Thursday, April 28, 2011


The recent past has brought me to the realization that I have a funny war within me - and one nobody who's known me long probably could have predicted, but some who know me well might go "ahh - huh" and nod at before going on with their own attritions.

The years of my childhood were not marked by the shining light of my ambition. I came to professional - and even, in a certain way, personal - ambition over the course of a long period, which is a strange way to be "ambitious" in the first place; and at relatively advanced age, which indicates the war for you. Growing up, and even still, my contrarian nature was resistant to all. To effort, to learning, to self-expectation, to material "reward" for concentrating and *doing*. For years, even after leaving college and entering the workforce, I was happy just to set my goal at "make a living" and stop there. I had embarked on my career as a secretary (back when it was still called that without squicking) not with interest nor consideration, but, at first, because that's what women were still, even in the 1980s, allowed to choose to expect of themselves and be done with it and, eventually, because enough years' exposure to actors taught my quite well that my early ideas of being one myself would be insufferable to me. I had "always" thought I would be a great actor - and, of course, the only reason for this was an interest in excesses of fame and finance with what I felt would be minimum requirements of me. In a world where The Dating Game launched the careers of a serial killer, multiple Hollywood starlets, and one Austrian governor of California, it seemed obvious somehow that Being Famous was the way to go.

I thank Christ nearly daily for withholding this fantasy from me.

Anyway, so I worked for a living and shifted my "ambition", for a while, to Beloved Ex - who was, you see, going to be a Huge Rock Star, and could (a) do all the work for me and (b) propel me to my own goals, in some amorphous way - when The Right person saw my face and was seduced by its glory.


My typing got better, my attitude was a little deeper subsumed, I figured I was paying my dues, and - in the way that I have - I didn't consider things more deeply, nor allow non-stellar aspects of life to mean very much to me.

Except that they did. They always do, of course.

So it is no accident that the period of time when I finally set a task for myself - spiritual growth of SOME kind, I didn't know what - coincided with the period in which I finally became an ambitious worker.

In the space of something like 36 months, if I remember the stats I used to brag to my mother, I something-like doubled my salary. I moved from a menial admin spot nowhere in particular to a job where I took on actual responsibilities. My manager in that role was about the best I've ever known: she spotted her team's strengths AND iterests, and played to them in our jobs. She had me writing a newsletter. She put me togehter with our IT guy, and I became the person to turn to when he wasn't available. She put me in front of clients.

I was putting out 72 issues at top circulation, keeping everyone on deadline, writing and editing for our president, and filling eight pages every single month. I learned thirteen softwares in the space of a single year. I was customer service for our orphan clients, those without agents for whatever reason.

And somehow - I still genuinely have no idea how it happened - for the first time in my life, I Got Seen. It wasn't by a Hollywood agent (it was, unfortunately, actually by a guy with the worst managerial record I have ever encountered), but it may have been the most important thing that ever happened in my career. I heard the famous code, "Do you know anyone who would be interested in such-and-such-fancy-well-paid-position" and ended up taking the job.

That I stayed in it less than six months - and the employer was making the cover of the WSJ in the worst possible manner the MONTH I left the place - goes beside the point. I found a way to move up. I discovered how much I enjoyed making a great professional impression. I took a job I fully, outright OWNED, and learned more sophisticated relationship management and higher-level administrative skills. I still completely adore the boss I had then, and his totally delightful wife. He will never, ever know how grateful I am to this day for having come to work for him.

September 11 came, and I went eight months without a job. Finally, I got one - temping. And moved up. And moved up again. And moved up AGAIN.

In the seven or so years after my separation from Beloved Ex, I poured on the coal. I pushed my income from $12 an hour, to $34k a year, to $40 in just one year. For my next trick, I nabbed a boss in the position to give bonuses. And he did. This, after I stepped on his FOOT walking out of the interview. Another man whose willingness to hire me was such a blessing, and one I've advertised without stint to his next assistant as the finest stripe of human she could ever hope to work for.

The next job was, for me, the first time since 1994 I encountered absolute frustration professionally. The company who last employed me still maintains a culture in which it is not merely inconceiveable, but very much discouraged, to be simultaneously intelligent and an admin. I was wrong for them, and boy were they wrong for me.

And these days - as we know - I have to force myself to grow smarter every day, to keep up with my position. I love it, and am fulfilled and stupidly fortunate, exceedingly happy.

Ambition is a growing thing.


And that brings me to the war I have roiling.

I say it was no accident this part of myself developed and thrived just as I was seeking spiritual growth ...

And yet.

The later lesson has been the reverse of all those my career has been at pains to teach me.

As I matured as an administrator, I learned how important it is to control and to play and plan for variables. I have taken pride in ... taking pride. I have fought hard to become the competent and CONFIDENT woman who, just today, threw out one brilliant innovation for our process flow this morning, then topped it off with a luncheon in which I threw in my two cents or so in a group meeting with a Senior VP.

These things are important.

And so I have lost the value of a more Taoist side of life - an outlook not actually at odds with my work and my strength of personality, but one which is, at least apparently - and certainly in its practice - antithetical to it.

It would be poor plotting to return to the underachiever I was when I was younger.

But that girl did have a few things, mentally, going for her. And those things are spiritual. That aspect of my self which doesn't pay the mortgage, but pets the dog and reassures her. The surrender to wei wu wei - "do not do" - the priority which uses the power of acceptance and peace, not to push through life, but to love what it IS in its most important essence, and to recognize how what IS is a blessing, and how striving for what ISN'T can be such a curse.

Big brother ... I can't remember which of us learned the concept as wu wei, and which as wei wu wei. My memory is that I learned it two-word, and you and I discussed the implications and importance of making it three ...

The short blah-dee-blah here is: my life of late has been a lesson in "leave it in the laps of the gods" - as Freddie Mercury has put it. Or, as my current boss has written on my whiteboard (have I mentioned I need to get smarter EVERY day? it's because I work for this genius - ugh!), introito ad altare dei.

Love that guy. Heh.


With my heart four thousand miles away, with the novel in a state of indecision, with comfort all around me but uncertainties abounding - as life likes to offer them - with, frankly, my overweening pride in myself and expectations of What I Deserve, it ain't easy shutting up and not trying to manipulate certain things to suit my preferences.

To just shut up.

To *trust*.

To put anything before myself.

To look at what is missing, and realize what it IS, and feel blessed and grateful, instead of seeing only what is not ...


It feels as if the war is abating.

Peace be with you, too. With or without cutthroat ambition!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


It's usually my position that Administrative Professionals Day falls in with stuff like Sweetest Day (... seriously ... ??) and most manufactured holidays ...

... and then the people I work with turn into absolute darlings, and I turn into goop.

Yesterday a young "ambassador" came by my desk with a gift and a note from the uber-boss, and I was tickled (after being slightly confused - I had to go to Wikipedia to even confirm my question, "Oh, wait - is it AP's day?"), and laughed at myself.

This morning, by lunch, there was an invitation, when I came back there were two eBay gift certs (hee/yay!), My New Best Friend B had brought me Montana Gold bread (YUM), and at last the AVP came by with a bouquet of marvelously bright flowers (below please see the one not in a neon nor rich shade, heh).

Today was historical for my employer, and reminded me once again how much more deeply I appreciate the job I do now than, in some ways, I have ever enjoyed any one I have ever held. I've been happy in many - I'm a fortunate cuss. I've been lucky in almost all, even the ones that seemed bad at the time, for the skills they gave me, the patience they taught me, the ambition they fed, and the people in them. But the depth of what I contribute to now is on another order than anything I've ever been part of in my career.

I've always liked the people around me; even at my last job, which in its substance never suited me at all well, I got so much from the great diversity and kindness of my coworkers. Over the past decade and a half, respect has become the most enjoyable commodity of my maturing professional life - and I've always been fortunate to like people in my jobs. These days, it's remarkable how fortunate I am in that aspect. I like my team, and they really seem to like me - and I mean beyond those in my direct department, but those I depend on every day ... and those who, at last, are coming to be able to depend on ME - which feels so good.

Today was nice not only for the recognition and thanks, but for the way it got me thinking - again - about how fortunate and content I am these days. My job is no mean blessing, and I'm intensely grateful to have fooled my way into it.

And lunch was delicious.

And the bread is too.

And how cool and thoughtful were my gifts? They know I'm an eBay girl, three of them went in and got me two presents there. B got me a loaf of bread - seriously - is that the most personal, unique, and lovely thought?? She's unique and lovely herself, so it fits. The flowers are VIVID, rather me; and I even like the size and shape of the vase, which isn't the Same Old Vase most seem to come in, and which is a size I can use too. Heh.

Simply delightful, and all my work friends are rather charming.


I spent a good part of the morning working on stuffing bags with gifts for my team, in a certain piece of pleasant, almost-ironic reciprocation. It's been a stressful week, and jobs like this are sometimes welcome. I know many would find repetitive work menial, tedious, unwelcome. But count this as reason #784 I am glad to be a secretary for a living.

Important employees have to go to meetings and sit on calls every day. I do some of those - and let it never be said what I do doesn't keep the whole machine in moving parts! I butter my bread making myself important, indispensible. But sometimes I get to make tedium a priority, and there's a Zen in that. I'm not moving a technological ball forward; I'm not providing urgent support or service. I'm just making possible a bit of team-building rah-rah. Such a small thing.

But from today's wonderful generosity: I can promise, it's important. Might not seem as *urgent* as those calls, or the next meeting. But it is important.

And it means, too, I'm not bum-glued-in-my-chair. Also a good thing.

Next job: thank you notes.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My Ex Husband Says It's Not ...

... but spelling is so important. Just one M can mean the difference between great marketing and a slimming garment - or the disgusting prospect of a dress which will snot all over you.

Ew, ew, ew, ew.

Monday, April 25, 2011


Had a quite wonderful weekend, and yet here I still am at home. Sick as a dog. Queasy, dizzy, headachey - and I have lost eight pounds since I went to bed, where I stayed for twelve full hours. The laptop's probably not a good toy to be playing with, but a book is more than my eyes can handle, and picking out a DVD was more than my wee paltry brain was up to - never mind all the ambulation it would require.

I feel ROTTEN. And even the laptop, I find, is making me all cranky and bored. It's enough to make me want to just go back to feverish, shuddering sleep. *Bleah*

Friday, April 22, 2011

Cadillac Comedy Gold

Oh, this is a charmer, this film. McKeever is the best, most *interesting* leading man I have seen in a while. Recommended, for its lightness and cuteness. Yes, cuteness. And, for a change, I mean that in a good way. Absolutely vintage lovely.

Two Hours, Two Ankles

I'm taking another Friday off, and so far so good - though I did aggravate the sprain pretty badly mowing the grass this morning, I have sustained no *new* injuries. Ohhhhhh, I got to sleep in three HOURS this morning, and even with that by 11:00 I had finished mowing the grass. So two hours into this day - but no April Fool's mishaps. So far ...

Today will be busy, but sort of fun - this time, taking off and getting things done will serve a family visit for the holiday, so I'm pretty tickled. I've got to do the regular housecleaning, and plan to change out the big winter rug, but tidying up the guest room is going to be my major project - heh. I'm debating whether to wash the dog; probably should, but not sure about the additional item for the list, so we shall see.

Here at the pause before lunch, I appear to have stumbled across a perfect gem of a film, The Solid Gold Cadillac - a great little 1956 comedy skewering big business and presenting the charm and talent of Judy Holliday, who's quite adorable. Funnily, I stopped on it when flipping through the channels and seeing its opening stockholders' meeting scene, which only a week or so ago I saw featured on Ebert's most recent TV outing, in a piece about Big Business as villain in American cinema. Heh. I'd never heard of it, but it's looking like a very entertaining flick so far. Just the thing for my semi-annual wrestling match with a giant wool rug.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Now that I have gotten another request for a partial, I can acknowledge how very much I really have missed requests for partials lately. It's all very well to be able to take rejection - but I am a damned good writer, and I don't do this querying dance just to be all by myself with my damned good stories.

I have enough life set out before me to handle by myself. It's time my writing got a whole lot less solitary. I can NOT be the only person getting gratification out of my work. Because if I am, it really is only work.

If I'm not, it gets to be entertainment. And the idea of entertaining people genuinely tickles me. This story is so GOOD. It's exciting and interesting, and all but untold in American publishing. And the next one - more of the same, in the marketing sense, but so much new too, in the characters, setting, and span of generations. And the third ... I think might even almost be romantic, and funny; and it is so personal for me. All of them are.


It's hard for me to acknowledge how harrowing writing can be. But I know myself. I know my ability to endure massive quantities of stress, and pretend I don't know it is there, because to complain about it only dares things to get *really* bad. I know my tendency to acclimate to a state of things which isn't optimal. I did it at my last job, for two years. I can't deny a certain kind of denial - even if I think it is the right tool for me, to cope and to bouy above outrage, or depression, or my simple, fundamental laziness.

And querying can try your soul. At the back of my throat, the tiniest twinge of a desire to just let go and sob is teasing me. I finally got another request for a partial.

I needed that.

I need a whole lot more than I like to admit.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Back Off Track

Well, the rejections seem to be flowing again; I don't understand why for so long I was seeing no responses at all (though I was getting auto-messaging acknowledging receipt on the electronic queries I've still been doing, so it's not like I was really lost in the ether!), but it is reassuring I'm being heard at all. The most recent came literally overnight, which actually is nice. I know that's sort of "wow - eep" for some people, but I've gotten enough quick responses (negative AND positive, let it be said) it doesn't wig me out - nor excite me, either - the way it would have when I still felt like a more newbie querier.

I'll probably poke out a couple more tonight; I found a nice set of options for finding more e-queries, which was a pleasant surprise. And the new ones are back on this side of the pond, too. As interested as I am in some of the UK agents I'm wooing, doing so by hard copy is EXPENSIVE. It can cost nine bucks to get a sheaf of paper overseas; it won't take many of those for me to spend "too much" money.

(Says the girl who lost count of the money she was pouring into research texts, three-four-and-five years ago, at about $300 - and that probably less than halfway in, AND buying used ...)

(Oh for the day I will be able to write off some of this stuff for business. Somebody publish me!)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


The agent who met me at the Conference and requested my full almost six and a half months ago contacted me on November 12, unable to open the document attachment on my email. This is the time I assumed she began to read the manuscript; but I have never heard from her since, five months now.

I long ago filed that under the heading of a rejection, but still it seems so unnecessarily rude. A query going unresponded, I can understand. However, someone who requests my full has opened the line of communication, so leaving someone on hold for five months takes on another depth.

The process of querying is slow. Still, I have gotten rejections from so many who consider it a reciprocal process.

I would have thought a rejection would not be too much to ask, from someone who took the trouble to ask for a MSS.


And so I drown my sorrows.

The dream hard copy query was mailed out today.

And at least one more e-q tonight.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Two Tonight

One which could be a misplaced dream - or maybe even a real one ...

One to an agency with a catalogue almost maddenly fascinating, varied, and perhaps impossible for me to penetrate ... but which inspired a trip to my Amazon Wish List, where the list of intriguing titles I'd like to own goes to grow.


Queriers Un-Block

There's one query I have had all the pieces in place to do for a while now, but which for whatever reason I have found my way around actually sending. Most of the time, I can manage rejection. Even the most interesting agents, I am prepared to accept, logically, may take the prerogative of not reciprocating my interest.

But for all the logic I can apply, sometimes the dream sneaks in. And sometimes, the dream is hard to face losing.

SOMEtimes ... as long as I don't do the sending ... I cannot receive a rejection.


Tomorrow is the trip to the post office.

Tonight, I am trying to choose to be starry-eyed, hopeful, romantic. We shall see what the next two or three months bring. The self-addressed stamped envelope ... or perhaps, at last, something more ...


When I was in college, Religious Studies was the big deal discovery for me (not that, apparently, it did me much spiritual good for a long time ... but that's a certain kind of freshman for you). I loved Taoism, and hated to leave that unit behind for Buddhism. Buddhism's emphasis on eliminating tanha, the attachment to Things, made me feel guilty and ugly. I have always adored the sensation of emotional hunger - interpersonal; abstract ... concrete. I'm not replete with love of luxury, but I do believe in talismans.

As human as it is - I both understand cautioning humanity against indulging the Pathology of Stuff we obsess upon - and resist the idea that imbuing objects with meaning, with association, with emotional value is a sin. I don't want to substitute exchange rates for relationships, but I do believe that humanity's susceptbibility to and penchant for symbolism have much beauty going for them. I don't want to be called a sinner because the gifts my father gave me - especially Einstein, which was a bequest he thought about and made with the weight of knowing he was dying, are "things" and therefore beneath the spirituality of a human. The ring my mother let me have, which he gave to her ... the mask my brother carved, which is more than art to me ... the hair stick he made me ... the paintings of my nieces ... the bookshelf I built with dad ... the books that reside upon it.

These things are not vanities - even for a woman like me. They aren't the folly of someone with no sense of what is important. They are, so many of them, the very manifestations of what *is* important, what does matter. I don't hold them with greed - my attachment isn't twisted. Even my father's ashes - an artifact many in the world would find disturbing - are a reverent treasure for me, not just an example of the fact I cannot let go.

We're often exhorted to let go. To relieve ourselves of Things and Stuff. To value what is "real".

What is real is that my father knew I had grown up staring into the incredible thing that is negative space - the white, beneath the yellow and red paint that make up my Einstein - and knew my mind had gone myriad places, drawn something ineffable from that painting. What is real is the passionate and romantic love he bore my mother, which he expressed sometimes, in a way she loved, by giving her gold. What is real ... are books. Things that carry something. Meaning.


I have never loved someone and found that love was turned to hatred. I've only once ever loved that the feeling turned out to suffer mortality. Even for the person that can be said of, I still have respect and no thought of hatred.

I don't turn on those I bring to my heart, and for those I hurt, or been unworthy of as we all are from time to time, I offer what recompense I can.

When we are hurt, we become ungainly. We act at top speed, and clumsily. Sometimes, the instinct is to use a Thing as a weapon. TV court shows are littered with the spurned, suing for return of things, suing for recompense for possessions destroyed, demanding physical accounting, when emotional balances can't be met. "He owes me the price of those tires" ... "she didn't give me the ring back" ...

We're weak creatures. And things are talismans. Sometimes what starts a sinless gift becomes the avatar for pain.

I wonder where the line is. Where a venerated relic becomes the source of tanha, of greed. How long is the line from spiritual to venal ... and where is it the vain girl becomes the ugly woman, holding on to Things (and Stuff) for their sake ...

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Other Writers

I have a secret, as a writer. I don't think it means as much to me as other people.

When I read my writing about writing, it looks like everyone else's - I say all the right things; that my characters guide me; that I don't take credit for it, only a conduit for something outside myself; the passion appears to be there. And I *am* passionate - at least, inside my own head. But I lack some of the dedication I see in other writers. I'm not as emotionally wrapped up in the relationships I create. I'm frankly old, to be coming at this gig - where was my interest and drive, twenty years ago ... or even just ten? There's a lot about my I'm Going To Be A Published Author that - as much as I am confident in my work ... and as much as I genuinely love it - I look at from the perspective of "everybody else" and it just seems so lacking. I'm a fraud - surely my need is not enough, for me to be blasting around my hot air about making a go of this. Surely, since I don't consider myself an artist, since I don't bleed fountain pen ink (or toner particles ... or pixels ... *erm*), I am unworthy to be taking up space all the almost worshipfully-inspired should occupy ... ?

And yet. And yet.

I'm a good writer. I *love* reading my work. It's engaging, it's believable, it moves. It's about interesting people doing interesting things, and it's hung together with a nice rhythm and texture of language. And I love IT. I really do.

But still ... what a poseur. What a dilettante. And - seriously (and above all) - what a hoary old broad, thinking she's going to just bump into the publishing party and crash it like a Hot New Author at middle age ...

But, but, but - nothing says I can't produce. I've got one completed novel, the second in the works, and the third waiting politely but fully conceived and ready to take its turn. There will be more. I may be in my forties, but that doesn't necessarily mean an abbreviated career - some of my family have been nicely long-lived and healthy. An agent could get a generation's span of novels out of me. Given that my lack of schmoop about writing as work - and my desire to sell, therefore willingness to act like it's a profession - there are advantages to these things I see as shortcomings ...

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Earth has its boundaries, but human stupidity is limitless.
--Gustave Flaubert

Word, Gustave. (And the word is: Palin.)

Dressing and Doing

Today was a lot of things, but probably first and foremost, at least until one o'clock, it was the day to get a big event right. Slacker Radio somehow played it right (literally), and started me off with Bowie's 2003 redux of Rebel Rebel, then slowed down nicely for TLC's Red Light Special, Amy Winehouse's Love Is A Losing Game, and Zeppelin's "All of My Love" - which, as eclectic as that mix might sound, actually made something of a magical start in that part of the day where I am alone in the office, and the lack of white noise means it is quiet and peaceful. I turned it up loud enough to actually hear (still not all that audible beyond the seat in front of my monitor), and got a bit of completely generic housekeeping done before the instant messages began to arrive, the phone began to ring. I lobbed out at least one "get with me when you can" preparatory message, but mostly was able to focus on things of importance, but unrelated to the all-too-consequetial events of the day.

If one must spend any time archiving in Lotus Notes, at least Robert Plant can soothe you into finding it bearable.

I had "dressed" a bit for the day. Getting got-up is a psychological game I enjoy - not for the sake of what I will look like, pixellated and left in shadow on a video monitor across the country - but for the physical effect of the structure of certain clothes. I wore a deadly dark midnight blue Jones New York, a New Look style dress I'd gotten this past winter for half its hundred-plus pricetag, and which is done in a heavy, somewhat soft poly or rayon, but which has the sheen of taffeta. Just as well not to rustle with taffeta on a day like this, but the color enchants me. And the dress is too gorgeous. The circle skirt caught the air in the morning when I was coming down the stairs, and I fairly floated as Siddy waited on me, looking up and being ALL cute, to give her breakfast and take her for a walk. What could be more delightfully *girlie* than wearing a skirt that billows like that ... ?

It was cool this morning, so I paired this vintage looking almost-evening dress with my recently eBayed-up Middle Aged Woman's Idea of a "Cool" Leather Jacket and popped out with my fashionably juxtaposed styling and my timelessly adorable pup-head.

Something about dressing up in a specific way, more considered than the hose-and-dress professional gear I usually wear anyway, disciplines me physically so that my mindset is calibrated to heightened attention. X could tell anyone, I have issues with concentration - so the cue of the sensation of a particular mode of dress (more constricting perhaps, stiffer, or just "different") is a cue to focus, a reminder that Today Matters, and it encourages me to attune my approach to a day, to a task. It sounds silly to people, but I've often heard the sentiment shared - that dress influences behavior in certain specific ways. Ask any actor ever costumed in a corset, cloak, or armor. Ask Bugs Bunny (ahhh - and a cartoon which powerfully intrigued and excited me as a kid).

And so today I wore my overstated dress. I wore my pointy little vintage styled pumps. I pinned my hair in a different way. I wore a necklace X once gave me, because its weight on my neck is demanding and everpresent. I tied the sash tight.

And the day went almost flawlessly.

I'm tired now, but hopefully in the way that will yield me up to good sleep.

The sleep of the fulfilled and triumphant.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Just a Question

What is with men and photos of themselves in their cars? Often with sunglasses on? What is that supposed to be about?

Essential, Art

Okay, so I mentioned this deep in a long-winded post about other stuff, but I wanted to pull this out and highlight it. Charlie Sheen apparently is acquainted with Donnie Green art, and, I have to say, the quote Donnie put up on his site from CS about him is perverse, random, and probably about perfect for the work itself, in a way. Donnie and I were friends for a long time, and we're getting back in touch a bit. His stuff is pungent in the most alarming way - I don't recommend it at all for the faint of heart or for my nieces - ahem - but I happen to love an awful lot of it. And his portraiture has come so far; the one of Erin may be his best ever. And I say that, vain girl that I am, having been Donnie's model at least three times myself.

Everything about his site is NSFW, by the way. But we all know you are good boys and girls, not reading blogs on work equipment or during office hours - right?

Mean Joke About a Dead Guy

So ... it seems that I originally purchased my anti-virus protection on April 14 - the day Peter Steele died.

Given his reputation with The Ladies - is renewing VIRUS PROTECTION software as fitting a way to pay tribute every year on this anniversary as it seems to be ... ?



One for Lovely Wolfie

The wolf loses his teeth, but not his inclinations.
--Spanish Proverb

Heh. Preach it, Spain!

Becoming A Tiny Bit More

I've had a harder time learning not to wish my life away, getting past the part that's happening - to the "good" part ... ahem - but age has settled itself nicely into the role of persuader on this point.


I look back upon the person I was at twenty-five or so, and I have little patience for her. I don't like that Diane very much, and respect isn't easy to generate. Still, this is the person from which I am forged, so I do try not to forget myself. I *can* appreciate my memories, but myself gets little credit from me-now. The good fortune of memory is that it, like the presence, is all experienced first person, so it's all a narrative with eyes turned outward.

When Beloved Ex and I were married, I spent too much of my self will and self worth investing in how he reflected on me, how I felt I was treated, how each eventuality turned out for me. It seems from the standpoint of today as if I had no thought for his experience of life - and, though I'm sure that can't be accurate, there's little question I came *first* for myself. Life was so uncertain I placed above anything my experience of it, and so, though I cared about my husband, I was unable to synthesize "him" and "me" into a proper "us" - and us suffered, as a result.

He had an instinct for blended priority emotionally - better than I did - but even with that, he and I never built goals together, and so I never came into his fold, never adopted his concerns for myself, never got past "if he becomes a big rock star, *I'll* be all rich and hot and famous."

It's a strange thing, the almost sociopathic lack of empathy of a vain and spoiled twenty-something - especially considering I started life as a terrifyingly tender child so utterly absorbed in the experience of others that I even built a world of understanding around 'what it must be like' to live in bodies other than my own. It was a function of natural curiosity - but my natural curiosity, when I was little, was focused acutely on other creatures' lives. Other people, the animals I knew - strangers and the everpresent alike. I would still my own being, and build in my mind, sensation by imaginary sensation, the body of someone I knew, or that of my pet ... and attempt to experience someone or something else in the literal way we are capable of when we are young, curious, and creative. I could bend my brain and mould my legs so that I had no arms, and moved - fast - on all fours like our spaniel. I could elevate and weight, and know what it was to be "big" - to be a grownup. To be a woman, to be a boy, to be a man. Anatomy had little interest in itself, other than as the means to explicate for me what it must be like ...

What it must be like to be as tall as my father.

What it must be like to be as feminine as my mother.

What it must be like to have a flat tongue, hanging out over sharp teeth that never bit anything, like our dear old Patches.

What - even - it must be like to be small.

I was fascinated by my own physical growth. Looking at the clothing I was told I had worn as an infant absorbed and enchanted me. "I was once ... *this* small ..." My little patent leather shoes delighted me. I would try to fit in the toy baby bed for my dolls, any encounter with toy-sized real things, like furniture, captivated my imagination. We had my father's childhood rolltop desk. We had a little rocking chair in child scale. My first umbrella - just my size! - was the most amazing piece of equipment in the world - because it was *mine*, and because it was an adult manifestation come to live in my child's experience.

Where I lost the interest in others which led to my loss of ability to exit my own concerns, I have never stopped to think before. It came as I came out of myself - left the hermetic world of a shy little girl, and broke the bubble that contained her little obsessions. It came when I felt I finally had something to "do" - something to think about - other than the boredom-born fancies of my mute and skull-bound brain.

By the time I met Beloved Ex, I was already much the brash and overcompensating person people know me as even still. "Intense" I have so often been told. Overwhelming, I know many people find me. Too much, too loud, too confident, too willing to speak. Too able to, more than likely. I went through a long period of not knowing how to cope with the fact that even some of those closest to me thought me a firebrand, a trial of the nerves, an aggressive monster. From inside, my life seems so peaceful. From inside it, my mind doesn't seem so strange.

It's getting out from the inside that took me the longest time. And, I realize ... in the years I have worked to do this, it seems to me I do hear less about what a clumsy brute I seem to others. In the years I have abdicated my own paramount importance to myself - in form, at least, if not in honest essence.


An interesting thing about putting myself aside - about making room for the interests of others - is that I have not suffered as that interim, strange, and selfish Diane would have expected.

She feared to have any reward shared. She feared not to be the center. She wanted to be The Best - the most - the world-ender - the superlative. To be less seemed wounding, seemed terrifying.

She. I.

*I* could not take the uncertainty of being lost - of being part of the world with everyone. How does a young woman become herself but to break away from homogeneity? How but to be on top of everyone else? And how could I be on top but by self interest?

And what an exhausting master selfishness like that can be. Forever on guard against slights and suffering. Forever sure if I weren't greedy, I would never gain. Sure if I weren't grasping - of those I loved, most of all - I would lose. I was hugely acquisitive of admiration, and hardly paid it back in kind. I was a social butterfly, but always had to be The Pretty One. I was so sure being anything meant forgetting about everything else ... eventually, I became blind.

I knew it was happening, to be fair. I sensed a need for growth. And resented it. I did no favors to my marriage, frantic that IT might be stifling me. I did no favors to myself, proving showily and broadly how important I was to myself. The fear shifted from surface things and fell off a cliff inside me, and landed in a deep and unexplored place, and there I found that I was still waiting.

There I found that there was somewhere to go.

Demolition done ... I came back to my hometown, and decided that I Was Growing.

I didn't really know how to do it, and I didn't exactly pour on the coal, as dad used to say of putting in an effort. But I decided.

What experiences actually made it *happen* ... I don't know. I can't give myself credit of will; but those who love me set me good examples. From TEO I learned how to fake like I was listening ... and I rediscovered an old habit, of Being There for people, which has always been part of me. I concentrated on the form of sincerity, alchemized its appearance at last, and in the end some osmosis happened and, having surrounded myself with the blessing of sincere and open and generous people, they had their effect on me ... and to some degree at least, self-interest began to find companionship with the endless fascination that is: other people.

I'm no spiritual master, but I DO find it enormously pleasurable to distract myself by concerning myself with other people, and also more and more important. Surrounded by people with actual priorities, difficulties, goals, and heartbeats, I realize how little I have to fear, how comfortable my life, how living on loss unrealized is wasteful, how profligate it is to fret about milk being in a glass bottle which might just break ... when life has plenty of mishaps to offer without making them up.

Chief above all, rather than growing, I may have learned conservation. Conservation of judgment - but mostly conservation of energy. The energy to spend on fear, the energy to spend on agita, the energy to spend on resentments unspoken - and the energy on speaking them. I've learned how to hear how much of my concern, at a certain age, was all just drama and noise.

I'm no less dramatic - but I am, I hope, far less the to-the-cheap-seats emoter, over-selling every aspect of my life, myself. Convincing myself that thereby is gained worthwhile prominence.


Interesting, how not being a flailing shrieker actually gives people the impression that you might even be a balanced and reasonable person.

And also makes it so much more fun to flail and shriek over inconsequential joys and the actual yummyness of life.

R Collecting

... and the UK rejections begin.

And once again, like a total weirdo, I am happy to see one. So it goes! One agent closer.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

May 22

Looks like I might be able to celebrate the 2 year anniversary (well ... "ish") of the last time I saw X by going to see the band we first saw together at the place we saw them. A sort of symmetry, there.

Now all I have to do is drag some friend or friends to go for the road trip with me.


So over the past two weeks or so, I've lost a good bit of that "unemployment" (ahem) weight which has been irritating me by reminding me constantly that ... I haven't actually been unemployed now for about nine months. Erm.

Usually, stress doesn't make me drop the pounds (and only half of the 15 or so I gained are gone), but I guess the niggling is working this time. Or this stress is just special. Ahem. Anyway, for several days now I've just been disinterested in food. It's hard to decide, some nights - you come home, you're alone, you have a conflicting pair of ideas about how to go about dinner, you don't *especially* feel like bothering, you start blogging, and dang if - ... now, how is it 9:01 p.m. now??


And you find that is a stupid time to order out, and because you don't feel like dragging around the kitchen, it's simply too late to bother STARTING cooking.

The Big Meeting starts tomorrow, for my team - not in my location, but very much on my plate. We've been working with the tech folks to make up for the fiasco we had last month, we've been working with facilities and planning, we've been working with each other, and all our speakers and participants. The level of work that goes into a meeting like this gives me incredible gratitude for the infantry who do this every day - who get us the rooms, who keep working after that to get us BETTER rooms, who coordinate with security, who do so many things.

And we are doing so many things. This thing has been in the works for three months now, and the addition of the make-up technical event is significant.

So my attention has been absorbed in this meeting for a long time now ... and, by Thursday afternoon at one o'clock, the worst of it will be over.

I've also been watching an extreme percentage of the people I love dealing with surgery and major health events. There's been a great deal of prayer in X's family's direction. I had my own sprain (not much of a motivator, itself, for the wanting-to-get-up-and-do-a-lot-of-cooking).

There's been a lot taking my attention off my belly. And so, my belly has been growing a bit smaller.

I don't pretend I object to this, but it is a little galling that I didn't really manage this in a more reasonable way. Still, the hope now is (a) to ditch the other half of the weight, and (b) to keep it at bay.

Now for sheer stubbornness to step in and keep off by dint of cussedness what my failure in resolve hasn't handled thus far.


I got a new follower today, and NOT by dint of hitting up my friends, family, or writing partners.

*Waves hello*

Monday, April 11, 2011

One Stone

There is a family treasure which came to me after dad divested himself of his traitorous body. It is a paiting done by one of his students in 1973, a simply magnificient portrait of the Father of Relativity - done in pouding strokes, vivid in yellow and organge, and perfectly wonderful in its graphic artistry. My paternal granddaddy died after it was painted, and I adopted the painting as another grandfather. I have sat for years of my life, staring at Einstein for hours at a time, following the curves of its boldness, reading its simple message (what else? "E = MC2"), reading the incredible expression in his eyes, admiring that great nose, following the wild halo of his hair.

Not long ago, he had a move. He's lived in my study for eight years, and been an amazing piece of that place. Next to him, a beautiful 1970s orange and yellow globe pendant lamp. In front of him, on the altar of the bookcase my father built for a home inexplicably constructed without any, dad's childhood globe (circa '48, if I recall).

While I was off my feet last weekend, and bored to nothing BUT distraction, mom came over and visited for a while. She took a look at a print I had borught downstairs; a piece from TEO's family, which I want to keep (a beautiful piece itself - the Windows of Jerusalem), and somehow we ended up really getting into what-should-be-hung-where.

Over my couch, the entire time I have lived here - a Klimt and a blue and green Van Gogh, framed images chosen for an office I was escorted from after September 11. My boss from those days saved the posters for me. He was another good one.

The walls, too, have been blue most of this time. I have fond memories of my sister-in-law coming over and painting with me. A very pale blue, with my vivid turquoise mantel.

I've been growing tired of the blue, and while mom and I tried to figure out what should hang alongside Einstein (the Aztec calendar *worked* but was just so very small ...), we talked about my walls. A saturated color; not plain old antique white - but nothing so vivid as my fireplace and trim either. Something warm. But not yellow nor red; big as this room is, I don't want to darken it that much.

And so we looked at Einstein, knowing he needs something warmer than a blue wall to rest on, and we looked around this room, and ... we thought the unthinkable.

That, really, some sort of well-pigmented beige is the way to go.

(I had fun telling my brother this - his long history of non-joyousness at my mother's penchant for a beige-y wall did make this amusing for me.)

It would probably have been kinder to say I want a wall the color of warm oak. Something richer than a washed-out taupey color, but still a "neutral" as my mother, and our late, beloved aunt too, has always been known for.

He came up with a good idea, though. That the paiting should be set off by a contrasting halo, an area of paint where it's darker, an aura for Einstein. (Great title for a nicely strange children's book, that: "An Aura for Einstein" - in which the great thinker has his tea leaves read and aura analyzed - heh.)

Thing is, some sort of contrasting paint job might look kind of cool in here. I've got one really big wall, it could take one of those finishes with a pattern of some kind painted-in. So I might actually consider - if not a halo - some manner of setting-off, beyond one expanse of color. Could be as much fun to plan as some of the ideas we had for similar color experiements in the kitchen.

In the end, beside Uncle Albert, I found the perfect companion.

For a while, I put up "The Essential" beside him, and that was a great pairing. (Hilarious aside - go to the home page for a quote from none other than Charlie Sheen regarding Donnie's art! Um. Yowza.)

But it put too much wild geriatric hair in one place, so I was dissatisfied. So I moved my Essential old lady to the mantelpiece (it was she who brought me to its beautiful turquoise color ANYway!), and moved the third poster from that old job off its post up there, occupied for as long as the rest - and now Van Gogh in St. Remy and Auvers, a rich and bright, pixellated madness of sky, red earth, and orchard, sits beside the genius.

And it is perfect.

The old blue-green poster went to the office, against the dark paneling previously occupied by Einstein - and it looks very good in there, fresh - and even visible, not blue-greening itself away against a blue wall.

And so last weekend, lasting even until now (I still have another TEO's-mom piece to find a home for, and the Klimt has been displaced), was not a *complete* loss.

And also it's time for me to reacquaint myself with Donnie's art. "Come in and get your eyeballs smacked" the site used to say. And it does. Donnie's wonderful.

Maybe I should find a place for the three portraits he did of me. Heh. Or maybe not.

Googly I's

Two U. K. hits today. Yay!

And Moldova. That's just cool. Hi, Moldova!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Ankle

... is improved a lot, but still painful though I am walking. Somoene surprised me today by asking about it - and when I asked how they even knew, I got a laugh - "I read it on your blog!"

So an update. My gait is back to normal, and the swelling and bruising have stayed under control very well. Still, the ankle hurts and the soft tissue on the top side of the foot, where the injury occurred, is sore. I don't have particularly good lateral motion in either direction, but have been trying to flex and increase that some. Still using the Ace bandage, and still not in heels, but all my ordinary functions are fine and I'm trying to work to improve some "extras".

The goal is to be able to mow the lawn tomorrow and/or the next day.

And thanks again for asking! :)


This morning, the message in church started off with the fairly flashy setpiece of Ezekiel and G-d standing over the dry and broken bones of the dead of Israel. "Prophesy to the bones," G-d says - and Ezekiel does. Clothing the bones with sinew, clothing them with flesh, clothing them with skin. "Prophesy to the breath," G-d says, and of the four winds the will of G-d draws the breath of life, and the Israelites rise again, endowed with life, and restored in their relationship to him.

The good news is (please pardon the pun ...), the message in the end was less Grand G-dinol, and spoke to relationships themselves. How deep they run, how important they are - how ours, to G-d, has the ultimate power, but also how ours with one another are so importatnt.

Through the repetition of the phrase, "broken relationships" and my priest's message of such deep love, and encouragement, I sat and watched an action of my father's.

Two rows in front of me sat a couple I have seen often before. Older than my parents, unlike physcially, in one moment the husband told me he was like my dad in an amazing way.

Across the back of the pew, he had his arm around his wife. His thumb kept playing against her shouder blade.

He wasn't connecting his action to the words we were hearing spoken. His habit was so familiar, so deep, it was plain to see his thumb had been in it for probably half a century or more. It wasn't conscious of itself. She wasn't conscious of it either. Just touching, touching. Affection.

I thought about my post recently, and before it even crossed my mind to wonder whether "this woman knows what she has" in this - I realized joyously that it doesn't matter in the slightest. That love like that is a blessing, and that its generation in the world isn't an accounting humans are equipped to make nor judge. Just that we engender the blessing, and give it - unthinking. Receiving it unthinking is just as well. As long as the blessing is given. As long as it exists.

My dad's hand rested on the back of the pew for my mother. But, for many years, it was there around me. Mom has sung in the choir since I was a girl. And I sat beside him for so long. I would silently ball up my hand in a fist, and he would cup it in his palm. When I was little, when I was a bigger kid, when I was a grown up too. It never stopped. For thirty-five years, I could ball up my fist, and find it a home in my father's warm hand.

And he sat like that, his arm on the back of the pew, stretching out his back muscles a little bit. And sometimes his thumb would play on my shoulder blade.

Physical affection - and love like that ... unthinking, unbidden - and unstinting - are a great joy of life in abundance. I'm so grateful.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Sunshine, Lollipops--

The headline I chose below now has that obnoxious little ditty in my head - and, as I am hideously wont to do - my puling little brain insists upon lyrics ... since I don't know the real ones.

Search strings, queryings, and
writerly little things, and
all the agent-seeking work that makes a
day go better!

Keep your chinny up, and
scritch that stinky pup, and
don't forget the sparkling text of
your query letter!

Oh good lord, I can't even stand myself.

I composed one this morning at breakfast for The Lolly that was absurdly satisfying (... there's that nasty word!), but can't remember it at the moment. I'll be SURE to record it for posterity when it re-rears its ugly little comical head. They always come back, these personally written brainworms I sing to my doggie.

Search Strings and Queryings

I find myself watching my stats for UK hits these days, now that my queries have moved across the pond. I did hit up a new domestic agent last night; one I met years ago, who doesn't handle histfic as such, but who was generous - and whose agency has recently posted a general interest in the historic. In situations where an agency might pick up my genre, but a specific agent does not - and I have met them - I default to querying the agent met, and noting the greater context.

Today's search URLs didn't include anything noting internet email links - and a day's span after a query would be wildly too soon to expect to be getting Googled in any case ... so the eyes still wander the "audience" stats, looking for England on my little grey and green Blogger map.

Last night was big with local and Brazilian 'bots. So it goes. And there are more queries to ship.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Oh, And

The verse italicized below (and freely paraphrased, yes) is John 10:10. I always like to know that sort of thing, so am adding it so you don't go nuts wondering what the spoop I was (not-)quoting.

I Swear ...

... that last post was really going to be about bread and circus and television and "no matter how good the bread is, the circus is still the actual point" ...

Um. Brains are so weird.

Vidiot, Vanitas, Verbal Diarrhea

As much as I enjoy TV and movies, especially in the case of television, I know it's nothing but bread to go with my circus. When I was little, I wanted passionately to become famous. I wanted to grow up and be on M*A*S*H, to have the fun-loving, family cast feeling I thought from the minimalist exposure we had to entertainment news back in the 70s was their fantasy world. And I wanted to be famous. More than anything, as the remarkably unpopular girl I was (I don't mean that it is remarkable that I wasn't popular; I mean that it is remarkable to me now HOW unpopular I was - it's hard for me to find anything all that awful about being shy or odd or slam full of daydreams), I wanted to become famous. There was a lot of money in fame, that much I knew, and I wanted that. There was also some sort of vindication in it.

I got older, I became a theater geek.

I got older still, I started watching all the loud little eighties bimbos on Sally Jessy Raphael and that sort of thing, and I wanted to be the rock star's hot wife. I always wanted all the better looking women to stop sneering about how jealous everyone was.

Then I started to lose my jealousy. When Beloved Ex and I split, I put a lot of time into letting go of my horrible behavior toward him - the expectation that everything he did was about, and reflected on, me, and therefore had to come under my control or risk my censure. And, in letting go of the idea that ANYONE who loves me has ANYTHING to apologize for in spite of (or because of) that love - in letting go of the idea that my own good behavior toward anyone is a privilege which had to be earned - I began to learn a lot about my own vanity.

I've never lost it.

But I do realize that at some point, slowly, and on silken-smooth gimbals, a shift rotated my perspective, and I'm able to see jealousy, and overinvestment in the way other people see me, with a lot less of that "investment" (... see also: cruelty).

My vanity has turned from valuing the externality of my assets: "I am so amazing, I'm with the rock star, and he is CRAZY in love with me - oh, and a nice guy too, yeah" - to actual confidence. I gave my ex short shrift as a person; I valued him in relation to myself, and in relation to him, I was just not a nice girl.

Viciously, it took separating from him for me to overcome that nastiness inside myself. What a terrible thing. And I still feel like he had to pay for something for me. Not fair.

And even still I value what I have become. Gratitude is central to my life, and that life is loaded with blessings. I can never give back to the world - and to those who love me - enough to come close to matching what has been given me.

(And so: I strive to be a good enough person to deserve my dog. Figure that is an excellent standard to aspire to; and impossible enough to achieve that I can't get too complacent.)

X once said of me, "You use your wit and your intelligence as if your appearance had no power, and the effect is devastating."

I told mom that once, and she remains pretty green about a compliment like that to this day. But it's the man who loved HER that way - and she herself - who taught me how to be the person who could attain that admiration. And it's a whole lot of compliment. It delves into so much; I'm amusing. I'm smart (savagely, he always said). And not that it's exactly buried in there, but I'm also a kind of beautiful that has power of its own ... and even so I don't depend on it. Thank mom and dad for that last part. And thank X for explaining the overdrive into which the package of me can put the right person's feeling. No other person has ever known me so entirely, and even with exposure he found me compelling.

That's me. That's not my 25-year-old's hottie attitude. (I was far more appealing by 30 anyway - hah.) That's not the clothes I wear, the friends I choose to accessorize myself with, the trends I suck, the influence I surf. That's. ME. My vanity isn't centered on mascara anymore. It's the power behind the paint. The thing that MATTERS. The wit and the intelligence that make the pretty-pretty irrelevant - and also animate whatever physical beauty I once had, and which still hasn't abandoned me completely.

I've blogged many times about courage. "Who needs strength, I want courage." The older I get, the more I feel the staggering power that lives in the blessings I have been given. Not the power of my features, either. The power of the facts of my birth - where I am in time and the world. The power of my intelligence, which fuels my livelihood in incalculable ways. The power of my family, who gave to me formidable tools, to be ambitious, to be independent in a world where women not so long ago could not hope for so much. To love formidably, and to pledge indelibly.

If you are loved by me, I think it's ever less likely that the woman I am will EVER take that away from you. If you are my blood, if you are my friend, if you are important today: tomorrow is not going to be able to change that. In my life, I have allowed relationships to go, in the past. But I have never found the alchemy to turn love into hatred. I've been bad, and even betrayed, but I've never truly *turned* on anyone. I find that less and less conceivable, the older I get. The more important I realize "love" to be. The more I realize its power, and find myself addicted to its rewards. It is beyond me - the ability to even understand loathing where I have loved. The ability to *do* that.

You're all hidden in the weeds; Blogger's stats can't tell me who reads this. I can know ye by your follow-ation, but only in a general sense. I can hope, but I don't really know. But YOU know - who you are - whom I love, and will never stop. Those girls. That man with my father's boots and a laugh I can hear right now. The tall woman so smack full of charisma I can never forget the first time I laid eyes on her. The Manly Man, whom I love for himself, and not just because of her. The Elfin One, and her family, all of them. My dear V, who has become part of my grain. And her man too. And his son. And K and T, just thinking of whom makes me smile. A, who will never be a "B" and will probably never read here. My mother, my cousins, my cousin-lets, my adopted family, my seldom-seen friends, who still mean so much to me. X himself. I love you.

I can't know. But I hope you can. Can feel what has become of me - the girl who knew nothing but that fame was my only hope, even someone else's.

And add to my blessings: that I never touched fame, and it never came for me either.

I turn my eyes to my father, and ask him what he thinks.

And he says to me: "It is to be expected."

And I can feel his arms holding on to me.

I am blessed the most to know what kind of people love me. Me! And grateful for nothing so much as for that bounty.

"I have come, that they may have life; and have it in abundance."

How can it be possible to know Christ had that to give ... and not to take it - and not to be thankful for it?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Coming together is a beginning; staying together is progress; working together is success.

Source unknown ...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


This week is like this. Especially the part where Daffy begins his silent, outraged expression ... and has to crank it back down, knowing how creakily useless it is to even speak. Yeep.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Lolly Day

Today was the first day I have walked Siddy since Thursday, and it was simply lovely outside. Having to walk slowly, and taking a shorter route than usual, I just soaked in the warmth and the wind this evening. A golden evening, and perfectly lovely.

It was legitimately "hot" today - at least eighty, I think - and, though breezy, the sun was working hard. No jacket. No scarf. No gloves or extra gear. Just me and my purse, flat shoes ... and some overdue errands originally slated for last week. Mmm.

My ankle is getting closer to normal; having gone today without the compression bandage, putting it back on after work seems to have helped with stabilization. Goal for tomorrow - walking with a boring, uninteresting stride. Woo.

Rejection, At Last!

It has been so long since I got a response of ANY kind to my queries, to get an R today was actually a pleasure (and reassuring!!). And, I have to say, for a form rejection, this one ranks as remarkably well considered:

Please accept my apology for this impersonal response. There was a time when I was able to provide personalized feedback for all submissions, which is still my preference, but of late the volume of submissions makes this unrealistic.

You'd be surprised how thin on the ground well-written agent rejections are. At times, I'm saddened.

Of course, NOW I'm grinning - but even more bummed this agent couldn't take me. Aww.

Still. Feeling much better now. Rejections are action in my writing!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Bootless Walkin'

I am, to some degree, back up off my knees today. The contribution of a neighborly set of crutches hasn't gotten me as far as out of the house yet (they're set for someone 5'4", and dang if my mom or me could readjust the buggers - sheesh), but may at least be of some use and comfort. I've probably put fewer than a hundred steps on my feet today, but none of those has been taken on my knees - or crawling - so, some success at least. The pain remains, but at diminished intensity, thank goodness.

Still not positive whether this is a sprain or if there is the possibility of something being actually torn in there, but at least I've improved a good deal. It'll be interesting to see if I can do church in the morning.

Pain seems to make me tired, though. Not even eleven - and I was in bed until 10:30 today, and took an hour and half nap to boot - and I am dying to go to bed.

Since there are no commitments to prevent this nor even make it a bad prospect, I think we'll hit POST on this and do exactly that.

What a weekend. What a waste!

Sixteen and Four

Well, it was a good game, but we didn't win it in the end.

Still, I enjoyed the local excitement. It was fun, and kind of charming.

Go Rams. You deserve the success you got, guys. And go Spiders, too. Way to play, boys!!


I haven't talked about the local boys at the Final Four, but:

Rams, 15
Butler 11

GO VCU!!!!!!!!

Friday, April 1, 2011


I was thinking the other day about physical touch, and how people who aren't alone - I don't mean single people; but people who live without anyone else, period - probably have no idea what they have. Family, even friends - lovers, dorms, roommates, spouses. Humans who live with humans touch every single day. Hugs, little gestures of the hands. I watch the physical affection of my nieces and their mom, my brother ... I watch the hugs of my mom and my stepfather. I think to myself, do they have any idea what it is they have? Can they even begin to understand its treasure?

I am scarcely ever touched by a person. The people I see most are my coworkers. The dog is dear, but I don't hug my friends at work. I don't hug my neighbors. I do not see my friends to speak of. I don't even see many acquaintances, with the infrequency to which my going out has fallen.

I was looking forward to going out this weekend. To talking with people, to hugging some of them, to dancing among them, to the press of darkness and people and noise. To being outside my empty home.

And now I will not only not have that, but I will be physically constrained in a second way. Unable even to control my body in my sacred space. I don't see from here how I'll be able to comfortably go to church. I'm trapped, untouched, alone. And the simplest thing is the most powerful trial.

This isn't said in sadness nor reproach, to anyone I love who reads this. I have chosen my position.

Frankly, it has its advantages.

But I miss the simple way X used to pump the gas on a rainy day, just because. I miss my father's hard-squeezing hugs. His big, warm hands. I miss the glomming, heavy, abandoned grabs of my nieces. I miss the breath of another human being.

Still. Earlier, I was listening to the sound of my dog snoring. A more peaceful sound, in this world, I can't submit to you.

Earlier, I was sitting on my Queen's Chair, the brief patch of sunshine all around, in this beautiful house.

It may not have a population beyond me and the Siddy, but this home is such a comfortable blessing.


D*mned thing still has those awful stairs in the middle of it, though. Gaaaaahh.


Turns out that stand, weight, slow, and careful thing DOES NOT work more than once.

I have stairs to go up, to go to bed.

And then I will have to come down them again tomorrow, presumably. Oh great G-d. What a prospect. My throat is killing me as it is, from screaming and hyperventilating in pain.

Indeed I Am Aware

That it is insufferably self-indulgent to put up post after post about this injury.

Hello: you are reading a BLOG. Only shy of Lindsay Lohan for sheer self-indulgence, that. Right?

I'm fascinated by the progress of this pain. And I do know how sick that sounds. It's a family thing, though. My mom once took a photo of her blood in the snow, after a nasal accident on a sled. And she MAILED it to me in the midwest.

We're really not normal.

But we're pretty difficult to gross out ... If that's any advantage. Heh.

Bit Less Bad

If I pull myself to a standing position, and carefully place my feet, I can, if I stand very still, bear weight on my foot. From there, it is possible to take a few steps ... as long as the angle of my ankle deviates in NO way from pretty straight forward, and as long as not even a molecule of air hits my foot to impede my stride whatsoever - obstacles like the friction of the floor under me, or the fraction-of-an-inch lip between the kitchen and the living room are pretty paintful.

It also comes to my attention that this is not to be attempted too frequently. For instance, the resting period of the twenty minutes it took my rice to cook just now: insufficient for the taking of six or eight steps in either direction to pick up the food.

Oh, and damn. I left the stove on.

Still. It is locomotion. Of a sort.



Okay, I quite literally cannot walk. Period. I just crawled through my house and walked on my knees, and THAT is painful to try. But it is so much better than walking.

It is - you know - at least actually possible.

Holy frijoles, this hurts!

Header, Footer

So today was the day I took off work to celebrate a year and a day (and April Fool's - har) since being laid off. I had plans, good ones - and did show up so to speak. First, a blood donation. Platelets and plasma, maybe some whole. And a trip to Goodwill; I have not donated anything there since starting at the new job (now nine months old!), and the pile was beginning to get teeter-y.

Two steps out the back door (and one down the actual steps), I took a header and made a more ungainly route to the ground than I had intended. Big box of clothes exploded on the walk. Me exploded on the walk. It was remarkably painful, and I sat for at least a full two minutes just waiting to breathe, and for the shock to subside. It was a long, sticky shock, didn't want to abate so easily.

I knew fairly quickly I hadn't broken anything. My family don't break very easily. Still, I'm in more immediate pain than I was when I last tried to sprain myself, soft tissue injury or no.

It took some time, but I did get the boxes into the car, and I drove off to go give blood. It started off well, but I think I'm going to have to discourage them from attempting to take triple donations from me. Doubles go well, but the machine gets far too overexcited about my platelet counts, and simply can't handle the process. It's like Lucy on the chocolate candy conveyor belt - but with all sorts of alarms, and a nervous needle both drawing from and pumping back into my arm.

In the end, and most unfortunately, the process was a bust (without any actual bursting of veins this time, thank goodness). Off I went to Goodwill.

Things went fine there.

I spent some time with mom, but am about out of steam on taking care of the shoe rack project I had in mind for my closet. It's an extremely simple undertaking: I just want to screw up some moulding on a piece of wall which is enough out of the way for it, and hang my heels from it. It'll also clear up a LOT of space, which would be so nice. Even with getting rid of as much as I did today, I have a lot of clothing in my life, and it would be nice to use the space available for organization for those things, instead of the shoes now occuping some of it.

Anyway, so a day off is always good, but this one got a bit cramped (or sprained) with sorta-obstacles. *Pleh*

I think I'm going to watch the last season of Buffy (if Netflix hasn't disabled that yet), and later on it'll be Cukor's "The Women". The first time I ever watched that was on a gorgeously beautiful, seasonable day last year - March 31 - as I absorbed my unemployment.

This year, it is cold, nasty, and grey ... and I am so grateful, blessed, and fortunate.

Life is a good place.

If you're careful descending steps with big boxes in hand.