Showing posts with label Blogging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blogging. Show all posts

Friday, April 25, 2014

So it's one more round for experience

The change of seasons has me all stirred up. I'm the alarm that won't stop going off. The lighter that won't catch and burn. That ache in your shoulder that's not quite enough to send you running for the pills, but enough to make you moan "fuck" when you move a certain way.

My old therapy aka writing eludes me. Hateful muse.

I miss writing but can't latch on to a thought long enough or securely enough to mine it for anything meaningful or even funny.  Dig deeper?  Bite me. If I don't will most of my thoughts to glance off me like baby taps, I'd morph into a glowing ball of fury.

And as fun as that sounds to the casual observer?  No.

My new nickname is already The Door Slammer.

Even so, I'm going to show up here and get my chops back. I cannot keep not writing and expect anything to change, right? Come on. Convince me. Or don't bother because I am pretty hard headed.  In my hands, stubborn becomes a whole new weapon.


Friday, October 19, 2012


Not dead. Just busy _______________.

Go ahead, fill in the blank, tell us about yourself, vent, offer a recipe, tell us what you're going to be for Halloween, what's your twitter handle? Am I following you on Pinterest? Are we Facebook friends? Details people. I want details.

Monday, September 24, 2012

A book of worries

Photo: My own

The intersection of blogging and commerce is a strange place.

On this post, alex239 commented "this is a blatant advertisement for a specific brand of razors. Slaves to advertising, all of ya! so cute." 12:18 a.m.

Unsatisfied that the comment didn't show up immediately, alex expanded on that thought. "This is an obvious advertisement for a specific brand of razors in a linkbait section at the bottom of a USA Today article. Slaves to advertising, so cute." 12:19 a.m.

Now frustrated that neither comment appeared, alex concluded that at 12:20 a.m., with two comments now so clearly ignored alex concludes one thing -- "of course, censhorship, for pointing out the obvious nature of the advertising."

When I checked my email at 12:15 p.m., these three comments awaited moderation. I published them, as I have most comments on that post. The only ones not published were either too vile to publish or spam.

My initial reaction was "Who is this online avenger and why do they think it's okay to complain about a clearly labeled commercial?" My second reaction was, I'm blogging about this. Because that's what I do when something gets my attention.

But back to Alex. The comment about the post being "linkbait" stings a little.  I haven't a clue how the linking company picked my post to place at the bottom of articles ranging from USA Today to Slate. I didn't pay for it, but I'm grateful nonetheless. Perhaps the post was chosen by outbrain because of its possibly provocative title. What not to shave.

I admit wondering what people expect to read or see when they click the link. Perhaps something more like this? I think we can all agree that with my filthy mind, I could come up with far more titillating content than a story about how I shave my toes and belly button.

This pains me greatly because very few things in this world would please me more than to have all the thousands of people who have clicked that link to read something that kept them coming back for more. Instead this feels like a missed opportunity to make a great first impression.

It's the Ice, Ice, Baby of my blogging "career." Thankfully, it's not plagiarized. Take that, Vanilla Ice.

If the linkbait comment stung, Alex's censorship comment tickled me. That, too, is commerce-related. Over a year ago, I added comment moderation to battle spam comments on my older posts. Now, any post older than four days requires comment moderation. A point which is clearly stated in the comment box that alex must have missed in the rush to have a say.

A question:  Should this convince me to decline future offers to write sponsored posts?

Over the years, when I had to ask for donations, readers suggested I monetize the blog. I resisted for a long time because I worried about how it would affect my writing. Then an opportunity arrived and I decided to risk it.

The outcome has been mixed. The money helps our still precarious financial situation. Just because I have a job doesn't mean we're still not making choices between buying gasoline to get to work and food when we reach the thin end of the month. The stats and the chance to reach a wider audience (there are some who click on other posts, thank goodness) are amazing. Other new opportunities are popping up and I'm grateful for more chances to write and be paid to do so.

When writing future sponsored posts, I'll first have to censor the alex  in my head. The Worrier. The Shamer. The Constant Questioner. Can I find a way to write well and fit the requirements that sometimes are part of writing a sponsored post?

Is it better to simply decline and take the high road for my "art?" And why do I feel like an asshole using the word art to describe what I do?

I'll start with repeating the Bill Cosby quote "I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone" and go from there.

Monday, April 9, 2012

My Dinner with Teri

Let's say you make friends with someone online.

She's part of a circle of friends you met on a well-known literary agent's blog. Now let's say that friend emails you that she's going to be in your town and would love to get together. The day finally arrives. What is the first thing you do when you see this friend?

Well, if you're me, you scream. With lots of volume.

She knocked on the window while I primped trying to yank my hair into some semblance of order.

I screamed because I'm a bit jumpy, I guess.

After I screamed, we hugged and then headed out to dinner where we talked for hours. We could have kept talking, too, but it was getting late and we'd taken up the booth of the super nice waitress at Applebees for far too long.  We discussed topics ranging from family to politics to mutual friends and, of course, writing. Funnily enough, writing is the thing we talked least about. Even though this was our first meeting in person, I felt like I'd known Teri for a long time. Trite, but true. Midwesterners of the same age, we could have gone to high school together.

Teri, in case you don't know, is an avid reader. No, scratch that. Is there a stronger word for avid because that's what Teri is. She is, without a doubt, the pace setter for what this crowd of writers/readers have their noses buried in. Recently she read and raved about Wild - From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, a memoir by Cheryl Strayed (aka Sugar).

You have to read this book, she said.

And then she saw to it that I would.

Thank you for the gift of your time, your friendship and the book, Teri. I hope I'll see you again very soon.

When is the last time you had an evening you wished could last longer?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

This is the day when things fall into place

A brief story about the power of social media. Or maybe the value of connecting, reconnecting. Who you know. The ending of one chapter, the beginning of another. A shift of gears. A new day. A move from a red square to a black one. Is it the Phoenix or the egg?

I'm stalling.

See, the thing is, I reconnected with a friend, a former colleague on Facebook. This friend knew that I was out of work and suggested I apply for a position with his employer. And so I did. And. And....

I got the job. I mean - I got the job!!! (Throws confetti into the air, runs around in circles making incoherent noises. Halts, realizes that she's going to have to clean up the confetti, shrugs and resumes pandemonium.)

And it's not just a job. It is a position I really, really wanted.

I start in a couple of weeks.

After being out of work for two years and two months (you bet I've kept count), I'd pretty much given up. My friend's timing was perfect. Having him as an internal reference surely helped. Without his connection, I may have been overlooked for this position because of my old job titles, but during the interview process it became clear that my best skills were well-suited for this position.

In other words, I'm beside myself with joy and gratitude for my friend who knows from experience what a toll long-term unemployment takes on a person.

Thanks to all of you for the support, kind words and patience as I've struggled to hold on to the belief that things would turn around. There were many days when this blog felt like the only thing I'd accomplished, if you could call it an accomplishment.

When it comes down to it, I'm here because you're here.

Thank you, all of you, for being here.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I'm sprawled across the Davenport of despair*

Thought I'd finally cashed in my chips, did you? I'd see you checking in on me and I'd be all oh, man, I can't think of a thing to write and I'm letting these people down. Think, woman, think! Nothing happens. There's nary a creative thought to be found among the abandoned Habitrails, faded French conjugations, and cravings for Marathon Bars cluttering my cranium.

My pleas for the cats to do something bloggable go unheeded. In a lame attempt at slapstick, the cat who's older than Sophie prat fell off the back of the davenport yesterday. It was like watching someone's grandmother tumble down a flight of stairs. My shocked laughter was muted by my concern with whether she'd broken a hip.

"Oh, Daisy! Are you okay?"

She shot me a reproachful look, shook herself and said, "I don't plan to sue." As she strolled away, she looked over her shoulder, her lip curled in defiance. "This time."

I used the word davenport because it doesn't get used enough. I looked it up on wikipedia. A proper noun first, it morphed into a generic term for sofa in the Midwest and Northern New York. Which would explain why my thoroughly Midwestern mother used davenport interchangeably with the harsher sounding couch. When I was a child, I liked it when she said davenport. It seemed more exotic with its multiple syllables.

The family has been no help either. They haven't said or done a funny thing in over a week. Unless you count Sophie telling me that having sex burns calories so I should keep doing it. The friend she was showing off in front of laughed at the irreverence of the exchange. I pulled out my phone and poked at the keyboard.

"What are you doing?"

"I'm texting Daddy."

"About sex?"

"No. About calories."

I thought about telling you about the strange dreams I've been having, but instead I'll show you this visual and leave the rest to your imagination.

It's fair to say that I have anything to offer. I'm profoundly sorry for this lapse. I'm distracted to the point of scrubbing old cookie sheets with a solution of baking soda and peroxide. They don't yet gleam, but give me time and a few more news stories about the ongoing attempts of the Right to dismantle the hard-won reproductive rights of women or another beating of a gay teen and those cookie sheets will be mirrors upon which we can all scrutinize our foreheads for etched lines of confusion and consternation.

You can't rub those lines out with your thumb either. I've tried.

Now I'm turning to you. Suggestions for topics are welcome. Questions, ideas, a first line, a last one? Want to guest post? Fire away.

P.S. This.

*Not really, but I love this line from the Warren Zevon song Disorder in the House.

Monday, November 28, 2011


Over the holiday, the manuscript turned into a rewrite which was not all right because I wanted to be done, but then yesterday the answer about my main character appeared out of the steam as I ironed Nate's white button down.

Good thing I remembered to put the iron down. That's his only white oxford shirt. I gripped the side of the ironing board in something close to ecstasy. Gross, I know. But listen, you take your shots where you can get them. I'm just sorry Nate's shirt had to bear witness to the moaning and thrashing about.

Now I'm going to finish this fucker. I've got the bracelet and I'm wearing it. By wearing it, I am accountable to Amy, Teri (who came up with the bracelet idea), Sherry, Lyra, Averil, DebMacDougal Street BabyErika, Bobbi, Laura, Cat, Suzy, and the rest of the creative people who make up this ad hoc writers' group that found each other making smart remarks here.

And it's because of you guys, the reader of this blog, who've urged me on and provided all kinds of creative support.

And a special thanks to the beta readers. I handed you a fairly unfinished mess and you gave me the kind of feedback that has not only made the story more time and location authentic, but it also gave me some ideas for plot lines. And? You were all so incredibly kind about it. Not a one of you sent me back a pile of ashes or hate mail. I love you for that.

Now on to the reason I've called this meeting. It seems I've gained a new blogging niche. How I'm to parlay this into mega advertising dollars or finesse it onto my moldering resume is anyone's guess, but it's something to be able to say that my blog is huge in Canada, Europe and Asia among those seeking FAIL photos. Or fotos as one googler put it.

Click the image to see the gory details.
People from Luxembourg, Belgium, Ottawa, France, Switzerland, Romania, Quebec, Tunisia (Africa, represent!), The Czech Republic, Sweden, Slovenia, Holland, Italy, Denmark, Thailand, Slovakia, Turkey, Montreal, Poland, Germany, even Mexico, they're all searching for FAIL and finding me.

I'm not sure I like how that sounds. Let try again. They're landing on this post, but really they're looking for the photos on it. And they're particularly interested in the hairy guy.

I wonder if he knows how sought after he is. Then again, maybe this gets filed under blissful ignorance.

Tell me about your holiday. Good? Indifferent? Bad? Fistfights? Did you eat too much, drink too much, tell your Uncle Jeb to get stuffed? Pumpkin pie or pecan? What did you do with the sweet potatoes?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I want to cover every inch of you like ink on paper

 A few reasons why my blogging mojo fled the scene.

1. The long weekend meant that all my verbal ninja skills were devoted to those lunatics with whom I live.

2. I painted my nails a fabulous shade of red and it took a long time for the polish to dry. While I waited, I noticed that the blades of the ceiling fan appeared to have grown fur. While I was standing on the bed wiping down the fan blades, I saw that one of the lightbulbs was out so I went to the basement to get a new bulb. While I was in the basement, I heard the buzzer on the dryer go see where this is going, right?

3. I share a computer with three other people and a cat with an online gambling habit.

4. My office chair makes squeaky fart sounds every time I move which means that MathMan says "Nice one" every time. Which means I lose my temper after the twenty-sixth nice one  and must tackle him and dangle spit over his face which means the kids hear the ruckus and call Grandma to tell on me because they always assume I'm the problem which means my mother calls me on the house phone because she doesn't believe in cell phones which means I have to climb off MathMan reminding him that since I won't be able to torture him further I will instead call takebacks on the sex we had that morning which means he says no takebacks on sex, but it's too late because I'm already on my way to the living room to answer the phone where my mother proceeds to ground me which means I remind her that I'm an adult and she can't really ground me to which she says "Don't sass me, missy, unless you want to be grounded for another week."

5. MathMan and I went for a power walk and he made me do lunges and squats. Three times. No, that wasn't the sex, but I could see ways we could combine these things.

6. The long weekend had been long enough by 2pm Monday, but no one would listen to me when I announced that we were moving on with our week.
6.1 It rained so I had to go outside and dance in it.
6.2 The tornado sirens went off so I had to do a quick clean of the house because if we're going to be blown to bits by nature, we're going to start from clean by golly.

7.  I got sucked into watching How the States Got Their Shapes on History Channel. It's like crack covered donuts with a side of fries dipped in chocolate Frosty.

8. I started using Pinterest.

9. I hit the bottom again on being depressed about not being able to find a job and so I did what I do when presented with an unmovable obstacle. I rage. I have a lot of rage about this and hence I raged long and loudly. With jazz hands. And props.

10. This song. Over and over. And over again.

Now I have to go research setting up a phone sex hotline because that is looking like my only viable option to pull in some meaningful amounts of cash. What will you do with your short week, my loves?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Gentle Hum of Anxiety

The last couple of days were an involuntary internet blackout. Round about noon on Friday, there was a din of WTFs, Sonofabitches, Goddamnits, Dagnabbits, Mommy! and Fuck me's! coming from West end of Cartersville, Georgia, as thousands of AT&T customers tried to surf the web and got stiff-armed by the Broadband Not Available message.

I, myself, had just performed several happy pirouettes around the deck after having just posted for the first time in two years at PoliTits navigating Blogger's new format while my heart pounded at the possibility of being reunited with my stupidly deleted blog. I returned to my seat to post my elation at having my old blog back, I saw that a couple of friends emailed me about something called Google+ and when I tried to open the first email.....nothing. Loading, loading, loading. I tried another tab. Statcounter. Nothing. Another. Nothing. Another. Broadband link error.

About that same time, MathMan threw open the bedroom window and hollered "What's up with the internet?" I could hear commotion coming from the living room. Grumbling, I went inside, remembering to reach up and snag the leaping cat who desperately wants to return to her feral roots or at least track down the squirrel who licks the deck every morning to ask him why in the hell he does that. She started to claw me, but saw the expression on my face and thought better of it, jumping with one swift motion to the floor and disappearing behind the sofa.

Nathan charged up the basement stairs, his XBox controller in his hand. "What's wrong with the internet? I was in the middle of a game!"

Sophie, who was awake during the day so that she could attend a party at 1pm, shook her iPod Touch. "I was watching Roseanne, but Netflix just went out. Did you cancel Netflix?"

Chloe was alternately packing for a camping trip and checking her email for an important message. "What the hell?" And then more words I won't repeat here because she shouldn't be using those words in front of her parents.

A sound from outside drew my attention. I tugged open the humidity-sticky front door and was met with a wailing sound made up of the collective epithets, oaths, threats and smart remarks from all those disappointed ATandT customers who couldn't check their bank statements, water their Farmville farms or upload photos of their privates. One neighbor wearing two oven mitts and a pair of her kid's swim goggles, wielded a pair of kitchen sheers on the metal stump housing the Comcast cable hub.

"What are you doing?"

"I was in the middle of searching for a recipe when the stupid internet pooped out! I'm dumping AT&T for Comcast. Right now," she said, blowing her hair out of her face. "Listen, watch for the cops. They patrol around the neighborhood at about this time every day." We stay at home parents and involuntarily and voluntarily retired people know things like this. I looked over my shoulder checking for the Black and White.

Another neighbor was squirting lighter fluid on a pile of kindling on his front lawn. "Jerry, are you going to send smoke signals?"

"Yeah, right. Smoke signals. No, this is for lighting our torches so we can make a show of force." Assorted other neighbors assembled on his lawn, scuffing their feet in the gravel along the curb, trying not to trample the impatiens or tip his bird bath. They carried iPhones, Androids, and pitchforks. The neighbor one house over was dismantling his ratty old picket fence while his wife stood next to him tearing sheets.

"We can use these for torches, Jer! I'm sick of painting it anyway," he shouted over the crowd.

Oh, sure now they're ready to take to the streets. I wasn't going to waste this opportunity. If people were whipped up enough to protest, let them at least spend their on things that would help the greater good. "Listen, while you're at it, would you mind protesting Georgia's disgusting new immigration law, the Republicans who never mention the deficit when they're running it up, two and a half wars, our corrupt governor, and corporate welfare in a time of high unemployment and record profits?"

My neighbor shook his can of lighter fluid at me. "You're one of those commie pinkos, aren't you? I told Sue to keep an eye on you when you started hanging your laundry out to dry and you guys replaced your lawn mower with one of those push mowers. Real Americans ride their lawnmowers!"

Yeah, this was going nowhere. "Enjoy your mob, Jerry, and don't forget that AT&T doesn't support net neutrality. Add that to your protest, okay?"

"Net what?"

"Nevermind." I slammed the front door, glad to block out the racket.

"Well, the TV still works," MathMan said holding out the dvd of Social Network we'd gotten in the mail from Netflix. "Want to watch a movie after we take Sophie to her party?"

Later MathMan, Nate and I ate popcorn, drank root beer and watched the movie about how Facebook came about. Occasionally, one of us would reach into a vibrating pocket and pull out our phone to read a text.

"I know there's some message here about modern life," I said.

"What do you mean?"

"Well, while we're sitting here watching a movie about how Facebook was invented, most of my texts are from Facebook."

Full circle.


Just for laughs: First World Problems.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Is it wrong not to always be glad?

First, let me dispense with the item I know you're all dying to hear from me about.

It was indeed a certain member of Congress's member in the twitpic. It was Anthony Weiner's wiener. How did I miss out on that? Life is so freaking unfair sometimes. I already have the book title in mind when I write the would be story about sexting shenanigans with an elected official. The Congressman Who "Loved" Me. I guess it will remain fiction, not memoir. Dang it.

My favorite part of Rep. Weiner's presser yesterday? The word women. Not woman. Women. Oh, Anthony we're such kindreds only you're much better hung than me.Seriously, though. I'm trying not to judge because well, I've been my own kind of dumbass, but for cliff's sake, you're thinking of running for King of NYC and you just married your own hot chick and hello, those are tweet photos not email. Way to hand the opposing political party a deflection from the fact that they're tearing apart all the good things a government does.

It's been a strange few days, but before I get to that, I want to thank the Patrons of The Arts who provide PayPal donations to this blog. Thank you so much for paying me to write, youse guys. Sometimes that's just the boost we need to keep the lights on and the vodka flowing. Special thanks to Susan and to my long-time reader and steady contributor to the cause whom I won't name but if that person wants me to mention them by name, I'll hope they'll let me know. You know who you are.

Also, I want to thank Lyra and her son M. for making and sending me this power bracelet which is seriously cool and has already drawn some great compliments. Thank you, Lyra. I love it and wear it all the time.

If I can remember where I stored my trumpet, we'll be playing Taps to honor my laptop which gave its final blue screen performance yesterday. After a few days of wheezing and intermittently shutting down, it finally died and took with it some edits that I'd neglected to email to myself. I'm to blame. The computer was sick and tired of being an accomplice to my crimes. The never finishing a manuscript, writing boring blog entries and conducting illicit online threeways with a man who likes to be tickled and his cousin The Biter.

Before the vintage laptop groaned and went dark, Doug googled the issue and found that this Gateway model had a motherboard flaw. How very typical, Sigmund Freud. Blame the mother.

That's it, I fussed. I'm wasting my time writing. This is a sign that I'm done. Finished. Through.

Doug came to the rescue, as always, using his succinct and direct manner. "That's bullshit and you know it."

But don't you think the loss of my edits on DDay when DDay figures prominently in the story is a sign that I should stop writing this story?

A disappointed head shake can say so much.

So for now I'm a computer nomad borrowing the desktop the kids share and Doug's rebuilt laptop when he's not using it to obsess over fantasy baseball stuff and Calculus demonstrations. I'm typing this post on Doug's work computer, but I don't want to use it very much because it belongs to the school and it feels wrong. As a practical matter, I understand if I type a swear word or chew gum while using this laptop, it will issue me a detention. What a drag, too, because I can't view any you know what and I definitely won't be able to tweet Rep. Weiner and I have a dumb phone, not a smart one. Mine only makes calls and sends texts and photos. Oh. Heh. Anyway...

This is all just another not so gentle reminder to back up your work, people. Everytime. Save and email to yourself every important document like it may be your last. If you're going to OCD, this would be a good thing to be compulsive about.

Do you back up your work everytime? What method(s) do you use?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Stealing PoliTits

Updated: I'm happy to tell you that the blogger at the new Politits has deleted my content although I'll be keeping an eye on this because I also notice from my statcounter that they've been crawling the archives to the tune of 40 entries in a day. What they can see or retrieve by doing that, I have no idea, but it makes me wonder what they're up to. They're also deleting my and your comments with no response.

Anyway, I appreciate their quick response to my request to delete the content.

Also, if you still have a link to politits on your blog, you may want to delete it because it will now go to this new version, unless, of course, you like what they're doing over there which is  up to you obviously. Could I sound any more Midwestern?

Well, here's something odd. I visited my Google Reader to see what was new in the rss feeds and my old blog PoliTits' feed was bold like it had new posts. I nearly choked on my martini. How could that be? That blog has been deleted for quite some time. I've begged Google to show mercy and let me have it back to no avail. So here it is and someone else is posting there.

What the?

Naturally, I left a hysterical comment or two because not only did this person swipe the PoliTits name, but they're using my old content including words and images. Again, I'm left wondering what the hell?

Here's one of my mistakes - I let myself wonder what's wrong with people? I mean, I've made a cottage industry out of telling you what's wrong with me, my husband, my kids, my extended family, the Pussies for Peace, random neighbors, assorted boyfriends, and a a few friends with excellent senses of humor, but really? What would compel someone to steal a blog - lock, stock and photos of things on the backs of trucks? Shit. This is irritating.

Mostly it's irritating because if I'd known the PoliTits name was up for grabs again, I would have snatched it up and recreated it with the old posts using my rss feed just like this thief appears to have done. Plus I'd use the PoliTits name correctly. It was and will always be PoliTits not Politits. And I would never call myself PoliTits. I was DCup and then (.)(.) and then The Blogger Formerly Known as DCup and then back to DCup until finally I decided the whole pseudonym thing was too ridiculous to maintain and I started blogging using my real name.

And also - a pink template? Sheesh. 'Tits hasn't been pink in years.

I've contacted Blogger to see if this can be fixed. What a pain in the ass though. It makes me rethink the whole idea of blogging and writing online. If it's that easy to steal, how does anything ever belong to anyone? Maybe it's time to hang this up and keep my writing to myself until it's published for real either through traditional methods or by self-publishing with a reputable company.

The upside is that this proves once and for all that I'm taking some pride and ownership of my work because if I ever get my hands on the person who's done this, I promise you they'll be sorry. I'm a pincher and have awesome thumbnails suited for the purpose.

Learn a lesson here - protect yourself. Put some protections on your content and photos. If you deleted a blog and don't want the name reused, be sure to go back and see if you can get the name back. Even if you don't plan to blog there, you can tie up the name so someone else can't. Now I have to figure out how to lock down content, if possible so this stealing can't continue. I think I can fix my rss feeds so that they don't give full content. I'll be setting that up right away.

How stupid is this? A complete waste of my time except that it's going to drive me crazy if I don't get this resolved. The idea that someone is using my content - largely drawn from my life - without my permission is a violation and beyond annoying.

And if you're reading this, politits, do the right thing. Stop stealing and get your own blog. You might be surprised at how much fun it is to create your own content.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Where I Write - But I won't hesitate no more, no more


The Rumpus has a series titled Where I Write that I fell in instant love with because, like some people enjoy knowing baseball stats or follow Iron Chef, I get a spiritual zing from reading about the writing habits of writers.

The writer and illustrator Erika Marks, on whose blog I lurk but rarely, if ever, comment, mentioned the Where I Write series and the next day I got my love note from Stephen Elliott and he had a link to Chloe Caldwell's Where I Write and I took the hint.

Sucked. In. I read every word, slowly, the way I do. I savor the words like my favorite cheap, milk chocolate. I may be pretentious a thousand ways to Sunday, but not about chocolate, yo. Dove. Milk. Thanks.

The series got me to thinking about all the places I've written and where I write. Because what isn't all about me ultimately?

Up there in that photo where I am swinging hot in the pink velour and tan that I would later regret because of those fine lines and wrinkles Paul Hewitt warned me about, I wrote long hand with whatever pen my mother had "accidentally carried home" from the courthouse where she was the County Recorder. In that photo, I was fourteen and writing a horror novel that I (jump back!) never finished. One of my characters was killed when the hood of the car he was repairing came down on his head.

I still have the story somewhere in a box.

That was the summer of The Shining. I saw it at the cinema in Florence, Kentucky, with my boyfriend David. He was eighteen and had already graduated high school and had ditched college even though he'd left high school early and gotten into a really good school in Madison, Indiana. He was back in Rising Sun working at the IGA. He was my older sister's age and I thought he was amazing. He knew everything about Led Zeppelin and just about everything else as far as my fourteen year old mind was concerned. He was a great kisser.

If you enlarge the photo, you can see his enormous class ring on my finger. I had to wrap it with yarn to make it stay on my finger. David gave me my first and only diamond ring, too. He and his father went to Texas and he returned with a promise ring for me. My mother had a fit. I was too young for things to move so fast, she said. I cried and screamed that she'd just have to get used to it. I was in love.

In that photo, I was still a virgin, but not for long. As that summer of angst-ridden teenage poetry and Stephen King modeled horror fiction came to a close, we rode up to the top of the hill charmingly called The Devil's Triangle. David parked his GMC truck just like he had so many times as we kissed and made out and gotten close, but not quite. The air was still and the night peepers made their rhythmic sounds. David leaned over me and opened the door and I climbed out. He followed me to the back of the truck where we kissed until I stared up at the ceiling of the camper shell and bit my lip to keep from yelping.

I went home that night and lay next to the same wallpaper the Brady girls had in their room. I wrote in my diary using code that I'd lost my virginity. I didn't want my sister to read it and rat me out or tease me. I put the diary under my pillow and cried myself to sleep. That was not what I expected it to be like.

Some lessons are never learned. Catch and release is one that I'm particularly slow to pick up on. I get caught and released and it takes my slow mind a while to register that I was once again the quarry, the prey, the too easily snared prize.

Some prize.

I learned about broken promises. It wasn't long before David asked for his promise ring back. There were some things I could never get back. I never did apologize to my mother for being such a stupid girl. She never said she told me so.

I stopped writing and got busy being a kid again.


In 2003, my husband and I uprooted our children from the Midwest and plunked them down in Georgia. This desk came with us from Illinois in a truck that we loaded ourselves on a day when we didn't even know where we'd be living when we got below the Mason-Dixon. We up and moved and figured we'd find a place when we got there.

Some people have a higher tolerance for risk than others. I don't say that with any pride. It's just a statement of fact.

Between the years 1987, when I met my husband and 2003, I didn't write so much. I journaled a bit. I once wrote a list of reasons why my husband had to get a new job. He was working ridiculous hours and I was lonely in a city I didn't know. He refused to look for anything new so I decided I'd be less lonely if we had a baby. I wrote a little in my journal while I was pregnant with our first child Chloe, but not as much as I wish I had. On the one hand, that's a good thing because I had big ideas about how I would raise my child. To have those things written somewhere would be a great source of embarrassment now that I know what this parenting gig is really like.

On the other hand, I'm kind of jealous of today's crop of mom bloggers who chronicle the whole journey from being a woman to being a mother, too, on their blogs. But then I think about how my kids are past the really time consuming, hands-on parenting and I'm less jealous and looking forward to really enjoying them as they grow into adults. Yes, I'm still that naive.

I did outline a story idea back in the mid 1990s. I got this wild hair about what would happen if our government did forced quarantines for people with HIV. The main character was separated from her family when she was mistakenly reported by a doctor's office to have tested positive for HIV. The story hinged on the nightmare she'd have trying to get out of what was essentially a lepers' colony for people with HIV. It seems so dated now.

In 2006, I started writing again in earnest. Except I called it blogging. I wrote first and foremost about politics because I felt so isolated from all the liberals here in our little conservative hell. We weren't in blue Illinois anymore, Barack. Blogging opened up a whole new world for me. I was suddenly writing and reading and creating and communicating with artists, writers, poets, and people from all walks of life who shared at least one overlapping feature - the need to connect and put their thoughts out there.

I tried to create a Venn Diagram of the blogospheres I inhabited, but gave up. All I knew was that all the writing that had been pent up while I got on with the daily life of work and the traveling that entailed and being a wife, and raising children and obsessively keeping house came pouring out of my fingertips and filled the screen with more than it should have in some cases.

In the spring of 2007, I became inappropriately involved with one of my blog readers and my writing took a new direction. So did Where I Write. Before I didn't care that MathMan could see over my shoulder as I sat at the old Chicago Public School teacher's desk (using the same laptop I now use). As my secret life blotted out my real life (in my head, there's Before and After) I no longer wanted a shoulder surfer reading what may have made his eyeballs burn as I plunged the metaphorical knife into our marriage's back.

At the same time, he knew. I mean, he knew the whole time because we had an agreement, but when I said those words "I love him, I don't love you" everything we thought we knew screeched to a halt. The insouciance of our agreement slipped out the door during the pregnant pause.

I wrote fast and furious now. Politics. Erotica. Love notes. Poetry. Short stories. Satire. Anything that popped into my head. Being bad was good for my writing mojo. It may have not been good for my writing, but I was writing, if you know what I mean.

I was put into a much deserved lock down. My husband wasn't going to let me go that easily. I continued to write, but now we stayed close. Tethered. We faced each other across the oak table. We dismantled our marriage over the screens of our back to back laptops. We stared each other down, pushed the silent treatment, searched the other's face for something, anything. We swiped at tears when the other wasn't looking. Yelled, cursed. Laughed even at the absurdity of it all.

He didn't have to see the words on my monitor anymore - he knew the truth. I was leaving. The tighter he held me, the harder I pulled to get away. In some ways, I was already gone.

I wrote my way through the entire ordeal. I created a new blog titled Unglued for the express purpose of writing my way through the shattering of our lives. My husband blogged, too. Sometimes we communicated best by reading what the other had to say. It was a toss up to see who was my most avid reader - my husband, my lover or his wife. Sickness. I still feel sick when I think about it.

It was this time three years ago that it all came to a head. The irony is almost too much to bear. Then, I sent out a single resume and cover letter and got a single interview in Manhattan that lead to a job offer. Now, well, you know how it goes - I send out resumes and cover letters and ........nothing.

When I returned from my Gotham folly, my husband held me close, but this time to let me know I was safe. I was broken - broken hearted and raped. Literally. The man from whom I rented a room drugged and raped me. I made Madame Bovary jokes and figured I'd received my karmic due. I scrambled to pull my head out of my ass and my heart off my sleeve. I found a new job in Georgia and hit the restart button. Again. People needed me to be present.

My husband and I rearranged our writing spaces again because I now had to share a computer with the kids part of the time. The battery on this machine had given out. I sat with my screen exposed again and didn't worry what anyone might see. After all that, there wasn't much left to hide. We became careful and tender with each other. Our bruises were connected under the skin.

Everyone went to therapy.

I turned the story of what happened into several short stories. While we burned bright, my lover helped me develop an idea that was first given to me by my son. That's the manuscript I'm so desperate to finish now. I started working on it and finished the first draft in 2010. In that draft, my lover had a place as a character. During revisions, he's been removed and that's for the best. The story is better this way. The story of 2007 - 2009 stands alone and I work on it sometimes, too. But it's like picking at a scab. Time heals. Every day I'm a little closer to being able to work on it without it taking a toll on my mental health.

It's not just the pain of rejection or the rape that makes that story still a tender scar. It's guilt. The far reaching effects of the decisions I made during that time haunt me still. They probably always will. But like doing time, the longer we go without any disaster - real disaster - befalling us because of something I did or didn't do, the less fretful I am. The prison sentence of memory passes with each day.

April is a month of change. It was this day in 2008 when I sat in an Elephant & Castle at what would be one of my last dinners with my employers. I already knew what was coming. I'd seen it in his eyes two days before  as we sat in my little white car and said our goodbyes in a McDonald's parking lot somewhere on the Island of Manhattan. It wasn't supposed to be goodbye. It was until - soon. When we would start our new life and be together forever.

His nervous energy filled the car. I was confident that I'd gotten the job. I wasn't supposed to see him while I was there for my interview. We'd had another difficulty and I'd sworn I was done with the games. I made promises to my husband that I broke. He didn't want me to go to New York and he definitely didn't want me to see my lover while I was there. He knew that however bad our relationship had gotten, my relationship with my lover was worse - toxic. I didn't care. Everything was coming apart and I wasn't about to start playing by some set of moral rules now. I'd come too far. I'd gone too far.

He kissed me, placed his hand on my cheek and looked for a long time into my eyes before looking away. I touched his wedding ring. That had been one of his promises to someone else. He doesn't wear it anymore. Not that it matters to me now. On that day, it was windy and cool. He left the car and pulled the wool hat down over his ears. He'd lost weight and grown a beard. We joked that he resembled the President of Iran, the guy whose name I can pronounce but not spell. I pulled out of the parking lot and drove toward the Holland Tunnel, my beacon, the gateway in and out of the city that would be my next home. He walked with his head down, his hands jammed in the pockets of his heavy coat. I ignored the feeling I got when he looked at me as I drove by.

I had lunch with a friend and then, amid the stereotypical horn honking and cars jammed bumper to bumper as you would expect on a Friday afternoon, my cell phone rang. I got the job offer. I was perfect for it. When could I start? I called my lover before I called my husband because I assumed one would be elated and the other would not. I needed to share my elation with someone. As horns honked all over Manhattan, I dialed the phone number that had become tattooed on my heart.

"I got the job!"

I don't remember the details of the conversation except that he said something like Okay, well, now I have some decisions to make. 

The horns stopped honking. To fill the silence, I uttered a bunch of you're sures and sought confirmation that I should take the job and give notice to my employers. I was going to be with them for the next three days so the timing was right. The new job was anxious for an answer from me.

Yes. Yes. I just need to sort out the timing of everything that comes next. We were on the precipice of big changes.

His fear became an entity that rode shotgun as I drove the New Jersey Turnpike to D.C. I was to attend meetings for my current job. While his fear hummed to itself, I listened to my favorite distraction - old time radio shows and tried to ignore the growing weight next to me. At some point, I had to stop for gas and a pee. When I returned to the car, His Fear finally spoke.

What decision does he have to make? You've done everything he asked. And ask yourself this - if he's ready to jump, why did he take such great pains to hide your visit from his wife? Why didn't you notice that before?

Inappropriate as ever, I laughed at the idea. Watching him go over himself for evidence of marital foul play before he left my hotel room was like watching a C.S.I. team.

It was true. I'd done everything my lover had asked. I'd wrecked my family. I'd found a new job. I'd made plans to move to New York to be with him. I'd given notice at my current job. I'd listened to his promises of a new, exciting life. I'd kept my end of the bargain and now I sat and watched people drinking and laughing and fought my nausea in a faux English pub. My cellphone buzzed in my pocket and I excused myself to an empty booth on the other side of the restaurant.

He was staying with his wife. He had to fulfill his promise to her.

"You're sure about this?"


Later someone told me that I walked from the Elephant and Castle holding my hands against my chest like I was having a heart attack. It wasn't that - I was trying to keep the scream that was about to explode from me buried. Had I let it creep up my throat and out of my mouth, it would have shattered all the glasses of beer and wine littering the tables with a visual metaphor for my life at that moment. I was smashed and a smasher.

A year later, my family moved from our home into a rental. The bank was out of patience with us. When I quit my job and the Manhattan situation turned to shit, the financial dominoes began to tumble. Click. Click. Click. Clickclickclickclickclicklick faster and faster until there was nothing left to do but walk away.

Yes, I wrote my way through that, too.


This is where I write today. Since we've been in this house, I've had several different writing places. First my husband and I replicated our old desk set up with the back to back laptops on the oak library table. Then our son moved to the basement and I took over his room, sitting back at the Chicago teacher's desk once again and sharing the space with the weight bench and elliptical which shamed me every day for not climbing aboard while I thought through story ideas.

I attended a writers' workshop with Lauretta Hannon. I surrounded myself with a Dream Board and artwork by Susan Mills. I reconnected with old friends and lovers and put some closure on other old wounds. I wrote those stories, too. My former reader/lover and I continued to circle each other like animals on high alert. Forbidden fruit. Poison. A snake in the new Eden. All these dreams and nightmares became stories. I showed him some of what I'd written. He was complimentary, but I don't think he cared much for it when I subtracted his character from the novel manuscript.

Now I am a journalist reporting the facts as best I can. Or maybe I'll fictionalize that time. It's a great love story. Twisted yes, doomed, of course, but the highs were......oh so high. Like every other big event in my life, I want to keep the memory, no matter how jagged a pill it is. It's a narcissistic quality, but there it is.

I started to think of myself as a writer. I got more comfortable talking about writing. I lost my job and suddenly, writing took on a new dimension - a career?

Sometime last year, my son and I switched places again and I took a spot in the basement, sitting at a silver Ikea table. That lasted until it got cold. I can't type well with cold fingers.

The secretary is from my inlaw's house. I don't know how old it is, but it survived the Chicago Flood of 1987. I need to remember to oil the wood more often. It's as cluttered as ever. For a neat freak in all other aspects of her life, I sure can mess up a desk.

This desk was on the other side of the bedroom for about three months while I worked on my abandoned manuscript about a guy making a run for the Senate. I moved it because my chair was in the path to the bathroom and having people banging into the back of my chair on their way to the potty or to check their teeth in the mirror drove me insane.

Now those same people feel the same urgency to get on the other side of the room to look out the window, root through the closet or sit in my now permanent fixture of the reading lawn chair in the corner. I wonder sometimes if it's my magnetic quality that draws them toward me. Or is it a desire to see if I'm still here mentally, emotionally, physically? They want to keep me from breaking any more promises to them. To myself.

I like the space. I like the little niche it is. I like that I can hear what's going on in other parts of the house without leaving my spot. I can write and stay present when necessary. I like it that I can turn my head and see the big pin oak that dominates the backyard. The rotating roster of birds hopping on the branches and calling out makes me feel less alone and it gives me and the cats something to talk about when I need a break from the cadence of fingers on keys.

I know I'm breaking that rule that says it's a bad idea to work in your bedroom, but then I never was much for rules........

Show us where you write. And don't tell me you don't write just because you blog, but don't write stories. You write. Yes, you. If you do this, come back and let me know in comments so I can link to you, okay?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Thirty Days

I've had enough of me. I'm that person who finishes nothing and complains about it as if someone else can fix it. The book proposal isn't finished. Ditto the novel in progress, the humorous erotica story that's due for a contest on Tuesday, a story where someone gets killed also due on Tuesday or the manuscript I started for NaNoWriMo in November. My mother used to say something about too many irons in the fire. All I want to do is iron because at least there next to the ironing board, I feel in control. To remedy this, I'm taking thirty days away from blogging and social media to see what I can accomplish without the easily blamed tools of the devil getting in my brainpan. I know they don't mean to pull me away from the important stuff of busyness, the things I should be doing, but they do. I open Facebook to print a coupon for Ben & Jerry's and three days later I'm having chat sex with someone from the Federation of Russia whom I just met on tumblr via google translate, meanwhile I'm tweeting the results and can't remember when I last ate or had a shower.

To keep the blog's muscles from atrophying entirely, I might do auto draft posts once a week. Some of them might look familiar to those of you've been around since the PoliTits days. For those of you who are new, please note that over the years, the names of the characters have change. MathMan used to be The Honey. Chloe was The Dancer, Nate was The Actor and Sophia was Cupcake or Resident Evil, depending. But what am I saying? You're a smart group of people, you'll figure it out.

See you in thirty.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Babe, I want you from the ground up

It probably won't surprise you that MathMan and I don't make a big deal out of Valentime's Day. No. I save that kind of romance for my new boyfriend* because we're in that exhilarating stage of new love when you just can't get enough of each other or keep your hands off the other.

That's not to say MathMan hasn't wooed me with his own endearing romantic overtures. He knows how to make me swoon without resorting to the trite. Any Tom, Dick or Hamid can get his valentine a card, a box of Russell Stovers, an armful of her favorite roses or a diamond necklace like the one advertised by Tiffany's in a full page color spread in Sunday's Atlanta Journal Constitution during a recession with near record unemployment. What? No love for the concentration of wealth at the very top where people buy Tiffany heart necklaces?  Philistines.

I am not speaking through gritted teeth.  Anyway, I was making a point about other, more creative ways to show one's affection and I'm not married to just any Ted, Doug or Henry with a credit card and lack of imagination. Heck no. I get text messages like this:

Dear Lisa,
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Lookin' forward to seeing you.

Awwww. Or how about this one:

Dear Lisa,
Roses are red
Violets are blue
I'm writing to you 
While I take a poo.

Now, I ask you - what's not to love? This man thinks of me incessantly. After twenty-somanyIdon'tevenrememberanymore years together, he also knows the direct route to my heart not involving chocolate or pornographic images. Potty humor. I'm a fool for a well-delivered poo story, a cleverly crafted fart joke or a sight gag based on peeing and/or having to pee at the wrong time. Come to think of it, MathMan frequently texts me just that. I'm peeing. That's just so nice because I'm pleased to know he's staying hydrated during his busy days and it's always good to feel like I'm part of his day even when he's many miles away.

In return for his witty, near Hugh Grantesque romantically comedic texts, I'm showing my love for MathMan in ways unique to my role in this relationship. I made him this last night. And you know how much he loves me? Even though he detests cooked raisins, he didn't spit a single one out in my presence. In exchange, I didn't remind him that he needs to grow up and stop calling cooked raisins and cherry pie filling slimy.

Restraint is a form of affection in my book. As such, I'm assuming that his not mentioning that it appeared I was trying to murder him via bread and butter pudding and elevated cholesterol numbers as another obvious sign that our love continues to run true and deep. Like an underground river of bubbling lava.  Or moles.

While I'm on the subject of love, I must tell you that I got lucky with some blog love today. Tengrain, of the world famous Mock Paper Scissors, and the kiss heard round the blogosphere (I still haven't washed my lips two years later!) gave a link shout out to That's Why on the universally famous Crooks & Liars.

Imagine my surprise as I was drag assin' around this morning because I caught the crud from Sophie and as I sat round shouldered, glumly poking my mouse and thinking I should just go back to bed when I opened my statcounter and saw a huge leap in visitors and they weren't all looking for Nancy Pelosi's breasts or the weather lady's nipples. My seven day stats looked positively phallic. I perked right up at the sight of that. So thank you, Tengrain, for that link and the resulting graphic. May I ride them both. To fame and fortune.

I should take a moment and welcome new visitors, but they're all going to the previous post anyway. If you are new, welcome. Thank you for being here. Can I offer you some bread and butter pudding? It's fabulous and the raisins, soaked for hours in Grand Marnier, aren't the least bit slimy. When my husband gets home, we'll be having a poetry reading if you'd like to stick around.

I hope your Monday is starting your week off with a bang. You can take that however you want. Now I must scoot. I'm helping Sophie with her How To demonstration for her sixth grade language arts class. But before she can teach them, she's got to learn how to make a dirty martini, right?

Who's wooing you? What's wooing you? Who or what are you wooing? Have you kissed Tengrain? Do you ever use Woo Hoo on Facebook? Stop that. 

*I don't know what I love more - his overall performance or the flexibility of his hose.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

You talk about the junk you did

I've been digging around in the archives here and from the old blogs looking for posts as I work on a project. It's slow going, but hopefully worth it.

So here's a question I have for you. Especially those of you who've been around for a long time and have strong retention skills. Sadly, I don't which is why this project is going slower than it should. Anyway, if you can remember anything from a post that stood out for you, please leave a comment. Anything. The kernel of an idea you remember. A line that stood out. A title. The accompanying picture. The general topic. Anything. But there are two caveats for this project:

1. It has to be a post about relationships.
2. I'm looking for funny, humorous, wryly presented. I don't really do wry, do I? You know what I mean though.

This is awkward to ask. It feels so - - gross. As if you guys don't have anything better to do than remember posts from my goofy blogs. But before I hit the submit button, I want to make sure I've collected my best work.

Meanwhile, I'm working on something else and just as I prepared to sluice down the memory hole, this newish song by Lucinda Williams came on and I was all How perfect! I'm adding to my playlist for writing, for life. For drinking beer and lighting matches for the sulphur sting because that reminds me of something, too.

Thanks, gang, for indulging me. Enjoy the song, the rest of your weekend and your buttercup...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Did You Bring Your Agenda?

We will now call this meeting to order. Having dispensed with the reading of the minutes of our last meeting, let's begin with old business.

1. Thank you.
Thanks for the comments of support on this post. The text I got this morning from her sounded much better. When I write posts like that, I'm inclined to turn comments off because really, what can one say to that? But you always know just what to say and I appreciate that.

2. Blog stuff
I haven't stopped reading you if you blog. I've just been away from the computer more than usual. The driving, the writing, the mom stuff, the badminton championship and clogging lessons. Time consuming! Please accept my apologies.

On to new business.

1. Mystery solved!
We now know why the chicken crossed the road. Answer here at Life Just Keeps Getting Weirder. I did a survey for Anna and the results are posted over there.

This concludes this brief meeting of the - - what are we again? Nevermind. I have to take off again. I have a couple of characters locked in battle and if I don't get back there, the wrong one might bleed to death. Thank you for attending.

Here's a little traveling music for you.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Am I too much for you to tame?

That was then...
In honor of the exchanging of the Speaker of the House gavel (insert gavel size joke here) that took place yesterday, I thought this would be a perfect time to introduce you to DCup.  DCup was my alter ego for a couple of years in the blogosphere.  Sometimes I really miss her.  When you blog under a pseudonym, there's a certain fearlessness based on some illusion of anonymity.  She was necessary.  I wouldn't have developed as a writer without her as a crutch.

I spent some time thinking about DCup as a result of this post at amyg's.  Amy blogs and is a columnist for a regional newspaper somewhere near where I grew up. This fascinates me.  Could I have ever been so brave to write with Amy's honesty were I still living in Rising Sun? Ooooh...I doubt it.  Everything would pass through the filter of what kind of face my mother would make as she read my columns.  So not pretty.  So I look at Amy with awe and respect.

When Amy wrote yesterday about her reaction to negative comments to her columns, I was reminded of how DCup got a boost by some negative attention in 2006.  You might say the negative attention played a large role in DCup getting readers.  You can read the progression here.  DCup has her own page now. Note: there is a photo that isn't 100% work or kid friendly.

Over time and after some funny conversations with my therapist, I decided to lay DCup to rest in late 2008, but there are moments when I wish I could be her again if only so that I could look that good in a lacy black bra.

This is now...
DCup's blog PoliTits is gone, but I still have access to the posts in my google reader.  I trolled through them yesterday to see if I could find my response to the post written about DCup in 2006.  (I found it.) In the process of scrolling through old posts, I was struck by how little has actually changed politically since 2006.  Some of the names are different, but the problems have actually grown worse.  It's so disheartening.

Looking ahead, I decided to back up this blog at Wordpress and then took the additional step of buying my own domain name.  I'll eventually move operations there, but I'll continue to blog here for a couple more weeks. is live, but still a work in progress.  You're free to check it out and offer feedback.  I'll let you know here when I'll write new posts there in case you want to change rss feeds or bookmarks.

If you're still wondering how this relates to the exchange of the Speaker gavel, here's the answer. PoliTits, aside from the charming, subtle name, had its largest number of concentrated hits from people who searched the internet for photos of now former Speaker Pelosi's breasts.  Yes.  A woman achieves a historical milestone and people all over the globe turn to Google with some hope of finding photos of her breasts.

How do you feel about blogging anonymity? How much do you self-censor? Can you believe the size of Speaker Boehner's gavel?  Should we google pictures of his "gavel?"

Monday, November 8, 2010

Does Anyone Else Hear That?

I am so sorry about the double post yesterday.  As if that post wasn't hot mess enough with all the typos and mistakes, I had to hit you with it twice?  I opted to not delete either post since both had comments so here they will stay forever and ever until some race of superbeings' children discover the internets in a dusty box tucked away in someone's galactic attic.  Once found, the internets will become a momentary interest before being lost again - this time for all eternity - after little BY5677 or whatever he's called, is chased by GR7689 across the attic.  He's carrying the internets in his six appendages, but since he's only .98 nanoseconds old, he's not so sure-footed.  Naturally, he trips and drops the internets and they go rolling into a black hole in the corner and (              )!!! Everything we've written here is gone in the blink of an eye. Or Six eyes, if you're little BY5677.

(       ) = the sound no one hears you make when you scream in space


I should probably stop drinking what's left of those Billy Beers I found in the crawl space.

What are you sorry for today?  And could someone do something about that low rumbling sound I hear?  Thanks.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I Get Around

Yes, I realize this is not news.

I've been cheating on you guys, my long time lovers.  While I still haunt the places I've been visiting since about 1912, I've added some new places to my feed reader.  Like that stray kitten you should have never made eye contact with, I follow these new, shiny interests home.  It's not my fault that they feed me, is it?

The thing is, these new places mesh well with my Tried and Trues.  I may have met them while trolling the literary agent and editors sites or goofing around on Twitter, but many of them share my world view, skewed as it may be.  What they have in common with my old pals is humor.  It may be dark, it may be slapstick, it may be dry like a nice red wine, but humor and excellent writing ties all you lovers - old and new -  together.  It's what keeps me coming back.

Let me introduce you to Bethany.  She tagged me with a meme the other day.  Bethany is an ex-pat living in Quebec.  Long time readers will guess that I'm just a wee bit envious that she's up there where le Francais est parled. (you've gotta say it with a mash-up Midwestern flat/Deep South Country twangy accent)  Le Francais est parled.  Nevermind.

So it's Sunday morning and I'm going to do this meme because I am wiped out.  Yesterday, I did more things than I typically do in six months. Socialist things, I mean.  Wait - no, not socialist.  Social.  As in go out and interact with people.  Socialist is like when I go to the library.

I had coffee with Wendy of Wendy and Jason's Excellent Adventure!  I've been reading Wendy's blog for close to three years.  Zeke was a baby, I know that. Back then, she was living in Hawaii, a relatively new mom, writing about surfing, life with an Aussie husband and making me long for the days when Nate was a cute little guy.  Now Wendy and Jason have two kids, live in Colorado and recently closed on a house.  This wasn't like meeting for the first time.  It was like catching up. And Wendy?  I wish she lived next door. She's the chick I wish I was.  Smart, successful, funny, supremely grounded in reality. If she did live next door, I can assure you I would never have gotten so embarrassingly out of shape.  Look at her killer body.  I would have starved myself and learned to run with a brick in my pants due to peer pressure alone.  Or I would have been slipping her fat-laden stuff, lying that it was a special, fat free recipe and borrowing her workout equipment and never returning it.  You never know with me.

Thank you, Wendy, for the coffee and the great morning. I hope we'll see each other again!  Have a safe trip home.

After coffee, I returned to a clean house.  "Okay, what do you guys want?"  Because a house cleaned by Nate and Sophia is a Tell.  Like clearing your throat after telling a lie, a clear indication that favors are about to be requested.

Thankfully, they were reasonable requests.  Nate needed a lift somewhere and then somewhere else.  Sophia needed unmentionables that I'm mentioning here.  On the blog.  They're used to it.

We even had a visit with Chloe's boyfrand while we were out.  Can I tell you that a young man who stands at six foot seven draws some stares?  He's delightful, though, (even if he does introduce Nate to things like this and Nate, in turn, introduces them to me, except that song is way, way, way tame compared to the others Nate likes to "shock" me with.) and I really appreciate the fact that Boyfrand was willing to pick up a few things and deliver them to Chloe on the other side of Georgia.

Oh, and I'd like to state for the record that Sophia is grateful for the donations.  She didn't have to wait another two weeks for new underwear that don't give her distracting wedgies during class nor suffer the indignity of being dragged through Goodwill looking for used undies.  So thank you.  Not only did your dollars keep the lights on and pay the water bill (yay showers!), but you can also pat yourself on the back because my sixth grader isn't going to school commando this week.

Okay - that meme.

If you could have one superpower what would it be?
This is really hard for me even after all these years.  Every morning, I wake up and think "Hm....the ability to see through walls or invisibility?  Elasticity or speed?  Supersonic hearing or the ability to lift a freight train and set it back up on the tracks?"

And then I get out of bed, knowing that there will be dirty clothes, unmade beds, random effluvium, a pile of cat barf and a scattering of pens, markers, crayons and papers behind those walls.  With lightening speed (because I have just injected myself with caffeine and I have things I WANT to do), I'll employ my elasticity, bending, stretching, squeezing into tiny places, eradicating the clutter and filth.  In the old days, I would even pick up the train and put it back on the wooden tracks running through the living room.  I do all of this while remaining invisible because, as I asked the other day, if a woman cleans a toilet and no one is there to smell the bleach, did it really happen?

And at the end of the day, I use my supersonic hearing to make sure I've closed the porn and wiped the history set out the Organic, Hormone-Free Skim Milk and cookies before the school bus comes barreling around the bend of the subdivision.

Who is your style icon?
Oh, I dunno.  Carol Burnett as the Cleaning Woman?  Pam Dawber as Mindy?  Jackie O. when she sneaked out as her alterego Kelly Green?  Drew Barrymore when she thinks there aren't any paparazzi around or is too hungover to care? Lady Gaga when she's not wearing meat?  Who sits around in torn shorts and wife beaters?  Because that's kind of it right now.

What is your favorite quote?
Right now it's this by Mark Twain.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

What is the best compliment you've ever received?
Best?  Yikes.  Bethany had such a lovely answer to this.  Mine seems so craven and shallow in comparison.  But when people tell me that I make them laugh or that they think I'm a good writer or that I'm a good mom.  All of those give me a buzz.

What playlist/cd is in your cd player/playing right now?
Right now, it's Nate's playlist on the computer.  'nuff said.

Are you a nightowl or a morning person?
I'm a morning person.  Sometimes that means I'm still up at 2a.m.

Do you prefer dogs or cats?
Cats. I love dogs, but I'm more suited to sharing space with cats.  They totally get that sometimes I really don't feel like being petted or picked up and carried around like a baby.  If I'm hiding under the bed or in the back of the closet, they are cool with that.  Unless, of course, it's their turn in that space.  Then they bite my toes until I vacate.

What is the meaning behind your blog name?
I haven't done this in ages, but there was a time when I used to finish blog posts with something like this:

Because I had a lot to say and this meme gave me the perfect opening, that's why.

Now comes the tagging part.  You know the drill - do this when you need a post, when you need a starting point.  Pick just one of the questions and explore if you want.

Merci, Bethany, for giving me some inspiration this morning....