{just for today…}

I
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crêpe bows round the white necks of the public
doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

~ W.H. Auden

 

Tomorrow will be better….the day after that better still.  But today…

Bobby died.

Do you understand? Bobby died!!!!  Bobby. Died.

Bobby and I were twins separated at birth.  It had been discussed and agreed upon that except for our taste in men, we had far too much in common to have been anything else.   He dubbed me a gay man trapped in a woman’s body.  Which made sense in ways that I didn’t know existed, and slightly troubled my husband who had been Bob’s best friend since they were 7.  What does it say that he married a woman that was so like his gay best friend? But even that makes a kind of sense.

Bob and I shared a love of many things.  Mundane things that everybody loved: movies, a shared sense of style, the turn of a well crafted snarky comment. When he was full of compassion and love, he showered his friends with joy and light.  So much so that occasionally the need for that light, our need for that light, led to him needing to hide from the responsibility.  Unfortunately, we also shared a breath taking ability to spiral down into depression so quickly that we could disappear.  Our ability to become hermits was stunning, although I will admit that he was better at that than I was, mostly because I was stupidly lucky enough to have married a cheerleader extraordinaire when it came to lifting me out of that darkness. Bob had the ability to let the world go by without him even though there were those desperate to find him.  It was not a competition by any means, but his abilities, to those of us who understand what it feels like to sometimes want to give in to that apathy, were stunning.  And also made us goddamn mad.

I borrowed Bobby from Keith, my husband and in some ways stole him.  I  did not know him as long as most of his friends but the bond we had was odd and strong and unbreakable.  A phone call we had a couple of years ago kind of summed up our relationship.  He had been in the hospital for his heart, (it had been sudden,  harrowing and surprising and he was in Oklahoma and we were in Texas and we had been very scared.) and was now at home.  He called and I answered, we had the usual greetings and how are you’s.  Then he told me that his sister was being rushed to the hospital for open heart surgery.  After a beat I just started laughing.  His response was ” I know, right?”.  He knew that laugh meant “What else?  What else can go wrong for you?”.

He knew.

{writer’s almanac}

I have decided that I need to be exposed to more poetry.  I was only exposed in High School, like everyone else, and it did nothing to help me foster a love or even a real appreciation of poetry.  Of course I was not taken with what little I was exposed to.  I don’t think that a love of poetry is like a love of opera in that you either LOVE opera or you can appreciate it, but it will never be a part of your soul.  I think that poetry can be different in that there are infinite styles, subjects and levels of complexity and you can find a poet or poem that speaks to you, it doesn’t matter where you are in your life.

I have found a website that is exposing me to a different poem everyday.  It is really exciting to me to expand my knowledge and appreciation of the world just a little bit everyday.  I was searching for a way into poetry and this is giving me a way to find that road.

Writer’s Almanac

Today’s poem about knocked my out of my chair, so I thought I would share.

Questionnaire

by Wendell Berry

How much poison are you willing
to eat for the success of the free
market and global trade? Please
name your preferred poisons.

For the sake of goodness, how much
evil are you willing to do?
Fill in the following blanks
with the names of your favorite
evils and acts of hatred.

What sacrifices are you prepared
to make for culture and civilization?
Please list the monuments, shrines,
and works of art you would
most willingly destroy

In the name of patriotism and
the flag, how much of our beloved
land are you willing to desecrate?
List in the following spaces
the mountains, rivers, towns, farms
you could most readily do without.

State briefly the ideas, ideals, or hopes,
the energy sources, the kinds of security;
for which you would kill a child.
Name, please, the children whom
you would be willing to kill.

“Questionnaire” by Wendell Berry from Leavings. © Counterpoint, 2010. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)

{still working on it…}

She blinked at the elf beside her at the bar.

“Save me?”

“Yes, save you.”

“From what exactly?’

“Not from what but for what?”

 

She paused and tried desperately not to rise to the bait.

 

She failed.

 

“For what exactly?”

“The afterlife of course.  The eternal reward.”

 

Damn elves.  You never knew what you were going to get with elves.  And damn her love of pretty men. Just…damn.

 

“I think your idea of an eternal reward and mine are a bit different.  Mine involves fangs.”

“You wish the change?”

“When I find the right one, yes that is exactly what I want.”

“And if you never find the right one?”

“Well,” she grinned evilly “at least the hunt was fun.”

His return look of boredom peaked her interest.

“That is a fools errand.  The change never delivers what it promises.”

 

She looked at him steadily. “ You sound as if you have experience, but that is impossible, elves can’t be changed.”

 

“Elves can be changed, but not completely, so we revert back.”

 

Interesting.  She wasn’t even sure she could be changed.  Her nature was already predator, so there was a more than decent chance that it wouldn’t work on her, but she pressed on.  Changelings were so much fun to tease and the sex was amazing! Aw dammit, she had gone and gotten interested in this elf.  She so didn’t need this.

 

“Wow, that would totally, and completely suck.” She grinned slightly at her semi-unintended pun.

He was not amused.

“This is no game.  This is also no way to live your life.  I have seen your like and watched them fall into the Pit never to be seen again.  Mark my words. You will not last long in this place with your easy morals and playful banter.  This place will eat you alive.”

 

“Are you through?”

 

He nodded, looking at me as if I had finally gotten his attention for the first time since he sat beside me and started his soul saving spiel.  Well, what do you know, maybe this might be fun after all.

 

“In this place you dare to judge me?  Really? You know nothing about me.  If you have been in this place as long as you act as if you have, how could you dare to think you know the first thing about me.  You have seen my kind before?  Look around you, you have never seen the kind of half of the beings in this Inn!  So, by all means, you sit beside strangers and roll out your beliefs, which you don’t even seem to believe anymore, and decide who, or more importantly, what these people are.  I would love to see how that works out for you.”

 

He smirked at me.

 

“They told me you had a brain and a fiery mouth to match it.   How intriguing.”

 

“They who?” I glared at him with intensity that masked my instant mortification.  I had been played.

 

“Your parents of course.”

 

Motherfucker.

 

“Yeah, no, I just don’t think so.  You can try to take me back.  Try.”

 

“They have no wish to have you back.  They just want the family name protected from whatever trouble you get yourself into.”

 

He knew what I was.  He knew…wait a minute, Mom and Dad didn’t want me back?

 

Inexplicably my eyes welled with tears. Damn it.

 

The elf in front of me froze.  I imagine that this is the last response he ever expected from me.  Inside my triumph of flummoxing the elf and the pain of his pronouncement warred. I stared at him for a few moments more then silently got up and walked out of the inn.  I had learned a few rules from my father, the most important being, always leave with the upper hand.

{brotherhood 2.0}

I was going to go to bed before 12:00 last night.  I promised myself I would.  Then I made the fatal mistake.  You know what I am talking about, the one that takes well laid plans and turns them into so much future guilt. I was in the mood for the Vlogbrothers.

The Vlogbrothers are Hank & John Green. Hank Green is a YouTube media guru, wizard rocker & founder of Vidcon (a convention/conference for Youtubers and and new media).  His brother John is a New York Times best selling author whose latest book The Fault in Our Stars is about to become a movie that both Keith and I are fairly vibrating with anticipation to see (please, please, please just let them do it justice!!!).  Together they are the Vlogbrothers.

We are relatively new converts to John & Hank and of course as I have said before the converted are always more zealous than those born to it. After all we are nerds and the very definition of nerd is that we unironically , enthusiastically like stuff!  Hank & John have formed a organization that is called the Nerd Fighters.  The mission of Nerd Fighteria (yes, this is a word. It is a word because John wills it so.) is to decrease world suck and increase awesome.  They do this by explaining complex subjects (like what is happening in Ukraine) in a way that can be understood, raising money for charities via The Project for Awesome, a youtube centered event that challenges nerd fighters to create videos for their favorite charities.  Last year they raised over $721,696 that was divided among 20 charities.  There are other various projects and craziness as well.

So, yeah I made the mistake of looking over at the play lists at the Vlogbrothers youtube site.  What I found was the beginning.  The initial idea was a project  that these two brothers would spend the year of 2007 in textless communication.  No email, no texting, no letters, nothing.  They would only communicate via phone or Vlog.  They would alternate days (nothing on weekends) and post them on youtube.  The Nerd Fighter community grew out of this project and still thrives today.

I can’t tell you how exciting it was.  How many goose bumps I got watching.  Knowing where things were going and saying “There, right there that was the first time we heard the word Nerd Fighter” or “That is the first time Hank played his own music on the internet.”.  It was an awesome trip backwards.

The downside is envy.  Why couldn’t we have known?  What was going on in my life that I didn’t get to participate in this wonderful maddness?  I personally don’t know how to answer that, my memory is horrible about last week much less what was going on in 2007.  What sort of person would I be if I had accepted my nerd long before I did?

All the speculation is useless of course.

I have found it now and I am excited by it and it gives me joy.  Even at 46.  You never get too old to be a nerd.  Never.

{not for nothing…}

I know I am a little late getting this out there but, I can’t get it out of my head and I have lectured my husband on it several times now and he is sick of agreeing with me.

All those people who are buying guns at a record pace would do better to put that money into a retainer on a lawyer.  It is not the government kicking in your door that you have to worry about, because why in the name of all that is holy would the government kick in your door when every person over the age of 5 has a cell phone with a camera.  It would end up on most major news outlets within the hour, maybe even Fox News (depending on who is in office).

It would be messy, nasty and a horrendous PR nightmare.  Now don’t get me wrong, if you have committed some major crime, no problem, go get ’em.  But just sending armed men to kick in your door because you don’t think they way they do.  Nope, not going to happen.

Not when they have the IRS.

I am telling you, the best defense against an intrusive government is a really good tax attorney.

Also, I think that if the founding fathers had written the Constitution in this day and age, they would have granted us the right to a computer and the Internet.

That is the best defense against a corrupt government.

The government is far more afraid of the hacker group Anonymous, than of any armed militia.

Bad press trumps everything.

I say all this from my computer in a town about 20 min outside of Dallas, TX.  I understand the gun culture, and have been surrounded by it all my life.  I don’t understand why some of my nearest and dearest family don’t get it.

I suppose holding a laptop doesn’t hold the same romance as holding a Smith & Wesson.  Facing down your foe with evil youtube videos isn’t as satisfying to them.

They don’t understand that gunshot wounds heal and even death is final.  Screwing with someone’s mind lasts much, much longer.

Especially if you publish evil pictures of them on the internet.

And if you mess with their credit, well…

I’m just sayin’.

 

{my freak flag is misspelled…it says geek}

I have always been a geek.

I have not always known it.

I wasn’t an outcast in school, but I was on the D or E list.  The person you talked to because you sat by me or because no one else was around.  I was the girl who had guys develop slight crushes on me because of my personality.  Yeah, I was THAT girl.

I had curly, fuzzy hair in an age where there was no mousse.  I have school pictures that are the stuff of nightmares.  I had learning disabilities that put me in “special classes”.  I read quite a bit and had anxiety disorder that cause me to sometimes end up in the office before school started because I would plead not to have to go.  All things that label you for life, that and we didn’t have a lot of money so once in a blue moon I could take part in a clothing trend (guess jeans any one?) but I was late to the party so it made little impact.

Coming late to the party would be a pattern in my life.

I take comfort in the fact that the converted are always more zealous than those born to it.

Elementary school, Middle school and most of High school don’t hold alot of fond memories.  It wasn’t until high school and I found drama class that things changed.  I was in all the special choirs for PTA programs and such in elementary, and I was in 1 year of choir in middle school.  They put me in a special class (yet again) in my 7th grade year that I REALLY didn’t need, so choir was not possible that year.  I am still bitter about that (the teacher even questioned why I was in that class.  I was leaps and bounds ahead of everybody in the room).  So choir was not the gateway to acceptance that you might think.

That gateway was drama.  Let me be clear, even in this I was a geek.  I would have cut my throat before I sat foot on a stage in front of an audience (mandatory stint as a nun in the chorus of Sound of Music not withstanding). Yes, I was in Technical Theater class.  A stage hand.  A crew geek.

I had found my tribe.  These people, with exceptions of course, didn’t really care what other people thought.  We were allowed to be weird.  In the terms of mid-eighties suburban Texas anyway.  I was inducted into the Thespian society, but if anyone asked, it was explained to them that we were being abducted by the lesbian society.  The stories I could tell, but what happens backstage, stays backstage.  In short I was accepted in a way that I had never experienced before.  I was beginning to recognize that although I passed, I was not quite the automaton that others were.  I was just on the inside of acceptance.

If I knew then what I know now, I would have been a full blown bohemian.  Art and writing and bad poetry would have been abundant.  I did write poetry, that is how I know exactly how bad it would have been.

The point of all of this is that I have been longing for something all my life.  We all do I know, I just didn’t know that it would be tardis blue.  Or making stories about other peoples characters.  Or realizing that I am not alone in all this wonderment.  That now, at 44 (again with the party and arriving late) I am finding out that I have a tribe, a vast, welcoming, exuberant tribe.

And the fact that I can sit and have a serious conversation about Harry Potter for 3 hours is not a waste of time.  That discussing the core differences between Batman and Superman and how the latest movies makers did or did not get it is a valid use of an hour.  And passionately telling you that Joss Whedon changed my life is not only not pathetic, it is a sentiment that is shared everywhere.

I have always been a geek.

I have not always known it.

Not only do I know it now, I revel in it.

Avengers made 200 mil. this weekend.  Now we’re the ones that are cool.

 

{F@#&ing precipice…again}

One of my favorite visuals is being on a precipice.  On the verge of something, trying to make the leap to a new and glorious whatever.  The image moves me.  It just does.  I have written poetry using it.  It was in a vampires voice but I wrote it none the less.

There have been several times in my life I have felt myself on said precipice, looking down into what could be the abyss or could be the above mentioned new and glorious whatever.  I never seem to make the leap.  I can never seem to find the courage, or the energy to just push on.  Fling myself headlong into the rest of my life.

You see,  if  I was utterly miserable, I think I could do it.   And I know this it totally a first world problem.  A lower middle class, whinny, can’t seem to find herself sort of thing.  But just as with everyone, my problem are very real to me.  That being said, I am not utterly miserable.  I have a job that is creative (florist), with people that I like most of the time.  I have a husband that I actually like, and that really is my best friend.  I suffer from depression, and anxiety mixed in with a low self esteem.  Nothing that a lot of other people don’t deal with on a daily basis.

My depression is not some special sort of concoction that stems from some horrible event in my life.  My Mom was broken and she broke me too.  My Dad left me early (I was 18).  I have mild dyslexia and ADD.  My chemicals are not quite right, but not so screwed up that I have to constantly take pills to even me out. I might have been molested at a young age, but I suspect he just made me so uncomfortable that the discomfort at being in his presence never left me.

I am over weight.  Morbidly so, but I don’t have high cholesterol or high blood pressure.  My doctor has not said anything about diabetes, even though it does run in my Mother’s side of the family.  I am peri-menopausal and hormones are running rampant though my system.  But I am not that miserable.

I am just not happy.

I am the poster child for a very mundane sort of dysfunction.

So, here I am again.  At that fucking precipice.  Feeling like something is going to happen, but I don’t know what.  The sad part is that I am so comfortable in my mild miserable state that I am scared to push into something else.  I have issues with safety.  The deep down safety that means a stable life, and that you can pay your bills by yourself.   Safety that means that you don’t have to add to your already free floating anxiety which you can’t quite put a name on.

I am not sure if happy is what I should be aiming for.  Happy is the up in a cycle.  Content maybe.  But part of the problem is that I am content in the quasi-misery.  I don’t know, I have never been one for radical moves.  I am not what you would call a conformist either, but I try to do things that make sense to me.  But what if I have been molded in to what society thinks a morbidly over weight person should be.  God, it makes my head spin to think of all this stuff.

I am tempted to say I just want to be me, but I read somewhere that that statement is one of the most inane in the world because you are who you are.  You are always who you are.  I guess I want to be someone stronger than me.  Someone who takes more risks.  I want to be the person I see in my minds eye when I think of me.  Of coarse that would be half the woman that I am today.  Literally.

Life is hard.  No, wait, living life if hard.  I don’t want to be the person that lets life beat me down.  And I do make periodic forays in to doing things that make me furiously happy(thank you Jenny from the blog!).

But most of the time, I sit in my semi-misery and talk to myself about how I need to change, knowing that I am doing nothing but talking to someone who is only half listening.

 

{the pin it factor}

Do you pin?

You don’t?

You don’t know what  pinning is?

Let me explain.  There is this site called Pinterest.  It is the internet version of crack.  The site is a way to keep track of interesting things you find on the internet, as well as a way to pass them on.  You register with Pinterest, you get a little button on your browser that says pin it, and away you go.  You set up boards, or groups, to organizing the things you pin. Find the most amazing picture of Doctor Who you have ever seen?  Pin it.  You enter a description, then direct which board you wish it to go to, for me that would be “All things Doctor” and shazam, saved for eternity.  Best part?  It also saves the website you found it on.

The next bit is what is really brilliant.  Then it also gets posted so everyone can see it.  And repin it to their boards.  This also means that you can see what everyone else has pinned and post their stuff to your board.  I have learned to make my own clothes detergent.  My own febreeze.  Cool stuff.  If you find someone with the same twisted sensibilities as you, you can follow one or all of  their boards a la Twitter.

It is amazing.  You can sit for 3 hours, and do nothing but click your mouse, but you will feel like you have been SO creative. The backlash for me is that for every geek post,

for every funny saying,

for every pair of fabulous shoes

there is also a motivational poster of some kind.  All, I am sure, aimed at me.  Telling me I should be running.  I never run.  Ever.  Okay, if I was trying to get out of the way of a speeding car, maybe.  But apparently there are alot of people out there running.  And they need alot of motivation.  And I should wish I was one of them.

I don’t.  I really, really, don’t.

Of course, this nugget of wisdom is usually accompanied by a recipe that involves pasta and an inhuman amount of cheese.  Or some sort of chocolate thing.   Or some sort of beautiful, lovely, tasty delight involving Nutella.  Or some sort of cupcake.

Cupcakes are something I can get behind.  Which is why I have this waifish figure.

I do highly recommend pinterest if you are not already an addict.  You can discover things on the web you might have never known exsisted.  And I love any thing that can painlessly introduce you to the unknown.

Especially if it can teach you how you make your own laundry detergent for pennies a load.

And you know, cupcakes!

{i’m peri what?}

As I stare 44 in the face, my body is screaming at me that fertility is a thing of the past.  Not that this is a bad thing.  I have no children, nor have I ever really wanted any.  I have gotten a fleeting feeling when holding the little darlings belonging to my friends.  Nothing that would cause me to look into my husbands (from here on out he is the Rock Star by the way.) eyes and then watch him faint because I have decided to break a silent agreement we have had our entire marriage.

Although It might be fun to watch if I did.

But I digress.

Around 40 my shark week (apparently the shape of a sharks brain and the shape of a uterus is the same.) went from 28 to 21 days.  It also went from 4-5 days to 3-4 days.  Then I started getting these lovely wiry  hairs on my chin.  Oh, and lets not forget that the vj started getting dry.  Yeah, I’m having a real party these days.  Rock Star is living with an ever evolving species, of what we just haven’t figured out yet.  We are going to go with human…for the moment.

Now, shark week is acting up again.  I flooded, which for those not acquainted with this phenomenon is when you uh..gush.  Yeah, feels like you peed yourself, looks like you committed Hari Kari.  With a tampon.   Then about 3 week later I start spotting.  Which is sort of the opposite of flooding.

I became terrified.   I am one of those Americans that some Republicans would see die.  We fall into that category of both having jobs but only one of us has insurance.  And it’s not me.  I work in a florist with only 4 employees.  He works in a large company but it would still cost us more then we can spend to both be covered. So, of course I am picturing any manner of tragedy befalling us.

I don’t say anything for a few days.  Because you know, if you don’t talk about it, it will go away.  Maybe.  Then my addled mind realized something.  I asked Rock Star how long since I had my last period.  (I had to ask him because I have trouble keeping up with these things.  I usually walk into the room and announce that I am not pregnant.  He always remembers that.)  He replied it had been about 3 weeks.  Yep, this was not some uterus rotting disease.   This was what is called erratic periods.  The spotting stopped about the time shark week would have.

That was 10 days ago.  Yesterday I started flooding again.  Yea!  I have spoken to other women who have gone through menopause and they describe pretty much same thing.  Yes, I have made an appointment to go have things checked out just in case.  So yeah, another nail in the coffin of my fertility.

This here is what you call peri-menopause.  Actual menopause could still be 10 years away.  Menopause is when you haven’t had a period in 12 months.  I don’t think I am going to be one of those women who feel less feminine because I don’t have a period anymore.  There is a phenomenon among nuns when they go through menopause.  They become depressed, because even though they never were going to have children, the possibility was there, and when that disappears, they mourn it.

I have never wanted kids, so my femininity has never been tied to the miracle of birth.  Supposedly we carry the power that men secretly covet.  The power of life.  Yeah, okay.   Whatever.  My period has never made me feel powerful.  Never made me feel womanly.   I suppose it has given me peace of mind.  Peace of mind that I am not pregnant.  Peace of mind that everything is okay and in working order.

Perhaps I will miss it.  Maybe I will surprise myself and mourn.

God, sometimes I can be such a girl.