Monday, December 31, 2012

New Perspective for the New Year

I know it is too late for some of you, but if you might like to try salvaging the remnants of your relationship or try to improve one that seems to be going great, have a look at Outside Plumbing;  the Myths Manhood    It will put your opinion of the male animal in a whole new pleasant light, even if it is yourself.

It is FREE to download to your Kindle or Kindle app  through tomorrow, 1/1/13.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0098R9HPK


Friday, December 28, 2012

AAARGH...

Once again, I  have posted the wrong link to my freebie in about a dozen places.  In the actual blog I had it two different ways.  Thanks to those that pointed it out to me for even bothering because I do this so much it is beyond belief.


http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0098R9HPK



No.  Seriously, this works. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0098R9HPK

Thursday, December 27, 2012

FREE To Download

Outside Plumbing; the Myths of Manhood will be free to download  through 1/1/2013.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0098R9HPK


Are you in a relationship?  Having some rough spots?  Doesn't everyone?  Wish someone could make it all better?  Sometimes it is so hard to understand what is going on with your partner.

Outside Plumbing: the Myths of Manhood is my first non-fiction book. It is a light-hearted look at what it is that makes a guy a guy. I promise it will give you a new perspective for the New Year.  Improve your relations with the male, even if it is you.

 First review from a male: "You manage to discuss it without sounding bitchy."  Fun with more than a grain of truth.

http:www.amazon.com/dp/B0098R9HPK




You will enjoy.


Friday, December 21, 2012

A SOPHIST SPEAKS ON HAPPINESS





SOPHIST:


Dictionary.com:
a person who reasons adroitly and speciously rather than soundly.



Sean Penn went on and on in a Huffington Post blog (Geez, they'll print anyone, even me)  about us being an unhappy nation and Obama shouldn't criticize Chavez and we shouldn't worry about importing coca leaves cuz it is only used for tea.  Jesus tap dancing Christ.  I don't know how this guy sleeps at night.  He uses huge polysyllabic words and long convoluted sentences, I guess so he sounds knowledgeable.  

All this to counteract his Jeff Spicoli persona? 

Kids are starving in Appalachia cuz of some glitch in the inner workings of American bureaucracy and he is applauded for sending money to Haiti.  Not that he shouldn't, but you get my meaning. 

How often do we preach the old saw about how you can't rely on someone else for your happiness?  Happiness is a personal state of mind not yet another political agenda.  Chewing coca leaves may contribute to that. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

THE SABINE WOMEN

(and why they are relevant today)

My hands shake as I sit to write this  blog.  Not such a big deal because, of late, my hands begin to shake at the earliest sign of anxiety, a characteristic of my nature exaggerated by the aging process. (And incidentally, or as I usually state, as an aside, it seems the aging process begins to speed up perceptibly as it continues on its path.)

I am a person who is not used to being wrong.  Intellectually speaking, I guess.  This truth is being adjusted as I age.  One reason is that  I have found that I actually dis remember events of my past.  I have had to concur with the  third party present to reaffirm my remembrance of a momentous family occasion because lately I doubt my perception.  In that case I remembered the incident correctly and the youngest member of the three people involved was guilty of totally dis remembering -- or actually blocking---the event, a quite momentous event in retrospect that should be correctly recorded for posterity.

The second reason is that I am well aware that my actual memory fails me completely--- lately, more and more often.  This is a common occurrence---especially involving the use of short term memory in relation to caffeine ingestion (or so I recall. . .) but I have found it lately to become a little scary since it may occur when I link to something and when the link opens, I have forgotten why I chose that link.  This situation is easily corrected, and, in peer discussion groups, I have been advised it has not yet reached the pathological state. Rest assured, I freely admit now that I am going to use cut and paste in this post  Or, perhaps, my new favorite, the snipping tool.

There has been on on-going discussion on-line during which an author named John Scalzi commented on a post by a woman.  Other female commentors talked about how they  felt it should be women that spoke out for women when they are bothered by comments people make that disturb them.  Others replied that sure that was a good idea but Mr. Scalzi stood up for us so that can be an also good thing.  And it went on.  At one point it reached back to an article in Ms. Magazine in which the use of the term rape, which is an emotional trigger (more on that further along) for many women  was elaborated on.  

The gist of the article and all the following posts was that it was unpleasant when sports figures say , "We are going to rape the Broncos" or some such similar casual usage of the word "rape".  So I linked around and commented here and there and at one point I was sort of surprised that one commentor included the word "punked" in the discussion, because the real (actual?) meaning of the word punked is forcible rape of a male by a male, anally, in a prison setting.  Now, as an aside, I know at least seven people, personally, that have served time in "the big house" by which I mean it was a PRISON not the local village lock up.  (I myself served a few hours in a local village lock up with the door ajar and my eighteen months old daughter on my lap, but that is hardly relevant here, wouldn't you say?) 

Now, one of the convicted felons I am referring to actually had his term extended because he "shanked" a person, killing him, for attempting to relate to his personage in a sexual manner.  I have NEVER in my many years heard the term 'punked' used in the way the commentor stated was its "real" meaning.  So, maybe that is a judgement call, or a disremembering call, or a geography call.  Nevertheless.  I stand with that statement.  In the number of years I have lived, reading widely, I may say actually reading more than your every day John Doe but, there again. . .

So, it was stated that the "actual" use of the word 'rape' was forcible sexual intercourse.  NO. WRONG. The actual meaning is from a Latin word "raptio" which means to carry off.  Herein I paste a Wikipedia entry.  I don't feel like going to the parlor to fetch the Webster's which is perhaps a more credible source or at least a source with a more credible cache'.

WIKIPEDIA:

Which see, I guess, because the snip is a little pale.  Oh, wait a sec on that!  Let me try, actual cut and paste:


The Rape of the Sabine Women is an episode in the legendary history of Rome, traditionally said to have taken place in 750 BC,[1] in which the first generation of Roman men acquired wives for themselves from the neighboring Sabine families. The English word "rape" is a conventional translation of Latin raptio, which in this context means "abduction" rather than its prevalent modern meaning in English language of sexual violation. Recounted by Livy and Plutarch (Parallel Lives II, 15 and 19), it provided a subject for Renaissance and post-Renaissance works of art that combined a suitably inspiring example of the hardihood and courage of ancient Romans with the opportunity to depict multiple figures, including heroically semi-nude figures, in intensely passionate struggle. Comparable themes from Classical Antiquity are the Battle of the Lapiths and Centaurs and the theme of Amazonomachy, the battle of Theseus with the Amazons. A comparable opportunity drawn from Christian scripture was the Massacre of the Innocents.

Oh, well.  I guess that is a little better. 

Nevertheless, it bears out my contention which was based on a three year study of Classical Latin.  (Way back when.)

I so enjoyed that.  My original response was not at all political in intent, but to my dismay, I discovered I was in fact reading material on a site that is widely regarded as "feminist".  My bad.  And the admin of the site took my remarks to be contradictory, when in fact they were meant only for purposes of clarification or explanation, or to caution against the casual misuse of a word.

I need to explain.  I am a female.  I have many feminine attributes.  I am heterosexual. (I think.)  When I was in my prime, having red hair, green eyes, an enviable---if somewhat too full-busted---figure, I freely boast, that I was the subject of some admiration.  I was employed in a position where I dealt with the public on an almost constant basis, and was able to afford very lovely clothes, something i bring up probably because I remember that so distantly removed period in my life with such nostalgia.  Anyway, to get back to the subject at hand (I apologize for my numerous references to my personal experience, but it is the only experience I have.)  an older male, quite handsome in a distinguished, white-haired way, who was fond of me, was one day discussing something about cars and I made a reply that caused him to state, "Oh.  I bet you are one of those die-hard feminists"  I replied, "Oh, no.  Not at all.  It is so much easier to get someone else to do things for me." 

So there you have it---the preceding discourse from an empty headed ninny with the most shallow standards whose IQ at age eleven was stated to be 152.  Yes, I know that is a meaningless number, especially, personally, at my age.  But some people consider it an actual standard of measurement. 

And, in conclusion, I am adding more of my personal take on things in general.  I am so sick of hearing people refer to emotional triggers and cautioning writers against using any word that may be considered an emotional trigger.  Here is the deal:  Face your fear and it will disappear.  I don't even mind it any more if people talk about stillborn babies or infidelity.  I am likely to add my two cents.

Once again, I am guilty of posting in the late hours of the day, so I will retweet for all you guys again tomorrow.  Thanks for stopping by.


The source of the included illustration is google which presented for public view a reproduction of the painting The Rape of the Sabine Women by Peter Paul Rubens. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Questions

I want to ask someone why that mouse wanted a nest in my broiler and how comfortable can a fiberglass nest be.  But these every day problems  pale.

A young man we know and love, a tortured soul that has lived in pain and brought pain to so many, did not want to live any longer.  He has sought oblivion on several other occasions.  They say if you are serious about giving up your life, you will find a way, no matter what kind of help you are given.

Now this troubled young man, a beautiful creature, intelligent, with so much to offer, gone off the rails somewhere, knew for himself he was off the rails when he was five years old,  is in a hospital on "life support".  A legally proscribed period of time must pass before "anything can be done."  Who has an answer for these dilemmas?


I hope he finds the Peace and Comfort he seeks and needs. 





Monday, December 10, 2012

Delusion, Illusion, Reason and Reality


I think my mother might have hated me.  I know she resented me, but I was never sure why.  Maybe because I was smarter than the Golden Prince and the Golden Prince was supposed to be the smartest.  Maybe because I never had to ask her to help me understand things.  I always thought my take on things (still do) is the right one for me and usually the right one.  Just the right one.


Maybe it was because I was just something she had to do, like because of the day and age she lived in, or because she was Catholic, or because nobody she had ever heard of  had just one kid, so another one was supposed to come along.  I do know that she felt she had to have another kid and it was planned at a drawing board so it was convenient for everyone.

She was pretty, much more pretty than the average bear I am led to believe,  but a child can never have an unbiased viewpoint about that.  I think she thought I was ugly.  I look at pictures of me at every age, and I think I was the cutest thing.  I would die to have had a little curly headed redhead  girl.  Instead she got her.  I only remember being teased about some really major times in my life, like getting a figure.  And God made that shit up to me. He gave me a great figure.  I feel like God knew what was going on and tried to lend a helping hand.  But now I am shaken in my belief.  

My mom died a few years ago and one of my brothers cannot get over it.  He idolizes her.  I only remember the embarrassment she caused me, singling me out for jokes in front of company, drinking until she was staggering and slurring, caring about "care" in so far only as it applied to my father.  I feel like she was never herself.  I feel like I was always myself. I feel/still feel like I had to be---that I was all I had to cling to. And it is only me that is holding me together, keeping me standing right now.

My mother left me with two horrible unsolvable problems.  No matter how strong I feel or how strong I am, I cannot solve these problems.  I can only stand here like a dessicated sponge soaking up pain from these two problems, every day, every minute of my life.  That's all I can do in my life---while I have life.

I feel strongly about karma, and as a joke, I say, what ever it was that I did to deserve this, I hope I enjoyed it. But I cannot imagine.  I do not believe I have ever hurt anyone as much as these two things are hurting me. And I cannot see that, under any circumstances or imagined scenario that I will learn or become stronger from this.  I feel like it is chipping away at my heart bit by bit with an extremely dull and cold chisel.  I know it is impossible for me to ever know the outcome or the possible rewards for living through this in my lifetime, if ever. 

I ask her, probably daily, why she did this to me.  Not that it doesn't impact other people.  It does.  And others are being terribly hurt, but it still seems like I am the focus. And it is an absolute truth that both things things have been placed here by her. I don't get it.  There is no lesson embedded in this.  It is just pain, pointless,  unnecessary pain.  I hope that is not the legacy that I leave behind me.

I receive professional advice , psychoactive meds, and counsel from wise and loving people whose views I value greatly and admire, but all I ever walk away with is that I have to make peace with the situation.  I can't.  I refuse to.  If I had a large rusty nail sticking out of my forehead I would not endeavor to ignore the discomfort, nor would I ask people to ignore the fact that a large rusty nail is sticking out of my forehead because I am being so fucking brave about it that they shouldn't call attention to it.  They should pretend it is not there.  Because I am working so hard to pretend it is not there.  No.  Pull the fucking nail out for Christ's sake. 

Sunday, December 09, 2012

CLAN MACLAREN




Clan MacLaren has, along with MacGregor, Ferguson, and MacNab, occupied the lands in Balquhidder and Strathearn since the 12th Century, where they were the predominant clan. The name derived from Labhran (Laurin) of Ardveche who was hereditary Abbot of Achtus in Balquhidder in the 13th Century. The MacLarens signed the Ragman's Roll in 1296. In the 14th Century they became Crown tenants without actual ownership of the land. The MacLarens were a warlike clan with strong ties to the Stewarts of Appin. The Clan fought at Flodden in 1513, and suffered severely at Culloden with the Jacobites, on the side of Bonnie Prince Charlie, in 1746. Sir Walter Scott visited Balquhidder on legal business, which he describes in the introduction to "Rob Roy". In "Redgauntlet" he describes the escape of MacLaren of Invernenty after Culloden.
In 1672, after many official records were lost, an Act of Parliament ordained that all nobility and gentry in Scotland register their armorial bearings with the Lord Lyon. Because of the earlier loss of the legal title to Clan lands, the then chiefly head of the Clan Labhran, and his successors, did not trouble to register his arms. The result was that the Clan became officially chiefless and landless pending compliance with the Act. Of course the Clan continued to recognize its own chiefs, and during the Jacobite rising came out as a Clan. In 1957, Donald MacLaren (father of the current Chief) finally complied with the Act by recording the ancient Arms in the Lord Lyon Register. The Chief also acquired title to a small part of the traditional Clan lands including the ancient gathering site of Creag an Tuirc) and the stigma of "chiefless and landless" was removed.
The heartland of the Clan MacLaren lies in and around the parish of Balquhidder, and the hills that slope north from Loch Voil and Loch Doine, which are known as the famous Braes o' Balquhidder. The parish is 18 miles long and 7 miles wide, and includes the west end of Loch Earn and most of Loch Lubnaig. The ruined Kirk of the village is dated 1631, and lies near the site of an even earlier church. The present church was built in 1855. Graves in the kirk yard date from 1685 and include that of Rob Roy MacGregor. The ancient rallying place of the Clan was Creag an Tuirc (The Boar's Rock), which is on a small hill overlooking the Kirk, and can be approached by a fairly steep path. In 1987 the Clan Society erected a cairn to commemorate the founding of the Society.
Another branch of the Clan was connected with Tiree and included the distinguished mathematician, Professor Colin MacLaren. This branch is now dormant.

Chief of Clan MacLaren
The current Chief of Clan Labhran is Donald MacLaren of MacLaren and Achleskine. Donald, who is a member of the British Foreign Service, succeeded his father as Chief of the Clan at his father's death. Donald and his wife, Maida, have five children, Donald Og, Florian, Louis, Iona, Marina. When not assigned to a foreign location, all live at their Kirton Farm in Balquhidder Glen. The Coat of Arms of MacLaren of MacLaren and Achleskine is reserved solely for the use of the Chief. The "crest badge" consisting of the belted MacLaren Chief's Crest with laurel leaves and the motto "Creag an Tuirc" on the belt is worn by all clan members. This "crest badge" is reproduced, in an approved form, on printed matter in black and white and also in a colored version which has been approved for use by the Chief and the Lord Lyon's court.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

CREDIBILITY ON-LINE



A young friend of my daughter went to Amazon to post a review of Outside Plumbing.  She noticed the other reviews she had previously written for other books (I think there were two) were gone.

This is being talked about all over the web, on blogs, on-line publications (such as Huff Post) Linked-In, Facebook, etc. One of my books had two reviews and they removed one.  Maisie still has not a single review.

A person who is held up as a great success in selling e-pubbed books, and who even wrote a best-selling book about that subject, has admitted publicly that he has over 500 paid-for reviews.  He did this after the contractor who arranged for the reviewing wrote an article about it.  The contractor only blew the whistle when someone discovered the nature of his business and asked him to comment. This contractor also mentioned that you paid more for a good review than a mediocre one, but his sub-contractors were instructed not to write a negative review. 

Yet, the Amazon review is still considered the bench mark for e-pub success.  Some sites won't even list your book unless you have five reviews four star and over. 

Here is my response to the concerned young lady who approached me with the news.


"The review was on my phone last night but on my computer today it was not  showing up.  Some dick who has written a book about how to successfully become a best selling author has admitted publicly that he has over 500 paid for reviews.  I have books with two ratings and they take down one.  Maisie still shows no ratings at all.  Don't bother trying again.  It is horse shit.  Everyone is talking about it and yet everyone thinks your Amazon review is the most important indicator. Fuck it.  I'm tired of it anyway. 

Thanks for trying.  It was all just a mania side effect." 



I also signed a petition that is being circulated about it and I contacted Amazon Customer Service merely to ask "why" they are doing this. But I have already seen, several times, the form reply that Amazon sends out to people who inquire about the problem. 

It is also very discouraging that at least 85% of the comments I place on other blogs, websites or articles go into the black hole.  This bothers me as it is a loss of possible blog hits for me. But, further, it may appear to the people who comment on my blog that I am not interested in theirs.  Which is hardly true.  I hate to tell you how many hours I spend answering emails and reading my 'friends' blogs.

This writing stuff used to be fun for me and great therapy.  But the whole web presence stuff is getting to be a pain.  I actually received a notice that I was banned from a website I don't even disagree with.  Again, when I inquired as to why, I received no reply.  My message to them probably went into the black hole. 

And you make  a new contact on twitter and exchange tweets a few times and visit their blog and then someone steals their identity and sends you some porno link and you try to tell the person they should change their password and boing, one more unfollow.  They are never going to get a handle on this. 

Writer's Digest recently sent me a survey and a large part of it was devoted to what my opinions are about DRM.  (Digital Rights Management)  It is to laugh.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

F***ING



Okay, everyone. Quick run and put your judgmental pants on.

What should I call this article? "Sexual Intercoursing", "Copulation", "Banging" ? I am open to suggestion. You will soon see why it cannot be titled "Love-making".

Many years ago I worked with an unmarried girl who was about  five years younger than I. We became quite close friends and saw each other socially for various reasons.  After I left the job we were in contact for many years. I worked in a glass booth in the lobby of a company that was at that moment manufacturing the hottest brand of the hottest "new thing" on the market. I did the switchboard, reception, and security for the front entrance. Everyone had to have a badge. This was not so common then as it is now. One day Mr. Gronski called me from engineering and said, "We had to fire Adam and his mom just called and said he is on the way over here with a gun. Don't let him in."

Honestly.

And whiz-bang champ that I was and am, I handled it beautifully.  Even calmly announcing after about thirty minutes of chat (he was a good guy and we liked each other) that he shouldn't get upset, now, but there are six squad cars in front of the building. Well, that is kind of an aside, but it is just to point out that it was a kind of important job and this female was my back up. We spent many hours chatting in this glass booth. We would do menial typing or accounting jobs as fill-ins, but we socialized a lot and I knew a great deal about the most intimate parts of her then current social life.  Now, don't go all critical and judgmental on me here. My opinions will be evidenced, and you don't know how you would have handled it. Talking about it is different than living through it.

She got pregnant and trusted only me to tell about it. She mentioned it to the "donor", but he didn't want to handle this part of it. She wanted an abortion and asked me to accompany her and I agreed without offering my opinions or suitable alternatives. I well knew her circumstances and reasoning at this point.

We went to the Albany Park Woman's Health Center which is a close if not accurate facsimile of its name.  was where you went to get birth control products, VD treatment, abortions, etc. Everyone acted like it was a woman's health center but it was widely known in the city that you usually went there for an abortion. Of course it was only one of many such centers in this very large city.  She had counseling and stuff and, afterwards, I took her to her parent's summer cabin for a few days recovery.  Her boyfriend joined her there later. Her parents were unaware of the entire drama.

When she needed to talk about it later, and she did, I was there to listen, and I had one child and a bunch of pregnancy disasters, so I was able to give counsel. We actually even talked about what a beautiful baby it would have been. The thing that struck me most and remains with me to this day is how crowded the waiting room at that facility was. You can get pregnant maybe four days a month, and if this many women on just this one day, had unwanted pregnancies and they were a percentage of the pregnant women because there were others who wanted the pregnancy, and there were many  other centers like this one everywhere, it struck me that there must be a heap of fucking going on. I was not particularly chaste at this time in my life, but still, it boggled my mind.

About a year later, it happened to her again and she turned to me for help. I started crying and said I couldn't. I was at the beginning of what turned out to be a successful pregnancy and I thought she was being too blase about it. I told her the boyfriend needed to take her so it sunk in how serious it was. She understood and we remained friendly.

Okay. That is like the forward.

****
A few days ago, my daughter and I received emails from a distant relative just cuz we were on his enormous remailing list. We were discussing it and the conversation turned to his relationship to our family.  His mother was sister to so and so.  Before a certain patriarch of ours became a married person he had been intimate with the emailer's mother, his eventual wife's sister.  When a "person" heard about it, too many many years after the fact, the "person" became upset. Disparaging the memory of honored ancestors I guess. This segued into a conversation of how a similar situation had occurred and certain future generation members became upset when they inadvertently became a party to the details in an almost identical case  on the other side of the family. My daughter commented that she thought this probably went on  all the time and people just didn't talk about it.

Today a person I respect and admire enormously told me a story about a terrible marital disaster that occurred in the lives of close family members. He commented that he thought this stuff probably went on a lot more than we think, but people just don't talk about it.

I recall older novels where the single woman raises her actual child as an orphan and starts an orphanage just to be able to raise her secret child. (That one sticks with me especially because it was commented that this woman would have been considered beautiful if it hadn't been for her unfortunate red hair.) The "donor" married her sister. Then there is a Theodore Drieser novel, "An American Story" or something like that, where he hits the girl over the head with a shovel in a boat, and dumps her in the lake, a tidy way to solve the problem of his pregnant girlfriend.

Really, when you bother to think about it, those novels that are considered erotic or racy are portraying the tiniest instances of universal life. You might as well write a novel about the wonderful fork you used when you had dinner at the Carleton that time. Sometimes I kind of wonder how this many people have the time to fit in all this fucking and still carry on with what is considered normal life. I myself find the theoretical logistics mind boggling.

But still, in each individual case, the shock waves and historical repercussions can be so intense. You almost have to stop and ask yourself why.

Someone was doing research on whatever in the Bayous. He talked about how he saw this older couple a-settin' on the porch steps one afternoon and when he took the return journey a few hours later, the couple was  blatantly performing the rites of procreation on that very porch. Another person he interviewed said, "I don't know what's the fuss all about sex. It's just a squirt in the dark."

So, to tie up the frayed ends of today's treatise,  it seems that what I have to announce is a conclusion that you already may have reached on your own. You just don't talk about it.

There probably never was a sexual revolution. There is probably, percentage wise, the exact same amount of fucking going on that there has been since the dawn of time. The only thing that has changed is the way we talk about it.

Or write about it.

CTA:  What is your perspective on this?

Monday, December 03, 2012

Attention

This is just a curiosity.  Someone commented on a political thread that Israel with nuclear weapons (which, as an aside, they have) would be the most dangerous country in the world. This was a conversation among quite a few people and had been going on for days.  I could, of course, not help but interject that no, it was not.   Pakistan is.  And  I said don't let your attention be diverted here for too long.

No body argued or countered with me and I got a few likes.  I am so f-ing pithy, I sometimes amaze myself. I wonder sometimes why I don't write amazing psychological military thrillers.  Starting too late and too much research I guess.  Instead I write fluff.  Sometimes with undertones of thrilling military psychological drama.. (Teensy bit.)

Anyway.  My stats page shows my traffic sources on a world map.  I am dark green in US and the area formerly known as USSR.  Pale  Green in Brazil Area, light or dark green in UK and Australia and other parts of Europe. It changes a lot.  So today I was light green in Pakistan.  White in India and Afghanistan, which means no activity.  I am so glad someone noticed.


Saturday, December 01, 2012

Teasing

It is somewhat frightening to me that non-techy, ancient me is so proficient at teasing up my blog hit count when ever it dips.  Lately, suffering from a newly discovered viral form of ennui (JK), I have not wanted to write much in this blog. 

The statistics on the Amazon site cause my mind to cower behind a nebulous gray curtain.  I apparently have a presence now and it is up to me to make it grow.  I have one more book in my head and if I write it down, what will I run through my brain at night in order to go to sleep? Besides, I have changed the focus of the book, a totally arbitrary situation which fluctuates with my location on the mania spectrum.  I have 25,000 words that I, of course, love, but it contains two disjointed threads that I have no idea of how to connect.  Is that sentence diagrammable?  I was thinking of bringing in God again for a three or four page aside as I personally find that so clever and amusing.

Also, because of what I deem political insanity, I have dropped out of some sites I used to frequent and enjoy.  The discourse with other like-minded individuals was frequently amusing and interesting, and they needed me on which to vomit out their bile which must now be backing up most unpleasantly.  But then I realized that they were, by and large, not at all like-minded but in fact were deluded individuals with some sort of Utopian mind set that I am unable to comprehend.  Maybe that is why I have such a huge presence in the Ukraine. Everyone is most assuredly entitled to their own opinions, and I find  that I am much more tolerant of other people's (peoples'?) ideas, or as I prefer to call them--delusions, but I certainly don't have to stand around and listen to them.  Besides, the people of this mind set to which I now refer are extremely intolerant of my clear thinking, logical and very humane philosophies.

And several of those people that I seem to have more of an understanding or, perhaps, camaraderie with continue to converse with me through other venues.  It is a strange phenomenon that needs to be explored that there are people on the web that you never meet or actually hear but you have the certain feeling that you "like" or "dislike" them.  For all I know they are actually lizard skinned horned aliens, (No.  Not you guys.  I love you and I think you are beautiful.)

Well, my point from which I so artfully digressed, (I have stopped herein to have pot roast with noodles and a frosty cold  MGD,) was that my disconnect from some certain circles has not affected my artificially inflated blog stats.  So, hang in here with me.  Some real gem may pop up here at any moment.  Although I think it unlikely that I will ever match the caliber of the cable guy post.

Let's see.  I must leave you with a CTA to which so very few of you respond.  Nevertheless, I feel obligated.

How best do you prefer your beef served?  Steak?  Burger?  Tartare?  Let me know.  I am hanging on the outcome.  I am crazy for pot roast.


Friday, November 30, 2012

GIFTS

My spouse brought me gifts today. An amazing LED trouble light for when I am pottering about in the out of doors after dark. No. We do not live in the wilderness. He also brought multipliers for my Christmas light cords. They used to call them cube taps but they are no longer cube shaped. The complexity of my outdoor holiday lighting project increases yearly. Not at all Clark Griswold. Very lovely and delicately artistic. I shall try to capture its essence to share with you but the lights in the dark photos haven't been too successful as yet. He also brought M&Ms in the darling collectible tin which Cassie and I recently admired at Wal Mart. Our minds boggled at the price. I have a vast collection of collectible tins. I don't know where it is. He brought Cassie her own collectible tin which, by the way, is jammed with four or five fun size bags of M&Ms.

My husband is a peach of a guy.

TA DAH!!!



Sunday, November 18, 2012

Warning. . .




My friends, and you know you are my friends because my enemies don't travel in such small groups:


You know what they say about doing the same thing and expecting a different result?





Accreditation:  Okay.  None of this is mine.  Every single word was stolen.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Signing In



I like to go on many different sites to comment. I have always needed to stick my two cents in and it brings me lots of interesting blog traffic . I have been banned from Twana Blevins which I do not understand. I usually agree with her although I tend to be a little more conservative. I have occasionally commented to correct or to offer my opinion, and I have asked why I am banned but received no reply as yet.

Then there are many Wordpress sites that suddenly won't allow a Google blogger sign in. So I created a Wordpress blog. Still, many of my most astute remarks fall into a black hole and are not posted. This seldom occurs if I sign in through Twitter which speaks to me of the decline and fall of society. It also does make me paranoid.  But whatever. . .

An interesting thing happened today. Through The Rumpus, which won't let my comments in under any conditions, I linked to a site where the person said she wasn't knowledgeable about the subject so she posted a bunch of links about Israel bombing "Palestine". This is something about which I also have meager knowledge but strong opinion. I find it interesting at the very least. So I clicked through to one of the links. She presented five or six. The one I clicked to recognized me, on my iPhone, with no signing in process, and I had not signed into the Rumpus before I linked.   Now, sites like Totsy and One Kings Lane, which are stores that want your money, make signing in a tedious and difficult ritual. I find it so annoying I patronize them much less often than I would like. They are lovely sites for browsing, among others like them. So, to stop digressing and return to my initial premise for today's long-anticipated post, the political commentary site I logged into let me comment and posted the comment immediately with no spam detector puzzles and no wait for moderation. It was al-Jazeera.




photo courtesy of el-Jazeera on-line

Friday, November 09, 2012

Excerpt from The Maze



(an excerpt)

.  .  .

Barney wanted to try and talk to Maisie before he left, see how she was.  But Jenny said she was gone.  He never saw that steely look in Jenny’s eyes before.  It chilled him.  He felt his world was narrowing in on him.  He felt alone.  He wanted a drink, called his sponsor, talked it through, stayed strong, flew to Denver, Told Madalyn and Fiona not to pick him up.  He had to lease a car anyway.  Fiona was abrupt on the phone.  He didn’t pursue the subject.  Just made his way woodenly to the airport and to Madalyn’s.  She hugged him when she saw him and pressed her face into his neck, but she felt the change.  The voltage, the need, whatever it was, it was gone.  “You’re gonna need some time.  It’s okay, Barney.  I understand.”
“Do you, Mad?  Cuz I don’t.  I should feel relief.  The order for dissolution is already signed by both of us and notarized and ready to be presented to the court.”
“Oh, that’s wonderful.  I was worried.”
“Worried? That she’d fight it?  That she’d try to save her marriage?  No, Mad.  She didn’t.  She said it’s fine.  Whatever makes me happy.  No worries.  She’s strong.  No worries.  She’ll be fine.”
“She will.  We will.  She’s so young.  You weren't together that long.  .  .”
“That long?  We were together.  Now we’re not.  Everything is fine.  I’m free.  I can be with you now.  I told her I had to be with you now.”
“But?”
“But what?”
“What is going unsaid here?  This should be our moment.  But there’s an elephant in the room.  Isn't there?”
“I’m gonna stay at Fiona’s tonight.  I need to rest.  I need a space.”
“You need to be with me now.  That’s why you did this.  For us.”
“For us?  I’m going to Fiona’s.”
 ***
Fiona could only say to him, “I can’t talk about it, dad.  You have to deal with this on your own.  I love you and I try so hard to understand you, to at least see your point of view.  But I love Maisie and you guys were perfect.  Perfectly in tune.  I don’t see this thing with Madalyn at all.  And I knew her long before you met her.  How could it happen?  I can’t talk about it, dad.” She turned her back on him. 
  He was going to explain it was just the usual waking, half-drunk, to the awareness that his dick was in Madalyn’s mouth, but decided it wasn’t the kind of story you tell your daughter.  And Madalyn pushing the drinks on him had never before registered as being part of a plan of attack.  He was a guy.  It was a bj.  He was drunk.  Now what?
In the middle of the night, Fiona woke and saw the light in the family room.  Barney was staring at a silent television screen, an infomercial about a cookware set.  “Dad, you have to rest.”
“Please listen, Fiona.  Please.  I felt revulsion when she touched me.  What did I do?  Why did I do it?  I felt revulsion at my skin touching hers.  What have I done?”
“Dad.  Stay with her for a few days.  Take it slow.  It’s a big change.  You didn't expect this to be easy did you?”
“It was easy.  Maisie said she wants me to do what’s right for me.  Like she wants me to be with Madalyn?  Why would she want that?”
“That’s not what she said, dad.  She said she wants you to do what’s right for you.”
“But we were talking about me being with Madalyn.  Maybe Maisie knows better, knows I should be with Mad, knows she’s too young for me.  She started to seem so immature compared to Mad.  Like Maddie was on a path and knew what to do and where she was going.  And Maisie just floats along, letting stuff happen.”
“Yeah.  Right.  Stuff just floats by Maisie.  She just sits there.  Writes two more books, raises three kids, keeps a perfect house, cooks from  scratch, looks adorable, loves you to death, puts up with you.  Just floating.  And, I know you make a good living, so I won’t even go there, but, really, dad?  Supporting her?  How does that work?  Emotionally?  And you in the sack with the next bimbo in line?”
“That’s hitting way low, Fiona.  That’s not how it was.  And I know now I need to be with someone who is mature enough to see that you have to take care of the future, have goals.  You can’t just.  .  .”  His nose was getting all clogged up with backed up tears.
“Dad.  Rest.  Take time.  Wait ‘til the dust settles.  And I don’t want to give out advice, but you are not in a good place.  You aren't thinking of jumping into another marriage, are you?”
“The order of dissolution isn't a divorce.  After it's filed  the judge still has to issue the decree.”
“I know that, dad.”
“I told them to hold off filing and the JAG is my buddy.  But I’m just making excuses.  I’m so confused.”
“You have to spend time with Madalyn and sort out your feelings.  Maisie and the kids gone is a major upheaval for you.  Don’t rush.”
“I’m gonna talk to that doc friend of yours tomorrow.  Thanks, FiFi.  I think I can sleep now.  You don’t mind if I sack out here a couple of hours do you?”
“Couple of hours.  Couple of days.  Just take some time here.  Please?”
“Okay.  Yeah.  Okay.  Fuck.  It was like revulsion.  It made me think of that gecko.  I thought we had good chemistry.  I hope it was just a reaction.”
Walking back to her room Fiona thought, “Yeah, dad.  A  reaction.  Get a clue.  Pure carbohydrate chemistry, dad.  Booze and you know it.”
 ***
 He talked to the doctor the next day and had dinner with Madalyn.  She was glowing.  She knew when they made love again he would remember why he was here.  He’d know they were supposed to be together.  But she wondered why he wouldn't drink the martini, would only ask for more water.  They went back to her place and she moved toward him.  She teased at his shirt buttons, bit at his lips, started to unbutton her blouse.  He woodenly tried to get into it, remembered they’d really been hot for each other.  Knew it would kick in.  She was in great shape for her age.  Really good boob job.  Gorgeous silvery gray lingerie.  Maisie wore underpants, not lingerie.  This was what they called lingerie.  His mind wandered off.  “That grey tank top she always wore to bed with the little frayed bow.  .  .”
Madalyn touched him, looking for his response.  Drew her hand back in shock.  She was having no effect on him.  “It’s okay, Barney.  I know you need time.”  She went into the bedroom and took a couple of Ambien.  In the morning he was asleep on the couch, snoring, still dressed, rumpled, looking kind of awful, actually.

“I have to go talk to that doc again.  I gotta get in the shower.”  She followed him in and tried to make love to him.  He said, “I’m sorry, Mad.  I don’t  know what’s going on.  The doc will help me straighten this out.”  But Madalyn was pretty sure she already knew what was going on with Barney.
 ***
 Half way through the second hour with Barney, the doc laid it all out for him.  “You might be impotent because of the guilt or because it’s going too fast.  You expected to work through things with Maisie and process it all as you moved from one relationship to the other.  But you haven’t had the time to do that.  Maisie didn't cooperate.  She wouldn't give you time to process it.”
“But I was in the new relationship.  Maisie was right.  Our relationship was gone or I wouldn't have gotten into this new one, fallen in love with Maddie.’
“Listen to yourself, Barney.  You're giving yourself permission because Maisie said it’s okay.  You used the word ‘revulsion’.  That’s very telling.”
“Isn’t it normal to grieve for the old relationship? The loss of my family?”

“Sure it is, Barney.  Even the impotence.  Perfectly normal.  Text book.  You could hang around and see if your pecker responds.  I could write you a scrip for Viagra.  You can go through the motions.  Anyone can.  But revulsion? Thinking a couple of drinks would make that go away?”
“Yeah.  I was thinking that, but I know I can’t have that first drink.  Especially when things are so unsettled.  I’m in transition.  I have to process it.  I’m thinking alcohol was a mechanism in this.  I know I can’t blame it on that, but I’ve been very strong up until now.”

“You don’t want to think Madalyn plied you with drinks to bring down your defenses.  You want me to say you have to be accountable for your own actions.  You already know that and I’m not going to say it.  I’ve met you socially and professionally through Fiona—seen you with Maisie, counseled you, partied with you, heard stories from Fee about your whole family.  Once again, there is that conflict of the personal and the professional.  You’re here for my professional opinion today so I’ll try not to let this get personal.  But I feel it’s my obligation to say Madalyn has a reputation in this town and we all watched in shock that she was doing it to you.  If you are sure you love her and want to be with her—well, that’s a possibility we must consider.  But I think your affair with Madalyn was a symptom.  You don’t sound like you’re in love with her.  You sound like you’re trying to sell me on it, Barney.  This isn't a ‘you and Madalyn’ problem.  It’s a continuation of the ‘you and Maisie’ problem.  You're still afraid to let little Maisie hold your balls in her hands.  You have to prove to yourself and to her that you and nobody else has control over your manhood.  It’s classic Jung.  It’s cliche'  mid-life crisis.  I've never before been pissed off at a patient.  You’re what? Forty eight?  Grow the fuck up, Barney.  Give the intimacy to the person you love and need.  Throw away the fear.  You don’t need to have fear.  You need to trust the one you love with your feelings.”
“You’re not talking about Madalyn.  You’re talking about Maisie.”
"Wow, Barney.  You didn't even need to put that in question form  Get the fuck out of my office.  I have a loaded gun in my desk."



Monday, November 05, 2012

Best Times


 I wonder if it would detract from it if we knew what we were experiencing was going to be one of the best times in our lives.  I know many times I have said and heard others say, "I had the best time."  Or, "I am having the best time." but in retrospect, you don't know if it is the best time of your life until you have all the other times to compare it to.

I'm quite a bit older than most of you, and I strongly feel that the best times of my life are in the past.  I find it discouraging but believe it.  When my daughter was in college she had an apartment on Sheridan Road.  (That is a well-known street if you know Chicago.)  I think waving to Ben in the window as I walked to my car and eating at the Italian restaurant across the street and talking to the chubby waiter who was so glad to be talking to us are the best times I can remember so far.  They are like huge photographs on the wall of my life.  Crystal clear.

There are many other wonderful moments but none that stand out like those two.  I am sure it is because of where I was in my life and the fact that everything seemed so vital and on-rushing.

My dad was by for Sunday dinner again and it is something that I feel more and more I must do.  But it is something that I become more and more discouraged by.  He has had a colorful and very good life.  He  worked very hard, but he has also been very very fortunate.  I truly believe that is at least half of the equation.  Now, it is like he looks at his life through the wrong end of the telescope.  I have a lot of terrible and some not so terrible stuff going on in my life right now that I mostly cannot talk about.  But you must believe me when I say it is totally distracting.  And his focus is so narrow.  He no longer has any concept of "life" as it is in the universal scheme of things.  (Do any of us?)  And--he can't hear--if I were to relate any of this problematic stuff to him, he would say, "It'll all work out for the best."  Or, "That happens to everyone."  Or some other stale, useless comment. And it is more than depressing to hear him go on and on about how he is not really living anymore. Life is no fun anymore.  Especially when you see pictures on the internet of an acquaintance's infant hooked up to a bunch of tubes to keep him alive.

But, in truth, there really is nothing anyone can say that will make pain go away.  Nothing but time.  I hope I have enough time that these dreadful moments I am living will pale in comparison to the bright and lovely memories I cherish.

I never recall feeling like I had a personal stake in the election.  Actually, I don't. I am at a point that, regardless of who is elected, my life will go on much the same on a day to day basis.  And probably, when I am on the death list I will be asking to be moved up closer to the top.  And maybe I won't have to live to see my grand daughter wearing a burkha or taking her girl babies to be circumcised.  Whoa, you are thinking.  Here goes Ditty off her nut again.  Uh uh.  Stoning of Christians in Dearborn, Michigan.  And the police chief says, "Well, you shouldn't be here.  What did you expect?" This is not sanctioned battles to the death in the arenas of the gladiators.  This is a picnic in the state across the lake from me.  Get real folks.  History is on the line here.  Not just my boring personal day to day existence.  I feel fear.

What are the best times of your life? Are you waiting for them to happen?  Are they behind you?  Do you see better days ahead for any of us?  For yourself?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Again




Once more, an incident of a beautiful human life, lost at age 21 to a heroin overdose has entered the space of our lives. The person close to him was involved at the end and sobbed when the young man's dad knelt at the bedside, touching and stroking his son's face, saying over and over while crying, "my sweet little boy."


That is who these people are. They were someone's baby, someone's mischievous  toddler. Three dead.
Aubrey who spent almost three years sleeping and eating at my home. She was always hungry. She grew to be a beautiful young woman.  Now she is dead.

Another, at a party a family member was attending, felt funny after J├Ąger shots and cocaine and went out for some fresh air. Died in the parking lot, run over by an unsuspecting girl who was not charged. He was already dead. This was a good kid who died because he never used cocaine before and his pals encouraged him.

The father of one of my grandchildren, in the hospital at least four times ODed. You know they survive in greater numbers if you find them in time. They have some counter acting shot now. Live to try again. In and out of prison, and in this case, making babies all over the county.


A neighbor's boy I watched grow up, a troubled kid, in and out of jail, rehab, ODed right after getting out of prison. He wasn't used to it after being away. They saved him. His loving, wonderful mother lost her marriage, her home, trying to help him. He is back in prison. Addicted again he resorted to robbery.

I live in a very nice middle class neighborhood about 40 miles from Chicago. Not many Cadillacs, no Mercedes, lots of Chevies and Fords, vans and pick-ups mostly.  But there are communities nearby that are a readily available source of any drug you might want or need.  Every time they bring the dogs in to search the middle and high schools they have at least one hit.  Middle school.  Sixth grade?

These are not kids that run with gangs or live on the street. The mom of the most recent one said she'd been dealing with it since he was fifteen, finding him out cold with a needle laying right next to him on his bed many times over six years.  She always went back to check when she found him passed out but this time the second or third time she checked him she noticed his breathing was shallow and called the EMT.  The doctor on staff reprimanded her for not bring him in sooner.  Weeping over the loss of her son, blame was the last thing she needed.

A little boy I babysat for grew up to have severe mental illness and tried over and over to off himself.  I wondered to someone, why isn't the fact that it hurts his mom, his sons, enough to change that?  I can't understand the answer that "they are too far gone."  Well, now they are too far gone.  They are dead. And in one of the cases I mentioned, that was not typical,  the media decided to make an example of it anyway and find someone to arrest. The boy was not a "user".  It was just a bunch of kids having fun at a party.  Fun.  Dead.

If I know this many just in my limited sphere, how often must this be going on?  We take up banners for so many different causes, but I have adopted the "mend your own fences" philosophy.   When one of my daughters was in high school I was summoned by a counselor because my daughter, a fast track student, was going out with a guy that was kind of wild.  During the conversation I said, "I've decided I can't save them all."  She gave me such a look like I must be the most cold-hearted bitch, but when I thought I could save them all I suffered terribly.

You can't save them all.  And you can't pick the one's you lose -- the "sweet little boy" who died in the very bed that was his big boy bed when he was two, the very same bedroom where the broken-hearted father mourned the loss of his little boy, his son.  Why didn't that boy care enough to not bring that pain to his dad?  More and more I think this is becoming a problem that cannot be handled by law enforcement.  Well, we know it can't be handled by law enforcement.  They have made no progress in the fight and they are over whelmed and at a loss as how to handle it.

Maybe neurologists need to explore what little glitch in the brain goes awry that makes this happen to that little boy riding his tricycle in the driveway of his home. These people, though maybe grown up, I still think of them as kids and always will, will never grow up to build the thorny, hardened protection that we older folks have around our hearts. I hope they have found peace.  I haven't.



photo source:
http://www.gettingbabytosleephq.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/SleepingBabyWithDad.jpg

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A scrivener







I have been so down on this writing thing.  Many I know are giving up the epub thing and I am growing discouraged.  At least I was. 

Last night I practiced discipline in an undisciplined way.  I have heard: "Write, no matter what.  Save it erase it, fix it, just write."  So I did.  I typed so fast.  It is a disorderly mess.  But I am looking at this story in a way that seems new to me.  I want to get the people from this point to this point and I don't know how.  I never had that problem before.  But I don't sell much, so maybe my readers have a problem with how I was doing it.  Anyway, I wrote about what happened when they got there and I know I can put in the interim easily when I am ready.  Writing doesn't scare me.  Carrying out  a task does, I am guessing.  I am maybe just lazy.  Anyway I thought it was great fun and it raced along in getting on the page just as the part of the story was racing along.  It is full of typos, but that is easy to fix.  I think.

So just when I am all down on my self and my skills and thinking I am not posting, I have no ideas, I am in the doldrums, physical junk going on, family junk going on, weather weirdness, I just now looked and my "boring post" had ninety five hits. 

Don't anyone tell me what this is all about cuz you don't know.  It is all totally random.  That is final. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Boring stuff used as an excuse.



No matter what kind of day you are having, this should brighten it up.

In other news, it is so unbelievably warm here today.  One little impatiens blossomed in the midst of all the wilted greenery around it.  I think they said it was eighty.  I had about twenty bulbs left over that I couldn't find room for, so I was going to give them to Fran.  I dug a hole by one of the trees in the front yard and put them in, in a somewhat orderly fashion.  Last Spring I recall saying, "Oh, I don't remember putting those in."  So I am sure this Spring I will once again be pleasantly surprised.  Fran wouldn't have time for them anyway. 

I asked Louie if I could use the leaf  blower just so I could be out and the leaves are ankle deep, but he won't let me touch it.  It is so mechanically complicated a mere woman would f--- it up.  Right? So unfair just because I sever the electric supply cord every year or so with the hedge trimmer.  My hedges have wonderful, carefully wrought shapes now.

Orthopedically updating, the doctor said the crack in the knee cap is because some of the cement is separating  but it hasn't changed since last year.  It is still a bit disconcerting to hear about all the cement and titanium within me.  And I can go to a sports medicine doc and have some of the scar tissue broken up arthroscopically which will make bike riding and getting out of the car a bit easier.  I am peculiarly excited about that.

Told you it was boring.  Just wanted to give the pic world wide exposure.