat, sitting on the balcony at night in my fuzzy pink grandma socks listening to the waves crash, looking a wreck but feeling all blissed out and brave and peaceful.

So I’ve decided I’m going to start journaling–travel journaling. And next time I send my friend or any of my friends a handwritten letter or scrapbook or what-have-you, I’ll send printed out photos as well! Just like people used to do back when they had the time and money to pay for an envelope and stamp and wait four and a half ages for the carriers to deliver the mail. 🙂 So no matter how far away geographically the person is, I can still spend time with them in spirit, even if they aren’t sitting across the table or in the backseat. It’s a nice thought anyway.

So to wind this thing up, I haven’t been writing much or living in fast-forward, but my heart’s kind of on fire from this crazy cocktail of if not happy place, at least alive place things.

I was thinking. I’m always making nods toward my happy place, but I never thought much about an alive place. And what better way is there to feel, as a human who is alive, than alive? If you ask this girl, I’ve squandered too many alive hours feeling and behaving like a zombie. Enough of that. This is why it’s okay to still binge watch silly teen dramas from the 90’s,  to find that one song that touches your heart and put that sucker on repeat until you simply just don’t want to hear it anymore, or to take to doing old school things that don’t make a lot of sense given technological advances and what not. Whatever feeds that little fire goblin who lives in the middle of your person, I say–feed it, as often as possible, as much as possible.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Works for now anyhow. It’ll do for a rainy Saturday afternoon.

 

post scriptum: No, I’m not on drugs. 😉 Also, is post scriptum one word or two?

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